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My list of what's missing.
I just finished a job for a client that would have been a good test for Onshape. No existing CAD already in use. A minimal set of output information to communicate. But the capability to communicate the info I needed to just wasn't there. Bummer.
I have a list on my whiteboard of the features I'm waiting for before I am willing to use Onshape in a real project. Here's my list:
- drawings (with export to PDF and DXF)
- common parts (parts shared between workspaces)
- configurations (tables, equations)
- annotations in sketches (mostly to leave design intent notes to myself or other designers)
- traversal of mate relationships (which mate belongs to which part and vice versa)
- better traversal of feature relationships (Which features depend on this one, which features drive this one.)
- better sketch constraint discovery and management (trying to fix broken constraints in a recent sketch is difficult, trying to fix broken constraints in a sketch I'm seeing for the first time would be a nightmare)
- grouping: (sketch elements, features, workspaces, users)
The final issue, grouping, is another thing needed for working with complex designs. I've seen some interesting conversations here on the forum about grouping. When I say group I mean sets of both elements and (sub)sets.
Grouping workspaces allows one to reduce the total set of all workspaces into manageable chunks, and when combined with good naming can help with new team members understanding what subsets of the total set are relevant. Tags can do this a little bit and should be included for those who like them but the mechanics of tags (tags are not normally tagged themselves in the way that groups are often added to groups. tags are typically accessed via recall in contrast to recognition for groups) make them less capable than groups. In addition to aiding in the discoverability, the ability to manipulate groups and subgroups of workspaces could make some tasks such as sharing and deleting easier.
As a side note, I think that sometimes people have the misconception that grouping implies being limited to a hierarchy (a DAG for you CS buffs). It does not.
User grouping makes granting and revoking permissions on workspace groups (and one day individual branches I hope) tractable.
Grouping features can be handy for speeding the work-flow (o-ring grooves, mechanical interfaces, hole patterns, etc) when parametrized, but mostly I just want to compress the feature tree to meaningful chunks that can be comprehended and navigated quicker than the full list.
Grouping sketch elements (blocks in SW, groups in every other graphics program) is useful for patterns and re-use... but like feature groups, often it is also a good way to reduce the complexity of the sketch, partitioning constraints so that they are easier to understand.
That's the stuff I'm waiting for before I invest in building any infrastructure around Onshape... Though if a minimally capable version of drawings + dxf export was available I probably would have tried to use Onshape in this last job.
I should point out that the list on my whiteboard used to be a bit longer and every new release I'm eagerly looking for what I can cross off.
I know a couple have used Onshape in "production". I'm curious what are the rest of you are waiting for? What are the roadblocks for you?