Step file transparency is lost

Hi all,
not sure whether this has been asked/answered before.

I am trying to add the enclosure to my KiCAD project but I don’t know how to go about doing it.

So far I have picked a 1pin header symbol and I have assigned the 3D shape of my enclosure (step file).
I am not sure this is the best way to do it though. Is there a “proper” way to do it?

Another question: It would be very handy if the enclosure could be displayed as transparent.
In my CAD package (Creo 2.0) I have made the step file transparent but then when I import it into KiCAD it loses the transparency.

Am I doing something wrong or KiCAD doesn’t render the transparency?


Step is a file format intended for communicating exact mechanical details between different programs. It is not designed for pretty pictures. It has therefore no support for stuff like transparency.

Use the wrl file format for pretty pictures and use step for sending your design specifications to your mechanical engineer.

Thank you.
Are you saying that the wrl format support transparency?

By the way, I am not trying to do pretty pictures, but trying to define the position of some pushbuttons on the board so that they look good when poking through the enclosure.

I am trying to do it in kiCAD because not all positions are allowed because of other bulky components (batteries) .

But maybe there is another way to do this?

You might be interested in this: Kicad StepUp: a Seamless ECAD/MCAD PCB Data Integration

Yes it does. The question however is if your tool can export with transperency.
KiCad stepup might even be the tool here. Export step from your tool, import to freecad, reexport using stepup with transparent settings enabled. (select a transparent material from the list at export.)

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Done. Thanks. Straightforward.
I used the virtual placement type for the enclosure so that its display property can be toggled on and off in the viewer.


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