2024 has begun with an avalanche of improvements, and we're excited to share the details of the latest features and updates with you. 

In the webinar “Quarterly Onshape Review: Learn What's New (March 2024)”, Onshape Senior Director of Technical Services Cody Armstrong and Onshape Head of Product Greg Brown demonstrate how to use some of the newest features you may have missed from the following Onshape releases:

This blog highlights a few new features and tools that can impact and improve day-to-day CAD work, including updates to Sheet Metal, Part Studios, Surfacing, and more!

Let’s get started. 

Sheet Metal Features

Sheet Metal Bend Tool

The new Sheet Metal Bend tool allows designers to create bends by sketching geometry or referencing existing edges/curves as guides. This is particularly useful when working with imported 2D flat patterns that need to be converted to 3D folded models. 

Pro Tip: Users can quickly repeat the bend operation on multiple edges using the Shift+Enter keyboard shortcut.

Take a look at the full Onshape help documentation for more advanced examples of using the Sheet Metal Bend tool.

READ: Tech Tip on Mastering Sheet Metal Bend Calculations in Onshape.

Countersink and Counterbore Holes in Sheet Metal

Another Sheet Metal enhancement is the ability to add countersinks and counterbores directly to Sheet Metal part models. The hole details from these features are captured in the unfolded flat pattern, enabling accurate DXF export for processes like laser cutting where hole information is required.

Part Studio Features

Insert Part Studio as Rigid (Parametric Part Studio)

When inserting a Part Studio into an assembly, there is now an “Insert as Rigid” option that automatically adds (or removes) those parts from the assembly layout. This establishes a parametric link between the part modeling space and assembly context. Surfaces, sketches, and composite parts are also included in the parametric insert.

Pro Tip: If you insert a Part Studio to an Assembly as rigid but want to break that link, you can do so by right-clicking it in the Assembly Instance List and selecting “Dissolve.”


Image decals like logos or warning labels can now be inserted into parts. Onshape Decals are visible in the Part Studio, assembly, and shaded drawing views.

Pro Tip: Onshape Configurations allow designers to show different decal images, which is helpful for displaying content like warning labels in multiple languages.

Bonus: Measure on Component Drag

The new “Measure on Component Drag” capability enables quick measurements of distances, angles, etc., by simply dragging components in the assembly without creating reference geometry first.

“[This tool] is really clutch,” Cody Armstrong explained. “Now you can take ad hoc movements of your assembly and measure without creating construction geometry or doing any of these extra steps – it's very easy to just grab and drag and watch the angle value change.”

Surfacing Features

Offset Curve 

A new Offset Curve tool creates offset curves from edges on existing faces. These offset curves can optionally split the underlying face for additional modeling operations. Controls are available for customizing how corners are handled.

READ: Tech Tip on Using the Offset Curve for Splitting Operations.

Boundary Surface – Match Curvature

Boundary surfaces now support curvature continuity, allowing smooth blending to adjacent geometry instead of curvature discontinuities at the boundaries. This maintains curvature continuity (G2 continuity) between the created surface and the reference surface.

Body Draft Tool

The new Body Draft tool automates isocline curve creation when drafting/parting faces, even supporting non-planar parting entities and symmetric drafts across those entities. This simplifies the required modeling steps compared to previous techniques.

“This is a great new feature for advanced things, new castings, especially mold, mold tools, and all those things like that,” Greg Brown explained.

Usability Features

Area Moments of Inertia

For engineering calculations, Onshape has added the ability to compute the area moment of inertia directly on planar face selections, supporting section cuts, and different reference frames.

Apple Vision Pro

Onshape has developed a spatial computing app called Onshape Vision for the new Apple Vision Pro headset. This allows visualizing and interacting with Onshape CAD models in an immersive simulated environment with accurate material renderings. Collaborators’ live changes to the design are instantly displayed across the Onshape CAD & PDM system.

“We're not downloading a file to convert it to some new format, then uploading it somewhere else. We're not doing it that way,” Greg Brown said. “We're literally operating on a single source of truth, which is the database of the Onshape Document.”

Product developers can use Onshape Vision and the Apple Vision Pro to improve workflows. Find out how in the blog “Apple Vision Pro and Product Design: 4 Practical Use Cases.”

Onshape's Commitment

As the CAD landscape evolves, Onshape remains committed to providing innovative solutions that empower designers to realize their creative vision. Through initiatives like the Onshape Discovery Program, users gain access to invaluable resources and training opportunities, further enhancing their proficiency within the platform.

The latest improvements from Onshape herald a new era of CAD design characterized by innovation, efficiency, and user-centricity. As we journey forward, let's embrace these advancements and collectively shape the future of CAD design.

Design What’s Next with Onshape

With cloud-native tools, teams can
design better products faster while
reducing the overall cost of development. 

To see a full list of recent updates, look at the Onshape changelog. And, to join in on the excitement of a fresh release, head to the Onshape Forums for the latest.