5 Activities That Will Change
How You Think of CAD and PDM

Feeling stuck in a design rut? If you want to revitalize your CAD skills, challenge yourself with these CAD drawing-related activities and explore Onshape Professional, free for up to 6 months with this limited-time offer.


Let’s start with CAD drawings, which are more than lines on a screen – they are blueprints of the future products that will shape our world. Without good-quality digital CAD drawings, ideas lack definition, and manufacturing teams lack the direction to bring them to life.

One Onshape customer, Dalkia, has modernized their product development processes by adopting fully digital drawings and secure online sharing.

Based in Massachusetts, Dalkia helps companies around the world decarbonize their facilities by using low-emission combined heat and power (CHP) systems to meet climate change goals and regulations. All CAD Drawing Images Courtesy Dalkia.

Unique to Onshape’s built-in data management, your CAD assembly, drawings, and metadata all stem from the same unified source. This makes creating and updating drawings a smooth experience. Since all elements stay up to date, your team can efficiently build accurate documentation while the product design evolves, and you never have to worry about broken file references.

Are You Ready For Digital Drawings? Let’s Go.

Prior to Onshape, much of Dalkia’s company’s legacy designs were created in 2D CAD and were documented with paper drawings stored in physical binders. You may also be in a similar collaboration predicament, with copies of PDF, DWG, DXF files floating about.

Try these 5 activities with Onshape’s Discovery Program to experience a more efficient and reliable approach to managing your design data and collaborating with vendors and clients.

Create and Share CAD Drawings Online

With Onshape, you can create, share, and release drawings using any web-enabled device. This gives you the flexibility to work productively at home, in the office, or on the shop floor.

Try It: Work where you want to work by accessing your CAD drawings from any device, including Onshape’s mobile app for iOS and Android. You can download the apps for free from the Apple App Store or Google Play.

Dalkia employees can access CAD drawings on the shop floor using Macs.

Drawing of CAD assembly from Dalkia.

Communicate Complex Designs with Context

Onshape supports creating production-ready drawings, incorporating multiple views, and adhering to industry-standard visualizations, including ANSI, ISO 16792/5459, and GD&T, for clear and comprehensive documentation.

Try It: Explore Onshape’s Drawings Tech Tips and create a detailed Drawing with geometric dimensions, tolerances, surface finishes, and fastener locations. Try adding tables, callouts, balloons, and other standard elements.

Experience Built-in Data Management

With Onshape, data management is built-in, so your CAD drawing is unified with your CAD data. Onshape’s cloud-native architecture links assemblies with their drawings, allowing you to go from viewing 2D cross sections to editing parts in 3D with one click. Changes to your design are automatically synced and reflected in any parts, BOM tables, or linked information contained in your drawing.

Try it: Create changes in a part or assembly and track those changes through to a drawing. Notice anything? With Onshape, there are no files and no broken assembly references! All information flows from the CAD model into the drawing, from dimensions to decals.

CAD Model and BOM table in Onshape from Dalkia.

Custom tables in CAD drawing from Dalkia.

Use a Drawing to Start a Release Process

Only Onshape, with its built-in PDM, can streamline the process of versioning and releasing designs to just one click. Onshape will collect together all the parts and assemblies referenced in a drawing for you, making it easy, accurate, and efficient to release drawings to manufacturing.

Try It: Enable Onshape’s out-of-the-box release management workflow, assign reviewers, and create a release candidate off of a drawing. Bonus points if you set up mobile notifications and approve the drawing using Onshape’s mobile app.

Digitally Talk to Your Manufacturing Teams

Onshape provides comprehensive support for a variety of tables crucial for manufacturing, including revision tables, inspection tables, hole tables and cut-list tables,facilitating manufacturing and quality processes. Better yet, when you share a manufacturing partner into a design using the Publication feature, you can control exactly what version of the CAD data they see and access. This means you can clearly communicate your manufacturing and inspection instructions with the context of your full 3D model.

Try It: Create a table within a drawing, share a manufacturing partner into the Doc, and tag them with a comment. With Onshape, you can treat your manufacturing partners as close collaborators and provide access of your design data to extended team members.

Dalkia employees can review full 3D CAD on the shop floor.

Give Onshape a ‘Go’, Nothing is Stopping You.

Onshape’s Discovery Program removes the roadblocks to exploring cloud-native CAD and PDM. Sign up today with your team and get instant access to 24/7 reliable online, professional CAD, free for up to six months. Onshape is also top rated in customer satisfaction. “Onshape has made my work so much more fun. Period.” - Xavier Pereira, Product Development Engineer at Dalkia.

So challenge yourself to learn new ways of working while enhancing your CAD skills.

The Onshape
Discovery Program

Learn how qualified CAD professionals
can get Onshape Professional
for up to 6 months – at no cost!