Does Blender do "skins"?

Essentially what I’d like is a (preferably potted) CAD skin. That is to say, a simplified interface for use when doing construction, devoid of all the stuff I’m not ready to use: timeline, cameras, lights, and all the rendering options etc.

I know that the interface is very configurable, and I’ve watched a couple of videos where the interface is modified, but my attempts have invariably ended up with me killing blender in order to get back to a know starting point.

Can I have one or more skins for different stages of the workflow?
(And if so, are there any kicking around that some kind expert soul has “prepared earlier”?)

Welcome Buk, the workspaces are made for this and under file> defaults> Save startup File you can save Blender as it is now (also with objects, materials, etc.). It is then displayed every time it is opened. At the same place you can also reset the basic settings if you broke it too much. But this also resets the preferences.

Thanks for the feedback Mario, but … is this feature (very) new in the version you are using (2.8X)?

Because I have 2.79b (according to the splash screen) and there is no “layout” submenu under file; nor anywhere else I have looked. (And the file menu open down not across?)

2.8 was a complete UI/UX Overahul, so there is a huge difference in the seemingly small version change between 2.79 and 2.8. Best advice is to bite the bullet and learn 2.8

Thanks. Good advice, especially as I am very new to Blender as so haven’t yet learnt anything to ‘unlearn’.

Of course, that depends on whether my old hardware is up to the task of running 2.8x, or getting my new machine (which has been new for over a year) sorted out; but AMD support are being belligerent.

(I don’t suppose anyone here has installed AMD Radeon 7 dirvers in a VMware Player Win7 VM?. Just a thought :slight_smile:

in 2.79 you use this menu and startup file is under file.With + the selected entry is copied. the layout is there 2x then. rename> adapt> save startup file

Okay, I found that. Copied “Uv editing” as it seemed like the nearest sounding thing to a 2D drawing mode, but I still cannot work out how to draw a line or box.

I guess I’m not smart enough for this program.

Could you expand on what your goals are, for one thing Blender is not CAD. IT can do similar functionality and makes short work of imprecise similar tasks, but deep down it is an art tool, not CAD.

“Could you expand on what your goals are, for one thing Blender is not CAD.”

I watched several of the OT.Vintna videos were he was constructing bevel/helical gearsets driven by parametric equations and the used the Physics engine to animate them. I have a mechanism that I would like to do something similar with.

I don’t need photorealistic rendering or video production – an animated gif or two would be nice but not essential. Output for 3D printing is a possibility if the mechanism actually works.

I am quite sure that if I stuck with Blender for the next 10 years or so I might get there, but it is sufficiently different from anything else I’ve used, and has so much functionality that I don’t need (or really understand: UV?), that I fear I may not have 10 years left :slight_smile:

Perhaps FreeCAD is more my thing – and I never thought I would say that!

OK - first of all - that you’re asking to do there isn’t simple. It’s not simple in any software. It also goes against what you said in an early post which is that you didn’t want to do animation - you want to do physics sim animation.

OK, UX editing isn’t a 2D part of blender per se— it’s as way of controlling which parts of an image texture go over which parts of a model - definitely not a good place to start.

There IS a 3D part in Blender 2.8 called Grease Pencil… but it’s not really what you’re after. Building a cogwheel machine is a 3D thing.

ALso - I … wouldn’t use physics to animate cogwheels. It’s just crazy inefficient. You could either calculate every collision between every part of two gears, two axles, and everything else … or you could go “this wheel has 16 cogs, this wheel has 8 cogs, so this wheel will go twice as fast”.

… what I would sugest is for for you to look up a tutorial on modelling gears, and then look at how to animate them.

… and look up what a manifold mesh is. Very useful for 3D printing.

As I said, the gifs are just a “nice to have”, the main point is to ensure that the mechanism works. Ie. Rotates and articulates correctly as one part drives the next. Efficiency isn’t a priority, accuracy is. And from what I can tell, Blenders physics engine is very good.

I have the full 3D mechanism (mostly) already modelled in other software – DSM – and I can export it as stl, or 3DS for import into blender.

The mechanism does have gears, and I have modelled them in DSM after a fashion, but the DSMs lack of the Add->Mesh->Math function->XYZ Math surface equivalent, means they are at best approximations.

I watch all of OT Vintna’s Blender tutorials, and this one would solve that part of the mechanism.

But I was also looking to remove my dependency on DSM (and windows) from the equation; so I am looking for a tool to learn, but I now think perhaps Blender is the wrong one. The way OT uses it, it looks simple, but so far my attempts have been entirely a bust.

I only dealt with the personal configuration of the interface. If you have never done anything with blender before, you should do some basic tutorials. such as that of Blender guru

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I take your point and I have skimmed the doughnut video, but so much of it is about rendering a photorealistic result, covering all the stuff I DON’T need – sculpting, lighting, texturing, rendering etc – that the bits I do need – and am having so much trouble with, get lost in translation.

I realise that the limitations here are mine, not Blenders. That’s why I was hoping for a “CAD skin” that simplified the interface so that I don’t spend 20 minutes trying – and usually failing – to find a tool in know must exist, to – say: add a round or intersect objects etc.

My reaction to your post was not critique of your reply; just the realisation of my reality.

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I have google as a translation aid. I’m sorry for that. I thought it goes only with the configuration interface, Freecad may be more suitable