Ya know, while there are various ways to collaborate online around a 3D CAD project with other like-minded designers and engineers, you don’t hear about it too often. We’ve yet to get to the real-time, live-edit environment, à la Google Docs, but we’re close. You may have built a few 3D models in Onshape but, raise of hands, have you ever collaborated with someone using Onshape?

Well, a group of Onshape users has started the “Ultimate Collaboration Onshape Community Project”, and they’re aimed designing a motorcycle. A badass motocycle. And they’re looking for people who are interested in doing the same.

Kicked off by Bryan Lagrange, Onshape user and CAD manager at Mezco Fabrication, the project is documenting the process from start to finish, from concept to creation, and has built up some interest. Though it’s in the very early stages, they’ve set out with the initial goal of a “Fully offroad compatible sport motorcycle with superior traveling comfort”, possibly electric, with a 1000km range.

Gonzalo Chomon, CTO at evovelo, has chimed in on the project providing his experience in the midst of developing an Open Source Hardware (OSH) project using Onshape with the recommendation to use an OSH license for the entire project and a Creative Commons license for the drawings and other documentation. Great tip, Gonzalo.

Beyond that, they’ve started gather reference images, laying out concepts and getting some of the purchase parts imported or modeled up. Having been through some online CAD collaboration projects, and given the tab, list and filter UI of Onshape in particular, I definitely suggest locking down a naming convention to more easily discern the models, reference material, and purchase parts. After that, and as Matthew Menard suggests on the project forum post, split the project into bite-sized mini-projects that can be merged into the main branch.

This is where the organization aspects of collaboration will come out – Will the manage everything in Onshape? Will some of it be done in Google Docs? Trello? Asana? This may be as interesting to see as the assembly taking shape, and I hope it’s as beneficial for Onshape as it is for those collaborating on the project.

You can join the project by sending your email (used to login to Onshape) to rami at [email protected] You can log in and view the project here, and catch up on and join the conversation about the project at the Onshape forum.


Josh is founder and editor at SolidSmack.com, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.