NITROX3D: A new hard surface workflow for designers

I think once you get a hang of it, you can easily just work and create. If fact the sheer iterative nature of it allows you to experiment to your hearts content. The trick is learning how, when and in what order to use the modifiers and an overall strategy. I’ll be going over those in upcoming videos as well. Once you get the hang of things-- it goes surprisingly FAST.

I created a FLIR backpack concept, which needed reworiking a few times and the client was amazed at how quickly changes were made. Fun stuff.

There are some CAD programs which can import OBJs and you can use them as scale and proportion references. One of the great parts of NITROX3D, is you can export at SUPER HIGH resolutions OR at SUPER LOW POLY RESOLUTIONS. The low poly resolution might be better for CAD, as all you really need are some basic marker points.

Another cool part is the NITROX3D workflow has a lot in common with CAD as well b/c it uses many of the same operartions (bevel, solidify, screw, etc…).

But, Blender does not export NURBS solid models. I think Modo’s Mesh Fusion might be able but I’m not sure.

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Y’know, I would, but I really don’t understand what the object is. Certainly it can be created with a simple cage and weighted creases, then booleans and bevels added. My guess is you might want to try a more complicated object-- that one looks too simple (unless I’m missing something).

You will run into trouble with the bevels on curved surfaces like theses. It’s why did the big hole using MEShmachine’s OffsetCut.


No magic bullet but a few workarounds (that you might be familiar with):

  1. Export the core volumes and Cutters You can export the poly cages and import them into Rhino (hidden unofficial commands), Fusion, or moi3d (v4beta)- Alias has SubD capability now- though I am not sure about import. The trick is to export it without the booleans applied- convert the polys to nurbs and then run the boolean commands. Advantages- Fluid workflow back and forth with Blender. Disadvantages: Huge file sizes and non-intuitive patch layouts- design is essentially frozen when imported and hard to change because many CAID programs don’t allow poly cage level edits.
  2. Retopologize in Blender: Run your boolean operations and then clean up or retopo a cleaner subD model. Advantages: Straightforward form import to nurbs. Disadvantages: Retopo is finicky work. Same problems with a large number of patches and file size.
  3. Resurface in CAD: Use your exported OBJ as a 3d scan- run sections through the polys and recreate in nurbs. Advantages: Form ideation is more intuitive in poly but clean detail work is better in CAD. CAD files are lightweight and easy to manipulate by engineers and downstream detail modelers. Disadvantages- Needs clean CAD modeling expertise- possible extra time in the schedule

For Approach 1 and 2 you have to model with subdivision in mind- Approach 3 is agnostic to the polys coming in to the nurbs program. It can be messy since it is a 3d reference and not a nurbs generating object.

What’s the limitation of Non-destructive?

The main one I guess would be the that you have to apply all modifiers to share with other software.

You are limited by the modifers Blender supplies and by how they work, you can only do relatively simple surfaces, localized edits(other than vert bevels) are impossible, and modifier stacks across multiple objects will quickly grow in complexity, which can affect performance and can become hard to navigate. It’s a very indirect approach, most useful for relatively simple designs, IMO.


I do not agree-- Reference that Vitaly Bulgarov example I posted. Not a “simple design.”

It would be interesting to see how easy that is to create in MESHmachine.

There are currently 5 ways to create bevels in NITROX3D, not just vert bevels.

If you read the manifesto, it details the users are Industrial Designers, not those interested in Blender Hyperdetailed Boolean SCI FI models that yours and many of the current addons (including my own KIT OPS) feature.

When creating industrial designs, it’s important to be cognitive of materials and manufacturing techniques, including extrusions, injection molding, sheet pressing and forming, die casting, structural foam, and others.

I believe the NITROX3D workflow handles these types of product designs well. Of course there are edge cases that can’t be modeled, just as there are in your tools. For those, SubD or other techniques must be used.

I also know MESHmachine is a destructive addon (destructive being defined you don’t use modifiers as a primary modeling tool), which is unlike Hard Ops, Fluent and Speedflow which are non-destructive, so there is a case for non-destructive workflows outside of NITROX3D. That said, I do know MESHmachine can do things NITROX3D cannot with it’s amazing destructive bevels and booleans.

I encourage those interested to visit the MESHmachine thread and continue the conversation there.


I think it is simple yes, at least in context of Entertainment Design. For Bulgarov, that’s a quick warm up sketch.
In terms of real world Industrial Design, it’s not that simple, I agree.

Anyway, I have no intention to talk down on the non-destructive workflow. I think it is most useful for simple designs and really shines there.
Steve asked for limitations, I shared what I think the limitations are, especially considering non-destructive modeling is increasingly touted as the best approach to do things, and that destructive modeling is inherently bad. I sometimes think about clay modelers or stone masons, and how much easer destructive mesh modeling is compared to it.

Keep it up, looking forward to see where you take this!


I hope my enthusiasm for NITROX3D doesn’t come off as the “best approach to do things.” It is not.

One only needs look at some of the fantastic SudD car modeling tutorials, or some of your demos or masterxeon’s topology helmet designs to see there are very creative ways to skin that cat.

I shared the other night with @proxe some of the futuristic vehicle designs I did years ago with e-on’s metablob technology, which is much more sophisticated than Blender.

That’s another route is like to explore if I can get someone to add booleans and add another level of influence to the metablob object.

It is the purpose of the manifesto to outline my intentions for NITROX3D as well as who the workflow is targeted at.

Working on it tonight!

A couple samples of “metablob” objects rendered 15 years ago:

Vehicle design

MetaPeeps collection which could be spread around in a scene with each one beiing different.

It would be great if Blender could create such “meta” objects.

Thank for your sharing.
I agree that. There’s no Weld Modifier, Merge by distance Modifier, etc .

Well. but Everything nodes is coming in 2.81. Blender becomes node based in modifiers.
Another dev suggested any future work on current modifier system is pointless because of that.

Non-destructive can not complete instead of traditional workflow, it can not do everything. Some cases have to use SubD or other techniques with other add-ons or tools.They are complement each other. But I’m not clear the boundary of Non-destructive.

As for “simple design” or " complex design", I guess non-destructive is not suitable for creating a big scenes unless apply some or all modifiers. Maybe I’m wrong. I’m a beginner :joy:

I’m working on a hospital room scene now, all based in NITROX3D. I think it can handle some nicely sized scenes.

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NITROX3D looks very interesting. I’ve been looking for a way out of Solidworks ever since they introduced retroactive subscription pricing. But it’s hard for industrial design. it’s like graphic designers try to find alternative software for Adobe Illustrator. Other options are out there and are capable of creating same quality of works in the capable hands. But it comes down to the industry standards.

A large graphic design company would not use anything other than AI, not only because it’s the industry standard software. It’s also because they want to have ability to change design by other designers when needed. Plus other production pipeline factors in as well. For small clients, what software to use matters a little.

Same goes with industrial design (which has a few competing software as industry standard ), large corporations will always use industry standard software for the same reasons. Especially when it comes to tool makings, have industrial designers use the same parametric modeling software as tool makers means tool makers won’t need to rebuild the model from scratch.

IMO biggest drawback of polygonal modeling is one can’t drastically change a final model without investing a tone of time and sometimes it’s just not possible to do so. Parametric modeling can drastically change design at any stage of modeling on the fly. That is an invaluable tool for design exploration.

Lastly, I hope I don’t sound like I’m talking down NITROX3D. It’s the opposite, I’m very excited to see what it will brings to polygonal modeling world. It’s about time someone brings nondestructive modeling to Blender community.

My point is for students who are just starting out and deciding what software to learn. Regardless what industry you want to get into. Think about which sector of industry you want to be in, and learn that sector’s standard software. For example, Maya will get you into AAA game studios a lot easier than Blender would. Even though Blender is obviously the better software of the two :slight_smile: . Blender 2.8 is keeping Autodesk executives up at night.

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Yes, for final design work and documentation, Solidworks is the standard. But concept work, leading up to final documented design work, can be done a myriad of ways. I’ve used many polygon modelers. Take this example of a concept design done for FAST Company:

It uses a SketchUp kitbashing technique followed on by MoI3D to get to a concept in time for publication:

This could be made simpler using NITROX3D. I doubt Solidworks could’ve built it in half the time. Also, to set up EVERYTHING as parametric in Solidworks takes forethought-- it doesn’t just happen automatically. I’ve known designers who when I’ve asked to change a proportion in a Soldiworks model have said they didn’t set it up to be able to do that.

I recently created an industry awarded Unity AR experience. I hired the best people regardless of Maya or Blender (had both on the team). My preference is to hire talent first, tools next.

Episode 2: enclosure box, is now available for streaming on YouTube. It has some nice surprises!


You are trying to add a brand to a 3D workflow?

I’m full with MACHINE3, Non-Destro is not fit for everything, I’m working on it to improve Speedflow since years because it’s fun, has a lot of possibilities but you cannot use it all the time.

I mix it with destructive, retopo, box modeling, etc.
Blender doesn’t have the tools to make it possible.
For example, the bevel doesn’t merge points with a threshold, there is no merge modifier.
There is nothing Non-Destro to add bevels on booleans like ‘bevel after boolean’ or ‘meshmachine’ or ‘hardmesh’ on Maya or other tools on other softwares.

With Juri we are trying to make all that append by helping blender devs on those cases as much as we can, but it’s not comming any time soon.
So, I’ll make my own blender version to add custom modifiers to help in Non-Destro workflow Speedflow support.
I’ll add those modifiers to Speedflow to use them as fast as possible on Non-Destro modeling.

I would love to have those tools, so maybe later.

For the all nodes, people have big expectations, but I don’t, I hope they will keep the modifiers stack because it’s way faster than adding nodes.
We will see.


Please, I’ve asked this before of you, do not use my thread to promote your product.

I’ve already addressed your concerns in the manifesto. Please read it again.

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I thought this post was to talk about Non-Destro modeling and help beginners?
Ok, so this post is only to promote your branding and no one can name any addons except yours?

I’m talking about my experience, since I’ve been doing Non-Destro modeling a lot longer than you on blender.
I watched your last tutorial, making circles with bevel isn’t a good workflow.
You should use a screw modifier, it’s made for that.