PTC Acquires OnShape

Anyone, everytime something they like gets bought: Boy. I hope they don’t change anything.

Same people, after everything is changed: Well dang, it looked promising there for a while.

Everybody else: Yeah, we knew it was going to happen…

Buyer: :supervillain: :moneybag:

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The other side of that coin is PTC used to make pro/engineer. I freaking loved that software and almost got a job at Caterpillar just because I could use it when anyone younger than me only ever used Solidworks.

They used to be the top dogs, super easy to use compared to anything else. I can only hope they use this to open onshape back up a bit to the hobby market to get a foothold again. Fingers crossed. Onshape is almost exactly solidworks though so we’ll see how that works out.

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From the press release, it sounded to me more like they were trying to adjust to the new software business world. Buying onshape because it is a SaaS. I didn’t see much of anything about community, hobby, makers, etc. So I wouldn’t be surprised if it got better for businesses and worse for hobbyists (which is maybe understandable, but also sucks for me).

Way back in 1997, Hirschtick sold his 3D CAD desktop firm, SOLIDWORKS, to Dassault Systèmes for $310 million. With PTC’s announcement last week of the acquisition of Hirschtick’s newest creation—the cloud CAD company Onshape for $470 million—this is the second time he has succeeded in selling a unique CAD company.

There you go. That must be why. The rest of the article was pretty much marketing garbage.

The only ray of hope is that fusion is still sort of free. So they will hopefully want to keep that door open, and look at it as marketing expense for the rest of the PTC software, instead of just trying to make OnShape work on it’s own, with it’s free customers…


Makes a lot of sense for PTC to get this type of intellectual property. Makes a lot more sense that Onshape gets bought out after this initial development. Would really be hard for them to build up a bigger user base I’d say.

I really like Onshape. Went and poked around in Fusion today and got overwhelmed with the interface options and trying to understand the icons. Always felt frustrated with it Fusion still has that desktop app feel to it and that means it takes so much longer to access features unless you get really adapt at keyboard shortcuts and familiar with features and names of things.

Onshape is leaner as a user interface all around. Can’t say much for final capabilities but for making 3D printer models, it is absolutely a joy for me. But opened Fusion because I want to see if the CAM part is worth my getting into some day. Onshape is still pay for CAM.

Will be interesting to see what shakes out for hobbyists.


Dang I just looked at the pricing on that. 1500/yr Dam. That sucks but it is better than solidworks for two reasons. Solidworks has an initial up front cost and you have to go through skeezy resellers to get it. They hound you non-stop for other things, classes, certifications, updates, renewals months and months in advance. The yearly cost after that is about the same. I bet they would knock it out of the park at $1k/yr.

I also noticed they have a revision tree…like git, cool!

(don’t tell heffe I like git)

At $1500/yr. it would probably cost me $50 each time I opened it. I will learn openscad or freecad at those prices.