It’s only been about six weeks since the launch of Onshape’s fundamentally new approach to Configurations and we’ve already seen other companies extend this functionality to their own customers in creative and powerful ways.
In case you missed the news, Onshape Configurations allows its users to create many variations of a single Part Studio using simple, easy-to-change inputs to drive broad design changes. In its most basic form, these inputs are configured in a single table which in turn drives a product’s size, shape, color, etc.
However, unlike the configuration functionalities found in old CAD systems, Onshape does not restrict you to a single table as your configuration input. You may use multiple modularized tables to avoid creating unnecessary permutations of rows. In addition, you may use configuration inputs other than tables, including continuous variables, logical operators, picklists, and more.
Couple these differences with the fact that Onshape Configurations were built hand-in-hand with FeatureScript and the Onshape API, and the end result is a powerful and extensible foundation for external developers to build upon and solve design/manufacturing problems in ways that other CAD systems simply can’t support.
Let’s take a look at how other companies have leveraged Onshape Configurations as the backbone of their own products:
Xperdi (Linköping, Sweden)
XperDi CAD Configurator (XCC) is a simple yet powerful front-end for working with and manipulating complex Onshape data. A salesperson or customer could use XCC to create a highly-complex assembly, such as a customized conveyor belt, and XCC would, through Configurations and FeatureScript, output the CAD model within Onshape. What would normally take days or weeks to CAD from scratch is outputted directly after minutes of interacting with XCC.
Try the XperDi CAD Configurator now in the Onshape App Store.
Helioz Technologies (Cincinnati, Ohio)
A significant amount of application engineering or “pre-sales” time is invested in helping customers configure the product they need, as well as in providing product information, i.e. CAD models, technical specifications, manuals, pricing, etc. This is especially true for complex products.
The Helioz Product Configurator fills that gap as a web-based tool for simple to complex mechanical, electronic, electromechanical and architectural products. Now available as a Connected Cloud App in the Onshape App Store, it helps digitize engineers' know-how through a guided selection and configuration process that gets your customer to the right product in a few clicks. Additional benefits include increasing web traffic and generating new sales leads with high conversion rates to the sales and marketing teams.
The Product Configurator is used to consolidate key product information in one place. Users can filter products by application, keyword, parametric search, specifications, etc. Once the product line is identified with the product selector, the user selects from range fields to configure the exact product desired, including a precise orderable part number. The part number can be used to re-open the configurator at a later time, which is useful for repeat orders or to order product variants.
As a cloud-based CAD application, Onshape is a great tool for online 3D catalogs. By extending Onshape with the Helioz Product Configurator, you can quickly web-enable your product models and make them available for your customers and distributors on your website.
The availability of visualization of the configured products dramatically improves the digital customer experience. The end user feels more confident making their purchase decision in real time.
Try the Helioz Product Configurator now in the Onshape App Store.
Atlatl Software (Charleston, South Carolina)
QuoteBooks Visual CPQ by Atlatl Software puts engineering-accurate product configuration in the hands of salespeople. Atlatl takes your engineering rules and produces easy-to-use sales tools for complex product configuration. Sales reps configure products in 3D, generate scale approval drawings, and produce accurate bills of materials and quotes. Once a configuration is produced and saved, Atlatl’s QuoteBooks Connector outputs configured CAD models directly within Onshape for engineers to make any further design changes.
The QuoteBooks Connector app ensures engineered parts are sized, oriented and connected in the same fashion as the quoted 3D configurations.
Try QuoteBooks Visual CPQ now in the Onshape App Store.
OneRender (Puebla, Mexico)
The OneRender Ring Configurator is an example of a tool designed to visualize 3D objects created in Onshape. Users can make instant changes and do not need to be familiar with Onshape or CAD.
The Sample Ring Configurator allows customers to choose the stone and ring style they prefer, the size of the pieces, and whether they want to visualize it in an environment. All based on Onshape Configurations.
Using OneRender Configurator, accurate, realtime visual characteristics are presented directly in your web browser. Each parametric variation can consist of both geometric and visual differences.
Try the OneRender Ring Configurator now in the Onshape App Store.
At the risk of this post being considered just another plug for our partners, let’s go back to the original conversation about Onshape Configurations. The Configurations feature is typically used by hardware engineers to quickly and easily create different variations of the same product.
But now, companies are extending this flexibility and customization beyond the design team and putting it directly into the hands of their sales teams and customers. That’s the power of a modern CAD system. CAD is not just an engineering tool, it’s a business tool. Onshape has always strived to produce a CAD system that would be valuable companywide – this is just yet another example!