Onshape User Groups initially went “virtual” in April of 2020 due to the pandemic, but we soon realized that we could more easily schedule multiple meetings, attendees could join the meetings from almost anywhere, and meetings could be recorded for future use. To date, we’ve held more than 80 online meetings and we expect to schedule at least 50 in 2022.

I wanted to take the time to look back on this year and name some of my favorite moments. After all, 2021 might have been a year of worries, but we must not forget the good things that have happened.

User Presentations – Lots of Them

Something that Onshape users like to see is how fellow Onshapers approach modeling and design. Several Onshape users stepped in to present this year and attendees were treated to some great “tips” presentations, sessions on data management, and even a full education course curriculum presented to mostly Onshape educators.

The “FeatureScript” Meetings

Something we tried out this year that worked well was “participatory” meetings. We started out with the “FeatureScript” meeting in May and were thrilled with the things we saw. Some of the top coders from the Onshape community brought their custom features and explained why they were needed, and how they were written. The meeting was such a success, we scheduled a second meeting in August.

Figure 1 - Michael's custom textures were a big hit

“Show and Tell”

The FeatureScript meeting spawned another idea: Show off your models. Several Onshape users showed off some incredible models and talked about the ideas behind them. We saw some incredible models from some incredible designers.

This was a good way to get fresh design perspectives, spawn new ideas and see how Onshape is being used by users at all skill levels. We shared a few neat models on the Onshape User Group Twitter feed, so take a look (and follow!).

Figure 2 - John Hauck's Espresso Machine 

Women Who CAD

The mission of the Women Who CAD Onshape User Group is to promote diversity amongst the Onshape users and to ensure everyone feels welcome in our community. And they are very good at it. This year saw some great keynotes from Haleyanne Freedman, Sarah Heile, Meghan Rock and Anouk Wipprecht, and great technical content at the same time. 

The group will celebrate its 1st anniversary with a special meeting on January 26, 2022. Register today and get some sweet CAD ideas for 2022. All are welcome. 

Highlighting the Highlights

The entire year was one big highlight, but I’m talking here about our “highlights” user group meetings. Once per month, we host a look back at a couple of the best sessions from previous meetings. The highlights meetings are quite casual and are great for networking as well.

Onshape Employees

A lot of the technical presentations this year were presented by Onshape technical staff. In addition to the regular meetings, some of Onshape Technical Services Engineers (TSE’s) participated in the “Meet the TSE’s” meetings. The idea behind these meetings was to give Onshape users some insight into the work that they do and to see some of their favorite Onshape tips.

Special Mention

If there was an “Onshaper of the Year” award (hmm, maybe there should be), then Bryan Lagrange would certainly be among the nominees. Bryan hosted multiple Onshape User Group meetings this year, and always provided a nice, custom giveaway to one lucky winner at each of them. Bryan was also instrumental in coming up with some unique meetings ideas – the “FeatureScript”, “Tiny House”, and “Show and Tell” meetings all had Bryan’s input. And you can always find Bryan on social media promoting Onshape User Groups.


Some designs by the one and only Bryan Lagrange.

Looking Forward to 2022

The plan for 2022 is to hold at least 50 Onshape User Group meetings and to provide the kind of content that will make the attendees more productive. To that end, we will be releasing a survey asking the questions – what would you like to see in 2022? We’ll use the survey results to make sure we’re scheduling the types of meetings that our customers need. 

With that said, I hope you all have a happy Holiday Season and we’ll see you in the New Year.

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