Why Use Onshape When There is Frame?

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So, you have Onshape, the browser-based 3D software to rival SolidWorks, Solid Edge and Inventor, and you have Frame, the browser-based platform where you can run SolidWorks, Solid Edge or Inventor in the browser and from any device.

Why would you use Onshape when there is Frame?

Why would I need a mobile app version for any of my software, now that I can run SolidWorks or Photoshop from any device or location?

To me, it comes down to features and accessibility, compatibility with other software and not being locked into one format or the other. If Onshape has the flexibility that logging into Frame and starting up various software doesn’t, it’s a winner. Beyond that, I’ve not heard a convincing argument for using or developing browser-based/cloud versions.

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Performance is a big one. Frame is really convenient, but can be quite laggy.

Then there’s pricing.

Onshape guys would obviously bring up collaboration, but frankly they aren’t so hot as a collaboration platform at this point, so I’d argue it’s really moot. They have the potential to be much more powerful than a desktop app on a VM, but they’re not there yet IMO.


I think Frame will make a great addition to existing SW customers, but I don;t see anyone putting down $3500 for SW Standard just because they will be able to access it on the Browser. Onshape is (or will be) much more than just 3D Modeling on the browser, the collaboration features are what appeal the most to me. I think CAD now a days is breaking-out into different but equally important categories: 3D Modeling, Collaboration,/ Accessibility, CAM…


Has anyone got experience working with heavy and complex CAD files in browser-based / cloud-based applications? How well, for example, does OnShape (or any other browser based application) perform? I’ve done some fairly simple and easy modeling but I like what I’ve experienced. There’s a learning curve, some tools are (or seem) limiting and there are lots of bugs but still the whole cloud based solution holds great potential. It’s only a matter of time until these system become more capable.

Frame is a powerhouse when one needs that extra boost in performance. Doesn’t matter if it’s heavy modeling, rendering or anything else. Frame can take care of it easily. I’ve used it on multiple projects (rendering mainly) and it has got me through tight schedules many times. As Adam said already, lag is quite a big issue. Closest server to me is 1200 miles away (unlucky me!) and it’s nearly impossible to model and move anything around in 3D space without saying a bad word from time to time. You get the job done eventually, but lag is a total mood killer.


Late to this party.

Tambet, regarding cloud based CAD, which ones are you talking about? Fusion needs local hardware so performance will be relative to your hardware. Onshape all the real stuff gets done on the server so that is “infinitely” scalable but it does rely on your local hardware to render the graphics.

Regarding your connection to Frame, where are you connecting from and to? What kind of connection do you have and what latency are you seeing? I’m in California and still have pretty good performance connecting to an instance in VA. But it is dependent on things like your internet connection and sometimes your system or browser.