The numbers are in: Onshape is now the number one fastest-growing CAD system in the world, according to engineering.com, growing at seven times the average rate of the CAD market, and is used by over two million users.

Wow, what a year indeed!

When these numbers were announced, I immediately thought of all the hard work the Onshape team has put into improving the computer-aided design (CAD) and data management experience and connecting users to the next generation of CAD technology. We're the only cloud-native product development platform that integrates CAD, data management and analytics – all in one Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution.

These numbers are so gratifying to me because they validate Onshape’s impact on improving product design by our customers every day. (I invite you to take a look at the wide range of industries where Onshape is making a transformational impact.)

So, I’d like to take a moment to look back on our successes of 2021 and explore the many facets that made this year great despite it being far from the “normal” we’d hoped for. 


A Year of Growth at Onshape

We saw dramatic growth in our customer base, including a huge increase in education users from high schools and universities from around the world. In many areas, we have become a de-facto standard in education for students and teachers. Education is a part of the world that has shifted strongly to cloud-native tools so Onshape fits right in.

To meet that growth is the Onshape team.

We’ve worked relentlessly despite almost two years of upheaval in our normal lives. The Onshape team has been able to respond to the challenges arising in the COVID era and help our customers navigate through these stressful times. And for that, I am proud.

The team has helped build a CAD platform that solves issues that plague engineering and product development processes. Onshape’s collaboration and security features are like no other CAD systems – and more and more users are noticing. 

Rolling Out Improvements Big and Small

Growing at seven times the market rate must mean we're doing something right. And that something is our dedication to consistently deliver a better product to our users and best of all: every user in the world is always on the same version of Onshape, the latest version, without any wasted time or effort on their part thanks to our automatic upgrades for all users.

This year alone, we released 16 product updates with enhancements to Onshape’s functionality as well as to the Onshape Learning Center

Each release brings a variety of improvements to our customers. If you asked me to pick my favorite for 2021, I’d say it’s the small improvements. Why? Because sometimes it's the little things that mean the most to our users – things like detailed feature improvements in part modeling, assembly modeling, graphics and drawings.  

These often do not make headlines or become big marketing campaigns, but I still get really excited about these core enhancements. Whether it's being able to create a fillet by constant width offset, or adding limits to ball mate rotation, or seeing profile views of toroidal edges as arcs in Drawing Views, these improvements really get our users excited – so they get me excited, too.

And in 2022, you can expect to see even higher rates of delivery on core modeling and drawing functions, because we listen to our customers and aim to give them what they need to innovate.

Top CAD Software for Over 2 Million Users

It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: Our (over two million) users are the best in the world.

And so, the number one 2021 highlight for me is seeing our customers use Onshape to design great products – and seeing how more and more teams are embracing cloud-native CAD. I love to hear how they are able to design faster and better while saving time and money; how they were more innovative because they could consider more design alternatives and iterations; how they collaborated better because it was so easy to get more people involved using CAD; and even how they simply had more fun.

I also appreciate hearing from our customers who complain about something they don't like and point out what’s missing from the platform: They drive us to do better. Thank you!

Next year, we are expecting great things, some of which will be teased during a session with our R&D team at the upcoming Onshape Live 2022 user conference, which will take place in March (registration opening soon!). It will possibly be the biggest year for Onshape product expansion and enhancement. Stay tuned!

(Great things are ahead, but there's plenty to brag about now. Learn how Onshape is making a difference for companies in engineering, product development and more around the world!)

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