Sketchfab is enabling multiplayer mode today with a new Sketchfab for Teams feature. The startup lets you share 3D models with other people in your company so that they can view, edit and download models. It could be particularly useful for companies working on augmented reality products, video games or even e-commerce websites with 3D configurators or visualizations.
Sketchfab has been working for years on a 3D model viewer for web browsers. It now works really well on both desktop and mobile. You can also import and export 3D models in many different file formats in order to reuse them in your favorite tool or engine — Sketchfab can convert files for you. That’s why 3D artists have been using the platform to share their work but also to sell 3D models, just like on a stock photography site.
The new team feature is essentially a sort of Google Drive specifically tailored for 3D — instead of opening spreadsheets and documents, you open 3D models. For instance, people working in marketing or communications could use 3D models to showcase products.
Even if your company uses a cloud storage system, such as Dropbox or Google Drive, to share files across the organization, people who are not 3D designers don’t necessarily want to use Blender to check if it’s the right file. Combining a shared drive with Sketchfab’s viewing and sharing tools becomes a compelling use case.
Like traditional cloud storage systems, you can manage permissions on a file-by-file basis. For instance, you could allow someone in your company to edit a 3D model while the rest of the team can only view the item. It works pretty much like the sharing menu in Google Docs.
You can also use Sketchfab for Teams with external collaborators. You can invite contractors to upload 3D models to your Sketchfab account or, if you’re a 3D designer, you can share 3D assets with a client to let them review your work. And if you want to share your 3D assets publicly, you can embed models on your website or use it in a 3D configurator.
The other advantage of switching to Sketchfab for Teams is that you get a central repository for all your 3D files. You can search, filter your assets by polycount, format and size, inspect 3D models in your browser and convert assets to multiple file formats.
Sketchfab recently launched another feature that could become quite popular on e-commerce website. The company added an AR button in its viewer, which lets you use your iPhone or Android phone to view a 3D object at scale through your camera before buying it.
Thanks to recent iOS and Android updates, you don’t need to install an app. It leverages the USDZ and glTF file formats that are natively supported by iOS and Android, respectively.
The company is launching Sketchfab for Teams with clients paying for the Enterprise plan. Eventually, the startup plans to roll it out to customers with a more limited feature set (Premium and Business customers).