Purchased by Stratasys back in 2014, GrabCAD is essentially a file sharing service for CAD models, but it’s grown into much more over the years. The free platform features forums and challenges, has been made into an app, and the community now has over 4 million CAD files that can be exchanged between users. Additionally, the GrabCAD Shop tool is an easy solution for centralized or distributed 3D printing in offices and classrooms, helping users easily queue, print, and track work orders.
GrabCAD Shop also offers lab management software, which can make the 3D printing workflow between students, teachers, and lab operators a much smoother process. This streamlines things so that users can focus on learning, and not have to worry about complex print request submissions or not knowing when their print is ready.
“The all-in-one 3D printing lab management software helps students submit their requests while offering an easy-to-use dashboard for operators to organize orders by project, course or class,” the website states.
The tool is web-based, and easy enough to use that administrators can set up different shops for multiple classes, assign materials and machines to the shops, and invite students to use them, without having to ask the IT department for help. GrabCAD Shop is meant to be a major time-saver for both students and their teachers, giving users control over what materials are used, and who is printing at specific times.
The tool offers:
- Organized requests – the operator dashboard tracks exactly where requests came from
- Quick setup – GrabCAD says the Shop can be set up in 30 minutes or less
- Streamlined workflow – students have exactly what they need without having to ask the teacher
Speaking of the workflow, it’s collaborative, meaning it keeps both students and teachers in the loop during the 3D printing learning process. Once the Shop is set up, with the proper technologies, materials, printers, and branding in place, admins invite students to register themselves. Multiple file types, such as PDFs, can be uploaded for learning purposes, and with automated notifications, students can access real-time status changes, so they know exactly when their job has been printed.
GrabCAD Shop also facilitates easier communication and efficient operation – teachers or lab operators can make comments directly in the job order, which then alerts the student that a response is needed. All orders are managed in the same place, and it’s easy to sort them by type, technology, status, job requester, and due date. Teachers can set up as many Shops as necessary, and can invited an unlimited number of students to join them. Additionally, they can set up multiple user groups, which are easy to create and delete when the students requiring access to the Shop change every semester.
Finally, GrabCAD Shop is technology-agnostic. While it’s pre-populated with materials and printers from parent company Stratasys, admins can also add third party technology to their Shops if they wish.
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