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Anyone involved in product development knows there’s constant pressure to get to market faster. However, success often comes to, not necessarily those who get to market faster but, those who are able to iterate and innovate faster. For that to happen, companies across every industry need tools that promote rapid discovery, decisions and delivery. That’s obvious to us in product development, but what we’ve found interesting of late though, is how Onshape is taking the concept of Agile Design and applying to Product Design.

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In fact, Onshape wrote the book on Agile Product Design which happens to be a GREAT primer on the approach of using Agile Product Design to iterate and innovate faster. The whole of the process boils down to three key principles:

  • Real-time Deployment and Access
  • Real-time Data Management
  • Real-time Analytics & Control

Real-time Deployment and Access

Onshape is the first full, cloud-based CAD platform. Sure, it makes it independent of hardware or operating system, but more important is 1) deployment – get someone started in seconds – and 2)  access – anywhere, anytime, on any device. Less time wasted. No downloading service packs and configuring laptops. Those days… gone.

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Many CAD systems would buckle under the weight of such a concept, no? Here’s the question though. What do Onshape’s Real-Time Deployment capabilities mean for an individual or company frustrated with the old way of doing things? Let’s look at four applications:

1. Instant Software Deployment
All members of a design team have an instant connection to their CAD system and CAD data the moment they are added. How long did it take you to get set up when you started your last job? The focus in Onshape is immediately shifted to the product design.

2. Instant Software Access
Onshape runs on a variety of software operating systems and devices, so whether you’re on a PC, Mac, or mobile device, you can access your data. Where do you have to be to access your data now? That accessibility with Onshape is simply a matter of launching your web browser or the Onshape app and getting to work.

3. Instant Upgrades & Updates
Everyone is always on the latest software version with no need to download or install updates. Are you on the latest version of your CAD software? The software is always up to date, but more than that, changes made by anyone on any device are instantly updated for everyone.

4. Instant CAD De-provisioning
When an employee, contractor or outside partner leaves the team, you can instantly remove their access to your CAD data. I don’t think I need to ask you what a pain this can be. With Onshape, there are no licensing transfers or deactivations, and absolutely no lingering “offline” copies of your IP.

More Than Theory

So, how does this work out in reality though? Well, this is why our interest is piqued. Agile Product Design is more than just theory. Onshape is seeing the reality of real-time deployment work out in their customer base. Neil Deshpande, Technical Lead for Coca-Cola Company’s McDonald’s Division, switched his engineering design team to Onshape. They went from a traditional CAD approach that took team-members weeks to get laptop and CAD access to a deployment of minutes with Onshape by just adding their email. Oh, and as quickly as access can be granted, access can be revoked.

That’s just one example of agile product design in action. It’s an approach that gets designers started faster and CAD admins on more important tasks. A new install is accomplished by adding the employee’s email. No need to request license codes or update service packs. When employees leave, they don’t have to uninstall, deauthorize computers, or call a VAR to assign a license to someone new.

The net result of Onshape real-time deployment is that everyone on the development team is more agile, free to chase down innovative ideas and rapidly iterate until they arrive at the right product solution. Take a deeper look at Onshape here.


Vince has worked as Studio Engineer for consumer and medical product brands such as Whirlpool, Newell and ResMed Ltd. Australia. He's garnered 39+ patents and has designed everything from totes to toasters, and fiddles to furniture. He enjoys all things 3D and has carved out a niche as a Class-A Surfacing Guru. Active in both industry and academia, Vince serves as a Creative and Technical Skill Development Coach providing hands-on training and workshops pertaining to CAID/CAD. Vince relishes opportunities to keep learning and sharing what he's learned!