Resource Center > Articles > Design Teams Overcome Blocked Collaboration

(The following is an excerpt of “The Design Gridlock Manifesto,” Onshape’s eBook exploring the numerous ways how old file-based CAD technology forces the design and manufacturing process to a complete halt – and sometimes even pushes it backwards.)

When using old file-based CAD systems, engineers usually need to choose one of these four options to share their work:

  1. Email files;
  2. Put them in elaborate Product Data Management (PDM) systems which require CAD users to check out files from “the vault”;
  3. Put them on an FTP site;
  4. Use a storage service like Dropbox or Google Drive.

All of these options involve partners sending files back and forth and waiting for feedback.

Also, unless two engineers are physically sitting next to each other, it is difficult to simultaneously collaborate on the same 3D model. Kludgy solutions exist that involve sharing a computer screen on GoToMeeting and getting on the phone. However, multiple engineers cannot be creating or editing the same model at the same time. They have to work serially, one person at a time.

Modern CAD Offers Real-Time Collaboration

Onshape Sharing allows companies to securely and instantly collaborate with a colleague, vendor, customer or partner by granting them editing, commenting or view-only access rights to a CAD model. Equally valuable is the ability to instantly withdraw outside access to your designs when a project is over, reducing the risk of unintentionally leaking your intellectual property.

Onshape’s built-in collaboration tools allow multiple people to simultaneously work on the same part or assembly. When anyone, anywhere makes a design change, everyone else on the team instantly sees it.

How One Company Is Dramatically Improving Collaboration



Capsonic Automotive & Aerospace is a manufacturer of high-quality, end-item electromechanical assemblies serving the automotive, aerospace, heavy truck and military vehicle markets.

“Half my product development team is based in Juarez, Mexico, and the other half works in Elgin, Illinois – and I split my time between both facilities,” says Dennis Breen, VP of Engineering & Technology at Capsonic Automotive & Aerospace.

“Using the real-time analytics in Onshape Enterprise helps me keep track of who is working on what and when, so I can better prioritize how our engineers spend their time,” he says. “I also like the option to add light users so our manufacturing engineers and automation engineers can immediately access the latest 3D CAD data and use it to improve our processes.”

“In our previous environment, I had to separately manage the flow of SOLIDWORKS® data between facilities. And they all had to have SOLIDWORKS installed on their computers,” Breen adds. “None of that comes into play anymore. With Onshape, they can just log in and have access to all the data whenever they want to look at it. It helps us be much more efficient with our workflows.”

Overcome Design Gridlock – Get the EBook

In “The Design Gridlock Manifesto,” you’ll read the most frustrating product development experiences of 15 companies and how they dealt with seemingly unavoidable delays in their design and manufacturing process.

If you’ve read this far, you won’t be surprised to learn that the common denominator for conquering gridlock is Onshape, the only modern CAD system that combines advanced modeling tools and design data management in a secure cloud workspace.

So now that you know that there’s a fast track to modernizing your company’s workflows, what are you waiting for? Get your free copy of “The Design Gridlock Manifesto” today!