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Onshape has been acquired by PTC

jon_hirschtickjon_hirschtick Onshape Employees Posts: 91
edited November 2019 in General
Dear Onshape community,

I am pleased to share with you that Onshape has entered a definitive agreement to be acquired by PTC. This is an exciting next step for Onshape that will help us broaden the scope of what we deliver to you, and broaden our reach in the market to bring Onshape to more users even faster.

I want to first emphasize that our top priority as we become part of PTC is to preserve and enhance what you and I love about Onshape. Our beloved Onshape team remains the same. Our product strategy and roadmap remains the same, with a continued sharp focus on our customer needs. You will still experience the same level of responsive customer support that you have come to expect from us.

As many of you know, PTC is a $1B+/year global company with a long history in the product development market, and more recently, the Augmented Reality (AR) and Internet of Things (IoT) markets.

What you may not know is that PTC shares our bold vision of a cloud/SaaS future for our industry. It’s rare to find this kind of bold vision in a company the size of PTC, and even rarer to see such a large company take such bold action to commit to that vision. This is why I’m excited to be partnering with PTC CEO Jim Heppelmann and the rest of the 6,000 PTC employees to expand the scope and speed of what we are doing with Onshape.

Here are some additional things I want you to know: 

  • There is no change to Onshape’s pricing plans.

  • There is no change to your points-of-contact at Onshape. 

  • You will continue to enjoy the same level of responsive customer support and partnership that you are receiving now.

  • You can expect the same frequency of updates to Onshape.

  • We have not actually been acquired yet -- today’s announcement is that we have entered into an agreement to be acquired. We expect the actual acquisition to close soon.

Thank you all for all the support you have given us so far on the Onshape journey we have been on together, and I look forward to continuing together with you on this next exciting phase of our journey.



Jon Hirschtick
CEO and Cofounder, Onshape

P.S. I would imagine that many of you have more questions.  For starters, please view this FAQ document or view the press release.



  • Ethan_RejtoEthan_Rejto Member Posts: 4
    Congrats to the Onshape team, well deserved!
  • tim_hess427tim_hess427 Member Posts: 648 ✭✭✭✭
    I'm also in the startup world and can only dream about the day that I can be on the other end of one of these announcements! 

    Although, I have to echo the thoughts by @sam_holland about the VARs. I've never actually worked with one that has actually added any value to me. While I could definitely feel some pressure sales pressure by the Onshape folks when first signing up for a pro account - the conversations were matter-of-fact and fairly straightforward. The whole experience has been awesome, including dealing directly with Onshape for support issues and the straightforward pricing. 

    I know things will change. I only hope the changes are for the better. 

    Congrats, again Onshape team!

    P.S. @jon_hirschtick - Congrats on exit #2!
  • alnisalnis Member, Developers Posts: 447 EDU
    Personally, I am very optimistic and excited! My experience with Vuforia (another company PTC acquired) has been outstanding--it is blazingly fast and powerful, easy to use, and only seems to be on an upward trajectory. I think that Onshape's future is very bright especially considering this quote from PTC's FAQ (emphasis mine):

    With Creo, we plan to continue our pursuits around real-time simulation, generative design, additive manufacturing, and IoT and AR integration. In parallel, we expect we will inject these same capabilities into Onshape over time so that we have leading products in either deployment model. 

    Student at University of Washington | Get in touch: [email protected] | My personal site: https://alnis.dev | Currently an Onshape intern: [email protected]
  • brucebartlettbrucebartlett Member, OS Professional, Mentor, User Group Leader Posts: 2,136 PRO
    Congratulations! Well deserved!

    I hope this means a guarantee over the future of the platform and continued improvements, maybe even improvements at a greater rate. Changes is always a little concerning but looking forward to continuing to see Onshape and most importantly the users flourish.  
    Engineer ı Product Designer ı Onshape Consulting Partner
    Twitter: @onshapetricks  & @babart1977   
  • sebastian_glanznersebastian_glanzner Member, Developers Posts: 397 PRO
    Congratulations to the whole Onshape Team!
    Since you are developing the best CAD system it was only a matter of time!
  • DavidvanderMeerDavidvanderMeer Member Posts: 14 ✭✭
    Congratulations Onshape Team!
    It will be very interesting to see how this will develop. Imagine Onshape as a CAD and PDM backbone with the maturity of Creo/Windchill, and an integration with other products in the PTC portfolio like real-time simulation, shape generation, IoT, AR, etc., huge potential!

    I can't think of anyone or anything that could truly compete with that right now. 
  • larry_haweslarry_hawes Member Posts: 478 PRO
    "There are no planned changes to Onshape's current pricing plan." Will the 'plans' change as more capabilities are added like, "real-time simulation, shape generation, IoT, AR?" These acquisitions usually include future price creep as the capabilities increase, even though there are no 'plans' to do so now.

    Has anyone seen this price creep not occur in cases like this? Almost every acquisition includes price increases (which are indeed planned but undisclosed during the transition) to make the business model work, even though there are no definitive (announced) plans to do so?

    I'll bookmark this thread/post and take note when, not if, the first (unplanned) price increase occurs.
  • justin_36justin_36 Member Posts: 23 EDU
    As an educator who has taught this to countless students, this is an encouraging sign to see Onshape's future have a strong foundation. Bravo and congrats!
  • anirudh_nehraanirudh_nehra Member Posts: 3
    edited October 2019
  • left_sideleft_side Member Posts: 10 PRO
    My feelings on PTC:

    After seeing what PTC did to MathCAD I'm cautiously optimistic.  In my opinion MathCAD went from an easy to use platform to something rather painful to use with features removed and bugs added in the 'Prime', improved version.  I think the latest release actually added some of the removed features. 

    I saw the transition of Ansoft to Ansys years ago (I'm a EE by education), and the Ansys did it right by keeping the platform the same and slowly making changes over years to make it Ansys like.  

    This acquisition is probably a different beast, as it's a Saas and not an actual installed program.  

    My feelings on Onshape pricing:

    I have a small business and Onshape pricing is perfect at $1500/year.  It's not feature rich like Solidworks or Creo but for solid modeling and drawings, it's just fine.  I hardly used any of the advanced features in those tools (sketch, extrude, repeat).  I fear I will loose the Onshape Pro features for the Standard price ($1500 vs. $2100) which I was grandfathered into during my first year. 

    My feelings on the future:

    It would be ideal if more Add-Ons were made to support the Augmented Reality, FEA or other simulations which were pay as you go and integrated better with Onshape (stuff PTC knows how to do).  I've used SimScale and Reality Server however the integration isn't perfect where each update to my model requires me to redo most of the simulation setup. 

    I just complained about MathCAD above, but a web based version would be useful with variables integrated into an Onshape tab or within a part studio window like the configuration panel where I could do a calculation and it would adjust the variable automatically.

    I hardly post in the forums, but I review them often.  I just had to post my feelings on this acquisition today.  In stage 1 of change management...  

  • philip_thomasphilip_thomas Member, Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 1,381
    @left_side Lots of good feedback and optimism - thank you. Yes SAAS is very different and yes, we are fully focused on continuing to deliver value to our customers. I can also tell you that we will continue honoring all grandfathered accounts :)
    Philip Thomas - Onshape
  • philip_thomasphilip_thomas Member, Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 1,381
    edited October 2019
    @shaun_singh - great to see your post. As one of our early customers (we love your products), you have seen how we think and how we work, you have met us at Develop3D - we have no desire to let any of the things you (and thousands of others) love slip away. This is nothing but positive and being part of a larger organization will give us access to many more resources to help you. The message we are getting is “keep doing what you’re doing!” :):):) 
    Philip Thomas - Onshape
  • fnxf_scewofnxf_scewo Member Posts: 12 PRO
    edited October 2019
    Congratulations! I am happy that you get to join PTC, and will look forward to all the amazing stuff you will accomplish together.

    For me, I've come full circle. I've started my CAD career on PTC Pro/ENGINEER 2000i  B) 

    If the least that this acquisition brings is that I can flip the plane side (two-sided planes were a big thing in Pro/Engineer .. ahem @TimRice & @PeteYodis), then it has already been worth it.
  • James_PetroskiJames_Petroski Member Posts: 2 PRO
    PTC has burned me multiple times in the past going as far back as the 1990s; frankly I'm not looking forward to this transition, but I'll reserve final judgement based on how this works out for small business users.  I think it's also wise to have a backup/exit plan just in case.  It will take 3-4 years to see how much of the PTC culture creeps into Onshape.
  • Michael_CoffeeMichael_Coffee Member Posts: 90 ✭✭✭
    Congratulations to Onshape. This new venture will lead to changes down the road, so in hindsight, I'm on the fence about the acquisition because I am ignorant of PTC's history.

    With Pro/Engineer, I knew of it by name only. I didn't really bother keeping track of the company's development into releasing Creo and Windchill either until now. I have used AutoCAD, Inventor, SolidWorks and DraftSight for the vast majority of my career, but going to Onshape filled the void of what I felt all of them lacked: a CAD program you can use from just about any computer and not inherently expensive. Yes, it doesn't have all of the features of everyone else, but it doesn't need to right now. With the acquisition, I am hopeful in that the CEO of PTC will keep to what he says: keep Onshape as Onshape. Improve it, yes, when and where it needs to, because change is a requirement to being better than before.

    At the same time, I am noticing horror stories of PTC acquisitions. We would be fools to ignore them. However, it does not mean it will happen again. History is cyclical in nature, not repeating, so I am optimistic up until we see the changes that PTC will bring, because there will be changes. We won't know what they will be until they're already here. For example, the price. Onshape's price scheme is geared toward both big and small corporations, and I am very glad it's a reasonable figure for any CAD business. With PTC, I can see the price scheme changing, but I personally don't want to see a change in the base price. As more features are added to Onshape, I can expect there will be different "bundles", whether it's a simulation feature or factory layout app, whatever it is for that particular niche in the CAD industry. For the regular drafter/engineer, we don't need a price hike because of something we will never use in our company.

    That being said, I am also concerned about the opinions of Onshape employees or rather lack there of. We've heard @philip_thomas & @lougallo, but we haven't heard a peep yet from @NeilCooke, @cody_armstrong, or @Jake_Rosenfeld. Is everyone on the same page? Are there concerns? Has anyone quit because of it? I don't know how far ahead of time people knew about the deal or that there was a discussion. I ask because we, all of us here, are investing our livelihoods into the idea, the platform, and the creation that is Onshape. I believe it to be the direction CAD will go, totally and completely, one day, and it helps, I think, if we know the attitude and thoughts of the very people who are making the product we are using.

    Onshape has been making history since day one. I want it to keep doing just that, with or without PTC.
  • david_7david_7 Member, csevp Posts: 17 PRO
    It's all about disruption and we have to be willing to change with it. Way back in the late 80's CATIA was the big dog, ran on million dollar mainframes and cost a fortune.  Support was only provided by sending someone from your company to special training. Then came Pro-E, running on 'cheap' Unix workstations and at a fraction of the cost ~$12,000? Pro-E had a nice run with access to technical experts. Small companies could afford a workstation or two and we would keep them busy 20 hrs/day. Pro-E gets bought and eventually the program starts showing its age with a non-graphical interface and access to less competent techs.  SolidWorks shows up and you can run it on your laptop! Nimble development and nice Windows interface. It gets bought up and slowly turns into bloatware with each release becoming less stable than the last. Oh and the ability to run it at home becomes a pain. So now we jump to OnShape. It will continue to get better for the foreseeable future. Eventually it may get replaced by something better and we (well you I'm getting to old for this) will need to take the next jump. So Congratulations to the OnShape crew, but keep at it you still have a lot of work to do!
  • philip_thomasphilip_thomas Member, Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 1,381
    edited October 2019
    @Michael_Coffee - I guess time will tell, we can only say that our focus has not changed and PTC is showing itself to be a great partner and will no doubt benefit the Onshape users through their immense depth of technical resources and planet footprint. Moreover (and again), they have shown great respect for our corporate culture and are committed to you in the same way that we are. Since you tagged a bunch of the other employees, i am sure they will weigh in, but please understand we are running from pillar to post right and STILL trying to get 1.05 ready for release.  Nobody has been fired or quit, we are all still here!!! :) Hold on to your hats  . . . 

    Image result for minion wearing hat 
    Philip Thomas - Onshape
  • philip_thomasphilip_thomas Member, Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 1,381
    @Michael_Coffee - Also, Cody and Lou are in bed, so cut them some slack! :)
    Philip Thomas - Onshape
  • Michael_CoffeeMichael_Coffee Member Posts: 90 ✭✭✭
    @Michael_Coffee - Also, Cody and Lou are in bed, so cut them some slack! :)
    Nevar! Mwahahah!

    Image result for only zuul

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