You're blocking ads, which pay for BlenderNation. Read about other ways to support us.

'Mechanical Blender' fork adds CAD tools to Blender


Mechanical Blender is a new Blender fork that aims to add CAD tools to Blender. The current features include snap tools, measurements and more. The team promises to keep their code in sync with the main Blender branch, so it should stay up to date.

Jaume writes:


I've uploaded new videos about mesh dimension works made in a fork shared on github. They are part of mechanicalblender project, which purpose is developing cad tools and procedures built-in in blender.


  1. That´s looking very interesting! My favorite would be a workflow like in Solidworks (parametric nurbs modeling) and the possibility to export objects als IGES Data. That would be a dream.

    • Noo! Nurbs are the worse, specially when trying to export them into a more usable mesh. I have worked with Solid Works models and it is a complete nightmare!!

    • Sure, I understand your worries, but the industry uses nurbs to modeling. This is the standard. Almost all CAD / CAM programs use the Parasolid kernel, which however has to be licensed. That is why he certainly does not come into question.
      Free alternative should give.
      The export from Soliworks as STL works relatively well, but has the disadvantage that it is difficult to change later changes.
      The industry would like to work more with Blender, but without the nurbs that provide process security, It´s still a problem. A bidirectional import / export option would be an enormous extension here. The industrial standard is IGES and STEP.
      This interview with Mathilde Amp shows the problems very well:
      An example of a successful integration is the AddOn PowerNurbs / Power Translator for 3DS MAX. It offers the possibility to work with data such as Iges, Step, SAT, Rhino in the main program.
      Such a possibility I would wish in Blender. Nurbs already exist there, but relatively simple. Sure, if you work just for optics, it is not so important when a millimeter is missing, but for mechanics on machines it´s a problem.
      Perhaps one could integrate an extended nurbs modeling. How? I do not know!
      The idea to expand Blender for machanical Industrie. I find it very good.

  2. The mechanical designer who sits next to me uses SolidWorks and I hear nothing but cursing (and it's obscenely expensive, more so if you want any support). It would be nice if this 'Mechanical Blender' add on could output an SVG file with a nice set of first- or third-angle projections of an object.

    • Marc Driftmeyer on

      Or output a PDF collection of documents that give all views and allow one to print to a full size plotter, to just have a proper collection of on-screen viewable documents that is accessible on any major operating system, ala PDF.

      SVG as a means to import into a third party app as part of a workflow, but just having this feature in mainline Blender would be a big use for isometric work.

  3. Rombout Versluijs on

    Really nice, to bad there isnt a OSX build yet.
    Those are some great features, went over and checked out some more. Very usefull for more precise modeling.

    Im gonna try doing it myself but these things always produce tons of errors compiling and dont know what the hack im doing.

  4. I understand everybody, but all what I know is that every time my coworker gives me models from SolidWorks to render them out using Blender I have nightmares and cry like a baby. it's horrible!! There has to be a better way, Just because it is industry standard doesn't mean that it can't be better. Come on! We are talking about progress here :P lol

    • Kesava Prasad on

      There is a cloud based CAD called Onshape, which has an add-on for converting cad to .obj and back. This might be helpful for converting cad into blender compatible version. Please give it a try.

  5. This is awesome, I am always wanting this kind functionality.
    Also; if you are going to work on NURBS then adding basic snap would be great. I imagine it would be assimilated into the main branch too, as it's conspicuously and frustratingly absent there.

  6. Solidworks is great and reliable, I can do the most complicated model for arch building model for actual production in 5 star casino like MGM or Wynn with Solidworks, the point is that it is a CAD software for engineers, it not for movie, I use Polygons modeling as well, compare to Nurbs, Polygon models are always not accurate, they are two total-different systems deal with different production industries, Blender for Animation and Solidworks for Industrial Design. So can be just simply compare like this.

Leave A Reply

To add a profile picture to your message, register your email address with To protect your email address, create an account on BlenderNation and log in when posting a message.