Cloud or no Cloud! That is the question!

Cloud or no Cloud! That is the question!

Two decades ago designers were a harried lot! Drafting meant spending night after night making designs on tons of paper and leaving a long paper trail while printing them.

CAD has certainly come a long way over the years as it has evolved and adapted itself to the changing needs of the user and business community. Although CAD has ushered in a discernable amount of freedom from the paper menace, it is Cloud that is being hailed as the harbinger of new possibilities to the CAD community. Cloud is being welcomed because of the ever-present and growing need to simply simplify how things are done for greater efficiency and accuracy.

The buzz is – Cloud is the evangelist who will transform the way business is done and will create new markets for its users.  This is because collaborating across teams, locations and skills have become crucial for the success of projects and products. Cloud-based programs and tools offer the required flexibility to let your teams work any time and on any device with internet connection and take advantage of the colossal computational power of the cloud.  If you have struggled with real-time data accessibility during on-the-go business situations, here’s how cloud-based tools can make a difference.

Why cloud works for you!

As you know, CAD software is loaded on CAD workstations or local network servers, however, Cloud CAD is resident in a cloud and can be run remotely by approved professional via the internet. This offers the multitude of advantages to companies hungry for quick expansion and looking for ways to optimize on resources.

CAD on Cloud helps to cut costs because it reduces the need to purchase and maintain workstations. Full cloud CAD is device friendly whether tablet or phone unlike the Desktop CAD and runs on any web browser. Since the data is stored in the cloud, it can be easily accessed and shared and takes away the confusion of multiple copies with multiple users, resulting in higher efficiency and productivity. You can do more when you are on the cloud!

Cloud does away the hassle of licensing CAD software on individual workstations. If you are a young company and upfront license costs weigh you down you will find many cloud-based tools follow the subscription-based model and you can get professional CAD and data management with no downloads or installs. Spend what you can and more importantly what you need!

Today, distributed teams in different locations in the country or even outside the country is a reality.  With the cloud, designers can work simultaneously on the same design. In fact, this collaboration between different users makes cloud-based tools exceptional. For example, in the construction domain, the cloud-based software allows concurrent and easy access to design modifications to field engineers as everyone is looking at the same file.

That’s not all; this benefit of concurrent access can be extended to your suppliers, customers and partners who will all be working on the same version of the CAD. A great way to bring in synchronicity and increase efficiency.

Finally, Cloud CAD will help you do your bit for the environment too – you can minimize your carbon footprint and save on energy bills!

Cloud-based tools you should know about!

Fusion 360 is a cloud-based user-friendly 3D modeling software tool with professional capabilities.  It runs on both Mac and Windows and is fairly lightweight for installing (800 MB). It allows easy file sharing, version control, import/export of common CAD file types, and has powerful parametric tools and analytic mesh tools that are well-suited to the challenges in designing (for example) low-cost prosthetics.

Vectary is easy to use cloud-based tools which allows you to make complex surfaces and shapes using sliders, handles, and choices. Models are stored in the cloud and can be accessed by any latest browser. It makes data sharing effortless and painless for clients. is a cloud-based 3D modeling, animation and rendering software and helps you make complex 3D models, photorealistic renderings and share them easily. runs in a web browser via HTML 5. WebGL and JavaScript. It has features like the Scene graph, Poly modeling, UV mapping tools as well as modifiers and sub-object editing, bone, and skinning and keyframe animation.

Onshape is allegedly the first full cloud 3D CAD system and runs in the web browser as well as on any mobile device. Its key features include powerful 3D modeling, compatibility with other CAD systems and flexibility which allows design teams to collaborate easily with vendors, clients, partners in real time.

Tinkercad is web-based and runs in any web browser that supports HTML 5 / WebGL on Windows, Mac, Linux. 3D designs are stored in the cloud and can be easily accessed from anywhere using an internet connection.

These are just some of the cloud-based 3D modeling tools available in the market, however, there are many more and we welcome your inputs and ideas on the same. Do share your comments below.

Adoption of Cloud-based CAD is accelerating because the time saved is money earned.  Today Cloud is empowering not only the users but also entrepreneurs to do more with products through the IOT (internet of things).  The answer to the million dollar question is – a loud resounding – YES to Cloud!  So if you are not on the cloud –where are you?



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