Exported STEP file, color lost

Allow me a beginners question, I’ve colorized a part of this STEP model in gold color,

and exported it to STEP again. However, when loading it up in KiCAD the golden color is lost. Do I have to export it in another way? Best regards

When you export did you set the export type to one of the AP214 options. Click option on the save dialog to check.


Hi Mark. Yes, I cared to check AP214 before exporting. For testing purposes I just opened the exported file up in FreeCAD to see if the colors are missing there too… and to my surprise: the colors are there! If the colors are showing in FreeCAD, but missing in KiCAD, then this is probably an issue of KiCAD and not of Rhino.

I was going to post that I’ve not had any problems transferring stp files with colours to quite a few programs so it’s probably a problem with KiCAD. Just wanted to make sure you knew about the AP214 format first.

Can KiCAD export stp files with colours?


Mark, Yes, I’ve always exported with the option AP214. So maybe it’s as you said an issue of KiCAD, or rather, of the plugin it has implemented. KiCAD uses OpenCASCADE Community Edition (OCE) as 3D visualization plugin to provide the ability to view STEP and IGES solid models and assemblies. May this plugin be the culprit?

Have you got any examples of stp files with colour that KiCAD displays correctly? Some programs store the colour per face rather than per polysurface, try the attached file in KiCAD. The file attached was made in Fusion, opened in Rhino it will not show colours but in programs the support per face colours each face of the box has different colours.

Marktemp.step (11.1 KB)

Hi Huhghes_Tooling! Yes, your file shows colors in KiCAD, and you are most surely right in saying, that Rhino saves color per polysuface, while other Applications (FreeCAD, Fusion) store the color information per face, not per polsurface. So, I could export the models from Rhino, colorize them with a third party application, and then use them in KiCAD. However I’d really prefer to use Rhino for all this, for the reason that Rhino saves step files much filesize-efficient and smaller than for example FreeCAD.

There is a discussion about this in the Serengeti forum, haven’t read through it for a while so not sure what the conclusion was.