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Scott Wertel
Scott Wertel
Scott is a full-time Configuration Manager. He has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from MSOE and over 10 years experience in mechanical design and engineering. Scott started his career on the drafting board, a discipline he feels every new designer or engineer should experience. He discovered … More »

GrabCAD – Not just a model library

October 29th, 2010 by Scott Wertel

grabcad-logo When GrabCAD was announced, I was actually a little excited.  Not that the world needed yet one more online CAD library, but that this was a universal library for all MCAD software products.  The simple fact that any user of any MCAD software could share their models in a non-exclusive environment was the differentiator between GrabCAD and other model libraries.  And the fact that a sales person is not going to call me and follow up on the model I downloaded from the (supplier’s) website is an added bonus.

Back that up with powerhouse advisers like Josh Mings and Deelip Menezes, and the potential for a winning website is really taking shape.  Using a standard social media wall as the front end with powerful search features to find that model you’re looking for, and the benefits continue to add up.  I also like the feature to request a model that isn’t there yet.  True, the traffic on the website is still growing so getting that request filled in a timely manner may not happen, but at least the door is open for the altruistic nature of future generations determined to help others out of the goodness of their heart.

This isn’t your standard CAD library either, filled with simple parts like washers, bolts, and nuts.  These are full up assemblies of some pretty incredible parts.  I took a screen capture of some of the latest additions to give an example.

Recently Added Model to GrabCAD

Models Recently Added to GrabCAD

GrabCAD also has a decent list of Partners, making me believe that this website is here to stay, once I figure out what their business model is, that is.  Did you also know that have a blog?  You have to scroll past all the front page updates to get to the links in the footer to find it (an improvement they could make to their website layout), but it’s there.

But that’s not all! As Deelip blogged about on Oct 26th, GrabCAD is more than just a cad library. GrabCAD is turning into an engineering marketplace.

As someone who does freelance work, I’m always interested in finding new places to find work.  I’m still waiting for this to develop.  I know that entering into the engineering and design marketplace is not easy.  Critical mass has to be reached very quickly for it to be sustainable – both with available jobs and talent to fill those jobs.  Competition with sites like or is also difficult.  Building a trust between supplier and buyer, an easy escrow system to exchange funds, and a secure place to handle proprietary information is a big hurdle that many marketplaces never pass.

I wish GrabCAD the best of luck in their future.  If businesses like GrabCAD grow, then there is a chance for other businesses to grow as well.  Symbiotic relationships are only beneficial if both entities find value, and an engineering marketplace is a symbiotic relationship among all parties involved.

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Category: MCAD Products

14 Responses to “GrabCAD – Not just a model library”

  1. Reading "GrabCAD – Not just a model library" by @swertel –

  2. Thomas Teger says:

    Reading "GrabCAD – Not just a model library" by @swertel – (via @DeelipMenezes)

  3. Josh Mings says:

    Check out @swertel's write up about @GrabCAD. Good stuff.

  4. Mark Burhop says:

    Good stuff. RT @SolidSmack: Check out @swertel's write up about @GrabCAD. Good stuff.

  5. GrabCAD says:

    Great reading before weekend RT @swertel: My turn to blog about GrabCAD.

  6. RT @GrabCAD: Great reading before weekend RT @swertel: My turn to blog about GrabCAD.

  7. John Evans says:

    RT @GrabCAD: Great reading before weekend RT @swertel: My turn to blog about GrabCAD.

  8. Siim Teller says:

    Scott, we just got the CAD services page live. This is the first step in launching the marketplace. We have over 1000 members in the community, many of them have signed up to offer their services via the marketplace. Now we’re going to promote the services to potential buyers. So you’re more than welcome to sign up with your skills if you haven’t done so already. And pass on the word 🙂

  9. risioja says:

    Very interesting post. Thanks for good information.

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  11. Dr. Makhluk says:

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