blender vs the real players

hey guys.

i like to use blender for as much as i can, however i have just (by just i mean all year) hit the wall which we all will hit some time. and that is “blender Vs the industry standard”

for me it is in “cad applications” since i am an industrial designer, i need to create dimensioned drawings of things regularly and need to use a program that will do it accuratly.

blender doesn’t offer any cad functions.

here is my comparison between an artistic Blender model. with the later accuratly made CAD model.

the blender model is highly inaccurate due to it being sub surfed, but is good enough for visualisations, the other model is highly accurate, and can be dimensioned off.

the blender model was done with mesh editing techniques, while the other was done using solid modelling techniques.

the blender model took a considerable amount of time to texture and get the lighting set up (although none of that is evident in this image sorry, it is in the link below it)

the other was a Click “chrome” thing LOL.

here they are for comparison.

BLENDER <-----(better lighting in the correct setting for my assignment

Ashlar vellum COBALT

one reason why i really would love to see blender get solid modeling, is because the Cobalt made item took about 1 hour to make. the blender made item of simialr quality would take an entire day.

this is the only reason i may need to drop blender as my main 3d ap in the future.


Me too.

I just wish there were more freeware CAD apps out there.

Size can be approximated using number inputs when you size things, but it’s useless unless you can go in and show dimensions later.

You seem to be laboring under the delusion that Blender is a CAD program. It isn’t.

If you need CAD features, a CAD package will better suit your needs.

well… I’m all for adding features to blender of course, BUT, I wouldn’t think this is the first thing we should worry about.

Blender is not CAD program.
it could be, but I don’t know if that was the original idea when development started… correct me if I’m wrong, but I’ve always seen Blender more like a presentation and animation tool.

anyways, sooner or later, CAD functions are going to come into Blender… I’m sure about that… but I’m happy with the current more loose style… fits to me needs :slight_smile:


There is a project called BlenderCAD:
But I don’t know if it adds the functionality you need.

Alltaken, first to say I admire your machines modelled in those Blender duels.

Secondly, why not make Blender team up with the whatever the application?

I 'm an old 2d/3d artist, and I always did so, used specialized tools, while keeping one of the tools as the “integration” tool, for render, game engine export (i don’t mean blender engine) or whatever.

indeed, I model organic models in Wings3d, uv map in ultimate unwrap, and could very well be animating with Blender (specially now that has finally full export as x, cal3d and md5 ) .if I am not is as I have switched to XSI, just because I loved it so much that I purchased it. But the fact is clear, with what I know know, and in the state Blender is, I could animate my characters with it. Is just a matter I liked too much that xsi 500$ offer.

So, I suggest you th epossibility of using a free cad software, and importing the dwg or dxf into Blender. perhaps could be better idea than build what is already built outside, when you can use those hours of coding in just adding a good cad format import into blender.

And example: ideasman OBJ plugin for import/export, or others, and the x plugin , allow me to team blender with many other -specialized- tools. I even have the aim of doing normal maps/displacement with my zbrush, instead of xsi.

I got with a magazine a version 7 of solid edge, non limited and usable for comercial projects.

So, some free cad tools(but if this is all a nonsense, sorry, I just don’t know about cad. I digged it a bit long ago, just for finding some missing modelling features eithe rpresent i Wings, as I wanted to have a taste of level editing for high count realtime 3d games. ):

If I were you, I’d dig those, if it has some sense. As while several are just demos, other are free and fully featured ones! :slight_smile:

good luck.

dear all those people that say “blender is not a CAD program”

well i agree and disagree.

A) yes blender is for presentation, and yes it is good for it.

B) it also does games

C) it also does sequence editing

D) it also does texture painting, and UV mapping

E) it currently has, nurbs, paths, metaballs, booleans, mesh’s, sub surf, displacement mapping, and such tools at the disposal of an artist creating a presentation.

evben though CAD is a limited and highly specilaised market, it is not the only market for “solid modelling techniques”

now people please imagine this.

you have a sphere, you want to cut a hole in the sphere, then you want to IPO the hole getting larger and larger till it becomes a ring. with conventional mesh modelling this task would be almost impossible, and would take a long long time.

with solid modelling, it would be a 2 minute job.

booleans - vs - solid modelling for intersections of shapes, there is no contest.

its another tool for the arsenal.

to become true cad worthy, blender would need to get “dimensioning standards” and highly accurate “snap system”

i don’t request any of that.

just solid modelling (used by visualisers equally to CAD pros, and available in most other apps)

and "real scale/ numerical inputs based on centrepoint, radius…

all artists would use these features. but then it would make blender a viable bussiness choice for me.

architectural vis also benifits, and seriously people you underestimate the fact that MORE CAD IS DONE THAN MOVIES.


all that is for presentations :slight_smile:
interactive and non-interactive…

also for graphics and animations.


what si not presentation worthy of a CAD model?

all the ones i have seen are used in presentations, just as “architectural vis” is used as a form of presentation.

i don’t understand the distinction.

one is just more accurate.


Blender was developed as a video graphics animation tool.
To make logo flaps and visual presentations.
No import and no export of model files.
Only import of textures (and video footage) and export of animation in the form of images.

There are no mesurement tools and there is no history, nore undo.
It’s like a painters canvas. A sculptures piece of clay.
Animation tools are for animating machines, text, etc.

Ofcourse the tools are expanding. Reevan wrote the character animation part, which makes some character animation possible. But still the tools are far from industry standard.

Although… The animated hole in sphere is simple with vertex keys in blender, and a hell in Maya with the realtime intersect (try it and have a look at the uv coordinates, you’ll see what i mean).

I think the main aim for blender should be an animation tool and not a plastic object tool.

Blender wasn’t designed specifically for CAD users. And there are some people who don’t want blender to be a CAD program anyway. Basically the main thing missing in blender when comparing it to a CAD program is the super precise measurements involved though it helps to turn on grid snap for movement, scaling, and rotating in the prefrences. Or holding down ctrl.

There are definitely ideas present in CAD packages which would be useful for modeling such objects in Blender, even for Blender’s own intended purposes. If you surf over to the developer’s web-site you will see that a lot of this sort of thing actually going on.

It can be argued, quite successfully I think, that software should not be “jack of all trades but master of none.” It would be useful to do some things in Blender that CAD programs do easily, but in terms of getting those jobs done it might be better to do the work first in a CAD package, then import them into Blender for video-refinement. It’s pretty common to use a library of tools to finish a project, just as many Blenderheads use GIMP or PhotoShop for post-production work on their images.

While I agree that Blender has been mainly geared toward art,
I think having at least basic cad functions would be a great asset.

When I was first learning Blender I remember asking how to make
models to scale. I thought maybe you could just type in a diameter in standard units and a circle would appear scaled by whatever % you wanted. How naive was I? :expressionless:

Sure we have the grid, which is divided into tenths, but when your object is supposed to be 5" X 2 3/8" you have to guess. For a designer, the ability to use real world measurements in Blender would be invaluable.

Alltaken: Have you gone through the channels and made an official request?

Of coarse it should be weighed agaist the objectives of the project, but I don’t think we’d be too sorry if we added some cad type functions.

Why don’t create a third branch/project?

  • Blender
  • Tuhopuu <-- Blender delirium :slight_smile:
  • Blender-CAD

Take look at 3D studio Max and 3D studio Viz, this idea is great.

2 packages for 2 different aim.

I’m student in architecture, and i would appreciate more CAD tools… and NURBS :slight_smile:


The Blender-CAD project is postponed for all I know.
The project page is (in Italian), and even there there’s hardly any info.
I would love to see a Blender-CAD. Just look at the example Alltaken gave. No matter what you use it for, it was made quicker with a CAD program then with Blender. Don’t we want a faster workflow?

Jeez, guys, you’re always so defensive. That’s the part of this community that’s always put me off.

I may need to to drop blender because it just doesn’t integrate enough in the industry standard… and I can’t take it anymore!!!


What do you mean md? Blender is quite easy to fit into a professional workflow. Is this still the problem you were having with AI files?

I thought this was going to be yet another of those Blender vs threads and I was about to exact some more revenge on my own slating many moons ago

… but I agree with you Alltaken, I would love to see some CAD features in Blender. The thing is, with Python, someone could write an addon to Blender that wouldn’t hinder the progress of the main development. I’m sure that’s what the CAD script was supposed to do, though seems to have halted.

I think such an addition would help Blender be a lot more popular especially as it has built-in radiosity. However, the amount of features it would have to have would be quite a lot to persuade other CAD designers to switch from their industry standard CAD apps. It would need a CLI to interpret all those CAD commands too wouldn’t it?

Like people have said, it doesn’t seem like Blender was designed for it and because there is more important work to be done in Blender first, I would hate to see any CAD integration slow that down. I would like to see it one day though.

I still think it’s possible to use it now though because although I can see some missing features from Blender relative to CAD software, I can’t see many CAD features lacking relative to Maya and it’s been used for architecture:

As for the one click materials, you could do that easily using renderman shaders with aqsis. Maybe you just need to figure out a better workflow.

Alltaken, your best bet is just to import your models from your CAD program into Blender for presentation (and if there’s not an importer, first step is to beg for one :)). I doubt you’ll find professional industrial designers designing (dimensioning, whatever) products for production in Cinema 4D, XSI, Lightwave, Max, either. They’re different tools for different jobs - you can’t expect Blender to be all things for all people. Keep your CAD software for technical design and precision, use Blender for presentation and visualisation. The two can work together.

Incidently, Gabios latest CVS build features a patch by Martin DeMello to increase the dxf import capabilities.