STEP export of PCB with components?

Hi folks,

Following @ChrisGammell’s Blinky tutorial and genuinely impressed at how great KiCAD has become since the first time I played with it years ago. Kudos to the hard work of all developers and volunteers!

I do have a simple question that appears to have a fairly complex answer from what I can tell (or I am wrong, quite possibly), how can I get a STEP export of the whole board, including the components?

My layout looks like this in pcbnew: (forum limitation, 1 image per post for new users)

Alt+3 gives me this beautiful 3D preview:

“File -> Export -> STEP” generates this STEP file that only has the PCB itself (no components):

From what I gather, “Kicad StepUp” is the way to go although I was curious if what I am trying to accomplish can be achieved with vanilla KiCAD without the need for FreeCAD and plugins. A native STEP export without the need for external tools would be a killer feature!

Wondering if the lack of components on the STEP export is related to the fact that all the parts I have on this board appear to be .wrl shapes?

Any pointers?


Yes. The individual 3D models of your board must be STEP ones. The step features are only available in nightly builds.

Kicad StepUp has also this feature. You also need both step and wrl models of every component in the same folder.

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Thanks, pedro. Just created a custom part with a STEP file associated and did a STEP export in pcbnew and that seems to have done the trick:

Now of course the million dollar question is, how does one deal with the standard libraries that only have .wrl models in them?

I suppose you can selectively copy/paste generic parts you need to your own libraries and find STEP models for them but that does seem sub optimal, is there a trick to mix and match .wrl and .step models?

A lot of standard parts already exist as step files.
Generator scripts: (also look at the forks of this repo. I’m not sure if everything is merged.)

Or some of the finished files under: (not all files that can be generated via the script are found there.)

There is also this thread on this forum:


Currently I’m overhauling the scripts and models for proper vrml material properties and proper kicad names and orientations to make sure it’s plug and play to use instead of the official kicad 3d libs


Completely missed that thread, thanks for the pointer @Rene_Poschl.

Good to hear that there is work being done to standardise the libraries, I’ll study the repositories linked and see where that goes :slight_smile: