Onshape is a very impressive 3D computer-aided design (CAD) platform that is entirely online – possibly the first and only of its kind. It allows students to turn their ideas into tangible products by designing models and then producing them through processes such as 3D printing, laser cutting, or CNC machining. It is used in STEM and engineering classes, clubs and makerspaces at both the K-12 and college levels.
Onshape was created by the same developers of SOLIDWORKS, but with the goal of providing a more intuitive design experience for their users. Where other 3D CAD systems require expensive hardware, difficult installations, and cumbersome updates, Onshape users can create an account online and begin using the tool within a matter of minutes – anywhere, anytime, from any device, including Chromebooks, tablets, and smartphones. For students traditionally underrepresented in STEM, this removes many of the common barriers to participation such as limited access to resources. It also makes Onshape especially powerful for collaboration, even remotely.
With Onshape, students can import their designs into applications focused on different parts of the engineering process. From the Onshape app store, users can add connected apps that generate toolpaths for digital fabrication, run simulations on the mechanical or thermal performance of their design, or render photo-realistic images.
Onshape’s power, simplicity, and ease of access is best reflected in its growth in education over the past two years. Since 2019, more than one million education users have adopted Onshape as part of their STEM activities and usage has increased by 400%.
For these reasons and more, Onshape for Education earned multiple honors in The EdTech Awards 2022 from EdTech Digest, including: Cool Tool Award Winner for “Best Maker / DIY Solution,” Cool Tool Award Finalists for “Best STEM Solution” and “Best Coding, Computer Science, Engineering Solution,” and an EdTech Trendsetter Award (finalist) in the Product or Service Setting a Trend category. Learn more.