It’s almost midnight, you just remembered your niece’s birthday (tomorrow) and you start to panic! There is no time to go to a store or rush an online gift. As you try to come up with apologies in your head, you catch a glimpse of your 3D printer sitting in the corner, gathering dust. A 3D printed toy like Thomas the Tank Engine model by GrabCADr A. Ter Meer would be perfect. But, are the parts the right size to 3D print?
This is one of many scenarios where you need to know the measurements or scale of a model before downloading. We want to help you with that! This post will walk you through each handy tool, so you can measure like a pro. Read the rest of this entry »
Have you ever noticed that there are more types of CAD file formats than there are CAD systems?
A precise gear (left) as compared to a tessellated gear (right).
Not only do most CAD systems create several different types of files, there are a myriad of interoperability formats that have different advantages when collaborating with your partners and customers. Let’s take a look at some of the formats supported by GrabCAD’s 3D viewer, along with the strengths and weaknesses of those formats. Read the rest of this entry »
One thing we’ve heard from our community members over the last couple of years is that you love being able to view and share 3D models in the GrabCAD library but you’d like to be able to share in a more private setting. Today we’re announcing GrabCAD Workbench to help you do just that.
GrabCAD Workbench is a secure open engineering platform that allows you to upload any 3D model and share it with the people you choose. It’s great for when a designer needs to share a model with someone in marketing, a project manager, a supply chain partner, or even another engineer who uses different CAD software. If you’re taking screen shots, setting up FTP sites, or trying to email large files, you’ll love using Workbench instead. Read the rest of this entry »
GrabCAD is a collection of lots and lots of pixels – and GrabCADrs too. But on your screen, its bit-mapped pixel by pixel. Voxels are essentially the three-dimensional version – a point in space that together forms a shape. Although CAD users are familiar with surfaces, solids, NURBS and meshes, voxels are coming into the picture in design and manufacture, with unexpected consequences.
Back in June 2012, we reported on the Desktop Factory Challenge. Entrants had to make an inexpensive machine that could make plastic filament, the sort you’d need for a Makerbot or an Ultimaker. The difficulty? You had to use off-the-shelf components and your final bill of materials could only add up to $250 (if ordered in a bulk package of 400). I thought I was impossible. But surprise, surprise, 83-year old Hugh Lyman managed to express his impressive engineering and design skills to win the $40,000 prize!
As we improve GrabCAD Workbench (known as Beta-tools and Teams) we’ve been working closely with beta-testers like GrabCADr Tommy Mueller. By putting our work through the motions we can figure out what we’ve missing and what we’re doing right. Last month some 37 GrabCADrs donated time to create their own Pod-racer, á la Star Wars Episode I. At the end, Tommy set-up a voting system for people to select the best – first time we’ve ever had a public vote. Here are the results!