GrabCAD Welcomes 3DSystems to Open Engineering
3D Systems today announced that they’ve acquired TeamPlatform, and we just wanted to say, “Welcome to the party!”.
If you haven’t heard of 3D Systems, they’re a $4.7 billion publicly traded company that sells a wide array of 3D printers and 3D printing services. They are a big player, providing a number of different 3D printers, including many of the high-end printers that make really high quality parts. TeamPlatform, on the other hand, is a startup providing a project management tool for engineers that helps them collaborate around CAD (similar to GrabCAD Workbench).
So why would a big printer company buy a software startup that helps engineers collaborate?
Because, as we’ve been saying for years, “Engineering is a team sport”.
The engineers and designers who are looking for rapid prototyping services, buying 3D printers, and bringing “additive manufacturing” into their companies are also reaching outward. They want to share their designs and work with others to make those designs better. To do this you need a community and a way to collaborate with folks in that community. And so you see companies like 3D Systems adding collaboration tools to their mix.
We think this is a great step for the “open engineering” movement as companies large and small recognize that sharing and communicating are core to building great products. We do think that independent, vendor-agnostic platforms like GrabCAD Workbench are more useful than the ”walled garden” platforms offered by other players, where a big company decides what tools and files are okay for you to use. With our open approach, you can access tools and designs from lots of players – for example in the last two months we’ve announced integrations with Luxion, Solid Edge and Autodesk, and of course Workbench supports all major CAD file types.
But either way, we encourage you to explore the new, open approach to engineering and design.