Onshape’s full-cloud CAD is the perfect platform to allow designers to work as a team. Organizations like the Open Space Agency, Poppy and Local Motors have already started crowdsourcing their designs with Onshape because it is the only cloud system that gives people access to not only project data, but the professional CAD tools needed to help improve designs.

The model above is the Open Space Agency’s Ultrascope, an ambitious worldwide effort to create an inexpensive professional-grade telescope. By soliciting design improvements from citizen astronomers, the OSA is making the stars and planets accessible to those who previously could not afford to view them. If you have an open source design project or quite frankly, are a part of any design team, here are five reasons why you should be using Onshape:

1. Onshape is Professional CAD that Everyone Can Access.

Never before have so many people had access to professional-level CAD. The fact that Onshape runs in a browser and has a free plan means that all members of a project can create and edit geometry on any type of computer, tablet or even a phone. The free version of Onshape is fully functional, identical to the capabilities of the Onshape Professional Plan. Onshape removes all technical barriers, allowing anyone to contribute to a design.

2. Onshape Manages Changes.

  • When working with a large group of people, change management becomes vital. Here’s how Onshape helps simplify data management:
    Everyone on your team can work on the same data. No redundant file copies are needed. Simply invite members to view or edit an Onshape Document and everyone works on the same dataset.
  • Onshape has built-in version control. When the group reaches a milestone in their design, you can create a protected version with the click of a button. All users see and distinguish the latest released designs from new works-in-progress.
  • Onshape records all design steps and gives you the ability to restore to any point in history. If a user makes a mistake and jeopardizes the design, simply restore to an earlier point and your project is saved.


3. Onshape is Collaborative.

Team members not only work on the same single copy of CAD data, but can actually design together simultaneously. Users can build and edit parts, create assemblies and upload new data, while their peers are doing similar tasks. Designs evolve faster and people can give feedback on new ideas instantaneously.

In fact, when radical concepts need to be explored, team members can branch a design and try out new ideas within their own workspaces. If the ideas are successful, the features can be merged into the main workspace and incorporated.

4. Onshape is Compatible.

It’s likely that team members may be using several different CAD products. Onshape works well with other CAD systems. You can upload a wide variety of common CAD formats to Onshape, which will translate these files into viewable geometry that can be edited using Onshape’s direct editing tools.Team members can also upload their native CAD data, which can then be downloaded by others, worked on, and re-uploaded into Onshape updating the previous file. This will help users share and manage versions of their native CAD data. Rest assured, the system records each upload in the workspace history and versions can be recovered at any point.

5. Onshape Makes Projects Publicly Accessible.

Sharing your project with the public is easy in Onshape. With just a click of a button, all Onshape users will have access to view your entire project. This will drum up interest in your project and with a just a few more clicks, access can be given to anyone in the public who expressed interest. Within moments, they can then begin working on the project as well. This will help give exposure to your project and grow your team. Onshape is the perfect platform for an open source hardware project. Now everyone can immediately access professional CAD: Your design team, your partners, your suppliers, everyone. With real-time collaboration, your project will evolve faster and feedback can be given and addressed instantaneously. By eliminating cost barriers and resolving common data management problems, your team can now focus on what really matters – your project!