STEP / WRL model tool - for easy 3D models!

Hey all,

I’ve been following the great work that @maui and others have been doing in regards to getting better MCAD support for KiCAD. The wings way of doing things is pretty outdated, and using STEP/wrl pairs of models seems to be working very well for most people.

One thing that can be quite time-consuming is sourcing good STEP files, then finding that they’re not aligned correctly, or when you add the 3D file to the footprint, it places it inside the PCB.

To this end, I’ve created a simple tool for (somewhat) automatically converting STEP files to correct alignment/rotation/etc and then saving a KiCAD compatible .wrl file.

This is probably best explained with an example of what I mean - check out the file here -

There are plenty of good sources for 3D models out there, this tool simplifies the process of getting them into your library.

Feedback welcome - I’d be interested to know if there’s anything I can do to improve the tool (or if it’s a completely silly idea and I should be ashamed of myself).

Cheers :slight_smile:


Hi @SchrodingersGat

have you tried my kicad StepUp tools?
you can load the kicad footprint in FreeCAD and align the 3D model directly with a visual feedback in FreeCAD

Anyway I think your script is nice and can be adopted i.e. when aligning a family of 3D models…
I would suggest you to slight modify the VRML exporter fuction…
I would recommend to at least select ‘Shaded’ in FreeCAD visualization before export the model as VRML, otherwise you will add to VRML also Wireframes and Vertex Points that are not suitable for a nice rendering and in some case may add warnings to i.e. VRML viewer…
you can get a way to set ‘Shaded’ with python on my previous version of kicad StepUp tools code…
Moreover I would suggest you to export VRML with the new routines that are in the actual StepUp tools…
The new way of export VRML will generate a smaller (in file size) VRML file and a cleaner VRML internal format to which can be added easily Material Properties…

Thank you for your nice work in MCAD integration :smile:

1 Like

@maui yes I generally use your tools for STEP/wrl integration (they are very good!) This is more converting a lot of files at once. Thanks for the tips on the VRML model export options - I might just use your script for that.

1 Like