How to Import 3D STEP model into footprint

Altium Designer Tutorial – How to import 3D model from quick and easy


This text shows how to import 3D solid model (body) of one LED component into .step file format.

If you want to import 3D model in footprint firstly you need to open PCB library and select footprint (land pattern) on which you want to add model. After downloading 3D model from and selecting footprint in .pcblib, from the Altium menu, choose the option Place ->3D body. If you want to use shortcut press “pb” keyboard buttons (See Picture 1. Place ->3D body).

Picture 1: Option Place ->3D body

In 3D Body window in part 3D Model Type select Generic STEP Model and click on Embed STEP Model, find and select your 3D model you want to import (See picture 2. 3D Body Window).

Picture 2: 3D Body Window

First position cursor in the center of footprint and then left-click will place 3D STEP (STP) model on footprint (See Picture 3. Place 3D body in 2D mode).

Picture 3: Place 3D body in 2D mode

After placing 3D model, 3D Body window will appear again. If you want to add one more 3D model on the same footprint, press Cancel or Close 3D body window. You can import 3D model in both 2D and 3D mode of Altium PCB library. To switch in 3D mode, press keyboard button 3 and to return in 2D mode, press keyboard button 2.

Picture 4: Footprint view in 3D mode

Note 1: 3D models from are designed according to IPC standards. It means that coordinate origin of 3D models are located in the center of a footprint. This feature of 3D models helps you import models quickly and easily without rotating 3D body. If your footprint was not designed by IPC standards and origin of footprint is not in its center, we recommended you to set coordinate origin in center. You can set origin in center of footprint using option Edit->Set Reference->Center. Shortcut is keyboard buttons “esl”. See Picture 5. Option Edit->Set Reference->Center.

Picture 5: Option Edit->Set Reference->Center

You also can watch this Altium Designer Tutorial of adding STEP model into footprint on video below.

How to import and position 3D STEP into footprint if model is not designed according to IPC standard?

Video below shows how to use options:

1. Tools->3D Body Placement->Align Face With Board

2. Tools->3D Body Placement->Add Snap Points From Vertices

3. Tools->3D Body Placement->Remove Snap Points

which are very helpfully for position model into footprint.

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