I often wonder if sharing a 3D model in the native format is a sharing?

I often wonder if sharing a 3D model in the native format is a sharing?
The native format greatly reduces the use of your project only to users who have the same softwear as you.
If you are aware that you want to share your project with other users who do not use your own softwear, make it available in the STP and IGS formats (interchange files).
I hope I was clear and that all those Solid Works users who have published SLD files realize that these are files that are unusable by users who have other softwear.

1 Answer

I don't think there is a single set answer for your "question". It depends upon the intent of the model(s) being shared, the target audience, and even the web site.

Here on GrabCAD the target audience will likely drop the design into their CAD system, and of course a STEP or IGES file is requisite. There is certainly nothing wrong with including the native CAD format since those file types may be more suitable even if the end user doesn't have the same software.

If the purpose of the shared design is for 3D printing then the STL file becomes more important. The STEP/IGES files are optional and the native CAD files maybe pointless. On some web sites where the intent is just sharing 3D printable files then even the STEP/IGES files are often pointless.

If there is a technique or something unique to a specific CAD package that is represented by a shared 3D model then sharing only that native file type is sufficient. If the conversion to STEP/IGES loses the unique technique then sharing the STEP/IGES would probably be pointless. In which case, sharing a 3D model in the native format certainly is sharing.

There are countless other scenarios. At the very least the STEP/IGES files probably ought to be included most of the time here on GrabCAD but logic prevails.