GrabCAD is Shutting Down their Workbench

This is less than ideal for those of us who use their sync features. I suppose it is time to investigate the alternatives.

Frankly, I’m kind of bummed, we had just gotten a system down pretty well these past few years.


Well that makes future CAD software decisions a bit more straightforward :cry:


Well this sucks. We just moved to GrabCAD Workbench this past season and it has been fantastic. At least we’ll get to use it for one more season.

Anyone got any suggestions for alternatives to manage Inventor files?


I’m part of a (non-FRC) organization that uses Box to sync CAD files. It’s not as ideal, because any changes get pushed to everyone immediately. Grabcad’s version control is much better so it’s very unfortunate that it’s being shut down. Hopefully another free product gets introduced to fill the gap.

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What are some replacements for CAD Version control? GitHub?

Also, we use GrabCAD to share our previous robot CAD files. Does anyone know of any alternatives for online CAD viewers?

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You can upload to OnShape for public sharing. Currently doing that for all our robots, 2011-2020.


I had grabcad go down during a CADathon once, tried GitHub to fill the gaps. Moral of the story: don’t use vanilla GitHub with CAD files. Might be worth considering if someone makes a utility on top of it, but GitHub is designed to scan for code changes so it takes a while to parse cad files and in my experience isn’t worth it

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News from 2033:

Dear Loyal Onshape Users,
In 2015 we launched our first cloud CAD software, Onshape…

Unfortunately this is always going to be a risk with cloud platforms.


I’m guessing that Stratasys decided the software maintenance costs for Workbench overshadowed any tax write-offs for offering “free” software to educational users.

PTC sells a lot of Onshape licenses to business, so I’m hoping free-for-education sticks around for a while.

Now I’m sad :’(


Really really sad to hear Workbench will be no more. It has been a fantastic resource for me and my team(s) over the years. From reading the letter, it appears that GrabCAD Community will still be around; Anyone here able to verify that?

Hoping at the very least we will still be able to rely on the links in the Spectrum CAD library to look up past robot designs.


Really gutted to hear this news, GrabCAD while not perfect, was really good for what it does considering it’s free software.



Anyone try Bild yet?

Features seem similar.

Glad to see grabcad go away tbh. All their features seemed broken other than the file management. Free.99 for all teams and years of data made it hard to look for alternatives.


Or take a look at the garbage Autodesk has been pulling with Fusion360…


Interesting, but
"Implementation costs for most teams are $0 and there are no maintenance/upgrade costs. The average 3 year cost of Bild’s cloud PDM for a team that has 5-10 designers is $20,000."

I don’t have $20,000 so unless they like the Autodesk playbook and see this as an opportunity to sponsor the FIRST community…




To be fair the same issues exist with non-cloud software, but one can be more obstinate and keep an old airgapped PC around to run the old software. And eventually a virtual machine to simulate that computer when it dies.

Not that I would know anything about that.


Curious to know what you were using GrabCAD for other than file management? To my knowledge, that was their niche. Were there other potentially useful features to make use of with GrabCAD/Workbench that I wasn’t yet aware of?


When it launched, it had a really neat browser-based viewer and markup system for collaboration. This became progressively more broken and unsupported over the years as it didn’t keep up with new CAD releases – I don’t know if it’s even still there.