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Blender vs FreeCAD

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  • Last Updated : 30 Nov, 2022
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Visualization is the key to creating any structure or artwork and it requires a lot of time and dedication for producing quality work in any field whether related to drawings, civil engineering, mechanicals, etc. In earlier times engineers used to draw components of any machine or any artwork before making a final draft and this process consumes large amount of time. With the rise of technology, people build software to cut the hard work and correct mistakes at any stage of drawing. Two such software which are used for 3D design works are FreeCAD and Blender. These software are used for a variety of purposes like engineering works, digital drawings, 3D animation, VFX, etc. so we will see a detailed comparison between the two.

What is Blender?

Blender is a 3D graphics software used for multiple purposes like modelling, animation, editing, etc. It allows users to add features using external plugins. It is free and open source. Launched in 1994, it became popular among animators who work on small personal projects, later professionals also adopt it due to its handy features.

Advantages of Blender

  • It allows video editing and VFX features.
  • It allows 2D animation along with 3D animation.
  • It has separate interfaces for doing different works like sculpting, editing, rigging, composting, etc.
  • It has an Eevee render engine which makes the final output realistic. 

Disadvantages of Blender

  • OpenGL 3.0 graphic driver is needed for smooth functioning.
  • It lacks industry standards.

What is FreeCAD?

FreeCAD software was launched for easing the work of parametric 3D designing. It allows users to create assets that can be used for game development and Building Information Modelling. It has great mathematical tools for calculating different parameters like the ratio of different materials used for making any structure of a certain length, breadth, and height. It can be easily downloaded from its official site without any charges. 

Advantages of FreeCAD

  • It is flexible as functions needed can be added using plugins.
  • It allows developers to access the python interpreter for running scripts.
  • Abundance of study materials is available for easy learning.
  • It is free and open source.

Disadvantages of FreeCAD

  • It hangs when working with massive files and if multiple massive files are opened then it crashes.
  • Rendering out complex 3D models with high material and texture properties is very time-consuming due to the slow process.

Following is a table of differences between Blender and FreeCAD:

Category

FreeCAD

Blender

Definition It can be understood as a BIM and CAD modeler which is used to build 3D designs and parametric models. Blender is a free animation software that was launched as an open project for creating animations.
Developer(s) FreeCAD was developed by Werner Mayer, J├╝rgen Riegel, and Yorik van Havre. Ton Roosendaal and Blender foundation developed the Blender software.
Programming Languages Used C++ and Python are used in developing FreeCAD. Python, C, and C++ are used for building Blender.
Source Code Its source code is available at https://github.com/FreeCAD/FreeCAD Its source code is available at https://github.com/blender
Integrations It supports integration with BoltsEtAl and MeshCAM. It can be easily integrated with MeshCAM, AccuRIG, AliceVision etc.
Features Simulation, document management, modeling, etc. are some of the features of FreeCAD. VFX, editing, 3d printing, simulations, etc. are some of the blender features.
Popularity It captures nearly 1.7 percent of the CAD software market. It has 1M downloads per month.
Suitable for It is the best choice for medium sized and large companies. It is the best choice for individuals or small companies.

Conclusion/Summary

By analyzing both the software we can say that blender is good for purposes like 3D painting, character creation, Visual Effects, Video editing, animation, etc. while on the other hand, FreeCAD is a fine choice for tasks like mechanical engineering, product designing, BIM projects, CAD works etc. 

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