Onshape features useful for laser projects


For those who don’t know, Onshape is a relatively new parametric 3D CAD program that runs in the cloud and is similar to Solidworks, Fusion 360, and other CAD products. They recently introduced a scripting language that lets others develop enhanced or new features for the product and a couple of the ones created recently looked useful for GF users.

This one lets the user easily create T-slot joints that creates the cut features needed to use bolts to connect walls and bottoms together in a box-type design.

And this one lets you created slots and finger joints for tabbed features where flat sheets are connected perpendicular to each other.

Key design parameters can used via a dialog box for both of them to change the slot and joint specs at will. I’m really looking forward to trying this out.


Ah, this will be useful. Thanks, Mike.


I am a heavy OnShape user for 3D part design (note, it is a company founded by the original creators of SolidWorks here in Cambridge MA) and love it. I love that it works on my iPhone, iPad, any desktop with a browser (not IE) anywhere, and with the students in my lab we can simultaneously work on the same document live (takes a bit of getting used to things moving around in realtime). FeatureScript is such a powerful new addition, and is already opening a whole burgeoning market in custom features (almost faster than you can keep up in the forums). Think OpenSCAD with a GUI when you think of FeatureScript.


@henryhbk - have you used FeatureScript much? I’ve been procrastinating on digging into it.


No, as I’ve been up to my ears with a big software version release and frantically trying to get some 3D designs done for some projects with my 3D printers cranking away continuously… But have been talking with a bunch of the folks who make some of the feature script features you can add in, and looking at their code. Doesn’t look hard to program in (i mean any harder than other 3D programming paradigms are)


It’s been 20+ years since I coded anything and that was in Basic. Programming ease might be a matter of some dispute, though perserverence should pay some dividends.


The one thing I will say for OnShape is they really do think of documentation primarily. Most other companies do it as an afterthought. They always have great tutorials, and the forums are amazing.

I would start: https://cad.onshape.com/FsDoc/

But I have always found once you have a basic grasp of how a language works, that taking an example program (and there are many on the website and forums) and modifying it to see what happens is best (I learn more from failing generally). The primary purpose of the reference material is to answer things like “what are the parameters to the blahBlahBlah() function” rather than learning solutions to problems.


And by the way the first tutorial is actually how to create a tool for making laser-cut slots in parts. So has immediate applicability to GF users…


That will be a big benefit. Learning works best for me when there is a practical problem to be solved.