Enhancing Design Reviews: CADChat Combines Communication and 3D Viewing

By on April 19th, 2024 in news, Service

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CADChat session [Source: CADChat]

A new tool for product designers has been launched: CADChat.

This isn’t a 3D CAD modeling tool or print job preparation software. No, it’s a collaboration tool.

The problem being solved is that during the development of a 3D design there are multiple parties involved. They may include the 3D modeler, the buyer, marketing, consultants, equipment operators, etc. Complicating the scene is the possibility that these may be teams of people.

During product development there is often significant discussion about the design in which all parties try to dial in the final concept.

And yes, these parties are almost always not in the same room. Remote workers, particularly in the gig economy, must participate online.

To facilitate this conversation there are plenty of communication tools. One could use Zoom, Microsoft Teams, DropBox, or any other of many communication and sharing services.

But there’s one big problem: you can’t see the 3D model. The services mentioned above are general purpose, and most of the public has no need to see and interact with 3D models. That’s a deficiency.

Teams would have to separately launch 3D viewers to examine the 3D model during discussion, or, ugh, revert to voice descriptions of what they refer to. Inefficient.

CADChat attempts to rectify this by providing all the usual collaborative functions including video, voice, text and file sharing, but integrates 3D viewing. This allows participants to have a shared view of the 3D model that should greatly improve the quality of the conversation.

Even better, CADChat includes the ability to import and view some 25 different CAD and 3D model formats. This should cover almost all the needs of this type of collaborative audience.

Files stored in CADChat are secure through authentication, and communications are fully encrypted, which should enable its use by some regulated industries.

Will this succeed? It’s hard to say, as the existing collaborative players are well entrenched and used by millions worldwide. Many people are uncomfortable adding “yet another” online tool for their workflow.

On the other hand, a tight team deeply involved in a design project could very likely benefit from the use of CADChat. Design reviews would be far smoother.

CADChat is not free, it is a subscription service. As of this writing, there are multiple price levels. For small teams, CADChat is available at US$17/mo per participant, with some capacity constraints. The Business level relaxes the constraints somewhat and is priced at US$35/mo. Finally, there’s a custom-priced Enterprise level for larger implementations.

Via CADChat

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

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