Collaborate in Onshape, rather than email, Slack, Teams, or text

For team collaboration, what’s your current method for sharing CAD project files? Are you living with the hope to end CAD file share hassles? You know, having to zip files left and right, worrying about file size before you email. However, if that doesn’t work, do you resort to Dropbox, old-school FTP, or some network share drive? Let’s face it, creating multiple files, folders, and emailing back and forth is a time waste, cumbersome and introduces risk. In this post, we’ll walk you through an example of how to end CAD file share hassles with the easy file sharing and collaboration capabilities in Onshape.

Pulling a new engineer into a coffee grinder project

The beauty of this team collaboration example is that it was done entirely with out-of-the-box Onshape functionality. Imagine you need to revise a feature in your current design and you’d like to add an engineer to the project to complete this task.

In Onshape, it’s as simple as right clicking on the feature in question. Click on “Add comment”, assign the task to your engineer, and provide instructions.

Instant Mechanical Engineer Just Add Coffee Mug
Add Comment in Onshape for Team Collaboration

In the screenshot above, Ronit, the project owner, makes the task assignment. To do this, he right clicks on the fillet in question and selects “Add comment”.

Assigning task using the Onshape Add Comment function

This opens a “Comments” window in the left margin. By tagging Eric Engineer with the “@” sign prefix, Onshape will alert him that he has been added to the project .

Additionally, tagging will prompt the assigner/ commenter with a checkbox to indicate whether a task is being assigned to the person tagged.

Invited user has no access message Onshape

Eric is an engineer on the team but is not part of the design project. Onshape informs Ronit that Eric currently has no permissions to access the project. Selecting “Share with mentioned user” will pull Eric into the project and grant him view-only permission access by default.

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Expanding permissions and sharing with multiple collaborators

Now Eric will be notified that he has been assigned a task and granted view-only access to the project, but how can he do the work with only view permissions?

Ronit can address this by selecting “Share” to expand Eric’s permissions with the project.

Project share function in Onshape

In the Share Settings dialog window, Ronit can upgrade Eric’s permissions to “Can edit”. Additionally, He can grant him other permissions such as Copy, Export, or Comment.

Share dialog window in Onshape

In the bottom section of the Share Settings window, Ronit can also elect to share the project with multiple collaborators simultaneously.

Internal collaborators can be identified individually by name or email, or by team. External collaborators, such as customers or vendors, can be identified for project sharing by their email under “Invite guests”, or sent a link under “Link sharing” to access a project.

Problem Solution Engineer Mug

Project sharing email notifications

Email notification is sent to invited project collaborators. In the inbox screenshot below, we see 2 notification examples. The first listed from Ronit resulted from the project owner sharing the project and updated permissions with Eric Engineer. The second is an Onshape-generated email notification of the task assignment.

Notification email examples when adding project collaborators Onshape

The task assignment email provides the assigner, project, and the task details. Clicking the “Go to Your Onshape Document” link logs you directly into the project to begin the necessary task work. If you do not already have an Onshape account, you will need to create one.

New task notification email from Onshape

Task completion and confirmation

Above all, Ronit must be notified when the task is complete. Onshape enables this on the platform from within the project.

In the screenshot below, we see Eric logged in at the upper right. Similarly, we can see Ronit signed into the project as well. Looking at the coffee grinder design itself, we can see a comment icon on the component with the assigned task. Clicking the comment icon opens the Comments window where Eric can review the details of the assigned task. From within this window, Eric and Ronit can communicate directly, in real-time, to share any comments, questions or feedback. To confirm task completion, Eric clicks on the comment checkbox and Onshape logs the task as completed.

Completing a project task in Onshape

Subsequently, Ronit can change Eric’s permission back to view-only or take him off the project entirely.

Benefits of real-time collaboration with Onshape

It goes without saying that the ability to collaborate within your CAD platform makes sharing files across multiple collaborators easy. Likewise, it saves time and avoids having to create multiple file versions.

And with the ability to assign Onshape access permissions on-the-fly securely in the Amazon cloud, there’s no need to worry about hard drive space or email send restrictions. Even better⏤you can perform this anywhere from almost any connected device. Learn more about Onshape and make CAD file share hassles a thing of the past.

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