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Connecting Cargo to Blender

How to activate the Cargo plugin within Blender and common troubleshooting steps

Maxx Burman avatar
Written by Maxx Burman
Updated over a week ago

Initial Setup

To connect Cargo to Blender, first, make sure you're using a supported version of Blender before attempting software setup.

Ensure Blender is completely shut down and follow the Basic Software Setup guide:

  1. In Cargo > Account > Software Settings, click Add New Software.

  2. Select Blender from the dropdown menu, then select Blender version you wish to connect to Cargo

  3. Allow Cargo to install the plugin behind the scenes

  4. Open Blender, enable the plugin, then activate it within your project.
    Steps below ⬇️

To activate the Cargo plugin within Blender, first you'll need to enable it by going to:

Edit → Preferences

From the Preferences Window, within the Addons tab, search for "Cargo" in the search bar on the top right. Click the checkbox next to the KitBash3D Cargo plugin.

Once the plugin is enabled, open the “N-Tab” on the top right of Blender. You can also use the hotkey “n”.

With the n-tab open, click on the “KitBash3D” add on menu on the right side of the n-tab, then click “Connect” and make sure the checkbox indicates “Connected to Cargo”.


Blender Troubleshooting

Before you begin troubleshooting, please make sure you have a supported version of Blender installed on your computer.

Cargo currently supports Blender 3.0, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 4.0 and 4.1 installed using the English as the display language.

⚠️ Cargo does not support versions of Blender installed using Steam or the Microsoft store.

1. Check which version of Blender you're using

To find out what version of Blender you are using click on the monochrome Blender logo in the top-left corner and select About Blender

The new window shows the Blender version you are using.

Cargo currently supports Blender 3.0, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 4.0 and 4.1.

Cargo does not support versions of Blender installed using Steam or the Microsoft store.

If you're using a different version than these, you'll need to download an updated version of Blender from www.blender.org

2. Check where Blender is saved on your computer

Cargo looks for Blender in a few different places during the Software Setup process. In order to ensure that Cargo can find your blender.exe file, make sure that is located in one of the directories that Cargo can detect.

Locations Cargo can Automatically Detect

  • Using Blender installer into the default locations.

  • Steam installation, versions 3.0-3.6. Additional library folders are supported

Manual/Advanced setup

  • You'll need to locate the .exe file for Blender on your computer.

  • This supports installation from ZIP archive to any location

  • Note that renamed Blender executables are not supported. It has to be blender.exe

What about Blender installed through Microsoft Store?

  • Unfortunately, the Microsoft Store installation has been broken for quite some time. It is unknown when access to blender.exe for this installation method will be restored, therefore it is currently not a supported installation method for Cargo.

3. Check that the Cargo Add-On is Installed

If you are using a supported version of Blender but do not see the KitBash3D menu in the N-Tab, check to make sure the plugin is loaded in Blender by going to:

Edit → Preferences → Add-Ons

In this window, search for “Cargo” and ensure the add-on is visible and the checkbox is active.

If Cargo does not show up in your Add-ons menu, you will need to restart Basic Software Setup.

4. Manually Installing the Cargo Add-on to Blender

If you are not seeing the Cargo Add-on show up in your Blender Add-Ons menu, you can try manually installing it. This will only work for the supported versions of Blender.

To do this, open Blender and navigate to Edit → Preferences → Add-Ons

From the Add-Ons menus, click "Install" on the top right. Navigate to the KitbashCargoBlender.zip file saved here:

C:\Program Files\Kitbash3D\Cargo by KitBash3D\resources\plugins\blender

Click Install Add-on

5. Finding problematic add-ons

Sometimes third-party add-ons interfere with the proper functioning of other add-ons like Cargo. If you are using third-party add-ons and you find that Cargo does not work for you, or maybe even doesn’t want to install for you then it can be useful to start from a clean slate.

Possible symptoms of add-ons interfering with Cargo:

  • Cargo doesn’t detect your Blender installation

  • Cargo add-on doesn’t show up in preferences after installation

  • KitBash3D panel in n-panel doesn’t show or doesn’t change state after clicking on it

Open the Edit menu and select Preferences

In the Preferences dialog browse to Add-ons and with select and shift+select choose Community and Testing categories along with Enabled Add-ons Only.

Before you uncheck all add-ons write down a list of all add-ons you have installed and activated.

Proceed to uncheck all the add-ons. Since it isn’t guaranteed that add-ons are properly unloaded make sure you save the changed preferences and restart Blender.

If Cargo can't find Blender during Basic Software Setup and/or the add-on starts working it is likely that one or more add-ons are interfering with the proper operation of Cargo. You can start identifying the problematic add-on by re-enabling each add-on one by one and going through the Basic Software Setup after each add-on in turn until you find the add-on that causes Cargo to fail to recognize Blender or otherwise fail proper Cargo operation.

6. Finding Blender Error Messages in the System Console

In some cases, it can be useful to see the Blender system console. To show this choose Window from the top menu followed by Toggle System Console

The system console doesn’t necessarily pop up on top of Blender, so check the t by mousing over the Blender application icon. It should show the system console window as an entry.

This window can potentially contain error messages that help us diagnose problems. You can copy & paste the contents of this window to share with us.

7. Finding Hardware and Driver Errors

Blender can gather technical information about your system that could help in determining for instance if your system follows hardware and driver recommendations.

Select the Help menu --> Save System Info

Once you press the Save button in the Blender file dialog you can send the file. It will show the driver and GPU configuration, along with build and install information about the specific Blender version.

8. Stuck at "Initializing Download"

If you get stuck on the screen with the message Initializing Download... during Advanced Setup, and you have third-party/community add-ons enabled then the following steps should get you unstuck while we're working on a permanent fix.

Please first read the steps below before applying them.

Step 1: Close Blender (all of them)

Step 2: Open File explorer and type %APPDATA%\Blender Foundation\Blender% in the location bar

Step 3: Navigate into the Blender version folder for which you are trying to setup Cargo for. ie Blender Foundation\Blender\3.5

Step 4: Navigate to the scripts folder and find the folder named addons.

Step 5: Rename the addons folder to addons_temp . This is a necessary step to ensure an Addon does not interrupt the Cargo to Blender connection.

Step 6: Restart Cargo and go through the Software Setup process (via Account if you have set up for other DCCs already). Select advanced setup for Blender and select the blender.exe file from the version of blender you just modified.

Step 7: You should see the Installing Plugin screen now completes. This may take up to 5 minutes. If you do not see the progress bar move after 5 minutes, please contact info@kitbash3d.com.

Step 8: Follow the remaining steps of software setup.

Step 9: Close Blender and move all folders and files inside addons_temp into the newly created addons folder. KitBash3D Cargo add-on should already be there.

Step 10: You should be able to open Blender again, and have all your add-ons along with Cargo!

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