Apple this week launched Apple Vision Pro, a wearable spatial computing system that seamlessly blends lifelike digital content with users’ real physical environments. Looking through the glass Apple Vision Pro lens, users can intuitively explore images, videos, audio or text with their hands, eyes, and voice.

I’m delighted to announce today that PTC, which has made a long-term investment in spatial computing technologies, is releasing the Onshape Vision app for Apple Vision Pro. 

Onshape Vision transforms flat computer-screen models into virtual lifesize products that designers can hold, pull apart, and inspect as if they were already built. The app works in sync with Onshape’s cloud-native CAD and PDM system on the iPad, enabling any changes in the product model to be updated in real time within the infinite canvas of Apple Vision Pro.

The Apple Vision Pro Apple Vision Pro is a wearable spatial computer that blends your digital content with your real-life physical environment. (Courtesy photo: Apple)

Spatial computing offers an enormous opportunity to improve the way distributed product development teams collaborate and conduct design reviews. When brainstorming and sharing feedback with colleagues, participants from around the world can see realistic 3D images of their products in the same virtual meeting space. Interacting with technology has never felt more natural.

Packed with high-resolution cameras, sensors and displays, the new product has been dubbed by Apple as its “most advanced personal electronics device ever.” But the practical applications of spatial computing are relevant across many industries, starting with our own.

When you first try the Onshape Vision app, you’ll be presented with a selection of preloaded CAD models to explore. After you connect your iPad to Apple Vision Pro, you’ll get to play around with your own product designs. (Note: If you’re not already an Onshape customer, you can evaluate cloud-native CAD and PDM for free for up to six months by enrolling in the Onshape Discovery Program.)

Better Visualize Your Product Designs

Onshape Vision app The Onshape Vision app for Apple Vision Pro transforms flat computer-screen models into virtual lifesize products that designers can hold, pull apart, and inspect as if they were already built.

When viewing your product designs through Apple Vision Pro, there are no limits to your workspace. You can tinker with your CAD model floating on an infinite canvas in front of you, or move it around the room anywhere you like. You can walk on the factory floor and see your new industrial machinery at full scale before committing to production, or shrink it to fit on a tabletop to get a better grasp of the overall design. 

Viewing your product model at different scales can encourage new perspectives and help identify potential improvements. It’s a much different experience than zooming in or out on a part on a flat screen. You can grab the CAD model with your hands, bring it closer to your face, and let your curiosity lead the way. 

Any changes that are made across the Onshape CAD and PDM platform are instantly displayed in Onshape Vision. Fresh CAD edits can be evaluated in a more immediate and thorough way.

You can also better test your product’s fit and function, visualizing it in the context of how and where it will be used. For example, does your machine fit on the production line where you intend to install it? Are the electrical contacts in the correct location? Does it work in concert with other machines nearby?

All this without any heavy lifting or the additional investment of building multiple physical prototypes.

More Immersive Design Collaboration

Onshape CAD in action By scaling down the 3D virtual model, Apple Vision Pro users can get a more immersive look at their Onshape CAD designs.

The earlier a hardware development team gets feedback on a design concept, the more likely they will be able to deliver products that their customers truly need and want. Expanding the pool of stakeholders earlier in the review process also leads to more design iterations and exploration.

One of the advantages of doing design reviews with Onshape Vision is that it is extremely welcoming and intuitive to non-CAD users, such as executives, sales and marketing professionals and customers. It’s worth a reminder that most people in your business circles are NOT familiar or comfortable navigating CAD software. While wearing the Apple Vision Pro, it is much easier for them to reach out and grab a digital part or assembly and point out their areas of interest.

The Onshape Vision app makes it easier for customers and suppliers to visualize customizable product options and configurations. Sales teams can now share purchase options in a more dynamic presentation, and get more timely feedback, better ensuring customer satisfaction.

Communicating with Apple Vision Pro feels far more natural than the traditional video conferencing experience. When examining your CAD models with colleagues spread across different locations, you’ll feel as though you are all collaborating in the same room. You can also type comments directly into the Onshape Vision app, just like you do when leaving feedback on your original Onshape models.

PTC’s Investment in Spatial Computing

(Courtesy photo: Apple) Spatial computing can potentially change the workplace across many industries. PTC has made a significant investment in R&D to explore new technologies for the engineering and manufacturing space. (Courtesy photo: Apple)

This is an exciting time for Onshape and our customers to join the Apple Vision Pro ecosystem. Embodying the PTC mantra of “Digital Transforms Physical,” this wearable technology will hopefully inspire new product improvements in the near future.

From its earliest days, Onshape has been devoted to the Apple community. Its cloud-native CAD and PDM effortlessly runs on a Mac without the need to install PC emulators or other workarounds. Onshape also offers dedicated iOS apps for the iPhone and iPad.

Meanwhile, PTC has been committed to advancing spatial computing and associated technologies for the manufacturing industry, primarily through the innovative work of its Vuforia software team and the Reality Lab, located at its Boston headquarters. Using augmented reality (AR), PTC has created solutions that enhance training and service efficiency by offering immersive, step-by-step instructions that streamline complex processes. 

Moreover, PTC's initiatives extend to transforming marketing and sales strategies, providing unique and interactive product experiences well beyond the engineering space. How do you think spatial computing might impact your workplace? As we further extend the capabilities of Onshape, Vuforia and other PTC technologies, we’d love to hear from you!

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