GrabCAD Workbench is now Free!

Today we’re happy to announce that GrabCAD Workbench is now free for all users. Beginning immediately (that means right now), engineering teams of all sizes can share and manage CAD files effortlessly.

Today, GrabCAD announced that Workbench will be free for everyone.  This is really exciting news for the PDM world and is sure to raise the bar and put some pressure on other companies offerings.

This announcement blows the doors open for anyone looking for a simplistic web based solution for managing and sharing their engineering data.

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How do you define PLM?


  1. In industry, product lifecycle management (PLM) is the process of managing the entire lifecycle of a product from inception, through engineering design and manufacture, to service and disposal of manufactured products.

How does your company define PLM? Do you have a home brewed solution of Excel files and processes? Do you have a custom web application? Do you use an enterprise solution like PLM360 or Siemens PLM?

I would love to hear from you. You can comment on this post, find me on Twitter, Facebook or Google+.


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A Day in the life of a CAD dork –

The hashtag #CADdork is trending thanks to an idea posted on Google+ by Melanie Perry. (The fact that we all use Google+ is your first clue into how dorky we can get.)

Anyone interested in doing a shared topic? I’m always curious how normal I am (mostly for laughs, admittedly).
Would folks be interested in picking a day and sort of tracking what we do throughout the day, then posting the summaries the next day? Sort of ‘a day in the life’… I’d imagine we’re all busier than the average bees and maybe spend more time managing projects or data than we do designing and writing. It could be interesting, seeing how we balance or intermingle work & personal life.

Several of my fellow CAD bloggers have already posted their days, Paul Munford has a running list on his website. Paul’s day is especially interesting to me because I really need to ask him what’s he doing writing in peoples diaries. Apparently, this is something different then what I would assume it is.

So here it is, my day unfiltered and uncensored… Wednesday, January, 27th 2015. The day wasn’t all the best day to pick to really get a glimpse of a typical day but some days, actually a lot of days aren’t like a CAD rock stars life. It can get quite boring and mundane sometimes. I think we can all agree that not every day is filled with flying drones, 3D scans of your face and steak and potato lunches.

12:00AM: My day doesn’t usually start at zero o’clock but for some reason I woke up about this time and can’t quite get myself back to sleep. Throat was feeling a little scratchy. Hopefully not getting a little bout of the head cold my 3 year old daughter has.

Approx 1:30AM: Zzzzzzzzzz

4:00AM: Alarm goes buzz, time to start my… no not yet, I just fell asleep a few minutes ago. SNOOZE.

4:10AM: Snooze

4:20AM: Snooze

4:30AM: Snooze

4:40AM: Ok, I’m up.

4:45AM: Looking at my phone to see what’s new since I last looked at it. Everything is still blurry and really not readable. Ok, now I’m really waking up. Just realized my throat feels like I ate a bag of sand during the night… yup, getting a head cold.

4:50AM: Shower off to wake up, get dressed make some coffee. I can’t eat breakfast this early.

5:35AM: Kiss my wife and two daughters goodbye (they are still sleeping). I have an 8 year old in 3rd grade and a 3 year old in preschool.

5:57AM: After a short commute through the still sleeping city of Wilmington, NC I wave to the security guard on my way onto site at my day job. I can’t really discuss too much about what company I work for, what I do, or anything like that. That was covered on day #1, form #62 that I signed. Lights are already on in the office… I guess I’m not the first one in today.

6:00AM – 7:00AM: Time to fire up the email and respond to questions from late yesterday. A few technical, a few from overseas that always receive an immediate response since they’ve waited most of their work day for an answer, always the few you delete no matter what they say (usually system automated and meaningless) Did I tell you I really don’t like email? This head cold is really starting to kick in now, without constantly drinking coffee or hot tea my throat is starting to really get scratchy.

Sometime around 8:30AM: Impromptu hallway meeting to discuss some of the technical questions from yesterday.

9:00AM: Not feeling too sharp today, regrouping my efforts on installing Inventor and Vault 2016 beta and testing out some new business wide PLM initiatives.

9:30AM: Instant Message: “Hey Tom can I share my screen and show you something?” ok, sure I’ll bite. Some new never seen PLM bug… noted. Let’s jot that one down for tomorrow.

11:00AM: Getting hungry, time to reheat last nights dinner for lunch. Eating lunch and reading some of the #PLMDork blog posts and the Autodesk beta forums.

11:45AM: “Tom, can we get a few copies of the new product line poster printed for around site and for the shop floors? We want everyone who helped the launch sign it before we hang it.” Ok, everything else didn’t matter today compared to this task. A project success and a super sharp rendering that most people look at and ask “Is that a photograph?” Stuff like this makes me not just a CAD Dork, but earned me the title… CAD Ninja.

2:00PM: Pack it up, head cold has hit the extreme. Time to head home to the family.

2:30PM: Big hugs from my 3yr old and hearing all about her exciting day at pre-school, I needed this the most today.

3:00PM: My 8yr old gets off the bus and more big hugs and stories. Normally, Wednesdays are gymnastics days for her but tonight is a fundraiser at Defy Gravity for her school.

3:01PM: I need a nap, not feeling too good. Zzzzzz

5:00PM: Wake up! Dinner is ready.

5:40PM: My wife, Wendy and my 8yr old are out the door for Defy Gravity. I decide to build a fire and snuggle up with my 3yr old on the couch for awhile.

7:00PM: Writing this…

8:00PM: Ok, good time for my Internet to go down, when it comes back up I’m clicking the publish button and going to bed.



So now that I thoroughly bored you with my mundane day… I promise most days aren’t this lame. I’ll try and follow up with a more CAD Ninja like day. I also apologize for poor spelling and grammar in this post… I’m running on empty for today. I’ll probably read this tomorrow morning and ask myself what was I thinking. With that, what did you do today?



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Thought of the day

Unless you work at Dyson, don’t make the choice for new engineering software in a vacuum. Ask what needs, issues and questions the end users may have. If all you’re looking at is the cost savings of the different software licenses and accompanying server hardware you are not getting the full picture of true cost of ownership.

You may also want to consider the following before making your decision:

  • Training costs.
  • Costs to update any related company procedures or documentation.
  • Time and cost associated with the loss of productivity during the learning curve.
  • Actual productivity gains as a whole. Saving $100 in one area of an application only to spend $10 in 10 other areas isn’t really saving anything.

What do you have to say about it? I would love to hear from you. Post a comment or find me on Twitter or Facebook.




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