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There are more options now for 3D modeling, animation, and design than ever before. Some of these options are free to use, others have free trials, and others require payments in one form or another. One of the most common applications to use is Blender. So does this fall under the free category or not?
Blender is a free-to-use open-source application that can be accessed by anyone anywhere in the world, so long as you have an Internet connection for the initial download. There are no license keys required, no subscriptions to enroll on, and no registrations to sign up to. Simply download the software and begin using it.
No obligations or payments are required if you want to use the blender software, and you can use it for any purpose you wish.
Why Is Blender Free To Use?
The main reason why Blender is a free-to-use application today is because of its early history. When it was originally created in 1994, it was done so to act as an in-house tool for Neo Geo, a Dutch 3D animation studio owned by Blenders founder Ton Roosendaal.
Neo Geo itself would go out of business in 1998 before Blender would be transferred to not a number technologies which was also founded by Roosendaal to help continue to develop, went off Blender as a form of shareware.
Note that will shareware is an application that can be distributed for free in some form, but that does not mean Blender was fully free, and at one point in the early 2000s, the software had additional features that could only be accessed behind a $95 paywall.
When NaN would eventually go out of business in 2002, the Blender Foundation was founded with the purpose of developing the blender application. The Blender Foundation is a nonprofit organization, so it cannot make money off of the products that it distributes. In this case, Blender.
Instead, the Blender Foundation has to attract investment using three methods. The first method is through corporate sponsorships. The second method is through a tier-based Development Fund, and the third is through one-time donations.
Can I Pay Or Donate To Blender If I Wanted To?
There is no obligation to pay for Blender in any way or to make donations. However, these are unimportant parts of the Blender ecosystem, so the Blender Foundation makes it easy to make donations if you choose to.
For most people, they will want to either go with a one-time donation or a tier-based monthly membership as a part of the Blender Development Fund.
If you’re looking for a single donation, you can access the appropriate page here.
You can then donate any amount you wish to the blender Foundation to help the software’s continued development.
Alternatively, you can seek to join Blender’s development funds using one of the many tiers they offer. This would allow you to invest anywhere from $5 a month from the bronze tier all the way up to $250 a month with the Platinum tier.
You can access the page for blenders Development Fund here.
Could I Sell My Own Version Of Blender?
No, because Blender falls under the copyleft licensing of the GNU general public license, any edited versions of the software also fall under this license, and much like the original build of Blender, cannot be sold or distributed for financial gain in any form.
No matter how much you edit the source code that you receive from Blender, no matter how much you change the name or the overall appearance or functionality, because you have used blender source code as the foundation of your build, it cannot be distributed at cost and must be made available to the global community for free.
Are There Any Aspects Of Blender That I Will Have To Pay For?
You will never have to pay for the software that the Blender Foundation distributes. However, many plugins or add-ons are created by the blender community, and these add-ons are assets created by those community members.
Because these add-ons do not fall within the copyright licensing that Blender does, these independent developers can charge for these add-ons designed to help improve the functionality of the vanilla version of Blender.
Well, Blender itself will always be free. However, the various assets created by Blender, whether 3D assets for video games, online courses, or add-ons to improve Blender’s functionality, are all created by members of the community.
Free To Use And Free To Learn
Thanks for taking the time to read through our article, and we hope you found the information you were looking for. Not only is blender free to use, but it’s also free to learn through this website. We have various other articles related to Blender, some of which are listed below for your viewing.
- Is Blender 3D Only Available On Computer
- How Much GB Is Required To Install Blender
- What Is Blender Good For
- Complete Comparison Of 3D Modeling Applications
- Why Does My Rendered Image Look Pixelated