Onshape Opens Free Beta Trial of their Browser-based CAD Tool
Kyle Maxey posted on March 09, 2015 | | 6785 views

CAD, browser, collaboration, designOnshape, the browser-based CAD company, has opened a public beta trial of their new software.

Founded by a number of Solidworks alums, Onshape is an online CAD tool that contains all of the same functionality that users expect from locally installed software. What sets Onshape apart from other cloud-based CAD tools is the ability to access full CAD functionality from any device. Whether you’re on a phone, a tablet or your laptop Onshape gives you the ability to build, revise or render a model no matter where you are.

Another advantage brought about by Onshape’s browser-based approach is its ability to allow multiple users to work on a model or assembly simultaneously. Though traditional CAD systems have allowed some collaboration Onshape’s interface makes collaboration and team work possible in real time. For me, that’s very interesting, and if it work as advertised it could bring an Google Docs-like experience to CAD.

Like other cloud-based CAD solutions Onshape also comes equipped with an excellent revision functionality that allows users to save iterations of a model so that anyone working on a project can gain insight into the products design intent legacy. What’s more, this same revision history setup makes design exploration even easier as entire teams can branch out, ideate and work from a common starting point.

Although Onshape is still a young company the functionality that’s apparently been built into the software speaks to its full understanding of what today’s CAD techs and designers need to get their jobs done. As time goes on new functionality has been promised (on a semi-weekly basis no less) that should round keep the new CAD package up to date. Will these updates make it competitive with established platforms like Fusion360 and 3DEXPERIENCE? That questions remains to be answered.

Given that I haven’t yet tried Onshape myself (I plan on giving it a crack later tonight) I’ve only got one burning question.  What happens to my ability to design with Onshape if I’m offline?  If Onshape can deliver a product that’s as flexible offline as it is on then they just might have a good CAD package on their hands.

If you’re interested in giving Onshape a trial you can request an invite to their public beta here.

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