Let's cut to the chase: Transitioning data from one CAD system to another will typically result in a total loss of design features and edit history, making downstream edits challenging, if not impossible. 

This potential loss contributes to most designers deciding to delay their transition to a cloud system despite the growing evidence of its advantages.

Don’t wait for others to unfurl this mess; instead, it's time to branch out… 

CAD Data Migration Made Easy

CADSharp, an Onshape partner and custom feature developer, has made moving past Dassault Systèms easy by providing two free tools to help with data translation challenges. 

Their tools, Monarch and SolidTranslate, enable SOLIDWORKS users to:

Monarch logo Bulk migrate massive numbers of designs to Onshape.
SolidTranslate logo Translate design features over to Onshape designs.

We’ve already talked about Monarch before, so let's focus on SolidTranslate.  

What's SolidTranslate? 

SolidTranslate helps users migrate to Onshape by replicating the FeatureManager design tree from SOLIDWORKS into an Onshape Part Studio. 

This means that valuable design history like dimensions, sketches, constraints, and, in general,  design intent can be found in Onshape, enabling future parametric modifications without hassle. Do note, however, that feature translation is not supported for all feature types, such as sheet metal and weldment designs.

How Does SolidTranslate Work?

Here’s an example of a part successfully brought over with all of the features:

Successful transition from SOLIDWORKS to Onshape

Pretty nice, right? By preserving the original design intent, you can now inspect, modify, and edit feature parameters with the same steps as you would have used in the previous design tool. 

Undoubtedly, there will be times when a part you’re translating contains unsupported features. The first option, “Abort unsupported,” is checked on by default. This will only allow parts that contain supported features to be translated; SolidTranslate will not attempt to translate your part if it finds an unsupported feature. Even in these instances, you aren’t out of luck!

Options for unsupported

When an unsupported feature is found, you can choose from the options highlighted below to stop at or ignore those unsupported features.

"Stop at unsupported” will do your translation up until an unsupported feature is found. Here, the result will be a partial model that translates as many features as it can and then terminates translation.

Options for translating design intent

a 3D-modeled crank in Onshape

“Ignore unsupported” will do as much of the translation process as possible with the supported features. For the unsupported features, SolidTranslate will put a placeholder in the feature tree to let you know exactly where you would need to rework the design natively in Onshape.


Onshape with a placeholder

SolidTranslate provides users with legible feedback logs detailing the translation process for both supported and unsupported cases. In the case of an unsupported feature, the logs will point out the feature of failure to provide insight into where you may direct the focus of a future attempt.

Feedback logs

Additionally, SolidTranslate gives users the power to use “Interactive Mode” to fix models with unsupported features in real time. 


In addition to the three translation options you’ve already seen, there is also another lever you can pull during the translation process: Interactive Mode.

SolidTranslate validates your model during the translation process by comparing its mass properties at each feature in both SOLIDWORKS and Onshape. If there are any discrepancies between the mass properties of a part after a feature, you can turn on Interactive Mode to stop translation at an unsupported feature and fix the issue manually in Onshape. Once you’ve determined that you’ve resolved the issue, you can start the validation over again from where it started.

Using SolidTranslate with Onshape

SolidTranslate Supported Features

At this point, you’re probably wondering which features are currently supported. See the table below or reference the CADSharp website for the most up-to-date list.

Axis/Coordinate system





Simple fillet




Circular pattern

Midpoint subfeatures





Curve pattern

Linear Pattern


Delete part





Simple hole


Hole censored

Want to see how it works? SolidTranslate is free, it's easy to access and use, so start testing it with your designs today!

What About Bulk Translations? 

Not all designs brought into Onshape will need their full feature trees. For those legacy designs where a future modification is unlikely – or where Onshape’s direct editing tools will suffice – use Monarch. This app eases the transition process by eliminating the monotony of manually uploading individual files. It facilitates migration while avoiding duplicates, preserving metadata, and incorporating non-CAD data.

Don’t Wait, Try Both Tools Today! 

SolidTranslate is provided free, and Monarch has a free trial, so take action now. Download both of these tools today and find the right migration path to fully leverage the world-leading cloud CAD and PDM tool: Onshape.

[Webinar] Introducing SolidTranslate

In this webinar, we’ll delve into the capabilities of
SolidTranslate, a tool designed to convert features
and design intent from SOLIDWORKS to Onshape.