Another key reason for moving Analytical Space’s product development to the cloud was the team’s previous frustration with the frequency of file-based CAD system crashes.
“Onshape talks about delivering four nines of uptime (99.99% of uptime),” says Marlow. “You can’t get even close to that with a traditional file-based CAD platform. They crash often and when they do, you end up with errors that propagate well beyond the problem you faced when the crash happened. Because you break linkages and the saves weren't saved.”
“So it’s not only inefficient, but then you have to go back and relink any number of parts in a document tree to the assembly that you were working on prior,” he adds. “It's absolutely painful.”
In contrast, cloud-native CAD users never experience the negative impact of crashes. Although no software is 100% crash-proof, on the rare occasions when Onshape does crash, design data is already saved on redundant servers and a new instance of the failed software component takes over in just a few milliseconds. Onshape users experience no major disruptions or data loss if a software crash happens.
Marlow credits Onshape for helping his engineering team design the Meshbed satellite from scratch in only 45 days, compared to “months and months” of finalizing the first Radix design.
“Onshape gives you a new design philosophy where you don’t have to waste mental cycles worrying about your own file and folder hygiene,” he says. “You don’t have to copy anything. You just develop many ideas at the same time, test them, see what works, and continue developing. It’s very freeing.”
“Onshape saves us hours of design time on each project,” Marlow adds. “For a startup, that’s invaluable because every person hour that gets wasted is another hour away from putting another satellite in space.”