For years, product designers have been anchored to their offices, forced to use a desktop workstation powerful enough to handle the compute-intensive calculations and graphics for 3D solid modeling. Computer-Aided Design (CAD) users who wanted to work on their mobile devices were out of luck; their phones and tablets could only serve as glorified viewers.
Today, however, engineers and designers are free to work wherever they please. Onshape, the first full-cloud professional 3D CAD system to run on mobile devices, has developed its iOS app specifically with iPad Pro and Apple Pencil in mind.
Precision is critical in product design as every 3D model will eventually be manufactured. Onshape’s new “Force Zoom” feature takes advantage of the pressure-sensitive Apple Pencil, which can isolate even a single pixel. When CAD users want to select a particular piece of 3D geometry, applying pressure to Pencil will zoom in and enlarge smaller features. The harder they press the screen, the tighter the zoom. Releasing the pressure will restore the screen to its original view.
“A sizeable percentage of our professional customers are heavy mobile users,” says Onshape founder and Chairman Jon Hirschtick. “Apple Pencil lends itself beautifully to a two-handed workflow. You can rotate or pan a model with one hand and use Pencil to sketch, select and interact with your 3D models. Onshape and iPad Pro will transform the way engineers work.”
“With iPad Pro’s portability, tremendous graphics power, and CAD-friendly screen, we almost feel like Apple created this device just for us and our users.”
The Onshape for iPhone & iPad App is available for free in the Apple App Store.
Professional Onshape users are also embracing iPad Pro’s multitasking features such as Split View, Picture in Picture, and Slide Over – which allow for quickly switching back and forth between apps or websites.
“I really like using Split View with Onshape,” says Coleman Fisher, a product development engineer for Elite Ortho, a Tennessee-based orthodontics company. “It’s easy to look up specifications from a supplier catalog and work on a model at the same time.”
“Onshape’s performance on iPad Pro is faster than on my desktop,” he adds. “I feel more connected to what I am designing. There’s this ethereal block between me and a computer screen versus when I’m holding my iPad and interacting with it with my hands and my fingers – it’s a different experience and my creativity just flows better that way.”