Announcing its news at the COFES 2015 event in Scottsdale, Arizona, Boston area startup, OnShape and Germany’s Graebert have announced that the two companies have entered into a long-term development and licensing agreement to embed new Cloud-based CAD technology from Graebert directly into the just-annonced OnShape Cloud CAD platform.
A Drawing Module
Currently the new OnShape doesn’t have a true drawing module but it is currently under development and it is powered by Graebert’s new Cloud-based CAD technology, itself quietly progressing in the labs in Germany for three years.
Graebert’s Cloud-CAD technology is code named “Xenon” and is nearing its first stages of readiness for the market. Typical of the German company, Graebert—which is setup as a technology company and CAD OEM provider—looks to be developing cloud-CAD technology for OEM distribution as well.
OnShape is the first company to use Xenon, benefitting from a custom version of the platform to satisfy its specific CAD requirements and offer its users a seamless, Cloud-based integration between 2D drawings and 3D models.
“Graebert GmbH is renowned throughout the CAD industry as a world-leading technology partner for CAD on desktop, mobile, and now Cloud,” said Jon Hirschtick, founder and Chairman of the Board of Onshape Inc. “We are very excited by our new partnership and have also selected Graebert to be one of the very first of our technology partners invited to use the new Onshape API and to present with us here at COFES. This is a huge win for our customers, and proof that the future of CAD is in the Cloud.”
The companies have not released any more specifics about when these Graebert technologies will avail themselves to OnShape’s new users. Since OnShape is a pure web-based cloud CAD application, new features are rolled out continuously as they are ready for prime time.
This is an interesting development on multiple fronts. For starters, Graebert’s cloud-CAD technology code named “Xenon” seems to have been a well-kept secret. It is also a name readers may think sounds familiar, as it is a product name by Ashlar.
OnShape has done a wonderful job of stirring up top press with its new cloud-based CAD platform for the MCAD market. So this news brings additional big focus on itself and its newest partner.
OnShape’s main rival, perhaps, is Autodesk’s Fusion 360 platform, itself a hot new focus within the product design market space. Since DWG 2D CAD files are still an important linqua franca within the industrial markets, it only makes sense that OnShape would desire to provide this essential capability on its new cloud platform. Choosing to license and adopt Graebert’s specific technology is a strong endorsement for the Berlin-based company. And in the weeks ahead it will be interesting to learn more about what Graebert’s project Xenon is all about and how they plan to take it to the market.
Finally, if the discovery that Graebert has been working hard on a cloud-based CAD solution isn’t again more proof of where CAD is ultimately headed, it should be. People want to be able to work (at various levels) from anywhere on a multitude of hardware platforms. Yet the central value to the cloud is more than just “availability” to your design data; the winners will likely be the players who bring high-value to collaboration, stake-holder review, input and participation (e.g.: think Fortune 1000 marketing departments fast-tracking their efforts on unreleased new products…), and a continued liberation from the end-user’s perspective of old-time demands on required equipment, platforms and software version compatibility and maintenance. On that last point, cloud-based software make that all go away. You are always working with the latest version.