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Improvements to Onshape - November 28th, 2023

NeilCookeNeilCooke Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 5,526
edited December 2023 in New in Onshape
Onshape continues to add more breadth and depth to the product and more value to your subscription, with new simulation types and many modeling and drawing improvements to enhance and streamline your design workflow. Let's take a look...



Onshape Simulation now supports Modal Analysis, providing meaningful feedback on a design's rigidity and vibrational characteristics. Available to all Onshape Professional and Enterprise users, Modal Analysis works alongside linear static analysis in Assemblies, staying in sync with your mate connections, changes to geometry, and Versions and history.

With minimal setup and no hardware requirements, Modal Analysis supports the identification of rigid modes and the calculation of non-loaded natural frequencies. This allows you to more easily understand the inherent resonance of your design in order to minimize noise, design for operating conditions, and enhance structural integrity.




Revolve is the latest feature to have a Thin type added. Build thin-walled cylindrical parts and features like grooves much faster and with fewer clicks.



Feature patterns now re-evaluate all external references in sketches, for every instance, when Reapply features (the new name for Apply per instance) is enabled. Each sketch in the pattern is solved as if it is a new feature, making it easy to add design intent and create more complex geometry with ease.



Explicit Mate connectors created in Parts and Assemblies can now be shown and referenced while editing in-context.



Material is now shown as a read-only field in the Part Properties dialog, so you no longer have to look in multiple places to get the information you need. To edit the material, either right-click the Part in the Part Studio and select Assign/Edit material... or if the Part belongs to an Assembly, you can edit the material from the BOM table by double-clicking the cell.



Computed part properties overriden either from the Part Properties dialog or from the BOM table are now indicated by an information icon and tooltip to highlight where any values were changed. Any aggregated value affected by a manual change is also indicated. To reset each property back to its calculated value, either right-click the cell in the BOM table and select Remove override or uncheck the Override option in the Part Properties dialog.



Hole features in Part Studios now have built-in fit class tolerances, removing the need to manually look up the required tolerance limits based on hole diameter, fit class, and chosen drawing standard. Applied tolerances can be viewed in the Hole table in the Part Studio before the Part is added to a Drawing for annotation. Hole callouts in Drawings will automatically show any holes with a designated fit class tolerance, plus the option to show the opposing shaft tolerance class, for a more streamlined and automated detailing and manufacturing workflow.



Datum targets can now be created by referencing the location of another datum target to enable chain-style dimensioning for easier fixture creation.




Every release of Onshape includes performance improvements across the board, with some improvements being more noticeable than others. In this release there are several performance improvements that make a significant difference in areas such as:
  • Large Assembly Drawings with large BOM tables and many views now open faster.
  • Comments and replies are now loaded on demand to make Documents with hundreds of comments open faster.
  • Drawing session timeouts have been increased to reduce the number of Document reloads required.
  • Computed Part Properties are now evaluated on demand to make Property dialogs open faster. To update a computed part property, press the Calculate value button. This does not affect other areas where computed part properties are evaluated, such as Assembly BOM tables and Drawings.


Task descriptions that include Onshape Document URLs are now resolved to the correct Document name and shown as a clickable link. External website URLs are also added as a link with a tooltip warning you that you are visiting a website outside of Onshape.



To make text export in DWG and DXF formats more usable in other downstream applications, a new option in the Export dialog enables you to either Export as text, Explode into polylines (notes) (the previous behavior), or Explode all into polylines (which includes notes, dimensions, title blocks and tables).



Custom features can be hard to find, especially when there are multiple copies of the same Document. To remedy this, custom feature authors may now publish their work to help others find their original feature and to get a list of features that are available. Existing features can also be published, so if you have been kind enough to make your features public, please publish them to help other users work smarter.

Reminder: You do not need to copy a custom feature Document to use the feature in your designs. Open the Document and click the Add custom features button in the top toolbar and the feature appears in your Part Studio toolbar. Please do not make a copy of the Document unless you intend to modify it. This helps keep the public repository clutter-free. You are also notified automatically if the original feature is updated.




The Cut list from a model created using Frame features in a Part Studio can now be shown on iOS devices by clicking the icon on the right side panel on iPad and from the 3-dot menu in the top right corner on iPhone.



Publications now have their own analytics dashboard built into the Document info panel on the right of the Documents page, detailing Referenced Items, Obsolete Items, Access Locations, and more. Both the Publication Dashboard and the Document Dashboard are now also visible for users with view permissions.



The Onshape Training Team has taken the popular Instructor-led Release Management course and made a new Release Management for Administrators course available. This course covers Release Management settings for Professional and Enterprise subscriptions. A second course, Release Management for Users, will follow in the coming weeks.

Modal Analysis has been added to 
Introduction to Onshape Simulation. This new section introduces users to frequency analysis within Onshape and helps them obtain intuitive guidance on the resonance and rigidity of their designs.

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.
Senior Director, Technical Services, EMEAI


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    S1monS1mon Member Posts: 2,564 PRO
    We went from some relatively quiet releases to a ton of useful things. Just starting to digest all of this.
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    Chris_D_Mentes_001Chris_D_Mentes_001 Member, csevp Posts: 60 PRO
    Some interesting tangential stuff for me here :smile:
    I'm sure all you metal workers would be thrilled!
    I do love the speed updates though.
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    christian_pettychristian_petty Member Posts: 68 PRO
    Modal analysis and the pattern feature upgrades - big updates!
    Christian Petty - Mechanical Design Engineer, Radian R&D
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    GuidoNADECGuidoNADEC Member Posts: 27 PRO
    Great updates!
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    MisaelMisael Member Posts: 10 PRO
    All these updates were amazing!! Thank you!!
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    ProsperorgProsperorg Member, csevp Posts: 3 PRO
    Awesome batch of improvements. It would be great to be able to apply the fit tolerances to all cylindrical features when making a hole. Like the counterbore diameter for example. Would make adding bearing seats amazing.
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    wout_theelen541wout_theelen541 Member, csevp Posts: 198 PRO
    Some nice stuff on this one! I'm excited about the publish featurescript. Hopefully it gets us closer to the world where they are more organized and easier to find.
    Definetly second you on that. If I can I like to avoid custom features which could break but I like this new structure quite a bit. 
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    danny_paynedanny_payne Member, User Group Leader Posts: 37 PRO
    Great work. Love these updates. I always have fun finding the higher modes in modal analysis. Now there is quick way to make shapes and see how they will move in higher modes.
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    MichaelPascoeMichaelPascoe Member Posts: 1,777 PRO
    edited November 2023

    Fantastic improvements Team!! Many thanks. 

    All of the public CADSharp features as well as my personal ones have now been published B).


    Are published features eternal or can they be deleted by the owner?

    Is there a way to filter for only published features when using the "Add custom features" button?
    • Ideally, it would only show published features when using the custom feature search button unless otherwise specified. I pretty much only use this button or the forums when searching for new custom features. Having to select other document and filter, if there were a filter for "published", is not intuitive for users. They have already clicked the "Add custom features" button, so naturally, they are looking for feature studios outside of their current document.

    Learn more about the Gospel of Christ  ( Here )

    CADSharp  -  We make custom features and integrated Onshape apps!   cadsharp.com/featurescripts 💎
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    STEGSTEG Member, User Group Leader Posts: 83 PRO

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    bill_schnoebelenbill_schnoebelen OS Professional, Developers, User Group Leader, csevp Posts: 117 PRO
    Lots of good stuff!
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    Nathanael_PeltzerNathanael_Peltzer Member Posts: 4
    Big thanks to the Onshape Team!
    Have been looking forward to "FIT CLASS TOLERANCES ON HOLE FEATURES" for a long time now.
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    Josiah_HarthcockJosiah_Harthcock Member Posts: 55 PRO
    This is awesome! Love the new features!
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    billy2billy2 Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers, User Group Leader Posts: 2,042 PRO
    edited December 2023
    Analysis is a great tool. Besides bending stuff, modal analysis is often used to determine if your design is rigid enough. More engineers should use it.

    Here's a couple of modal analysis that some old customers performed in the past. It's quick and easy and let's you know how well you've done.

    Power Transmission
    So if you can design a cheap & strong tower, they'll buy it from you.

    My tower below has a base of 30m square, around 175m tall and steel members 3m square:

    The 1st condition for having your bid accepted is to show your 1st natural frequency is greater than 7hz. Even with 3m square bars, it doesn't come close to passing the 1st requirement. It's not rigid enough. 

    Electronics mounted on the end of a rifle barrel
    A simple model for modal test purposes.

    This company's policy was to have a minimum 1st mode over 175hz. They came up with this from testing and years of experience. Modal analysis are easy to perform and provide a quick rigidity check. Is your design rigid enough?

    One question that keeps coming up is about the deformation shown. In reality the deformation would be infinite because your material has no dampening. Modal analysis isn't a transient response, it's only modal mapping the frequencies which is a good thing to know. If you want to see exactly how things respond, this isn't the tool.

    I'm not trying to rain on the parade here because I believe this is a really useful tool when making/checking rigid stuff. It's a great way to check new designs even before the 1st prototype.

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    billy2billy2 Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers, User Group Leader Posts: 2,042 PRO
    edited December 2023
    Ok I got the wire flopping back and forth at 98hz:

    And then the pcb goes into resonance at 208hz:

    And the wire again at 419hz:

    It's showing the parts that aren't rigid enough.

    One thing that's missing in modal analysis is the start frequency. Not only do we need to specify the number of modes to return, we need to specify the starting frequency for the sweep. 

    I've worked on speaker designs and the surround goes nuts around 3000hz. In a hifi speaker the foam piece that connects the cone to the frame is the most complex part of a speaker and usually the part that fails first. Oddly, you can't make it rigid, but you do want to see what it's up to.

    With modes starting at zero, I'll have to enter to return 1000 modes to get the 3000hz range. You really need to offer a starting frequency for the sweep.

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    emagdalenaC2iemagdalenaC2i Member, Developers, Channel partner Posts: 863 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Great update with some very significant improvements!

    While it's not a major change, I'm thrilled to see the following line finally removed:
    const candidateFacesQuery = qIntersection([createdFacesQuery, allUnattributedFacesQuery]);
    I did report it back in March 2022 --> https://forum.onshape.com/discussion/comment/79536#Comment_79536

    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
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    emagdalenaC2iemagdalenaC2i Member, Developers, Channel partner Posts: 863 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I had forgotten to mention that the 'Apply per instance' option, which has now been renamed as 'Reapply features', is also available in the symmetry of features.

    This is a significant enhancement, allowing for more flexibility and precision in our designs.

    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
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    emagdalenaC2iemagdalenaC2i Member, Developers, Channel partner Posts: 863 ✭✭✭✭✭
    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
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    morgan_uttingmorgan_utting Member Posts: 5
    Wow, what a fantastic update!
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    lemon1324lemon1324 Member, Developers Posts: 223 EDU
    A bit slow to this, but my laser joint suite of features have all been published!

    I'm a little concerned that it's a little "too easy" to pick the "publish" option when versioning a document with FeatureScript in it, it just says "Allow searches for published FeatureScript to find custom features and tables defined in this version", and I could see people clicking that even if they only meant to link to another of their own documents. Maybe emphasize the public/community nature more?

    Now if FS "pull requests" were possible, we'd really be able to make some cool free features. :)
    Arul Suresh
    PhD, Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University
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    MBartlett21MBartlett21 Member, OS Professional, Developers Posts: 2,036 EDU
    Since when have we been able to right-click on the undo and redo buttons and get a history?

    mb - draftsman - also FS author: View FeatureScripts
    IR for AS/NZS 1100
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