As you may have heard, Onshape has cultivated a wonderful community of tinkerers, creators, STEM students, and professional CAD users through the Onshape Forum and Onshape User Groups

But for former Onshape User Experience intern Katie Gosbee, a mechanical engineering student at Olin College of Engineering, the community was missing something that is endemic to the larger technology and engineering industries — a diverse collection of voices.

The latest stats found that women only make up about 27% of STEM workers in the U.S. as of 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

So in late 2020, Gosbee and a few Onshape colleagues launched the “Women Who CAD” user group. 

The purpose of the group, she wrote in a blog, is to promote inclusion and diversity, strengthen a sense of community among Onshape users, and to empower women in mechanical engineering and product design. 

“Showcasing more women role models in engineering is also a way to encourage students to pursue mechanical engineering as a major. As a mechanical engineering student myself, I hope to graduate and work in a more inclusive industry,” Gosbee wrote.

And showcase it has. The group has successfully brought together a plethora of engineering experts to share their knowledge. For the next meeting, Hi-Tech Fashion Designer and Innovator Anouk Wipprecht will keynote.

A Place to Discuss Modern CAD and Network

The “Women Who CAD” will be a year old in December 2021. 

Since its inception, the group has been graced with guest speakers like Elise Moss, president of Moss Designs and renowned author for some of the top CAD publications, and Haleyanne Freedman, Global Engineering Market Manager at M. Holland Co. and National Chair-North America at Women in 3D Printing.  

The next meeting will be October 28, 2021 at 6 p.m. EDT. It will be hosted by Advisory Board Members Micki Dupnik, Senior Mechanical Engineer at Vivonics Inc., and Gosbee.

Wipprecht is a Dutch FashionTech Designer, Roboticist, Technologist, Innovator, Tinkerer, Educator, Creative Director, and a recent addition to the Ghostraptor BattleBots team, which Onshape sponsored for the 2021 World Championships.

One of her recent designs is the “Proximity Dress,” which encourages social distancing, she told NPR. See more of her creations on her Instagram page. 

Anouk Wipprecht wearing the Spider Dress. (Photo Courtesy: Anouk Wipprecht)

Using Onshape to Build a BattleBot and Other Tidbits

For the BattleBot competition (which will air on Discovery at a later date), Wipprecht and the Ghostraptor team utilized Onshape to make changes and adjust the inner workings of the team’s robot. 

“Onshape is great, very intuitive. The UX is fantastic and it runs well on both of my laptops,” she said about using the cloud-native CAD platform that can be used on any device from anywhere. 

Wipprecht has plenty of experience with other CAD systems, and advises new Onshape users to visit the Onshape Learning Center and “go as far and as deep as you want.”

“The first lecture gives you a bit more history on CAD, CAD tools and history on PTC and Onshape for people that are not that experienced with CAD yet, this is a great place to start,” she said. 

“I find that 'learning new software' always works best if you have a pet-project to work on, or something in mind that you want to create toward,” she advised. “Maybe something around the house, or a piece of jewelry — anything that can state some kind of deadline or 'deliverable'.”

Wipprechet will give more insights into her learning journey with new software as well as dive deeper into her impressive career during the upcoming meeting. 

Register for the Onshape “Women Who CAD” User Group meeting today! All are welcome.