Resons for my team why to stay with solidworks

Hi, some members of my team want to change solidworks with onshape.

Here is some background:
In this season we we didnt had experience with sckeching and me and my friend learnd a lot and we gain a lot experience with solidworks.

Now some members of the team want to move to onshape.

Pls give me reasons why to stay with solidworks :pray:

Is there something about Onshape that you don’t like?

We switched to Onshape for the 2022 season from Inventor and while it took a bit of getting used to, it greatly helped us get more of our team into the CAD workflow. Lots of baked in features to Onshape that make it more conducive imo to a FIRST team.


Honestly, Onshape does offer more accessibility, especially considering most members will just have Chromebooks. I would still stick with Solidworks because it doesn’t choke when you CAD is half done and you can still CAM parts if you are a CNC team.

@Peyton_Yeung is right that it does nave some great features like a built in parts lib.


Its don’t that I don’t like. It is just because i used to solidwork and my team will be need time to get used to onshape and we don’t have the time.

And to my understanding, solidworks has more features no?

Teams can also use Onshape for CAD and then Solidworks for CAM, which is what we did this season. It also gives you more options - Solidworks isn’t my favorite CAM program. We probably would’ve switched to Fusion for CAM if our router had a working post processor for Fusion.

My team did some of this workflow this year and, while functional it is very tedious.

Also, @nado Solidworks does have more features but most of them are kinda obscure or useless for FRC (unless you’re like me and did an aerodynamic test on your hooks for climb). Citrus uses Onshape so you will def not be limited. Still I think Solidworks is a better ux.


The offseason is probably the best time to do development new skills. I’d imagine the 6 months between now and Kickoff should be sufficient (we did it starting the October before kickoff).

Solidworks has a a lot of features but many aren’t necessarily needed on a FIRST team. The community has made quite a few quality of life improvements via Onshape features like MKCAD and KrayonCAD.


I found it to be tedious when making multiple versions of one part, but ideally that shouldn’t happen frequently as long as you iterate more in prototyping.

Another nice thing about Onshape is that it’s never crashed on me! I’ve probably had 20-30 Solidworks crashes in my limited usage, which isn’t fun even if you remember to save.


We’re normally a Solidworks team, but used OnShape for 2020/21. In my experience the advantages of SW are:

  • Students seem to understand its mating scheme quicker and easier
  • It’s what is used in many Univ Engr. departments and companies, so knowing it all ready is a big leg up

I was once like you, a true SolidWorks hardo, so much so that the 2020 6328 robot was half designed in SolidWorks, and half designed in Onshape. It was terrible. A good life lesson is learning that sometimes you need to do stuff that you don’t like to help the organization you’re apart of improve.

Onshape is miles better for FRC than SolidWorks. Just the framework of being in the cloud is a no brainer at this point, the fundamentals courses make it simple to get up to speed and takes very little time, and their support is simple and responsive.

Like others have said, now is the time to make the switch, the offseason is a perfect opportunity to start learning and I promise once you get rolling with it and understand the basics, the switch is not that hard at all.

Here’s a good website to help you get started:


As someone who has used Onshape, Autodesk Inventor, and Solidworks for almost 5 years now I can support both CAD programs.

Onshape is great whenever you need to work on projects with other team members and it has built in tools like the MKCad app which save sooooo much time when it comes to downloading COTS parts. It also means students don’t have to have a laptop with dedicated graphics cards to view the full robot.

It does have some flaws like the way patterns work kind of drives me nuts and it can be slow the more complex the project gets.

Solidworks IMO is the better CAD program I feel like there functions are somewhat more intuitive and you’re far more likely to see Solidworks in a professional setting then Onshape. But once again file sharing is kinda annoying and you need a decently powerful laptop to run Solidworks and students with Macs can’t work on Solidworks.

However at the end of the day for FRC Onshape is better with that being said I think its still valuable to expose students to Solidworks at some point.

In previous seasons (not sure about what the current status is), you could get Mastercam for free as an FRC team, and Mastercam support helps create new posts, machine definitions, etc. as needed for different machines, if they don’t have one already. Plus it supports nesting which is incredibly useful for FRC part routing.

I highly don’t recommend Mastercam. The software is kind of outdated and it definitely not that intuitive. The biggest problem with it is that you have to recreate basically the part inside of mastercam before you can program it as opposed to Autodesk or Fusion 360 where you can just program it from the existing CAD model.

You can import files into Mastercam and at one point they did have Mastercam for Solidworks, but I believe they stopped supporting that a few years ago. But Mastercam is still pretty powerful, and the best CAM tool I have used.

1 Like

As of this past season they still provided free licenses to teams.

You can import the cad model into Mastercam and generate tool paths directly from it similar to the other programs mentioned.

1 Like

What router are you using? It isn’t too hard to make a post processor file.

Solidworks is the more powerful program overall, but if you don’t have the time/will to setup a PDM system of some kind, use Onshape. We currently use Solidworks for CAD, Bild moving to CacheCAD for PDM and Fusion for CAM. A decent PDM system will solve the file management problems, then the only major hurdle for using Solidworks is making sure everyone has access to a decent windows computer (you don’t need a powerhouse, but you don’t want a 5 year old hand me down either). If you can get over those hurdles, Solidworks as more features but they won’t really come into play in FRC, but you may find yourself digging into the more obscure features for personal project or just for fun. It is somewhat dependent on your area, but Solidworks is much more common in industry and (to my knowlege) in college so learning it now may help you more in the future. Also if internet is slow or unreliable at your build space or for some of your students, a desktop app will be much better.

But if you can’t get the computers and PDM, the do not use solidworks.

I think if you need to go to CD searching for reasons to stay with SW while the people pushing Onshape seem to have several clear reasons and you are clearly worried about them convincing the rest of the team you should really reconsider your position. It sounds like you are searching for evidence to back your conclusion instead of making conclusions based on the existing evidence.


Not to push back on the accuracy of this statement, but as someone who switched from OnShape to Solidworks for college it really isn’t a big hurdle.

1 Like

Some great resources are listed above… They are very accessible and should show how Onshape is easy to learn :fire:.