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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