It seems that, along with grabbing up 3D models, GrabCAD is in the business of grabbing up the top talent in the 3D modeling software industry. They just announced the hire of Blake Courter (LinkedIn), a founder of SpaceClaim (and dear friend) along with Rob Stevens (LinkedIn), a former VP with the likes of Kiva Systems and Backupify. This follows last year’s hire of industry veteran Jon Stevenson and interactive product developer Grant Thomas-Lepore followed by the hire of two SolidWorks developers, Dan Dignam and Stuart Reid. What does it all mean?

A whole lotta developer love

That’s a whole lotta development power behind the community-driven powerhouse that is GrabCAD–and not just any type of software development. All of these hires have the background in developing and deploying 3D modeling software and most of them have knowledge on the inner-working of the 3D software and software kernels that led the companies they came from to great success. In the post about the new hires, Hardi Meybaum, CEO of GrabCAD, says this about meeting Rob, “It was when I was thinking about where to take GrabCAD. I wanted to build a product for engineers and wasn’t so excited about our marketplace model. When I talked to Rob about that, our conversation quickly shifted to the whiteboard where we started to draw different opportunities.”

You’ve seen where some of the development has gone with the shift in model sharing to project collaboration and 3D file viewing. It’s still a great source to find 3D models, but is increasingly turning into a great source to find files to 3D print, work together with people on projects and even holds strong possibilities for companies to connect with users of their products.

All of this, along with the massive number of engineers and designers, makes for an interesting mix of attributes that would certainly be attractive to companies in the business of acquisitions. But with that, a solid revenue model is needed. GrabCAD has the foundation for introducing various platforms from subscription-based to freemium models that would fit the typical structure of a model share or project collaboration site. However, if Hardi’s statement on not being ‘excited about our marketplace model’ reveals anything, it’s that GrabCAD is aiming at being anything but typical, that they’re being very judicious about the money-producing product they announce and bringing on a lot of development to make it happen. By the way, they’re hiring a Senior Developer.

Your thoughts? Where is GrabCAD headed?


Josh is founder and editor at, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.