Learn Onshape,
fly (virtual) rockets.

Zero to rockets in 4 hours

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Getting started

A complete introduction to Onshape CAD by designing a fully-functional model rocket.

We recommend a split-screen layout:

1. Create a Hobbyist / Maker onshape account

  • Head to the create free account page at Onshape
  • Create an account
    • Select Hobbyist / Maker for the easiest signup process
  • On page 2:
    • Company name: Stage One Education
    • Industry: Education
    • Number of CAD users at your company: 1
    • Current CAD system: Onshape
    • Level of interest in purchasing a new CAD system: No interest
    • Timeframe for you decision: No timeframe
    • Title / position: Student
    • Mobile phone number: your phone number

2. Sign-in to Onshape

3. Accept default units

  • The default options are correct:
    • Length: Inches
    • Angle units: Degrees
    • Mass units: Pound
  • Press Next
  • Accept the default mouse controls
    • Onshape (default)
    • Press Next
  • Accept the default nickname
    • Press Next
  • Select Done after the browser check

4. Create a new document

  • Click the Create button
  • Select Document
  • Name your document Rocket by [yourname]
  • Select Create public document

5. Moving your view in 3D

  • Turn your view: right-click + drag
  • Pan/slide: Middle-button + drag to pan/slide your view
    • If you don't have a middle button, you can use Ctrl + right click + drag to pan/slide your view
  • Zoom: scroll wheel

6. Set up windows in split view

  • Use Windows key + Left Arrow to move one browser to the left
  • Use Windows key + Right Arrow to move the other browser to the right
  • Consider making the tutorial thinner than the CAD window so more of the controls are fully visible in the view.

7. Create a sketch

  • Select the sketch tool
  • Select a sketch plane. Use the Top plane.
  • Align your view to the sketch plane by clicking "Top" on the view cube
  • Make sure you have selected the Top plane. In the sketch overlay window, you should see "Top Plane" under sketch plane

8. Draw the outer body circle

  • Select the circle tool
    • Can't find it? »
      • Your screen may be too narrow hiding the tool from view
        • Check under the dropdown menu by the line tool
      • You might have exited your sketch
        • Double-click on "Sketch 1" to re-enter the sketch.
    • Want a shortcut? »
    • CAD software is much easier and faster to use with keyboard shortcuts.
      • Onshape shortcuts are labeled in the menus (and intuitive). Press c to bring up the circle tool.
  • Draw a circle. Be sure to snap it to the origin.

9. Dimension the outer body circle

  • Select the dimension tool
  • Consider this essential shortcut »
    • The dimension tool is activated by pressing d on the keyboard. You will use this a lot.
  • Click on your circle and set its diameter to 0.781 in
  • Press Enter to exit the dimensioning box

10. Draw the inner circle

  • Select the circle tool
  • Draw a circle inside your first circle. Be sure to snap it to the origin.
  • Select the dimension tool
  • Click first on the outer circle and then on the inner circle and set the difference between them to 0.031 in

11. Extrude the body

  • Select the extrude tool
  • Feature shortcuts »
    • Outside of a sketch, the keyboard shortcuts are usually shift + [letter]. Extrude can be activated by pressing shift + e.
  • Verify that "Sketch 1" is selected
  • Set the Depth to 3.0 in
  • Click the green check