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Onshape or Solidworks

scottyvoidscottyvoid Member Posts: 8
Hi i am currently looking at learning CAD
i have very little experience but would like to invest my time and money into one program
i like the look of Solidworks due to the maturity of the program and see the simulation functions to become useful in the line of work i do. (i design and build temporary structures for events e.g concert roofs, grandstands ect ect)
though when i look at Onshape it seems like it is going to be the future of CAD


before i start learning and spending my time and money on one system i would appreciate some feedback with some users with more experience than me.

Comments

  • david_sohlstromdavid_sohlstrom Member, Mentor Posts: 159 ✭✭
    If you have the time to see Onshape develop into a full grown CAD program. You will be able to do most of what SW does at far less cost. Just the annual maintenance on SW will cost you more than a Pro subscription of Onshape. Plus 1 seat of SW is several $k .

    If you need to work with others on your structures than it will be far easier with Onshape.

    Dave

    David Sohlstrom

    Ariel, WA
  • traveler_hauptmantraveler_hauptman Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers Posts: 419 PRO
    SolidWorks due to the maturity... You will be able to transfer most of your SW skills to Onshape when Onshape is more fully featured if you want to switch down the road. All assuming that the cost of your time for training and the SolidWorks software fits into your budget and you have a clear idea of how it will improve your workflow.

    That said I'd recommend you play around with Onshape a bit. It's a cheap way to start getting up to speed. Ask questions here as they occur to you.

    When you think you are ready to commit; grab a 30 day free trial of SolidWorks and make sure you have time to put into it and a project in mind to test it with. Most of the basics you pick up in Onshape will help with using SolidWorks. 

    Assuming you were able to put time into it, at the end of your SW trial you should be able to make the call as to how and where the CAD will help you and if it's worth it.






  • _Ðave__Ðave_ Member, Developers Posts: 712 ✭✭✭✭
    I'm hoping that sharing with others will still be an advantage with Onshape when the new free plan scheme takes effect.
    If they are going with 10 private documents only. Then I don't understand how I'm going to share with anyone that has a free account once they have 10 private documents. appears that I can get most vendors and customers to share with me if it's a free account but if I have to talk them into spending $1200/year I'm afraid the sharing advantage that Onshape may have has just went out the window. Sure wish someone can clarify this soon I don't wish to spend much more time working with Onshape if it's not going to work for me and I certainly don't wish to start many more projects just to find a few months from now I will have to translate them out as dumb solids and redo in Solidworks. I feel that Onshape should allow unlimited edit & sharing including follow me mode for free users with pro users.
  • david_sohlstromdavid_sohlstrom Member, Mentor Posts: 159 ✭✭
    Dave
    Now that you have brought up the subject. I think the Onshape is going to make a big mistake if they change the free plan. If I under stand right it might be 10 documents and 100mb of storage. I presently have 3 active and 3 inactive and it is over 50mb. 
    I know that OnS will be of very little use to me with these restrictions and at $100.00 per month that is far more than my CAD budget will handle.

    Dave
    David Sohlstrom

    Ariel, WA
  • walterwalter Member Posts: 38 ✭✭
    1+ with dave
  • scottyvoidscottyvoid Member Posts: 8
    thanks for the replys
    i dont mind spending the money on solidworks
    but what im afraid of is spending the money and time learning solidworks and then finding out that Onshape will be able to do all that solidworks can in say 2 years of development


  • david_sohlstromdavid_sohlstrom Member, Mentor Posts: 159 ✭✭
    Scott
    How have you been designing your projects to date. As Dave Petit said, work with OnS and see what it will do for you and your designs with the present limitations that it has. Knowing that every 2 to 3 weeks the development team is making improvements. 
    One of the great things that OnS has is there is a large user group here on the forum that is glad to help you over the learning curve. This includes lots of members of the development team.
    There is also a great tutorial section and public models that you can study as to how folks are doing things. 

    I expect that the project you develop have a lot of modular construction and with Ons ability to make assembles that would help you with your projects.

    Dave

    David Sohlstrom

    Ariel, WA
  • scottyvoidscottyvoid Member Posts: 8
    Excellent, thanks for all your help. think i might dive in and see what i can make with onshape. one other question i have is are you able to export the onshape file to do high end rendering or are you able to render within onshape
  • david_sohlstromdavid_sohlstrom Member, Mentor Posts: 159 ✭✭
    I know that rendering with in OnS is not here yet but I do believe the developers are working on it. I have not had the need to export for rendering so I do not know the answer to that one. I expect that others here will jump in and answer that part of your question.

    Dave 
    David Sohlstrom

    Ariel, WA
  • gal_razgal_raz Member, Mentor Posts: 39 ✭✭
    For high end rendering you can export to STL .Then, with the free MeshLab you can convert the file to any polygon format
    Gal Raz
  • andrew_troupandrew_troup Member, Mentor Posts: 1,584 ✭✭✭✭
    What's the mesh size like on STL export at present? Would it support high end rendering?

    I don't know if there's any proportionality between it and the display mesh (currently rather coarse). 
  • ilya_baranilya_baran Onshape Employees, Developers, HDM Posts: 932
    @Andrew_Troup The STL resolution is not the display resolution.  When you export to STL you can use presets or specify a custom tolerance for tessellation.
    Ilya Baran \ Director, Architecture and FeatureScript \ Onshape Inc
  • matteo_1matteo_1 Member Posts: 2
    Don't get me wrong ... I'm loving what OnS is doing in the CAD cloud scenario and I really believe this is the future but ...
    it will take really long time before OnS will have same or near capabilities of SolidWorks ... and probably in the meanwhile SolidWorks will also move to the cloud (look at SW Mechanical Conceptual which I think it's a preview of SolidWorks on the cloud) ...
    other then comparison in term of features, think on all the AddIn or extensions you can have on SolidWorks ... someone here mentioned rendering and simulation ... but also think on tools for tech/sales configuration (DriveWorks, Tacton and so on) or electrical/electronic integration or simply the ability to create your own macro/program to automate your processes, or to integrate ERP or PLM data and so on ... I'm sure we will see all this capabilities on OnS also before or later, but how long will it take?

    I'm sure for someone OnS is already an adequate tool to start with and I'm also following the evolution of this project with a lot of interest !
    Good luck OnS team I'm really amazed by what you did!
  • andyandy Member Posts: 17 ✭✭
    This render is from the first play I had in OnShape. https://forum.onshape.com/discussion/346/first-model-whats-great-and-what-i-missed#latest

    Now that the loft tool has been added I'm looking to use it a lot more.

    I exported the STL to maxwell and did a really quick render. It's an ok workflow for models without too many bodies or simple assemblies, but would be complicated for more complex parts/assemblies.

    This is using the fine settings for STL export and recalculating the smoothing in maxwell (you could see the facets without).

    With regards to learning Solidworks/OnShape. I think OnShape is a great place to get started, it has great tools for creating basic models and will get better with time. How important it is to start learning from a full toolset vs picking up tools as they are added is a personal decision and could also depend on the type of models you are wanting to create. 

  • pete_yodispete_yodis OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 666 ✭✭✭
    edited May 2015
    Hi i am currently looking at learning CAD
    i have very little experience but would like to invest my time and money into one program
    i like the look of Solidworks due to the maturity of the program and see the simulation functions to become useful in the line of work i do. (i design and build temporary structures for events e.g concert roofs, grandstands ect ect)
    though when i look at Onshape it seems like it is going to be the future of CAD


    before i start learning and spending my time and money on one system i would appreciate some feedback with some users with more experience than me.
    @scottyvoid ; I would recommend you throw the hammer down and learn them both.  You'll be extra useful and valuable to organizations and users in helping them move on to Onshape from SolidWorks.  If you know how to model in SolidWorks, you'll do just fine in Onshape and vice versa.  There are efficiency improvements in some of Onshape's new paradigms and of course the help is free.  The power with Onshape really lies in the platform they have created.  That will allow them and their partners to do more awesome things in the future.
  • 3dcad3dcad Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 2,388 PRO
    @scottyvoid ;
    I'm sure SW is awesome, it has to be because so many people uses it.
    But if you take Geomagic Design AND Onshape pro, it would cost less than SW and give you full set from day one (drawings etc..). Usage is very similar to SW.

    With GD you will have a copy of Keyshot, which will do the rendering for you. Keyshot is also a partner of Ons, so as the time goes, we should see some linking with these too also..
    //rami
  • navnav Member Posts: 258 ✭✭✭✭
    Being a Solid Edge & Solidworks user, I take my hat off to Onshape, they've done an amazing Job, its the most powerful CAD online, however as @furios mentioned, you can't compare them (Yet!). SW & SE are full mechanical drawing suits with advanced features that onshape lacks at the moment. If you have no previous CAD experience and are looking to learn, Onshape is a great start, however if you have access to SE or SW also learn how to use any of them.



    Nicolas Ariza V.
    Indaer -- Aircraft Lifecycle Solutions
  • clayton_ertleyclayton_ertley Member Posts: 58 ✭✭
    Excellent, thanks for all your help. think i might dive in and see what i can make with onshape. one other question i have is are you able to export the onshape file to do high end rendering or are you able to render within onshape

    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    This may be the wrong suggestion to give considering your free time but if rendering is important to you I would suggest Blender. It has quite a learning curve but has a very powerful rending engine called Cycles. You get full control over every aspect of the lighting and materials and such. Blender is also very heavily oriented around using keyboard shortcuts but that is mostly with the modeling aspect. But best of all it is a completely free program and you keep all right to designs that are you own.

    I hope this helps.

    On the SW vs OnS note. If you do have the time and money to go with Solidworks, I say go for it. But remember to keep an eye on OnShape.

    Reasons:

    1) OnShape does not have nearly all of the bell and whistles that Solidworks has (remember they have been around for a while and have had plenty of time to polish their software), which is the reason they can ask for so much money.

    2) Solidworks does mostly yearly updates, so you will see less progression throughout the year. Consequently, Solidworks does not offer a perpetual license(that I am aware of) meaning you will have to buy it every year. Therefore, at the end of every year you should definitely take a good look at Onshape as the development team seems to be working very hard and upgrading very often. Remember that OnShape is being developed by the original Solidworks team so moving into Onshape should make for a near seamless transition should you decide to switch.

    With that said, you should also consider your experience level. Since the switch between programs would be rather smooth, it may turn out more productive for you to learn the basics of CAD using OnShape as it has a non-time limited free account with which you can learn computer aided design. In contrast Solidworks only gives you a 30 day free trial. Also once you get the trial they wont stop bothering you to buy unless you make a point of not being bothered.
  • 3dexter3dexter Member Posts: 89 ✭✭✭
    The big difference SolidWorks for its area of operation would be its welding tools, component library, simulation, drawing and rendering, things that Onshape has no and will take years to develop!
  • burhopburhop Member Posts: 22
    3dexter said:
    The big difference SolidWorks for its area of operation would be its welding tools, component library, simulation, drawing and rendering, things that Onshape has no and will take years to develop!
    Assuming organic growth.  There are lots of other ways to add these features.
  • 3dcad3dcad Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 2,388 PRO
    @3dexter take a look at onshape partners, it might not take years (I hope)
    //rami
  • 3dexter3dexter Member Posts: 89 ✭✭✭
    @3dcad ;how many years you estimate to have the following features in Onshape?

    1. Drawing
    2. Advanced features (eg you think we will have a Hole Wizard this year? Advanced pattern, Wrap ...)
    3. Advanced sketch (3D sketch, slot, slot arc, text, 3 point corner rectangle, 3 point center rectangle, image ...)
    4. Sheet metal
    5. Weldments
    6. Advanced surfaces
    7. Free form
    8. Mold tools
    9. Component Library
    10. Routing tools
    11. Electrical tools
    12. Render tools
    13. Animation
    14. Simulation (CAE)
    15. CAM
    The Onshape team and its partners are very competent, but to develop all this takes years ...

    Which CAD software you use in your company?
  • andrew_troupandrew_troup Member, Mentor Posts: 1,584 ✭✭✭✭
    If we are going to speculate about things which are unknowable, the big unknowns for me are actually these:

    1) What is the relative degree of difficulty for developing a browser-resident MCAD modeller, vs a platform-specific one?
    2) Can Onshape's user inferface ever become as productive, in the cross-platform world of browser-residence?
    3) Can Onshape generate enough cash, early, to devote the necessary resources to climb the capability curve faster than impatient users fall off it?

    in relation to question 2, rather than questioning how Onshape will fare in the "Wars of the Capability Checklists" I am personally more concerned with the minutiae - things like being able to reorient the model effortlessly and pick the tools I need using muscle memory alone - I want to be able to model (as near as possible to) as fast as inspiration strikes, without my own resources being hijacked by the tool, instead of the design task.

    And I think this might turn out to be a big ask for Onshape, faced with the very different machines and browsers on which it must simultaneously progress.

    The conceptual brilliance of Onshape's mating architecture does provide a productivity advantage for that (time consuming) phase of assembling a model - considerable, in some cases - although I suppose Solidworks does have the rudiments of something similar which could be made over, reheated, and served afresh with more emphasis. (They would have to provide a bunch of new high-level mates to make it all work, though, meaning an already overly complex modeller would just get more top-heavy....)
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