Onshape changes terms of service

Tom Sanladerer has a good video on the recent change in Onshape’s user agreement.

  1. Designs can’t be used for commercial purposes
  2. Designs become de facto public domain

Yes. Fusion360 is an option.
Yes. Many people will say that Fusion360 is better.
Yes. Many will say that Fusion360 doesn’t do this to your designs.

Onshape’s main utility for me is its platform agnosticism. I can go from Linux, to iOS to Windows and work on whatever device I happen to be at without giving it a second thought.

I am very happy it has been free for me. The gravy train may be over. I was planning on selling an item that I designed in Onshape.



Designs becoming public domain would be the deal breaker for me, but that might be their way of trying to convince more users to pay for the Standard license. Their subscription cost is out of line though, even if using it commercially and making an income.

Fusion 360 did release a browser option for preview some time ago. I haven’t tried it nor have I paid attention to see if they still have it available.

On the flip side, AutoDESK has lost a half BILLION dollars per year over the last couple years and obviously can’t keep up that rate. Fusion could see the same fate.


Hope not. My renewal comes up next week. :neutral_face:

Yeah, good idea but mostly useless to me because it won’t work with any mobile browser. If it did I’d use it on my iPad all the time.

Well crap! I wish that they’d take a few dollars from each of use amateurs and plug that hole, I need them to stay solvent.


This seems like opposite things to me. If it is Public Domain then it can be used for anything if not then are you the only one who can’t sell your own designs? If you made the thing under the old rules how is it that you have to abide to the new rules?

My old favorite site for open texturing imagery changed to that you could not use the textures in Second Life where I had dozens of designs using their textures. As these were mostly things like bricks or wood etc knowing what came from them would be hard, much less what came from when. So I simply stopped using them. but all stuff downloaded before was still under the old rules.


IANAL, and I wouldn’t find it worth the risk, time and effort to fight OnShape, but these two requirements are in conflict with each other, and I would expect would not be enforceable by law.


There revenue is half a billion per year. I believe there loss is ONLY $100-200million per year :wink:.
There stock price went up earlier this year because they didn’t lose as much as people thought! Thats good?

Edit: I was wrong.


I never used Onshape. This will make me less likely to use it. I can see some aspects of it, but I’d rather use Fusion360 and retain ownership of my designs, in case I do ever want to make something commercial.


Oh well. I was going to learn OnShape just because, but now won’t bother.

I always gravitate back toward Autodesk products like F360 since starting on early versions of AutoCAD way back when.

Is anybody out there using DesignSpark Mechanical or FreeCAD? Both look interesting enough to try out. FreeCAD will save as SVG too, so that might work well with a GF workflow. Neither is browser based though.

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No, their revenue is over 2B and net income was -566M.


Oh dang, I stand corrected.
That’s what I get for reading an article instead of looking at numbers. I should have know better as an engineer, numbers mean more than words. :grin:


In one sense yes for all the freeriders. But anyone with a commercial license for the software would be free to use them, is how I read it.

Until accountants or statisticians get hold of them. Then you can never really know.


I learned onshape a little, and was always intending to learn it more, but this pretty much knocks that even off the back burner. Because I don’t want to worry about whether designing something that supports some job I do constitutes a commercial purpose.

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Hahaha. I had this discussion with my old Business Development guy at my old company.

Business Development Guy: “Can you modify the correction factor to make it look like the customer wants.”

Me: “I can make the numbers say anything I want. I won’t do that, because that’s not what the data is showing us.”

Needless to say, we didn’t get along. My boss loved me though.


Back when I was in software dev, the management was always pushing us to cut corners, skip documenting, get stuff out faster. We kept telling them they didn’t pay us enough to write crappy code. They would just look at us with this sort of baffled expression for a moment, then move on. Apparently they were completely unable to grasp the concept of finding one’s work rewarding in itself.

They must live very unsatisfying lives.


I’m stuck in contract hell at work at the moment–trying to negotiate work with a client–so I took a few minutes to look at the Onshape terms.

It’s not as much of a conflict as I thought reading your original post. Yes, the terms below do essentially put Public Documents created by Free users in a de facto Public Domain state, but there’s nothing here that seems to be unreasonable from a legal standpoint. From a user standpoint, I would stay away from OnShape based on this.

  1. For any new Public Document owned by a Free user created on or after August 7th, 2018, or any Public Document created prior to that date without a LICENSE tab, Customer grants a worldwide, royalty- free and non-exclusive license to any End User or third party accessing the Public Document to use the intellectual property contained in Customer’s Public Document without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Document, and to permit persons to whom the Document is made available to do the same.

I watched that video and I think that that was very “uncool” of them to kick tom out.

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I am ok with making my documents fair game for anyone. I just think denying any commercial use is a bit harsh. Again, I’m a freeloader and want to remain that way. However, I can negotiate.

Definitely is too bad for Tom. I’m sure he has gotten thousands of folks up and printing, enabling lots of others to make money because he does such a good job. I’d figure some tiered pricing might be in order for someone like him. I would buy a monthly subscription. Just not that much.


or even try not to over price their stuff

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