Today, if you happen to be browsing apps whilst using the bathroom (we all know that’s where it happens), searching for CAD apps on iTunes, you’ll see an update to one you may have tried out in the past, the GrabCAD app. Version 1.7 is out now and available for both iPhone and iPad. It’s much improved over the previous versions, allowing you to log in and see your own projects, view and contribute to private projects and… even has a little secret you may not know about yet.

The secret

I actually came across this while viewing a private project on my account. I clicked on a .jt file and suddenly, I’m viewing the model, spinning, sectioning, etc. GrabCAD has a new workbench you can view by select the “Try New Look” button when you open or create a private project–that’s not the secret. However, the viewer and yes, even the viewer on the iOS app now allows the viewing of more 3D file formats. This was originally limited to .stl files. After opening the .jt file, I tried a SolidWorks file on both the browser and the updated app. Worked like a charm. Other files successfully viewed were Inventor, CATIA, .iges, .jt and .step, along with the original .stl file viewing.

This is what I saw in the browser (full screen mode of a SolidWorks part with a section through it.):

and this on the iOS app:

Quite a bit of tessellation on the iOS viewer, but the browser is nice and clean, minus the surface lines. All together, more file format support, full screen, commenting and sectioning in the viewer is a wonderful thing. Had a go at? Did I miss anything?

You can try the new Workbench by selecting the “Try New Look” button on Private projects. You can download and try the app for free via iTunes


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.