AutoCAD VS Blender: Which One Should I Choose?

If you’re new to 3D printing, you’ll likely want to learn everything there’s to learn about it.

And that’s a great thing to do because learning will help expand your knowledge regarding 3D printing You could even start your business in the future!

You probably already know that in order to make models, such as a robot or car parts, you’ll need to design them first.

All you need is a CAD (computer-aided design) program. This software is essential for 3D-printing enthusiasts as well as engineers and architects.

There are many CAD programs available, with AutoCAD and Blender being the most well-known. Both can be used to create 3D printing models. But each has its own advantages.

If you’re unsure about which one to choose, no worries because we have explained everything about them in this AutoCAD vs Blender article!

What is AutoCAD?

AutoCAD was founded by AutoDesk In 1982, it was the most popular choice for people in the engineering, design, and architecture fields. It allows users to create accurate models in both 2D and 3D.

AutoCAD’s wide variety of features and tools makes it easy to create complex structures for large-scale projects.

AutoCAD can be used to create not only the basic structure but also to make models look more realistic by adding colors and shadows.

It is also possible to animated the object to convey emotions and stories to its audience. Users can create a virtual tour for their audience of their newly designed house or introduce the functionalities and features of a machine.

AutoCAD allows users the ability to add annotations to their work to help clients or coworkers understand its details. An example of this is labeling a machine’s diagram and explaining its operation.

If users need to also specify the dimensions of their machine, they can create an Excel sheet and link it to AutoCAD. The file in AutoCAD will automatically be updated every time the sheet is updated.

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AutoCAD also supports teamwork. This means that if a group is in charge of a project they can easily collaborate by importing the PDF file and reviewing their models.

Lastly, users have the freedom of customizing AutoCAD’s interface, such as toolbars, menus, ribbons, and palettes. This feature allows users to be organized and has easy access to the features whenever they are needed.

Compatibility

AutoCAD software is compatible both with Windows and macOS. The mobile app, however, is compatible with iOS or Android devices.

Although the software doesn’t run natively on Linux machines, users can still have access to it through a virtual desktop.

Pricing

AutoCAD offers many great features that will greatly benefit its users. So, there’s no wonder why this software is a tad bit expensive than most ones out there.

AutoCAD is available to subscribers to any of the three subscriptions. It starts at $220 per month, $1775 annually, and $4795 for a 3-year subscription.

Autodesk also offers a 30-day free trial of its software. The trial version allows beginners to familiarize themselves with the features before they decide whether or not to purchase the software.

Limitations

1. Start-up Costs

AutoCAD’s start-up costs can be high due to the cost of software and hardware. The software requires a computer, so it is important to consider the cost of the computer.

2. Time

AutoCAD contains plenty of features that aren’t possible for a beginner to grasp within a short time. To fully grasp AutoCAD, it is important to take your time and practice.

3. Computer Processing Power

You need a computer with high processing speed to ensure smooth workflow. This is to avoid any lags that occur when you’re working on a project.

4. Lines

Unlike illustration software, AutoCAD doesn’t let you edit the drawn lines and their location. AutoCAD produces drawings from lines, but not volumetric models.

5. File Formats

AutoCAD supports only a few file formats for exporting and importing. Files exported to AutoCAD format by more powerful programs often lose color, geometry, effects, and other information.

6. Colors and Textures

AutoCAD features around 256 colors and a handful of textures, which doesn’t allow you to create photorealistic images as you would with illustration programs.

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7. Non-Parametric

AutoCAD allows you to create 3D models. However, editing them can take a lot of time and can be frustrating.

What is Blender?

NeoGeo created Blender in 1994. It is popular among those who work with visual effects, 3D animations and 3D printed models. It is a powerful tool that can be used in small projects. However, it can also be used professionally.

Blender allows game developers to create indie games with a minimal budget.  Blender’s path tracing feature allows them to make the characters and environments look extremely real. Open-source software allows anyone to add new features and tools to make it easier to complete different projects.

3D animation can be used to modify the pose of still characters, create bone and skin, and add motion. They can also simulate objects and elements such as smoke, fire or particles, or even a crumbling building.

Apart from that, users can draw 2D objects and characters directly in Blender’s 3D space. They can then convert the models into animation, either motion graphics or cut-out animated.

To keep things organized, users can customize Blender’s interface. Users can edit the hotkeys to have instant access to actions and tools, split the viewport to see models more easily, and change the color scheme.

Blender has many extensions that can speed up your work. Blender has many extensions that can help you speed up your work, such as generators for elements like trees and clouds, automation for character rigs and fragmentation of objects.

Compatibility

Blender works well on Windows, macOS and Linux operating systems. It can also run on SteamOS, a Linux-based operating platform.

Pricing

Blender, despite its many features and tools, is completely free to everyone. That’s because the software is licensed as GNU GPL and anyone can make contributions to Blender for new features and improved functionality.

Limitations

1. Difficult To Learn

Blender’s interface is complex and contains many tools, settings, buttons, and buttons that can be confusing for beginners.

2. External support is lacking

Unlike most software, Blender doesn’t let you import or export files directly to other programs.

Blender Vs AutoCAD- Comparison Chart

Features

AutoCAD

Blender

Description

AutoCAD is primarily used to create 3D models of large-scale projects.

Blender is used primarily to create 3D animations for small-scale project.

Features

• Creation Of Dimensions• Creation And Modification Of Objects• 2D Drawing And Drafting• 3D Modeling And Visualization• Annotation• Dynamic Blocks• Parametric Constraints• Text Formatting• Object Selection And Isolation• Data Extraction• Data Linking• Section Planes• 3D Navigation• Rendering• Visual Styles• Solid, surface, And Mesh Modeling• Cloud Rendering• Automation Of Counting Blocks And Geometry• Floating Windows• Quick Measure• XREF Comparison• Collaboration• Customizable UI• AutoCAD Mobile App

• Grease Pencil• Rendering• Sculpting• Animation And Rigging• Modeling• Shape Keys• Multi-frame Editing• Onion Skinning• Weight Paint• Motion Tracking• Compositing• Visual Effects• Path Tracer• Masking• Simulation• Video Editing• Python Scripts• Integration With Pipeline Tools• Customizable UI

Pricing

AutoCAD offers three pricing options starting at $220

Blender is completely unrestricted

Compatibility

AutoCAD is compatible with Windows, macOS, iOS and Android.

Blender works on Windows, macOS, Linux + SteamOS

Limitations

• Expensive start-up costs• Takes a lot of time for grasping all the features• Requires a computer with high processing power• Cannot be used for editing and relocating lines• Limited number of file formats• Limited number of colors and textures• Non-parametric

• Difficult to learn• Lacks external support

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AutoCAD Vs. Blender – Which one should you choose?

Now you know what AutoCAD and Blender have to offer. Each software has its advantages. The choice of which software to use depends on the purpose and personal preference.

If you’re going to create highly complex models, we recommend you go for AutoCAD. And if you’re looking forward to getting your 3D prints done without spending on any software, Blender is a perfect choice.

Hopefully, you’ve gone through the entire difference between Blender and AutoCAD guide and have made up your mind about specific software. If that’s what it is, we hope you make the most out of your projects!

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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