Emerging Markets at TurboSquid – SolidWorks

At TurboSquid, our Marketing department is always looking for new ways to reach customers. Often, this outreach results in a completely new area of the marketplace, and opens up opportunities for sellers and customers alike. One example is the recent explosion of interest in SolidWorks models. SolidWorks, a NURBS-based program, has been used by engineers for many years to design engines, machine parts, tools, and the like. In the past few years, these same engineers have started to use visualization to present their designs.

This is where TurboSquid comes in. An engineer designs, say, a part for an automobile engine, and wants to show the car itself in the presentation to illustrate where the part fits in. The car doesn’t need to be 100% accurate, but it should be to scale and recognizable as that particular car model. The engineer doesn’t want to make this car in SolidWorks–he/she wants to focus on engine design–so the engineer comes to TurboSquid looking for a car model to import into SolidWorks.

However, most of the 3D models for sale at TurboSquid are polygon-based, such as MAX, MA, OBJ, and 3DS file formats, and polygon-based models don’t import well into SolidWorks. These engineers need NURBS-based models in native SolidWorks, Pro-E, or Rhino formats, or in the compatible IGES format. (Although many polygon-based programs will export IGES files, the geometry won’t import correctly into SolidWorks unless the model was created with NURBS to begin with.)

In previous years, NURBS-based models weren’t in great demand at TurboSquid, but in the past six months the demand has become intense. We simply don’t have enough IGES cars and airplanes (the most frequent requests) to satisfy customer queries.

To find out more about this demand and how we can fulfill it, I attended the North Eastern SolidWorks User Conference in Westford, MA on Friday, Oct. 16. There, I met hundreds of SolidWorks users and asked them about their design practices.


With any new market, there are always questions about how TurboSquid works. To some people, it sounds too good to be true. (“It’s free to sign up? What’s the catch?”) But in any crowd, there are always a few people who get it right away. I found several of these forward-thinking individuals at this conference. After I showed them how TurboSquid works, they couldn’t wait to get started.


Michele Bousquet demonstrates TurboSquid to SolidWorks users.
Left to right: Glen LePage of Morgan Construction Company, Chris Costa of Pro Source, Michele, Monica FitzPatrick of Entegee

In an emerging market, one-on-one meetings with potential sellers are often needed to get the ball rolling. These enterprising sellers attract more customers, and before you know it, an entirely new market is born. It’s all part of TurboSquid’s tireless quest to provide customers with what they need, and to give sellers new opportunities.