Onshape recently emerged from stealth mode and is now available in a Beta Version.
It’s a 3D CAD cloud-native application which runs in a web browser or on a mobile device using a device specific application. (Currently available for iPhones and iPads).
Created by a team of veterans from SolidWorks and other top professionals from the data center, security and mobile industries led by Jon Hirschtick.
The system requires a browser that supports WebGL and runs on most types of computers and operating systems. The officially supported browsers are Chrome, Firefox and Safari. It also needs an internet connection to work – there isn’t a version which runs in an off-line mode.
There is no software to install and updates occur seamlessly to ensure that all users are always on the latest version.
I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks and find it easy to use.
Here’s my first attempt, using sketches
to create models (bodies) and assemblies.
One of the benefits of using cloud-native applications is the ability to limit or minimise the chance of losing data while you are working. The stored data is constantly updated as you are working on it so that hard disk crashes, machine glitches, power cuts or the odd cup of coffee spilt over your laptop should no longer mean that you’ve lost your work.
Another important feature is the ability to share documents and collaborate in real-time with other users during the model creation process.
Onshape offers a Free subscription plan $0/month or a Professional subscription plan available for $100/month (or the equivalent in your local currency).
The free plan provides 5GB storage space and you are limited to 5 active “Private” Documents at any one time. You can create an unlimited number of “private” documents but only 5 of these can be active at any one time. In addition, you can create an unlimited number of active “public” documents.
The professional plan provides 100GB storage space and an unlimited number of active documents.
A document is a multi-part container which can be used to keep all information related to a project in the same place. You can build and assemble parts in the same document. The document can contain 1 or more Part Studios (parts) Assemblies, CAD data from other systems, non CAD data files, PDFs, Images etc.
There are numerous features available in this initial Beta phase of the product.
- Part Studios
- History, Versioning
- Imported Geometry
- Direct Editing
- Data Management
- Sharing and Collaboration
- Seamless Updates
- On-line Help
For further details I advise you to read more at the Onshape website or better yet try it out for yourself by requesting an invite to join in at: