Risk Mitigation and IP Protection

With traditional file-based CAD, your product designs and intellectual property are subject to unauthorized duplication, data breaches, or even accidental sharing. Onshape’s database-driven architecture eliminates these kinds of security risks. There are no files to copy or manage. Designs are stored and tracked with a complete version history, allowing you to audit or roll back changes as needed.

Onshape is the complete all-in-one product development platform.






The Onshape platform connects all your stakeholders in one unified and secure cloud workspace, letting your product development team spend more time designing and less time being blocked by file-based software headaches.

Accelerate time-to-market

With the rapid pace of technological innovation, it’s no surprise that speed-to-market usually wins. Onshape is the only product development platform that can be instantly deployed on any computer or mobile device, enabling teams to work together globally and rapidly. Teams can experiment on design alternatives together or independently from one another without affecting each other’s work.

Zero IT Footprint

Onshape requires no downloads, installations, or license codes. You can access Onshape’s cloud-based platform with any modern web browser from your Mac, PC, Chromebook or Linux computer. Administrators can instantly provision and deprovision seats to scale their design team and meet fluctuating business needs. Built-in version control eliminates the need for PDM systems with dedicated servers and network infrastructure, software upgrades and licensing.

What do you get with Onshape?

features and functionality of Onshape’s built-in version control and Release Management tools eliminate the need for a separate PDM system.

Versions and Edit History

Every design change made by every team member is captured and recorded in real time and retained for the lifetime of a project. A comprehensive audit trail details who made what change and when. Each event can be viewed, compared and restored, providing unlimited undo/redo. This enables engineers to be more creative with their ideas, knowing that any change can be undone at any time. Versions can be used to bookmark progress and record significant project milestones.

Branch, Merge, Compare

Teams can explore multiple design alternatives or carry out Engineering Change Orders at the same time, in shared or independent workspaces branched from the main design. Differences between branches can be visually compared or inspected at the feature level and the best ideas merged back into the main design. This allows engineers the freedom to explore new ideas in parallel, resulting in better designs, faster.

Task Management

Design and release workflow tasks can be assigned to other team members by tagging their name in comments attached to the 3D model or by selecting their name from a predefined approvers list. Each user’s pending tasks are listed as Action Items along with links to quickly review a design or release candidate. The built-in notification system informs each user when a new task has been assigned making it easy to keep projects on track.

Advanced Search Tools

Finding design data in Onshape is both simple and fast. Search by name, type, part number or any combination of custom properties and release states, including in-process designs being actively worked on, so you can be confident that you are always working with the latest design data. All your data is stored in one place in a database – there are no files, no check-ins, and no IT overheads.

Onshape’s unique cloud-database architecture delivers a brand new class of real-time CAD collaboration features. Teams can now work from anywhere, anytime, and on any device.

  • Core Design Team – Empowering individual users (designers and engineers) to work more productively together.  These core users require the technology to collaborate on the same design in real time, share ideas and improve product innovation.
  • Extended Internal Team – Connecting the core design team with mission-critical internal company stakeholders.  From supply to operations, manufacturing and marketing, improved cloud-based collaboration enables these team members to provide crucial input and approvals.
  • External Partners – Improving information flow with external supply and manufacturing partners to optimize innovation and accelerate time-to-market.


Release Management is a set of automated workflows in Onshape for managing release procedures and to revision control parts, assemblies and drawings. These tools are built directly into Onshape’s design and version control system, requiring no additional products, installs or IT management.

Revision Schemes

Choose from the default alphabetical or numerical revision schemes or create your own. Custom revision schemes can include any alphanumeric characters in any combination and in any sequence to create major and minor revisions. Up-issuing an object in Onshape will take the next sequential minor revision unless overridden to the next major revision in the Release Candidate.

Automatic Part Number Generation

Define automatic part numbering patterns with sequential numeric increments. Releasing a new object for the first time will assign the next sequential part number. Assign missing part numbers to entire assemblies with one click. Duplicate part numbers are blocked by default.

Non-blocking Releases

Creating and submitting a Release Candidate for approval does not block the project from further editing. This enables teams to continue designing in parallel on any part of a project, including parts that are pending approval, without having to wait until the previous submission has been reviewed and approved.


Automate workflows to manage each stage of the approval process and to revision control parts, assemblies, drawings and imported files. Create custom workflows specific to your own business processes.


Set up trigger points for notifications and emails. Approvers and observers are notified when a Release Candidate has been submitted for review and approval. Designers receive notifications when a new revision of a released object is approved to ensure that the correct revision is in use and to help manage the effectivity of individual parts in a design.

Onshape’s Part Studios provide a flexible and innovative way to create parametric 3D models. Design complex solid, surface and sheet metal parts using top-down or bottom-up methodologies.

Part Studio

Capture design intent and create robust inter-part relationships by designing parts together using a top-down approach in a Part Studio. Parts are defined from the same parametric history tree using shared layout sketches, shared features or the geometry of surrounding parts to ensure that updates are robust and predictable. Each part is treated independently with its own material and properties and can be freely used in multiple different assemblies and drawings.

Rich Feature Set

Each of Onshape’s parametric design features perform multiple operations in one, reducing the number of features required, icon clutter and user training. Choose whether features create solid, surface or sheet metal geometry, add or remove material and which parts they should be applied to. Preview the effect of feature changes to the entire regenerated model.

Imported Data

Import CAD data in neutral and native file formats, such as STEP, Parasolid, JT, SOLIDWORKS, CATIA, NX, Creo and Inventor. Reuse legacy CAD data and make modifications when necessary using Onshape’s powerful direct editing tools.

Custom Features

Automate complex, rules-based or repetitive design tasks using custom features. Written in FeatureScript, the same programming language used by the Onshape development team, custom features look and behave the same as the standard built-in features. Write your own custom features and share them with your team or add features created by others to your toolbar.

Create highly structured and detailed assemblies with built-in standard hardware and parts from other Documents. Employ top-down assembly design and assembly motion, along with automatic sizing and insertion of standard fasteners.

Linked Documents

Insert parts, subassemblies, surfaces and sketches from the current Document or from other Documents, linked to a specific version or revision. Linked Documents make it easy to share standard company parts or approved supplier parts to all designers at once. Version and revision updates are flagged everywhere a linked Document is used, giving the designer the option to update to the latest or not.


Capture positional or complex kinematic relationships with a single high-level Mate feature, significantly reducing the time and effort required to build complex assemblies. Add relations between Mates to create gear, screw, rack and pinion, cam and linear motion behavior. Define precise positioning, offsets, motion limits and animations. Pattern parts by incremental distance or by geometric shape recognition.

In-Context Design

Design parts in the context of a higher level assembly and manage updates when necessary. Onshape’s unique take on in-context design captures a snapshot of the assembly and enables any part to reference any other in the assembly. This enables parts with motion to reference others as they move ensuring correct fit and clearances. References are never lost or broken so parts always update in a predictable manner.

Standard Content

Insert standard hardware from a built-in library provided by Onshape and available to all users. Add company specific metadata to each fastener for correct Bill of Materials data. Fasteners automatically size based on the selected hole and insert into the correct position. Easily build stacks of fasteners on-the-fly or add to existing stacks which automatically adjust their positions to accommodate new hardware.

Onshape Drawings leverage industry standard file formats and modern detailing standards to produce production-ready documentation for parts and assemblies (including sheet metal flat patterns). Share custom drawing templates seamlessly with your entire company and release manufacturing drawings using Onshape’s built-in Release Management with automatic part numbering and customizable revision schemes.

Sheets, Views and Annotations

Create drawing views of a part, surface, assembly, or sketch either on a single sheet or across multiple sheets. Create projected views, aligned views, sections with jogs, broken out sections, detail, broken and cropped views. Drawings can be annotated to comply with ANSI and ISO drawing standards. Add dimensions, ordinate dimensions, hole callouts, datums, geometric tolerances, weld and surface finish symbols, notes, tables, images and balloon callouts. Link part and assembly properties into drawing borders and notes with full associativity to ensure drawing details are always up to date.

Full DWG/DXF Support

Collaborating with 2D CAD systems is easy with Onshape’s comprehensive import / export and sharing capabilities. DWG and DXF file formats can be exported in current and older versions for compatibility and interoperability. Imported DWG/DXF files can be viewed directly without any conversion required. Sharing a Document (with export permissions) to a supplier on a different CAD system enables them to choose the correct file type to download for compatibility with their system.


Onshape Enterprise tracks more than just Document History. Every interaction with your company’s data, by employees or external suppliers, is recorded in detail and presented in dashboards with easy-to-read tables and charts. Monitor all design activity, review document access and manage your projects and resources better.

Activity Overview

The Activity Overview dashboard presents a high level view of your company’s design activities. See the total number of hours spent on each project per day and per user, which engineers are actively working on which projects, how many release candidates are pending approval and which Documents have been worked on the most. Drill down into each table and chart to get more detailed reports.

Release Dashboard

The Release Dashboard lists all the Parts, Assemblies, Drawings and other project-related data that have been submitted for approval. The details of each release candidate, including the actual design data itself, can be interrogated to see which project it belongs to, who submitted it, whether it has been approved or rejected, or how long it has been in a pending state and who the approval is waiting for. This helps you to review and reduce bottlenecks in your approval process.

Project Dashboard

The Project Dashboard details metrics such as modeling time for an entire project, most active users and most edited Documents. Check permissions and role assignments to see which users have access to your data and what they can do with it. Feature Activity indicates progress within a project. The Project Dashboard enables you to be proactive in your project management tasks, identify problems early and resolve them before they escalate.

User Dashboard

The User Dashboard details all activity associated with a particular user including external contractors and suppliers. This report details which projects and Documents a user is working on and which design activities are taking up most of their time. Balancing projects and meeting deadlines is easier when resource allocation can be reviewed and managed for all design teams.

Document Access

View overall Document access and activity information for security reviews and audit purposes. Detailed graphs display color-coded nodes for each Project, Document, and User and how they are connected. Clicking a node or a connection line filters the information to show modeling times and access permissions, making this an ideal way to quickly navigate your engineering data.

Easy Access to Data

The analytics in Onshape is not an add-on or a separate system, it’s all part of the same product development platform. Each report is driven by a unique URL that can be bookmarked in your web browser for quick access. Onshape reports and analytics are also available via the Onshape mobile app too, so you can access this data from anywhere at any time.


Onshape was created specifically to address the shortcomings of file-based CAD and PDM systems. The use of modern computing technologies provides visibility into all phases of the design process. Strong authentication and fine-grained authorization technologies provide control over company intellectual property. The team behind the Onshape platform are able to react quickly to leverage new technologies and bring the latest defenses to bear against emerging threats.

Infrastructure & Certifications

Onshape is built upon the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud platform. AWS EC2 was chosen as the ideal technology to provide a modern, secure CAD service. AWS provides world-class computing infrastructure that includes globally-distributed, physically secure data centers with redundant power, cooling and networking. AWS has achieved multiple US and global security and quality certifications including ISO 9001, ISO 27001, SOC-2 Type II, FIPS 140-2 and NIST 800-53. The Onshape service itself has completed the certification process for SOC-2 Type II certification. In addition, Onshape uses AWS Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) technology to isolate and secure network traffic in and out of the service. Rules used for VPC configuration are defined in code, peer-reviewed and deployed via automation.

File-less System

Onshape’s highly available, distributed database architecture stores all design data in modern NoSQL databases. These databases use geographically distributed servers with multiple replicas for high availability and are backed up every 3 hours for disaster recovery. Backups are restored every 3 weeks and every model is automatically checked for integrity against new versions of Onshape software. This also validates that functionality introduced in new releases does not break existing models.

Access & Audit Trail

Onshape is accessed through standard web browsers such as Chrome, Firefox and Safari on desktops / laptops and through fully-functional apps (not just viewers) on iOS and Android mobile devices. Operating systems are irrelevant: Windows, MacOS, Linux and Chrome OS provide the same design experience and work equally well. CAD data never leaves the secure cloud environment unless permission to export has been explicitly granted by the data’s owner. Everyone working on a project is always collaborating on the latest design. All data access is recorded in a permanent audit trail. Multiple users can securely collaborate on the same design simultaneously from any location that has internet access.


All access from client machines and devices to Onshape’s servers is secured by TLSv1.2 encryption that favors strong cipher suites such as AES-GCM and disallows weaker ones. Design data is encrypted at rest. All databases are configured with encrypted filesystems that use the AES-256 encryption standard in XTS mode with keys managed by the AWS Key Management System (KMS). KMS utilizes hardware security modules to protect the security of the encryption keys. Onshape’s servers are deployed and configured completely by automation and are frequently replaced, sometimes multiple times a day. Onshape’s servers never run anything but Onshape software so there is no possibility of exploits due to web browser or email client activity.


Onshape uses strong authentication systems for establishing user identity and allows the use of Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) via a Time-based One-Time Password (TOTP) to protect account access even if the username and password are leaked. All passwords are stored in hashed, salted form using the PBKDF2 key derivation functions so that compromise of the Onshape password database would not expose the stored passwords to offline attacks without extremely large computational effort. Online attacks are prevented by throttling invalid login attempts. In Onshape, CAD document access is controlled by granular read, write, copy, comment, link, delete and reshare permissions that provide design owners with tools to balance security and design workflow requirements. These permissions can be changed at any time to expand or remove access to the design data. All data access and permission changes are recorded in a permanent audit trail.

Data Restoration

Onshape provides transparency into service problems through an online status page. The modern database architecture allows customers to recover accidentally or intentionally deleted data. Data loss through crashes or user error, common with file-based CAD systems, is almost entirely eliminated.

Customer Data Protection

Onshape takes the security and privacy of customer data very seriously. Onshape employees do not have the ability to view any customer data unless it has been explicitly shared with Onshape Support. In addition, Onshape Operations personnel can access the server environment only via a VPN requiring authentication which includes a password, an encrypted public / private key pair, a generated shared secret and 2FA.

Third Party Validation

Onshape has contracted with Synack, a highly-respected security firm that provides continuous penetration testing and vulnerability management. Security researchers from around the globe employ state-of-the-art tools and technologies to discover exploits in the Onshape CAD service as well as other systems that support the platform. Testing coverage includes APIs, DNS management and targeted internet-facing hosts. Synack researchers are paid by the number and severity of real vulnerabilities discovered, so there is a financial motivation to be aggressive and creative in their testing. Synack has recorded thousands of hours of penetration testing against the Onshape service. Discovered vulnerabilities are immediately reported to the Onshape Security Team which triages and mitigates any issues. Onshape’s deployment automation is able to rapidly deploy patched software. In some cases, vulnerabilities have been resolved for all Onshape users in a matter of hours.

In addition, all Onshape servers run software agents that provide an Intrusion Detection System (IDS). This IDS monitors every operating system kernel call and provides:

  • File Integrity Monitoring (FIM)
  • Network ingress and egress monitoring
  • Privilege escalation monitoring
  • AWS configuration change monitoring
  • Real-time alerting of severity 1 issues to the Onshape Security Team

Onshape prides itself on delivering world-class support and training. In-app feedback tools connect you directly with the Onshape support team.


If you have specific questions with regard to using Onshape, you can search previously posted questions and solutions provided by the greater Onshape Community via our Forums. If you can’t find a relevant answer, post a question of your own. The Onshape forums are frequented by expert Onshape users and Onshape staff from all areas of the company, not just support, so questions are answered swiftly. If you have a paid subscription, feel free to ask your question direct to Onshape support.


Support tickets are created directly inside the Onshape interface, making it easier for you to explain the exact nature of the problem you are experiencing. Once a support ticket is generated, you will receive email notifications to keep you informed every step of the way as your issue is logged, changes status or is resolved in the latest update of the Onshape software. You can review your support tickets at any time, check the status on open issues, add more information or voice your level of satisfaction.

Screen Markup

In addition to providing a text description, you can use Onshape’s built-in feedback tool to capture any part of your screen, highlight areas of interest and add comments and markups to communicate your issue clearly. This screenshot is automatically added to the ticket, so Onshape’s support staff are able to see the issue you are experiencing without requiring access to your Document.

Document Sharing

For a more complex or Document specific issue, you can share your Document directly with Onshape Support using a simple toggle switch. Sharing your Document enables the support staff to see first-hand what the issue is and, in most cases, solve the problem more quickly. Sharing gives Onshape’s dedicated support team access to your Document for a limited time only. No other Onshape employees have access to your data and you can revoke the share at any time.


Onshape’s offers self-paced video training, technical briefings and instructor-led courses. The self-paced videos cover Onshape essentials for sketching, parts, assemblies and drawings, plus many advanced topics. Technical briefings offer advice and techniques on more in-depth design and data management processes. Instructor-led courses, consisting of live, web-based training are available for a small fee. Each learning pathway includes exercises and course completion certificates.

Resource centre

Below are some resources to help you explore various solutions for Onshape.