OnShape is a brand new creation from the original team that built out SolidWorks. This is sort of a combination of the concepts that makes Google Docs great mated with a world class solids modeling package. We can finally do all of these things in the browser and run it on something as low power as a cell phone.

With a tool like this and the proliferation of inexpensive 3D printers, it’s hard to see this as anything except a major game changer. Collaborating on the same 3D document in real time is something nobody’s done before. The most welcome thing to me is branching and merging within a solids file. Merging changes in larger 3D packages has always been a chore and collaboration on a document like this could not exist without seamless merges.

I can’t tell you how many times a designer would start a feature, try to refine it, hate the results and revert to an earlier file. It’s insane to me that nobody has done this before with solids modeling.

I’ve recently taken a dive into RC aircraft and I can’t wait to see someone use this to design frames, components, gimbals or anything else with this tool and then open it up for collaboration. The idea that I can fork someone’s hardware design, add a component or feature all in the browser is pretty unreal. Add a 3D printer and you have Github for hardware.

CAD modeling on an iPad. We live in the damn future.