Tried a new CAD (Computer Aided Design) I haven’t used before. It’s called Onshape.

I have used a fair number of different CAD applications. For 3D CAD, I have been a long user of Autodesk Fusion 360. I own a single user paid license. It will expire in about 6 months. A three year renewal is $1400 (list) without a sale or renewal discount.

I will probably opt-out and go to the hobbyist free version of F360 because of this cost. However, Autodesk F360 kills some features with the Hobbyist. File conversions, number of open projects, etc.

Onshape has a similar pricing structure, but the only penalty for the free hobbyist license is that all created drawing files are public domain.

So, I have acquired the Onshape Hobby license and have already created a half dozen new designs.

Onshape is 100% dependent on an internet connection as the interface is the web browser in any PC operating system. This means literally no program installation on any device available.

I am not giving a review of the features. There is plenty of that elsewhere including the Onshape website.

The biggest adaption I have had to make is the free form, no grid drawing plain used in Onshape. I’ll just say it is different than F360 sketching.

I can see that I can still create just about anything I want using Onshape, so this CAD is definitely on my list as an alternative at renewal time.

I don’t want to forsake the last 6 months of my paid F360 license. Certainly no refund. But I feel a bit split between which CAD to use at this time. 

A few more Onshape designs for sure, but I will stay active with Fusion 360. The only reason I am considering options, is the cost for a retired 76 year old in using a full featured CAD, when there is no financial return for the investment on a paid license.

I am completely grateful for the free-use “hobbyist” availability of both products. I don’t feel or claim any entitlement. It’s good PR (Public Relations) as we still mentor and have influence on the real business users.

If you are in a similar situation, I can recommend you give Onshape some consideration. Small learning curve if you are already fluent with other CAD.

Perhaps as poet Robert Frost once wrote: 

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.