Tight deadlines – ugh! Even the sound of it is enough to make you shudder. Nobody enjoys working their fingers to the bone, but delivering a project on time is part of every engineer’s daily life. After dreaming up the latest in product innovation and exceeding all your customers’ demands, the tight deadline is the last hurdle to overcome. And it can make or break your reputation.

3D CAD is a great productivity tool, but if your CAD system uses files to store data (either locally, in a PDM system, or by syncing files to a web server), then you’re locked into a “one-person, one-job” way of working. If you’ve got all the time in the world, it’s not a problem. But facing that dreaded tight deadline, your only option is to work harder.

Files, by their very nature, only allow one person at a time to write to them. Otherwise, the data could be overwritten, or even worse, become corrupt. No two people can edit the same data at the same time. This is fine for simple parts, drawings and even small subassemblies, but when it comes to large multi-person projects, your progress can be hampered by files.

To make things worse, for teams of engineers to work on the same project, each user must have a copy of each file on their local hard drive. Everyone has their own copy, so how do you know if you are working on the latest version? Expensive PDM systems were invented to overcome many of these file-related issues and to prevent people from overwriting each other’s work, but if you’re not connected to the PDM system, someone could be undoing all your hard work without you even realizing it. And if someone is legitimately making changes to the project, you still have to wait and wait until they check the files back in so you can make a fresh copy. Even “cloud” CAD systems make local copies, so the danger of files being overwritten, however small, still remains.

Onshape is different. No data ever leaves the server. There are no files, no copies, and no software to download or install. Everybody works on the same CAD system and the same CAD data at the same time.

So how does that translate into benefits when it comes to sharing your design workload? You may be stuck on a design problem and want to ask someone with domain expertise to help you. Maybe you’re stuck for time and need an extra pair of hands to get the job done. Whatever the reason, Onshape makes it easy for you to invite team members to review, comment on, or edit your designs in real time.

Watch the video at the top of this blog post to see how you can build an assembly in record time by sharing your design workload with the team. Many hands make light work. As a wise man (a wise man named Jon Hirschtick) once said, “Onshape is only useful if you ever work on tight deadlines.”

Anyone out there ever work like that?