In 2022 there are a wide range of 3D modeling applications to choose from, but did you know that there are different types of applications focused on different tasks? For example, some applications will specialize in high detailed models, such as Z Brush for sculpting. Another very common type of 3D software is CAD software. But what type of software is Blender 3D?
Blender 3D is not a form of CAD software. Blender is an artistic tool that will allow you to complete a wide range of projects using many different workflows. The keyword with an application like Blender is creativity. It allows you to complete a task any way that you see fit. Cat software, by comparison, follows a much more specified approach to modeling.
If you have ever used a form of CAD software, then you will immediately know the difference between a CAD-based application and an artistic application like Blender. But that does not mean that Blender itself cannot be used in a way similar to that of CAD software.
What Is CAD Software?
CAD is an acronym for Computer Aided Design which represents a special form of 3D modeling software. The biggest difference between a form of CAD software and an artistic application such as Blender is in its approach.
Blender, for example, is artistic. It allows the freedom of creativity by having you choose your own workflow to reach a specific goal. If you want to create a highly detailed model, you can use polygonal modeling methods. You can also do so using procedural modeling with geometry nodes, or you can create highly detailed models with sculpting, just to name a few examples.
By comparison, CAD software focuses more on a mathematically accurate approach. The tools involved with a card application allow you to measure the length, width, and height of the various parts of your models in real time. In other words, the goal of CAD software is to create an object to very specific measurements.
What Is CAD Used For?
The key purpose of computer aided design is to provide the user with maximum support for the development, modification, and optimization of the design process. In other words, we use CAD applications to design objects.
But how does this defer traditional 3D modeling applications such as Blender? The easiest distinction to make here is that artistic software applications such as Blender are primarily used for digital assets such as concept art, animation, and video game assets. Note that these applications can still be used to design real-world objects as well, but to a lesser extent.
On the other hand, CAD applications specialize in the design of objects that will either enter the manufacturing process, are archetectural designs, or prepped for 3D printing solutions. This means that the workflows required need to allow to using to design models that are buildable in real world scenarios and are exact in terms of measrements and design parameters.
If Blender Is Not A Form Of CAD Software, What Is?
Blender is not technically classed as CAD software. Instead, it is a form of artistic software that allows you to create objects and scenes using your chosen art style. So if Blender is not a form of CAD software, what is?
Below is a short list of various card applications that you may be interested in trying. Some of them are free, and some of them are not.
- SketchUp Free
- Fusion 360
- Autodesk Inventor
This is just a small list of some of the more commonly accessed CAD software applications. If you want a complete list, check out the link here to an article on the various card applications available on Wikipedia.
Can I Use Blender As A Form Of CAD Software?
While Blender will never be as good as some of the dedicated applications are for that workflow, there are ways in which Blender can be used similarly. For example, Blender has its own annotation and measurement tools so that you can record and determine the various sizes of your shapes.
You can also access the add tool from the tool shelf, allowing you to generate primitive shapes in a manner not too dissimilar from how you would create them in CAD software.
However, this is where the vanilla form of blender begins to deviate from CAD software, as important toolsets such as the boolean tool work very differently in blender compared to CAD applications.
To further improve Blender’s functionality as a form of CAD software, you will need to install external add-ons to improve blender in these aspects.
There are a handful of add-ons that can help in this regard. The most recent and most powerful of these options is CAD sketches.
This is a powerful free add-on it that you can access from Gumroad, which is a popular source for many of the external add-ons that you will want to install to improve Blender.
Because it’s accessed from Gumroad, you can pay whatever you want for this add-on, even if that happens to be free.
If you install this add on then you will bring Blender much closer to the CAD type workflows. This you see in other applications like SketchUp. Again it will not bring it on par with these applications, but it will allow you to perform many of the fundamental tasks associated with CAD modeling.
You can access the main page for this Add on here.
Thanks For Reading Through The Article
We appreciate you taking the time to read through the article, and we hope that you now have an understanding of the difference between Blender and CAD software. If you would like to learn more about Blender compared to other applications, check out some of the other articles that we have on the topic.