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sync a dwg to an onshape drawing (both in the same workspace)

Hi all,

Does anyone know if it is possible/and how to re-export and overwrite the dwg associated with an Onshape drawing in the same workspace every time I update the Onshape drawing?  I'm feeding model views to Autocad users and would like to then sync using Ares Commander to a local directory where the file is then xref'd into and Autocad drawing.


Best Answers


  • philip_thomasphilip_thomas Member, Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 1,381
    @david_parker8532 - Today you can do this manually - at any time you can export an Onshape drawing as DWG (download) and then RMB over the DWG element and select 'update'. This will allow you to overwrite the element with the newly downloaded DWG. Moving forwards it is possible that this workflow be automated with some upcoming enhancements to release management.

    Philip Thomas - Onshape
  • david_parker8532david_parker8532 Member Posts: 8 PRO
    Hi Philip, thanks for the quick response!
    Here are the steps that I would like to do in order.

    Model changes > update Onshape drawing, e.g. 1:1 router parts > update associated .dwg that's next to it in the same workspace / tab > Ares Commander then syncs to the cloud which then syncs to a directory on intranet.  Autocad drawing has this dwg as an xref so this way the model changes update into the Autocad drawing without any oversaving or replacement of dwg files.

    If I understand the Ares product, it can handle the last set of steps, but it's easy to miss deleting and re-exporting the dwg within the Onshape workspace.


  • philip_thomasphilip_thomas Member, Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 1,381
    @david_parker8532 - That seems like a lot of work.

    Your end goal isn't stated, but if it is to make a set of drawings available on the internet, then i would suggest the following.
    Create a separate document (or documents) to house the drawings. 
    Create a shareable link to the drawing (either with or without export to pdf/dxf/dwg)
    Post the link.

    This works well because;
    You can update the version or revision whenever you want the 'others' to see the new version/revision
    The viewer can (optionally) export the drawing in the most convenient format for them.
    No intermediate formats.

    here is an example - https://cad.onshape.com/documents/91bc587df683e5d000874cae/w/fc9a54b12f94ab3bd5c91113/e/a5581e612c95fc1d5c87b8ef

    Philip Thomas - Onshape
  • billy2billy2 Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers, User Group Leader Posts: 1,485 PRO
    edited March 2019
    To add to Philips workflow, add a commit and the user will get an email that a change has occurred. His work flow works well.

    Better yet, add what changed in a comment that way you don't need a revision block.

    No need for the ares power commando sync'n thingy.

  • david_parker8532david_parker8532 Member Posts: 8 PRO
    Thanks for your suggestions, guys.  I do think I will keep drawings in a separate workspace from the parts and assemblies.  It still doesn't address what I'm trying to do though and perhaps the workflow I am trying to set up is simply not possible.  Have a nice weekend!
  • tim_hess427tim_hess427 Member Posts: 366 PRO
    edited March 2019
    @david_parker8532 - Is there a particular reason that the other users need to see the drawings in autocad?

  • david_parker8532david_parker8532 Member Posts: 8 PRO
    Yes, thanks.  I'm doing front end mechanical design and eventually shop drawings for first articles.  So we need to make "cliff notes" type submittals for people that are NOT engineers, they are usually only two pages and with the Acad company standards.  This way I can serve up 1:1 views that they plop into model space and annotate with stuff that I can't use in Onshape drawings (yet). 

    But if you look at my current work flow for this, there are too many failure points and it needs too much remembering to keep all the versions straight - and Onshape has spoiled me for the past few years that way!

    Of course the other solution for me would be to move to a company that's not mired in the 90's but I'm not seeing any opportunities to do this here in Seattle yet.

    Thanks for your help. 
  • david_parker8532david_parker8532 Member Posts: 8 PRO
    Thanks Tim - I keep trying but it's an uphill battle here.  I have a decent template that I made from our company .dwt but that's about as far as I got.  I'm also looking at doing this with A360 but that is also turning into a headache.

    Have a great weekend!
  • romeograhamromeograham Member Posts: 487 PRO
    How do you get a Drawing to exist in its own Document like that?

    I can't figure it out!

  • romeograhamromeograham Member Posts: 487 PRO
    Thanks @philip_thomas
    I didn't know about the "move things back to the original document" trick.

    Also, it didn't occur to me to create a drawing in the new document and Insert the part from the private document.

    I think I've seen your Turbocharge webinar, but I must have missed this tip.

  • david_parker8532david_parker8532 Member Posts: 8 PRO

    Yes indeed, thanks for that!  And thanks for asking the question, romeo.  I missed that drawing tip in your webinar as well - but it will solve that problem for me as well.  The other thing it accomplishes is that internal, uphill stakeholders get to interact only with the drawing (which is what they are interested in anyway) instead of trying to navigate the workspace which has proven to be a non-starter.
  • philip_thomasphilip_thomas Member, Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 1,381
    @KatieHuffman - lets check that this is in bootcamp! :)
    Philip Thomas - Onshape
  • david_parker8532david_parker8532 Member Posts: 8 PRO

    Hi Philip, any word on this?  I agree with billy2 that _not_ using Ares Commander and simply downloading the dwg is best, but in order to make it work it still has to re-export (and overwrite) the .dwg in whatever workspace it's in, then download it to an internal network location.

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