It seems like the Onshape R&D team never sleeps. How else to explain the steady delivery of new CAD, data management and collaboration features roughly every three weeks?

Some of these improvements are planned far in advance as part of the roadmap, while others “cut in line” and are developed more quickly based on the priorities of our customers. During the Onshape Live ‘21 conference on March 11, the R&D team received this ultimate compliment from one of the participants in the live chat:

Eric was referring to the “What’s Next in Onshape” session in which leaders of Onshape’s software development team offered a sneak peek on what they and their colleagues have been working on for inclusion in future releases. Some of the improvements may be available within weeks or months, while others remain in the conceptual stage. 

During the early days of Onshape, back when there were less than 25 employees, the entire company would gather in the cafeteria for weekly “Demo Days,” essentially a cross-departmental “show and tell” of what everyone has been working on. This tradition has continued throughout Onshape’s steady growth and remains an important weekly touchstone now that we are part of PTC.

The March 11th OSL presentation by the R&D team was like the first Demo Day for the entire Onshape community. It not only revealed what we’ve been working on to help improve your product development process, but also WHO has been doing that work. It’s nice to have the opportunity to “meet” the people behind the products we love.

If you look forward to the “What’s New in Onshape” updates every three weeks, you’ll enjoy watching the on-demand video of the Onshape Live R&D session.

In the video, you’ll get sneak previews about:

  • WELDMENTS – Dr. Lana Saksonov (Software Development Engineer, Technical Vice President) talks about upcoming Weldment custom features, using Onshape’s open-source FeatureScript programming language.

  • ECAD-MCAD – Rob Lacey (Technical Vice President, ECAD-MCAD) shows how Onshape users can better collaborate with electrical PCB designers using a new ECAD-MCAD connector.

  • SIMULATION – Evan Nowak (Director – Onshape Graphics) previews cloud simulation tools that perform directly within the modeling environment for iterative feedback during the design process. The Onshape development team is not targeting post-design validation at this time, as these solutions are available through partner apps in the Onshape App Store.

  • COMPUTED PROPERTIES – Dan Jacobs (Senior Software Engineer, Architecture and FeatureScript) previews upcoming custom computed properties for parts in your designs for property lists and Bill of Materials (BOMs).

  • DRAWING IMPROVEMENTS – Dr. Hailong Li (Director of Onshape Drawings) previews a highly requested feature for controlling cross-hatching to distinguish parts and materials. With upcoming Onshape Drawings updates, users will be able to modify cross-hatching on section views – and also be able to change hatches of particular instances in one section view.

  • CHANGE MANAGEMENT – Nate Kral (Software Development Engineer) from the PTC Windchill PLM team talks about an upcoming new improved Change Management process for Onshape.

  • RENDERING – Paul Arden (Vice President Software Development) previews upcoming new features for photorealistic rendering without leaving the Onshape environment.

Note that for all the planned improvements mentioned above, there are no scheduled release dates. The features will only be available once they meet the quality standards that you’ve come to expect from Onshape.

Watch the Sneak Preview

Click here to watch the Onshape R&D team’s “Demo Day” presentation and see what you missed at Onshape Live!

(Visit the Onshape Live ‘21 site to also see other on-demand recorded sessions you may have missed, including tips and tricks for CAD modeling and running a project in Onshape, recommendations for expanding your engineering toolbox, advice on how to migrate from SOLIDWORKS to Onshape, and keynote presentations from PTC CEO Jim Heppelmann, and Onshape founder and PTC EVP Jon Hirschtick.)