I’m an architectural technologist and use AutoCAD LT everyday. I too have been looking at Blender for 3D viz on and off since v1.8 to use as a 3D visualisation tool for the 2D plans/elevations i work on. Since v2.37a i’ve given it far more attention, but i’m about to dump it once more for Max as i feel i’m wasting my time fighting against some basic fundementals that are missing in Blender at the expense of so ‘coooool’ hairy fluidy orangey animated character stuff.
I made this viz from 2D AutoCAD plans/eles with Blender.
And there are plenty more examples here on elysiun by others.
With AutoCAD LT i don’t have the luxury of .3ds, .obj etc just .dxf export. Use R12 .dxf and remember to scale your models down by .001 from mm to m so what would be 3000mm in AUTOCAD becomes 3mm otherwise the model will come in too big and Blender has trouble, Blender has a scene size limit as well.
Blender as you have seen makes a hash of importing .dxf on most occasions. So i use Crossroads (Free) converter app or Accutrans (Shareware) for AutoCAD .dxf to .dxf or .wrl or .obj or .cob conversion, all work pretty much flawlessly into Blender. But big problem with Crossroads is it ignores arcs and circles, but excellent otherwise.
I’ve successfully imported and rendered complex AutoCAD 3D DXF’s, Archicad, Sketchup and 3D Max (.3ds) models.
So it’s then easy to get AutoCAD drawings into Blender.
But then the problems really start. You begin to find Blender can’t do basic functions like rotate/align one model in line with another imported model accurately so unless your building up square boxes with perpendicular sides it’s got to be by eye. Snapping is an absolute pain in the behind with the Ctrl S shuffle, theres no basic CAD type functions that are as much 3D modeller functions as they are CAD, like intersect, extend etc, really basic stuff. I have three building models on the go at the moment of different styles and I keep stumbling into problems with Blender which are so stupidly basic that I have to ask myself why I’m bothering.
- i need to investigate whether or not i can just model solely in bleder, that means interpreting 2d acad dwgs into blender and 3dmodeling off of them…is it possible to precisely model a building off of dwgs with blender? are there any known related tutorials for such a concept?..it needs to be dead nuts accurate cuz we model EVERYTHING structure, piping, walls etc and study the outcome in a 4d format.
I feel that as Blender is missing the CAD type functions I need AutoCAD/QCAD by my side to do the accurate bits and import into Blender the accurate geometry to work up in 3D.
FINAL PROBLEM - when i finally get a building into blender (with cite and stuff) it is sooo big that the viewport clips the heck out of it. i crank up the clip settings and i get nothing…so i endup rescaling the model by .01 !!! i dont like that, it doesnt seem like a good thing.
I haven’t found any problems scaling down a model, all the detail is still there. But I don’t understand why Blender has a scene size limit other than it’s historic, why the grid is limited and not to infinity and why Blender is still out of step with external apps where everything has to be scaled down for large projects like architectural ones to fit Blenders limitations.
I think your probably expecting too much of Blender for what you want to achieve, as I did right back to v 1.8.
I’d agree with SoftWork on the whole if your working with 3D models in AutoCAD, however not even full AutoCAD comes close to the modelling features Blender has.
My opinion: Blender misses some very basic, very important features like object snaps and basic CAD functions and you’ll find your banging your head against a brick wall to get those sorts of functions as i don’t think the developer types understand the dire need for them and especially while the likes of the Orange project is getting so much attention. If you want your buildings to have hair, fluid or some ‘cooooool’ facial expression control Blenders the tool, anyone who wants to use it as a viz tool for architectural work has got a long wait to make it work as a fiable business type activity.