To design the FarmBot Genesis, Aronson chose Onshape, a cloud-native CAD and PDM platform that accelerates product development and streamlines collaboration by ensuring every team member is working from the same single source of truth.
FarmBot’s core development team works internally on new improvements before releasing them to the wider open-source community around the world. Onshape’s simultaneous editing tools, allowing multiple people to collaborate on the same model at the same time, have been especially valuable as the core team is spread out between North America and Europe.
“Shifting to Onshape was very much like the shift from desktop word processing to Google Docs. All of a sudden, the power of collaboration was unlocked,” Aronson says. “It's great to be in the same Document as another engineer and editing stuff simultaneously or being able to watch or provide feedback. When we're in the same workspace, I can update parts while someone else is updating the assembly and yet another person is updating the drawings.”
“When we need to get parts to our manufacturers or need to make a prototype on the 3D printer, we do things a lot quicker in Onshape,” he adds. “For us, this has meant at least a 50 to 100% increase in productivity as opposed to the old CAD workflow where only a single person can access a document at a time.”
The FarmBot team also values Onshape’s instant accessibility on any computer, tablet or phone. “I use both a Windows and a Mac computer, but I used to be tied to just Windows when I was using SOLIDWORKS,” Aronson says. “Our other hardware engineer prefers Linux, so he can also be consulted in some software development. So it's really nice for him to be able to load up Onshape in the browser on his platform, and I can use it on my two platforms.”
“We also like using it on our phones, whether it’s at an informal lunch showing somebody a part to convey an idea, or in a car ride on the way to the manufacturer to update a part file or a drawing at the very last minute,” he adds.
Onshape is Perfect for Open-Source Projects