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What was the philosophy behind developing Gazebo ?

I recently got a very complex CAD model to be modeled in Gazebo. Looks like there is no other option except making the same model hand-by-hand in Gazebo.

An alternative, Blender, supports almost all the CAD file support and has a physics engine too. Just the sensors which we have today in Gazebo will have to be ported. Has anyone come across the need for developing blender plugins for ROS and using it, rather than developing Gazebo from scratch? I came across this. But this is a copyright code and it doesn't support sensors.

I am sorry for a very vague question. But the problem I am facing is very critical. I have a complex model (around 100 moving parts) I have to import all the components manually. The model in itself if subject to change as the design changes. So all the manual efforts will be worthless after a point of time.