CadFaster introduces iPad collaboration for STEP models

New MyCadbox uses cloud technology to optimize viewing large models. Think of it as Dropbox for MCAD models.

iPad CAD viewing specialist CadFaster has introduced a new product for the viewing of STEP models. MyCadbox uses cloud technology along with viewing optimization to create a Dropbox-like storage and collaboration tool that can also be used to view CAD models.

New MyCadbox streams product models onto iPad for review and mark-up. (Source: CadFaster)
New MyCadbox streams product models onto iPad for review and mark-up. (Source: CadFaster)

MyCadbox works with Dropbox, email, or directly with STEP files stored on the device. Instead of sending a model to the iPad user, sharing begins by sharing a link in email or by placing the model in a shared Dropbox or MyCadbox installation. Viewing can begin almost immediately, as the graphics are streamed to the iPad, appearing on-screen even as the file continues to move to the remote tablet. MyCadbox also offers an offline cache mode on the iPad so models can be viewed without Internet access.

Once a model is loaded to the iPad, the user can measure and manipulate, share the model with other MyCadbox users ,create or respond to mark-ups, and host co-viewing sessions for up to 10 users.

MyCadbox is currently released in iTunes as a free product; CadFaster considers it a public beta. Up to 10 models may be shared for free with this version.

Our take

Sharing one’s work in CAD is much different than sharing one’s work in Word or Excel. CAD is much more complicated, not only because of the underlying graphics technology but also because of the size of the models. The image shown above is from a 78 MB model; word processing or spreadsheet documents are rarely that large. The additional complexity in the CAD world has caused it to be a laggard when it comes to adopting technologies that encourage collaboration.

CadFaster was first to market with an iPad viewer for CAD; the first product targeted AEC professionals. Now it is turning toward product development. STEP is the logical first format to support as it has become the de facto neutral file format for interoperability; CadFaster says other file formats will be added over time.