What do you like best?
+ Stratasys bought it and made it completely free!
+ It is a really effective way to share CAD files for collaboration.
+ It tracks versions.
+ It is a great sharing tool whether or not everyone is a CAD user. All you need is a browser and you can view files 3D.
+ It will show the file custom properties (not sure about config specific).
+ GrabCAD Workbench understands SolidWorks file references, so the parent assembly will be at the top of the file page. And all the parts will show up.
+ The ease of viewing 3D CAD files makes them much more alive and valuable than if you put them in some regular files sharing site like DropBox.
+ Good search tool.
+ Cloud viewer can even handle SolidWorks configurations. (does not do display states, but that is understandable).
+ It has Owner, Collaborator, and Viewer permission levels... Actually also Partner Spaces, that has a few more related options (e.g. can view files and can or cannot download native CAD format).
+ I like that the revision control system is simple and unrestricted. (versions are just sequential numbers each time you check-in). Revisions are deliberately selected by a user. So the user manually selects the Revision scheme they want (e.g. Revision: B).
+ Can Lock files so only one user changes at a time. (others can unlock it though)
What do you dislike?
- Browser cloud Viewer could use more development. (for example, SolidWorks mouse settings option).
- Viewer cannot display SolidWorks drawings :(
- Sometimes viewer will fail to display a certain assembly. It is a rare bug. But I have not found a work around once it happens.
- Viewer cannot display sketches in a .sldprt file. Only solids and surfaces.
- Could use more check-in options (would like to have a filter so I could select only files with a certain word, or subfolder). For example when I check in 100 parts I sometimes want to put different comments on different sub assemblies.
- Could use a way to stamp multiple files with a revision letter in one action. And link to file custom properties.
- 3 simple permission levels is not enough for some companies.
- Migration tools and scripts would be very useful if GrabCAD Workbench is really going to be a PDM replacement for companies that already have thousands of CAD files (on network drive, or PDM system they want to stop using).
Recommendations to others considering the product
Only ease of use issue is it takes a practice to know how it will handle things like restructuring folders and changing file names. Can sometimes lose history on a file if name change is not done in right way.
It meets my requirements in many ways, they cover the really core stuff, but they should get improving it and adding PDM features (but I also don't want it to ever become Enterprise PDM or something bloated like that, it is more pleasant than a big PDM system).
What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?
Great for collaborating with non-cad users. Saves me time because they can capture their own screenshot images from any orientation they want.
Tracks versions for design iterations. Allows access from