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Student Version Questions

Question asked by Rick McDonald on May 23, 2019
Latest reply on May 30, 2019 by Rick McDonald

We are still using SW2015 at work, and I expect I will be for quite a while longer.

Corporate feels we have enough of what we need since we get the job done with what we have and the Backdating Policy cost is way beyond what they feel is justifiable (their opinion - not mine).

Unfortunately, this also means that all the new features of the software over the last 5 years are not available to us and I want / need to learn to use them.  If I know how to use the new features I have a better shot at convincing my boss the benefits of upgrading.

Personally, I also want to get certified on several levels and become a better user and more marketable when the time comes (as it inevitably will). Currently, the Certification exams will only allow using 2015 or newer - and I would expect that to change within the next year or so to be sure newly certified people are using and know the current capabilities.  If the software year requirements change before I get to take all the Certifications I want, I will be out of luck unless I take them at my VAR's office or at SW World  "3DEXPERIENCE World".

Recently, I found out that as a member the EAA  (Experimental Aircraft Association) - one of the benefits is that you qualify for the Student Version (SDK)(Student Design Kit) of SolidWorks.  I currently don't have the resources of ability to go to a college to advance my SWx abilities.

Since I grew up learning all about aircraft from my father, built and flew model airplanes, gone to many air shows, College Major was Avionics, electives were flight courses and have actually flown a plane - I am well qualified to join. 

With the SolidWorks SDK access as a membership bonus I am now strongly considering joining to get the additional affordable access to learn the new software features and get current on the Software.

I have looked at many posts about the Student versions, but I do have some questions and confirmation requests.


  • If I join now - the current version would be the 2019 Student version - which is equal to the 2018 SP5 version - is that correct?
  • If I get this 2019 SDK package, will I be able to read (and edit) files from the full 2019 versions (for personal or forum use only - not work)?
  • When (month) does the next Student release usually come out ?  (I would assume August to be in place for the Fall 2019 semester.).
  • I believe I can use a student version (at home) to take any of the Certification tests - is this correct?
  • I currently have an old "2015 Home License" that is still active (since I have not un-installed, re-installed or changes it since the new license rules) - am I correct I will have to FULLY uninstall this version and then install the Student version (Both can't exist on the same system)(unless dual boot - that I don't want).?
  • Any old (Full Version) files that I have on my computer, if I don't open AND RE-SAVE them with the Student version, will they stay intact as full version (backups) or should I remove them from the hard disk?
  • If I open one of my old files and save it as a new name, will the old file remain full version and only the newly saved (renamed) file will become Student version (watermarked).?
  • are there any other things to go wrong that I forgot to mention or other suggestions?


Lots of these type questions get asked about the Student version over time and I though it would also be good to add any other information in one post to help others in the future. - so if you have other suggestions / comments I may copy them to this main page.


I know I can not use this for anything work related - this is just to learn and practice on the new software and take the certification exams.(and maybe finally be able to open parts / drawings from forum posts that I currently can't read).