FIRST Robotics Competition Blog

Learn CAD with New Onshape Resources

Nov 07, 2022 Written by Drew Bennett, PTC Education Solutions Engineer and FIRST Robotics Competition Team 4564 Alumnus




Using CAD software is a great way to design your FIRST® Robotics Competition robots! Designing your robot in a digital format allows you to detail out parts and assemblies and identify possible issues before they happen in real life. It’s also a great way for individuals to present their ideas for robot subsystems.

If your team is looking for a CAD and data management solution for this season, Onshape is a free, cloud-based, collaborative CAD software that can be used on any device, including Macs and Chromebooks. Onshape is a popular choice for FIRST® teams because it allows real-time collaboration, detailed version control, and built-in PDM for seamless file management. It also makes it easy to access your documents and design with your teammates regardless of where or when you want to work. Creating an Onshape account is fast and easy, and you can sign up here!


Building Skills with Onshape Learning Resources

If you or your team wants to learn more about CAD and how it can improve your team’s design process, check out these resources:

  1. If you’re new to CAD, check out the self-paced CAD Basics learning pathway with short videos and exercises.
  2. If you have some CAD experience and want to improve your Onshape workflow, the self-paced Onshape Fundamentals: CAD learning pathway will provide great guidance.
  3. If you teach a robotics course or run team trainings, we have developed a curriculum that may be of interest to your team. Check out the lessons we have released here - CAD For Robotics Competitions curriculum!
  4. The FIRST Robotics Competition community has put together some amazing resources for using Onshape - make sure to check out the MKCAD App for all of your COTS model needs as well as for some more helpful tips and tutorials!

PTC also continues to offer a number of other CAD and collaboration tools for teams. If you’re interested in using other software that PTC offers to FIRST students and mentors such as PTC Creo, Mathcad, or Vuforia, you can learn more here.


Best of luck in the 2023 CHARGED UPSM presented by Haas season, and we can’t wait to see what you design and create!

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