3D modeling represents next frontiers in technology and French startup Sketchfab wants to make it more accessible to the average internet user. Basically, it’s a platform where users can upload their 3D models and share with others or edit and use previously uploaded models. What makes it different though is that it is free of charge and really easy to use with all the editing and stuff.
It works like this: The users bring their own models and easily upload them to the service. Once uploaded, the models can be shared or embedded in services like Facebook, Behance, LinkedIn, Kickstarter, DeviantArt, WordPress, and other forums.
The freemium model and user-friendliness seems working great for the 3D enthusiasts so far. Having attracted more than 100K users since it launched in March 2012, the company has set its sights now on becoming the universal go-to platform for publishing 3D models.
In order to use Sketchfab, users must have a 3D model to upload and 2 of the better options for creating them appear to be SketchUp Make and Adobe Photoshop. Sketchfab claims to support 28 formats of models, so basically any content you create there can then be uploaded and shared across the web. In January, Sketchfab actually announced a partnership with Adobe that allows users creating 3D models in Photoshop to seamlessly publish their creations onto Sketchfab’s site. If publishing 3D models isn’t your thing, the site also offers allows users to browse a catalog of thousands of pieces created by others. SketchUp also enables users to embed models, but their solution does not seem to be as intuitive as the one offered by Sketchfab.
Sketchfab is free for anyone who doesn’t mind limits of 50mb per upload or using basic tools. For more serious users, the service will cost $10 per month for individuals or $29 per month for businesses.
Sketchfab graduated from the third class of French accelerator Le Camping. They have since added a New York office, but CEO Alban Denoyel tells me that they have kept most of their development team in Paris. The company is backed by $2.5 million that they obtained in a pair of rounds last year from investors such as Partech Ventures, Balderton Capital, Borealis Ventures, and a host of individuals.