Posts in category: ‘CAD services’

Meet the New GrabCAD Mobile App

We are excited to roll out an update for our mobile app! We have redesigned our app from the ground up. In this release we have included support for iPhone as well as iPad. Now you will be able to browse the latest and most popular models in the GrabCAD library from your mobile device. You can view renderings in the project and see project details. In projects we have added the ability to participate in conversations while you are on the go with easy-to-post comments. What else can you do?

New GrabCAD Mobile App for iPhone and iPadNew GrabCAD Mobile App for iOS

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Combining DRM and the Principals of Open Engineering

Back in October 2012, former Microsoft CTO and alleged patent troll Nathan Myhrvold and his group, Intellectual Ventures released a patent for a Digital Rights Management system for CAD models. If you buy music or videos online, often there are little tidbits of code that limit your ability to share it freely. That’s DRM, and it’s been heavily criticized by all, mostly because it doesn’t work. Once a file is cracked, it can roam freely in the wilds of the Internet. Same rules apply to CAD files. It’s probably harder than most music or video formats to accomplish, but it can be done. But why treat everyone like a criminal? Is there a way to combine the benefits of Open Engineering with DRM?

lock locked

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GrabCAD News: New Office and Amazing Hires

Hi, this is the first time you have heard from me and I’d like to say thanks for welcoming me to the GrabCAD community. I’ve been a full time member of the GrabCAD team for a couple of months now and it has already been a tremendously exciting ride. I want you to tell you more about my history and introduce you to our new hires, Stuart Reid and Dan Dignam, who are opening a GrabCAD office in the birthplace of CAD. I will also introduce you to new talent in Boston and Tallinn: Amos, Mart, and Taavi.

What Is My Story?

I’ve been involved in the Mechanical CAD industry since 1983. Why? Because, I believe that the CAD industry is a fantastic place to work.

  • You have the best customers in the world.
  • Your customers are people that are inventing new things.
  • Or, your customers inventing new ways to make things.
  • New and better products improve the quality of life for all of us, every day. Read the rest of this entry »

6 Reasons to Harness GrabCAD Challenges I

Launching an engineering challenge on GrabCAD has proven to be helpful for designers and manufacturers from various different industries. Challenges enable companies to collect hundreds of detailed, creative solutions over short periods of time. This article is the first in a 3-part series which will outline some of the most important reasons companies have benefited from GrabCAD Challenges. We hope it encourages you to try this powerful crowd-sourcing approach.

If you are in a company that requires 3D modeling and design, consider harnessing the power of a challenge today. If you know somebody in such a company, share this article with them (post it on Facebook, tweet about it, or email them directly!). Although there will likely always be a need for in-house engineering for certain industries, GrabCAD challenges are a novel and validated approach to mechanical engineering and 3D modeling. Here’s why:

#1. Lots of creative ideas generated rapidly

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Greenville Design uses GrabCAD service for large projects

Using GrabCAD engineering project management services has enabled Greenville Design to sign major project and deliver the work in time.

About Greenville Design

Greenville Design is a service company located in Providence, USA offering manufacturing and industrial customers creative solutions such as optimizing SolidWorks performance, providing tools, jig and fixtures design, doing plant layout for the installation of new equipment etc.

About the project

A major project was proposed which would need considerable increase of resources that Greenville Design did not have available at the time. Fortunately GrabCAD with a network of over 60,000 mechanical engineers was ready to help. This project meant quite a big amount of manual re-modeling of various equipment with great detail and accuracy. This task required engineering professionals with respective industry experience, knowledge and software skills. It was clear that persons with necessary background could not be found quickly. Due to tight deadlines of this project it was clear that unless GreenVille Design found a partner to carry out the work, they would have to decline the contract.

The results

Greenville design found GrabCAD and made a request to explore the opportunities for getting extra resources among the thousands of engineers. Immediately there was a match with some candidates who were capable of accomplishing the rather sophisticated project. GrabCAD’s Chief Engineer handled all the details and lead the process throughout. The remodeling was done in batches to simplify the quality control and flow. The project was delivered in due time and within expected budget.

 

The interview

I had the opportunity to ask some questions from Helen Greathouse, CSWP and the owner of Greenville Design.

Lauri: Why did you choose to use GrabCAD service?

Helen: I had been asked to do a job turning pump 2D drawings and pdf files into SolidWorks parts and assemblies and had only 6 weeks to complete it. As this was a very large job, I was told that I could outsource some of the parts in order to expedite completion. When I saw that GrabCAD claimed they could do this in the time frame needed, I decided to see if they could deliver.

Lauri: What would have been the alternative if you had not used our service?

Helen: If I had not found GrabCAD, I would not have been able to accept this job. There was no way that I could do all of the parts and assemblies in 6 weeks.

Lauri: Were you satisfied with the result? 

Helen: I have been very satisfied with the results. I saved money and time by using GrabCAD.

Lauri: What was the benefit and value to you?

Helen: The benefit to me from using GrabCAD was I got to accept this job and finished it in a timely manner which has enhanced my reputation.

Lauri: Would you use GrabCAD service again?

Helen: I would definitely use GrabCAD services again.

Thanks to Helen for answering the questions.

When leaving your service request here our Chief Engineer will return a quote including budget, time frame and list of engineers suitable for delivering you quality results for your engineering project in 12 hours.

Need a project manager for an engineering project?

Are you looking for people to do the engineering work such as technical drawings, drafting, photorealistic images, CAD software conversion, 3D printing preparation etc? Is it too time consuming to find the right people, manage the process, communicate with them and pull it all together? GrabCAD will help you with our latest service offering.

We have updated our CAD services concept and this blogpost is about the new approach.  As you have probably noticed, there is a new page for services. Responding to our customers feedback we have adjusted our process to offer even more value and benefits and help in those domains which are most critical to you.

Finding the right engineer who has the right industry expertise, software skills, know-how and location for your business is very time consuming and can be frustrating. This task becomes particularly difficult when you have tight deadlines and several projects piled up above you. When you finally find these engineers you want to start in-depth communication, test them, ask and answer questions, investigate their background etc. Which splits your routine work into small tasks and blurs the focus. If you manage to find the right engineer and have handed the work over to him then managing the process is even more time consuming.

Now there is a solution for that; to transfer all the project management to a company that has the tools, resources and network capable of delivering desired results. 45,000 engineers in GrabCAD across the world have over 160 different software skills and industry expertise from automotive to tools and machine design. We offer project management services, 7 day phone support, money back guarantee, IP and quality control. Our project manager will handle your project – from simple CAD work to more complicated engineering and design projects.

When you have a request for CAD project, simply fill in the details using our quote request form and describe necessary details. Our Chief Engineer will respond in 12 hours with a quote and additional details.

The main benefits are:

  • GrabCAD offers very competitive price because of over 45,000 engineers across the world.
  • All your project files and data is stored in our secure server accessible only those assigned for the job. All our customers work is confidential, we have NDA and IP protection agreements in place.
  • Your project progression is constantly updated by our Chief Engineer.
  • Delivery times are very fast because someone out of the 45,000 engineers always has time.
  • You have a 24/7 phone support you can always call and inquire about additional questions or comments.
  • Before hand-over our Chief Engineer always checks the quality so that it meets the initial expectations.

You can leave us your quote request by using this form and we’ll get back to you in 12 hours with a quote. Let us help you with engineering project management!

Latest GrabCAD challenge – reinventing skateparks

We have just launched the latest challenge where you have to come up with a new skateable art or an obstacle. Best one will get an Archos 7 Tablet.


Challenge is held by ARC (American Ramp Company) who is the world largest skatepark provider. They are looking for new designs for obstacles to use in their skateparks all around the world. Be creative, don’t hold back. They need new ideas and skaters need new obstacles to pull more and more crazier and cooler tricks.

All the details about this challenge can be found on our new challenge page.


If creativity is not your strongest skill then don’t worry they have an engineering problem that needs solving as well. ARC wants to install a halfpipe on a sloped, grassy area. But they need ideas on how to anchor it into ground with adjustable supports. Goal is to install a halfpipe from a kit in one day. Solve this on and you could be a winner too!

That’s it, that’s all. Get modeling!

News about new challenges

The past couple of weeks have kept us busy working on the new challenges section functionality. It’s been launched and live now since yesterday, to make the following, submitting the entries, organizing challenges and checking out any updates easier than it has been with our blog.

 

GrabCAD challenge

 All the upcoming challenges will be posted under the Challenges tab and include all information necessary to work on the project and submit the entry. It’s also much easier to browse the active and finished challenges with their respective entries as all of them are listed on one page.

If you are a manufacturing, design or any kind of product development company and think such competitions would bring in innovation at a completely different level, you can now also leave your idea for a challenge via the submit form.

 

Challenge submit page

Simply describe your idea briefly or in as much detail as you find appropriate, add a sketch or a picture what needs to be engineered and send the information to our staff. We will contact you directly and put together the whole challenge package (see example below) for all the engineers.

Challenge page

The challenge page itself includes the following new sections:

  • Description – summary of what needs to be done, relevant background information and any pictures of current solutions or examples.
  • Prizes – what are all the goodies or cash that the winner and runner-ups get
  • Rules – all applicable conditions for the challenge
  • About the jury and the company endorsing the challenge
  • Statistics box with main prize, deadline and number of submitted entries
  • Requirements – all ‘musts’ and ‘shoulds’ that the participating model has to comply with
  • Specification button to download all files needed to start working
  • Upload – it’s highly recommended to submit your entries via the challenge page. As with most cases, it’s all about the details and entering the challenge via the correct form includes the participating model in the official list of entries. It is also necessary that the participants accept the intellectual property and invention terms and conditions.
  • Entries – can be viewed both under the dedicated tab at the top or in the thumbnails section under the Requirements.
  • Results – the winning model and runner-ups with brief explanations of their superiority.

All in all we hope the new functionality makes things much easier and usable for both the engineers and the companies taking part in the challenges. If you have any suggestions for improvement, then drop us a line, we’d be glad to hear opinions!

Meanwhile, check out the latest challenges and do not hesitate to participate. The projects itself are cool, as are the prizes.

CrowdCAD Exo Bike Challenge case study

GrabCAD helped to redesign the fenders of an electric scooter Exo Neutrino by organising CrowdCAD challenge.

Exo Neutrino is a tiny electric scooter that handles like a bike, accelerates like a pocket rocket, drives you 40 miles / 60 kms in one go, and fits into the elevator. Designed with the environment in mind it’s the perfect urban companion.

The challenge was to redesign the plastic fenders on ExoBike. They were manufactured using the extrusion technique and were too fragile and not the best looking. The goal of the competition was to design and engineer new fenders using ABS plastic that will be manufactured by the common molding method. ExoBike team was not happy with the existing fenders and had been puzzled with the new design concept for a long time already. CrowdCAD was an effective and attractive way to take advantage of the power of GrabCAD’s network of over 18 000 engineers and solve the design challenge without having to burden their own engineers.

ExoBike and GrabCAD teams together compiled the specification, requirements and procedures of the contest and GrabCAD announced it on July 8th. The deadline was set to 3 weeks to have enough time for the community engineers to develop the new concept.

GrabCAD engineers came up with the new designs and uploaded the files in the library. The competition encouraged engineers to try their best and exceed their skills. ExoBike team was satisfied to select the winner among 24 works and the winning engineer was given a prize chosen by ExoBike team.

ExoBike also got all results of the competition and can implement them in production later if desired.

The competition helped ExoBike to receive a selection of design solutions from which to pick the most suitable, all that in a matter of three weeks.

ExoBike took away:

  • Large selection of practical solutions for the design challenge
  • Unique, high quality results that are above standard concepts and exceeded expectations
  • Saved time and company’s own engineering resources
  • Coverage in industry’s media (including TechVehi and ElectricBikee)
  • Great additional ideas for further product development

Read the ExoBike fender competition announcement.

Results of the challenge are available in GrabCAD library.

Read the winner announcement here.

“Exo team was positively surprised to find that in the middle of hot summer our CrowdCAD contest created so much excitement and attention. The proposed number of designs were surprisingly high and we felt that the competition entries were thought-out and really caught ExoBike”s essence. The design of the fenders has been quite a challenge for the Exo team. Thanks to the competition, the team received lots of ideas for further development. We definitely plan to implement the best entries in manufacturing. As ExoBike is constantly evolving, we plan to launch new challenge soon.”

Marko Mand, Production Development Manager, ExoBike

In summary the CrowdCAD competition proved to be again ideal way to improve or redesign a part of the machine with the help of the experts in GrabCAD global network.
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