“Onshape is the only Software-as-a-Service product development platform that combines CAD, built-in data management, real-time collaboration tools, and business analytics.”

These are the words that greet visitors on Onshape’s homepage. They succinctly describe all that Onshape can do, which is to combine useful CAD and PDM features into one seamless product – all while being flexible enough for customization to fit the needs of any user.

What else wraps all the good things perfectly together? A burrito.

Yes, those delicious food items can be found at food trucks, fancy restaurants, Taco Bell or from the nice substitute teacher back in high school. Burritos are everywhere – and for a reason.

Burrito means “little donkey,” which, according to a co-author of Burrito! Hot on the Trail of the Little Burro, is meant to evoke the image of a donkey carrying a variety of packages to the next location…exactly how a burrito delivers a variety of flavors to the mouth.

Let’s compare burritos to Onshape. Because sometimes a CAD blog needs a little flavor and some tasty insights.

Here are three ways cloud-native CAD is like a warm, delicious burrito. (Yes, this is being written before lunchtime.)

The making of a burrito

A Flexible CAD

A burrito can contain basically anything. Beans, rice, chicken, beef, tofu, peppers. Burritos can be sweet. They can be smothered with cheese and green chile. There are sushi burritos. I could go on and on and on…

A burrito order can contain whatever someone is craving. As long as it fits inside the tortilla, it’s good to go. 

The same goes for Onshape’s Custom Features, which allows users to create their own features needed to improve individual workflows. Users are also able to modify existing tools to fit the needs of any business owner, hobbyist, casual user, student or educator. 

Much like ordering at a restaurant, you’re able to use already existing Custom Features “off a menu,” so to speak, like Freeform Spline, Auto Layout and more. Learn how to set up an existing Custom Feature in this Tech Tip.

For additional customization, you can head to your kitchen and create your own. In Onshape’s case, the kitchen is FeatureScript and users can get dirty with their own code and create or adjust features to one’s needs.

A Scalable CAD 

When I moved away from my hometown of El Paso, Texas, I noticed that burritos elsewhere were much larger and included way more fillings than what I was typically used to. 

In El Paso, burritos are usually thinner and smaller and contain few fillings (namely, no rice). Elsewhere, they are giant in comparison.

Like the tortilla that can hold whatever it needs to hold, Onshape’s cloud-native architecture allows for unlimited growth for teams and new software solutions.

For example, onboarding new employees to your team won’t be too much of a hassle to connect them to Onshape – they can create their own account and sign in to whichever device they’re working on. There are no licenses to juggle. No difficult IT hurdles to overcome.

And because Onshape is Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), updates to the platform are continuous, with new features added every three weeks. 

A Mobile CAD

Donkeys travel miles carrying much-needed deliverables. You can order a burrito to-go, pop it in the fridge and eat it for dinner later that day – with minimal dish cleanup. You can travel with it to the tops of mountain ranges or on a boat in the middle of a lake.

Onshape is just as mobile because it can be accessed on any device with an internet browser. Onshape can be reached from any device, be it iOS, Android, tablets, mobile phones, Linux and more – as long as there’s the internet, you’re good to go.

Burrito Pop, an invention by Madelin Woods and designed using Onshape, gives burrito eaters even more mobility. The twistable burrito holder keeps contents warm, much like a coffee tumbler, and also serves as a useful tool to eat at your own pace. 

Her idea was a popular one. After launching a Kickstarter campaign in September 2020, Burrito Pop reached 100% of its goal in 5 hours, Woods said, and was able to ship the product just two months later.

One of Burrito Pop’s engineers from Informal, an international freelance engineering network that helped bring Burrito Pop to life, clearly sees the parallel between the product and the food item.

“Onshape wraps up fantastic and powerful tools in an easy to handle format. It's easy to use at home and on the go, is incredibly versatile, and isn't messy or confusing,” said Sam Holland, a mechanical engineer and Informal co-founder. “It's the burrito of CAD programs.”

And now it’s time for lunch.

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