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Thread: Goodbye Free SOLIDWORKS

  1. #31
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Just a quick comment here... I have downloaded Alibre

    https://www.alibre.com/

    ...and it is able to load and re-save Solidworks files. One doesn't have to wade through all your Solidworks files and re-save them in another format before your license expires. It does export in other formats, such as .stp.
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    It's not free... $199, currently on sale for $150...but it has a 30-day trial.

    Ron Wanttaja

  2. #32

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    Now that is the spaceship I dream of. Dr. Zarcoff calling Flash Gordon!

  3. #33
    I used the education license we had and learned it fairly well. Then when login stopped working I paid for the Maker license, the next day requested a refund (no reply yet). This cloud storage business is just garbage, web infrastructure far too slow and fragile. While Solidworks is clearly superior to most apps once it's running I just won't deal with their nonsense, I don't want deal with teams or roles or importing or exporting. Too bad - I really hoped one day I would be able to justify buying the full product with the use I would get from it.

    Am trialling Alibre Atom3D, but also looking at FreeCad and Blender. For the 3D printer oriented things I want to do right now learning any will probably be enough.

  4. #34
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rwanttaja View Post
    Just a quick comment here... I have downloaded Alibre

    https://www.alibre.com/

    ...and it is able to load and re-save Solidworks files. One doesn't have to wade through all your Solidworks files and re-save them in another format before your license expires. It does export in other formats, such as .stp.
    Had the first opportunity to actually use Alibre today. Got a simple bracket done in just a few minutes, then exported it and sent it to the 3D printer. Took only a bit longer than it would have in Solidworks, basically learning the new interface.

    Saved an .stp file, and SW loaded it. Curiously, the fillets defined in Alibre didn't come across. It definitely works the other way; the SW fillets are recognized in Alibre.

    As far as Alibre being able to load SW files, they come across, but not as the usual combinations of sketches, extrusions, etc. They end up as a massive collection of edges and faces. Not too easy to edit, but you can at least access the objects for sending to 3D printers, etc. So if you're working on a SW design, finish it up before your license expires.

    Ron Wanttaja

  5. #35
    SOLIDWORKS Support Volunteer Jeffrey Meyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rwanttaja View Post
    ...As far as Alibre being able to load SW files, they come across, but not as the usual combinations of sketches, extrusions, etc. They end up as a massive collection of edges and faces. Not too easy to edit, but you can at least access the objects for sending to 3D printers, etc. So if you're working on a SW design, finish it up before your license expires.

    Ron Wanttaja
    As far as "...the usual combinations of sketches, extrusions, etc." is concerned, this is an issue of expectations. There exist international standard cross-platform translators - IGES, STEP, ParaSolid, etc. - that translate basically only the final geometry without the engineering intent and history of how you built the geometry. The history protocol does not exist in any of these translators. SolidWorks, Alibre, FreeCAD, and Blender are not exceptions. Furthermore, the intimate connection between part files and drawing files, as well as mates in assemblies also get lost in the transfer.

    That's the bad news.

    Good news: I've been trying FreeCAD and I find that STEP files go across just fine, although the modeling interface takes a little getting used to. The program also includes FEM/A modules that I want to use. Obviously it isn't as mature as SolidWorks, it certainly doesn't have a massive user base, but equally obviously the developers are doing a pretty good job coming up with regular fixes and improvements. It seems to me that FreeCAD is engineering software developed by engineers for engineers. IMHO this is definitely a viable alternative to SW.

    Jeffrey

  6. #36
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Thanks Jeffrey, good info.

    Ron Wanttaja

  7. #37

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    Such a disappointment, 3dexperience is garbage. Cannot concentrate on designing because of so many issues with the platform. On top of that, can’t save to my local computer only the dreaded cloud. Anyone else feel the same?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  8. #38
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ripley98 View Post
    Such a disappointment, 3dexperience is garbage. Cannot concentrate on designing because of so many issues with the platform. On top of that, can’t save to my local computer only the dreaded cloud. Anyone else feel the same?
    I got an email from an Alibre sales rep, asking for feedback on my experience. I suggested Alibre contact EAA to see if a discounted version might be included as a membership benefit. He said they're aware of the rancor involving the Solidworks change. At least buying Alibre, you don't have to worry about Lucy pulling the football away....

    Ron Wanttaja

  9. #39
    Eric Page's Avatar
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    That’s some heads up baseball, Ron! Let’s hope something comes of your suggestion. I’m planning to give Alibre a try too, as soon as I get through some other chores…
    Eric Page
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  10. #40
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    Well, I'm resigned to buying a seat of SWx. I'm way too invested in modelling my current project and in over twenty years using SWx as part of my job. I hope to acquire the seat I'm currently using instead of buying a new seat because I'd be unable to run the older versions like I do now on this 9 year old Win7 workstation. Going to the newest version would likely mean a hardware update so the expense gets crazier. I never really considered using the EAA version due to the difficulty some folks have had renewing each year. I tried Alibre years ago and decided life's too short to learn yet another CAD software.......

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