Install BlenderNC


BlenderNC is supported by versions of Blender > 2.8.

Setting up the Blender Python environment

BlenderNC requires the following python modules to be installed in Blender’s Python environment:


To install the previous python modules in your Blender distribution execute the following commands depending on your OS:


cd /Applications/
./python3.7m -m ensurepip
./python3.7m -m pip install xarray xgcm cmocean matplotlib scipy toolz datacube4


cd /path/to/blender/2.83/python/bin/
./python3.7m -m ensurepip
./python3.7m -m pip install xarray xgcm cmocean matplotlib scipy toolz netcdf4


cd /path/to/blender/2.82/python/bin/
python.exe -m ensurepip
python.exe -m pip install xarray xgcm cmocean matplotlib scipy toolz netcdf4

Another, but not recommended option is to symbolically link your python modules to blender, first find the folder modules within the

  • macOS:

    cd /Applications/{X}/scripts/modules
  • Linux and Windows:

    Go to the directory where Blender is installed and look for the modules folder

Then link all the packages from your python environment folder:

ln -s $PATH_PYTHON/lib/python3.6/site-packages/* .

Install Addon

The addon is installed just like any other Blender addon:

  • Get a BlenderNC installable zip:

    1. (Recommended) Download the pre-generated zip from the GitHub, or download the current version zip (do not unzip it!).


    Under macOS - Safari downloading a .zip file will by default unzip it. You can fix this by:

    1. Manually zip the blendernc folder, or

    2. change Safari preferences:

    • Manually zip the blendernc folder.

    • Change Safari preferences:

      • Open Safari

      • Click Preferences

      • Under the General tab, uncheck the option Open “safe” files after downloading

    1. Clone BlenderNC and zip compress only the blendernc folder within the repository (i.e. blendernc/blendernc). Use your generated in the following steps.

  • In Blender go to the user preferences and open the Addons tab.

  • Once there, click Install add-on from file (bottom right corner)

  • Navigate to the downloaded zip, select it, and click in install.

  • Finally, check the box next to the BlenderNC addon, to enable it.

Install Addon

Now you can follow the tutorials to import datacubes in Blender.

Optionally, but not recommended, you can link or copy the blendernc folder within the repository (i.e. blendernc/blendernc) to your preferred blender add-on path. You can get the exact path by running within a Blender Console:

bpy.utils.user_resource("SCRIPTS", path="addons")

output example on:

  • macOS:

    '/Users/{username}/Library/Application\ Support/Blender/2.9{X}/scripts/addons'
  • Linux:

  • Windows 10:

    '%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Blender Foundation\Blender\2.9{X}\scripts\addons'

make sure you replace everything within the {}.

Update BlenderNC

A blender addon autoupdater has been implemented, for more information refer to blender-addon-updater. In order to update the BlenderNC:

  • Navegate to the user preferences and open the Addons tab.

  • Search for BlenderNC.

  • Click in Check for new blendernc update.

    • Optionally, you can set BlenderNC to check automatically for updates.

  • After checking for updates, select the branch you will like to install or release.

Update Addon


  • The master branch contains the most recent bug fix (recommended).

  • The release mark milestones in the development, you can revert to them by selecting any release x.x.x. The latest release will point closely to master.

  • The dev branch is experimental and constantly changing, recommended if you are developing BlenderNC.

Optionally, you can do this process manually by uninstall the old version first. Thein install the new version of BlenderNC.


You can just reinstall blendernc if you have enabled the Overwrite option in Blender (enabled by default). Then automatically the new addon zip will replace the old version.

Restart Blender once the new version is installed.

Blender Compilation (optional)

Alternatively, to further configure Blender, you could install it using a conda environment by following the official Blender installation website.

Create conda environment:

conda create --prefix ~/path/to/python/root python=3.7
conda activate ~/path/to/python/root
conda install --file ./requirements.txt

Compile Blender:

cmake -DPYTHON_VERSION=3.7 -DPYTHON_ROOT_DIR=~/path/to/python/root ../blender


Make sure to use the same python version.