V6 STEP 3d model export: Missing components or completely empty board is exported

This article is for FAQ section


In PCB editor, use File -> Export -> STEP... in order to get 3d step model of your board. After inspecting step file with 3D viewer (FreeCad), observe missing components or completely empty board (only substrate). Board looks okay in PCB Editor’s 3D viewer (all 3D models are in place):



Please check “Substitute similarly named models” in “Export STEP” configuration dialog when exporting step (File -> Export -> STEP...):

This is an example of demo project exported with this checkbox ticked and not:

If not helped

If a footprint in the official KiCad library points to a 3D model which doesn’t exist at all, this is on purpose. See Why a footprint points to a 3D model but the model file doesn't exist?.

Please review step export log to get idea of what is wrong:

It may be a KiCad bug, or mysterious 3D source file. If cannot be solved by you own, report this issue in this forum or at KiCad (issue tracker).

Further information

Link to relevant issue at issue tracker: Step export: Be more verbose about "Substitute similarly named models" and missing step models (#10291) · Issues · KiCad / KiCad Source Code / kicad · GitLab