Onshape is the first sketch/feature based modeler we are looking at in this series. To create a part, you create a 2D sketch to define a feature. Subsequent features are then built on top of one another. This is the same modeling paradigm that is used by many professional CAD programs (Solidworks, Inventor). The thing that really sets Onshape apart from these programs is the fact that it is completely web-based.
In this CAD for Hobbyists series I am going to be comparing four CAD packages that are available for hobbyists: Creo Elements, Fusion 360, Onshape, and OpenSCAD. In order to compare these four packages I am going to use an example project where I create the same simple CAD model in each.
This post is the first of a series on CAD for Hobbyists. Be sure to check back for more posts in the series.
I get to use CAD software almost everyday. There are so many programs currently available it can be hard to choose one. At work, I alternate between two of the larger players in the CAD game, Inventor and Solidworks, dependent on client needs. I’ve been using both off and on since the mid-2000s, and over the years I’ve seen each one add a ton of features (and fix a ton of bugs). More often than not, when one of them adds a great feature, in the next year or two the other will add a similar feature leveling the playing field in the CAD software feature arms race. With the current versions of both packages it is hard to say who is currently ahead. Certainly, each package has its quirks and you have to take a minute to adjust to how each functions, but to the average user the packages offer the same features.