GrabCAD News: Bringing Quality to You Through Open Engineering

At GrabCAD we encourage innovation and quality. We value involvement in events like hackathons and meetups that push limits and advocate open engineering. So, what are we actually doing to support these values? I want to share some updates and let you know why the GrabCAD team cares so much.

Video via TechCrunch, "A Hackathon for the Data Center, Now That's A First" by Alex Williams

Video via TechCrunch, "A Hackathon for the Data Center, Now That's A First" by Alex Williams

Hacks, summits, and meetups inspire innovation

This winter we supported an Olin College Mechanical Engineering student-led hackathon, CADathon 2012. Over a few hours, Olin ASME leader, Mark Muraoka, and his peers formed teams to create something new. They even had CADblitzes, where you have 10 minutes to produce a CAD model. We will be featuring the winners here on the blog in the coming weeks.

Last week we participated in the Open Compute Summit 2013, which focused on disrupting the staid world of the data center with new open engineering task forces. Through industry leader partnerships with the likes of Intel, this foundation born from Facebook is looking to make data centers more open, customized, innovative, and affordable.

Yesterday, we hosted our first offline meetup. GrabCAD 3D Engineering and Design, Boston will be a place where you can come to discuss CAD. The members will help pick topics and GrabCAD will help bring in industry leaders to teach you something new or discuss controversial topics. Our first get together was a starting point, so we discussed, “What does quality CAD mean to you?” Is it something you can find in an open source library (spoiler: we think so), does it mean fulfilling certain requirements, and is it the same for all engineers?

Why you should care about open engineering

Open engineering does not have to be an abstract or idealistic notion. It is something that you can use in your life and your work. Use the common building blocks that open engineering offers at your disposal, like those found in our Library. Then, you can build instead of reinvent the wheel with each project. It gives you a head start to create something better, more innovative, or maybe fit in an extra client in your busy schedule. An open library is one full of different perspectives. It offers you a spark to get your creativity bubbling.

It may be counterintuitive to think of wisdom in groups. What about mob mentality? We believe that there is more of an emergent property when you bring a group together or look at the “big picture” of an issue, much like this Emergence podcast by Radiolab. Quality and creativity come out of group interactions that are sometimes unexpected. We see this in our Challenges every day.

Why does GrabCAD care about open engineering

To our team, open engineering brings higher quality and innovation to the engineering and manufacturing fields. Engineering should be social and accessible. What is the result? Better physical products are produced. If every thing you drive in, sit in, plug in, and work in is dreamed up in CAD and engineered by someone, then it is a big deal if it is done faster, better, and more creatively. We want to elevate the engineering and design of everything out there. We want our Community members to be leaders in their field; people who push limits.

Let’s do this, how you can get involved

The GrabCAD team plans to do their part in creating a social and open engineering field. We will support you and your team with our Community and collaborative tools. We will work every day to build an innovative and quality product. We will always make the effort to connect with you to learn how we can help you work better.

What can you do? Connect with us and our Community. Send an email to if you have a student group who wants to practice open engineering or if you want to make your office or workflow more innovative. Or, join the discussion at one of our meetups!


Community Manager

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