Our team is currently using Fusion and inventor, should we switch to something easier to use?

Our team has been using inventor for the past two years and we recently started using fusion, that being said their has been some discussion in team meetings about using Onshape and I was just curious as to what other teams have decided to do.

Most teams on CD are using Onshape.

Source: What cad software do people use in 2022?

I personally think it’s the far-and-away best option for many reasons that you can find rehashed on many threads.


Team’s I’ve been with have switched to Onshape for multiple reasons. I personally love the learning resources and that designs are very open. As a computer scientist, I love their version control, it makes iterating designs super helpful. I’ve found the FRC onshape community to be very open and engaging.

Seconding @RickyRobot, I think you might want to search for some threads about Onshape, there is a lot of good ones on here.


Honestly just start using onshape. For frc its by far the best. The free learning, the endless resources, the best collaboration, ability to run on students laptops.
The only downside at all really, is its not the industry standard yet. But it gives you a good enough understanding of cad that when you go to college and start using solidworks, you’ll know enough that it wont be hard to get famiar with a new program. And it doesnt have cam, but you can export parts as a dwg or dxf or step or whatever to a cam program and youre good.


Inventor is totally fine for FRC. Fusion’s modeling is a bit limited and constrained. OnShape is a bit different but for teams that have CAD teams of greater than 1-2 people, the benefits of the browser based editor and the cloud based document control far, far outweigh the drawbacks over Inventor or Solidworks.

That said - it’s totally possible to use Inventor or Solidworks, particularly if CAD is done by a small number of people and if you have a good file management system. Don’t feel like you have to. But if you want to go cloud based for any reason, OnShape is really the way to go.

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708 has been using Inventor for at least 10 years at this point and I don’t see a major reason for us to switch to Onshape. But we have tweaked and tuned our CAD process over the years and optimized if for our workflow.
We are also in the very fortunate position that all the students are issued laptops capable of running Inventor (they bog down a little with large assemblies but it’s usually not an issue for FRC scale). The school also had an education account for drafting and industrial design classes (I think they teach a mix of AutoCAD, Fusion360, and Inventor) meaning that anyone who needs a seat can get a seat.
Going into the 2018 season we set up a vault server for file management and version control. There’s a learning curve to it but it’s a very powerful too that can really streamline your process. For example we implamented auto part numbering a couple years ago and it helped with organization tramendiously.

And that’s not to say don’t switch to onshape (it’s a great program) but take the time to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of both and figure out what will work best with your team’s workflow.

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First, yes there’s way more discussion on the thread Rickyrobot mentioned.
My view is that if you have mentors who use CAD professionally use whatever software they use for their jobs. In addition to making it easier to teach and troubleshoot, that means your students are learning a skill that will help them in there careers. I work in CAD for a variety of different companies and industries and my company provides services in a range of CAD softwares. I have never come across a company running Onshape, and I have seen small startups use Fusion for modeling (Fusion’s CAM is great). Although I’m sure someone can find counter examples every company I know of in consumer products, automation and automotive uses SolidWorks, Inventor, Catia or NX. If you want to teach your students skills that will help them get engineering internships and jobs ask what your sponsors and other local companies use for CAD.

File management can be done many different ways but it really isn’t a problem you just might have to use an extra service. GradCAD is going away but Bild seems like a potentially great alternative, SolidWorks has its own PDM software and I bet Autodesk does too. I wouldn’t pick a software just to avoid a file management system.

All that said full desktop CAD packages will need everyone working in CAD to have access to a decent windows computer, so if that is a problem on your team then a browser based software may be your only option.

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I would say Onshape is a really good software that your team should use. Hold on while I get my advertising hat on.

Onshape has all the great features any robotics need to be successful this competition season! Everything is stored in the cloud and can be accessed through the Onshape website, no app install required. Watch in real time as your teammates make live edits to your documents, rendered right on your screen with only 1-3 seconds of delay. The modeling tools are easy to use, quick to learn, and have every feature you could possibly need! The best part is, it’s free of cost (although some non-essential features like making private documents require a premium subscription). Come on down to www.onshape.com to sign up!

That whole thing was meant as a joke, but really I would recommend. It’s easy to learn and the live edits is really nice for collaborating with other people. The nice thing about it is you can import a bunch of standardized parts from a public library, so you don’t need to measure and model or find some .stl file in a sketchy obscure website.

Being honest, Inventor is really nice and a great tool for learning how to use tools that are more likely to be seen in a professional environment, and that is extremely important, but my preference is Onshape because it is more user-friendly and convenient.

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