What’s better than a buttery-smooth webGL-based free 3D content sharing app? Why, a buttery-smooth webGL-based free 3D content sharing app with a retinal-hemorrhage-inducing material editor, of course! Now we know you’re all like “oh, another webGL viewer? I can hardly contain my excitement. [grimace]” We know, we know. Just watch the vid, and you’ll be throwing your geek panties at your computer screen in 00:07:00 flat.

Sketchfab Material Editor

A material editor? In a browser? How can it be any good? Well, have a look. Perhaps it’s not the render quality you’re use to, but look, we’re stepping beyond simply viewing your 3D data now. Enough talk.

One wonders why this webGL mania hasn’t caught on with the big boyz; where’s the Autodesk/Dassault/PTC/Siemens webGL offering? Well, we know everybody’s working on such things internally, but we also know that this kind of disruptive change tends to happen through acquisitions rather than internal development. Sure, WebGL has limitations with regard to support, quality and GPU dependence, but there’s always the HTML5/CCS3/Javascript route as well. Either way, 3D on the web is here to stay, and nice-looking graphics are a given.

SketchFAB is based in Paris, so it may make sense for a certain French-speaking company to snatch them up, but then again, they’re not the ones on an acquisition spree… yet.

Then again, imagine teaming these kats up with the likes of TinkerCAD on sunglass.io, nother webGL playa who’s going beyond the viewer, and things really start to get interesting.

yellow flying car

lil' blue buggy. with guns.


Adam O'Hern is an industrial designer, designing products ranging from laptops to power tools, classroom toys to bathroom fixtures, and pro audio gear to guitar tuners. In 2008 he founded cadjunkie.com, and in 2010 co-founded EvD Media with Josh Mings of SolidSmack.com, and the two collaborate on the EngineerVsDesigner.com podcast.