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About five years ago I stumblled across the open source 3D content creation suite Blender whilst looking for free cad software on the freeware/shareware section of 3dlinks.com. With some experience of using AutoCAD and Solidworks in my day job I was looking for somthing I could use at home to help design and plan projects for my hobby engineering and CNC interests.
Blender Montage
At the top of the 3d Links ranking  I had a look at Blender and was amazed at the capabilities of this community produced program. Whilst not specifically a CAD program Blender has proved to be more than capable at producing accurate 3D models of  machine components and further more you can render the models to a high degree of photorealism and animate their use.

As you have probably gathered whilst browsing this site my interests in Blender aren’t typical of the active Blender enthusiasts who post superb artwork and animations on their forum’s and web site. My current interests are to use Blender as an accurate design tool to produce engineering components. All the capabilities are there but most of the guides and tutorials are aimed at a more artistic representation of a product rather than a precision model.

Having finished the house extension detailed in the construction section my thoughts are turning to ways to improve the CNC Router I built a few years ago and Blender is the ideal design tool to use to build an accurate virtual model before machining the new components. It’s also a good opportunity to log my design thoughts and methods of constructing the models within blender concentrating on accuracy of modelling rather than artistic use of the program. My notes and ramblings on this project may help others to use blender as an engineering tool but shouldn’t in any way be considered as a replacement for all the other guides and tutorials detailed on the Blender site. There is no substitute for reading all the available literature and expanding your knowledge of this program.














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