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paid featurescript functions

2

Comments

  • owen_sparksowen_sparks Member, Developers Posts: 2,266 PRO
    edited August 2016
    @3dcad @owen_sparks @coleman:

    If you guys do not mind, which, if any of these features do you think are not 'core functionality', and are something you'd pay for outside of core:

    Socket Screw Generator
    8020 profiles
    Structure Steel profiles
    Weldments ( select line drawings and extrude profiles through them)
    Offset Faces
    import 3d points to curves/sketches/surfaces
    text on curved surfaces
    @dave_cowden

    (1) Firstly please let me say I have a great deal of respect for the quality of the features you've produced and appreciate the time and skill that goes into making them.

    (2) I may be naive but I'd expect OS to eventually incorporate a wide range of "library" features for common or even some industry specific applications (Electronics, steel-work, architecture, injection moulding etc.) possibly with additional subscriptions for additional speciality options, but hopefully not.  I believe Solidworks have different flavours of their offering for different industries.

    (3) I'd also expect anything to do with geometry ultimately to be "core".

    (4) I'd expect that anything that is in widespread use around the world that has a recognised formal standard would be vulnerable to being incorporated into OS by the devs.  For example nuts, bolts, USB connectors, mains wall sockets etc.

    (5) Just because things may come later by default in OS doesn't mean people don't want them now so I'm sure there is a market, but how to charge?  I see the scalable structure but don't really like the per use method.  But if I paid a one off lifetime price and then an hour later OS released an update with that feature included there'll be bad feeling. Likewise you'll have pored hours into developing something that people may not need.  Perhaps with a suitable NDA OS would give recognised FS developers a sneak peak of what they have in the pipeline to avoid this scenario?

    So to specifics...

    Socket Screw Generator - Brilliant, brilliant feature, but I'd image OS have a version somewhere that's waiting to be polished up and released.

    8020 profiles - Again really excellent but would hope that one day the "build stuff" version of OS would have this.

    Structure Steel profiles - As above.

    Weldments ( select line drawings and extrude profiles through them) - Great feature and I'm sure people would love it.  But you've thought of it, I've thought of it and we know OS is getting pretty close to releasing a sheet metal suite of features.  I'd image welding will be in there somewhere.

    Offset Faces / import 3d points to curves/sketches/surfaces / text on curved surfaces - All great and useful today, but would expect to see them in core professional CAD.

    I'm sorry if that sounds negative, it's not meant to be.  I'm sure there will be a market for professionals but my gut feeling it will tend towards the bespoke features written under a consultancy banner for large ticket features, or for smaller things perhaps a user will post a request in a forum with a price they'd be willing to pay.  

    I may also be utterly incorrect in my opinions, they're just opinions and from someone new to the CAD scene.

    Owen S.
    Production Engineer
    HWM-Water Ltd
  • lemon1324lemon1324 Member, Developers Posts: 164 EDU
    I think the only long-term custom FS that could be paid content will be features which automate modeling tasks that are easily parametrized but require many clicks to model manually.  I'm thinking of stuff like Box Joint, Laser Joint, Hex Infill, or similar.  These are all things that are specific enough to certain users that it doesn't make sense either for Onshape to spend effort developing them or to cram them into a UI.

    Anything where someone wrote the FS with "I need this function from XXX CAD Program" in mind should end up being Onshape-native eventually, though they're still useful in the interim and as a scripting excercise.
    Arul Suresh
    PhD Candidate at Stanford University
  • colemancoleman OS Professional Posts: 242 PRO
    @owen_sparks

    Very well said.

  • dave_cowdendave_cowden Member, Developers Posts: 445 ✭✭✭
    thanks guys for the feedback @owen_sparks especially thanks for the comments on how you would like to pay.  

    OS has to add _some_ functionality before anything can be pay-for, for sure.  Right now the only pricing models that I could do practically would be lifetime: That's how my store is set up.  You get the feature forever once you pay, and I simply share the document with you.

    Last time I checked, when you share a private feature with someone, it counts against their quota.  That really kills the idea to sell it, nobody is willing to pay a fee AND have a slot taken in their quota too.  Does anyone know if that's fixed? OS did say it wasn't their intent, so maybe its fixed now.

    At any rate, that's the 'default' sales model, since it's the only one supportable right now.

    There are some products out there that do well despite SW and other CAD packages, because they are specialized to make quicker work of that type of CAD usage.  Woodworking software, steel fab, etc are examples. But these are generally too complex to be implemented as FS, because they involve multiple steps.


  • 3dcad3dcad Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 2,377 PRO
    One difficulty with selling FS feature is that I wouldn't buy anything without trial. And there is no possibility to 'take back' when someone has copied your code.

    I have one valuable fs feature, I use it for connecting furniture panels to each other. I think you all know the cam lock system where you put screw with short axle to surface of panel and cam to another panel and lock with turning 180 deg. This feature was made for me by students during FS beta.
    Counting the hours to code these ~500 lines (+ interaction to make usable UI) would make it pretty expensive piece and to buy that without knowing for sure that it will be a real time saver - I doubt that I ever would have bought such feature from paid coder.

    The possibility I see in this all is that I can probably choose some free or reasonably priced standard feature and use some $$ to slightly modify for my needs.. Similar to using open source CMS for webpage and buy coding service to modify into your needs.

    If I were a coder, I would do like @dave_cowden and bring a lot of different type of material available to show what I can do and give ideas what can be done. Then make profit by creating customer specific versions of those features.
       
    //rami
  • dave_cowdendave_cowden Member, Developers Posts: 445 ✭✭✭
    @3dcad yea, you are right about taking code and making small mods to suit. For example, for the steel and 8020 and steel  profile generators, I wrote  python app that cleans up the profiles, and then automatically generates the FS code to produce those features. It would not take me long to make a custom featuee for someone to insert a bunch of custom drawings and/or profiles. The thing converted and imported 2000 dxfs in about a minute, and cleaned them too so they all extrude clean

    Free trials are actually easy to do without giving up the source.  I'm doing it with all my features now in fact. The top layer is public , but you will find that the code there is very limited. The 'good stuff' is  in another private document that is not public, but is imported from within the public document.  
  • fastwayjimfastwayjim Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 218 PRO
    Interesting thought of the day: What if you could put a timer on sharing an Onshape file? "Back in the day" of FTP, if we wanted to share a file with a supplier we would make a file accessible for FTP access for 48 hrs only, for an added layer of security (DoD work, don't ask).

    That being said, what if Onshape could add a timer to a share? This way, FeatureScripters could give potential customers a test drive of the functionality?

    Food for thought.
  • dave_cowdendave_cowden Member, Developers Posts: 445 ✭✭✭
    @fastwayjim
    any functionality that would help market stuff would be great. 
    the other huge issue right now that OS needs to fix is that when you share a document, it needs to not count against the shareee's quota.  That's actually the bigger problem.  Its no big deal to share and then unshare a document with a potential user-- but nobody is interested when they learn it takes one of their quota.
  • fastwayjimfastwayjim Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 218 PRO
    Not sure I agree with this. Think of the big picture here... The quota pushes people to Pro, which pays the bills. No business is going to sacrifice the main revenue stream to help the (order of magnitude smaller) aftermarket.
  • dave_cowdendave_cowden Member, Developers Posts: 445 ✭✭✭
    Maybe but really cmon is using a feature from someone really the same as using a while document? If that the model, they can forget about Featurescript ever generating revenue for anyone
  • colemancoleman OS Professional Posts: 242 PRO
    @dave_cowden so do you think people who are on the free version of onshape will pay for feature scripts? 
  • dave_cowdendave_cowden Member, Developers Posts: 445 ✭✭✭
    Sure, it's possible. But even paid plans have a quota.
  • colemancoleman OS Professional Posts: 242 PRO
    @dave_cowden
    So how much are you planning to charge for the bolt generator script? 
  • dave_cowdendave_cowden Member, Developers Posts: 445 ✭✭✭
    Ha that's the big question! Probably not all that much, maybe $20 or something. 
  • colemancoleman OS Professional Posts: 242 PRO
    That seems very reasonable.  
  • 3dcad3dcad Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 2,377 PRO
    edited August 2016
    Sure, it's possible. But even paid plans have a quota.
    What quota??

    https://www.onshape.com/cad-pricing


    To be honest I don't see that many people paying for features on free plan. If they are prepared to pay $10-15 / month for Onshape (this is the amount that many middle tier suggestions have in multiple threads), most likely they are not willing to double that for extra feature.

    If I were a hobbyist I would pay max couple $ since my time on hobbies is my time - not something that needs to be minimized and maximize results.

    There are plenty of active free plan users aboard, maybe someone will hop in and comment? 
    //rami
  • dave_cowdendave_cowden Member, Developers Posts: 445 ✭✭✭
    Yeah thus the need for pricing that's not just a single once up front structure. I agree a hobbiest will pay just a few $. Unless they use it tons, then they will pay more, because the hobby is probably NOT drawing bolts.

    It gets back to a pricing model that is more pay per use or per month or whatever, which is currently not supportable.
  • owen_sparksowen_sparks Member, Developers Posts: 2,266 PRO
    Just to chip in here. 

    (i) I don't know how you guys feel but within my company it's pretty time consuming and actually expensive to buy anything.  By the time paperwork is raised, signatures acquired, invoices received and paid it probably costs us $50 and a couple of hours to purchase a $1 widget.  As such multiple subscriptions to multiple feature writers is not attractive.  (Unless they're cheap enough that I can just buy them out of my own pocket.)   However if there were a token package that I pay one subscription to OS and then have 50 tokens to invest in the app / feature store then that would keep me, and my shopping / bean counting departments happy.  OS would then take on the distribution of the value of the tokens to the FS / APP authors.

    (ii) Taking this further (and I've not thought this through at all) the continued subscription for widgets it a bit scattered.  How about a system where a successful feature (ie one that has reached a target  threshold of downloads / uses / good feedback)  is automatically granted inclusion in "Native-OS" and the author receives a one time payout from OS to buy out the feature?

    Regards,

    Owen S.  

    Production Engineer
    HWM-Water Ltd
  • owen_sparksowen_sparks Member, Developers Posts: 2,266 PRO

    (ii) Taking this further (and I've not thought this through at all) the continued subscription for widgets it a bit scattered.  How about a system where a successful feature (ie one that has reached a target  threshold of downloads / uses / good feedback)  is automatically granted inclusion in "Native-OS" and the author receives a one time payout from OS to buy out the feature?

    Owen S.  

    Thinking through this a bit more...  Perhaps automatically included in Native-OS for the paid version (with a small slice of the $100 / month subscription going to the FS author) but available to non-subscribers by buying direct from the author if they wish?

    Owen S
    Production Engineer
    HWM-Water Ltd
  • dave_cowdendave_cowden Member, Developers Posts: 445 ✭✭✭
    @owen_sparks I agree completely, for the reasons you list and several others ( namely, that there needs to built-in access to find and add the features you need, and there needs to be a single, branded, trusted source for them), things will really not take off until OS supports the FS feature community.

    If the support is there for a single subscription/payment source, it probably wont matter too much if it is a token based system or just small per-use fees.  If it wasn't tokens, it would still be fine-- you'd just pay into your OS account enough to cover your subscriptions plus a little extra for widgets. 

    Anyway, its this line of thinking that's caused me to just give away betas for my features now.  I'm sort of assuming i wont start selling them until OS launches some kind of FS store. I dont think i'll have enough scale to bother till then.
  • dave_cowdendave_cowden Member, Developers Posts: 445 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2016
    oh but hey @owen_sparks i'd certainly support @onshape buying out some of  my features :)

    It would be better for the user community and better for me, as long as the price is fair. Everyone please contact your friendly OnShape rep and suggest they buy me out, that'd be awesome.
  • owen_sparksowen_sparks Member, Developers Posts: 2,266 PRO
    dave_cowden said:

    Anyway, its this line of thinking that's caused me to just give away betas for my features now. 
    Seems entirely sensible.  Win, win win. 

    (1) You get to lean the fs language and develop some modular functions and methods = Win.
    (2) Users get to use some useful features today (for free no less) and give suggestions and feedback = Win.
    (3) You build up a history of authoring good solid features within the community thus leading towards being one of the "go-to-guys" for future bespoke FS  work = Win.

    So to sumarise:-
    In 2020 a bloke called Dave will mostly be sitting under a palm tree, occasionally deciding whether to have another drink, go for a swim or answer one of the the many emails from OS users offering him briefcases full of cash to write new stuff for them... :)

    Owen S.


    Production Engineer
    HWM-Water Ltd
  • dave_cowdendave_cowden Member, Developers Posts: 445 ✭✭✭
    Haha yeah right i guess.  As long as the palm tree is a wifi hotspot ;)
  • oleg_shilovitskyoleg_shilovitsky Member, Developers Posts: 125 PRO
    @owen_sparks I agree completely, for the reasons you list and several others ( namely, that there needs to built-in access to find and add the features you need, and there needs to be a single, branded, trusted source for them), things will really not take off until OS supports the FS feature community.

    If the support is there for a single subscription/payment source, it probably wont matter too much if it is a token based system or just small per-use fees.  If it wasn't tokens, it would still be fine-- you'd just pay into your OS account enough to cover your subscriptions plus a little extra for widgets. 

    Anyway, its this line of thinking that's caused me to just give away betas for my features now.  I'm sort of assuming i wont start selling them until OS launches some kind of FS store. I dont think i'll have enough scale to bother till then.
    @dave_cowden what is a difference between App Store and FS Store. Isn't it the same? 

  • dave_cowdendave_cowden Member, Developers Posts: 445 ✭✭✭
    @oleg_shilovitsky  No they are not the same.
    Onshape apps integrate as a new tab in a document, and then have access to do various API calls relating to the feature tree. But they cannot act as features themselves.

    FeatureScript store would be a collection of FeatureScripts that are integrated into the OnShape UI directly, and can generate geometry as a part of a part studio and/or feature studio. 

    I have actually considered making an App in the appstore in order to serve as a delivery vehicle for installing features. But there is no way to add FS features via the onshape api, so that doesnt work.

    if you click the "+" in the toolbar to add a feature, the entry to the featurescript store should be in that menu, as @3dcad has recommended earlier in the thread.  The resulting list should show only features available, not apps.
  • michael3424michael3424 Member Posts: 476 ✭✭✭
    I'm on the free plan and would prefer one-time fees for lifetime use of a FS.  I'd probably be comfortable paying $20 at the most for a pretty full featured FS, but suspect that @dave_cowden would starve if only folks like me support him.
    .
  • dave_cowdendave_cowden Member, Developers Posts: 445 ✭✭✭
    @michael3424 thanks a lot for weighing in on your preference for a single-use up-front cost.  That's helpful to know. 
  • michael3424michael3424 Member Posts: 476 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2016
    @dave_cowden - if it helps, right now I'm thinking of purchased FS's as I would any other tool.  I try to buy quality, but only for that which will see a lot of use.  I do make a bit of money with Onshape designs, but no where near enough to justify a pro account.  FS might be a different matter though.  It's pretty easy to justify $50 one-time expense for a job that brings in $1500.  It would be more like that $20/FS mentioned in my original response for hobby-related designs since as @3dcad said, my time has not much value in that case.

    On edit: and if it matters I'd go $40-50 per month for an intermediate tier Onshape license, depending on conditions.

  • dave_cowdendave_cowden Member, Developers Posts: 445 ✭✭✭
    @michael3424, that makes perfect sense, thank you!
  • oleg_shilovitskyoleg_shilovitsky Member, Developers Posts: 125 PRO
    @oleg_shilovitsky  No they are not the same.
    Onshape apps integrate as a new tab in a document, and then have access to do various API calls relating to the feature tree. But they cannot act as features themselves.

    FeatureScript store would be a collection of FeatureScripts that are integrated into the OnShape UI directly, and can generate geometry as a part of a part studio and/or feature studio. 

    I have actually considered making an App in the appstore in order to serve as a delivery vehicle for installing features. But there is no way to add FS features via the onshape api, so that doesnt work.

    if you click the "+" in the toolbar to add a feature, the entry to the featurescript store should be in that menu, as @3dcad has recommended earlier in the thread.  The resulting list should show only features available, not apps.

    @dave_cowden I probably didn't explain myself well... My point is that App store is a single place "to buy"  applications or features or anything else... Once you purchased in app store, features are coming to a PS and added using the mechanism you described. I also believe that within some time, the separation between FS and other APIs will disappear. 

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