Robot Design and Game Design Risk, for Onshape Users!

This is directed toward anyone using a free Onshape account.

Recently I found a feature in Onshape which makes for a lack of privacy when it comes to making original designs for the FRC Game Design or Robot Designs in general. When using a free account on Onshape, one caveat included with the account is the fact that all of your CAD files are public, and I mean ALL(FYI: Onshape is a browser based CAD software which has a library of CAD models other people made). When any Onshape user goes to the “Public” files on Onshape to find nuts, bolts, or other simple cad files they want to import into their cad, they could also find designs for the Game Design Challenge or a robot design that people with free accounts made. All they have to do is type “Game Design” or “2021 FRC” into the search bar to find files with that same/similar name. So any original and well though out designs could be seen pretty easily on Onshape, with the right search.

Solution:
Team’s, with free accounts, could easily just change the name to their file to something like “’[];][-G0M3 D3S1GN” or “dp1da- R0BA7 D33s11Gn 22200211” I would recommend putting random characters in the front of your file name and excluding/altering any year numbers, like 2021 to 2000221, to throw off the public search engine.

Side Not:
I know this feature isn’t completely debilitating for teams and the FIRST community aren’t a bunch of thieves for ideas, but I would just like to get the word out.

You can upgrade to an Education subscription for free, which is not the same as a Free subscription. I believe all Education subscriptions include the ability to make private documents.

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This is correct. All of our CAD’s you can find where because we released them.

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Your school could also signup for an Education Enterprise account which is free this year Onshape | Product Development Platform

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I want to again point out that this statement is categorically false. While a Free tier account can only make and work on public documents, an Education account is not the same thing.

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Our team started out separate from our school, with funding and association. We recently merged with the school and most of the team still uses the Educator account. We could signup for an Education Enterprise. Thanks for the suggestion!

Thanks for the suggestion, I deleted the ending.

Not directly related since this is a non-issue for education users, but for the majority of teams who are worried about other teams seeing their designs somehow: Who’s going to care if your CAD is public? I don’t mean that in a mean way, but unless you’re a powerhouse chances are things like the open alliance are going to be way better resources to copy from regardless.

IDK, in general, a lot of teams try to be secretive about their robot, only to field a machine with dozens of basic flaws that could have been pointed out by any reasonable observer

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And just to make it extra clear, there’s the different types of accounts mentioned here

  • Free account
  • Education account (anyone in FRC can get it - you don’t need to be associated with a school)
  • Education enterprise (which would require an association with a team)
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