Are You Missing Out on the Full Benefits of Cloud for Product Design?

Uncover 6 Warning Signs Your CAD and PDM Solution is Falling Short on the Cloud Promise

You may be considering moving to a product development solution labeled cloud-based, cloud-powered, cloud-enabled, or cloud-something. If it says ‘cloud’, surely you can expect your tools to help you do your best work faster and with less hassle? Well, not so fast.

Take this short quiz to uncover six warning signs that indicate that your CAD and PDM solution may be falling short.

Who installs and maintains the product design software?

It might surprise you, but if anything has to be downloaded to use the software, it was not built for the cloud.

Desktop software, even if adapted for the cloud, will always require IT to maintain causing downtime and additional costs for hardware upgrades. Failing to update users' machines and PDM servers, can also cause security vulnerabilities and compatibility issues.

IT, CAD admin, or myself

A big benefit of cloud-native software is the zero IT footprint.

Cloud-native software simplifies accessibility and eliminates the need for complex IT infrastructure, allowing users to access and utilize the software from anywhere. Users can access the latest features without interruption, maximizing productivity, with no need for downloads or updates.

No one

What device(s) do you use for your product design work?

Awesome! You are enjoying the flexibility and convenience of accessing your CAD and PDM software anytime, anywhere, and on any device.

Cloud-native CAD & PDM breaks you free from the constraints of traditional workstations, enabling productivity on the go. You also can access your CAD & PDM software on native apps for mobile devices.

Any device, including mobile phones and tablets

Cloud solutions should provide mobility across different types of devices.

Legacy CAD and PDM solutions, historically dependant on specific operating systems, VPNs, and hardware requirements, confine users to dedicated computers and offer limited mobile support.

PC laptop

How many people can work on the same part or assembly?

Your CAD and PDM software doesn’t support multi-user, simultaneous editing.

Its file-based nature restricts access. Only ONE person can make revisions to a part or assembly file at a time, whether through check-in/check-out processes or cloud storage uploads/downloads.

One at a time

Advanced collaboration is a big advantage of cloud-native CAD and PDM solutions.

With a database architecture, users that have appropriate permissions will always be able to view/edit the model. This enables concurrent engineering practices while preventing design conflicts between multiple users.

Many at the same time

Does your product design software ever crash?

Did you know that the average designer loses up to 7.1 hours a week due to time wastes like crashes, lost data, and IT administration?

Beyond the torture of lost work and wasted time, installed CAD software also requires frequent hardware refreshes and software updates, resulting in further downtime.

Yes, I save frequently

A well-designed, cloud-native service doesn't crash because many servers are efficiently and effectively handling your 3D modeling and data management tasks.

If one server fails, another can instantly pick up the work. And because all of your actions are tracked in your history, you never lose work.


How do you explore ideas and experiment with your designs, before integrating changes into the main project?

Outstanding, branching and merging is a new and efficient way to divide work, develop and test new features, and iteratively evolve a design.

Cloud-native software, such as Onshape, draw inspiration from the Git version control system. Users can explore ideas in independent workspaces called branches and then ‘merge’ selected changes back into the original design.

Branching and Merging

Copying files for each new experiment leaves you with a cluttered workspace, making it difficult to track changes and manage versions effectively.

File-based CAD software was not designed with data management at the core, complicating collaboration. For example, even if you have a PDM system, merging changes to an assembly from two or more users is often a manual and error-prone task.

Make a copy

How do you share your CAD data with external collaborators?

There’s a better way. Sending CAD files requires that your collaborators have certain versions of CAD software or CAD viewers installed.

Compatibility issues and limited viewer functionality cause frustration and inefficiencies when others need to inspect and interact with your CAD designs. Most importantly, once you send a file to someone else you can’t remove access or see who else has viewed it.

CAD file

Cloud-native CAD and PDM make sharing with external collaborators easy and secure.

Sharing through secure links allows users to safely share sensitive IP while simplifying how the recipient accesses the information. This gives you back control to prevent unauthorized copying, downloading, exporting, or redistribution of your data.

Secure URL

Did one of your answers show that the cloud CAD solution you are looking at will never deliver the FULL range of benefits the cloud has to offer?

Only platforms that were built natively for the cloud, or better said that are “cloud-native”, are capable of delivering the full benefits of working online and on mobile devices. These benefits include reliability, ease of access, and improved collaboration - to name a few.

Many CAD and PDM vendors are misleading customers by ‘cloud-washing’ their existing solutions, effectively adding the word “cloud” in their sales and marketing without any meaningful enhancement. Unfortunately, cloud washing can obscure the true value of cloud technology, leading some to disappointment or dissatisfaction with their product’s actual performance and capabilities.

Don’t shortchange yourself. See what product designers like you are saying about Onshape’s cloud-native CAD and PDM system.

Get the latest customer satisfaction statistics from G2, a trusted platform that collects software reviews from real users.

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