Thought I'd share this so that others don't go down the same path.

Like many, I was blindsided by the move from the Student version of Solidworks to the Maker version, and my Student license expired while I was in the middle of a project (stamping die for my partner's engagement ring).

Ok, fine. I'll purchase the Maker version.

I then found that it lacked the 2.5 axis machining feature and is unable to open files created in anything other than Maker Edition (CAM had been added a while back, admittedly).

Posts here, Solidworks' forum, and on Reddit suggested doing.... nefarious things to convert the files to a neutral format so that Maker Edition could open them.

Well, I had little luck with that. And received a call from Solidworks demanding $17,000.

That they orphaned my fully licensed designs was irrelevant, and they had no suggestions as to what I should have done to get the part files ported over. Maker can only open Maker files, and that's the end of the discussion.

Sounds like extortion to me, but is what it is. The reseller they connected me with has seen this happen fairly often, BTW.

The story ends with me forking over $7,000 for the Standard edition to avoid it being handed off to their lawyers, which is not a yearly license unless I want updates and support (so it will continue working for a long while, in theory). The 2.5 axis machining feature is only good for a year, so I guess once that expires I simply port my designs to a neutral format to pull into the Maker Edition I paid for in order to generate toolpaths. Total PITA, but $99/yr is much less than what the cam package costs.

So, yeah. Don't follow that sort of advice, as Solidworks is not nice about it.