What unites Onshape and Desktop Metal? It is not what you think…

What unites Onshape and Desktop Metal? It is not what you think…

One of the best things about living in Massachusetts is that almost every CAD vendor office is not more than 30 min of drive from you. I attended evening event organized by Onshape and Desktop Metal at Onshape office – Modern Design & Metal 3D Printing. Why Onshape and Desktop Metal together? You might think that a proximity of offices and people that worked for these companies. Even it is true I found another reason for these companies to stay together.

The agenda included presentation by Dave Corcoran (Co-founder & VP of Product, Onshape), and Ilya Mirman (VP Marketing, Desktop Metal). It was a good opportunity to meet friends and colleagues and to listen about recent changes in Onshape including Data Management 2.0 and Onshape Enterprise. Also, I wanted to learn more on a topic of metal 3D printing and to see how it can be connected to engineering and manufacturing process management software.

Quick update about Onshape progress – 4M hours of usage and thousands of users. Something software vendors  should pay attention is tools like G2crowd providing online access to customer satisfaction metrics.

Dave Corcoran provided details about Onshape progress, new features and customers. Key passage – if you haven’t seen Onshape in the last 6 months, you don’t know what is Onshape. As Dave was reviewing Onshape value proposition and differentiation, my attention caught an interesting fact – practically all of them included a changing aspect of data management in design environment.  What Onshape calls “Modern CAD” is first and foremost reflects data management. Onshape is essentially a new paradigm of data management for design process. Top Onshape innovations are about how to store data, manage changes, share access, release process, project management and real time analytics.

Remember 1999 paradigm shift done by Salesforce.com – No software? Onshape is rolling out the idea of “No PDM”. As much as I like the idea, I want to see how big is the gap to jump into new data management paradigm for existing users. Make it easy is a key to success.

Ilya Mirman shared DM view on innovation in 3D printing. Check these few slides.

My favorite part of Ilya’s presentation was related to the economics of product development and cost assessment. Think about manufacturing a widget. In most of situations you will have a BOM of the assembly and based on parts and their cost, you will be able to make cost assessment of the product. It will include the process of buying parts. Instead of buying part you can buy 3D printing machine and print parts. You can print parts in different locations in the world, which will change your company transportation cost assessments. The biggest question how fast it will come to a real manufacturing. I hope Desktop Metal knows the answer.

What is my conclusion? What unites both Onshape and Desktop Metal? Both products (software and hardware) are changing existing workflows in manufacturing industry. Onshape is eliminating painful check-in / check-out process everyone hated in PDM and bring new data analytics to provide indication of design project performance. Desktop Metal is changing manufacturing workflows by allowing to reduce assembly complexity, eliminate transportation expenses and decrease maintenance time for manufacturing equipment. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

Want to learn more about PLM? Check out my new PLM Book website.

Disclaimer: I’m co-founder and CEO of OpenBOM developing cloud based bill of materials and inventory management tool for manufacturing companies, hardware startups and supply chain. My opinion can be unintentionally biased.



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