Onshape’s new “Force Zoom” feature for Apple iPad Pro uses pressure-sensitive Pencil to increase CAD precision and speed.

Onshape is the First 3D CAD system for iPad Pro & Apple Pencil

By Darren Garnick / March 21, 2016

Onshape is the only professional 3D CAD system that fully runs on mobile devices (both Android and iOS) – and as those devices evolve, so do our mobile apps.

Specifically with iPad Pro and Apple Pencil in mind, Onshape just updated its iOS app with a new “Force Zoom” feature. Designed to increase CAD speed and precision – the pressure-sensitive Pencil can isolate even a single pixel – the added feature allows Onshape users to more accurately select detailed pieces of 3D geometry than they would be able to do with their finger.

Applying pressure to Apple Pencil will zoom in and enlarge smaller features. The harder you press the screen, the tighter the zoom. Releasing pressure will restore the screen to its original view.

“Apple Pencil lends itself beautifully to a two-handed workflow,” notes Onshape founder Jon Hirschtick. “You can rotate or pan a model with one hand and use Pencil to sketch, select and interact with your 3D models. Onshape and iPad Pro will transform the way engineers work.”

There are just some times when all of us need to work away from our desks. Maybe your 3D printer is at the other end of the building. Maybe you need to visit another building to go over a manufacturing issue or you’re on a plane while your team urgently needs your input. With Onshape, your entire CAD system always travels with you.

And it’s not just about productivity. If you’re like engineer Coleman Fisher, the CAD guy at Elite Ortho, a Tennessee orthodontics company, you just feel more creative when you are physically touching a screen versus staring at one with a mouse and keyboard.

“Onshape’s performance on iPad Pro is faster than on my desktop,” he says. “I feel more connected to what I am designing. There’s this ethereal block between me and a computer screen versus when I’m holding my iPad and interacting with it with my hands and my fingers – it’s a different experience and my creativity just flows better that way.”

“A two-handed workflow is more natural on the iPad Pro because there is more real estate (bigger screen). I’m used to using my SpaceMouse Pro -- I’m usually controlling the model view with my left hand and using my right hand for the command toolbars. Also, I am a pilot and we fly with our left hand. I’m used to using my left hand for major things and my right hand for fine motor things like pressing buttons and turning knobs,” he adds.

Onshape’s iOS app was recently featured by Apple as an “amazing” productivity app for iPad Pro.

Professional Onshape users are also embracing iPad Pro’s multitasking features such as Split View, Picture in Picture, and Slide Over – which allow for quickly switching back and forth between apps or websites.

With any of these multitasking features, you can check email in one window while editing your models in another, or have an Onshape tutorial video playing in the corner while using most of the screen to practice your new skill.

The Onshape for iPhone & iPad App is available for free in the Apple App Store. Notably, Onshape is also the first natively available CAD system for Macs (accessible through a web browser). 


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