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December 12th, 2011

GrabCAD Review: Engineering Community with Free CAD Library

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Written by: Design-Engine
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GrabCAD is a community founded by mechanical engineers. It is also a place for engineers to share their talent, expand knowledge, find a dream project and work with tools and features that make life better. Their HQ is located in Boston, MA with the development team in Estonia.

Becoming a Member for FREE

GrabCAD is free to anyone who’s interested in becoming part of this engineering community. By becoming a member, you can showcase your work, help others with a technical challenge, give feedback, or get help yourself from like-minded engineers. Building a strong portfolio and demonstrating your expertise will build your reputation and get you noticed by peers, future partners, and employers.

Free, Community-Shared CAD Models Library

Your portfolio is part of this library, along with everyone else’s. All models are created by GrabCAD members and shared for free. You can browse the CAD library categories: aviation, automotive, machine design, tools, architecture, and electrical. You have full access to these CAD models from the smallest nuts and bolts to engine parts, furniture, weapons to jet-fighters, motorcycles, and cars. And we all know how much Design Engine loves motorbikes!! Again, sharing your own models can help you get noticed and build a name for yourself.

Reward System: Badges

GrabCAD awards their members with “badges” for accomplishments and for reaching certain milestones. Some are given automatically, others only when you’re hand picked by a staff member. The owner of any badge can take pride in being among the best of the best. Some badges handed out include: active uploader, competition winner, render king, share master, render bender, etc. These badges are made public on your profile.

GrabCAD Challenge: Crowdsourcing Resource

The GrabCAD Challenge works as a crowdsourcing service. With 3 easy steps [a) submit challenge b) await result within a week c) pick the winning design], you can receive hundreds of engineering designs for your idea or product challenge, a new technical solution for an outdated mechanism, or simply a new product developed by thousands of GrabCAD engineers. The winning design will receive your prize money, an amount that you set.

Hiring Out a Project

This service works very much like Freelancer.com or Elance.com except that this site is specific to engineers.

One option to hire out a job is to actively find an individual member who you think is the best fit for your project. You can browse individuals and view their stats like: skill-set, work specs, areas of expertise, models they’ve shared, how many of these models were downloaded, comments, followers, badges, etc. Then you can decide to contact them upon favoring their work and to solicit a RFP.

The second option is to submit a project and its specs, deadline, estimate work hours, skill required, etc. You can set a pay for the project or not. From there, interested engineers can contact you and bid on the project.

The last option is to hire a GrabCAD project manager, who will handle your will handle your project, whether it’s simple CAD work or a more complex engineering and design job. In addition to project management, they offer 7-day phone support, money-back guarantee, and IP and quality control. Just take 5-10 minutes to fill out the order form and get a quote in 12 hours. There’s a standard order and custom order form.

Lean On Me: Q & A

Here, members can utilize a Q&A “Forum” to ask and answer any CAD or engineering-related questions, from simple software issues to more complex modelling problems. Make splashes and discover breakthroughs with the community of thousands of engineers. Simply search and post. Filter and browse by popularity, software systems, unanswered questions, and latest posts.

Article Written By: Justina Nguyen





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