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How To Import CAD in OnScale Solve™

By Marshall Williams 03 February 2021

In this short blog we will go through the different methods of CAD importation into OnScale Solve.

OnScale Solve has been designed to make the experience of CAD importation easy and head-ache free. OnScale Solve automatically scans CAD geometry for issues and reports back to the user anything that would potentially affect the creation of a valid simulation.  Also, as with all OnScale Solve features, powerful back-end AI algorithms learn from each iteration and make future imports faster and more reliable. Users can import multiple different CAD types from the following list:

  • .step
  • .iges
  • .brep
  • .sldprt (SOLIDWORKS)
  • .x_t .b_t (Parasolid)
  • .sat .sab (ACIS)

The process of CAD importation is very simple in OnScale Solve. Once a new project is created, a quick guide appears to the right of the workspace to help guide the user through the simulation workflow. The first thing that is required in a Solve simulation is CAD.  You can import CAD by selecting from the toolbar. This takes you to the Import 3D CAD window where you can either import CAD from your computer or from your Onshape account. 

Import CAD from your local computer

To import from your computer, you can either drag and drop in a CAD file or click the file explorer to browse your directories. Only one CAD file can be currently imported at a time.


Once the CAD has been selected it will appear in the window with the file name and size.

Import 3D CAD


If you have selected the incorrect CAD file you can remove it by selecting the X next to the file name. Clicking upload will start the importation process which consists of uploading the file, processing it then loading it into Solve. It is at the processing stage where the CAD geometry is scanned for any issues. Once the CAD has been validated it is loaded into the workbench.

Processing Geometry

If there is an issue found and recognized when processing the CAD, an error or warning message will appear. This information should help the user identify any issues in the CAD or alert them to any repairing of the CAD on import. Errors are represented in the Model Tree as an exclamation point in a red circle and warnings are depicted as an exclamation point in a yellow triangle.


If no issues are found with the CAD, the next stage is to select the model units. The source model size in XYZ will be provided and you have a drop-down menu to associate a unit to those dimensions.

Import 3D CADOnce you click Confirm the CAD will appear in the workspace and you can start the next stage of the simulation workflow.

Another way to import CAD is through our Onshape integration which allows Onshape parametric CAD models to be directly imported into OnScale Solve through the OnScale Connector App. This option is available as a separate tab in the Import 3D CAD window.

Import 3D CAD

To connect OnScale Solve to your Onshape account just click Onshape Login and enter your Onshape credentials. You will only have to login once, your Onshape account will then be connected to your Solve account. Once you have logged into Onshape, the Connector App opens and allows you to see your recent OnShape projects, all your folders and documents and has a search bar to allow you to search through your projects. 

Onshape Integration

Both single parts and assemblies can be imported from Onshape. To do so just click on the part or assembly that you wish to import and click Select.

You will then be shown an image of the selected CAD along with the name, date and time. 

If you are happy with your selection, click Import, otherwise you can click the X to go back to the menu. The steps are from then on are the same as the local computer import.


Getting Started with OnScale Solve

Engineers, designers, analysts, and current OnScale users can learn more about OnScale Solve and run their first cloud engineering simulation study by accessing these resources:

With OnScale Solve you can work, collaborate, and share from any location and device. Ready to go? Create your free account today and start simulating with OnScale Solve! If you have any questions please contact us at info@onscale.com!


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Marshall Williams
Marshall Williams

Marshall Williams is a Digital Marketing Intern for OnScale. He's a student of AeroSpace Engineering and Economics at Georgia Tech, with experience in growth focused copywriting, specializing in marketing for startups and nonprofits.

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