Having an Onshape User Conference has been a dream of mine for a long time. I’ve always been excited about the concept of getting the Onshape community together to meet each other and learn from each other.

So with that mantra in mind, I am delighted to invite you to Onshape Live ‘21, our first-ever user conference on March 11, 2021. Consider it a celebration of our Onshape community and what we’ve already accomplished and what’s yet-to-be achieved by helping transform your product development process through a SaaS cloud platform.

I am beaming every week when I learn of new innovative products being designed in Onshape across nearly every industry. Some product designs are life-changing (watch our recent “Innovation for Good” panel discussion with Onshape customers), while others might be incremental improvements on a household appliance.  Every time I meet with a customer, I learn something from them about how to best put Onshape to work, and it really motivates me to find more ways to make Onshape even better.

 Onshape founder Jon Hirschtick recently visited with evTS, a customer that designs and builds compact electric vehicles for municipalities, public safety departments, package delivery fleets and other applications.

Onshape Live ‘21 is a free four-hour virtual conference highlighting industry success stories, best practices for product developers, tips and tricks for cloud-based CAD and data management, insights on engineering education, and professional networking opportunities.

In addition, you’ll have a chance to interact directly with Onshape’s R&D team and participate in perhaps the coolest part of the whole event: See demos of some exciting new Onshape features coming in the future! 

Who Should Attend Onshape Live ‘21?

Onshape Live is meant for both longtime practitioners of cloud-based product development as well as curious onlookers re-examining their current design tools. I recommend everyone in the Onshape community attend, including:

  • Onshape Customers – Businesses of all sizes can learn about how to use Onshape even better and discover new features across Onshape’s Standard, Professional and Enterprise plans.

  • Prospective Onshape Customers – Engineering and manufacturing professionals can feel firsthand the power and excitement of our Onshape community.

  • Onshape Partners – Application developers and sales channel partners worldwide can learn about new opportunities for the coming year.

  • Educators/Students – PTC recently exceeded one million users for Onshape’s free Education plans. Hear directly from the head of PTC’s Global Academic Programs to learn how Onshape can improve the classroom or remote learning experience from middle school through graduate school. 

  • Media/Industry Analysts – Industry adoption for cloud/SaaS product development tools has been rapidly accelerated by the pandemic. What’s coming next?

I’d like to note that Onshape Live is separate from PTC’s LiveWorx 2021, a year-long series of special events highlighting the impact of digital transformation on product design and manufacturing. Onshape customers will also benefit from participating in LiveWorx events, with specific programming dedicated to how forward-thinking companies and schools are improving their product development processes.

Get an Insider’s View of Onshape

Onshape customer DarkAero, an aviation company specializing in aerospace composite products and high-perfomance carbon-fiber aircraft, will join us for the Onshape Experts “Tips and Tricks” sessions.

The conference will kick off with PTC CEO Jim Heppelmann, followed by some of my observations about the State of Onshape in 2021. After those talks, attendees will be asked to choose one live breakout presentation each from Sessions A and B, with everyone convening at the end of the day for a “Sneak Peek” Q&A session with the Onshape R&D team.

Here’s a more detailed lineup of Onshape Live ‘21:


  • EXPERT TIPS ‘N TRICKS (PART 1): Onshape Modeling and Drafting – Come experience a rapid-fire collection of tips and tricks that will enable you to create better Onshape models, faster. Some unique, some brand new, some hidden gems - all extremely useful.

  • EXPAND YOUR ENGINEERING TOOLBOX – Join Onshape experts as they demonstrate the full spectrum of the SaaS platform’s collaboration capabilities. Having worked with thousands of companies, they will share the methods that customers, vendors and engineers use to streamline the collaboration process.

  • TRAINING TOMORROW’S ENGINEERS IN ONSHAPE – Learn how university engineering programs and high school STEM classes are improving team and student-teacher collaboration, and leveling the playing field for CAD accessibility with the cloud-based Onshape Education plans. Also hear from educators how Onshape “future proofs” their classrooms for any sudden switch to remote learning.

  • ABOARD THE ONSHAPE ENTERPRISE – Learn how Onshape Enterprise customers have transformed their approach to product development, improved design and manufacturing processes and deployed Onshape’s SaaS platform on a global scale.


  • EXPERT TIPS ‘N TRICKS (PART 2):  How to Run a Project in Onshape – Have you ever wondered how the best engineers and companies manage their projects in Onshape? Learn the top tips and tricks used by industry experts for managing projects of all sizes.

  • UNDER THE HOOD: How Onshape’s Cloud Architecture Actually Works – Peek inside Onshape’s unique cloud architecture and how it enables instant and fearless CAD collaboration, integrated data management and frequent updates. Learn what the cloud looks like from the inside.

  • Best Practices for Transitioning from SOLIDWORKS to Onshape – One of the biggest concerns companies have when transferring from SOLIDWORKS to Onshape is how migration is handled. This session focuses on deciding what to migrate, how to accomplish it most efficiently, and what to do with all that legacy data.

  • How to Fully Leverage Onshape's Benefits Across Your Company – Learn the difference between traditional CAD/PLM/ERP integrations and how SaaS-based solutions integrate with the rest of your organization. We will examine some common myths related to integrating SaaS solutions and take a deep dive into how Onshape solves the integration challenge.

  • FEA, RENDERING, CAM, ECAD, AND MORE: Expand Your Team’s Capabilities With Onshape’s Integrated Cloud Apps – From conceptual design, to analysis, rendering, ECAD, technical publications and more, Onshape’s Partners provide users with the tools to collaborate seamlessly, all within the Onshape database.


  • What’s Next in Onshape: A Sneak Peek – A candid Q&A session with leaders from Onshape’s R&D team. Be the first to hear about unannounced upcoming features from the people who are building them. We rarely talk about what’s next, so this is a special opportunity for Onshape Insiders. And yes, there will be some demos!

To reserve your free spot at Onshape Live ‘21, please register here. To hear some additional thoughts on what to expect at the conference, watch the video below: