What CAD program will your team use for 2021?

With what seems like a massive shift towards Onshape from 2019, what CAD software will your team use in 2021? Has Covid-19 effected your decision?

  • Onshape
  • SolidWorks
  • Inventor
  • Fusion 360
  • AutoCAD
  • SketchUp
  • Other

0 voters


We’re still gonna use Inventor since we have no reason to switch and reasons to stay (school gives us workstations with Inventor, it’s taught in the engineering classes so there’s not much training needed on our part, etc)

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I would absolutely love it if someone actually used AutoCAD…


1293 is set to remain with Onshape. It works with our kids’ school-issue devices, it works with mentors’ laptops, and we’re familiar with it.


Google sketchup…
Haven’t heard about that in a loooonnggg time


67 used AutoCAD for the principle design of multiple FRC Champion robots


Well many teams don’t use CAD at all except for some cuts on CNC machines. Making AutoCAD a primary software.


That… is … great…

We switched to Onshape from SolidWorks after the 2018 season and will stick with it. The recent introduction of MacBooks at our school made SolidWork less appealing, and Onshape felt like a good fit. It’s just been easier to access remotely and teach large groups of kids without installing software. Our middle school classes use SketchUp though, so I can say we’ve had kids design parts for FRC in SketchUp in recent years since they were familiar with it from FTC or a science class.


401 is switching to OnShape after 20 straight seasons using Inventor. We’re loving the collaborative nature of OnShape and the community developed features. Autodesk has made getting an Inventor license for FRC use more difficult through document requirements, this was off putting for us.


The cloud storage is what attracts us.

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We moved to Onshape in 2019 and haven’t looked back. I think it has considerably improved our student experience, especially combined with acquiring a CNC router. We’ve immensely improved our iteration times and the number of students who can meaningfully contribute to robot design and fabrication by lowering the barrier of entry. As the Onshape community in FRC has grown and more FRC-specific resources become available, we feel even more satisfied with that direction.


25 also primarily used Autocad for their robot designs, at least in the 2000s and early 2010s. Not sure when that stopped, but they also designed multiple world championship robots in Autocad.

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We have been using SolidWorks for our entire 15 years as a team, and generally like it. However, most students don’t have computers powerful enough to open large assemblies at home, and we want to involve more students in CAD design this year.

We’re currently looking at moving to OnShape for these reasons. We’re concerned that CAM isn’t as nicely integrated as HSMworks for SolidWorks, but other than that, it looks really nice.

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We’ve used SolidWorks, but the kids are learning Onshape right now. My guess is that since this robot was done in SolidWorks, seems like there is little incentive to switch for the '21 season, but perhaps for '22?

For 2019 we used Solidworks but we did not CAD in 2020 except laser cut pieces. For 2021 we are transferring to OnShape to do a full CAD. We will still have 2-3 people doing Solidworks. The reasoning behind OnShape was hugely dependant on Covid and the fact that we are a Macbook-centered school.

We’ve been using Inventor since we started our team, so our main reason to continue using it is probably because we’re already used to it. In Switzerland we also have apprenticeships(Someone once told me there isn’t a similar thing in the USA…? It’s when you go to work after high school instead of attending a college(around the age of 16)), and we have a few apprentices on our team that use Inventor at their workplace, so they’re already good at it anyways.

AutoCAD still very much has a place in the layout side of things. Also in post-processing of DXF exports (Solidworks watermark anyone?)

Most/All of the 111 bots through ~2012 were done in AutoCAD. Inventor for the more intricate things. We made the Solidworks jump in 2012 to better align with industry trends/mentor familiarity.

In the US we have internships, which is similar but for both high school and college. We also have Co-op programs where university students get industry experience for academic credit.

How long do the internships last for? And do you get some sort of “degree” or qualification certificate after absolving?