Welcome to the Onshape forum! Ask questions and join in the discussions about everything Onshape.

First time visiting? Here are some places to start:
  1. Looking for a certain topic? Check out the categories filter or use Search (upper right).
  2. Need support? Ask a question to our Community Support category.
  3. Please submit support tickets for bugs but you can request improvements in the Product Feedback category.
  4. Be respectful, on topic and if you see a problem, Flag it.

If you would like to contact our Community Manager personally, feel free to send a private message or an email.


Improvements to Onshape - February 3rd, 2023

mlaflecheCADmlaflecheCAD Member, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 179
edited February 2023 in New in Onshape
A very happy start to February for the Onshape community.  This time we have lots to share in the world of surface modeling, improvements to long standing features of Onshape as well as powerful production drawing and inspection reporting capabilities.



The Boundary Surface feature puts high quality surfacing into the hands of all Onshape users.  The Boundary Surface approach uses sets of curves from each direction (the U and V direction) to form a 4-sided, closed surface, with options to specify boundary conditions such as tangency matching, normal to profile, etc...



A new option has been added to the Curve and Surface Analysis tool that displays a Control Point Grid that is useful for understanding the defining geometry of a spline surface.



When defining a surface, it is essential to know at what angle a curve or surface is intersecting another group of curves or surfaces.  Note how the selection is possible between curves and surfaces that displays the angle numerically and graphically on-screen.



When performing an extrusion, the direction of an extrude can be defined using planes, lines and mate connectors. This improvement will facilitate the creation of geometry previously tricky to build with a single feature.



To set the distance from the sketch plane when creating extrusions, an option is provided to select an offset to the starting direction of an extrusion as you create it—reducing the amount of reference geometry needed to create the same geometry. 



Now all your favorite Custom Features can be added to your "S" key custom popup toolbar!




You can use Folders to store groups of mates, helping to organize mates for use when creating assemblies. Organized mates can be helpful when managing configurations, named positions, simulations, and more.



Use context menus on Simulation Studies to move right or left for better organization.



Dynamically created hatch regions are available in drawings with a pre-defined region or with new sketch geometry created on the fly.  



Use the Style Panel to edit one or more hatch patterns on the drawing.



Inspection items in Onshape Drawings will auto-calculate the upper and lower bounds for all bubbled dimensions for your inspection reporting needs.




A Publication can be cloned to allow for sharing of similar data with the extended design.  Use cases include sharing a publication that includes different versions and revisions of data, sharing with a different group of users and more.



In addition to creating General Tasks from the Action Items screen (found under your profile picture menu or the Action Items tab across the top the screen in the Enterprise version), access Tasks inside a document by right-clicking on a tab or part/assembly. Tasks created in this manner automatically reference the selected entity.



Items from company settings can now be downloaded as a CSV directly from the Company options.  This allows for more flexible management of bulk items so that administrators can share this data with other business systems.


User modeling dashboards showing modeling time now clarify how agile projects develop over time, showing modeling time on a specific day.
This data can be reached from a total of 3 places in Onshape Enterprise accounts.
 - From 'Activity Overview' -> User Activity -> Date -> User Modeling Timeline 
 - From 'User Dashboard' -> Modeling Time -> Date -> User Modeling Timeline
 - From 'User Dashboard' -> User Activity -> Date -> User Modeling Timeline


Several ease of use improvements have been introduced to FeatureScript.


CTRL-click or CMD-click on a Mac now hyperlinks to and opens a new browser tab to the Import reference being called. 



Improvements have been made to the FeatureScript Profiler that allows for performance tuning of features when the part is referenced outside of the document where the Feature Studio exists.



When using the arrow functions, autocomplete previously added in the first parameter, which gets in the way when chaining functions like queries together.  This improvement handles the first parameter or not depending on whether it is in the expression chain.


Local variables will now show up at top of autocomplete menu for convenience.



For assemblies made with Linked Document references, export operations are allowed (as long as the export permission is allowed) from an Android device. 



A couple more videos have been updated in the Learning Center:

Frames Fundamentals course

New video on adding Gussets to frame parts.

Advanced Part Design course

New video on partial fillets.

Please take a moment to try out these new features and improvements and leave your comments below. For a detailed list of all the changes in this update, please see the changelog.

Remember: The updates listed here are now live for all users when creating new Documents. Over the next few days, these features will also be available in Documents created before this update.

Mike LaFleche   @mlaflecheCAD


  • Options
    S1monS1mon Member Posts: 2,475 PRO
    Wow. Tons to unpack here.  :)
  • Options
    Evan_ReeseEvan_Reese Member Posts: 2,070 PRO
    Y'all! This is a killer update! Boundary, new Extrude options, surface control cage preview, the Featurescript quality of life stuff. So much to love.
    Evan Reese / Principal and Industrial Designer with Ovyl
    Website: ovyl.io
  • Options
    AngleCAngleC Member Posts: 7 PRO
    Extrude improvements for the win!!! Thank you Onshape team. Excellent work. This release is a big one!
  • Options
    david_mcmahondavid_mcmahon Member Posts: 35 ✭✭✭
    The new hatch regions are fantastic! Now, I can finally create a proper title block with a vector art logo using color fills!
  • Options
    brucebartlettbrucebartlett Member, OS Professional, Mentor, User Group Leader Posts: 2,137 PRO
    Extrude improvements are great, what I've always wanted but better. Great work. Thanks
    Engineer ı Product Designer ı Onshape Consulting Partner
    Twitter: @onshapetricks  & @babart1977   
  • Options
    sebastian_glanznersebastian_glanzner Member, Developers Posts: 409 PRO
    edited February 2023
    A great update! I bet a lot of product designer will be very happy!

    Folders for mate connectors are very usefuly for big assemblies :)
  • Options
    billy2billy2 Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers, User Group Leader Posts: 2,035 PRO
    Wow, lots of new stuff. 
  • Options
    Cedric_EveleighCedric_Eveleigh Member, OS Professional, csevp Posts: 62 PRO
    When should one use boundary surface versus fill?
  • Options
    S1monS1mon Member Posts: 2,475 PRO
    edited February 2023
    I was very excited to see Boundary Surface and the new analysis tools... however doing a really basic test leads to disappointment.

    Here are two sketched curves (on parallel planes) which are both degree 3 Béziers.

    I create a very simple Boundary surface using these two curves and I get this:

    It clearly rebuilds the two end curves to be 2 span, degree 3 B-splines (in U), and a nice degree 3 in V. In the middle, the U curvature is not G3. This seems bizarre. This is such a simple surface to get right.

    Lofting with the same curves and constraints actually yields a much better result, even though it rebuilds the input curves with more density than Boundary:

    I will definitely have to do a lot more investigation. Much like in Solidworks, there are times when its Boundary surface is better than Loft, and vice versa. The really great thing is that Onshape is giving us better analysis tools than many other CAD programs. I would often export critical surfaces out of Solidworks and look at them in Rhino, but with all the upgrades to Onshape's analysis tools, the only thing I'd still love to see is a built in environment map option.

    On a little further investigation, I wonder how much of this could be an artifact of the U/V curvature analysis itself. Looking at zebras, or Gaussian, or mean, I can't detect any hint of the issues I see in the U-curvature. Hmmmmm.
  • Options
    monroe_weber_shirkmonroe_weber_shirk Member Posts: 96 EDU
    Thank you for the link to the imported document in FeatureScript!!! Love it! I'll be using that frequently.
  • Options
    S1monS1mon Member Posts: 2,475 PRO
    edited February 2023
    Some more investigation of Boundary surface and the surface analysis tools...

    Overall this will be very useful, but it's interesting what is not included right now:
    • Boundary doesn't have guide curves in the middle of a surface like Loft or Fill
    • Boundary doesn't allow curvature constraints like Loft or Fill
    I suspect that these are in the works for a later update.

    If you use Boundary surface with just two U curves, and add tangency constraints, the V curves at the edges are very different than Loft. They aren't exactly what I would expect. Solidworks has some advanced tools to control how these edges are created, and I expect that something like that will show up in Onshape some day.

    The great thing about seeing the control point grid is you can really see the results of building similar surfaces with Boundary, Loft and Fill. Depending on your needs one might be much better than the others. Sometimes Fill is producing a more well behaved, less dense control point layout than Boundary or Loft.

    Here are the "same" transition surface built between two orthogonal extruded surfaces (from degree-3 Bézier sketches) with curvature continuous Bridging curves on the sides.

    Boundary does a decent job, but there's no curvature option, it rebuilds the U curves, and I'm not sure I like the way the parameterization happens in the middle:

    Loft has "Match curvature" but it has some horrible bunching of CVs on the edges. This kind of thing is fine for a single surface, but if you build a lot of things off of intersections or extensions of these edges, you may start to have weird wobbles or failures.

    Fill has a curvature option, and it builds a surface without rebuilding either the U or the V inputs! In this particular case, I would choose Fill. 

  • Options
    bill_schnoebelenbill_schnoebelen OS Professional, Developers, User Group Leader, csevp Posts: 111 PRO
  • Options
    GregBrownGregBrown Member, Onshape Employees Posts: 113
    @S1mon Thanks for diving in so soon, though we suspected (and hoped) you would be! Pease continue to give us feedback as we're eager to see how this new feature works for you all.

    To address some very high level points you made - yes, the Boundary surface, Loft and Fill will behave differently, as their underlying intent (and mathematics!) is different. There is no one perfect feature, so having more options to cover all possible situations is the idea here. In some cases, Loft, Fill, or Boundary surf may give the result you desire, and in that case is the best choice.

    That being said, we are striving to make each of these features (as you've seen over the past number of releases where improvements have been made) better. We of course don't talk about futures here, or forecast any release targets for improvements, but suffice to say we are not done with Boundary surface...

    In fact if you have not already signed up for the Onshape Live event, then it might be a good idea - we do have a session on Sneak Peeks, and I invite everyone to come along and even participate in the Q&A with the people developing all this great stuff.

  • Options
    Chris_D_Mentes_001Chris_D_Mentes_001 Member, csevp Posts: 60 PRO
    Frigen awesome. Thank you!
  • Options
    Henk_de_VlaamHenk_de_Vlaam Member, Developers Posts: 239 ✭✭✭
    Maybe a stupid question: what is (the difference between) an U- and V-profile in the Boundary surface feature?
    Henk de Vlaam (NL)
  • Options
    david_brophydavid_brophy Member Posts: 51 ✭✭
    I'm getting the new extrude features in newly created documents, but in my existing documents I'm still seeing the old features... Will they be updated automatically? Or do I need to do something?
  • Options
    NeilCookeNeilCooke Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 5,466
    I'm getting the new extrude features in newly created documents, but in my existing documents I'm still seeing the old features... Will they be updated automatically? Or do I need to do something?
    See the footnote in the post.
    Senior Director, Technical Services, EMEAI
  • Options
    S1monS1mon Member Posts: 2,475 PRO
    Maybe a stupid question: what is (the difference between) an U- and V-profile in the Boundary surface feature?
    U and V are just the conventions for the names of the two parameters of a 4-sided surface described by some function f(u,v). Typically the values of U and V go from 0 to 1.

    Think of a generic surface as being a thin sheet of rectangular rubber or wire mesh. They can be stretched or formed into 3D shapes, but they want to stay 4 sided. If you draw a grid on the flat sheet of material, one axis is called U, and the other is V. The two edges of U are “parallel” (in the theoretical flattened version) and the two edges of V are “parallel”. 

    In the case of Boundary surface, it doesn’t matter for a given four sided boundary which pairs you choose for U or which you choose for V. You should get the same results. 

    It’s also possible (like with Loft) to only pick two edges and let it make up the other direction.

  • Options
    Henk_de_VlaamHenk_de_Vlaam Member, Developers Posts: 239 ✭✭✭
    S1mon said:

    ...The two edges of U are “parallel” (in the theoretical flattened version) and the two edges of V are “parallel”...
    That is indeed what I found with the boundary surface feature but did not know the background of it. Thank you for explaining.
    Henk de Vlaam (NL)
  • Options
    emagdalenaC2iemagdalenaC2i Member, Developers, Channel partner Posts: 862 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Awesome update!!!

    En este enlace podéis ver las Novedades de Onshape en español:
    Un saludo,

    Eduardo Magdalena                         C2i Change 2 improve                         ☑ ¿Por qué no organizamos una reunión online?  
                                                                         Partner de PTC - Onshape                                     Averigua a quién conocemos en común
  • Options
    Axel_KollmenterAxel_Kollmenter Member Posts: 411 PRO
    Great Update! Thank you.
    I love the new ability to add custom features to my fly toolbar (s), and the option to organize all the mates.
    Best regards,

    Axel Kollmenter
  • Options
    tom_10tom_10 Member Posts: 10 ✭✭

    EXTRUDE OFFSET thank you!!

  • Options
    mike_hölschermike_hölscher Member Posts: 105 PRO
    Is there a different between Extrude Offset and just flipping the Second end position direction? I have been using that since the beginning to do Extrude Offsets.
  • Options
    NeilCookeNeilCooke Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 5,466
    Is there a different between Extrude Offset and just flipping the Second end position direction? I have been using that since the beginning to do Extrude Offsets.
    Hi Mike, there are quite a few differences and there was a crazy amount of votes for this improvement - mainly, you don't have to do any mental maths to work out the second offset and you can apply draft from the offset plane. My main use case is when detailing bosses where the top of the boss is the critical dimension and then draft is applied from there. You can now sketch on the bottom face, offset and extrude/draft backwards up to next.
    Senior Director, Technical Services, EMEAI
  • Options
    albjerrealbjerre Member Posts: 23 ✭✭✭
    Great work. I especially like Boundary surface. Extrude offset you could live without. But it will still be much more convenient than the current approach of defining a second extrude direction and substract that. Keep up the good work!
  • Options
    wout_theelen541wout_theelen541 Member, csevp Posts: 198 PRO
    I can myself making good use of the extrude offset and toolbar. Mate folders is definitely going to be the best quality of life improvement for me right now. Solid update!
  • Options
    mlaflecheCADmlaflecheCAD Member, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 179
    Join Richard Doyle, the User Group Guy and Mike LaFleche, the Professor, as we react to the latest updates to Onshape. This one is big! Lots of goodies in Part Studios, Assemblies, Drawings, PDM, FeatureScript and Mobile.

    LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:ugcPost:7028036523853807616
    YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKqwdWIlihg
    Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Onshape
    Twitter:  https://twitter.com/mlaflecheCAD

    Mike LaFleche   @mlaflecheCAD
  • Options
    MichaelPascoeMichaelPascoe Member Posts: 1,746 PRO

    Thank you Onshape team!

    Learn more about the Gospel of Christ  ( Here )

    CADSharp  -  We make custom features and integrated Onshape apps!   cadsharp.com/featurescripts 💎
Sign In or Register to comment.