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A company to transition from Solidworks

digtalcarbondigtalcarbon Member Posts: 37 PRO
I will be getting a job to take over all the Solidworks projects for a company...

They understand Onshape and know that I will be slowly converting all Solidworks files they have into Onshape & OpenBOM

There is no rush.

So what is the best approach? 

I'm planning on sharing dropbox to have access to the SW files.

Then have their laptop running SW so I can do the proper export when needed (Pack and go?)

What about drawing sheets? Do I need to redraw those? Maybe a non-issue since their fabricator has Onshape public.



  • philip_thomasphilip_thomas Member, Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 1,381
    We would love to help you!
    Your Customer Success representative will be reaching out to you to see what we can do for you.
    Congratulations! :)
    Philip Thomas - Onshape
  • philip_thomasphilip_thomas Member, Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 1,381
    Awww Bill, you're making me smile !!!
    Thank you :)
    Philip Thomas - Onshape
  • philip_thomasphilip_thomas Member, Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 1,381
    Philip Thomas - Onshape
  • AuroraRonAuroraRon Member Posts: 112 PRO
    Great info, thanks for sharing. 
  • digtalcarbondigtalcarbon Member Posts: 37 PRO
    16.5hrs into it...its going well

  • kevin_quigleykevin_quigley Member Posts: 306 ✭✭✭
    I see these posts a lot but the question I have is how do you transition over when a company has thousandsr 10s of thousands of SolidWorks models with linked drawings? The model part is, to some extents, easy. But I have yet to see any CAD vendor open a linked drawing from another native format with all the drawing content intact. I think it is easy to forget that most companies still operate via drawings for manufacturing, marketing, quality, inspection, maintenance etc, even if parts are made directly from 3D data. 

    Do Onshape or any other vendor really expect a company to recreate all their drawings? 

  • philip_thomasphilip_thomas Member, Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 1,381
    @john_mcclary - YOU NAILED IT! 
    That is exactly how thousands of companies have transitioned to Onshape! :)
    Philip Thomas - Onshape
  • digtalcarbondigtalcarbon Member Posts: 37 PRO
    edited October 2018
    Did not this same problem exist when computer drafting first started? 

    Everyone had tons of paper drawing sets and now they had a cad system...

    I'm sure that they did not tackle the whole thing at once but did the "dimmer switch" thing...

    New projects were started in cad while legacy projects were still done on paper...

    If you think about it, that is how people currently handle yearly releases for desk top cad...new projects are started in the latest version and already existing projects are kept in last years version...(because of fear of updating might have new bugs that will introduce chaos while trying to hit a deadline) At least that is how we did it in the Architectural firm I worked for.

    I come from architectural cad (20yrs) with roots going back to paper mechanical drafting...while Onshape is not for Architectural it IS the future of Mechanical cad...well done.  Also OpenBOM is the way to go also...but that is another topic...  
  • mahirmahir Member, Developers Posts: 1,148 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2018
    The operative phrase for large scale data translation is "as needed". Unless you're actively revising a project, there's really no reason to convert it. You likely have a released PDF or DXF drawing you can use for fabricating existing revisions.  If a project needs to be revised or built upon, you can convert to Onshape at that time as needed. It adds overhead in the beginning, but over time the amount required conversion per project will decrease. If your company starts every project from scratch, then virtually no conversion is necessary at all.
  • kevin_quigleykevin_quigley Member Posts: 306 ✭✭✭
    I get the process of changing systems, having done it 4 times now. But we do need to distinguish between complexity of projects here. What I am looking at is companies who have a parts database going back 20 years, who manufacture 4500 unique products and then offer configurations of those parts in bespoke systems. Some parts are injection mouldings, some sheet metal, some cnc, some castings etc.All have design data issues, manufacturing instructions, QA, marketing drawings, many have integrated tool design data, linked CAM, FEA etc.

    it is not a simple case of "start a new project and work forward". Starting a new design can require use of existing parts or modifications of existing parts (currently saved as configurations). So if this was a switched system environment we lose all that linked data built up over years, not to mention the scope for error in recreating drawing data. 

    Genuine question. A company has 10 licenses of SW, average cost on subs is £900 a year. The business has a 40MB fibre line shared over 40+ users. Why change to a system that has less functionality, requires greater bandwidth, costs more and total retraining of all design staff? Then they have to rework their entire CAD database and retain at least 1 seat of the old system on maintenance?

    What drives that decision? I am being serious here. I was an early tester of Onshape, but chose not to switch. I totally get the use case for a contractor, a start up or company needing multi cad capabilities. What I don't get is the reasoning for changing in the scenario above, which is quite typical for the customer base I deal with.
  • john_mcclaryjohn_mcclary Member, Developers Posts: 3,366 PRO
    As far as internet speed goes, bandwidth isn't as important as latency. Onshape uses short bursts so check your ping by opening a model and hit "ctrl+d" that will open the status window, on the top you can see Ping. I'm showing about 89ping and haven't had any issues here. we have 30Mb/s cable internet.

    If Onshape is missing a critical assembly feature (configs for example) than you may need to wait a bit until you have the minimal toolkit available before switching. If Onshape is missing a critical part studio feature, well then ask the community or Onshape for a feature, and it is very likely someone can make it for you.

    It sounds like you're going to be all or nothing if you switch. So you would need to migrate everything. You should talk to @Don_Van_Zile, he has been tasked with migrating all the old data from his company to Onshape. He may be able to give you better insight
  • digtalcarbondigtalcarbon Member Posts: 37 PRO
    can we get @Don_Van_Zile to join this discussion? 
  • billy2billy2 Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers, User Group Leader Posts: 1,640 PRO
    @kevin_quigley I missed you, welcome back!

    Since you've been gone, a lot has happened. I think SW is now catching up to OS.

    I think its time to migrate from SW. There's no need for those old headaches.

  • konstantin_shiriazdanovkonstantin_shiriazdanov Member Posts: 1,189 ✭✭✭✭✭
    billy2 said:
    @kevin_quigley I missed you, welcome back!

    Since you've been gone, a lot has happened. I think SW is now catching up to OS.

    I think its time to migrate from SW. There's no need for those old headaches.
    This year they presented SW x-design, their cloud based solution which looks like one more app of Dassault 3d experience platform. So i think it is the reason why they do not developing traditional desktop Solidworks.
  • john_mcclaryjohn_mcclary Member, Developers Posts: 3,366 PRO
    ahem... that's #murica!

  • philip_thomasphilip_thomas Member, Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 1,381
    @john_mcclary - you'll have to cut me some slack, I am a Brit afterall :)
    Philip Thomas - Onshape
  • john_mcclaryjohn_mcclary Member, Developers Posts: 3,366 PRO
    I forgive you for being British  :D, one day we may find a cure :wink:
  • philip_thomasphilip_thomas Member, Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 1,381
    ^^^^ you're killing me! :)
    Philip Thomas - Onshape
  • owen_sparksowen_sparks Member, Developers Posts: 2,660 PRO
    @JMMC & PT

    I'm pretty sure that if you cross a Brit and an American you get a Canadian.  Best of both worlds really...

    Owen S.
    Business Systems and Configuration Controller
    HWM-Water Ltd
  • kevin_quigleykevin_quigley Member Posts: 306 ✭✭✭
    Well speaking as a Scot I make no comments :smiley:

    I'll gently ignore all the SolidWorks is dead/catching up with Onshape comments - whenever I run into the Onshape folks we generally have a bit of banter on the subject. They know the issues :smile:

    As for XDesign, well, it is out there. I have access to it, and that is the end of that conversation : :D

    Throwing another fly in the ointment though, what we have bought into in the last 12 months is a subscription to PTC Creo Parametric and ISDX. Some of you may laugh/scoff etc but you didn't see the deal we got, and you don't know what that package can offer us for a lot of what we do. Have to say the surfacing is top notch, and being able to copy and paste faces from parts into assemblies (as new parts) and have full associativity maintained is astounding. It also lets us use native SolidWorks parts and assemblies withouth having to worry about saving as generic formats (so the Creo parts update when we update the SolidWorks parts).

    For the toy work we do, our old workflow of Rhino/Tsplines/Fusion360/SolidWorks back and forth, rebuilding etc is now 100% Creo and 1/4 the time - allowing more time for actually designing rather than remodelling. Freestyle in Creo is a thing of beauty - I genuinely don't know why PTC don't shout from the rooftops about that more. Now all they need to do is sort out the 1990s licensing!

    There are a few frustrations - like the lack of multi body modelling in parts (though that is coming) but I don't regret the decision at all. Unlike the the times we bought into VX, ThinkDesign, SolidWorks TSplines add ons :D
  • philip_thomasphilip_thomas Member, Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 1,381
    Kevin - We are thrilled that you are happy with your Creo purchases and we welcome constructive suggestions on how to make Onshape better.
    Perhaps to help you better in these support forums, I should ask 'what can we do to help you, or how can we help you contribute to the success of others?'
    Philip Thomas - Onshape
  • john_mcclaryjohn_mcclary Member, Developers Posts: 3,366 PRO
    Well yes, Onshape isn't a Top dog free form surface maniac (yet?) but I would agree, there are great tools in Solidworks and others that I wish Onshape had, or will add in. But in some respects I've found just having the primitive tools isn't all that bad . (Although I never surface model so I can imagine that would be rough) It may require and extra feature or two, but a lot of the more bugged parts of Solidworks are those fancy tools like, in-context, multi-body. My biggest complaint with SW is the instability / constant usage headaches.

    At least with Onshape if an assembly is taking forever to load or is hanging. I just open a new tab and work on another part. In SW you can't even open a new instance on SW until it is done crunching.

    And I don't know these issues of which you speak...  o:):p
  • kevin_quigleykevin_quigley Member Posts: 306 ✭✭✭
    @philip_thomas For us it is all about the geometry, nothing else. If we can't model it we can't do anything else downstream. In my experience you need a range of surfacing tools to let you get around issues. Creo with ISDX has this, SolidWorks has many (but they rely on add ons too much...we use Power Surfacing and xNurbs to boost SolidWorks surfacing). Onshape is too machine building focussed for us. When we first looked at it, It was about 4 commands in a very early build and as clunky as hell. By the initial public beta it was better but very little has been done since on the surfacing front.

    i get that. I understand we operate in a small specialist sector. But the disappointment is that early on the promise was a system that could model anything. That is not the case. Sure, I could spend 2 weeks cobbling something to make it look right but we operate in an area where we produce 20 concepts a day. 

    The issue is Onshape, like SolidWorks, push all the higher end functionality onto add ons. Contrast this to Fusion or Creo, where it is an integrated solution. 

    in truth, I am a bit disappointed in the Onshape progress over that last few years. I was expecting a more complete geometry modelling solution by now given all the money that has been invested. I totally understand the development path but I just can't get excited about new features like title block editing, or adding symbols to dimensions. Show me an integrated sub divisional modelling workflow, or direct surface editing across multiple surface patches and I'll take notice. But as Onshape matures it is a simple case of diminishing returns. You get to the stage where you are tweaking minor features rather than adding headline tools. Will they ever want to develop world class surfacing tools? To do so takes a lot of time and money, so I tend to think surfacing will toddle on in tweak mode rather than develop any siesmic shift. I would love to be proved wrong.

    the case in point is demonstrated by Fusion. A recent update hyped up a major new spline tool drawing curves by CVs rather than on curve points. No, for surfacing this is a core tool that should be there at the start. It was like SolidWorks introducing conic splines a few years back...we had been asking for them for 10 years!

    again, it simply comes down to the fact, if we can't model it, we can't do anything else. Ive not used ANY software that can do everything we want. This is why we use lots! But we only buy into systems that at least let us tackle most jobs we do. 
  • philip_thomasphilip_thomas Member, Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 1,381
    Kevin - thank you for the detailed reply. I appreciate your candor and now feel that i have a better understanding of your situation. One of the core values of Onshape (as a company) is transparency. We operate (internally) in a very open manner and try to extend that to our users. 

    You are right - we absolutely are building Onshape for the mainstream market. That means; widgets, machine design, mechatronics, industrial, medical, fabrication, transportation and some consumer. We are using exactly the same business model as we did at SolidWorks - "of the (approx) $10 billion annual spend in this sector, what effort yields the greatest market fit?"

    While this approach is great for us and our professional users, there are segments that are (and will remain) underserved (for now). You stated that it took SolidWorks 10 years to get to the point that it had some half decent tools that met your market segment's specific needs. While we hope it won't take us 10 years, it is likely that the sorts of capabilities you are looking for will also come after a long list of things that you are not looking for.  It is true also, that for some specific workflow needs (such as sub-D), we are also inviting partners to fill that need (in fact, it is exactly the same partner as SolidWorks - Powersurf!).

    Is this the best business model? For our target users, absolutely. For you? Probably not. Now don't get me wrong - we are super proud of some very powerful curve generation and surface creation capabilities! There are household consumer product names that use Onshape (I only wish i could list them here - some will become public in the coming months) and are very happy. Are we going to make you (and your segment) happy? Probably not for a while. I can see your face now - every three weeks when we release a whole bunch of cool stuff (assy figs, feature folders and general drawing awesomeness for instance ;)) you will wring your hands and think we suck and are screwing up. I get it - but for our standard/pro/enterprise users, this stuff is gold and significantly improves the efficiency of their workflows and we make no apology for manically working to meet their needs.

    So, Kevin - here is my ask. While you and I have only met briefly (at D3D), I feel that it is ok ask this favor; Where you feel that small changes to existing, new or planned features/workflows could be enhanced (in your ID eye), PLEASE let us know either (constructively) in these forums, or by improvement request. While we may not make any great leaps (in the short term) towards your segment, it is possible that you could help the industry by helping us shift the needle. In short - simple, well described improvement requests are MUCH more likely to get done than any sort us grandiose hand waving :) I really hope you will help us by doing that (Onshape T shirt for your first one - photo of you wearing it required) and that you will understand when we release capabilities are that not directly aimed at addressing your segment's needs.

    My anger management therapist and parole officer both say that I should be much nicer to people. I really hope that the tone of this post comes over (simultaneously) as genuine, open and warm! :)

    Kevin - make me happy and earn that Onshape T shirt (pic required :))!!!!!
    Philip Thomas - Onshape
  • MBartlett_EDUMBartlett_EDU Member, OS Professional, Developers Posts: 1,955 EDU
    edited October 2018
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