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Onshape is a computer-aided design (CAD) software system, delivered over the Internet via a software as a service (SAAS) model. It makes extensive use of cloud computing, with compute-intensive processing and rendering performed on Internet-based servers, and users are able to interact with the system via a web browser or the iOS and Android apps.[1] As a SAAS system, Onshape upgrades are released directly to the web interface, and the software does not require maintenance work from the user.[2]

Onshape allows teams to collaborate on a single shared design, the same way multiple writers can work together editing a shared document via cloud services.[3][4] It is primarily focused on mechanical CAD (MCAD) and is used for product and machinery design across many industries, including consumer electronics, mechanical machinery, medical devices, 3D printing, machine parts, and industrial equipment.[5]

Company history[edit]

Onshape was developed by a company with the same name. Founded in 2012, Onshape was based in Cambridge, Massachusetts (USA), with offices in Singapore and Pune, India.[6] Its leadership team includes several engineers and executives who originated from SolidWorks, a popular 3D CAD program that runs on Microsoft Windows.[1] Onshape’s co-founders include two former SolidWorks CEOs, Jon Hirschtick and John McEleney.[7]

  • In November 2012, former SolidWorks CEOs Jon Hirschtick and John McEleney led six co-founders launching Belmont Technology, a placeholder name that was later changed to Onshape. The company’s first round of funding was $9 million from North Bridge Venture Partners and Commonwealth Capital.[8]
  • In March 2015, Onshape released the public beta version of its cloud CAD software, after pre-production testing with more than a thousand CAD professionals in 52 countries. Included in the beta launch was Onshape for iPhone.[9]
  • In August 2015, the company released its Onshape for Android app.[10]
  • In December 2015, Onshape launched its full commercial release.[11] The company also launched the Onshape App Store, offering CAM, simulation, rendering and other cloud-based engineering tools. The Onshape App Store was launched with 24 developer partners.[12]
  • In April 2016, Onshape introduced its Education Plan, with a free version of Onshape Professional geared for college students and educators.[13]
  • In May 2016, Onshape released FeatureScript, a new open source (MIT licensed) programming language for creating and customizing CAD features.[14]
  • In October 2019, Onshape agreed to be acquired by PTC.[15] The acquisition closed in November 2019 for $470 million.[16][17][18]
  • In February 2024, Onshape released iOS support for the Apple Vision Pro, allowing for real world applications of CAD models and prototypes.[19]


Onshape was a venture-backed company with investments from firms including Andreessen Horowitz, Commonwealth Capital Ventures, New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and North Bridge Venture Partners. Total venture funding amounted to $169 million.[20]

Supported file formats[edit]



As of April 2022, the Onshape supported importing (opening) the following common CAD file formats:[21]


Onshape supports exporting to the following formats:[21]


Ordinary engineering or technical drawing can be exported as .PDF file.


Assemblies can be imported and exported to:

File formats that assemblies can be only-exported to, are:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Danny Crichton (March 9, 2015). "After 3 Years And $64M In Seed Funding, Onshape Launches The Mother Of All Products". TechCrunch.
  2. ^ Jean Tilmany (April 2016). "CAD-in-the-Cloud moves closer to real-time sharing". Design World.
  3. ^ Scott Kirsner (March 6, 2015). "Can 50-somethings rekindle that old startup magic?". The Boston Globe.
  4. ^ Dale Dougherty (May 6, 2015). "MakerCon Speaker: Jon Hirschtick on Web-Based CAD Tool, Onshape". MAKE Magazine.
  5. ^ "Onshape CAD Features". Onshape.com. Archived from the original on November 13, 2016. Retrieved September 30, 2016.
  6. ^ "Contact Page". Onshape.com. Retrieved September 30, 2016.
  7. ^ Erin Griffith (March 6, 2015). "Exclusive: SolidWorks vets raise $64 million for Onshape". Fortune.
  8. ^ Scott Kirsner (December 6, 2012). "Ex-SolidWorks execs reunite to take another swing at product design software, with $9 million in funding". The Boston Globe.
  9. ^ "Introducing Onshape Beta (March 9, 2015)". Onshape.com. Archived from the original on November 10, 2016. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  10. ^ "Introducing Onshape for Android (August 11, 2015)". Onshape.com. Archived from the original on November 10, 2016. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  11. ^ "Onshape Launches Commercial Release (December 14, 2015)". Onshape.com. Archived from the original on November 10, 2016. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  12. ^ "Onshape Announces App Store Offering Simulation, CAM, Rendering & More (December 14, 2015)". Onshape.com. Archived from the original on November 10, 2016. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  13. ^ "Onshape Introduces Education Plan (April 7, 2016)". Onshape.com. Archived from the original on November 10, 2016. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  14. ^ "Onshape's FeatureScript Lets 3D CAD Users Design Faster With Custom Parametric Features (May 31, 2016)". Onshape.com. Cambridge, Massachusetts: OnShape Inc. Archived from the original on August 5, 2017. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  15. ^ "PTC to acquire Onshape, the industry's first pure SaaS product development platform".
  16. ^ "PTC Acquires Onshape". ptc.com. Retrieved October 23, 2019.
  17. ^ "PTC Completes Acquisition of Onshape". Retrieved December 1, 2019.
  18. ^ "PTC's Onshape Acquisition: Did SOLIDWORKS Founder Jon Hirschtick Have to Sell?". www.engineering.com. Retrieved 2020-06-29.
  19. ^ "Onshape introduces Apple Vision Pro Compatibility (Onshape Vision)". www.onshape.com. Retrieved March 12, 2024.
  20. ^ "Onshape's Cloud-Based CAD Tool Gets $80 Million in Funding". Wired. September 24, 2015.>
  21. ^ a b Armstrong, Cody. "How to Import and Export with Onshape". www.onshape.com. Retrieved 2022-04-13.