For Onshape users, this past year was a whirlwind of continuous and significant updates – all made to improve the breadth and depth of the platform.

These updates go beyond CAD design software bug fixes, encompassing a wide range of noteworthy features across various disciplines, such as machine design, consumer products, industrial components, and electronics. 

And, so far, the feedback from active Onshape users has been excellent. 

Positive feedback on Onshape releases from users

Reflecting on the year gone by, Onshape’s Head of Product Greg Brown and Senior Director of Technical Services Cody Armstrong recount the key updates across an impressive 17 releases throughout 2023. 

Without further ado, let's delve into the Top 10 CAD design software features that have graced the Onshape platform, listed in no particular order.

1. Custom Keyboard Shortcuts

One standout addition to Onshape's repertoire is the introduction of custom keyboard shortcuts. This feature empowers users with the ability to tailor their shortcuts, ultimately enhancing the efficiency of platform navigation and usage. The customization of keyboard shortcuts is a pivotal step towards personalizing workflows for individual users.

TECH TIP: Customizing Keyboard Shortcuts in Onshape

2. Hole Features Improvements

The enhancements to Hole features have been nothing short of a game-changer. With new start and termination options, users now experience increased flexibility in defining holes based on surrounding geometry. These improvements streamline the process of creating holes, making it a more intuitive and efficient endeavor.

3. Fit Class Tolerances

The Fit Class Tolerance feature, which applies to Drawings as well, is noteworthy, automatically displaying fit class information in the hole call-out. This addition provides valuable data for consumers, enriching the overall user experience and ensuring precise communication of design specifications.

4. Inspection Table Panels

Another revolutionary addition to Onshape is the Inspection Table panel. It introduces a clean table format for viewing inspection items without the need for manual sheet building. This innovation simplifies the inspection process, allowing for easy tagging of items, automatic updates, and seamless export to CSV for integration into other systems.

Tech Tip: How to Facilitate First Article Inspection (FAI) with Onshape

5. Arena R2

The Arena R2 release marks a groundbreaking improvement in the connection between CAD and PLM functionalities. This integration is now simpler and more efficient than ever. With just one click, users can sync the bill of materials to Arena PLM, streamlining processes and eliminating the need for manual data entry.

6. List View

List View offers a transformative approach to navigating product structures. It allows users to view information based on the product structure, departing from traditional document containers. This not only provides a more intuitive way to browse data in Onshape but also ensures easy access to the latest revisions and released states of designs.

7. Frame Profiles

Onshape Frames now supports the creation of custom Frame profile libraries. This functionality enables users to define and share standard sections within their organizations, streamlining the design process and ensuring consistency across projects.

8. Boundary Surface

The introduction of new Surfacing features, including Boundary Surface and Face Blend, has elevated Onshape's advanced surfacing toolset. The Boundary Surface feature places high-quality surfacing capabilities into the hands of all Onshape users.

The Boundary Surface approach utilizes sets of curves from each direction to form a four-sided, closed surface, offering options to specify boundary conditions such as tangency matching and normal to profile.

9. Face Blend

Face Blend is a set of surfacing options used in situations requiring more control than a fillet. Unlike a fillet, which can only be applied between connected faces, Face Blend can be applied to both connected and disconnected faces. This feature can create multiple Face Blends that are detachable from the faces on which they are applied.

10. Modal Analysis

Modal Analysis emerges as a valuable addition to Onshape Simulation capabilities. It enables the determination of product modes and shapes, providing insight into how the product may behave under different frequencies. This analysis seamlessly integrates with the existing workflow, utilizing the same boundary conditions as static analysis.

The Modal Analysis results display different modes and their corresponding shapes, offering a visual representation of the product's potential movements. This feature grants users a deeper understanding of their designs without the need for additional loads or boundary conditions. The ability to animate and visualize these mode shapes empowers engineers to assess the structural behavior of their designs more comprehensively.

An Ever-Improving Cloud CAD Design Software

The past year has seen Onshape evolve and mature through a series of impactful updates, setting the stage for even more innovation and user-centric enhancements in the years to come. The commitment to providing a versatile and user-friendly platform remains steadfast, as Onshape continues to be a trailblazer in CAD design software.

As we contemplate the significance of these features, it's evident that Onshape is not merely a CAD design platform; it's an evolving ecosystem that embraces innovation and user feedback. The strides taken in 2023 lay the foundation for a future where Onshape continues to redefine the landscape of design software.

Timeline of Onshape releases in 2023

Looking ahead, the commitment to user-centric design, efficiency, and precision remains unwavering. Onshape's journey is not just a reflection of the past but a promise for the future – a future where design processes are streamlined, collaboration is seamless, and innovation knows no bounds.

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