What is Onshape Boot Camp?

By Darren Garnick / December 21, 2016

Although Onshape Boot Camp (also known as Onshape Overview Training) doesn’t involve any pushups, kettlebells or burpees, dealing with muscle memory is a huge part of learning a new CAD system.

The brain gets used to one way of doing things and often goes on autopilot during parametric modeling. That’s why having an interactive immersion course – diving into the major differences between using traditional CAD and full-cloud CAD – is the fastest way for experienced professionals to get up and running with Onshape and Agile Product Design.

The live 8-hour Onshape Boot Camp sessions, spread out over four days, are conducted over GoToTraining with enrollment capped at 20-25 participants per class. The course is led by a main presenter and a companion instructor from Onshape’s Customer Success team to monitor and respond to questions. All of the instructors have years of experience teaching SOLIDWORKS® and other traditional CAD systems.

“We’re getting full classes and we’re maxing out nearly every week,” says Onshape instructor Katie Huffman. “It’s important that we maintain a low student-teacher ratio. Customers appreciate the live interaction and the pragmatic focus which taps into their real-life workflows.”

“People love the two-hour sessions because you don’t have to give up your whole day or week. It fits neatly into most schedules and we’re able to cover a huge amount of information in a very short period of time,” she adds.

Training For Entire Design Teams

At Accurate Pattern, a pattern tooling, prototyping and manufacturing shop based in Wisconsin, owner Bruce Williams recently attended Onshape Boot Camp with three of his employees.

“I did it alongside my guys because I wanted to make sure that everyone was on the same page,” he says, “But I wasn’t sure what I would get out of it personally as I’ve spent a lot of time learning Onshape with the videos and online training materials. When I came out of it, I was very pleased. I came up with a page and a half of tips that I had not learned by doing things on my own. It was really valuable.”

Williams reports that he especially found the course format helpful with one instructor doing most of the presenting and one serving as the “wingman” fielding chat room comments and questions.

“If you look at the transcript of our sessions, I probably asked the most questions,” he says. “Having that tag team approach really gave a lot more depth to the training. I walked away with a much better understanding of branching and versioning.”

Here are a few more testimonials from other recent Overview Training attendees:

  1. Lee Youngblood, R&D Mechanical Engineer, Circle Graphics – “I was amazed to see how easy making ‘Mates’ in Onshape is compared to traditional CAD systems. This training covered a broad range of Onshape capabilities and features in a short time. It was great for learning about powerful and unique capabilities like Sharing, Version Control, Branching/Merging, Linking etc., which have no comparable equivalents in standard 3D CAD systems I’ve previously used.”
  2. James Lamb, Company Director, Idea Reality – “Onshape is an easy software to just pick up. However, what the Boot Camp did was explain the reasons for things being done differently, which was important for me. Furthermore, there are revolutionary areas like Collaboration, Versioning, and Sharing that need to be well demonstrated. Essentially, this course showed me the full potential of Onshape.”
  3. Trip Allen, President/Founder, Energy Anew – “There was a time when you couldn’t drive a car without knowing how to repair it. In the future, we will make machines without an intimate knowledge of drafting or machining because Onshape will make the accumulated knowledge of many lifetimes of detail engineering available to each of us. The surprise for me was seeing that through collaboration, I will soon have access to computational fluid dynamics, finite element analysis, and even virtual prototyping to reduce the expense and time required to drag ideas into reality.”

The Quickest Way to Learn About Full-Cloud CAD

An exploded view of an Onshape Assembly. Traditional CAD users may be surprised at first by Onshape’s new approach to assemblies, but will likely appreciate its efficient use of mate connectors.

Because attendees are all experienced CAD users, instructors can mainly focus on high-level discussions about areas where Onshape is similar to traditional file-based CAD and where it is significantly different. On the latter subject, it’s not just about the cloud and mobile platforms.

Unique in the industry, Onshape enables CAD users to simultaneously work on the same or multiple parts in Part Studios and its methodology for assemblies is new as well. New levels of efficiency can be accomplished by building and editing parts together rather than working one person at a time.

Onshape’s fresh modern approach to building assemblies requires only one-third the mating relationships typically used with traditional CAD. This is due to using higher-level mates that add a local coordinate system to each part and then matches up coordinates. It’s far more precise and saves you unnecessary steps.

“These discussions help people quickly understand some of the areas where they might otherwise get stuck and frustrated by themselves,” says Huffman. “We want customers to know that we are here to help them become more successful.”

Other topics covered at Onshape Boot Camp include multi-part modeling, version control, collaboration tools, importing data, direct editing, creating detailed drawings, recommended workflows, Onshape’s Integrated Cloud Apps and an introduction to FeatureScript (Onshape’s open-source programming language for making custom CAD features).

Additional Onshape Training Opportunities

Just like going to the gym for eight hours won’t turn you into an Olympic athlete, Onshape Boot Camp is meant only as a quick jumpstart – a turning point for taking meaningful action to make your company more agile.

“Overview Training is not an ‘Everything-You-Need-to-Know-to-Learn-Onshape’ class,” says David Katzman, Onshape’s Director of Customer Success. “It’s better to think of this as a crash course in full-cloud CAD. Because we hammer in a week’s worth of material in just eight hours.”

“After Boot Camp, customers are having a much better Onshape experience because they understand the platform better. It also helps that participants are not starting from scratch. We’re just accelerating things to get everyone up and running right away. This is the shortest path to understanding how Onshape fundamentally works,” he adds.

In addition to Overview Training/Boot Camp, Onshape Professional customers can choose three other levels of training:

  1. Onsite Training – Onshape experts visit your company and work with your team on your specific design challenges and needs.
  2. Silver Pilot Package – This managed three-month pilot program assigns a dedicated Customer Success Manager to your project, offers private 1:1 training and includes up to 10 CAD users.
  3. Gold Pilot Package – This managed three-month pilot program assigns a dedicated Customer Success Manager to your project, offers private 1:1 training and includes up to 20 CAD users.

To sign up for Onshape Boot Camp or explore further Onshape Training opportunities for your company, contact your Sales Rep to discuss available options.

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Topics: Industry Perspectives