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Thread: Goodbye Free SOLIDWORKS

  1. #11
    DaleB's Avatar
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    Well, that's certainly disappointing. More and more companies are moving toward this subscription model, where they can collect money from you forever just so you can continue accessing your own stuff. Licensing the commercial version of SolidWorks is a non-starter for me, as is having anything I design bound to paying a yearly fee (which can and will of course be raised) to have access to -- as long as the company still thinks it's convenient for them.

    Not that I an jaded enough to think that companies will take advantage of locked in proprietary files stored in their cloud to extract more money at every opportunity, but... well... yeah, I am. I really do appreciate the access to SW that we've enjoyed for the past few years, and kudos and thanks to EAA for that -- but it seems to me that its utility for many of us is now at an end.
    Measure twice, cut once...
    scratch head, shrug, shim to fit.

    Flying an RV-12. Building a Fisher Celebrity.

  2. #12
    I have spent the last couple of weeks diving in to CFD, which was pulled. I feel for people who invested much more time than I have to learn this product and are now left without having SolidWorks as a practical option.

    What do people recommend as an alternative to SolidWorks, if there is one? OpenFOAM and some of the other CFD tools seem beyond the hobbiest to use.

    Edit: It looks like Onshape is free if you keep your files public, as well as the integrated SimScale simulation. I would want feedback on my designs anyways, and it lets people learn from each other, so I think that's a great policy.
    Last edited by JohnMyers; 08-19-2021 at 11:01 AM.

  3. #13
    EAA Staff David Leiting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rwanttaja View Post
    Geeze. Now that my skill level has improved from abysmal to awful, this happens.

    Looks like Maker is $50 a year at the EAA rate. Models are stored online, not on one's own PC. Says "neutral file formats can be exported in order to share externally", which sounds like files from the program itself will only be held in the SW cloud. Nothing in the FAQ says that our existing files will be compatible with the new program. In fact, if there *isn't* a way to transfer files from our own PCs to the SW Cloud, there's no way we can get our existing SW files to the program to work with them.

    Wants Windows 10, too.

    So...what are the alternative packages out there? Which ones will accept Solidworks files, or what format should we re-save all of our files before the plug is pulled?

    Ron Wanttaja
    Ron, I have been having an open dialogue with some reps from DS. Here is what I was told. "One of the complaints has been about the lack of local file save and open, and in response, the September update will bring that functionality." They recommend posting these concerns to the Makers-Support 3DSwym Community. I have heard a few other comments about the lack of Flow Simulation and CAM role. Those comments should also be made in that group..

    Thank,
    David
    David Leiting Jr. EAA Lifetime #579157 -
    EAA, Eagles Program Manager

  4. #14
    EAA Staff David Leiting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwb View Post
    not to rain on the parade, but this is the general feeling on the Solidworks 3D Maker support page:

    I wouldn't be sure whether the people who can make decisions are actually using the forums themselves. (Or whether they just know the how-it-should-be visions from shiny slides...).
    Think most makers are not working on projects collaboratively and thus cannot make any use of the benefits that the cloud capabilities would buy us, so we just have to suffer from the added instability and complexity. So imho it's mainly the wrong product for the wrong target group.
    E.g. SolidWorks standalone + CAM + perhaps some simulation capabilities (instead of SW Connected + xDesign + xShape + all the PLM tools) would have been MUCH closer to the the actual needs of typical makers and would imho have lead to new users with a positive attitude towards SW - instead of refund requests.
    In hindsight I guess they just wanted beta testers for the cloud solution (that even pay a little instead of having to be paid) while the actual needs of the people wasn't considered too relevant. Which backfires now, as people don't want to beta test but expect to get some use out of what they paid for.
    But let's just hope, perhaps somebody who can make decisions IS reading this and some things get reconsidered. Fingers crossed!


    https://r1132100503382-eu1-3dswym.3dexperience.3ds.com/#community:kKnaKWHGTPC4ut-q1X_9uA
    Hi GWB,

    I posted this in another location, but I wanted to share this here as well..

    I have been in talks with some people from DS. The biggest concerns from EAA members has been the cloud usage, lack of Flow Simulation, and no CAM role. In regards to those concerns, I did reach out to DS. Here is what they had to say.

    "The best way to be vocal about it would be for people to post their concern in the Makers-Support 3DSwym Community. One of the complaints has been about the lack of local file save and open, and in response, the September update will bring that functionality. I could easily see a CAM role and a SIMULATION role getting added to the offer in the future."

    I hope this provides some guidance.

    Thank you,
    David
    David Leiting Jr. EAA Lifetime #579157 -
    EAA, Eagles Program Manager

  5. #15
    EAA Staff David Leiting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drake Firebreed View Post
    From the sound of it professional is our desktop version of SOLIDWORKS. We can still export STL and IGES. But the kick in the balls for me is the lack of simulation. That is what I need to improve designs. I already have ANSYS on my laptop but flow sim was way more intuitive sadly it seems like it's time to learn it. We can get that for free. MasterCam offers a home edition that although you can't export GCode you can validate a process (Not helpful for actual production).


    Drake, I have been having an open dialogue with some reps from DS. Here is what I was told. "
    One of the complaints has been about the lack of local file save and open, and in response, the September update will bring that functionality." They recommend posting these concerns to the Makers-Support 3DSwym Community. I have heard a few other comments about the lack of Flow Simulation and CAM role. Those comments should also be made in that group..

    Thanks,
    David
    David Leiting Jr. EAA Lifetime #579157 -
    EAA, Eagles Program Manager

  6. #16
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Leiting View Post
    Ron, I have been having an open dialogue with some reps from DS. Here is what I was told. "One of the complaints has been about the lack of local file save and open, and in response, the September update will bring that functionality." They recommend posting these concerns to the Makers-Support 3DSwym Community. I have heard a few other comments about the lack of Flow Simulation and CAM role. Those comments should also be made in that group..
    Thanks, David. I think we all are aware that this situation is not of EAA's making, and we appreciate the work you're doing.

    I have ~4 months until my license expires. Gives me time to try to convert my more complex files. I'll probably sign up on the new system, but won't keep it up if it doesn't provide something like the very basic capability I'm using now.

    Ron Wanttaja

  7. #17
    SOLIDWORKS Support Volunteer Jeffrey Meyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMyers View Post
    What do people recommend as an alternative to SolidWorks, if there is one?
    FreeCAD

    https://www.freecadweb.org/downloads.php
    Seems to be a pretty good piece of open source engineering software. (And free!)

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey Meyer View Post
    FreeCAD

    https://www.freecadweb.org/downloads.php
    Seems to be a pretty good piece of open source engineering software. (And free!)
    I second that. FreeCad is closer to SOLIDWORKS than AutoCAD in my opinion. Also if you are dealing with objects only for 3d printing I'd recommend Blender. I really think SOLIDWORKS is shooting themselves in the foot here when the competition is offering free edu programs/ open source.

    If you want to spend money for CAM Autodesk HSM is amazing MasterCam beats them out but at a price. I've also tried ESPIRT but it's kinda clumsy but If I remember right it's cheaper than both of those.

    CFD is OpenFoam (Linux based) or ANSYS. FreeCAD has CAE but I've never tried it personally.


    We do have options but sadly non of them are all inclusive like SOLIDWORKS was.

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by David Leiting View Post


    Drake, I have been having an open dialogue with some reps from DS. Here is what I was told. "
    One of the complaints has been about the lack of local file save and open, and in response, the September update will bring that functionality." They recommend posting these concerns to the Makers-Support 3DSwym Community. I have heard a few other comments about the lack of Flow Simulation and CAM role. Those comments should also be made in that group..

    Thanks,
    David
    I tried to post as I do have an account but it says I do not have permission. I guess I need to first purchase the newer version hopefully other people will speak up as I don't want to purchase until my edu expires.

  10. #20

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    Thank you David

    Quote Originally Posted by David Leiting View Post
    Hi GWB,

    I posted this in another location, but I wanted to share this here as well..

    I have been in talks with some people from DS. The biggest concerns from EAA members has been the cloud usage, lack of Flow Simulation, and no CAM role. In regards to those concerns, I did reach out to DS. Here is what they had to say.

    "The best way to be vocal about it would be for people to post their concern in the Makers-Support 3DSwym Community. One of the complaints has been about the lack of local file save and open, and in response, the September update will bring that functionality. I could easily see a CAM role and a SIMULATION role getting added to the offer in the future."

    I hope this provides some guidance.

    Thank you,
    David
    Thank you David for responding and the great info.
    Excellent news about the Sept update. The CAM function will also hopefully be restored. I do believe HSM can be used as a add-in. I installed it on the previous version and it worked very well.
    At the EAA price, this package is still an excellent EAA benefit and price.. I'm sure it will wind up as an great CAD-CAM package. Thank you for your support.

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