[SOLVED] Same FreeCAD Model but STEP scaled Correctly, WRL Not

Newbie here.

I created a 3-D model in FreeCAD for a TO220 with three leads. [The library had the five-lead version but not the three-lead version. ???] The model is in mm.

I exported both a WRL and a STEP version.

When I use the STEP version, all is fine.

When I use the WRL version, the scaling is off by ~2.5. It’s too large. Maybe by 2.54?

Since the models I see in the supplied libraries/modules/packages3d are WRLs and they seem much smaller, I’d like to use WRLs.

Did I miss something in either exporting the WRL or associating it with the component on the board?

Windoz 7 Ultimate 64-bit, 8 GB RAM.
Intel CPU “Core Duo E8400 @ 3.0 GHz”.
KiCad 5.0.0 rc2 for Windows, 2018Apr01 (build #247).
FreeCAD 0.16. (See Below for more details)


FreeCAD Details:
OS: Windows 7
Word size of OS: 64-bit
Word size of FreeCAD: 64-bit
Version: 0.16.6712 (Git)
Build type: Release
Branch: releases/FreeCAD-0-16
Hash: da2d364457257a7a8c6fb2137cea12c45becd71a
Python version: 2.7.8
Qt version: 4.8.7
Coin version: 4.0.0a
OCC version: 6.8.0.oce-0.17

You are right. WRL models are scaled 2.54 (or 25.4 I don’t remember).

There is a tool kicad-stepup (a killer application) that can be installed as a Freecad workbench that makes the wrl and step exports ready to be used with kicad. And many more things.

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Thanks. I’ll research it and start using it.

If I missed the documentation on this, I apologize. As a newbie there is a lot to learn and I’m ancient.

If it’s not documented, it seems like a candidate to avoid confusion.


It’s in the FAQ so not part of the main program.


I downloaded the cheat sheet and in Step 3 (How to Install), i was stopped by this line:

“Just copy the kicad-StepUp-tools.FCMacro file and the kicad-StepUp-icon.svg to the FreeCAD
Macro folder.”

I don’t see a macro folder (or macros folder) either under FreeCAD or in the working directory under my username where I have the FreeCAD models I’ve built.

Is it necessary to enable macros in FreeCAD (or do something similar)?

UPDATE: I did find the User macro folder under AppData.

Now my question becomes:
Should I copy the StepUp macros as System or User macros? If System, where do the files go?



After installing the KiCAD-StepUp tools as a FreeCAD Workbench selection and performing the export through it, the WRL files are scaled correctly.

Thanks everyone,

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@maui wrote this so if you have problems you might want to summon him into any future threads about this. Glad you are up and running with it though.


Yes, I could and did install the workbench. Using the StepUp workbench, I exported the files and the WRL file seems scaled correctly. I’ve switch the footprint’s reference to the WRL.

I finally installed the StepUp macro in the user area, but I had to create the folder. Fortunately, the folder name was shown in both the “Record Macro” and “Macros …” dialogs. It would improve the cheat-sheet for FreeCAD newbies to tell them where the Macros folder should be created. I still don’t know where FreeCAD’s System Macros are located.

Tks, MM

In the next version of freecad (0.17) there will be a plugin manager that will install (and update) plugins from within the gui. In freecad 0.16 you can install the plugin manager: https://github.com/microelly2/freecad-pluginloader

Also it seems you might have installed an outdated version of stepup. The newer versions are a workbench not a macro.


I’m using v7180 from SourceForge.net. If 7180 is not current, I don’t know where to find a more recent version. Remember, I’m new at both KiCAD and FreeCAD.

Eventually I installed both the Workbench and the FCMacro, but the Workbench “solved” my WRL problem before I installed the macro as I hope is clear from the thread.

My comment on installing macros wasn’t a complaint that the Workbench didn’t solve the problem, it was more feedback on the CheatSheet described by pedro and hermit.

The instructions in the CheatSheet called for installing the macro OR the workbench (Step 3):
“KiCad StepUp tools can be installed as a FreeCAD Macro …” and later (Step 3 as well):
“KiCad StepUp tools can be also be installed as a FreeCAD WorkBench …”

So I was trying to do both (macro and workbench) to compare the experiences when I initially hit the issue of where to install the macro. If the macro is obsolete (doesn’t seem to be as it came with v7180), then perhaps the CheatSheet should reflect that.


Please refer to FreeCAD documentation (google search for freecad install workbenches & freecad install macros first result)

KiCad StepUp tools cheat sheet page 1, point 3)

It is suggested to install the StepUp WB which has more features, but both WB and Macro are fine.
If you install the WB it will help in checking also for updates.
Some ‘old’ users are used to the Macro way, so both are still available.



Thanks. I hope this is the last question from me.

Concerning: “Just copy the kicad-StepUp-tools.FCMacro file and the kicad-StepUp-icon.svg to the FreeCAD Macro folder.” In my unpacked version of v7180, there are no .svg files. Where should I be looking? Is there a newer version of StepUp?


Hi Michael,
no probs :smiley:

  1. Please work with FreeCAD 0.17 (it is in code freezing and the stable release is going to be released soon)
  2. Then from FC0.17 you can install Kicad Stepup from: Menu -> Tools -> Addon manager

This is the best & easiest option the get the most from StepUp included the feature to be informed about updates …



FreeCAD v0.17. I’ll do that, but it might be a couple of days.

UPDATE: Installed v0.17.13488. Got a non-repeatable exception and lost the details as I assumed I could reproduce it. Maybe corrupt heap when loading KiCAD-StepUp Workbench? Happened only once so far.

Other than the one exception, FreeCAD v0.17 using the “AddOn Manager” to retrieve and install KiCAD-StepUp worked well. The STEP and WRL models exported by the StepUp workbench both seemed to be scaled and placed properly. :grinning:

Of some note: the STEP file was reduced from ~160KB to 70KB. The WRL file stayed at 31KB so I’ll use it until I find a reason to prefer the STEP file.

Thank you (and others) for all the help,

Hermit’s expertise ended with pointing to the FAQ and noting why you wouldn’t find this in the official documentation. :wink: It’s been a recent discussion on how much design capabilities an EE program should have built in vs leveraging existing solutions. Maui and taken the approach of building a bridge. Not just for the 3D models but also something that can be used for more complex footprints and edge cuts.

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