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Best free CAD Design Rendering Software (Keyshot Alternative)

If you are in the CAD and Design industry, one software stands out as the best for CAD rendering and presentation. That rendering program will be Keyshot.

So, are that free alternative that can match its professional output? Yes.

Blender is an open source DCC or Digital Content Creation program that happens to have great render capability.

Below is a Jewelry /ornamental concept design being rendered and animated using Blender

Blender supports 3D Data from formats such as OBJ, STL and FBX. This allows for parts, assemblies and designs to be brought into Blender’s environment for further works. In the case of FBX format, animation information can also be imported as well.

The downside of all this power, is that Blender can be pretty confusing for a beginner. And there are peculiar information essential for the proper translation of CAD data into Blender’s environment. Guidebooks such as CAD to Blender can serve as a structured courseware for the proper workflow and knowledge required to effectively harness the power of Blender for the production of presentation visuals and renders.

OK, lets take a look at some of the advantages of using Blender as a tool for presenting and visualising Computer Aided Designs and CAD models.

Realtime Visualisation
With EEvee making its debut in version 2.8, Realtime visualisation becomes a possibility. This is especially useful for creating presentations without the need for time consuming pre-renders.

Customisable Material Library
The Asset Browser was introduced in Blender 3.0. This enables previously created material shaders as well as objects to be easily reused via the Asset Browser. Now it is very convenient for previously created assets to be modified and tailored for the project at hand.

Inbuilt Post Processing
In blender, the post-processing task can be performed within its environment via the Compositor or Compositing Workspace. This makes it possible to tweak the render result directly within Blender, which can be a useful time saver.

Wide Range of supported graphics card for GPU-based Rendering.
Blender now offers CUDA, OPTIX and HIP for GPU rendering support. In another word, both Nvidia and AMD compatible cards are supported.

There are much more capabilities than those listed here.