As the Covid-19 pandemic spread rapidly across the globe in 2020 and 2021, CAD file collaboration became more important than ever in the industry. Typical Product Data Management (PDM) issues were amplified as much of the world shifted to a remote environment. Working from different locations added another layer of difficulty to checking CAD files in and out of PDM systems.
Video conferencing software like Zoom and Microsoft Teams experienced unprecedented demand as companies scrambled to maintain communication and collaboration while many employees were forced to work at home. As the saying goes, “You never realize what you have until it’s gone.”
In the computer-aided design (CAD) industry, product design teams that had been using Onshape’s cloud-based design collaboration features prior to the pandemic transitioned smoothly into a remote working environment. Others began to realize the power of being able to collaborate on designs with colleagues stationed at newly constructed at-home workspaces around the world. Whether your CAD design team consists of two people or 50, Onshape’s design collaboration and cloud-based features allow engineers to simultaneously work on a CAD project together, regardless of location, while dodging Product Data Management (PDM) issues.
Here are 6 ways using Onshape’s cloud-based product development platform will improve the CAD file collaboration for your whole team:
1. Improved Communication with Colleagues and Partners
With Onshape, you can share your CAD design documents with colleagues or outside partners and they will get immediate access to your CAD model – similar to how they would if you were sharing a Google Doc with them. Your recipient will then be able to open up your design on their laptop using any web browser, and watch as you move around the design and explain your process. Onshape’s Follow Mode and Comments features allow you and your vendor to communicate effectively while you walk them through your design.
Onshape's Comment feature.
2. Simultaneous Editing in a CAD Design
With Onshape, multiple users can simultaneously edit the same CAD model. This means that large projects can be assigned to an entire team at one time instead of just one person. Rather than waiting for a design to be checked back into a PDM system, an entire team can collaborate on a CAD design at the same time or asynchronously. And because Onshape updates in real time, everyone will instantly see when a change has been made.
Onshape's follow feature allows users to see collaborator's updates instantly.
3. Sharing CAD Designs With Manufacturers or Vendors
- The manufacturer can decide whether it is even possible to manufacture the CAD design in its facilities; and
- The manufacturer can prepare its facilities early on to speed up the time to market. Using these cloud-based design collaboration features, CAD teams can share their designs with stakeholders, such as manufacturers, without delaying the product development process.