This podcast covers the online CAD community for engineers and those looking for CAD work to be done. This online community just breached the 10,000 user mark and is growing into the place to go for CAD services and advice. Topics covered:
- Overview of GrabCAD
- The engineering community
- Requesting files
- Taking "CAD Jobs"
- Posting a CAD Job.
- Various rates for services
Over the years we have seen many "communities" get launched only to be shut down a number of months later. The earliest of these I can remember was the MFG Network that SolidWorks launched 6 or 7 years ago. MFGN was then rebranded to SupplierSource which was "unplugged" months ago and was finally removed from the SolidWorks TaskPane in 2011 SP4. Others that come to mind are 3DVIA.com and 3D Content Central.
Many of these sites have the community and 3D model sharing service as their main draw but what makes GrabCAD different is their value proposition. They offer a service for those who need CAD services by utilizing the community itself. Service requests come in and are offered up to the community, giving their users the ability to make cash for CAD.
In addition to offering drafting, 3d modeling and STL for 3D printing, they offer software conversion and custom jobs as well. The community is filled with a resume-like profile for its users so finding talent in any CAD flavor is simple. The unique balance of community and services might be the magic mixture that was lacking from its predecessors. ~Lou