When was the last time you meandered over to 3D ContentCentral®? Have you ever been there? Whenever people jump onto one of the forums looking for a model, 3D ContentCentral is where they’re inevitably sent. Why? Because there’s over 500,000 CAD users registered. If each of them has contributed just 2 models, that’s a million models to choose from. Granted, not everyone contributes. But there are prolific posters, as well. Per Nielson has contributed a total of 306 parts since he joined. It goes beyond individual users though. The list of supplier created content is quite impressive as well. Did I mention that there are 2D blocks and macros available as well?
One of the best things about 3DContentCentral is that it’s not just for us SolidWorks users. The models are available in all major 2D and 3D CAD formats, including Autodesk Inventor™ and AutoCAD®. This allows for sharing across industries and, in some cases, companies. Dassault Systèmes has also added self-publishing to the site making it easier for suppliers to upload their parts and assemblies without the use of third-party applications. This means even more content for you!
With the popularity of social networks (Facebook, Twitter), Dassault has added social networking to 3D ContentCentral as well. You can build communities to share experiences and knowledge. Some of the key features, as described by Dassault, are:
- “My Updates”: Automatically keeps users up to date on everyone in their community of contacts. For example, it notifies a user when a contact uploads a new 3D model, or contributes a comment to an online discussion.
- Favorites: Lets users track specified users and parts catalogs without inviting them to become a contact.
- Rate and Comment: Enables users to collaboratively evaluate model quality and share their experiences with one another.
- Requesting: Gives users a direct channel to suppliers so they can ask for modifications and new designs.
- Maps to Suppliers: Google Maps integration in the search options helps users find the nearest component suppliers and OEMs.
- Advanced Search Tools: Helps users find content more efficiently using guided navigation.
Even with all the new features that Dassault has implemented, the best part about it is you don’t have to rebuild the wheel, as it were. If it’s an off-the-shelf item, there’s a pretty good chance you’re going to find it at 3D ContentCentral.