Rendering when using Onshape

I have been a long time solidworks user, and am currently in the process of teaching myself how to use Onshape for possible use in virtual collaboration projects.

I am familiar with how to make high quality renderings of parts and assemblies in SolidWorks, but I am not sure what the best solution is for rendering Onshape parts and assemblies.

There are a few options listed on Onshape’s website of add-ons for rendering. I have also found people exporting models to other standalone programs for their rendering. ex: Key shot, Maya, or Blender.

For the people that have rendered their Onshape CAD models what methods/programs have you found to be the best for getting good rendering results? Free programs are preferable if possible.

Thanks for the help.

I’ve used RealityServer for a (non-FRC) school project. The results were passable but not amazing (to be fair though, I didn’t understand a lot of the settings).

You get 2 free server hours per day, and you can purchase more if you need.

I will also be following this thread though; I’d love to know if there’s a better way to make renders.

From what I know, most people export their CAD model from Onshape to Fusion and set their materials in there to do renders. Fusion is free for FRC students.


I use realityserver and am overall quite pleased with the results. Granted, this is me with only about 30 mins of experience in the extension, but I think it’s pretty ok. If you don’t like that, then I’d just recommend solidworks visualize, however it does take a lot of resources. image|690x364

I’m getting surprisingly good results from the integrated “print” button, especially when factoring in effort. Toggle which edges you want shown (none/visible/hidden) and some other overall settings and it just prints your screen at a pretty solid resolution. For nicer stuff or fancier materials, I’m exporting into STEP and going directly into Keyshot just like I would for Solidworks.

What are you using the renders for? If it is for working with other people remotely as I understand it, then I would do whatever takes the least effort and is fastest. The method @marcusbernstein mentioned works great for that. Similarly, I normally just use the microsoft snip feature on the screen and use that picture because it is so fast and easy. Still looks decent when printed and does what I need it to do. I’ve never needed to use a fancy rendering software (although I do see the appeal when producing high quality stuff).

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I suspect that the “print” button inside Onshape improves quality over a machine screenshot somewhat, but I don’t remember if I heard that from someone or made it up. Either way, I love that the bounding box defaults to a standard paper size and I can zoom while framing that window.

It does. Print as image will give you a significantly higher resolution image with transparency compared to taking a screenshot.

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I’ll try it out. Thank y’all for the tip!

Sorry if I didn’t make it clear in my original post. I’m trying out Onshape for its collaborative abilities. I’m looking to render models for presentation purposes mainly Brochures, pamphlets, and for sharing online. With minimal effort I could make high quality rendering like the below image in Solidworks and was wondering what people’s methods were for rendering their models when using Onshape.

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I have used both OneRender (now gone?) and RealityServer directly in Onshape. I would say the latter produced better results but it’s limited in scene/material features and can be a bit painful for occasional use. If you’re looking to render reasonably simple models with plain backgrounds, I would still consider RealityServer a solid candidate.

RealityServer Example

I’ve also gotten the chance to use Keyshot and loved it. It’s very feature-rich but has a straightforward learning curve. For both FLL and FRC, I’ve had luck emailing Luxion sales and requesting 2-3 month licenses that they’ll gladly renew if we show we’re producing something good with the software.

KeyShot offers an Onshape integration that allows you to pull Onshape parts directly from the KeyShot application without an intermediate download.

KeyShot Example

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