Digital Twins

PTC defines a Digital Twin as any digital representation of a physical thing -- this can be a ThingWorx dashboard, or an immersive Augmented Reality eperience that reflects the state of a physical artifact or process.

This page shares ways that Onshape can be used for more than traditional mechanical design -- as a Digital Twin platform. Most of this work uses the Onshape API Snippets Library in Google Colab or Jupyter Notebooks.

DX Onshape Technology Map

Click below to jump to a section of the framework

  1. Visualize
  2. Analyze
  3. Monitor
  4. Control

Hello World - Onshape GIF Generator

This activity was developed as a fun way of showing the capabilities of the Onshape REST API. You can check out the Colab Notebook here and follow along with the video below.

Getting Started

Onshape API Setup

Edge Device Connectivity


Once you've created app keys for Onshape and gotten started with the Python client, you can start making simple applications with pyhthon that use Onshape as a visualizer.

Application Preview
Onshape Countdown Timer - click here to see notebook
Transformation Matrix Lesson Plan - click here to see notebook Teaching Transformation Matrices


Once you can use python notebooks to create connected applications, you can use python to analyze complex, 3D systems and run simulations.

Application Preview
Inverse Kinematics Derivation - click here to see notebook Inverse Kinematics
Google Sheets Dashboard - click here to see notebook
Motion Simulation GIF Generator - click here to see notebook Inverse Kinematics


Now you can start connecting Onshape to your edge devices and create a real-time digital twin in Onshape to monitor the physical device.

Application Preview
UR3e Digital Twin - click here to see notebook UR3 Digital Twin
Microbit Digital Twin - click here to see notebook


Once your edge device is connected to Onshape, you can use the model as your interface for controlling the movement and logic of your physical machine.

Application Preview
AL5D PLTW Robot Arm Digital Twin - click here to see notebook
Microbit Control and Monitor - click here to see notebook