Solved: Will CAD move onto the cloud?

It seems to me that with a better web HTML5 et al. + better 3D rendering in browsers that it may be soon. What enables it, and what’s stopping it?

I see companies like Onshape ( promoting themselves as the ‘only Cloud CAD solution’. Is this really viable?

Here’s a video I watched about Understanding Full Cloud CAD and Onshape on Youtube to show you want I mean.

Asked on January 16, 2017 in AutoCAD.

I think one of the issues holding this back will be cross compatibility of browsers, OS etc. There’s a lot more controls with a downloaded software package.

I know myself my Chrome often runs out of memory even with a few Chrome extensions.. so I could imagine it happening but it will need to be with a dedicated browser perhaps which only runs the CAD app and removes all the bloatware associated with today’s browsers?

Cloud based delivery is an exciting concept though as we’d be able to share our files easier and have ‘remote rendering’. It could be a game changer. There’s software like PhotoView 360 for SolidWorks which does network rendering and Autodesk 3DS networking rendering is available too.

Next stop cloud rendering.. Those OnShape guys are first, but I am sure they won’t be the last.

on January 16, 2017.
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Being on the cloud does not mean that, it must be through the browser,

RE: Will CAD move onto the cloud?

According to wikipedia:

Cloud computing is a type of Internet-based computing that provides shared computer processing resources and data to computers and other devices on demand. It is a model for enabling ubiquitous, on-demand access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., computer networks, servers, storage, applications and services), which can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort. Cloud computing and storage solutions provide users and enterprises with various capabilities to store and process their data in either privately owned, or third-party data centers that may be located far from the user–ranging in distance from across a city to across the world. Cloud computing relies on sharing of resources to achieve coherence and economy of scale, similar to a utility (like the electricity grid) over an electricity network.

So, being on the cloud means you do not have to pay for a fancy computer with the latest GPU and Processor to have the quality and performance that you would like, it also means that you do not have to download large sized (Gigabits) of software to use it, it means that the software can be accessible anytime from (ideally) any device with great compatibility and performance;

That been said, there are actually several choices for cloud computing including:

RE: Will CAD move onto the cloud?

AutoDesk Fusion360 – Fusion 360 combines industrial and mechanical design with collaboration in an easy-to-use, affordable cloud-based 3D CAD tool.

AutoDesk A360 – A360 is a cloud collaboration tool that helps engineers and designers view, share, review, and find 2D and 3D design and project files in one central workspace.

Autodesk AutoCAD – The free AutoCAD 360 app lets you redline drawings on-site, store files in the cloud, collaborate in real time, and share DWG™ files.

Autodesk TinkerCAD – Tinkercad is a free online 3D modeling tool for hobbyists, teachers, and students of all ages. Make home decor, toys, Minecraft models, and more.

For More information :


Answered on January 16, 2017.
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There are web based systems out there like and i have used Autodesks Autocad WS when it was available. Generally i think there is nothing stopping it other than some design hurdles and user demand. If some one packages a product as being equivalent to a terminal install i don’t think a web version is quite powerful enough yet. so users looking for the full Monty arent going to be happy with it so thats one issue.

Another issue is that there several workflows based off of older systems so the new tools have to be out there and fully functional in order for them to be reliably adopted. Its a chicken and egg kind of thing.

Also when it comes to the cloud you have the ever present issue of connectivity. I’m frequently in an area with a compromised connectivity. So adoption of cloud system will only be in place where there are no concerns with connectivity.

I think the cloud is a viable option but adoption will take a while and there are some legit concerns about a couple aspects that make investing in the technology a little bit of a gamble for some firms.

Answered on January 16, 2017.
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OnShape Offers complete Cloud Based CAD Solutions –

Here’s How it works in 14-minutes SOLID:

Answered on January 16, 2017.
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Yes, all of CAD software will move to the cloud, it’s just a matter of time.

If there’s a benefit – for either the developers or the users – to move the software to being cloud-based then it will happen.

Of course, there’s already a lot of CAD services which are predominantly cloud-based. The one that makes the most sense to me currently is those which are sharing files and enabling collaborative comments such as GrabCAD’s Workbench.

The services which are still currently best suited for running natively on PCs are those which involve complex CAD design and modelling. This requires a lot of computing power. It’s not possible to do this cost-efficiently on a server currently. But Moore’s Law tells us it’s just a matter of time!


Answered on January 16, 2017.
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Offline CAD software is really, no I mean really, really, really hard to make and we are not even talking about lines of codes, we are talking about the mathematics going in the background and the tweaks that avoids bulky or slow code, and memory optimized code, even after all this work, you still end up with a software that requires a BEAST hardware to work on, that’s only for one user, now imagine we need a hardware solution to serve 1000+ Active users (Minimum requirement for a startup); you get the idea…

Here’s why there are not that much of software relying on Cloud Business model:


Answered on January 16, 2017.
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My guess is yes, not only because of technologies like HTML5 and WebGL, now that some cloud providers (like Amazon) offer GPU instances. This actually can be done at the enterprise level.

WebGL is a direct link to operating system’s OpenGL library, and this enables web applications to render very heavy stuff on a web page. But it might take some time until someone will offer a solid CAD solution, because WebGL is still young and supported only by beta browsers.

But you don’t actually need a browser to use CAD software. You can just run a Windows/Linux instance in the cloud, and connect rendering to GPU instances or something like that.

Answered on December 13, 2017.

Great answer.

on September 9, 2018.
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