The Hy5 engineering team switched from file-based, on-premise CAD to PTC’s cloud-native Onshape in 2016, the early days of the MyHand’s development, because they wanted to move to a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) product design platform.
“Mostly all the parts have since been redesigned in Onshape,” Kyrkjebø says. “In the cloud, the iteration process is just faster and easier. Onshape allows multiple people to be working on the same design at the same time, but they also can be working on alternative branches.”
“I’m not afraid of making a lot of variations,” he says, referring to Onshape’s Branching and Merging feature. “You can make as many changes as you want and then do a design review and choose which version is best. I’ll often say to colleagues, ‘Hold on, give me 30 minutes and I’ll model what I’m thinking about.’ And then if the idea is approved, I can just merge it into the main design.”
Kyrkjebø, who has a background using NX and primarily SOLIDWORKS, recalls dealing with frequent work interruptions and delays when using file-based Product Data Management (PDM) systems.
“It was always frustrating when you knew which parts you needed to work on, but they were checked out by somebody else. Then you had to figure out who this person is and ask them to check the parts back in the vault. It’s a huge waste of time when the system works like that,” he says. “But in Onshape, there’s no time spent claiming and unclaiming files. It’s easy to follow different revisions and you have full control all the time.”
With Onshape’s real-time data management, when one member of the design team makes a change online, everyone else instantly sees it. A comprehensive Edit History tracks who made what revision and when, allowing for a quick return to any prior state of the design.
Kyrkjebø says he doesn’t measure Onshape’s time savings in minutes and hours, but in prevented “frustration and tears and how many screens you want to throw at the wall.”
“I’m only getting more and more fond of Onshape the more I use it,” he says.
Hands Across the World