Onshape launches commercial online 3D design software

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Company adds more than 100 enhancements during ‘highly successful’ beta tests 

Onshape, the ground-breaking cloud-based 3D design software, has launched commercially, after many months of beta testing.

The company last year raised around $150 million in total funding to start the business and now looks set to repay its investors.

Onshape says its beta test has been “highly successful”, and included 400,000 user hours in more than 150 countries.

“We are ready for prime time, we’re production ready,” says Onshape CEO John McEleney. “It’s been a year of not only amazing development momentum, but customer momentum as well.

“I’d like to thank our production-level customers across many industries who helped bring us to this point. You’re helping us build Onshape every day.”

McEleney adds: “Although we have much hard work ahead of us, I am extremely excited about how our customers continue to react to the improvements we make to Onshape every few weeks.

“We’ve built a world-class team and a product. Now it’s time to build a business.”

The company says the Onshape beta program was a success in many ways:

  • Thoroughly tested through heavy usage: Over 10,000 users used Onshape for 400,000 hours. They created 4 million modeling features, imported and exported 390,000 CAD files, and created 325,000 STL (STereoLithography) files for 3D printing.
  • Onshape for mobile: With Onshape Beta, for the first time ever users could do full CAD editing and version control on mobile phones and tablets. User acceptance of mobile CAD was very high. One in six Onshape sessions were on mobile devices, and over 50% of Onshape Professional users use mobile.
  • 14 updates with 125 enhancements: While desktop-installed CAD customers typically receive once-a-year software updates, Onshape users enjoy automatic upgrades every few weeks, just by refreshing their browsers. Everyone is always on the latest version of Onshape.
  • Making full-cloud CAD global: In addition to now being used by CAD professionals in more than 150 countries, Onshape recently opened offices in India and Singapore and has overseen the formation of Onshape User Groups around the world, from Europe to Australia.
  • A new standard in CAD reliability: The company claims that during beta Onshape achieved over 99.9 per cent uptime. And Onshape users experienced “virtually zero” crashes and lost work. Onshape’s unique full-cloud architecture has virtually eliminated the concept of CAD crashes and lost work that have burdened CAD users for years, says the company.
  • A strong community: Enthusiastic Onshape Beta users have already started 14 user groups. Over 1,000 users have attended in-person Onshape meetups. Over 200 schools and universities have started using Onshape.

Customers designing great products with better results: The most important achievement of Onshape’s beta program, according to the company, was to “see customers build real products in Onshape”.

The company claims customers consistently reported important benefits of Onshape versus traditional CAD, most notably working faster, more innovation, and saving money on software and hardware. It adds that “they also reported having more fun” – no installs, no checkout, no PDM, and no file copies.

“This wasn’t your typical beta test. When we started Onshape, most industry insiders thought a production CAD system that ran entirely on the cloud could not be built,” says Onshape VP of R&D Dave Corcoran.

“We’re very proud of what our team has achieved. We know we still have a lot left to do, but the foundation the team has built is strong and they are adding more functionality rapidly.”

“We are very proud of what we have built so far to reach our commercial launch, but we have a much broader vision for the future of Onshape. Rest assured that we will be working everyday to continue to improve and expand Onshape to make it an even better tool for our users,” says Onshape founder Jon Hirschtick.

As Onshape wraps up one test, it is starting another, launching the private beta version of the Onshape App Store. Now open to selected customers, the store is where designers can conveniently browse, try and purchase new applications that work directly with their Onshape data, and expand on Onshape capabilities.

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