Avoid CAD Mishaps By Choosing the Right Product Design Tools

Transitioning from an incumbent CAD is not for the faint of heart, but not evaluating the options can leave you on the back foot as the world evolves without you. Many engineering designers are well-versed with the frustrations that come from using computer-aided design (CAD) software. With the added hurdles that arise design teams must jump to even higher just to begin making the choice to transition to a new CAD system.

There are many reasons behind switching to newer software, from consistent errors, hiccups with communicating important information, and plenty of technical issues. These issues aren’t just common to unique cases but are daily challenges organizations need to overcome. Many still rely on legacy CAD software to get work done.

With the rise of new technologies dealing with the issues that crop up with legacy CAD, remains a huge challenge. but moving with the times means adopting a cloud-native CAD platform to alleviated these pain points. 


Problems With Legacy CAD From the Get-Go

Let’s start in the beginning: Some engineering students work “co-op” and are exposed to many opportunities including the chance to learn and use CAD software from the start.

Refining skills to a point where they are tasked with designing parts and assemblies that would be mass-produced. What a thrill for a young engineer, let alone any engineer!

However, a particularly painful lesson often experienced when saving ended in an assembly being overwritten by a junior over a senior engineers’ hard work and locking them out from being able to save their work. this leads to an unhappy collaboration that can be avoided and not occur again.

But using legacy software means the problem never really went away, until now! The same mistake was committed over and over again by young engineers who joined teams that didn’t know they should check with EVERYONE before saving the top-level layout.

A short-term solution was to enable a product data management (PDM) system to be installed that kept the department and teams more organized. However, now the check-in and check-out process caused new problems as engineers would check-out assemblies and parts for days, preventing others from working on any of those designs. These workflows caused some serious rework more than once.

With these issues in mind, it became clear that the cloud-native elements of Onshape offer unprecedented competitive advantages. Onshape does away with complicated file-based PDM systems as well as versioning errors.

Onshape’s unique cloud database architecture completely eliminates files, removing one of the most frustrating issues associated with CAD and PDM. No work is ever lost, overwritten, or modified without permission. Entire teams can edit the same design at the same time with real-time updates – there is no need to check-in, check-out, or lock, removing all bottlenecks from the design process. Every design change is captured and recorded with unlimited undo/redo and a complete audit trail of who made what changes and when.

Similar to other cloud tools available today, Onshape operates with a single source of truth. While engineers and designers are creating the best designs possible, they will not be impeded by frustrating overwrite issues or confusion from checking in and out. Additionally, engineers, designers, and drafters can keep working and they can collaborate and communicate in real-time!

No More Lost Data

Ready to hear about another legacy CAD mishap?

Some businesses may relate to on-premise, file-based CAD problems due to a system update. this often occurs with smaller companies where the engineers are responsible for performing upgrades themselves. Teams often need to upgrade each PC individually with stacks of discs, then finally updated the server to wrap it up. Unfortunately, many unknowns also impact installations and screw up the overall process, putting themselves at risk for lost data as well as causing a few days of downtime. 

Explaining the issue is often uncomfortable and tough to explain, and reassuring management that no data loss occurred while there was downtime? 

Unfortunately, explanations often fall short of giving enough reassurance: new workflows are required and time is now spent on daily backups to the server or duplicated to tape and then allowed to be taken offsite. Stacks of data space and discs are required for this manual updating of computer software. 

With Onshape, those non-value tasks have vanished. As a result, engineers and designers can focus on designing. Onshape’s cloud-native platform creates the opportunity for zero downtime because there is no software to install or upgrade, no crashes, and no lost files. It is launched from a browser that is updated approximately every three weeks. And work never needs to be saved.

Making Better Decisions

After the transition to Onshape, workflow processes become smoother, especially for smaller teams. Companies have used BOMs to analyze costs since the idea of interchangeable parts became mainstream. Since then, the concept of working with a joint development manufacturer (JDM) has offered companies an abundance of options to make the best decisions when the supply chain is very diverse.  

Onshape allows the team to work with multiple JDMs to optimize cost, performance, and maintain a consistent experience for the customer. In addition, we used the cost-optimized components that offered the best performance and shared best practices between JDMs to standardize the product. teams are then able to communicate performance, safety, and reliability needs while offering an efficient platform for the JDMs on the other side of the globe to share their feedback to improve manufacturability and minimize costs. The single source of truth offered allowed the team to share our 3D models, drawings, and BOMs quickly and without issue. 

Eliminate inefficiencies with Cloud-Native CAD by using Onshape’s cloud-native software which offers a unique CAD experience, robust data management, unparalleled collaboration, and a single source of truth that can provide a variety of engineering organizations success and a strong future.

Current users concur on solving many of the issues that persist within product development workflows using Onshape which offers flexibility like no other CAD platform. Changing CAD is not something done flippantly, but remaining with a tool that doesn’t offer better performance deserves reconsideration. Onshape was made to eliminate issues that prevent engineers and designers from focusing on the products; instead, they can come together and design some of the best products in the world.

Onshape is here to help you and your team transition to our cloud-native product development platform from any legacy CAD system, notably SOLIDWORKS. To aid in the switch, we’ve put together this guide answering the 10 most common questions asked during a CAD system transition.


Download your free copy now of  Let’s Get Technical: Transitioning to Onshape from Legacy CAD