I don’t think my co-host Michael or I thought we’d be having this much fun. Since we introduced the Innovator’s Insider podcast back in October, we’ve dropped 20 episodes and hosted four live broadcasts, and the response has been wonderful. We’ve even had a few episodes that have received thousands of views on YouTube. We weren’t sure how well the podcast would be received, we’re doing well by most accounts.

We do our best to cover relevant topics and to schedule guests that we think our audience will appreciate learning more about. We’ve talked to Onshape users and employees, industry pundits, and even users of CAD software other than Onshape. Some of my favorite topics have been Tiny Houses, 3D Printing, Women in Engineering, Onshape Live and BattleBots

Among the high-profile guests, we’ve been lucky to hear from additive manufacturing expert Terry Wohlers, fashion-tech designer Anouk Wipprecht, and Onshape co-founder John McEleney.


The hosts

Michael “the Professor” LaFleche and I seem to complement each other quite well and I think we make a good podcast team. 

Our life and career stories are very similar. We share a love of Onshape CAD and design, and we took comparable paths to get to where we are today. But most importantly, we really like each other. 

While Michael was on vacation, I had to host episode 20, “The Onshape Partner Show,”  without him. It simply wasn’t the same.

We both also enjoy the weekly planning meetings where we talk about upcoming shows and potential guests. We do this over the internet since we’re a couple thousand miles apart, but I assure you that if we were in person, there would be a lot of fist-bumping and hooting as we plan out future shows.

Favorite Podcast Episodes

Ghost Raptor teamChuck Pitzer, Sabri Sansoy, and Anouk Wipprecht on the Innovator's Insider podcast.

It’s hard to pick a favorite from the 20 episodes we’ve posted, but since I wrote the heading, I should probably follow through. 

I’ll go with episode 8, “BattleBots Team Ghost Raptor". We had the chance to interview three members of BattleBots Team Ghost Raptor. 

I was thrilled to meet Chuck Pitzer, Sabri Sansoy, and Anouk in person while they were in Las Vegas for the BattleBots World Championships in the fall of last year. But having them on the show to talk about the competition was icing on the cake.

Michael found it hard to pick a favorite as well, but he chose episode 19, “Speed Modeling” with “Too Tall” Toby Schnaars, Model Mania winner Tom Smith, Informal co-founder Sam Holland and wunderkind Alnis Smidchens. I agree it was one of the best with plenty of good modeling tips from a group of long-time expert CAD users.

Strictly based on the number of views, it seems our audience is torn between episode 15,  “Best of Onshape Live 22,” and episode 17, “John McEleney, Onshape Ambassadors, and Xometry,” as their favorite.

Favorite Podcast Interviews

a collage of guests and models

Again, it's hard to pick because we’ve had plenty of good interviews. 

I always enjoy listening to John McEleney (episode 17), Onshape user Sam always has plenty to say (multiple episodes), and when Alnis (also multiple episodes) talks we all sit up straight and listen. 

But I’m going with our episode 13 interview with Rory Aronson from Farmbot for a couple of reasons. One, I love the product and someday it may become part of my tiny home project. And two, I had no idea until the day we recorded that we were talking with the founder and CEO of the company.

Michael’s choice of favorite interview was our talk with Rob Rodriguez in episode 14, “World Class Rendering.” Rob is well known for his rendering skills, and he helped us out by critiquing a couple of our renders and even offered tips to our viewers on creating their own photo-quality renders.

Sometimes We Go Live

The first live broadcast we did was kind of a last-minute idea – “Let’s live stream our thoughts on the newest release of Onshape.” 

I think both of us were a little nervous about going live, but it turned out great. We had a few folks join us and interact with the show using comments. We really appreciated the new friends we got to meet and decided right then and there to live stream a discussion of every Onshape update going forward. 

We will post a link in the same forum thread that announces What’s New in Onshape, so look for it and join in every three weeks as we analyze the new release and take your questions.

On Becoming a Product Design Podcaster

The Innovator's Insider teaser video before its debut.

I asked Michael for his thoughts on the podcast, and his answer was very much in line with how I feel as well. It is quite a privilege to have the platform to begin with, so thanks to the management team at Onshape for believing in us and allowing us to go forward with the podcast. 

We’re grateful to the many guests we’ve had on the show who have shared their knowledge, vision, technical tips and stories. It’s important to us that we feel like everyone learns a little something from our show, and I hope we have delivered.

Mostly we’re also grateful to the audience members who care enough to take about 45 minutes to watch or listen every couple of weeks. We aim to inform, educate and even entertain you, and we’re always open to ideas that will help us achieve our goals. 

Contact us at innovatorsinsider@ptc.com with your thoughts or stories. 

Note: Careful – you may end up as a guest.

Join Us, Won’t You?

If you haven’t had a chance to sample the Innovator’s Insider podcast yet, please give us a try. If you start with episode 1, “The Professor and the User Group Guy,” you can learn more about Michael and me than you probably want to know. 

If you like what you see, catch up on past episodes and then look us up every other Thursday when we drop the newest show. We would also appreciate it if you gave us a like and subscribed so you’ll be notified of new episodes. You can find a place to watch or listen by clicking the link below.