In 1970, the average engineering salary in 1970 was about $58,000. To put that in perspective, a typical single-station CAD system sold for about $150,000. 

Stock image of an old desktop and cassette player. Obsolete equipment from an earlier era. Missing from photo: leg warmers. 

Now, companies see the opposite dynamic: Relatively inexpensive software, PCs, and laptops are surrounded by pricey (and sought-after) engineers. With product development companies now typically investing $100,000 for every experienced engineer, downtime and productivity bottlenecks – due to version control problems, CAD crashes, software incompatibility, miscommunication, and blocked collaboration – are much more costly today. Every minute of wasted engineering time takes you further away from your objectives. 

That lost time can potentially be recovered. 

49 Hours a Month

According to The State of Product Development & Hardware Design 2022-2023, an independent industry survey of more than 800 engineering and manufacturing professionals worldwide, engineers reported they lost an average of 12.3 total hours each week to non-design-related tasks.  

That’s 49 hours a month lost to the shortcomings of file-based product development software.

In the industry study, engineers reported that more than a quarter of their product design time was “stolen” by:  

  • Status meetings and team meetings that could have been a chat or an email.

  • Needing to find, access, and communicate the most up-to-date CAD information.

  • Having to deal with CAD software stability, reliability, versioning, or performance problems.

  • Required administrative tasks for CAD software, integrations, hardware, and licensing.

Needless to say, most hardware engineers choose their careers because they want to create and improve innovative products – not spin their wheels making sure that their design software works as it should. 

Reclaim Time By Reacquainting Yourself With Cloud-Native CAD 

Cloud-native isn’t new (Salesforce was founded in 1999), but applications like Salesforce which were built to be cloud-native (no downloads; no installations) have been moving quickly. Take a minute to consider the benefits of cloud-native.

How about customer-centricity and the speed of releases? 

Every few weeks, for example, cloud-native Onshape has a new release. This requires nothing from users, who simply turn on their machines, open a browser window, log in, and start designing as usual. The more curious can click a “what’s new” tab while others can choose to discover the newest capabilities during the course of their work. Onshape has had more than 150 releases. 

Compare that to the lumbering annual file-based CAD update, an event in which engineers and IT professionals can find themselves caught up for days while other work languishes. 

Cloud-Native CAD Frees Up Time   

Cloud-native Onshape can unclog or avoid design bottlenecks altogether, thus freeing up time for the engineer. Here are the four biggest time-wasters, as identified in the State of Product Development & Hardware Design report,  that Onshape can help remediate:

1. Unnecessary Meetings: No need to lose hours in meetings to progress the design. The architecture of cloud-native Onshape means that users can work jointly click-by-click on the same data or leave comments within the design itself for dispersed coworkers in other time zones to react to. 

Users can comment on a design within the Onshape Document, making it much easier for teams to understand one another’s intent and work side-by-side. 

2. Finding the Latest CAD Data: Never again waste time chasing the most recent version of the data – or sending the wrong version to the shop floor. With Onshape, product designers automatically get the latest data every time they log in because the built-in PDM system tracks every user edit, every version, and every release for a full history of all design changes. 

3. CAD Stability & Reliability: Redoing work due to crashes eats up hours, dollars, and morale. Cloud-native Onshape provides a centralized repository of design data, eliminating the risk of losing data and virtually eliminating much-dreaded crashes. Onshape has 24/7 reliability with an uptime of 99.9% (trailing 12-month average). Find out more at

4. Required IT Overhead: Onshape won’t sideline engineers during annual software upgrades or require the time and expense of routine hardware upgrades. 

Case Study: Cirkul

Cirkul reclaims $50,000+ per year in lost engineering time.

Cirkul is an all-natural, zero-calorie beverage company that makes proprietary flavored water bottle cartridges allowing users to control their own flavor intensity. The company no longer has to manage servers, CAD licenses, or other IT administrative tasks. 

Cirkul quote

See How It Feels to Take Those Hours Back  

Allow us to reintroduce cloud-native Onshape, by showing you how easy it is to try it. Simply set up a free account, open a browser on any type of device wherever you are, and log in with the credentials you created. That’s it. No downloads, no installs. You’ll want to iterate on a design, so be sure to get a colleague to create an account as well.  

At its heart, cloud-native CAD with built-in PDM is about speed and ease. Once you’ve created a free account, explore Onshape for yourself with the new "Onshape Quickstart".

A Professional trial enables you to work securely with private data and use advanced functionality, including Simulation, Rendering, and Release Management. Don’t trial alone or you’ll miss the collaborative features that are the essence of cloud-native CAD.

Take back your time this month – all 49 hours of it – with Onshape. 

Start Your Next
Project in Onshape

Find the cloud CAD plan that's
right for you and your business.