Onshape takes the lead in top-down design

Full-cloud CAD pioneer Onshape’s most recent update introduces a new capability to edit parts within the context of assemblies. “This update is extremely significant,” remarked marketing director Darren Henry. “Yes, Onshape speeds up the design process by being full-cloud, but we’re also continuing to redefine how CAD is done.”

Parts can reference other parts in the context of a higher-level assembly. Source: Onshape

Designers want the ability to edit parts within the context of an assembly (top-down design) to ensure fit and function by defining relationships between components, Henry explains. “We believe that traditional approaches to top-down design have demoed well, but have not largely been successful when used in real-world design scenarios.”

Source: Onshape

He explains why. “Due to complex relationships being stored in multiple files, traditional CAD users often experience both unpredicted geometry changes and feature corruption when using in-context relationships. Users have no control over how and when these complex relationships update. Sometimes the relationship is recalculated when a part is rebuilt, sometimes when the assembly is updated.”

Because of this, Henry reports, “Many companies have told us they have banned the use of in-context relationships because of their unpredictability. In fact, some CAD tools have a user-defined setting that will prevent their creation.”

Designs that require multiple part positions can be easily captured. Source: Onshape

Onshape says its new in-context part editing capability solves all those problems. With its new capabilities, the company reports:

  • Models always update in a predictable, controlled manner.
  • Motion does not affect in-context relationships.
  • Users can employ multiple assembly contexts, and use them to edit one or multiple parts.
  • Users can update the assembly context (state of the assembly) if needed.

“Combined with the power of our Part Studios (multiple-part design environment) and full-cloud CAD’s ability to restore to any point in time,” Henry concludes, “Onshape has taken the lead in top-down design.”

For a deeper dive, see Onshape Just Took the Lead on Top-Down Design by technical marketing director Neil Cooke.

For an in-depth look at how Onshape’s unique, cutting-edge technology architecture makes all this possible, see our Cloud-native CAD will disrupt the PLM platform paradigm.