So, you’re interested in seeing what Onshape has to offer? Great! Simply sign up for a free account and try out the features and capabilities at your own pace to decide if it’s right for you and your business.

Onshape has a quick learning curve. There are video tutorials inside Onshape and on our Learning page. We offer live training webinars every week and thousands of resources are available online to help you learn. You can also visit the Onshape Forums where you can ask questions and get advice from experienced users and Onshape employees.

However, if you’re an experienced CAD user and are looking to replace or augment your current system, here’s a word of warning: One of the traps many users fall into is trying to conduct an apples-to-apples comparison between Onshape and their current CAD system. They just try to do the same things in the same way they’ve always done. That’s what I did the first time I used Onshape.

The subtle difference in the way we approach top-down design using Part Studios and the way we create assemblies with higher-level mates may seem a little alien at first, but you’ll soon get the hang of it and appreciate how much time you’ll save. We also don’t yet have all the bells and whistles found in a 20-year-old CAD system (we’re working on it), but once you realize the real benefits of full-cloud CAD such as no downloads, no installs, no sending files by email, and built-in version control, then just like moving from Microsoft Word to Google Docs, you’ll never look back!

Choosing the Right Pilot Project

Many of our customers have found that the best way to test out the capabilities of Onshape is to run a pilot project. Your time and available resources are always a concern, so you should plan ahead to get the maximum benefits out of your evaluation. Choose a project, preferably a live project (so that you won’t be tempted to just replicate what you did before), and involve as many people on your team as possible.

Ideally, your project should:

  • Be a typical project you would normally complete in your current CAD system
  • Be able to be completed in 1 to 3 months
  • Be of medium complexity in both number of features and number of parts
  • Have moving parts so you can test the power of the higher-level mates in Onshape
  • Require at least two or more people to collaborate on the design together
  • Include your usual collaboration with outside suppliers
  • Require regular design reviews with CAD and non-CAD users alike

If you would like help in choosing or setting up your project, to make the most of your time and your evaluation, please get in touch using the Onshape contact page.

Planning your pilot project with the above requirements in mind will help you to realize the true benefits of Onshape. After all, design is much more than just CAD features, it involves a lot of people – from the initial concept right through to manufacturing and delivery.

This is where Onshape shines the most, by removing many of the frustrating bottlenecks and overheads associated with traditional desktop-installed 3D CAD (see our Infographic “Why is Full-Cloud CAD Such a Big Deal?”). We’re looking forward to helping you experience the difference firsthand.