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Cloud-Hosted STEP File Storage with MyCadbox

MyCadbox desktop client app, showing a STEP file with comments attached.

The same comment shown on the iPad app for MyCadbox.

What would a version of Dropbox customized for CAD users be like? It would probably look like MyCadbox, a cloud-hosted virtual storage space for STEP files. The online product comes from the same company that developed and released CadFaster, a viewing and markup program for CAD users. Like CadFaster, MyCadbox is three complementary offerings — a private storage online, a desktop client app, and a mobile app — that form a single product.

Tuomas Holma, the company’s VP of sales and marketing, explained that, when CadFaster studied its user based, he found out “75% of the files opened are STEP formats; the other 25% are DWG, DXF, and IGES.” That’s why the new storage product concentrates on STEP.

MyCadbox is based on CadFaster QuickStep, a similar product that supports STEP, DWG, DXF, IGES and HSF files. Holma assured that QuickStep will continue to be available for those who prefer it.

Dropbox uses a quota system to provide free users and paid users with different storage capacity. MyCadbox uses a model limit: 10 models max for free users, 100 model max for $9.99 per month. You can use MyCadbox to share a file with someone or host a coviewing session: multiple people collaborating on the same STEP file. The STEP models have no size limit; coviewing can accommodate as many as 10 simultaneous users, according to Holma.

The desktop client for MyCadbox has basic viewing and markup functions, such as cross-sectioning and annotation. Annotations made in the desktop version are instantly synched to the cloud-hosted version; therefore, the iPad app reflects the latest changes once refreshed.

The appeal of MyCadbox is its ability to synchronize the desktop client’s view, iPad app’s view, and browser-visible content. With this approach, the devices and the apps function as doorways to the cloud-hosted portal and its content. No additional effort is required from the user (or users, in coviewing sessions) to keep all the apps in sync.

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About Kenneth

Kenneth Wong has been a regular contributor to the CAD industry press since 2000, first an an editor, later as a columnist and freelance writer for various publications. During his nine-year tenure, he has closely followed the migration from 2D to 3D, the growth of PLM (product lifecycle management), and the impact of globalization on manufacturing. His writings have appeared in Cadalyst, Computer Graphics World, and Manufacturing Business Technology, among others.

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