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Sketchfab screenshot.png
Type of site
3D models platform
Available in English
Alexa rank 4,985 (February 2018)[1]
Commercial Yes
Registration Free
Users 1,500,000

10th March 2011 (original)

2012 (current)
Current status Active

Sketchfab is a platform to publish, share, discover, buy and sell 3D, VR and AR content. It provides a viewer based on the WebGL and WebVR technologies that allows users to display 3D models on the web, to be viewed on any mobile browser, desktop browser or Virtual Reality headset.

The company behind it is today based in Paris and New York City. Sketchfab took part in the Spring 2013 TechStars New York City startup accelerator program,[2] raised $2 million in December 2013 and $7 million in June 2015.


The main product of Sketchfab is a 3D and VR model viewer. It enables viewers to move freely around or inside the 3D scene using mouse, touch manipulation or in Virtual Reality. In addition to static 3D models, the viewer is able to play and control 3D animations. Viewers can enable the Virtual Reality mode to make the model viewable in Virtual Reality headsets.

The 3D viewer is used on the Sketchfab website and mobile apps,[3][4] but can also be embedded on external websites, notably on Facebook,[5][6] Twitter[7] or Wordpress.[8]

Sketchfab provides online and mobile community portals, where visitors can browse, rate, download or buy[9] user generated 3D models. The Sketchfab 3D model library can be browsed within Virtual Reality.[10]

Users of Sketchfab have profile pages, premium users can customize and share their models privately.[11] Sketchfab users can choose to make their 3D model files available for download under Creative Commons licenses[9] or to sell them in the Sketchfab store.[12][13] With content available for sale or download, Sketchfab is positioned as a 3D model marketplace and as a 3D printing marketplace since some models are compatible with 3D printing.

A selection of Sketchfab models are available within a native application for the following VR headsets: Google Cardboard,[14][15] Samsung Gear VR,[16] HTC Vive[17] and Oculus Rift.[18]

The mobile application can be used to view the 3D models in augmented reality leveraging the ARKit APIs[19] on iOS and ARCore[20] on Android.

3D models can be uploaded to Sketchfab from its website or directly from various 3D software, using plugins[21] (for example for 3ds Max[22] or SketchUp[23]) or natively (from Blender[24][25][26] or Adobe Photoshop[27]).

In March 2018 the company unveiled their "Download API", which allows developers to integrate functionality for searching and downloading Creative Commons licensed 3d models from Sketchfab's library into their applications. [28]


Sketchfab relies on the WebGL JavaScript API to display 3D on web pages in all major modern web browsers. It does not rely on third-party plugins.

Sketchfab implements the WebVR JavaScript API[29][30][31] to provide a Virtual Reality mode of its viewer on compatible VR headset.

The 3D viewer uses the open-source OSG.JS JavaScript library,[32] a library created and largely maintained by Sketchfab employees.[33] Rendering is achieved using classic real-time rendering or physically based rendering.[34][35]


Sketchfab was initially created by entrepreneur and 3D developer Cédric Pinson under the domain name ShowWebGL in early 2011.[36] He was joined in early 2012 by Alban Denoyel, and they relaunched the site under the name Sketchfab in March 2012.[37] Pierre-Antoine Passet joined as CPO in September 2012.



Date Users (claimed)
August 2013 50,000[38]
December 2013 100,000[39]
January 2016 300,000[40]
July 2016 500,000[41]
Mar 2017 800,000[42]
July 2017 1,000,000[43]
March 2018 1,500,000[44]

3D models[edit]

Date 3D models (claimed)
April 2014 100,000[45]
November 2014 200,000[9]
May 2016 750,000[46]
January 2016 500,000[40]
July 2016 900,000[41]
September 2016 1,000,000[47]
February 2017 1,320,000[48]
November 2017 2,000,000[49]
March 2018 2,500,000[44]

Startup accelerators[edit]

The startup was part of the third batch of the French startup accelerator Le Camping in June 2012.[50] It was later selected into Mozilla’s WebFWD accelerator program during that same year.[51] The year after, Sketchfab was selected in the Spring 2013 TechStars class in New York City.[2]


In February 2013, Sketchfab raised an angel round of 370,000 euros.[52][53] Less than one year after, in December 2013, Sketchfab raised $2 million from Balderton Capital with Partech Ventures, Borealis Ventures, David Cohen and existing angel investors also participated in the funding.[54][55][56] In June 2015, Sketchfab raised a $7 Million Series A led by FirstMark Capital.[57][58][59]


  • Top 8 at Pioneers Festival 2012[60]
  • Best “Lightweight” Startup, the Europas Awards 2013[61]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ " Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2018-02-17. 
  2. ^ a b Eugene Chung (April 2, 2013). "TechStars NYC 2013 Class". TechStars. 
  3. ^ "Sketchfab on the App Store". App Store. Retrieved 2017-07-14. 
  4. ^ "Sketchfab - Android Apps on Google Play". Retrieved 2017-07-14. 
  5. ^ Alban (February 26, 2015). "Facebook now supports Sketchfab 3D embeds! - Sketchfab Blog". Sketchfab. 
  6. ^ Stott, Rory (March 2, 2015). "Embed Your 3D Sketchfab Models on Facebook". ArchDaily. 
  7. ^ "alban denoyel on Twitter". Twitter. 2016-09-16. Retrieved 2016-09-16. 
  8. ^ "Sketchfab 3D and VR Content". Support. 2016-02-27. Retrieved 2017-03-04. 
  9. ^ a b c "Sketchfab launches a Download Option and reaches 200k 3D files". Sketchfab. October 30, 2014. 
  10. ^ "VR Launcher". Sketchfab Help Center. Retrieved 2016-09-16. 
  11. ^ "Plans & Pricing - Sketchfab". Sketchfab. Retrieved 2016-09-16. 
  12. ^ "We're launching the Sketchfab Store in Beta - Sketchfab Blog". Sketchfab Blog. 2018-01-17. Retrieved 2018-02-18. 
  13. ^ Dillet, Romain. "Sketchfab launches a store to become a stock photo site for 3D models". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2018-02-18. 
  14. ^ "Sketchfab VR for Cardboard - Android Apps on Google Play". (in en_US). Retrieved 2017-03-04. 
  15. ^ "Sketchfab VR on the App Store". App Store. Retrieved 2017-03-04. 
  16. ^ "Sketchfab VR". Experiences | Oculus. Retrieved 2017-03-04. 
  17. ^ "Sketchfab VR on Steam". Retrieved 2017-03-04. 
  18. ^ "Sketchfab VR". Experiences | Oculus. Retrieved 2017-03-04. 
  19. ^ Dillet, Romain. "Sketchfab's app might be the best way to try ARKit". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-09-26. 
  20. ^ "Announcing Sketchfab AR on Android - Sketchfab Blog". Sketchfab Blog. 2017-11-09. Retrieved 2017-11-11. 
  21. ^ "Sketchfab Exporters". Sketchfab. 
  22. ^ Klaas Nienhuis. "Sketchfab - Autodesk 3ds Max - Autodesk Exchange Apps". 
  23. ^ Alexander Schreyer. "SketchUp to Uploader - SketchUp Extension Warehouse". 
  24. ^ Bart (March 24, 2014). "Sketchfab is the first 'Commercial' Add-on Bundled with Blender". BlenderNation. 
  25. ^ "We now ship with Blender!". Sketchfab. March 24, 2014. 
  26. ^ "Blender 2.70: Addons". Blender Wiki. 
  27. ^ "Major Update to Adobe Photoshop CC Brings 3D Printing to the Design World" (PDF) (Press release). Adobe. January 16, 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 1, 2014. 
  28. ^ Chin, Monica. "3D creators now have access to a massive new object library". Mashable. Retrieved 29 March 2018. 
  29. ^ "Experience Virtual Reality on the web with Chrome". Google. 2017-02-09. Retrieved 2017-03-06. 
  30. ^ "WebVR - Bringing Virtual Reality to the Web". Retrieved 2017-03-04. 
  31. ^ "Desktop WebVR (Vive, Oculus)". Sketchfab Help Center. Retrieved 2017-03-04. 
  32. ^ "OSG.JS". Retrieved 2017-03-04. 
  33. ^ "cedricpinson/osgjs". GitHub. Retrieved 2017-03-04. 
  34. ^ Bart (March 4, 2015). "Sketchfab releases Physically Based Rendering". BlenderNation. 
  35. ^ "Physically Based Rendering". 
  36. ^ " Whois Record". 
  37. ^ " Whois Record". 
  38. ^ "50k Strong!". Sketchfab. August 19, 2013. 
  39. ^ "Sketchfab raises $2m to scale its "YouTube for 3D files"". Sketchfab. November 29, 2013. Archived from the original on January 20, 2014. 
  40. ^ a b "Sketchfab Blog — Sketchfab hits 500K! Thank you!". Sketchfab. Retrieved 2016-01-10. 
  41. ^ a b "Half a million Sketchfab members! - Sketchfab Blog". 2016-07-01. Retrieved 2016-07-07. 
  42. ^ "Sketchfab celebrates 5 years and 100 million visitors - Sketchfab Blog". Sketchfab Blog. 2017-03-27. Retrieved 2017-03-27. 
  43. ^ "Sketchfab Passes One Million Members - Sketchfab Blog". Sketchfab Blog. 2017-07-10. Retrieved 2017-07-10. 
  44. ^ a b "Sketchfab Turns Six - Sketchfab Blog". Sketchfab Blog. 2018-03-26. Retrieved 2018-03-27. 
  45. ^ "Thank you 100k times". Sketchfab. April 8, 2014. 
  46. ^ Dillet, Romain. "Sketchfab now supports all VR headsets for its 3D model sharing platform". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2016-05-24. 
  47. ^ "Over 1 million scenes to explore - Sketchfab Blog". 2016-09-27. Retrieved 2016-09-27. 
  48. ^ Algolia (2017-02-27), Designing for virtual reality at Sketchfab, retrieved 2017-03-04 
  49. ^ "Sketchfab passes 2 million models - Sketchfab Blog". 2017-11-08. Retrieved 2017-11-08. 
  50. ^ "Le Camping Season 3". 
  51. ^ "Portfolio WebFWD". 
  52. ^ Liam Boogar (February 25, 2013). "With 20,000+ users on board, Sketchfab raises a 370K€ Angel round for its YouTube of 3D". Rude Baguette. 
  53. ^ "Sketchfab on AngelList". 2013. 
  54. ^ John Biggs (December 6, 2013). "3D Model Sharing Service Sketchfab Raises $2 Million". Techcrunch. 
  55. ^ "Sketchfab raises $2m to scale its "YouTube for 3D files"". Balderton Capital. December 5, 2013. Archived from the original on March 12, 2014. 
  56. ^ Ricardo Bilton (December 5, 2013). "Sketchfab raises $2M to make itself the 'YouTube for 3D design'". VentureBeat. 
  57. ^ Alban Denoyel. "Sketchfab raises $7 Million to build the place for 3D, VR and AR on the web". Retrieved 2015-06-16. 
  58. ^ "Get your 3D printers ready: Sketchfab raises $7 million to be the world's 3D file hub". VentureBeat. Retrieved 2015-06-16. 
  59. ^ "Welcoming Sketchfab to the FirstMark Family! | FirstMark Capital - New York City Venture Capital". Retrieved 2015-06-16. 
  60. ^ "Finalists 2012, Pioneers Festival". Pioneers Festival. 2012. 
  61. ^ Mike Butcher (January 22, 2013). "The Europas – Europe's Tech Startup Oscars – Showcases A Booming European Scene". TechCrunch. 

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