It’s no accident that many Onshape customers are former or current SOLIDWORKS® users. All of Onshape’s co-founders were instrumental in building SOLIDWORKS in its earliest days and know its strengths and limitations. In addition, numerous Onshapers across every department in the company are either former SOLIDWORKS employees or were instructors for CAD resellers. So we speak a common language.

In our daily conversations with product engineers and designers, we meet frustrated traditional CAD users who would like to move their work to the cloud ASAP – for simultaneous collaboration, instant CAD access anywhere on any device, etc. – but for some, the timing isn’t right. They might have years of legacy data tied up in SOLIDWORKS or another file-based CAD system and switching won’t happen overnight.

The good news is that the affordable cost of an annual Onshape subscription means you can immediately experience the benefits of full-cloud CAD without ripping and replacing your current system. Take a look at the raw numbers:

As much as these numbers might delight your CFO, the true value of Onshape is not in the price tag. It lies in all the new innovations and functionalities that simply don’t (and can’t) exist in any traditional CAD system. Things like Simultaneous Sheet Metal design tools that enable engineers to visualize errors and interferences immediately, consider alternatives and ultimately, reduce scrap and wasted time. Or Multi-Part Modeling and Managed In-Context Editing that dramatically speed up the product design cycle.

But Why Do I Need More Than One CAD System?

We’re living in a multi-CAD world. It is very rare these days that a product is designed in total isolation in one CAD system. In our new eBook, we share six everyday situations in which using Onshape side-by-side with SOLIDWORKS will speed up your design and manufacturing cycle and boost innovation:

  1. Painless Data Exchange Between CAD Systems – It’s highly unlikely that your entire supply chain uses the same software as you and the same version, so exchanging data in native or neutral file formats is a necessary evil. Onshape can import and export a wide variety of 3D file formats, meaning you don’t need to know upfront which CAD system or software version your business partner is using. Say goodbye to incompatibility issues!

  2. Secure Sharing and Real-Time Collaboration – Are you still sharing proprietary files containing your company’s intellectual property by email or Dropbox? Inadvertently leaving copies on other people’s hard drives presents a huge security risk. Onshape lets you tightly control editing or view-only permissions with colleagues, partners and suppliers.

  3. Mobile CAD Access – Being able to make edits on-the-go on phones and tablets (iOS or Android) is invaluable for design teams out in the field or on the shop floor. Mobile access is also proving to be invaluable outside the core design team, helping sales teams, manufacturers and field engineers do their jobs more effectively, too.

  4. Efficient Fixture Design – Manufacturing engineers need to determine the most efficient way to manufacture each part of the design. Their early input can prevent unnecessary and costly redesigns later. Because Onshape runs on any computer, tablet or phone, it does not require purchasing high-end workstations for the shop floor.

  5. Seamless Integration Between CAD and ERP Systems – PDM and ERP systems don’t play nicely together, but every part and assembly in an ERP database must have full traceability. This involves converting 2D drawings to PDF files or 3D models to eDrawings that require a powerful Windows computer and special software to access later. Instead of uploading these files to the database, Onshape enables you to cut and paste unique URLs that connect to your models with a simple click from any computer or mobile device.

  6. Instant CAD Deployment & Access – You can’t quickly buy a seat of traditional CAD on Amazon or out of a vending machine. With Onshape, if you want to put a new hire on a new project, he or she can start designing within minutes of plugging in their email address. No waiting days or weeks for your Value Added Reseller (VAR). No need for a time-consuming installation (per computer) or getting budgetary approval to buy new workstations. Onshape runs on any computer or mobile device.

Forward-thinking companies know the value of evaluating new technologies early to get a jump on the competition. For a deeper look at each of the above topics, download your free copy of Onshape’s latest eBook, “Navigating Design Projects in a Multi-CAD World.”

Although this eBook specifically calls out SOLIDWORKS, the full-cloud benefits explored here are also applicable for users of AutoCAD®, PTC® and other traditional desktop-installed CAD systems.

Navigating Design Projects