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A navigation 101 video to send to vendors and stakeholders

Evan_ReeseEvan_Reese Member Posts: 910 PRO
I made this video to send to people who don't know CAD along with an Onshape link.

One of the powerful features of Onshape is the ability to share the model via a view-only link with potential vendors and stakeholders for review without sending a copy of the CAD data, without them needing an account, without needing them to install anything.

This can:
  • Cut down on confusion over which file is current.
  • Remove the risk of a vendor misusing the data (selling it or producing it themselves). If you often get multiple quotes, most of the vendors you talk to won't be the one you pick, but they'll have your data.
  • make it easier for non-CAD-users to review a design. For example someone in QC, or an investor, or just a friend you want to show off to.
In that way, Onshape has a network effect which makes the product better for everyone the more people that use it, but we're just at the front end of that. I think this way of sharing data is where the industry will head, but we need to expose as many people as possible to the benefits of this way of working. Onshape isn't yet ubiquitous enough for most vendors to be comfortable estimating or quoting just from a view-only link. They tend to ask for a .step file anyway. We've run into this enough times at Fractal that I made a video to send to people along with the view-only link to ease some of the friction. The biggest determinant of whether or not people will commonly accept this data flow is how often it is requested of them. So I'd love for everyone reading this to push for that just a little bit harder with their vendors and stakeholders, and if it helps, send the video

What's your story of success or failure when sharing data with Onshape?
Is the video missing anything critical that your CAD reviewers will need to know?
Evan Reese / Principal and Industrial Designer with Ovyl
Website: ovyl.io
Instagram: @evan.reese.designs

Comments

  • konstantin_shiriazdanovkonstantin_shiriazdanov Member Posts: 1,142 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2020
    Onshape is very good for sharing projects with colleagues, but I can hardly feel any advantages for sharing with external manufacturers. If it is not all in one contractor which takes full complect of documentation and produses a fully capable product. Otherwise you will face the fact that you have no direct way to share spesific subsets of parts with spesific people, you have no way directly get the drawings of those parts, and if the project has linked parts your contractor can't even export them because he need export permission in their original document to make it possible. So the only way we found to dial with multiple manufacturers and stay in Onshape is to make a new document with assembly in it per each contractor, in assembly you add the parts, then you manually export part drawings as pdf, download them locally, upload them to the contractor document, and send him email with the link and the BOM. And this is almost as stupid as if I would do it in Solidworks, at least there was task scheduler for exporting.
  • mlaflecheCADmlaflecheCAD Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 119
    Thanks for this @Evan_Reese@konstantin_shiriazdanov design your document structure in such a way that you can share to separate customers and suppliers.  For example, If you share a drawing separately from a part, make them separate documents.  Since the updates are now very easy to push across documents, there should be no concerns about productivity loss by doing this.  In fact, documents split up this way even perform better!  Thanks for all the feedback here! 
    Regards,
    Mike LaFleche   @mlaflecheCAD
  • Evan_ReeseEvan_Reese Member Posts: 910 PRO
    Onshape is very good for sharing projects with colleagues, but I can hardly feel any advantages for sharing with external manufacturers. If it is not all in one contractor which takes full complect of documentation and produses a fully capable product. Otherwise you will face the fact that you have no direct way to share spesific subsets of parts with spesific people, you have no way directly get the drawings of those parts, and if the project has linked parts your contractor can't even export them because he need export permission in their original document to make it possible. So the only way we found to dial with multiple manufacturers and stay in Onshape is to make a new document with assembly in it per each contractor, in assembly you add the parts, then you manually export part drawings as pdf, download them locally, upload them to the contractor document, and send him email with the link and the BOM. And this is almost as stupid as if I would do it in Solidworks, at least there was task scheduler for exporting.
    Good points here. I agree that it's not practical to stay in Onshape all the way through to production (yet?). You'll have to export and send it eventually, but for initial inquiries, it makes sense to me. I think preventing a vendor from exporting at that early stage is part of the point, so I don't have an issue with that.

    Drawings are certainly trickier to make worth it, but again, exporting pdfs and moving them to an "RFQ" document at least prevents downloading and sharing of those pdfs, which could be a benefit early on in the RFQ process. You can at least skip the download/upload step by exporting pdf to a new tab then "Move to Document", but it's not much cleaner. This is just one more reason we need a better export tool that does batches with better ways to append/prepend the names.

    As of now, it seems like the amount of work is about the same as just exporting and emailing (if not more), and the vendor's resistance to change is much higher, but I think a workflow like this has lots of benefits and will happen in the universe eventually. Onshape is the best positioned to do it and I'm rooting for 'em.
    Evan Reese / Principal and Industrial Designer with Ovyl
    Website: ovyl.io
    Instagram: @evan.reese.designs
  • konstantin_shiriazdanovkonstantin_shiriazdanov Member Posts: 1,142 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2020
    so what if I'd like to share parts A and B with manufacturer #1 and parts B and C with manufacturer #2?
  • Evan_ReeseEvan_Reese Member Posts: 910 PRO
    Thanks for this @Evan_Reese@konstantin_shiriazdanov design your document structure in such a way that you can share to separate customers and suppliers.  For example, If you share a drawing separately from a part, make them separate documents.  Since the updates are now very easy to push across documents, there should be no concerns about productivity loss by doing this.  In fact, documents split up this way even perform better!  Thanks for all the feedback here! 
    Good input. The more I use Onshape the more documents I find myself using per project. This is probably one of the more misunderstood aspects of managing data in Onshape for new users.
    Evan Reese / Principal and Industrial Designer with Ovyl
    Website: ovyl.io
    Instagram: @evan.reese.designs
  • mlaflecheCADmlaflecheCAD Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 119
    @konstantin_shiriazdanov if they have to be in the same part studio, there is still a very good way to do this. 

    Simply create a new document and use the "derive" feature to drop in Part A and B in that document then share with manufacturer 1 and create another document for part B & C and and do the same and share that with manufacturer 2.
    Regards,
    Mike LaFleche   @mlaflecheCAD
  • Evan_ReeseEvan_Reese Member Posts: 910 PRO
    @konstantin_shiriazdanov if they have to be in the same part studio, there is still a very good way to do this. 

    Simply create a new document and use the "derive" feature to drop in Part A and B in that document then share with manufacturer 1 and create another document for part B & C and and do the same and share that with manufacturer 2.
    Doesn't that mess with metadata like part numbers, revisions, and all that? 
    Evan Reese / Principal and Industrial Designer with Ovyl
    Website: ovyl.io
    Instagram: @evan.reese.designs
  • mlaflecheCADmlaflecheCAD Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 119
    @Evan_Reese When you insert the derived part, insert the "Released" object or the "Versioned" object.  The name definitely comes through.  Plus now you have access to more metadata on the separate document, like quoted price from each vendor.  The sky is the limit.  I can check on inherited metadata later today when I get a chance or you can give it a whirl.
    Regards,
    Mike LaFleche   @mlaflecheCAD
  • Evan_ReeseEvan_Reese Member Posts: 910 PRO
    @Evan_Reese When you insert the derived part, insert the "Released" object or the "Versioned" object.  The name definitely comes through.  Plus now you have access to more metadata on the separate document, like quoted price from each vendor.  The sky is the limit.  I can check on inherited metadata later today when I get a chance or you can give it a whirl.
    I just tested it and I stand corrected! The part number and revision history go with the derived part. It's still hard for me to remember, even after spending a lot of soak time with the concept, to check whether I'm referencing a version of the part, or the active workspace.
    Evan Reese / Principal and Industrial Designer with Ovyl
    Website: ovyl.io
    Instagram: @evan.reese.designs
  • matthew_stacymatthew_stacy Member Posts: 273 PRO
    @Evan_Reese, Onshape document sharing coupled with a configurable design also offers a potential sales interface.  Imagine a product catalog on your company website offering merchandise like a mailbox that the customer can configure the text to be printed on the side (address, name, etc.).

    Customer clicks the url.  Jumps into Onshape.  Configures the design to there liking, spins the solid model ... and hopefully makes the purchase.  If the merchandise is 3d printable, then all your selling is an exported STL file (ZERO shipping cost).
  • Evan_ReeseEvan_Reese Member Posts: 910 PRO
    That's a cool idea! There are still some obstacles to implementing it exactly as you describe, while still making sure you get paid for it, but you could totally set up a very configurable model for non-CAD folks to tweak and export for free.
    Evan Reese / Principal and Industrial Designer with Ovyl
    Website: ovyl.io
    Instagram: @evan.reese.designs
  • matthew_stacymatthew_stacy Member Posts: 273 PRO
    @Evan_Reese, I agree.  The pay-to-download step is a detail that I haven't come up with a good solution for yet.  The best that I have devised so far is to exclude download privileges in the Onshape link share and just use it as a visualization tool to entice the customer.

    The user could then submit a form or screenshot for me to export and send them an STL file upon payment.  Surely there is a better way!

    Link sharing, configurations, and obsoleting the CAD work station are huge enablers.  Go Onshape!
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