Running the same project across different machines

I am new to this forum. I have been enjoying running KiCad and coming to terms of running it but I am a bit of a noob at running this software. So far it’s a great piece of software.
I have been working on a small project that I have stored on a shared ctera cloud drive. This cloud drive syncs to a local folder on all my machines that have the KiCad and the sync agent on.
This means that I can work on a project from home or use my work machine as well.

Things are going well and have designed a schematic, can run cvpcb etc and generate net lists and then work on the PCB. The PCB looks good and can do a 3d view and looks great on the machine that I originally created the project on.

The problem arises when I open it on another machine (note that no two machines are opening the project at the same time so no file locks etc.) and the schematic and PCB look OK but cannot do a 3d plot with the components on it. I just get the board.

In the schematic editor, if I do an “Assign Footprints” I get an error of “Errors were encountered loading footprints:
Unable to parse URL: “C:/Program Files/KiCad/share/kicad/modules/packages3d””.

Now I have pretty much a default KiCad on windows 10 install with no special libraries so would expect the libraries to be picked up. Looking at the environment variables / module paths within the program look the same for most part.

Is there something that I should be copying over from the windows user profile that I need? Have had a look but not seeing much that would influence it.

Using Windows 10 with version 5.1.6-1.

The .pretty libraries are all in the same place on the machines so am at a bit of a loss as what is causing it.

Any ideas would be most welcome.

Thanks in advance,


Seems your second machine has an invalid environment variable. Try to manually set it in the kicad main menu -> preferences -> “something about paths”.

And in general this might be a good read for your usecase (as i would assume you will at some point need your own library assets) Project and libary setup for sharing and collaboration

The 3D models are a huge library (some 5GB) and not always installed.
Have you verified that these models are installed on that “other” machine?

The .pretty directories only have the footprints.


Thanks for the reply, yes it looks like the relevant folders have the correct sizes hence I think the default install is good.
22.4 MB (23,497,253 bytes)
22.4 MB (23,497,253 bytes)
398 Files, 0 Folders

5.12 GB (5,507,667,847 bytes)
5.17 GB (5,555,425,280 bytes)

5.50 MB (5,770,734 bytes)
5.92 MB (6,217,728 bytes)
229 Files, 52 Folders