Mechanical Design: Onshape

Onshape is a 100% cloud based collaborative CAD product. It's what the Pearce Robotics Club uses for designing and refining robots.

Get Onshape

Create a Free Educational Account.

    1. Go to
    2. and Click on Sign Up Now
    3. Fill in the form with your Personal or RISD Email information (remember which email you used you will need this 2 more times)
      1. Select Student
      2. Select your Grade Level as Grade School(K-12)
      3. For the School information fill in the following
        1. School Name: J. J. Pearce High School
        2. School Website URL :
        3. City: Richardson
        4. Region/State: Texas
        5. Country: United States
        6. Select your Expected Graduation Year
        7. and say you are using Onshape for: Robotics
        8. Agree to the 3 EULA questions
        9. Click SIGN UP NOW
    4. Check the email you used in step 3
    5. Open Onshape account activation email and click the link to activate your account.
    6. Create a username and password on the form.

Join the Pearce Robotics Onshape Team

    1. Send an email from the email account you used to sign up for Onshape to with the subject line "Onshape add account"

I Can't login / It doesn't load / It's not working!!

    1. Go to and let it load
    2. Use Snip to take a picture of it and send that picture to with the subject line "OnShape Doesn't Work"

Take the training for Onshape

Bare Basics

(it is suggested ALL Pearce Robotics Members take these training just to be able to communicate and work with the mechanical team)

    1. Fundamentals 1: Navigating Onshape - Master how to use Onshape Documents and navigate the Onshape interface efficiently
    2. Fundamentals 7: Document Management - Learn techniques to keep your data organized and manageable

Fundamental CAD Training (Onshape provided - Certificate eligible)

required for all design and mechanical team members, you will need to be signed in to onshape to take these.

    1. Fundamentals 1: Navigating Onshape - Master how to use Onshape Documents and navigate the Onshape interface efficiently
    2. Fundamentals 2: Sketching- Learn the basics of sketching in Onshape
    3. Fundamentals 3: Part Design Using Part Studios - Learn the basic features used to create parts in Onshape’s Part Studios
    4. Fundamentals 4: Multi-Part Part Studios - Master modeling in Onshape’s unique Part Studio environment for true top-down design
  1. Fundamentals 5: Onshape Assemblies - Create Onshape assemblies using high-level mates
    1. Fundamentals 6: Detailed Drawings - Learn how to detail 2D drawings in Onshape's drawing package (Required for Machining Parts)
    2. Fundamentals 8: Importing and Exporting Data - Import 3D CAD data as well as other relevant project data, and export your Onshape data ( Required for CNC tools xCarve, MakerBot, Markforged, and the Epilogue Laser Cutter )

Fundamental Data Management Training (Onshape Provided - Certificate eligible)

Required for all design and mechanical team leaders

    1. Fundamentals 7: Document Management - Learn techniques to keep your data organized and manageable
    2. Fundamentals 9: Sharing and Collaboration - Learn how to share and collaborate using Onshape Documents
    3. Fundamentals 10: Document History and Versions - Learn how to use Onshape’s Document history and built-in version control
    4. Fundamentals 11: Branching and Merging - Learn how to create and use different Workspaces in a Document
    5. Fundamentals 12: External References - Learn best practices for linking data from from one Onshape Document to another

Intermediate Onshape Training - Part Configurations (Onshape Provided - Certificate eligible)

Once you have the basics down we recommend you learn about part configurations. this helps you make a part once then make minor changes to it if you need to change it in the future.

    1. Introduction to Part Configurations - Understand the power of modeling part configurations in Onshape by creating multiple table inputs to configure different parameters independently.
    2. Advanced Part Configurations - Expand your understanding of Onshape’s part configurations and learn best practices surrounding advanced configuration techniques.

Advanced Onshape Training (Onshape webinars)

Once you have the basics, there are some advanced features that can really make your designs easy.

    1. Simultaneous Bill of Materials in Onshape(2018) - learn how to create a easy auto-updating Bill of Materials in Onshape.
    2. Advanced Assembly Motion in Onshape (2018) - learn how to create articulated assembly with motion mates.
    3. Masterclass - 5 Expert Modeling Skills You Never Knew You Needed (2017) - In this webinar, you will take a behind the scenes look at what makes 3D CAD work and learn 5 important sketching and modeling tips that will help you build robust 3D models.
    4. Standard Content in Onshape (2018) - Insert standard parts in to your documents ( bolts, nuts, screws, washers)

Onshape Sheet Metal

We use sheet metal more than you think. poly-carbonate sheets laser-cut wood, it all uses sheet metal construction.

    1. Simultaneous Sheet Metal - Explore Onshape’s simultaneous sheet metal tools and learn how to use the folded, flat, and table views to be sure your design is manufacturable.
    2. Tips for Working with Sheet Metal Flat Patterns in Onshape - This webinar focused on all the tips you need to know to work with sheet metal flat patterns in Onshape. Topics covered included creating features in the sheet metal flat pattern, exporting to DXF/DWG, and more.

How to make a good engineering drawing

After you have taken Fundamentals 6: Detailed Drawings to improve your ability in the shop you may want to get better at making Engineering Drawings

    1. Reading Engineering Drawings - This video discusses the basics of reading engineering drawings. It covers several fundamental topics; the layout of the drawing, the title block, first VS third angle projection, orthogonal versus isometric views, assembly drawings, exploded views, section views and detailed views
    2. Geometric Dimensions and Tolerance - The basic rules of setting up a part using geometric dimension and tolerancing.
    3. Gauges, Dimensioning and Errors - The dimensioning methods for technical drawings (chain vs baseline) and the gauging (attribute vs variable) and the types of errors that come with both.

Additional Resources