In every company, there is always at least one or two power users who seem to know everything about CAD. Were they born with a special CAD gene? Are they just more talented than the rest of us?


For the most part, CAD is a learned skill. Your go-to office expert has “been there” and “done that” and learned the hard way – by failing. Through experience and practice, he or she has learned the pitfalls of parametric modeling and how to avoid them.

It’s time to dispel the myth that using 3D CAD is hard. It’s not – modeling in 3D is really not that difficult if you just follow a simple set of rules.

Modeling in 3D is a bit like playing video games. You start out slowly and get killed early in the game at first, but then your brain gradually builds up institutional memory and you don’t repeat the same mistakes as you level up.

At the national Donkey Kong championships in Weirs Beach, New Hampshire – immortalized in one of my favorite documentaries, “The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters” – the players practiced for years before knowing when and where Mario should climb ladders, how to best time his jumps and how to rescue damsel-in-distress Pauline without perishing in flames.



The competitors in King of Kong, who included a former Boeing engineer turned middle school science teacher, also scoured video game message boards and read Donkey Kong guide books to learn patterns and predictable behaviors.

But back to 3D CAD. Obviously, the more hours you invest in modeling, the more efficient you will become. However, engineers don’t have the luxury of recreating the same model dozens of times. Thankfully, there are patterns and predictable behaviors you can learn beforehand when designing, too.

By employing a few simple, field-proven modeling techniques when you start a design, you can be confident that your models will update the first time – and, every time – even when your customer drops in a few last-minute design changes.

We’ve included these techniques in Onshape’s latest eBook, “Mastering 3D Modeling,” which focuses on how you can get the most out of your CAD system with the least amount of effort. These tips are applicable whether you are using Onshape or another 3D CAD system. They will be invaluable whether you are currently transitioning from 2D to 3D, are an experienced 3D veteran or are brand new to CAD altogether.

Explore ways you can plan your models ahead of time, create robust models that are easy to modify, and lastly, see how moving your modeling to the cloud will help you get your job done in record time.

Get your copy of the “Mastering 3D Modeling” eBook today!