Your choices for web-based collaboration are ever-growing towers of storage, sharing and data-viewing options that are turning into quite the trend in the 3D software space. Sunglass was one of the first on the scene with viewing CAD files in the browser and the widest support for 3D file formats, 3d software plugins, cloud-based apps and an API that links it all together. Now, they have new features, a new pricing model with versioning and data-management functionality that make the plugins more useful and the entire direction of this company (and this space) even more interesting.

The project page showing files and details.
The Dashboard showing organizations, files and file details.

Models need management

Sunglass started as a 3D model viewing app with a big dream of pay-per-use web apps for prototyping, simulation, rendering and more. We’ve seen them mature over the years, growing their development team, getting funding and transforming into a platform with a lot of options for independent 3D professionals and companies alike.

While the new project backend is very basic, it does allows you to quickly create any number of Organizations, invite users to join the organziation and create any number of projects within it. The free version gets you all the viewing, versioning, check-in/out (locked/unlocked) and project functionality with the $20 (USD)/user/month version adding support and the ability to host private projects.


The viewing experience and tools are still top notch and within the viewer you also have live chatting, the ability to place comments on the 3D object, measure, adjust lighting and snag screenshots. You have to be in a project, viewing a file to gain access to upload other files. By putting file upload on the outside of projects/files and allowing multi-selection of files for check-in/check-out the platform could be made even easier to use. It needs some further fine-tuning as far as folder structure and how locked/unlocked files are displayed and delivering a model/feature tree is going to be critical for high-level collaboration.

There’s no mention of storage limits in the pricing, which is interesting in that this is the first pricing model for, what is essentially, online storage not structured around the amount of files you have or space you take up. Instead they’re focused on the service and business needs as premium options. It’s an enterprise-level outlook that’s becoming more popular within online collaboration tools, leaving users to their work instead of worrying about space constraints of a datacenter off in the middle of nowhere.

Sungalss offers plugin for SolidWorks, Rhino, Sketchup and Autodesk Inventor.






Press Release / Click to expand

Sunglass Expands Version Control at Collaboration Platform
Cloud-based Data Management creates 10X cost saving, enabling users to version projects directly in CAD environment, assign permissions across team and contractors, and optionally lock changes.

San Francisco – (April 23, 2013) – Today, Sunglass expands its collaboration platform to include a full cloud-based data management and version control system for distributed design. Traditionally, similar features are available in a $2,000+ desktop PDM solution, require hardware infrastructure investments, don’t work for external vendors and manufacturers, and are restricted to specific CAD formats.

Sunglass offers three key elements:

  • Dashboard managing projects (with versions) across CAD formats, team members across locations/organizations and permissions
  • ‘Connect’ tools such as a plugin deeply integrating into the SolidWorks and Autodesk Inventor CAD environments syncing data to and from the cloud, keeping all collaborators in multiple locations accessing latest data, and enabling team to synchronously work on the same project with optional vaulting
  • Web-based environment to review 3D content and key issues without the need for CAD software

Kaustuv DeBiswas, CEO at Sunglass said, “We’re thrilled to work with the next generation of hardware startups and work to help dramatically reduce the cost of accessing quality version control tools. Collaboration goes beyond just review in the web browser, and our plugins in environments such as SolidWorks and Autodesk Inventor make for a seamless experience”.

Companies using Sunglass such as Protos Eyewear in San Francisco, Infinity Aerospace at the NASA Ames Center, and 3D Nation Design in Cambridge MA, are working across locations on their projects. Early customers benefit from a $20/user-month price point which represents a 10X saving over traditional $2000 PDM solutions.

Start designing together on Sunglass here:

About Sunglass
Sunglass is a cloud-based environment that enables global teams to design together as they build products of the future. Democratizing 3D design, Sunglass aims to be the fastest way for any design team to bring their product ideas to the world. Founded in May 2011, Sunglass is based out of San Francisco and New Delhi.


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.