GrabCAD Will Be More Than Just A CAD Library

I have been doing some consultancy work for an Estonian startup called GrabCAD. Last week the company launched their web site. Here is a post on their blog detailing what went on behind the scenes.

To put it simply, GrabCAD is a free online CAD library, not very different from other online CAD libraries. But the CAD library is only a first step. Pretty soon, GrabCAD will evolve into an online Engineering marketplace where members will be able to post Engineering projects and other members will be able to bid on them. GrabCAD understands that quality of work is of paramount importance in the Engineering services business. Before this, GrabCAD founders, Hardi Meybaum and Indrek Narusk, ran a product development company which offered Engineering services. So they happen to know a thing or two about this business. Personally, I believe that quality is actually the key to the success or failure of GrabCAD itself. We are in the process of putting into place various checks and balances to ensure that the Engineering projects passing through GrabCAD are fulfilled to meet the expectations of the both sides and in a fair and just manner.

The plan here is not to limit GrabCAD to small CAD services like paper to CAD conversions, 2D to 3D conversions and the like. The plan is to offer a complete end-to-end solution which will include conceptual design though to manufacturing.

GrabCAD will have an eBay style rating system where a member can start building his “reputation” by fulfilling projects, uploading his personal models for others to download and use, etc. Currently the folks at GrabCAD are busy wiring some pretty nice social networking features to the web site. I have uploaded a couple of my models to the library.

Click image for larger view

We are looking for feedback and even ideas on how to make the CAD library and Engineering marketplace useful. Please feel free to leave a comment. Or you an drop me a line at deelip (at) sycode (dot) com.

Click here to sign up for a free GrabCAD account.

  • Gabriel Guigue

    Hi Deelip,

    Thank you for your post about GrabCAD, but I disagree with you when you write :”GrabCAD is a free online CAD library, not very different from other online CAD libraries […]”. GrabCAD is a nice 3D library of user content whereas free parts libraries like are 100% suppliers' and standards' catalogs. This makes a big difference because it means TraceParts content is certified by the parts suppliers themselves, which minimizes the risk of dimensional or meta-data errors and also maximizes the chances to get up-to-date 3D data.
    From a pure technology and QA processes points of view it makes a huge difference: TraceParts delivers each part number into tens of native and neutral CAD formats, while on GrabCAD you can only download the same format as the one uploaded by the user who is sharing his model.

    There's anyway a lot of room for libraries of shared user models like GrabCAD, so I hope their web site will develop and expand.

    Keep being so active on your blog, you're helping CAD vendors to open their minds 🙂

    Gabriel Guigue, TraceParts managing director

  • Hi Gabriel!

    Thanks a lot for your comment. You are right it is big difference between user generated content and content created for business purpose from manufacturing companies.

    GrabCAD is not trying to compete with Traceparts, we will create place where engineers could share their work, connect, build reputation and find job.

    We are currently in beta and working very hard to add new functionality and some developments are those you mentioned you are missing in GrabCAD.


    Hardi Meybaum, GrabCAD

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