6 Years ago, Sketchfab set out to become the ultimate home for 3D on the web by allowing anyone to easily publish, share, and discover 3D content. Since then, Sketchfab has grown to encompass the entire ecosystem of platforms relevant to the 3D world, namely: mobile, VR and AR. Today, Sketchfab’s 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.
Throughout this entire process, two things became very apparent:
- To be a successful creative platform, Sketchfab also need to help creators monetize their creations.
- Sketchfab’s aim to distribute 3D content everywhere also means distributing it outside Sketchfab.
As AR and VR grow in popularity, there is an ever-growing need and market for 3D assets. in 2014 Sketchfab introduced a download feature leveraging Creative Commons licenses. This feature has proven to be very successful, and today Sketchfab sees more than 200,000 downloads every month, for a cumulative total of more than 2.5 million downloads. These downloaded assets have been used for every conceivable use-case from 3D-printing to classroom education to video games and experiential VR.
The natural evolution of this – and one of our most requested features – is paid download: a way for Sketchfab’s creators to monetize their work, a way for Sketchfab to push the distribution of content outside of its own platform, and an awesome way for people to find great content.
Introducing the Sketchfab store.
There are several things that make the Sketchfab Store unique:
- What you see is what you get: with Sketchfab’s 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.
- Sketchfab processes 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: Sketchfab added glTF support a few weeks ago, which means the file you’ll get from them will render consistently in engines like Unity or Unreal just as you see it on Sketchfab. Sketchfab 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, they 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.
Keep in mind that the store is still in beta. For now Sketchfab will carefully review and select sellers. They plan to gradually open the store to more sellers, while ensuring the quality of the content. Read more about becoming a seller here.
They are also aware that the store in its beta form is missing important features like ratings, a cart, a download API, etc… They have already started working on those, to be able to upgrade the overall experience in a close future. Stay tuned!