Almost 6 years ago, we embarked on a journey to let people easily publish, share, and discover 3D content; and become the ultimate home for 3D on the web. We evolved from web only to embrace mobile, VR and AR, to cover the entire ecosystem of platforms relevant to the 3D world. Today, our community is made of more than 1.3 million members, who’ve shared more than 2 million 3D files, and this content has been viewed by over 150 million people.
As we’ve grown, two things have become more and more clear to us:
- To be a successful creative platform, we also need to help creators monetize their creations.
- Our aim to distribute 3D content everywhere also means distributing it outside Sketchfab.
We’ve seen a growing need and market for 3D assets, especially as VR and AR have become more mainstream. We introduced a download feature in 2014, leveraging Creative Commons licenses. This feature has proven to be very successful, and today we see more than 200,000 downloads every month, for a cumulative total of more than 2.5 million downloads. These have been used for every conceivable use-case from 3D-printing to classroom education to video games and experiential VR.
The natural evolution – and one of our most requested features – is paid download: a way for our creators to monetize their work, a way for us to push the distribution of content outside of Sketchfab, and an awesome way for people to find great content.
I am happy to introduce the Sketchfab Store today.
There are a number of things which are quite unique about it:
- What you see is what you get: with our state-of-the art 3D viewer and model inspector, not only do you get to see the 3D models but also explore their anatomy. You know for sure how a model is made, and what you are paying for. Reduced hassle for buyers.
- We process every file: which means that all the technical information about the file itself (polygon count, number of textures, material types…) is automatically generated. And if you already have models on Sketchfab, setting up a store is super fast. Reduced hassle for sellers.
- An interoperable format: we added glTF support a few weeks ago, which means the file you’ll get from us will render consistently in engines like Unity or Unreal just as you see it on Sketchfab. We even made a Unity importer (download the alpha version here), to ease the process, and an Unreal version is on the way.
- A huge and diverse library: While not all of the 2 million models hosted on Sketchfab are available for sale at launch, we are in a strong position to help you find anything you are looking for. The content is particularly diverse, from low poly assets to animated rigs and 3D scans.
We are just getting started, and the store is still in beta. For now we carefully review and select sellers. We plan to gradually open the store to more sellers, while ensuring the quality of the content. Read more about becoming a seller here.
We are also aware that the store in its beta form is missing important features like ratings, a cart, a download API… We’ve already started working on those, to be able to upgrade the overall experience in a close future. Stay tuned! You can read more about the specifics of the store on our help center or join the conversation on our forum.
We are very excited about this new phase for Sketchfab, and hope you will be too. We couldn’t make this without you, our talented community, so thank you!
* Blog header image: “Tupuxuara Leonardii Flight Cycle” by Kyan0s