Good CAD programs

If you don’t know for sure, how should a rating website know that? All the rating is kind of nonesense, because nobody knows all requirements for all industries. And even if they would know, as already said, whats good for someone might be not so good for the others. How do you weight? And whats the point of having the best CAD platform if it doesn’t solve your problem? The only thing you might be able to judge is the quality of the software by looking at UI, how stable it is, how its documented etc., but this is rather relevant as a benchmark for the developers and its also not free from subjective oppinion.

In automotive there is a lot more of what you have described as relevant for a CAD platform. For example there is a strict validation process throughout multiple related sub-industries. I mean you need some sort of metric to judge the quality of your work being able to pass data to other people and ensuring they can use it throughout their processes. The absence of a metric (which might be the case in architecture), is actually something bad. I think a CAD program differs from a 3d Visualisation Software in a way that it describes something in a technical and not artistic manner. Alone of the fact that you describe a shape by parametric equations (=Nurbs) allows you to analyse and process it much better then providing a polygonal approximation only (=Meshes).

In my limited understanding about whats BIM, its not only meant as a process optimisation by being able to retreive all relevant data (mass, costs etc) at any state of work. But in first instance isn’t it also a try to create a certain industrial standard on what a digital building model should be?


i think there is a confusion going on.

is that not what you wrote?

one may think whatever one may think :slight_smile: i cant take you that. but if you explain me what the difference between technical and artistic manner is maybe we get a bit closer to the rock bottom of this.

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I’m sorry, but the old saying “you get what you pay for” is unfortunately still true with Rhino.

Why? How does my last post contradicts to post I made before? Since there is no comparision possible as a concequence there is no better.

Well I get the point you are leading to. Sure there is no clear border on whats artistic and whats technical. There is also certain overlapping. But just to address one key difference:
An artist usually doesn’t care much about regulations and laws. An artist actually tries to break them. You want the opposite from an engineer. An engineer solves a problem under strong constrains with clear aims. If an engineer doesn’t hold them he/she has a problem. Therefore an engineer needs software which is not only able to create but also is able to measure precisely.

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that is a bit of a cliché, predefined words given by the contemporary. in the end everybody works according to context, both engineer and artist are trying to redefine that context by pushing the boundaries of knowledge and possibilities.

and you think that is not possible with 3d applications?

talking about cinema which you wondered why one would even list it as a cad software,
while the definition of CAD is still under question, here might be one more justification for using it as “such” .

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You can always find an argument for and against…

Well maybe then I have to be more concrete. I give you an example from my past. There was a time I was in a team responsible for exterior parts especially of building bumpers for a big car company located in central Germany. The concept design were rather developed by „artists“ and now the task was to increase the visual quality, to find a way to make it functional and producible doing this without violating laws. for example the ECE26 defines on how sharp a geometry can be that in case of an impact between a car and a human, injuries are kept minimal. The basic value here is the curvature radius. So on a radiator grill you quite often get a problem. You want each element to be as thin as possible, with correct draftangles (for molding) allowing to get as much air as possible, but you are also limited on how small a radius can be. So usually you apply the smallest radius possible, which then has to be checked if esp. at the cornerblends still holds this regulation. I don‘t think there is a tool for measuring headimpact with Rhino, but at least Rhino allows you to measure the curvature radius. I really don‘t think you can do this with Cinema4d. Besides this for further processing it is a must of providing a Nurbsmodel anyway. But also many changes were made below a millimeter for shape of 2.5 x 5 meters. I don‘t think Cinema4d, allows you to work that precise. But anyway I think we won‘t come to a point of agreement anyway. This is probaly because you have a completely different background, and so you statement is true for your context although it might be totally false for mine…


cinema enables you to do very precise adjustment for the very most part even far more parametrically than rhino. and it even works with nurbs if thats what you are looking for. how well they work and one can use them is a different question.

but i think there is still a huge misunderstanding. i am by no means trying to prove that cinema can do a better job than any of the other known announced application packages, still claiming that cinema has no right to be announced as CAD software at all is simply non sense.

now pondering about the misunderstandings, i would also believe that we are not coming to any agreements.

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Well if you like to call it CAD then do this. My point is just that CAD is not only about creating and manipulating geometry, its also about Analysis, Validation and Organisation. I just think that doing something with CAD is something more technical, then artistic. And I clearly see a difference in between the two. That doesn’t mean you can’t to artistic things with CAD or technical things with an 3d software.

I actually know Cinema4d very well. You can create Meshes with Nurbs, that objects sticks parametric, but since you not able to do anything else, its quite pointless to compare it to a Nurbs Modelling software (Although I don’t know the changes they made in recent years to it). Its a bit like saying you can create meshes with Rhino, but its still no polygon modelling software. Precision is not (only) about setting a vertex some numbers behind dot/comma… This can basically any software do. But anyway…


maybe not only i would call it CAD maybe many others, but i am not here to vote for it, i am just wondering how important it must be trying to take an application which can be used for computational modelling out of a category called CAD when computational design is nothing else it does. its basically a dumb discussion with no point at all other than 2 idiots (me included) are trying to prove what to categorize how.

that is not fully correct. honestly i am not sure when real nurbs got introduced to Cinema but they are there. again handling them and using them is a different story. and to be fair also those pseudo nurbs like sweep and loft actually have underlying nurbs maths i believe.

but talking about it, i believe max and maya have a more advanced method to deal with real nurbs, still no CAD?

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you started this discussion… the only point of my initial post was to say that comparision of CAD tools is nonesense and not serious. I also never said that the capability of creating Nurbs alone is a criteria of declaring a 3d software as CAD. And yes this discussion gets pointless. I agree to end it here…


its not a fully pointless discussion at least not if the head doesn´t hunt its tail. but even then, not coming to an agreement does not prove that our opinions are utterly different, talking about these often reveals essential perspectives i think.


You forgot DeskProto. Much cheaper and have a good integration with Rhino.

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I think you mean DeskProto…

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Yeah, my bad. Seems that it is the time to take a break! Corrected.

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What is your opinion about other CAM programs:

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Moved to Meta category

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For me difference is what measuring unit is used. Blender - Pixels, Rhino, Catia, ACAD, etc. - mm (inch)

By the way, regarding the heat discussion. I do agree with @TomTom. There is no better software for the whole product lifecycle. Every one of them is good in some narrow area.

FYI Blender doesn’t have a measuring unit. Internally it is always 1 unit = 1 meter. You can set the GUI to show as scaled version of that unit. But it still is all that 1 meter assumption.

In case you are interested in doing precise modelling in Blender there is a new add-on being worked on. Here is a monster thread:


Pretty much all CG apps have measuring units that internally refer to meters, but can be loosely interpreted by the user as whatever, except for simulation purposes (i.e. particle system, physics-based rendering, etc.), where you want to keep a realistic scale, work in meters, to get the accurate result.

Hm, now that Rhino seems to integrate Sub-D modelling, I wonder if there are ever going to be solid mesh tools for basic modelling. Sub-D has been a feature in most CG apps for years now, and really is not that big of a deal (in my opinion). In Maya for instance, I’ve seen it mostly used for converting between N.u.r.b.s. and Meshes and vis versa, and nothing more really (not that the conversion is not a great feature).
Furthermore, meshes still seem to be really popular in Grasshopper, especially for formal “experiments”, but you can’t even easily move a single vertex or face with the Gumball in the Rhino viewport.

Nice, thanks!

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Ctrl+shift - select subobject(s), move using gumball?