Future of CAD
January 08, 2018

Future of CAD

Steven Whitacre | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Onshape

OnShape is being used by four members of our international engineering team for 3D CAD design, drawing creation and to share information with suppliers. It allows us to work between Europe and the US without having to worry about file management or expensive PDM software. We can also share designs with our service team members and suppliers, wherever they are in the world without hassle.

The subscription pricing plan is also very favorable for us. We can add additional team members without purchasing a $6k+ license, as with traditional CAD (SolidWorks). The annual cost is about the same as a subscription fee from a traditional VAR.
  • Cloud based CAD - Since OnShape is cloud based there is no software to install, no files to manage, no saving and no old-version compatibility issues. These things take a great amount of time with traditional CAD systems. In my last year of using OnShape it may have only crashed 2-3 times, which I could quickly recover by hitting refresh. I have never lost any data working with OnShape.
  • Frequent updates - OnShape releases updates every 3-4 weeks that add new features and functionality. It is becoming a very capable platform, with many fresh and innovative features that are already done much better than programs like SolidWorks.
  • Standard components - A recently added feature for fasteners allows them to be added much faster than in any other CAD platform I have used!
  • Customization of background colors, currently the only option is a white background, which is not always the best to look at for extended periods.
  • Assembly configurations. At the time of writing OnShape has not added assembly configurations yet - which are very useful when designing industrial equipment for different markets.
  • Performance and features on 2D drawings. While this is improved with almost every update, unlike the 3D CAD part of OnShape 2D drawings are not as responsive or as feature filled.
  • OnShape gave us an immediate savings, in that we only spent about 20% as much to add a new user vs. the price with SolidWorks.
  • OnShape allows us to work more efficiently, and to bring products to market faster.
  • SolidWorks and AutoDesk Inventor
OnShape is based in the cloud, which comes with all the benefits one would expect vs. desktop based software.

The two main things that lead me to select OnShape were cost and ease of adding new users/working as a team.

Compared to SolidWorks, OnShape is not as mature and does not have as many features (yet). However I have never not been able to complete a project in OnShape because of this, there is almost always a work-around.
OnShape is great for general 3D CAD design, due to its cloud nature it can be much more efficient than traditional programs. One area where the cloud benefit is especially realized is when multiple engineers need to work on a project simultaneously. Similar to Google Documents, multiple users can work on the same design at the same time.

Where it is less appropriate is for large scale 2D drafting plans (AutoCAD). This area of OnShape is not quite as developed as the 3D tools.