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Improvements to Onshape - April 12th, 2023

mlaflecheCADmlaflecheCAD Member, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 179
edited April 2023 in New in Onshape
The April update brings new superpowers to Onshape users.  Productivity improvements are sure to be popular in this update, which includes great sketching improvements, new options for extruding thin profiles, and a new Face blend feature that provides numerous opportunities for creating the exact shapes you want quickly.



The Face blend feature is a set of surfacing options used in situations requiring more control than a fillet. A fillet can be applied only between connected faces and cannot create a new surface.  But the Face blend can be applied to both connected and disconnected faces, and can create multiple Face Blends that can be detached from the faces on which they are applied.



Tangent arcs can be created automatically while sketching by hovering over the endpoint of a line or another arc.  This also works in the opposite way as an arc can then transition to another line, or another arc similarly.  Also added are additional shortcut keys that are helpful in the Sketch and Part Studio environment.

Tangent arc:  shift+a
Point:  shift+s
Revolve:  shift+w
Hide / show sketches: shift-h 


Thin extrude, part of the Extrude feature, uses an open sketch profile with a thickness value in-plane, and helps create thin-walled parts like ribs, brackets, and other constant wall thickness geometry.



A helix can be defined by either a cylindrical/conical face, axis (or Mate connector z-axis), or circular edge. Additionally, you may now select reference points as the start and end locations of your helix.




Approximating point-sampled curves can be created by fitting splines with fewer control points, yielding higher quality.




The surface finish symbol can be directly attached to a GD&T Frame.



Inspection symbols for Hole callouts and Chamfer dimension now support itemized callouts per parameter on newly created drawings.  Note that you will also want to set an option in your custom drawing templates to support this new choice.  Existing drawings will not change from the previous setting.




Cloning a class creates a copy of the class and assignments. Members of the original class do not become members of the cloned class.


When assigning Roles, The default choice is now "Student" rather than "Educator" when adding new users.



A workspace tab can be copied to the clipboard and pasted into the same document or a different document.



An implicit Mate connector is available for locating features on the fly.



Custom Features added to your toolbar now will sort themselves alphabetically.




Better support when importing Rhino .3DS files with diffuse and/or transparent colors, and exporting Rhino color meshes.


A new option is available upon export to turn on compatibility mode for IGES files, which is often helpful for downstream manufacturing applications, such as certain tube laser cutters.

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


  • wayne_sauderwayne_sauder Member, csevp Posts: 452 PRO
    edited April 2023
    I was really hoping the F5 button for coffee would be delivered in this release.  :(
  • adam_richardsonadam_richardson Member Posts: 34 ✭✭
    Onshape team has really been hitting it hard with surfacing tools lately, love it! Face blends looks fantastic, look forward to giving it a whirl.
  • AngleCAngleC Member Posts: 6 PRO
    @eric_pesty, there's a Symmetric checkbox in the Thin extrude dialog just underneath the Starting offset checkbox :)
    I believe @eric_pesty was hoping for a symmetric "thickness" option, as was I to more directly convey design intent in those cases.  The symmetric option that is there now is for extrude direction.
  • eric_pestyeric_pesty Member Posts: 1,395 PRO
    AngleC said:
    @eric_pesty, there's a Symmetric checkbox in the Thin extrude dialog just underneath the Starting offset checkbox :)
    I believe @eric_pesty was hoping for a symmetric "thickness" option, as was I to more directly convey design intent in those cases.  The symmetric option that is there now is for extrude direction.
    Yes that's what I meant!
    Also interesting that it doesn't include the "direction" option recently added to the "solid" and "surface" mode!
  • S1monS1mon Member Posts: 2,246 PRO

    So many great new things. Lots to dig into. Definitely worth a couple more days. 
  • gkuhnsgkuhns Member, csevp Posts: 36 PRO
    I'm all excited about the bump back to activate the tangent line. I was missing that so much!

    Thank you Onshape team!
  • STEGSTEG Member, User Group Leader Posts: 38 PRO
    Thin extrude is awesome and line to tangent arc is finally arrived! YES!

    Face blend seems so powerful it may takes time just to learn how to use it!

    Would like to see iOS improvements for Android too, especially Mate connector capability while editing!

    Great job Onshape! :smile:
  • sebastian_glanznersebastian_glanzner Member, Developers Posts: 397 PRO
    Funny ChatGPT 4.0 summary:

    Ladies and gentlemen, behold the latest and greatest Onshape Update—packed with features so amazing, it'll leave you in stitches!

    1. Face blend feature: Smooth out those rough edges and create seamless connections between surfaces, just like a master cosmetic surgeon!

    2. Extrude on a diet: Introducing the new "Thin" option for Extrude. Perfect for creating those extra-slim profiles without breaking a sweat.

    3. Helix feature levels up: Now with Cylinder/Cone, Axis, and Circle options. We're spiraling out of control with excitement!

    4. Keyboard shortcuts galore: Revolve (SHIFT + w), Hide/show sketches (SHIFT + h), and Sketch point (SHIFT + s) shortcuts to make you feel like a true CAD-ninja!

    5. Sketching goes supersonic: Toggle from line to tangent arc with a simple hover or SHIFT + a. It's like magic, but better.

    6. Fancy-pants Drawing enhancements: Attach surface finish symbols to GD&T frames, inspect items by row or parameter, and more. Your drawings have never looked so chic!

    7. Compatibility mode for IGES export: Because sometimes, we all need a little extra understanding.

    8. Performance improvements: We've optimized sub-assembly manipulation and squashed some pesky bugs. Onshape now runs smoother than a well-oiled machine (pun intended)!

    9. New features for Edu-Enterprise and Enterprise users: Timestamps, class cloning, and a bunch of other goodies for our beloved institutional users.

    10. Help documentation updates: Our experts have revamped a variety of topics so you can learn faster and smarter.

    And, last but not least...

    1. Bug extermination: We've hunted down and fixed a wide range of issues, from pesky assembly problems to irritating drawing quirks. No more surprises (well, except for the good kind)!

    So buckle up, dear Onshapers, and get ready for a CAD experience that's more fun, more powerful, and more fantastic than ever before! 🎉

  • john_mcclaryjohn_mcclary Member, Developers Posts: 3,878 PRO
    Worth the wait, nicely done.

  • emagdalenaC2iemagdalenaC2i Member, Developers, Channel partner Posts: 857 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2023
    Great update!!!

    I think there is also a hidden "easter egg" here...

    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
  • partsovenpartsoven Member Posts: 18 PRO
    Thanks Onshape team! Great new stuff. Gonna take some time to dig into the Face Blend tool.
  • don_williams909don_williams909 Member Posts: 138 PRO
    Some really great new features!  Gotta try the face blend!
  • sebastian_glanznersebastian_glanzner Member, Developers Posts: 397 PRO
    edited April 2023
    Great update!!!

    I think there is also a hidden "easter egg" here...

    Whoa, wait a minute! "imagemappingtype.gen.fs" + "recordpatterntype.gen.fs" = Hidden gaming blueprints?! It's all coming together now... CAD FeatureScripts are the key! Onshape holds the secret to Half-Life 3! Confirmed! 🎮🔑🎉

  • john_mcclaryjohn_mcclary Member, Developers Posts: 3,878 PRO
    I'm curious what exactly this really means

  • josh_mandeljosh_mandel Member Posts: 5 PRO
    Man, I'm pumped! Great updates guys!
  • Lucas_KuhnsLucas_Kuhns Member, csevp Posts: 88 PRO
    I love the "Switch From Line to Tangent Arc in Sketches" update! We don't do much surfacing but it looks like the Face Blend update is a big one for those that do! It looks like it could be used to make some very accurate-looking welds if someone used it in a feature script.
  • eric_pestyeric_pesty Member Posts: 1,395 PRO
    So are we getting "thin" versions of the other tools (loft, revolve, sweep)? Should just be a bit of "copy/paste" in FS right ;) ?
  • eric_pestyeric_pesty Member Posts: 1,395 PRO
    edited April 2023
    Played around with the blend a bit and it's going to take a while to understand what the different options do (to avoid selecting combinations that don't make sense)!
    But it looks pretty sweet for sure, huge shortcut for surfacing I think
  • Evan_ReeseEvan_Reese Member Posts: 2,056 PRO
    This is a heavy hitter! I have a lot to play with and wrap my head around.
    Evan Reese / Principal and Industrial Designer with Ovyl
    Website: ovyl.io
  • john_mcclaryjohn_mcclary Member, Developers Posts: 3,878 PRO
    I'm curious what exactly this really means

    Hi john_mcclary,

    The way that our assemblies solve, at a high level, is that mates are solved simultaneously to give the positions of the components in the assembly.  Onshape uses a predictable set of mates that are solved to make the assembly results predictable.  Since sub-assemblies are flexible and need to be solved like every other instance in the assembly, their position was being included in multiple computations.  Onshape is now reusing more data, speeding up the total solve time for assemblies.
    Sweet, thank you for that. I always welcome performance increases like this!

    I just hope that it doesn't more provoke server cache issues I hope :)
  • christopher_dziubachristopher_dziuba Member Posts: 45 ✭✭
    That thin extrude is perfect for drawing walls quickly!
  • venkatramana_reddyvenkatramana_reddy Member Posts: 1 PRO
    Does Approximate spline has an option of taking tangency from a surface/edge?
  • S1monS1mon Member Posts: 2,246 PRO
    edited April 2023

    The approximateSpline documentation starts here: https://cad.onshape.com/FsDoc/library.html#ApproximationTarget

    It includes options for first and second derivatives, so you could in theory start with the framework of bridging curve which has code to choose a point along the edge of a surface and extract tangent and curvature information at that point.

    What I'm not seeing in the documentation is if the fit tolerance is treated differently at the endpoints than at the internal points (I would hope so).

    I found the publicly available code for approximateSpline (in curveGeometry.fs in std), but I don't immediately see anything which shows what's happening under the hood. Can anyone elaborate? 

    Any chance the demo FeatureScripts for approximateSpline can be made public?

    Any chance that projecting a curve onto a curve or onto a surface could get some optional approximation controls? (I know, I can write up the IRs...)

    I can foresee an update to Freeform Spline which optionally uses the approximation controls...
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