Anyone with experience of teaching Blender to the layman ?

Blender or a subset of its tools could be used to answer to the needs of much more people than just CG artists.

I am thinking of creating a set of tutorials (possibly also tools and scripts) for such people, namely cabinet makers, furniture makers and interior designer about using Blender for designing pieces and presentation.

Among other domains I can easily imagine that it can be applied to stained glass and a number of other trades. Hey, Blender even does excellent 2D graphics and layouts for pamphlets and books if one takes the trouble.

All those people are likely to be fairly new to CG from the start and not interested in learning more than they need which make them special cases. So, I’d appreciate if you shared your experiences of teaching, even briefly, to such students with me so I’d have a head start.

Thanks in advance.

well i am a cabnet maker, furniture maker, industrial product maker, applience maker… infact i designed a bottle just the other day.

i don’t think the tools being needed to use are any different than the normal blender tutorials.

however there is ONE THING that is important.

people like cabnet makers need to have “line drawings” to print out and use as templates, they also need to get into the habbit of making things to SCALE.

I use 1 Blender unit equals either 10cm or 1cm normally.

i render with edge on and all materials set to White. this will gve me a render that is useable for plans and real life needs.

the only issue that blender does not solve is the “SCALE” when printing. i need to use photoshop to print to the correct size on paper.

this means using the “trim” or “crop” functions of the image editing ap to reduce the size of the render to a KNOWN virtual length. and then setting up the 2d image document size to the equivalent “real world” length.

as for tutorials i think its not to hard, i will be teaching people soon. but i think this is the most important thing for people to know.

an example fo some work i did that is about 99% blender, and the 3d image of the item was added in photoshop.

i believe that this is what you are talking about teaching other people??

P.s. Blender is not a CAD package yet, so all of this stuff is “not very good” in terms of industrial applications, however if you know your way around the system things are acheievable.


Blender was origionaly not made to be a CAD like program (ie. none of those funky measurements and lines and rules and other stuff commonly found in CAD programs), but it can be done.

I used to work in a cabinet shop. My old boss made all his “blueprints” on a
long narrow piece of scrap wood. Only him and one other guy there could read them.

For most other designers though I think Blender would be good for making the forms and layouts, but it needs some cad tools as well.

Glad to see that I an not the only woodhead here :slight_smile:


I use Blender at both ends of the creation process, design and presentation, but I still use a CAD program for working drawings. I use TurboCAD that can be had for less than 70$ US, FloorPlan included. As you stated, this simplifies putting to scale ; maybe more importantly it allows one, with the help of automated measurements, to model with only the essential massing proportions in mind, the exact measurements being extracted later in the CAD program.

As you can read, I’d rather use Blender for what it does better than any app I can think of, including Max which doesn’t have an integrated real time engine for interactive presentations. In car sales, it is believed that once one can get the client into the car for a road test, 90% of the sale is done. Let me tell you that, once one has given to the customer the power to cruise the interior of his project, office or home at his full leisure and see it as it will become, one couldn’t pry the mouse loose from his hand with a crowbar. :wink:


As you see, I agree for the use of CAD tools.
We still have an old master at the workshop who is working with ‘rods’ and full scale drawing on sheets of plywood, the type of “blueprint” you probably meant. It impresses many customers and I am not one to argue with them but I like my Blender better, thank you.

Yep. That’s what they used and probably still do.

As for the cad stuff, does anyone know what ever happened with BlenderCad?

blender cad i don’t think would eb to hard to impliment it. and i am wondering why it isn’t already here LOL

i have no idea what happened to it personally.

all i think needs to happen is objects need to be able to be defined by their radius, centre points. and measurements need to be taken from the origin, and to a scale other than a .blend unit.

as far as i could guess its not to much work.

but don’t trust me, i know nothing of how hard it really would be to code.


One tool that I’d really like to have would be one that allowed, when joining objects, to automatically name one vertex group for each object using the same name the object had ; that tool would allow to revert the process, that is to separate every named group naming the objects created after the name of the vertex group it was before the separation.

This would render modifications of existing objects much easier and powerful. Let’s say that I modeled an armoire : I have doors, sides, stills, cornice… all different objects, material list and animation being easier that way. If, for example, a customer comes and ask for the same armoire but a bit larger and deeper, in the present state I’d have to edit each part one at a time, a pain. If I could join the parts, edit groups of vertices, even use PET and then revert to individual objects without going through a tedious vertices selection process just to be able to use all the animation tools, not just RVKs, that would be a great creation tool and a serious time saver. It would be useful even at the first designing stages, allowing to make quickly many interesting experiences.


What ever happened to this? :