GrabCAD Workbench Alternative

Oleg Shilovitsky
Oleg Shilovitsky
25 August, 2022 | 4 min for reading
GrabCAD Workbench Alternative

As you may have heard, GrabCAD Workbench is sunsetting in the middle of 2023. When I read the article – A fond farewell to GrabCAD Workbench, I had mixed feelings. I first met Hardi Meybaum in Boston back in 2010 when we discussed the idea of the GrabCAD marketplace and engineering software. I stayed connected with the GrabCAD team and had a chance to discuss the development on several occasions.

I discussed ideas of GrabCAD Workbench and tried the very first version of Workbench with Blake Courter back at the time he worked for GrabCAD. In 2014, I joined Hardi Meybaum in the webinar discussing CAD collaboration and cloud. Check my notes. Some of these conclusions about cloud engineering software, business models, and market development were exactly at the time when I started to think about the early ideas of OpenBOM.

Here is my reflection on the topics and ideas I discussed with Hardi Meybaum 8 years later after having my experience of delivering OpenBOM.

  1. Files will continue to be important for engineers for a very long time despite technological advancements. We’ve seen it at OpenBOM in many ways starting from OpenBOM and allowing attachments to items, BOMs, and Orders.
  2. Technologies for getting CAD data and files to the cloud are important. This is where the difference between Dropbox, Google Drive, and other specialized tools. It is proven to be absolutely right. At OpenBOM we developed tools that are tailored to CAD, engineering data, and a variety of solutions for collaboration. But CAD files are complex here to say.
  3. User experience is important. I cannot agree more. We’ve been laser-focused on how to deliver the best user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) at OpenBOM to simplify the work engineers need to do and to make it as simple as possible.

[UPDATE Sep/2023]: OpenBOM is introducing the Design Project function, which is part of the OpenBOM Free Subscription to manage CAD files and help to collaborate on Design Projects. Check the OpenBOM Design Project for more information.

From Workbench To OpenBOM Services

OpenBOM is a product lifecycle management (PLM) and product data management (PDM) SaaS platform that helps to manage computer-aided design (CAD) systems and supports the product development lifecycle for industrial companies. We developed a set of online services that can help you manage product information and connect engineers, production planning, and procurement together. OpenBOM increases engineering efficiency by helping companies to manage information. OpenBOM is a new SaaS PLM system to support global manufacturers in their digital transformation activities. Check on the picture below to see the scope of information that OpenBOM can manage.

OpenBOM provides a wide range of services to manage product data, support revision control, and share information with engineering teams. An important differentiation of OpenBOM is that it works with real-time data, capturing information from the initial design stage, and supports a single source of data for each company and an entire supply chain.

OpenBOM Design Project allows you to manage Design Projects, upload/download, manage revisions, and keep in sync CAD files between cloud storage and local folders (Note: coming in September/2023 release)

OpenBOM Drive is advanced OpenBOM’s online services allowing more advanced and collaborative engineering functions to manage files.

OpenBOM File Management functions are combined with OpenBOM CAD add-ins. It will give you a platform not only to manage CAD files but also to capture digital product information and use it for downstream processes.

GrabCAD Workbench to OpenBOM Migration Process

At OpenBOM, we are inviting all GrabCAD Workbench users to contact us and discuss how we can help you to migrate your data and process from using GrabCAD Workbench to OpenBOM. Please send us an email to and put “GrabCAD Workbench” in the subject line.

Conclusion and next steps

GrabCAD workflow was a good tool for helping the engineering community by providing a place to manage files and control their revisions. OpenBOM can help you to migrate the data from GrabCAD Workbench and move forward in using OpenBOM services online. We are planning to provide a set of special migration tools to help GrabCAD Workbench users perform a seamless and easy migration.

Please contact us to learn more.

Best, Oleg 

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