Develop3D Product Review: GrabCAD Workbench

In November, Al Dean wrote a nice review on Develop3D about the expansion of GrabCAD Workbench's CAD management features into the PDM and PLM space. Today he elaborated on that review and reported features that have been released since his original post (gotta love SaaS).

Al Dean Workbench
Check out the full article posted on and in the January print edition of Develop3D.

PLM market shake up and IT managers of tomorrow

"It’s obvious that GrabCAD is up to much more than just building a community around the sharing of 3D data.

The simple act of hiring some impressive names in the industry shows that something else has been brewing. The introduction of the data management tools is an interesting one.

From speaking to existing Workbench users, it’s become clear that GrabCAD has built something that people dive into and just use.

There’s no massive infrastructure investment and it tends to grow in an organisation once a few members of a team start running with it. From that alone, the ability to sync your data and control change is a natural progression.

The PLM market has long been due for a shake up. While some companies, who have serious concerns about an intellectual property leak, consider the cloud to be a huge no-no, others consider the ability to work effectively, efficiently and collaboratively more important than overly worrying about security.

Workbench’s data management tools offer something completely different. It’s simple, pretty effective and works how things should. I’d imagine that GrabCAD has more up its sleeve, but at present, with this release/update, I can’t wait to see what it offers up next.

While it’s in Beta, it’s free, but I would imagine that for users of Workbench, the paid options are going to be very attractive — it’s either $25 or $49 a month, per user. The difference is storage (25GB vs 50GB per user) for the most part.

Many are skeptical about how the cloud is going to change the product development technology world and, yes, there are concerns. That can’t be denied. But, ultimately, I believe that a sea-change is coming and coming quickly.

Today’s entrants into the world of design and engineering have a very different perspective on how technology is both sold and used and concerns over the cloud and security don’t fit into that perspective.

Yes, the corporate world will take time to adjust and adapt its processes and workflows, but that change is coming.

As soon as the IT managers of tomorrow come of age, we’ll see a dramatic shift.

In the meantime, smaller companies, those where speed, efficiency and data accessibility are more important, will jump all over tools like this and push their use.

What’s interesting is that, because of GrabCAD’s earliest form, it is already finding, capturing and engaging with these people on a basis that no other CAD vendor has been able to.

So perhaps there is a master plan after all. And you know what? It seems to be working."

View an exclusive DEVELOP3D workflow on collaboration and data sharing with Workbench here

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