Team 973 Signing Off (of Solidworks)

Ugh…I wish our shop had a > 10 Mbps internet connection.

Except that this is exactly how very large chunks of markets out there work, especially the contracting world. Most companies are not trying to compete in multiple markets, they’re creating products to compete in a specific market.

I did a CAD workshop at an FRC Workshop series on Saturday and for the first time included Onshape as a contender.

We’re probably sticking with Solidworks for 2019 but as we continue to get more kids pulled into the CAD fold we may start moving to OnShape.

Being a non-School team we can’t really supply many computers, and it’s a lot easier to ask a kid to go to a specific website to learn something than to download a software suite in excess of 10GB.

>Complains about memeing someone looking for teams
>Memes a title being currently used by teams shutting down

Choose a side man, dont flip flop.


I’m not speaking for IBM (I worked there for a lonnnng time) but there are plenty of companies that really do care about delivering business outcomes for their customers and trying to do so while maintaining a competitive price and netting a profit. It’s a hard juggling act but not all companies are unfeeling monoliths when it comes to trying to deliver customer happiness. It’s not just about making the most money for minimal effort.

Ooh, sounds like a deal breaker to me. I have put a lot of careful practice into the phrase “Well…the model is broken right now, but it’s pretty much going to look like this…”

Personally I’m disappointed with this switch many teams are making.
I totally understand why. It’s cloud based, very good for collaboration and much more intuitive than other CAD platforms.

That last point is where I dislike it though. Industry uses solidworks, inventor, catia, creo, NX and in some niche cases from what I’ve seen fusion. College uses similar packages. I really can’t see many companies moving over to Onshape anytime soon and that’s also why colleges will not be integrating Onshape into their curriculum.

I learned solidworks through FRC which made my first year of college as an engineering student much easier in many of my classes. The experience I gained through years of frc is far better than experience I can gain in a semester long course and I know others share my opinion.

While Onshape could lead to a better frc team experience I dislike that it is hurting the learning experience that students are exposed to.


Learning one CAD package gets you most of the way to learning any CAD package.

For students in HS, the specific package they use when they are 14-18 yrs old is fairly inconsequential to their future potential as engineers and designers.


Source: Switching CAD packages 3 times across multiple companies in the past 3 years, on top of learning OnShape for the team.

Can also confirm as I work on NX homework for class and have an internship that Uses Solidworks even though I learned and used Inventor the whole time I was on 701. It honestly isn’t that big of a deal to switch from software to software.

Also switching to Fusion 360.

The educational version appears to have much better sheet metal options and we now have access to a swell laser cutter…

But I’ll always have a fondness for Solidworks.


God I wish I learned a different CAD package in FRC than I did in school, my first year SolidWorks course made me want to blow my brains out, it was so boring. Being “that one kid” in the class who knew SolidWorks was not a great way to start things off.

Personally I’m disappointed with the attitude people are having towards change. In my opinion this is very similar to coding languages where once you learn one language, the biggest thing you take from it is learning to learn a language. Every language you learn thereafter becomes easier. I found this from learning SolidEdge as my first CAD program, then “graduating” into SolidWorks in second year.

Different things work for different students and different teams. As long as mentors do their job to make sure the students understand the concepts behind CAD enough that they can learn a new program with ease, that’s what matters. If it’s more accessible too, who’s to complain?

+1 for OnShape.

I’m still amazed at the processing power that lives somewhere out there on the cloud to power OnShape. We can run it from the crappiest laptops or home desktops. I can show colleagues at work the kids’ latest designs on my mobile, and they’re always blown away that I have live, rotating, articulating CAD on a phone.

The software continues to add features and functionality. We recently started using their integrated CAM (by MecSoft) to run CNC parts. That feature is still in Beta but it works.

If you’re not sure, just ask a student or two to go here, sign up and poke around.

Yes! One should learn to adapt to different CAD programs. When one gets out into the working world, one often does not have a choice regarding the CAD package used. If you want the new job, you will have to learn to use whatever CAD package your new employer has chosen. Once there, you will have to adapt as those CAD packages change. You may or may not have any influence over what new CAD package is chosen. I was at my last job for 14 years and had to use 3 different versions of AutoCAD (2D) as AutoDesk released newer versions. I have also had to use 5-6 different schematic capture programs for PCB design over the years. This does not include the different versions of those schematic capture programs. I think I have used about 4 versions of ORCAD including one that ran on MS-DOS.

Wait a minute, you mean to tell me that Gen Z doesn’t feel more connected and trust their one true CAD package because they learned it because of FIRST?!?!?

I guess that SXSW session wasn’t worth much then…

Wait… Do I not get to use LabView in the industry?

Yes, but maybe not for what you think you would be using it for…

At the risk of sounding repetitive

Becoming able to think in the language of 3d modeling is the most important thing for an FRC designer, and learning 2 or more CAD softwares lets you figure out which aspects of that language are universal.[/quote]

This is an inspiring thing you’re doing.

LabVIEW or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Data Acquisition