PTC Buys Onshape, xRS Brings Out Use of AR-VR in Training, More

PTC Buys Onshape, xRS Brings Out Use of AR-VR in Training, More

In this episode of DE Video News Roundup, CAD and PLM vendor PTC buys cloud CAD Onshape for $470 million, xRS Conference brings out ARVR use in training, CAASE conference now open for paper proposals, DE seeks holiday-themed simulation projects to feature

PTC buys Onshape, betting on SaaS CAD

Last week, a big acquisition that could reshuffle powerful CAD and PLM brands took place.

PTC, known for its Creo CAD and Windchill PLM brands, has announced its intent to acquire cloud CAD provider Onshape for $470 million. In the press briefing, PTC CEO Jim Happelmann calls Onshape “the growth engine” and PTC wants to be “the big brother” that will bring lots of resources to bear.

Onshape works like familiar CAD programs such as SolidWorks or Inventor, but runs SaaS-style, entirely from a browser without a local installation.

PTC’s own products are from the desktop workstation era. As such, they are not architected to run in the cloud. Onshape, on the other hand, is written to run in the cloud from scratch. PTC’s acquisition of Onshape signals the buyer's confidence that, in the future, CAD and PLM are heading to the cloud, with new users opting for the SaaS approach rather than the on-premise or installed approach.

For more on Onshape, check out DE long-time contributor David Cohn’s review of Onshape, and the analysis of the acquisition here.

CAASE open for paper proposals

CAASE 20, the simulation-focused conference, is set for June 16-18 in Indianapolis next year. It’s now accepting abstracts for papers and presentations. Early bird registration at a discount rate will be applicable till December 31.

CAASE is brought to you by NAFEMS, an industry group, and DE magazine in partnership.

xRS brings out AR-VR use for training

Recently at the xRS conference devoted to extended reality, the ARVR solutions developer Sixense demonstrated simulation applications that incoperate its technology, among them a welding simulator and an automotive body painting simulator from Lincoln Electrics and Honda. Aimed at providing industrial skills training, the simulation systems incorporate not just immersive visuals but also physical props—replicas of weld guns and spray paint guns used in real operations.

The appeal for the use of ARVR training comes from the expected cost savings. Generally skill training in welding or spray painting in VR costs a lot less since it doesn't require a specialized location, vehicle components to test-paint, or cleanup operations. The use of replica equipment instead of the unnatural game controllers goes along way to help trainees build muscle memories, down to the correct angle and positioning of the weld gun or the spray nozzle.

The SimSpray application, which uses Sixense tracking technology, incorporates replica equipment that reflects how the operation is performed in real life. Image courtesy of Sixense.

For more on xRS conference, also check out the report here.

Have holiday-themed simulation projects?

DE would like to feature fun holiday-themed simulation projects—for example, thermal analysis of a turkey bake, the heat transfer inside a Thanksgiving pie, or the hypothetical aerodynamics of Santa’s sleigh. They will be featured in the seasonal episode of DE News Roundup. Please send them to editor Kenneth Wong at

About the Author

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Kenneth Wong
Kenneth Wong is Digital Engineering’s resident blogger and senior editor. He contributes to Robotics 24/7 too.
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