One of the golden rules of television comedy – especially sitcoms set in the workplace – is that whenever there is a holiday, co-workers will be “accidentally stuck” celebrating the holiday together. There may be a missed flight or a snowstorm preventing everyone from going home, but whatever the plot device, the point is that our co-workers are our second family. And the conversation around the dinner table inevitably gets sentimental.

I am under no delusions that most people at the Thanksgiving table next week will bring up Onshape’s Best Design and Development Features before talking about food, family and football. But humor me for a moment as I imagine a sitcom-style “Worksgiving” dinner for Onshape customers. What would they talk about?

It’s too late to invite members of the Onshape community to Boston for Thanksgiving dinner on the 17th floor of PTC headquarters, though that would be wonderful at another time when we wouldn’t be pulling people away from their families during the holidays. So for my imaginary CADsgiving dinner, I am going to pull snippets of conversation from the Onshape Customers and Case Studies web page.

Based on the experiences of product development teams who switched to Onshape from file-based CAD, here are 6 reasons to be thankful you never have to go back to the “old way” of doing things again.

1. You No Longer Need to Throw Your Computer at the Wall

Hy5 mechanical design engineer Ola Kyrkjebø, who helped design the world’s first hydraulic prosthetic hand, notes how tiresome it was dealing with the frequent work interruptions and delays of file-based Product Data Management (PDM) systems. “In Onshape, there’s no time spent claiming and unclaiming files. It’s easy to follow different revisions and you have full control all the time,” he says, adding that he doesn’t measure Onshape’s time savings in minutes and hours, but in prevented “frustration and tears and how many screens you want to throw at the wall.”

2. You Can Easily Share Your Product Designs With Non-CAD Users

OceanGate Director of Engineering and Operations Daniel Scoville, who oversees the development of submersible vehicles for scientific research and ocean adventure travel, mentions how he doesn’t need to add special CAD licenses for his fellow executives to see the latest designs. “The greatest part about Onshape is that I can always see everything that my team is doing,” he says. “It’s also valuable for getting quick feedback from our CEO. We can both be in the model and he can say what he likes, what he doesn’t like, bring up issues and offer suggestions.”

3. You Get Exciting (and Important, But Not So Exciting) Updates Every Three Weeks

BETA Technologies lead engineer Lino Verna, who designs electric vertical aircraft (eVTOL) for the cargo and logistics market, says he’s a big fan of Onshape’s frequency of “What’s New” product updates in the cloud. “I really like how the updates often have a surprise in there for you that's something you've been looking for,” he says. “So many times I’ve thought, ‘Oh, I've been really waiting for something like this and now it's available!’" 

4. Custom CAD Features Allow You to Do Less “Busy Work” 

XING Mobility software engineer Dmitry Kashel, who helps design electric powertrains for vehicle manufacturers, appreciates the ability to write new Onshape custom CAD features specifically for his industry. “Onshape has improved our speed for creating a battery pack to less than a minute when it used to take up to an hour,” he says. “It’s been extremely useful for eliminating repetitive tasks.”

5. No More Emailing Design Files Back and Forth 

Avidbots senior mechanical engineering specialist Ian Gardiner, who oversees the design of fully autonomous cleaning robots, especially values Onshape’s Sharing feature for collaborating with external partners with just a web link. “Email and spreadsheets were our typical way of sharing information, but with these older CAD systems, a lot of your data gets buried within the system. You have to purchase extra licenses and/or add-ons to make CAD available to people,” he recalls. “With Onshape, our collaboration process is much more fluid and allows everyone more direct access to the CAD models.” 

6. The Power of “Infinite Undo”

Black Swift Technologies founder Jack Elston, who designs scientific research drones for extreme weather conditions, values Onshape’s comprehensive Edit History that tracks who made what change and when, allowing engineers to instantly revert back to any prior state of the design. “Version management in (file-based CAD) is an absolute nightmare. There was never an easy way to roll back to an earlier version,” he says. “We’d try our best to keep snapshots of where we were at certain points, but it was very tricky. We’d discover something we’d want to change and going back to a previous version was sometimes an impossibility.” 

Now that we’ve rattled off a few highlights of why product development teams are thankful for their improved design processes enabled by Onshape, I’d like to flip the table a bit and mention how grateful the Onshape team is for our awesome customers.

Onshape gets to work with some of the most passionate, innovative and creative engineering and manufacturing teams in the world, and for all of you who celebrate Turkey Day, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving! 

Read more about our customers and how they leverage Onshape’s cloud-native capabilities