Blender is a free-to-access 2-D and 3D modeling software used by mechanical engineers.
While it is most popular in the animation and entertainment industries, it is also valuable for mechanical engineering.
Mechanical engineers can use Blender to create 3D modeling of machines and components, simulate their functions, and 3D printed parts or models.
Follow along to learn more about how mechanical engineers can use Blender for their projects.
Mechanical engineers can use Blender, alongside other helpful tools such as computer-assisted design (CAD) software.
Blender is very helpful in designing machines and their parts, as engineers can accurately visualize how their machine or its functioning parts would look in real life.
They can also use Blender to make precise 3D printed models, whether they plan to use 3D parts or wish to create a prototype of their vision.
Furthermore, engineers can share their creations and animations in Blender with supervisors, peers, and clients.
In comparison with other forms of drafting or drawing, an animated machine or component is more accessible for parties to view and understand.
In the same vein, engineers can create animations to appeal to customers.
However, while Blender is an excellent tool for visualization or prototype modeling, mechanical engineers should use CAD software.
CAD specializes in models defined by math and physics, which is necessary for the domain.
Also check our guide about Revit For Mechanical Engineers.
Blender has numerous notable features, making it an excellent choice for designers:
- Modeling 2-D or 3D graphics
- Rendering 2-D or 3D graphics
- Animating models into videos or 360-degree views
- Placing models in a 3D environment
- Simulating how a component or machine works
Ultimately, Blender is a more artistic and creative tool than CAD programs.
Since this is the case, it is unique software for the domain, as engineers do not have many chances to visualize their project to this degree or share their vision accurately with others.
Mechanical engineers use 3D modeling or create 3D representations of machines and their parts.
Before advanced software and applications, engineers needed to come up with numerous drafts taking various elements into account.
Today, 3D modeling software allows engineers to display ideas, develop designs, and change or optimize their designs rapidly.
3D modeling has many benefits for engineers, including:
- Accuracy: Engineers can focus on specific components of every machine, looking at every angle of the part and how it contributes to the device as a whole. Since this is the case, it is less likely that engineers will make a mistake. Likewise, as key stakeholders can view the design, engineers can make any changes before development.
- Precision: Engineers can enter specific data into their designs, ensuring measurements, weights, and angles are all precise. In this way, parts are sure to fit with one another.
- Flexibility: Once engineers view their prototype, they can easily make changes within the software or build upon their primary idea.
- Physical Prototyping: While many engineers enjoy virtual 3D modeling and its benefits, some 3D modeling software allows 3D printing. It will enable engineers and their teams to test designs at any stage in the development process.
Computer-Assisted Design (CAD) is highly specialized 2D and 3D modeling software for architects, engineers, and designers.
While Blender has a similar purpose, it is mainly for artists and graphic designers.
Blender has specific features that cater to creating art and animations, which can be useful and entertaining for engineers, but cannot replace CAD functions.
CAD software uses exact math and physics to define and build specific shapes, which is crucial for building machines and their components.
Additionally, CAD has special functions for designing machine features such as a circuit board.
Despite this, some add-ons can make Blender more engineer friendly.
Likewise, Blender can be an excellent addition to an engineer’s toolkit alongside CAD software.
Many 3D modeling tools may come in handy for mechanical engineers.
The most popular choices are the following.
SolidWorks is one of the top CAD design and CAD engineering programs available.
Mechanical engineers can use the software to design products, produce 3D models, manage product data, and estimate costs.
It is easy for mechanical and electrical engineers to learn and use.
Students interested in SolidWorks can learn from SolidWorks official training, YouTube tutorials, and guides for beginners.
Autodesk Inventor is CAD software built for professional designers and engineers.
It is similar to SolidWorks, offering parametric modeling, 3D modeling, data management, and product simulations.
Engineers can learn to use Inventor through AutoDesk training, YouTube overviews, and training or online courses.
AutoCAD is a staple CAD and drafting software in the engineering world.
It offers 2D drawing and drafting, 3D mesh, solid and surface modeling, various 3D navigation methods, equipment layouts, section planes, and model documentation, just to name a few of its main features.
Official AutoCAD training and YouTube tutorials for beginners are excellent ways to learn the software.
Additionally, many university engineering programs provide classes on AutoCAD.
Catia is an excellent choice, especially if mechanical engineers are planning to enter the automotive or aerospace industries.
This software features 3D modeling, digital prototyping, and surface modeling.
It makes it incredibly easy to design, develop, and analyze products.
Another significant benefit is that Creo has a high degree of accuracy, using exact digits and calculations to model and render products.
Engineers can learn the ropes through YouTube training and online classes.
Creo is CAD software featuring 3D modeling, solid modeling, 2D views, schematic design, simulations, and technical drawings.
Mechanical engineers enjoy using Creo for its high precision and attention to detail.
They can start learning about this software through YouTube tutorials and online classes.
Mechanical engineers can access multiple programs to assist them in designing machines and components.
Blender is an excellent choice to model and render product designs.
However, for more engineering-geared tools, they may like to utilize dedicated CAD software such as SolidWorks, Autodesk Inventor, or AutoCAD.