What software do I use to download the 3D files of some designs and what if I want to invite and engineer to design something for me?

I downloaded a 3D file and it says I dont have software to open the file. I am new to this? What software should I use? Free? App store?

and

I want to either use existing designs or invite a designer to design. Are the downloads free? Can I use them if I download them? What are the rules? Do I have to ask permission from the designer? How do I get a 3D printout of the downloads?

Thank you.

Ed

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First of all welcome to GrabCAD, I will try and answer all of your questions;

The software you need to view the content here will be determines on what you want to do with the file and what file has been uploaded. It sounds like you are not an engineer or designer and just want to be able to look at the files. The CAD programs such as AutoDesk Inventor and SolidWorks can be extremely expensive. If an stl file has been uploaded you can use GrabCAD's in browser 3D viewer to view the files without even downloading it. On a computer or tablet, you can get e-drawings and this can view SolidWorks files and I think a few other formats as well. I also think there are a few other viewers out there for free or cheap but you can even view them with acrobat if a #D PDF has been saved. It also depends on the format that was uploaded but most people here will upload an STEP or IGES file that is a more universal format that can be read by various CAD software. If there is a model that does not have the format you are looking for (such as a 3D PDF) if you ask, the GrabCAD community will be more then happy to help out if they can.
With these viewers you will not be able do much with the files like you could if you a CAD program.
The files uploaded here are free to use but you cannot go and start selling them. It is always nice to ask the maker of the model and also if you use it in a project, be sure to give the designer credit. I hope this helped.

 
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