I hope this is not a vague question.
I would like to know if any researchers and students in this community have used or considered using 3D graphics software (such as Blender) or a game engine to visualise scientific data as opposed to specialist software. I understand there are many limitations to using popular 3D graphics for scientific purposes (such as accuracy of the simulation). Despite this, I have found studies by researchers using these resources to visualise their data (here's an example http://www.nature.com/articles/srep04228), and I am guessing that the existence of free and open-source software can be a benefit to researchers by being a cheaper alternative to hiring visual research groups or developing specialist programs, and may be quite easy to learn by comparison. Please correct me if I am wrong on that.
I would like to know if anybody here has ever made a decision to use 3D graphics software or even a game engine in their workflow, and that might be for the reasons above or entirely different ones. Furthermore, what were the limitations as well as benefits you found from using software not developed for scientists in mind?
Re: I realise this question is dangerously close to asking for opinions. But if it is possible to answer factually by being based on experience, that would be great.