GrabCAD: The Collaboration Software for 3D Printing and CAD
GrabCAD is one of the most popular platforms when it comes to finding and downloading a CAD file: with more than 7 million users, it allows engineers, industrial designers and professionals to share their creations and discuss the challenges of 3D modeling. Today, more than 4 million free files are available for download, compatible with 3D printing. A must to bring your ideas to life!
Founded in Estonia in 2008 by Hardi Meybaum and Indrek Narusk, GrabCAD was bought 6 years later by the manufacturer Stratasys. The initial goal was to create a community of engineers so that they could download different models for free from a large library of CAD files. Now the company claims to be the largest online community of professional engineers, designers, manufacturers and STEM students in the world. It brings together millions of users who share their creations, questions and challenges related to computer-aided design. The platform also publishes several video tutorials and organizes numerous challenges with attractive prizes. In addition to this online marketplace functionality, GrabCAD has developed two tools: GrabCAD Workbench and GrabCAD Print, the latter being specially developed for additive manufacturing.
The Workbench function
In April 2013, the platform will be enhanced with a new feature: Workbench is a cloud-based platform that enables engineering teams to securely manage, share and view their CAD files. In practical terms, several users can work on the same file at the same time, making it easier to create more or less complex products. Each user can track all changes made to a model in real time, correct any defects and revert to the first version of the file if necessary. A considerable time saving for the teams. Some of the interesting features include the ability to lock certain files for secure collaboration, support for different CAD file formats, export in .STL format, and the ability to overlay two versions of a model to see what has changed.
Following Stratasys‘ acquisition of the company, a new feature has been introduced: GrabCAD Print is a 3D printing software designed for Stratasys’ range of 3D printers to facilitate the entire printing process. For example, it allows you to print directly from the CAD model (Creo, SOLIDWORKS, NX, CATIA, Inventor), without having to export to .STL formats or to follow the printer’s work in real time (an alert is sent when the printer is finished or if an error has occurred). The software also allows you to prepare the model by choosing the right orientation of the part, optimizing the use of materials and generating the supports when they are needed. Everything is cloud-based, offering the possibility to connect anywhere and on any device.
To learn more about the platform and to familiarize yourself with the tool, visit HERE. Are you already using GrabCAD and its various features? Let us know in a comment below or on our Facebook and Twitter pages! Sign up for our free weekly Newsletter, all the latest news in 3D printing straight to your inbox!