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Is using Onshape for youtube videos considered a commercial use?

Ben_Ben_ OS Professional, Mentor, Developers Posts: 290 PRO
I really like Thomas here but he seems to be digging into something and making more of this than it really is:

New terms of service make it seem in lawyer speak that one cannot use Onshape commercially if it is free, this is not new. But Thomas here is questioning his free use in his Youtube videos and also brings into question the uses of addons or plugins when using the free Onshape.

I kinda get the feel it is a bit of click bait, but at the same time somewhat valid. 

So what do you think?


  • andreas_zielkeandreas_zielke Member Posts: 1
    edited August 2018
    Well I'd be very interested in specifics as well. I'm not in the exact same situation - I'm a member of a registered non-profit organisation (FabLab) and we are teaching people CAD using Onshape. The people at the course pay a fee for the course, which is in turn used to pay for rent, wear-and-tear and so on in the non-profit org.

    I'd be very interested in a statement by an Onshape rep, whether that is considered commercial use.
  • dan_dugmoredan_dugmore Member Posts: 2
    I am also very curious about this. I run the 3D Printing shop at a local non-profit makerspace and have been recommending OnShape to new members for some time. The new agreement seems to indicate that designs are public domain and can be commercialized by anyone EXCEPT the designer. Am I reading that correctly? I could understand if it was ALL non-commercial or ALL public domain, but this seems pretty wrong. I wish they would switch to something like a GPL for free users, but would be satisfied with either reverting to all public domain or otherwise adding a low tier for makers.
  • noanoa Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 141

    Thanks all for the great questions. 

    Our intentions are straightforward. If you use Onshape to make money, then we believe you should pay for Onshape just as our thousands of other customers do. Strictly speaking, commercial use is any use of Onshape which contributes to a process in which you or your organization earns money. The terms concerning document ownership are there to reinforce this intention.

    For some people, the cost of Onshape cannot justify the money earned through its use. If you fall into this category, we may not be a good fit for you at this time. However, I encourage you to contact our sales team. We have worked with many companies and organizations from startups, to enterprises, to incubators and more. Our team has found solutions for most across the board. 

    Let’s keep the open dialog going – we are happy to answer any additional questions. If you have a specific situation you’d like to discuss, don’t hesitate to contact us directly.



    Noa Flaherty / Customer Success / Onshape Inc.
  • steph_shaltessteph_shaltes Member Posts: 1
    The video earns the money, not using onshape. Don't you want people advocating and advertising your product?

    Not to mention it gets rather convoluted in open source terms. Say I make a design, and someone else uses it in their product. Do I need a license in that case?

    What if the design was downloaded and stored on another site like thingiverse. Now thingiverse is making money off of my design, who violated the terms here?

    What if I made a design, it becomes popular and people show of their 3d prints of my design in their YouTube videos, are they violating the terms?

    What if the design is made by a user, and a corporation uses it for their R&D and it is never sold, and the design is released open source by that user?
  • brucebartlettbrucebartlett Member, OS Professional, Mentor, User Group Leader Posts: 2,120 PRO
    Good question Ben,

    I kind of feel he is making more from this than it actually is but can say I made sure I read over these term before clicking. Disappointing to see these kinds of users turning cold on Onshape. 

    Engineer ı Product Designer ı Onshape Consulting Partner
    Twitter: @onshapetricks  & @babart1977   
  • Ben_Ben_ OS Professional, Mentor, Developers Posts: 290 PRO
    Good question Ben,

    I kind of feel he is making more from this than it actually is but can say I made sure I read over these term before clicking. Disappointing to see these kinds of users turning cold on Onshape. 

    I completely agree! 
  • dan_dugmoredan_dugmore Member Posts: 2
    Good question Ben,

    I kind of feel he is making more from this than it actually is but can say I made sure I read over these term before clicking. Disappointing to see these kinds of users turning cold on Onshape. 

    Making more than it actually is? The terms are pretty clear and Noa's post seems to say in no uncertain terms that Onshape is not interested in supporting people like Tom, or makers in general for that matter. This has been a trend with the company over the last several years. How can you expect these users to not "turn cold" when Onshape is deliberately alienating them?
  • Stefan_DMSStefan_DMS Member Posts: 48 PRO
    Onshape has changed from being just a new startup CAD software to a fully featured professional CAD solution. For companies the product Onshape provides at its price point makes Onshape a very (I mean super awesome, nothing else comes close) attractive product. That's why the price of Onshape will go up, and the free account subscription will become less powerful, as it should.  
    In a world where all social media platforms are made "free" while filling our screens with adverts, it becomes difficult for a company to charge for their service. At $4.10 a day should we be complaining that Onshape would rather provide their full product to its users rather than strip out all the users' data and sell this to the top bidder?    
  • larry_haweslarry_hawes Member Posts: 478 PRO
    Interesting topic/discussion. I think we each need to evaluate our use of Onshape and how it fits our business. For me it's a difficult cost to justify considering my basic, but proprietary needs. My subscription is up next month and I will be learning Fusion 360 in the mean time to see if it fits my needs better. Can't say what my decision will be and no knock on Onshape at all but it may not be the best for me going forward, nor the kind of business Onshape wants to solicit.
  • steven_heidesteven_heide Member Posts: 3 ✭✭
    I have been dipping my toe into Fusion 360 for some time now, it looks like its time to get wet. I actually purchased a 2 year Fusion 360 standard licence around 20 months ago in a black friday sale so I could legally use it at work. I did try to get my employer to switch/add Fusion 360 at that time. If they had of switched to the standard Fusion 360 licence they could of saved around $2000 over 2 years if purchased during the black friday sale. BTW my employer only started using Onshape after my recommendation, they were using some version Turbocad before.
  • Hendrik_Hendrik_ Member Posts: 41 ✭✭✭
    noa said:
    Our intentions are straightforward.  
    But not clear...
    Onshape started with 10 private documents on the free plan.  I don’t care to list here the downward spiral from there.  Don’t get me wrong, we’re happy to pay for a great product. And Onshape is a great product.  It’s not that.  It’s how unpredictable the company is.

    Before committing to the pro plan, (as I just mentioned in another thread), we were firmly assured that our documents would remain private and accessible if we we were ever not able to renew our paid subscription.  These new terms just eliminated that promise.  Thanks Onshape.

    And if you listen carefully to what Tom Sanlanderer had to say, there is more in his protest than just the definition of commercial usage.

    Onshape achieved so much by winning the trust of users with full-cloud CAD.  But if we can’t have sufficient assurance about our proprietary design documents after our subscription ends, it just introduces an uncertainty.  Really, there are enough uncertainties in business.

    It seems like a watershed moment. And, to me at least, it seems sad. And we feel hard done by...


  • noanoa Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 141

    Hi All,

    We have answered a few of the non-youtube-specific questions about our Terms of Use from this thread in another thread here. Namely, @Hendrik_, we do NOT make your documents public if you choose to end your paid subscription. Take a look at that thread for more details.

    As it relates to using Onshape in Youtube videos and open-source designs – of course it is in our best interest to promote the use of Onshape through these channels and others. If you are concerned about whether your use of Onshape infringes on the Terms of Use, please contact us.


    Noa Flaherty / Customer Success / Onshape Inc.
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