Sketchfab 2021 Year in Review

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This was a big year for Sketchfab! As 2021 draws to a close, we’re pleased to share a recap of the last 12 months and offer up some personal highlights from the Sketchfab Community Team.

Thanks for being a part of our community, and we wish you a happy holiday season and healthy and prosperous 2022!

Special thanks to the Sketchfab Masters

We’re a small community team—just Bart, Tom, and Abby—and it would be much harder to keep Sketchfab, our Forum, and Discord the welcoming spaces that they are without the support of some superstar community members. A HUGE thank you to Tycho Magnetic Anomaly, Jimmy, Klaas, Geoffrey, Renafox, Kevin, Phil C, Phil G, Alex, Chaitanya, Néstor, Mieke, and Simon, our wonderful Sketchfab Masters!

Bart, Head of Community

Joining Epic Games

When you work at a startup it’s always in the back of your mind: could we be acquired by another company? Even so, when it was announced in July that Sketchfab was joining Epic Games, it took most of us by surprise. After the dust settled, we learned that Sketchfab and Epic have a similar ‘DNA’: a passion for CG Art, a warm heart for our communities, and a desire to do things ‘different’.

Working with the teams at Epic—and, for me, particularly the Unreal Engine Community Team— has been a great experience. We quickly discovered that we have a lot of similarities and have started exchanging ideas about how our communities can work closer together in the future. I’m excited for what we have in store for you! One of the things that we have been getting help with from the broader Epic team are our livestreams, and we’re now in a position to start hosting these more regularly. These events will not only help put a face to our team members, but they will also give us a chance to interview some of our many talented community members.

I love how we’re still able to add a personal touch to everything we do at Sketchfab, and how we continue to build personal relationships with our community members. We’re now part of something bigger, but we’re still small enough to care—and this won’t change (did you know you can reply to any of our emails and we’ll read it?).

The big community newsletter unsubscribe

In February we unsubscribed over 1.8 million inactive contacts from our community newsletter. The amount of positive feedback on this was staggering! What was a completely logical and respectful thing to do for us appeared to be a totally alien concept for other businesses and that felt GOOD. 🙂


One of my passion projects is our postcards: we love rewarding members who contribute to our community with an old-school paper postcard that features their own work and a personal note from the Community Team. This year we sent over 2,000 cards(!) and the responses to them still warm my heart every time. You can now receive a card for reaching a follower milestone, getting staff picked, being included in one of our weekly Top 10’s, having your collection or downloadable model featured on social media, contributing a blogpost—or just if we notice your work and we want to send some encouragement! We’re planning to find even more excuses to send cards next year 🙂

It’s been an exciting year, and I’m looking forward to exploring 2022 together with you!

Tom, Cultural Heritage Lead

Sketchfab’s Cultural Heritage & History community continues to grow

This year we welcomed nearly 194 new cultural organizations to Sketchfab with free and discounted subscriptions via the Sketchfab Cultural Heritage Program. There are now over 1300 museums using Sketchfab, in addition to the many thousands of scientific, educational, and non-profit organizations and projects that publish cultural and historic 3D via our platform.

The Sketchfab Public Domain initiative

In February of this year, we celebrated 1 year of public domain on Sketchfab. The addition of new search filters makes it easier than ever to browse this amazing resource of 100% free, no strings attached 3D models, including new additions to the collection from Malopolska’s Virtual Museums, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, and the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

Using Sketchfab in response to the global pandemic

It has no doubt been a tough year for most people around the globe and it has been heartening to see how the Sketchfab platform and Cultural Heritage Program have been able to support communities connecting online. You can read about how Sketchfab is used by the Art Institute of Chicago, the University of York, and Maastricht University to reach audiences that are, increasingly often, unable to join together in person. Thanks as always to Abby who edits the Sketchfab Blog and has made it possible for these and many other people to share their stories in Cultural Heritage Spotlights.

Abby, Blog Editor

Improving our member education efforts

One of our goals on the Sketchfab Community Team, in collaboration with the Sketchfab Support Team, is to provide clear and helpful information to our community members. Succeeding at this makes it easy for everyone to use Sketchfab and quickly find the information that they need. This year we expanded our efforts by publishing:

We enjoyed creating these resources and hope they prove useful to you. 🙂

Watching the art challenge entries roll in

This year we partnered with several great brands (Blockbench, Sony, Looking Glass Factory, Metashape, XP-Pen, NVIDIA, and ConceptD) to bring you top-notch prizes for our art challenges. It has been truly inspiring to explore your challenge submissions and immerse ourselves in your creativity. We look forward to several new art challenges launching in 2022—stay tuned!

Reading community stories

As the editor of the Sketchfab Blog, I have the opportunity to help talented and innovative community members share their stories with a broad online audience. Tom has mentioned cultural heritage spotlights above, but that’s just one small piece of what our diverse community is working on. This year we’ve seen clever API experiments, in-depth Art breakdowns, creative uses for real-time 3D in science and education, and thrown the spotlight on successful Sketchfab Store sellers and Women on Sketchfab. I’d like to send out a big thank you to everyone who contributed to the Sketchfab Blog this year. Your enthusiasm is contagious and your work is inspiring. Keep it up!

About the author

Abby Crawford

Helping share community stories on Sketchfab.


  • says:

    Here’s to another amazing year!
    Surprised to see you only sent over 2000 postcards… 18 of those ended up in my mailbox, and I love it. Thanks! 😉

  • Bart Veldhuizen says:

    Wow 18?! That’s quite amazing 🙂

  • Christian Boshell says:

    I’m a sketchfab noob joined up this year and wanted to say I love ❤️ your service, can’t wait to see how you grow in 2022, congratulations on an epic 😉 year

  • Abby Crawford says:

    Thanks, Christian! 😊

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