I’m an engineer. As such I am no stranger to CAD software. Also, whenever I interview one of my strong points is that I can learn just about any piece of software quickly… but I’m finding that to be less and less true as time goes on.
I started CAD using Bentley Microstation in school. As soon as I graduated I transitioned to AutoCAD and never looked back. I am strictly 2D, but when I got my 3D printer a couple years ago I started learning 3D design. I did ok at it. I am finding myself less successful when it comes to designing 3D objects for 2D printing however… so I thought I would try out some other pieces of software.
I decided to focus on OnShape. It seems like a relatively easy piece of software, and based on the demos and such it looks like everything is pretty much automatic. However, I’m having a hard time reconciling the “sketch” vs “shape”. I get that I need to draw a rectangle sketch and then extrude it to a shape. But I can’t figure out the interaction between sketches and existing shapes. Example, I have a shell (roughly a 3"x3"x4" box with 1/8" thick walls). I want to split that shell into two pieces, a lid and base to make a box. I don’t want a straight-line however, I want an angled edge to my box. Here’s the part in Onshape:
And here’s the part with the cutting plane that I would like drawn in…
(I drew this in BlueBeam).
I can’t figure out how to do this in Onshape for the life of me. Heck, I can’t even figure out how to snap the sketch for the cutting plane to the existing object. It is very frustrating. I suppose perseverance and devouring any and all videos that I can find are probably the key. I am relatively certain that, as limited as my 3D AutoCAD skills are, I could probably whip this out pretty quickly.
Have I finally become the “old guy” struggling with new software like this? So stuck in my ways that I can’t fathom another way of doing it? How much AutoCAD do I need to unlearn in order to be successful with Onshape? I had similar issues with a project that required Microstation a few years ago. I’m so ingrained in AutoCAD now that it took forever for me to get back into MS and figure out how to do things that are SO easy in ACAD.
What really gets me is that this 3d stuff is simply for the purposes of modelling and visualizing because the final product is a 2d sheet. So really I’m trying to learn all of this when it really isn’t strictly necessary.
Still, I’d like to be able to utilize this great tool, particularly being able to design in the Cloud so I can do it at home or work, where with ACAD I can design in both places, but I have to copy the file into Google Drive, etc… So are there any decent tutorials out there for Onshape that I haven’t found yet? Do I just need to plug along trying things out as I go?
Here’s the link to the Onshape file.