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For instance for mechanical engineering; from what I've seen, Blender is quite flexible and powerful so maybe it serves well for this also?

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

It really depends what you are doing exactly.

In general, I would say it's not good as a CAD tool for mechanical engineering.

It's good for modeling good looking things (teaspot, tree, people etc.), but if you want to for example handle strength calculations, you are basically out of luck (unless you do everything manually).

Of course, if you have to sell something, and you need good-looking renderings, then Blender might be good tool, but that's different from designing machines or buildings from engineering point of view.

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Good looking people? Where did you find such a person? – TheXed Mar 1 '11 at 13:54

Blender is an artistic tool (read "not intended for precision").

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I'd agree with this, although precision modelling is possible in Blender. Here is a tutorial blendernation.com/2007/12/27/precision-modelling-pdf-guide. If you want some good tutorials to get a feel for Blender check out blenderguru.com and blender.org/education-help/tutorials (this is for older versions of Blender though) – Aaron Newton Jan 31 '12 at 9:32

There exists project BlenderCAD, but I didn't tried it yet. http://sourceforge.net/projects/blendercad/

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I haven't tried it either. Funny note: zip package is 7 kilobytes (yes, kilo). That do not sound like very extensive package. – Olli Mar 1 '11 at 16:48
    
Haha, no I didn't spot. And I did't see any good screenshot on google. Probably Blender just isn't tool for CAD even though it's very expendable :) – gsedej Mar 2 '11 at 23:15
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The most promising Blender CAD project at the moment is: CadTools cad4arch.com/cadtools/index.htm. It is really ambitious and I think it deserves some donations. – Gonzalo Mar 3 '11 at 5:32

Tools like Blender work differently than most engineering CAD software. Blender-like apps are focused on manipulating the textures, colors, and other attributes of surfaces. However, those apps lack the ability to easily specify specific dimensions that you need to manufacture a part, as well as the ability to generate engineering drawings a machinist needs.

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Honest answer: NO, not at all. Blender is NOT CAD, it's an artistic tool, it blends artistic ideas and visions. CAD is quite the opposite, it kills artistic ideas, it's about maths, physics and precision.
There are many questions and solutions about CAD on this forum, but it's up to you to establish your specific requirements and what CAD suites best for you. Bit of advice: don't ask just for CAD_period! Ask for specific equivalent (explicite names and brands) from Windows. It's more easier to find what you want that way.

Closest service to CAD for Blender could be architectural works renderings. Because Blender is good at render scenes.

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