Blender has long been considered the ultimate alternative to many applications deemed inaccessible due to their professional-level pricing plans. While it can act as a worthy replacement for creating digital products such as animation assets, can it also be an adequate solution when you can’t afford dedicated CAD applications like SolidWorks?
While Blender can be used to create objects using a CAD-style workflow, this is only an imitation in the practice of real CAD software, and it is not recommended to use Blender as a replacement for SolidWorks. Two more suitable replacements are FreeCAD and TinkerCAD, which both are free to download and begin using.
Make no mistake that blender is a very flexible program; however, it has limitations when it comes to creating objects using a CAD-style workflow. Using a dedicated CAD program for this task will always be best.
What Is SolidWorks Used For?
Before we can even consider if Blender can be used as a replacement for the SolidWorks application, we need to understand exactly what SolidWorks is designed to do.
SolidWorks is a multi-use application that involves CAD-style workflows and acts as a visualization tool for 3D models. We can even simulate how those models will behave based on their design structure.
SolidWorks is used to design specific kinds of objects. Its main focus is to create mechatronic models. This is a combination of metallic parts with electrical systems. So not only is SolidWorks used to design the structure of the actual object but also how the electrical parts of the model will be routed to work efficiently.
Mechatronics can be divided up into three elements that all come together to create that object. The first element is the metallic casing used to define the object’s shape. The second element is the electronics routed throughout the object, and the third is the software.
SolidWorks allows you to create all three elements throughout the design process. It has the flexibility for you as the designer to move from one element to the next, all within this SolidWorks application.
Can Blender Do What SolidWorks Does?
When it comes to the design of objects as 3D models, Blender is fully capable of creating designs of any shape and size. However, without add-ons that introduce CAD-based workflows to Blender, it becomes a struggle to create these objects to the required specifications.
Unfortunately, while the CAD sketcher add-on does introduce the ability to create 2D technical drawings within Blender, there is limited functionality right now when it comes to modeling 3D objects using a CAD-based workflow.
As for the other aspects of mechatronics that SolidWorks is designed for, Blender is even less suitable, and cannot be used for structuring the electrical systems, nor can it be used to simulate the software, as this functionality lies beyond the scope of the software.
Why Can Blender Not Be Used Instead Of SolidWorks?
In addition to the reasons as to why SolidWorks is used for mechatronics, blender cannot be an adequate replacement for the SolidWorks application because it is not the same type of application to begin with.
The only thing the two applications share in common is the fact that they are 3D modeling platforms, but beyond that, they are completely different.
As stated earlier in this article, SolidWorks is built for a very specific task, the construction of mechatronics, by creating metallic structures and then designing electrical systems for the installation of software in those designs.
On the other hand, Blender is an artistic tool that is built from the ground up for creators rather than designers or engineers. It allows the user to express themselves for their own creations that they can use for digital based projects such as game design and animation.
In theory, Blender can create the same models that SolidWorks can create. However, the workflow is completely different and not as suitable as SolidWorks.
Thanks For Reading The Article
We appreciate you taking the time to read through this article, and we hope you found the information you were looking for. If you want to learn more about how Blender compares to other 3D modeling applications, check out some of the articles we have listed below.