How to get colours when importing files exported from FreeCad?

Unfortunately, it seems that all the free 3D models for electronic components are available only in STEP or other Autocad something file formats. I searched the web and it said use FreeCad. FreeCad does not seem like a stable, user-friendly application. It crashed when I opened certain STEP files or sometimes failed to export certain STEP files to certain formats without telling me the details.

Anyway, even if I succeed to export it, the colours are lost. For example, I downloaded this file ( https://grabcad.com/library/lm2596-dc-dc-buck-converter-module-2 ). As you can see, it has colours when opened in FreeCad.


But if I export it as STL/DAE, it looks like this in Blender.


When exported as OBJ, Blender did not display anything, and exporting to glTF failed.

Is there a way to import a STEP model with colours?

Hi out there,
so… there is something, that you obviously missunderstand concerning the “objects” within Blender and those within CAD-Software.
Blender is working with meshes!
CAD-Software is working with parametric data. In other words: CAD is a description of measurements in conjunction with dependencies.

So if you get a CAD-File, you have to take care, that the “parametric-data” are “translated” into mesh-data. (It’s the same, if you want to 3D-Print CAD-objects, by the way :slight_smile: - AND! it’s also the reason, why you did not see anything within blender, after export to OBJ - becaause OBJ is a pure mesh-description file-type.)

Within FreeCad (which is, by the way one of the best “not-to-pay-for”-CAD-systems I know by now) you have to do this “work” prior to exporting anything from there to blender.

I would be a bit to much to describe the process within here, but hopefully the following link will show you exactly, what you are “missing”:

https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic.php?p=318866

The question here was exactly the same as you are asking… :slight_smile:

One thing you should nevertheless keep in mind too:

If you import STEP-Files into FreeCad, you are loosing the original information about the size of the object. Which means there is no scale available anymore. So if you are following the advice within the a.m. forum, then take care that you resize, scale the mesh into dimensions, that blender can refer to. Otherwise it might be to big or to small within blender. Where to small is mostly the bigger issue in order to “find” the object within the blender-space.

Hope it helps and happy blending

Found a better application for this than FreeCad: Cad Assistant. It was faster to open/save than FreeCad, and it exported colours by default.