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Thread: Free for EAA Members: SIEMENS SolidEdge CAD

  1. #1
    Eric Page's Avatar
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    Free for EAA Members: SIEMENS SolidEdge CAD

    I received this email from EAA today, which I presume means the end of EAA's relationship with SOLIDWORKS:


    A New CAD Program for EAA Members
    EAA has partnered with Siemens to offer members free access to Solid Edge professional 3D CAD software.

    Solid Edge is an easy-to-use, synchronous CAD program that allows users to simulate, draft, and render 3D designs. With a streamlined workflow, data migration options from other industry software, and a plethora of training resources and customer support, Solid Edge provides a great package that is available for free to EAA members.

    This is a great tool for homebuilders looking for a place to plan their aircraft designs or any design project! Learn more about SolidEdge and download your package.
    Get Solid Edge


    First, I'd like to thank EAA for working to find a replacement for SOLIDWORKS. Before I "authorize Siemens Digital Industries Software and its affiliates to contact me via email, phone, and postal mail about its products and services," I have just a few questions for EAA staff:

    1. The SolidEdge download page offers this software to "any active maker, CAD enthusiast, or design challenge competitor." What's special about EAA's relationship with Siemens, or, put a different way, what's special about this deal for EAA members?

    2. After the SOLIDWORKS debacle, I'm a little gun-shy. Will Siemens want to put their hand in my pocket a couple of years form now, once I've invested time in learning their software and drawing my projects?

    3. Will EAA or Siemens provide any support specifically for EAA members, or will the SolidEdge Community Forum be the only avenue for support?

    4. Does the software permit local storage of users' design files (on my own computer only), or is this an online-only product? Does it require public sharing of my designs?

    Thanks.
    Eric Page
    Building: Kitfox 5 Safari | Rotax 912iS | Dynon HDX
    Member: EAA Lifetime, AOPA, ALPA
    ATP: AMEL | Comm: ASEL, Glider | ATCS: CTO
    Map of Landings

  2. #2
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Page View Post
    2. After the SOLIDWORKS debacle, I'm a little gun-shy. Will Siemens want to put their hand in my pocket a couple of years form now, once I've invested time in learning their software and drawing my projects?
    This. I spent some time learning Solidworks, drew up some cool stuff, and suddenly my files were worthless. Sure, they'd load in other tools, but they couldn't be edited. Eventually bought another product, but it worked enough differently that I really didn't want to face the learning curve again.

    I finally got the veteran deal for SW, so I've got it again, but still have a bad taste in my mouth. Been off SW long enough that I feel I'd have to re-learn it all. Haven't felt too enthusiastic about that. I think they're less likely to pull the rug out from under veterans, but just can't get fired up about using it.
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  3. #3
    Thanks you Eric. You've expressed my thoughts exactly, beginning with a Thank You to EAA staff. But, like you, I'm not interested in a repeat of the Solid Works experience.

    I do find the availability of Solid Edge very exciting, assuming I can learn to use it. But like Ron, I'm having trouble with the idea of facing yet one more (steep, in my case) learning curve. Maybe if I'd ever gotten really good at ANY of the CAD programs I've used...

    Has any one out there used Solid Edge? Any thoughts or experience you can share?

    Thanks, Wayne

  4. #4
    PaulDow's Avatar
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    Following the link in the letter, it looks like there is the free Maker and Community edition that is available to anyone, and the EAA benefit is a 25% discount on subscriptions to the Solid Edge Mechanical Design, CAM, Technical Publications, or Wiring and Harness Design products.

  5. #5
    Eric Page's Avatar
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    Yeah, there's a bit of confusion. The EAA email links to a page on the EAA website that says, "Download Solid Edge Maker & Community Edition." Father down the page it says that EAA members get a 25% discount on the subscription products you mentioned. The Siemens site says the free version puts watermarks on its output and that files created with it cannot be opened in commercial (subscription) versions of the software.

    There's text on the EAA site with instructions to view a video that explains how to access a $900 training course for free. That's a nice touch.

    So, it appears that EAA members get the free "Maker" version of the software and a free training course. However, everything we produce will be watermarked and if we want to turn it into a product for sale, it will have to be re-drawn in the commercial package. That's fair enough.

    There's a link on the Siemens sign-up page for on-line subscriptions. Clicking it returns a "Page Not Found" error. Searching the site for "Solid Edge" returns nothing. I poked around for awhile and found the monthly subscription prices for Solid Edge. Adjusted for the 25% discount, those rates are:

    SE Basic: $62.25/mo (part/assembly design, automated drawings, basic animation/rendering)
    SE Foundation: $175/mo (adds: sheet metal, frames, weldments, surface modeling and 2.5-axis milling)
    SE Classic: $188.25/mo (adds: design for cost, reverse engineering, subdivision modeling, generative design)
    SE Premium: $270.75/mo (adds: motion/stress simulation, point cloud visualization, electrical routing)

    I couldn't immediately find obvious matches to the other modules listed on the EAA page (CAM, tech pubs, wiring/harness design).



    Frankly, I'm more inclined to put my effort into learning FreeCAD than any commercial CAD package. There are numerous tutorials on YouTube and an active forum. At least this way I control my own data, I don't get watermarks and I can sell my designs without paying large monthly subscription fees and duplicating my work.
    Eric Page
    Building: Kitfox 5 Safari | Rotax 912iS | Dynon HDX
    Member: EAA Lifetime, AOPA, ALPA
    ATP: AMEL | Comm: ASEL, Glider | ATCS: CTO
    Map of Landings

  6. #6
    EAA Staff / Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Page View Post
    I received this email from EAA today, which I presume means the end of EAA's relationship with SOLIDWORKS:




    First, I'd like to thank EAA for working to find a replacement for SOLIDWORKS. Before I "authorize Siemens Digital Industries Software and its affiliates to contact me via email, phone, and postal mail about its products and services," I have just a few questions for EAA staff:

    1. The SolidEdge download page offers this software to "any active maker, CAD enthusiast, or design challenge competitor." What's special about EAA's relationship with Siemens, or, put a different way, what's special about this deal for EAA members?

    2. After the SOLIDWORKS debacle, I'm a little gun-shy. Will Siemens want to put their hand in my pocket a couple of years form now, once I've invested time in learning their software and drawing my projects?

    3. Will EAA or Siemens provide any support specifically for EAA members, or will the SolidEdge Community Forum be the only avenue for support?

    4. Does the software permit local storage of users' design files (on my own computer only), or is this an online-only product? Does it require public sharing of my designs?

    Thanks.
    Hi Eric, Thank you for asking these questions, as I'm sure others have the same concerns. We are not discontinuing our relationship with Solidworks, we are just adding to our CAD offerings.

    Here's answers to your questions:
    Q1: You're right! Siemens's generous offer of free software to all users is a testament to their strong partnership with EAA and their valued sponsorship of our AeroEducate program. This collaboration not only ensures the continued support of our youth programs, but it also promises exciting future content on how to utilize SolidEdge. EAA members will also enjoy a remarkable 25% discount on monthly or annual subscriptions for Solid Edge mechanical design, CAM, technical publications, and wiring and harness design products.

    Q2: That's a great question. The license you receive when you download SolidEdge is valid for 3 years. After that time, you will be asked to "renew" the program, but Siemens has stated that this will be at no cost. This means that you can continue using SolidEdge indefinitely, as long as you renew your license every 3 years.

    Q3: The SolidEdge Community is your best source of support, but we are also developing a webinar series specifically for our members and homebuilders. This series will give you the opportunity to interact with a Siemens SolidEdge professional, so you can ask questions and get help with specific homebuilding and aviation solutions. The introduction webinar will be held on August 30, 2023, after the AirVenture festivities have concluded.

    Q4:
    You can store your drawings locally on your computer, or you can choose to save them online. Your drawings are yours, and they will not share them without your permission.

    Feel free to reach out to me if you have any additional questions or concerns and I'll do my best to answer them.

    Meagan Magnin
    EAA Membership Development Manager
    mmagnin@eaa.org
    Last edited by Meagan Magnin; 07-11-2023 at 08:45 AM.

  7. #7
    Eric Page's Avatar
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    Thanks, Meagan. I appreciate your thorough answers!
    Eric Page
    Building: Kitfox 5 Safari | Rotax 912iS | Dynon HDX
    Member: EAA Lifetime, AOPA, ALPA
    ATP: AMEL | Comm: ASEL, Glider | ATCS: CTO
    Map of Landings

  8. #8
    I downloaded the FREE SolidEdge software and ran through their quick tutorials. I then opened some of my SolidWorks part and assembly files, which did open, but with issues. Sheet metal parts appear to not be easily edited. I have a lot of sheet metal parts for my metal airplane design. Also, it appears that when it imports the part files, it does not import configurations (not available in current license). Many of my parts have configurations i.e. ribs. I really enjoyed having the full version of SolidWorks including all of the simulation modules (Thought I had died and gone to heaven). I don't even have all of those modules at work, where I use SolidWorks every day. I refuse to use 3D Experience with the limited modules and cost. If there was any way to get our arrangement with Dassault back so we could use the full power SolidWorks again..... Oh well, that ship has probably permanently sailed. I have literally hundreds of parts and assemblies I created for an airplane design I was working on. Now I do not have access to my thousands of hours of work.

  9. #9
    bigdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Page View Post
    ... The Siemens site says the free version puts watermarks on its output and that files created with it cannot be opened in commercial (subscription) versions of the software...
    If this is true then we would be unable to send files to vendors for laser cutting, 3D printing and the like. That to me is a major problem.
    Regards,
    Greg Young
    1950 Navion N5221K
    RV-6 N6GY - first flight 5/16/2021
    1940 Rearwin Cloudster in work
    4 L-2 projects on deck

  10. #10
    Eric Page's Avatar
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    I would imagine that production shops would want DXF files, not native Solid Edge. No idea if the Maker version of Solid Edge can export DXF...
    Eric Page
    Building: Kitfox 5 Safari | Rotax 912iS | Dynon HDX
    Member: EAA Lifetime, AOPA, ALPA
    ATP: AMEL | Comm: ASEL, Glider | ATCS: CTO
    Map of Landings

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