The GrabCAD community has come a long way since its founding in 2010. From a small group of engineers in Tallinn, Estonia, to the largest online community of engineers, hobbyists, students, and 3D printing creatives. GrabCAD was founded with the vision of providing the tools needed for engineers to manage and share their CAD designs in giant library.
Over these past 12 years however, the GrabCAD community has evolved past being just a repository of CAD models. It has become multifaceted platform which provides resources such as tutorials, a bustling questions section, and groups to join based on shared interests and commonalities.
Here is a highlight reel of the GrabCAD community’s major updates and achievements:
Pre 1,000,000 Members (2010-2013): 1,000,000 Downloads, International Expansions, GrabCAD Workbench
GrabCAD started as a small CAD library where engineers, hobbyists, students, and creatives could share their models. They, through competing in techstars were able to obtain the capital to expand the site by adding a tutorial, questions, groups, and engineer section. By December of 2011, over 1 million models were downloaded from the GrabCAD community library.
Shortly after reaching 1 million as a milestone, GrabCAD started to spread its wings and open offices across the world. In April of 2012 GrabCAD had planted its roots in Cambridge, Massachusetts US and in November, the UK was added to the list of offices. One year later April of 2013, Workbench was created for this expanding platform. This tool helped teams of engineers manage, view, and share CAD files simultaneously.
1,000,000 Members (2013-2017): Acquisition by Stratasys, GrabCAD Print
In 2016 after being acquired by Stratasys, GrabCAD with their newly added strength would go on create a software tool that continues to be updated every single month. GrabCAD Print would grant engineers the ability to bring them into reality through 3D printing.
The GrabCAD team wanted to make 3D printing more realistic such as evolving past dated file formats like the STL and towards native CAD files. They wanted to allow 3D printing to also be more accessible to more people rather than just industry leaders along with creating an easy-to-use solution that could eventually allow for smart connected printers.
4,000,000 – 6,000,000 Members (2018-2019) Advanced FDM, GrabCAD Shop
The later part of November 2018 brought a toolset that would change the way users could manipulate their FDM parts. Advanced FDM in GrabCAD Print was more intuitive and efficient than Insight and allowed users to create more targeted structures. By simply selecting areas on the design model and specifying desired results, Advanced FDM automatically calculated the required tool path for all layers to produce the required part. This guaranteed that your FDM printed parts came out exactly how you wanted.
Since GrabCAD Print’s release, we’ve launched software solutions such as GrabCAD Shop which is a 3D printing workflow software for 3D printer operators, engineers and designers. Which helps reduce the time and cost wasted tracking and fulfilling part requests.
10,000,000 Members (2022-Beyond)
Today GrabCAD has expanded their platform to include an ecosystem of software providers that have connected to Stratasys technology to provide customers with end-to-end additive solutions. As of this year GrabCAD has also been helping Independent Software Vendors and Customer Developers connect their Stratasys printers to their factory floor with their new GrabCAD Software Development Kit.
With the world moving more towards industry 4.0 and greater access to smart devices through Iot, GrabCAD has started moving towards the future and even released the GrabCAD Additive Manufacturing Platform.
While we have gone on to create software solutions for additive manufacturing, we still appreciate that GrabCAD was made possible by every single member on the site. We sincerely thank the millions of GrabCAD Print community members new and old and like we did with the six million celebration, we're looking to each of you to design what you think would be the ideal trophy to honor this occasion.
Who better to design a trophy to celebrate this huge milestone than you? Your fellow members produce and share astonishing work every day. It's your chance to say thank you and nominate your favorite GrabCADrs for recognition.