You can have my <cadsystem> when you pry it from my….

I get it. I was one of you. I spent 25 years using and supporting one CAD system, never even bothering to look at another. It was fun to use when it worked properly, and usually did what I needed it to do. If not for one very bad decision and one good one, I might still be using it.

When I “semi-retired” in 2018, I was determined to finally finish the design of my Tiny House. So, I needed a new CAD system, and the first place I looked was Onshape. Knowing the legendary founders behind the company made it an easy first choice.

An Old Dog Learns New Tricks

The last time I had to learn a new CAD tool was 25 years ago, but I was confident I could pick up what I needed to complete my project. Most parametric CAD tools use common commands – sketch, extrude, insert, mate. 

I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised at the breadth of the online training materials that Onshape offers as part of your subscription. The Onshape Learning Center is full of self-paced courses, tips on best practices, and pre-recorded videos to help you learn. There are also instructor-led classes that can be purchased. 

It took me less than a week to become proficient with the free learning.

Along the same lines, in an Onshape webinar with Exxentric (that you should check out), Product Design Engineer Andreas C. Ahlström says he had an enjoyable time learning Onshape when he first joined the company. 

“From the previous [CAD] programs I used, Onshape seems much more intuitive. That was very nice coming in,” he said.

What About My Legacy Data?

I had been working on the Tiny House design on and off for a few years, so I did have some legacy data. Although I didn’t have access to the system that created it, I was able to easily import any of the models I had previously created. Onshape opens a wide variety of file formats and performs the translation automatically. 

In a lot of cases, I decided against importing geometry and simply created it myself in Onshape. I suspect that’s the way most companies would do it – no need to translate legacy data that will never be used, or for simple parts and assemblies that would benefit from being created natively. We also have a nifty guide that will help guide legacy CAD users transitioning over to Onshape. Download it today!

When Your CAD System Isn’t Serving You

My final thoughts on switching to Onshape are similar to my colleague here at Onshape, Mehul Gala. Mehul shared some CAD anecdotes from his years of engineering experience at other companies. 

He shares stories from past mistakes that wouldn’t have happened in a cloud-native CAD platform. A few of these mishaps include overwriting work from coworkers or almost losing data during a system update. By taking the lessons from these mistakes and factoring in the benefits of a new system, Mehul advocated for a transition to a new CAD system.

So you could be an individual who wants to continue building your dream house, like me, or be part of a company that’s looking for new ways to streamline workflows, like Mehul, and be at the crossroads of a platform switch.  

Rest assured you won’t be alone once adopting Onshape. We work hard to provide a wealth of resources, like the Onshape Forum and frequent Onshape User Groups, to help you or your team learn how to use the platform and get the most out of it. 

In a recent Innovator’s Insider podcast, we discuss what Customer Success means to us. Why don’t you listen in and see how we put our users first.