One of the time-honored rituals of springtime is “Spring Cleaning.” During this process, individuals often take an inventory of their homes and assess what is outdated, what is seldom used, and what is clutter that can be thrown away. 

The reason for spring cleaning is logical as well as emotional. According to a OnePoll survey, 78% of the 2,000 respondents tie the cleanliness of their home to their health and wellness. The same study also found that a majority of people say a clean home helps them feel productive.

On a practical level, individuals can assess and reduce those outdated items that are causing clutter in their homes, taking up needed space. In addition, many find that reducing outdated items also reduces mental distractions and enables them to have a sharper focus on what is important for the future. 

With that being said, we don’t have to wait for spring to take the steps to reorganize your office desk, your closet or even your CAD files.

The CAD File Management Conundrum

Similar to a person seeking to address the challenge of physical clutter in their homes, designers and engineers using file-based CAD often face the challenge of digital clutter. These users have a proliferation of design files on their workstations that prevent them from focusing on their immediate and upcoming projects.

messy files

Time for this marketing professional to do some spring cleaning of their own.

Indeed, the data is clear. Today, many designers and engineers waste valuable time simply locating and accessing needed design files. These users must try to overcome the desktop clutter that has come from a proliferation of design files. 

These can include multiple copies of the same document that create version control issues, causing confusion and wasting time. In The State of Product Development and Hardware Design 2021 report, over 80% of respondents say accessing the most-updated data is one of the top time wasters when it comes to doing their jobs.

The challenge of data hygiene facing individual users of file-based CAD is only amplified when teams grow to several individuals. These individuals must face the challenge of sharing data and collaborating together with outdated file-based CAD technology and CAD file management software. The result is often serial copies of design files and version control issues that produce misunderstandings and delays. 

Add-On PDM Is No Cure 

For companies that seek to address the challenges of file-based CAD with add-on PDM software, they quickly find that they have replaced one challenge with another. With add-on PDM systems, the main CAD file management software solution, users must now resort to time-consuming “check-in and check-out” processes that slow down product design and development. 

Indeed, industry data shows that users report that add-on PDM software slows down this process significantly. In fact, The State of Product Development and Hardware Design 2021 report also found that over 50% of file-based PDM users believe the systems slow down the overall design process.

Using a PDM system is much like relying on extra storage space to keep things organized – no matter how many containers you buy, things will get messy unless there is constant upkeep.

Stay Organized with Onshape

As a result of these data challenges, many designers and engineers are seeking new solutions.  

They are choosing to look at innovative, cloud-native solutions like Onshape that provide designers and engineers with a single source of truth. 

Similar to “Spring Cleaning” one’s home, the elimination of outdated and unnecessary design files often helps individuals improve forward-looking clarity and focus on what is truly important today and in the future. 

Unlike traditional file-based CAD, Onshape makes it easy to find and access needed design documents. The unique cloud-native Onshape architecture provides a single source of truth that eliminates version control issues and improves productivity, collaboration, and innovation. In addition, collaboration features like branching and merging make it easy for teams to work together and innovate.

Now, if only knickknacks and tchotchkes could keep themselves in the proper place…

Want to give Onshape a whirl? Sign up for a free trial today!

Start Your Next
Project in Onshape

Find the cloud CAD plan that's
right for you and your business.