Skip to content or navigation

Innovative cloud-based MCAD app ‘Onshape’ will be compatible with Apple iPad Pro

Onshape, being the only professional 3D CAD system running on iPads and iPhones, will be the perfect match for the new business focused iPad Pro 12.9 inch screen with increased compute and graphics power when it is released in November.


Cambridge, Massachusetts, based Onshape is just as excited about the new Apple iPad Pro and its giant screen—that rivals laptops—as the rest of the population. Traditionally, designers and engineers who use CAD have been confined to their office desktop or mobile computers to express their ideas. Those days seem to be over.

CAD for mobile devices

The latest fad in the CAD world is the ability to have CAD on-the-go and with Onshape having the ability to work on any mobile device already, it will allow engineers to continue their inspirations wherever they are. In other words, Onshape excels at meeting the anywhere, any device access to cloud-based computing.

Mechanical engineer Christian Stark, who is using Onshape to create a precise 3D CAD model of the historic Schooner Zodiac in Bellingham, Washington, says he finds Onshape for iPad to be invaluable for his restoration effort.

“The original plans were lost in a fire. Using Onshape for iPad, I can take measurements and edit the 3D model as I crawl around the boat,” Stark says. “It’s amazing what you can do. There isn’t any other CAD system that lets you do this.” He also adds, “Onshape also gives me the opportunity to quickly show and share the model with other team members”.

Taking a fresh approach to CAD for mobile devices, the Onshape development team created a precise touch-screen interface that replaces traditional keyboard and mouse interactions. Every CAD command and action is controlled with a swipe or tap of your finger.

01 - The Increased precision of the iPad Pro's touch screen makes it an ideal platform for Onshape.

01 – The Increased precision of the iPad Pro’s touch screen makes it an ideal platform for Onshape.

“Desktop-installed CAD systems are extremely limited on mobile right now,” says Ravi Reddy, team lead for Onshape Mobile. “We rejected the idea of providing a view-only version of CAD or just offering a subset of features. We were determined to build a full CAD product that can be used anywhere and from any device.” He adds “We made sketching easy with touch-based finger offset tools and we also created intuitive lock and unlock modes to help with pan, zoom, and rotate operations for sketching and assemblies.”

Being platform agnostic

Onshape is platform agnostic, working on Macs, PCs and Chromebooks, on MacOS, Windows, and Linux on all major browsers as well as natively on Android and iOS phones and tablets. Onshape for iPhone and iPad apps can be downloaded free now at the Apple Store.

Reddy says he’s looking forward to seeing many more engineers and designers use CAD on a tablet: “We believe Apple is going after enterprise and content creation apps with the iPad Pro and Onshape is well positioned to take full advantage of this development.”

CAD users interested in learning more about how to design on their iPad or iPhone can visit

About Onshape

Onshape is the only company in the world 100% focused on cloud and mobile CAD, offering the first and only professional 3D CAD system that lets everyone on a design team work together using any web browser, phone, or tablet. Breaking away from the traditional model of desktop-installed CAD, Onshape has data management and collaboration built in at its core.

For the first time, the CAD system and CAD data live in one place in the cloud, and are never copied anywhere. Everyone on a design team sees and works on the same master CAD data at all times, avoiding confusing checkouts, file copies, and overwriting each other’s work.

Full-cloud Onshape also eliminates the hassles of installations, license codes and servers, service packs, and add-on PDM systems. Every Onshape user always works with the same version of Onshape – the latest version.

Companies worldwide rely on Onshape today to speed up the design of consumer electronics, mechanical machinery, medical devices, machine parts, industrial equipment, and many other products. Onshape’s Free Plan also makes it the ideal CAD choice for students and educators to collaborate inside and outside the classroom.

Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Onshape includes key members of the original SolidWorks team plus elite engineers from the cloud, data security and mobile industries.

Reader Comments

Comments for this story are closed


INSIDER Xpresso 
Monthly newsletter with a focus on emTech (AI, machine learning, AAD, AR, robotics, 3d printing, and smart cities) its impact on CAD professionals.)

Subscribe now — it’s free!.

INSIDER Xpresso keeps CAD industry professionals up-to-date on next-gen emerging technologies (emTech) that will revolutionize the worlds of AEC and manufacturing and design. As an Xpresso reader, you will hear from some of the most important voices inventing and using the very latest tech in areas such as AI, machine learning, algorithm-aided design (AAD), AR, VR, MR, 3D printing, 3D computer vision, robotics, and SmartCities technologies.

Each issue arrives in your inbox on the first Sunday of the month. Issue #1 arrived on March 3, 2019. Full archives and easy navigation for your pleasure. Enjoy! 

Sign-up for our monthly newsletter
architosh INSIDER Xpresso.

  • Architosh will never pass any of your information onto third parties.
  • For more information read our privacy policy.
  • It is easy to unsubscribe at any time. Follow the links in the newletter footer.

(Recommended. These infrequent sponsored emails help us to provide our Xpresso newsletter for free.)

INSIDER Membership

Read 3 free Feature or Analysis articles per month.

Or, subscribe now for unlimited full access to Architosh.