Disadvantages of Onshape

So there has been a lot of discussion of the advantages of onshape. The main disadvantages I hear are how it lacks some basic features of solidworks. Can anyone elaborate on exactly which features are missing?

Limited CAM ability??.
But I hear there are ways around that.

1 Like

No mirroring in assemblies


Doesn’t run locally / internet connection is required

  • No path length dimensions.
  • No custom keyboard shortcuts

No mass override.


Personally, my biggest gripe with onshape is the matting system, it feels too complicated, swapping out what would be a series of mates in solidworks or inventor for a single mate. I personally don’t like this because I don’t have as much control, and once you make a mate, and want to say, go back and edit an offset or something, you don’t have a “mates in assembly” tab for each part that would allow you to see which mate in the list is affecting each part. That last point was the deal breaker for me in terms of using onshape.


Most of these are existing improvement requests. Please vote for them!

The disadvantages shrink with each update! Bonus that there is nothing to install or purchase when this happens.


As @RickyRobot mentioned, every one of the concerns posted have been requested improvements by the community, which Onshape is extremely receptive to. Onshapes aggressive update schedule has made significant ground to that of more seasoned CAD packages, but it will take some time to work up to the full capabilities of, say, solidworks.

The biggest downsides I have are the inability to work offline (which is rare nowadays), no ability to set custom keyboard shortcuts, the load times with large assemblies, and mirroring/planes in assemblies (which is one of the most requested functions).

In my opinion Onshape has surpassed solidworks in terms of manufacturing drawing capabilities and BOM management, and I say that as someone who uses solidworks as a daily driver at work. Those improvements have been driven mostly by professional users and admittedly does not have a huge impact on competitive robotics.

I feel like “surpass” is a bit of an overstatement, I would say that sketches are about the same if not slightly worse as Solidworks, but Yeah the BOM management is nice. I really wish onshape had a more traditional matting system, then I would be more tempted to switch

I definitely agree with @yamaan93. When I moved to SolidWorks (I learned to CAD in onshape), mating ceased being a chore. As well, you can tell it’s not running on your device, especially when on a slow internet connection, and when using a touchpad. Oftentimes, browser shortcuts interfere with Onshape’s (mainly in Vivaldi). Onshape’s UI is struggling to keep up with the sheer amount of features being added, and does not handle this as gracefully as SolidWorks. Last time I tried importing a parasolid it didn’t work all too well (this was a year and a half ago).

Essentially, Onshape is amazing for 99% of cases (especially for you city folk with good internet) but you’re going to curse it out when you can’t do that one thing.

Anyone know if Onshape is cash positive yet?


I like Vivaldi cool UI and colors

Personally I find that the only 2 intriguing part of OnShape is the live, google docs style multi-user collaboration, and part libraries, I think that offers a lot to FRC teams, making it easier for more people to contribute to the cad. I also find the part libraries extremely handy, to the point where now if i want a common COTS part for a cad in solidworks, I open onshape and export it from there because of how fast it is. But all of that is pointless If its super frustrating to mate parts in an assembly, and a nightmare to go back and edit mates after you make them, making large assemblies, like say for… your robot too much of a pain to be worth using. Working with a bunch of people live is a waste if those people are wasting time on a bad mating system.

Drawings are a very different thing from sketching. I don’t think he was commenting on the sketching tools.

Re: mates, I actually do like the mating system, but totally agree that figuring out what mates are a interfacing with a part. The main work-arounds I’ve found for that are naming the mates well, being careful about how many parts are in a given assembly, and using the “show mates” option on a parts when I’m looking for their mates, which then lets the mates can be clicked on in the viewport.

oh sorry yeah i forgot what he meant by drawings, i haven’t tried the drawing tool in onshape yet

Also, since it was mentioned that a number of IRs related to these are pending, here are some relevant links-- please log in and vote on them if you want them!

Also some ones I’d like to see:

Also, here’s the link to the full IR list Here’s hoping these get addressed soon!


For my money, the fact that it’s a website is a showstopper. I’m just not willing to use software that requires a continuous connection to someone else’s servers.


When you get disconnected, does it let you continue to allow you to work and it copies your changes to the server after or does it block all changes?

It cuts you off. The entire system is designed around constant access, with all the benefits and disadvantages that entails.