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Thread: Goodbye Free SOLIDWORKS

  1. #21
    vondeliusc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Kalispell, MT
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    30
    Dear fellow EAA CAD'ers,
    I just want to say how badly this SUCKS. Having run SolidWorks since 2007, and in professional environments, it is classic Dassault Systems corporate greed.
    The first place I noticed it, was when I saw that SW2007 could not open a later version, like from 2011, with "cannot open. Future version." riggggght.
    How did 2007 know there would be a future version unless this planned/forced obsolescence was integrated intentionally. Strange Microsoft Word/Excel can open
    previous MUCH older versions. And as SW matured, it ALWAYS has been unstable, and would crash for 'no' reason. In fact, SolidWorks is one of the ONLY programs
    I have ever used that will crash, and disappear from the screen without a trace, no error dialogue...nothing, just a COMPLETE fail. And then they want to charge you
    $1500 per year for a maintenance fee, which gets you the 'yearly' upgrade, and 'support' through the VAR ('Value' Added Reseller). Whenever we had crashes, the VAR
    would say send a copy of the crash log, and MOST of the time, they would be like 'we don't know what is wrong or how to fix it, sorry'. Useless in my opinion.
    AND, for an individual or struggling business, a base cost of around $5000/seat is outrageous, especially since now, every 'new' version, has virtually no practical upgraded
    functionality, just useless GUI changes.
    If SolidWorks would offer the same version as the EAA has been offered to members, for individual or minimal commercial use for less than $1000, or perhaps $500, they would
    sell TONS of seats; an individual cannot justify $5000, but $500 is doable. Trying to force us to submit to a subscription model, where 'collaboration' is pushed, and 'cloud' is 'important',
    is ridiculous. I don't collaborate with anyone as an individual 'inventor'. And I CANNOT stand 'the cloud', I mean 'someone else's computer', rather than storing my personal stuff on MY computer.
    If you ask me, SolidWork's corporate bosses are SO not in touch with the majority, they have no idea what is going on. If you are not a massive corporation, they could give a crap about you, as is
    evidenced by how they treat the 'not corporate' masses who appreciate the software. I have really appreciated the EAA benefit of the desktop SolidWorks software.
    But I see this as a greedy dick move by Dassault Systems, and happy to tell them so. If they were to offer the same desktop version as this year to EAA members for $75 each year, I and I am sure,
    many other members, would be happy for this benefit. But I will use Fusion 360 WAY before I will use a cloud version of SolidWorks. All they are doing is driving users to Autodesk and Fusion 360.
    Having been kicked in the gut by this announcement, there is now less love for SolidWorks.
    Rant over.
    -Christian

  2. #22

    Join Date
    Nov 2020
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    8
    Yeah, it's unfortunate. I'd be happy to pay $50 or even $100 a year for the Solidworks we have, but I was just getting to the point of wanting to use the CAM functionality and now it's not going to be there any more. And 'cloud' is just another word for 'ransoming your stuff.'

    Guess I'll be looking for some other software that can do the limited amount of design and production that I need to do. This is just of little use to the market they're supposedly aiming for.

  3. #23
    CharlieN's Avatar
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    Sep 2017
    Location
    Vermont, USA
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    Oh how F'ing delightful. I am just getting a new high end Win 10 computer up and running specifically to get Solidworks back. And first thing I do is to download SW and find it is no longer available. There goes a major chunk of money for something that now is of literally no need to me. I have been an ACAD user since 1982 and looks like I will remain so.
    Regards,
    CharlieN
    President Chapter 968
    Greenmountainflyers.com
    Scratchbuilding a Piper J4 lookalike.

  4. #24
    Below is a post I made on the Homebuilt Aviation forum. I decided to have a look here and figured I would add this as well. So unhappy about this but know its not an EAA decision and that Solidworks is trying to push the 3D experience and this is a quick way to get a ton of users and feedback. Half price Paying Beta testers...

    Victor Bravo said:
    The staff does have riot gear at the SolidWorks headquarters, don't they?

    I hope they can negotiate a 501 (c) 3 non-profit exemption for the local EAA chapters that have become non-profit org's. We're building a program at our chapter and were planning to offer training in SolidWorks to the kids building our Zenith.
    This is very Disheartening. I was going to be the one teaching the kids and adults Solidworks and integrating into a STEM class of sorts where we would also use 3D printers and a Tormach PC1100 to build fixtures and jigs when building the Chapter 40 Zenith project. I had a look at the new 3D experience version and its so different, its apples to Oranges and I don't have the time to learn this to teach the kids. Also with it being cloud based we would never have enough internet bandwidth for 20 people all learning CAD in an airplane hangar running on a hotspot. Likely not even enough if I do the class in the airport conference room on their Wifi. Its sad to see that after 23 years of using Solidworks this is where its heading. The last company I was at tried to get us to switch to OnShape and I was the driving force to push back on it and we would have lost so much time switching to a new CAD software mid project. This new version looks like a carbon copy of OnShape...

    Today I reached out to my Solidworks vendor where I bought my seat to see if I had any other alternatives. Yes mine is legit. Since these kids are in school they can buy the standard (non 3d Experience) student version for $99 a year. This workaround will work, but sadly it does not allow for anyone not in school to buy it. I.e. the adults also wanting to learn. I plan to call Solidworks direct to see if there is any way I can get 10 floating student licenses so that any 10 people can access it during a teaching session. I don't have much hope for this but maybe the "its for a good cause" and "you can add your logo to the plane" will work. Other alternative is get my vendor involved for a monetary donation since they are local to our airport and could stop by to see the progress and use it for marketing on their side. If they don't want to do it then its off to the competing vendor to ask.

    Regardless I am sure I can sort something out, but I fear that the adults will be left out and many of them have been working tirelessly to get our hangar ready for the build. I would hate to see them miss out.

    I am sure the EAA had no choice in the mater on which version woudl be available and they are pushing the 3D experience big time. They tried to get me to switch a while back and no way woudl I move an actual seat I own to a fully subscription based seat that has done 180 on how everything is done..

    Fingers crossed we get there somehow.
    Cloudbase Engineering LLC
    http://www.cloudbaseengineering.com

    Gopro Camera Mounts for Aircraft.

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by CharlieN View Post
    Oh how F'ing delightful. I am just getting a new high end Win 10 computer up and running specifically to get Solidworks back. And first thing I do is to download SW and find it is no longer available. There goes a major chunk of money for something that now is of literally no need to me. I have been an ACAD user since 1982 and looks like I will remain so.
    Hey Charlie,

    Is 1982 a typo? Was it a commodore 64 version...

    I started in ACAD with release 9 around 1990 I believe. Then to mechanical desktop when it was offered than Solidworks in 1997.
    Cloudbase Engineering LLC
    http://www.cloudbaseengineering.com

    Gopro Camera Mounts for Aircraft.

  6. #26

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    1
    I am so disappointed to hear this! I have spent some serious time learning S/W since early 2000s (engineering school, work, etc), and we still have tons of seats at my work (I'd guess 250-300 seats), though I can't use for personal projects due to our database management. It was one of the biggest benefits of EAA membership for me (though I had been an EAA member long before it was introduced).

    Recently had a computer issue, in which I had to uninstall S/W, and had planned to re-install it in the near future to continue working on many personal projects I was in the middle of. I'm incredibly disappointed that this is going away, regardless of who is at fault. Cloud-based CAD is the absolute LAST thing I want to mess with this at this point, and a $5k+/seat price for the full version of S/W is just not ever going to be feasible for a hobbyist or small business (it's probably more $$ than that now, for all I know). I'd gladly pay for a yearly/student version, $100/year or whatever, but I can't just drop $5k on a CAD package and $1500/yr for the "maintenance".

    I will never try the "3DExperience for makers" or whatever they are calling this new crap, for which I've read almost universally bad reviews from experienced S/W users. Guess its time to find something else. Super bummed about this, but not surprised after what I've seen through our work arrangements with D.S. >> $$$$ above all!

  7. #27
    CharlieN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Vermont, USA
    Posts
    25
    Quote Originally Posted by Cloudbase Engineering View Post
    Hey Charlie,

    Is 1982 a typo? Was it a commodore 64 version...

    I started in ACAD with release 9 around 1990 I believe. Then to mechanical desktop when it was offered than Solidworks in 1997.
    Yes as a matter of fact it is, 1992 is the correct year that I intended to state.

    My wife and I had just bought our first computer, the salesman heard me state I intended to do drafting work and he included ACAD Lt on our new Win 3.1 system.
    I soon had drawn a track car I was building for a customer and carried the computer a few towns away to use his plotter, how many here remember pen plotters?

    He looked at my drawing and said you can't draw that in ACAD Lt, I said you should have told be that before I drew it.
    I went home with ACAD 12 Dos on my system.
    Far cry from pen on paper all my previous work was done with.

    Below are two renders of my current build drawn on ACAD R14, not 2014

    Name:  J4MFRTfull FU Crop.jpg
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    Name:  11-28-19.jpg
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    Regards,
    CharlieN
    President Chapter 968
    Greenmountainflyers.com
    Scratchbuilding a Piper J4 lookalike.

  8. #28
    CharlieN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Vermont, USA
    Posts
    25
    i guess I should show a view of what is done with these drawings made on antique software.

    Name:  IMG_1568.jpg
Views: 807
Size:  99.5 KB
    Regards,
    CharlieN
    President Chapter 968
    Greenmountainflyers.com
    Scratchbuilding a Piper J4 lookalike.

  9. #29

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    4
    This is a huge disappointment. Access to not only SolidWorks but the add-ins enabling generative design, FEA and CFD was the greatest benefit of my EAA membership. So much so that I had my son join EAA just to take advantage of it.

    I've been an EAA member since the 80's. I seriously considered dropping it several years ago until I discovered the SolidWorks access.

    I rarely look at Sport Aviation, preferring Kit Planes instead. For liability reasons, the EAA no longer sponsors Fly-ins near me such as Copper State. We no longer need EAA Chapters given access to resources all over the globe online. So why am I sending money to this organization in Wisconsin? Without the SolidWorks benefit with advanced capabilities, I'm not realizing a return on my membership.

    I have no doubt Dassault is directing the change. Autodesk moved the Software as a Service (SAS) years ago and it has helped their profitability. I get that. But why can't the EAA negotiate with their Dassault representative for an equivalent level of functionality to the benefit we enjoy today? Yes, I'd pay for it up to a point.

    Sorry for the rant. But I want EAA leadership to know where I stand and I'd like them to negotiate further with Dassault. The 3DExperience model just doesn't cut it.

  10. #30
    This is incredibly disappointing news. I've been using SolidWorks for 20 years and when EAA worked with GSC to provide SolidWorks to the EAA membership, it seemed a match made in heaven. Giving a quality CAD tool to a group of highly technical, engineering-centric hobbyist users that could properly harness the software capabilities (and then talk up the product to their associates, employers, etc.) seemed like a win-win for everyone involved. Now, everyone using the software gets to pay extra money to beta test this crippled 'cloud' offering. Not sure about anyone else, but my hangar doesn't have wifi as an amenity, so being able to do modeling as I'm taking measurements off the plane is no longer possible. Back to sharpies and cardboard...

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