The history of video games tells us one thing: We want to share experiences with others around us. We want to collaborate.

Some of the earliest commercial video games were found in arcades, where players could only compete on the same screen at the same time. We’ve seen that concept evolve with at-home consoles, like the Super Nintendo and eventually the PlayStation, offering users a multiplayer experience. Still, games at this time were restricted to only two or four players. 

Fast forward to now, and multitudes of players from all over the world are able to log in and defeat dragons or become part of a live DJ set

That power to collaborate is spreading to workplaces in every industry – including product development and manufacturing. More and more business leaders are reevaluating work processes in order to spot the issues that are holding up teams from getting work done. 

According to the “Preventing Product Design Bottlenecks” infographic, file-based computer-aided design (CAD) systems can be to blame for delays and missed deadlines – especially if users are locked out of the files they need to access.

Between clunky product data management (PDM) systems and CAD software that only works on specific devices, teams aren’t able to collaborate seamlessly. Let’s explore why. 

The Problem: A Chokehold on CAD & Collaboration

It’s not uncommon for project managers to wait forever to give new engineers access to CAD. They first need to buy a new license code from their Value Added Reseller (VAR), a process that can take days or weeks depending on the VAR’s responsiveness. Then the IT department needs to provision a computer and devote several hours for installation per CAD seat. When engineers are ready to CAD, the CAD usually isn’t ready for them.

Also, with file-based CAD systems, access is tied to the license, not the user. So engineers are tied to their office computers and can’t work on any other device. Furthermore, Mac enthusiasts have not been able to use most file-based CAD systems without first installing virtualization software to run Windows. This extra layer of software can lead to additional issues like CAD crashes and file corruption.

A worker is frustrated after another computer crashComputer crashes can anger even the calmest CAD designers. Source:

The Solution: Online CAD Software That Works

Cloud-native Onshape offers real-time CAD deployment. Whenever a new member is added to a design team, he or she can start working in minutes, on all of their computers, phones and tablets. Onshape runs in an internet browser and with mobile apps (Android and iOS) so engineers can always carry their entire CAD system and their CAD data with them. Onshape also works with Macs, PCs, Linux or Chromebooks, so you can focus more on your designs versus worrying about your machine. 

This device agnostic ability is one reason why Actronika chose Onshape.

The Paris-based R&D company develops patented haptic processing units (HPUs) that connect to actuators and tiny vibrotactile motors inside other companies’ hardware, including automobiles, phones, video games and other consumer products.

The company’s software development department uses Linux, co-founder and CTO Rafal Pijewski said in an Onshape case study. “Because we do a lot of embedded software and there are a lot of electronics, there are lots of times when we need to share designs with them. Onshape is perfect for our design reviews.”

Another R&D firm, Delta Development, embraces the ease-of-access and CAD collaboration Onshape offers.

“Being able to collaborate in a browser just makes CAD extremely more useful for a distributed team like ourselves. I previously spent 30 years doing it the old way and I’m very glad we decided to change our approach,” said chief engineer Bill Barg in an Onshape case study.

Delta Development is based in Arizona and specializes in military applications for cooling and heating systems in extreme environments. 

Easy Access to CAD Models 

In “Preventing Product Design Bottlenecks” eBook, learn how to address the following problems that happen frequently with file-based CAD:

Get your free copy today and explore why cloud-native CAD will save time, build business agility and unburden your team from outdated software.