Hard surface helpers: Boxcutter vs MESHmachine vs Fluent vs Speedflow

Anyone done any comparison testing between these?

Boxcutter is the oldest one, with MESHmachine perhaps beginning to mature now and Fluent being just released, I think… (and I missed Speedflow when I originally created this thread!)

Boxcutter and MESHmachine are developed by actual Blender artists, though it feels a bit as if they were done partially in order to adapt the software to their specific workflows. Fluent, I have no idea. Their Youtube channel contains only four videos about the plugin.

Most videos with Boxcutter and Fluent seem to be done using at most single curved surfaces, while MESHmachine can be seen with double curved surfaces…


MESHmachine is a totally different animal, so I don’t think it can really be compared to Fluent and Boxcutter.

Compared to Box Cutter, Fluent is a lot more sluggish when drawing shapes. It also seems to be setup for a left handed person with no way to change the direction shapes have to be drawn in and feels backwards to me. Also, because of it’s maturity, Box Cutter has a lot more options and features. I bought Fluent and I’ll continue to keep my eye on it but it’s very new and Box Cutter is just better imho.


Thank you!


Meshmachine and boxcutter/hardops kind of supplement each other. I’m anxious to see a version of Meshmachine for 2.8.

I got the Fluent thingy, but it hasn’t really clicked with me, not sure what it’s really for. It also seemed quite buggy on 2.8 last time I tried to do something with it. Mind you, that was right after release.

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Noob question. Can someone explain the difference?

I was all for buying Meshmachine and then I saw the BoxCutter/Ops bundle and bought that. Is there an actual need, or reason, to add Meshmachine to the workflow?

Both look amazing, but I’m a total noob to hard surface stuff so, at first glance, I can’t tell the difference.

On a side note, sorry @MACHIN3, I think I stated I was going to buy MeshMachine and then I got confused and bought the BC/Ops bundle :see_no_evil:. I’m still open to buying your stuff though, as your Machin3Tools addon has improved my life to no end :smile::metal:t2:

MESHmachine is mesh modeling, hardops and boxcutter are not.

Check the docs, I explain everything in detail. https://machin3.io/MESHmachine/docs/


Thanks man. I guess I need to read the Boxcutter docs now too.

Anyone want to fire up a RTFM meme?

Edit to clarify:

Boxcutter uses Boolean operations the whole time, whilst MeshMachin3 works on the mesh, right?

Another edit after some research.

HardOps: Ties everything together beautifully.
Boxcutter: Cuts chunks out of stuff.
MeshMachine: Creates sweet meshes without (or within reasonably accurate) creating crazy nGons and bad meshes.
DecalMachine: Add details. (Is KitOps a new, directly competitor?).

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As a fellow noob, I’ve found so far (two weeks in) that with hardops/boxcutter, you have to understand and manually correct normals (unless I’ve missed a feature, and I probably have… I’m still a bit confused about mirroring), while meshmachine/decalmachine puts the normals issue front and center and really focuses on fixing it.

Oh, and I wonder, should I add SpeedFlow to this topic? It’s perhaps a bit more generalized…

Kitops is, I guess, a competitor to Decalmachine, but it doesn’t handle normals at all, and even references meshmachine in one of its tutorial videos for fixing normals, so as a noob, must confess I’m a bit disappointed by Kitops currently, but it is also very new…

I don’t think it is. I didn’t have the time to play with it yet, but it seems to be much closer to boxcutter, except it focuses on pre-made/user-made more complex cutters, instead of drawing simple shapes to cut. Also, from my understanding it’s going to replace the Hardops inserts at some point.

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Yup. I got Kitops as well (I just tend to buy everything I think might be remotely useful), and it’s a somewhat more polished version of the HardOps insert functionality.

Boxcutter is Non-destructive as default and also have Destructive workflow
(But when searching Non-destructive in Google, Youtube and twitter, no boxcutter info ,all vids are about sci-fy, not industry product ,but it also can do. As before I even don’t know boxcutter has non-destructive workflow. nobody mention it. It’s confused for beginner.:joy:


MESHmachine is pseudo-non-destructive, or better re-constructive , also is not full non-destructive.

Fluent is Full Non-Destructive. No option for Destructive

But Fluent

and a lot of bugs what I found today. Fluent is the basic function. not powerful than boxcutter.

By the way .I like the documents of MESHmachine + Tut videos . it’s very clearly for beginner. it’s really hard to understand French Style English Accent .:rofl:

Not true. Boxcuter in 2.80 keeps the boolean mods live.

MESHmachine compared to all the others, is primarily a MESH modeling tool set and not a modal interface to Blender’s modifiers.

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Boxcutter is Non-destructive default and also Destructive.

About MESHmachine description is from your document that is the key different point - workflow, not I said .The other words make people confused .

Chipp is not involved in Boxcutter. Xeon, AR and proxe are.

Boxcutter is Non-destructive default and also Destructive.

it is already

Can’t wait.

I asked you in Youtube are all of them come in bundle, but now I do understand what are they for real. Awesome :slight_smile:

It’s good to have a little bit of competition as it drive features improvements, although it would be so awesome if one day boxcutter/hardops/meshmashine/decalmashine could just partner up and unify everything with one UI without overlapping features, as simple and easy as possible and ultimately be bought by the blender foundation to be natively integrated into the software, that would just be so marvelous!!


In that case, use Speedflow :wink: