Introduction to GrabCAD, a website where you can download 3DCAD data for free

In this article, I will introduce the basic functions of GrabCAD, how to download it, how to upload models to GrabCAD, and how to upload models to STYLY.

What is GrabCAD?

GrabCAD is a website where users can download CAD models for free.
These models can be used by anyone, such as engineers, designers, manufactures, and even students.

Users can also create a personal account, and upload self created models as in a SNS. People from all over the world are using this service, and currently more than 6,030,000 people are registered as users.The community is very large. (As of 2019/06/04)

Users can download each other’s models, ask questions in forums, and there are many tutorials for users with different skill levels.

Creating a GrabCAD account

First, please access to the GrabCAD top page. The link is here.

Please click the Login button at the upper right.

GrabCAD Top Page

 

Please fill in your Email address and password.
By clicking the Remember me option, you will not need to fill in your information every time you access.

You can also login by clicking any SNS icon you use at the right hand side, and you do not need to fill in your email address this way. This is probably the easiest way to log in.

GrabCAD Login Page

That will be all for creating a GrabCAD account.
Next, let’s try to import a model.

How to download a free CAD model from GrabCAD

Once you log in successfully, you will see the GrabCAD main page.

Similar to instagram, models that are uploaded by users from all over the world are displayed. You can filter models by using the three tabs within the red box.

Most of the models in the software tab are usable with other 3D softwares, and users can easily import the model to a software.

GrabCAD main page

 

In today’s tutorial, we are going to use an OBJ data, so please select the ‘OBJ’ option from the Software tab.
By the way, you can use more than 1 filter at a time, so you can combine filters to find a model that suits your needs. This is same with the sort by popularity option or model category.

GrabCAD、Choosing OBJ data

 

Next, select ‘All items’.
Or, if you prefer new models, you can select ‘Recent’, or if you prefer popular models, you should select ‘Most downloaded’.

GrabCAD、Choosing All items

 

In this article, I am going to download this model. You do not need to follow suit, so please choose a model you like.

Each model page shows the creator, likes, comments, downloads, and which 3D softwares it is compatible with. You can see how it is similar to other SNS sites, and how large this 3D model site community is.

Selecting a Free model

 

By clicking the model picture, a download menu will popup.
Click the red ‘Download files’ button.

Downloading a free model①

 

Once you click the download button, the download will start immediately.

Downloading a free model②

 

Let’s look at the downloaded files.
I filtered OBJ data, but all the data formats that this model is compatible with are downloaded, such as FBX, 3dsMax, and Sketch Up data.

It is very useful to be able to use the model with different 3D softwares, isn’t it?

The downloaded model

That will be all for how to download a free model from GrabCAD.
Next, let’s upload a model using your account.

Uploading a model to GrabCAD

We already created a personal account.
By using a personal account, users can manage model bookmarks, follow and be followed by other creators, and upload 3D models or tutorials.

Uploading a model to GrabCAD①

Users are able to upload models from the personal account page. Please click “Upload model”.

Uploading a model to GrabCAD②

 

There are at least two things you need to upload a model data.

①A 3D model data
and ②Data rendering image(For this tutorial, I will use a screenshot since it is a test upload)

Uploading a model to GrabCAD③

 

 

You can select one or more files with “Select files”, or upload all your files in a single folder with “Select folders”.
I will import a model data as a test.

Uploading a model to GrabCAD④

 

Next, at the right hand side, you can edit the model details.

First, we need to put in the model name.
You can also add hashtags, or create a URL for your model.

Uploading a model to GrabCAD⑤

 

By scrolling downwards, you can find category settings. This is mandatory, so if you need to, you can set a category of your choice.

Uploading a model to GrabCAD⑥

 

The upload is complete.
I created this model using Autodesk Maya, but by uploading other 3D software data such as FBX, OBJ, and more, the user that downloads the model will be able to use the model for multiple uses.

Uploading a model to GrabCAD⑦

 

That will be all for how to upload a model to GrabCAD.
Next, let’s see how the downloaded model looks in STYLY.

Importing the downloaded model to STYLY

Once you are ready, let’s check the downloaded 3D model in STYLY.
Login to STYLY, and create a scene. If you need to create a account, please refer to thisarticle.

STYLY Top page

Proceed ①>② to import your model.

STYLY 3D model import

 

Multiple select the OBJ data and mlt data, and upload it.

Selecting the model to import

 

Once the upload is complete, import the model to STYLY Editor.
You will find that the center pivot is misplaced. If you are going to use this model, you will need to edit it or if you are using a 3D software, you could change settings from there.

By editing the scale and rotation, the model now looks perfect. The material is shown too.

The imported model

 

How was this article?

I think that GrabCAD is a very useful website where you can download free models, and also be part of a huge community. The quality of the 3D models are very high, and I suggest you bookmark it.