Cloud-native CAD will disrupt the PLM platform paradigm

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Onshape Follow Mode. Source: Onshape

An illuminating blog post by Onshape engineering team member Ilya Baran reveals some fundamentals of how the new cloud-native CAD system works: “We are careful to distinguish several types of data: the User Interface (UI) state—e.g., selection, camera view, current tab; the Part Studio definition—e.g., feature list, part names and colors, import data; [and] Regeneration results—the ‘b-rep’ (bodies, faces, edges, etc.), triangles for display, regen errors.”

How do these data types differ? “The UI state generally doesn’t persist (except for things like named views),” Baran writes. “The regeneration results are cached, but they can always be rebuilt from the definition. The Part Studio definition is what we store in the database and that is where collaborative editing happens.”

Then Baran explains something that begins to suggest why we believe Onshape is not only a breakthrough in CAD, but also poised to disrupt the established paradigm for PLM platforms. Continue reading