Onshape is a professional web-based CAD design package. It’s similar to Autodesk Fusion 360 in its functionality in the sense you often start with a 2D sketch that is then extruded into a 3D object, but there are a few important differences.
For starters, the entire program runs on the web. There is no software to download, which means you’re up and running in a few minutes after logging in. This also means you can work on designs on any computer or tablet with an Internet connection! You can also collaborate simultaneously on projects with other students.
Onshape does offer a free maker account, but you should sign up for one of their education accounts. It’s equivalent to their “Standard” account, which normally costs $1,500/year. You will need to verify your school email in order to use the education plan. The school technology department has whitelisted Onshape, so you WILL be able to receive the email from them.
Learning How to Use Onshape
1. Download Onshape iPad app from Self Service.
2. Sign up for an Educational Account
It will probably take a few minutes until you receive the verification email. (You will need to enter the school’s website: schools.shrewsburyma.gov/oak)
3. Sign In to Onshape
This is where you will go to sign in each time. You should bookmark this site. If you’re using the Onshape iPad app, sign in directly in the app.
4. CADSessions Onshape Beginner Tutorials (YouTube)
Even though Onshape has an excellent Learning Center, I recommend you watch the first five videos in this playlist first. It’s a great introduction to the layout, sketching, and different features. If you are working on a computer, please have this YouTube playlist open in one tab with Onshape open in another tab so you can practice along the way. Another option is to watch the videos on your iPad, then do the design work on the computer.
Click here to open the handout (PDF) that goes along with these beginner tutorials.
4. Onshape Learning Center
The link above will bring you to their “Onshape Fundamentals: CAD” Learning Pathway. It includes six different courses with the first three (“Navigating Onshape”, “Introduction to Sketching”, and “Part Design Using Part Studios”) being the most important to get you feeling comfortable.
Additional Onshape Resources
Onshape Sketch Constraints
There are two ways to “define” a sketch. You can use the “Dimension” tool to define distances, angles, etc. You can also define sketches using a variety of geometrical constraints. This is a handy reference sheet I made that outlines the top ten constraints you are likely to use.
Mr. M’s LEGO Tutorial
There is more than one way to design a LEGO brick, but this 5 minute video walks you through my process. Along with sketching and extruding, I explain how to use the “Linear Pattern” tool. Click this link to view the LEGO brick’s dimensions.
3D Printing Design Rules (PDF)
Please refer to this handout as needed to remind yourself of important design rules such as minimum wall thickness, overhangs, tolerance, etc.