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I can't figure out what license I should be using.

Question asked by Dale Mahalko on Jun 19, 2020

I have an idea for a ridiculously laughably overcomplicated project. My intent is to get the 3D design tools to just jump straight in feet first, and then see about learning what I need to work towards my end goal of development.


I merely want to see about designing a powered exoskeleton from scratch using a basic human modeling add-in for Solidworks.


I've done a fair bit of research on this. I am responsible for the "Limitations and Design Issues" on the Wikipedia article, except it's been all hacked up by subsequent idiots vs what I put in the article back in 2016...


I've been wanting to do this for years except I don't have the budget to spend $47,000 on AnyBody Tech's ultra-realistic human models. I finally managed to find a more basic and affordable starter human model for about $950 from ZyGote..

Zygote Human Factors | Scalable and Posable Humans for SOLIDWORKS 


I expect I am going about this in reverse of how anyone normally uses this software. Most people have no plan starting out. They take a bunch of classes to teach them how to use the software, and then go get hired and work on projects for someone else.


I am not a skilled user of CAD software, but I know what it is, I've played with it in the past, and I support it as part of my primary job doing IT tech support for a K-12 public school.




So, since my goal is to come up with Intellectual Property almost right from the start, apparently I can't use a student license.


I don't think I qualify for a Research license because it's just me doing this in my bedroom. I am not associated with any University or Corporate research group.


Perhaps I might be able to get it for free under the Startups licensing program? I would have to jump through some hoops and start some sort of company?


Perhaps it would work create a sole proprietorship on LegalZoom and get a checking account for the new company. The company would only be used for the purposes of obtaining the SW license for free, and for getting research supplies like a Quadro RTX 4000 as a tax write off for the business. 




I don't seriously expect to ever make any profit on this whatsoever. This may require tens of millions in machine fabrication and testing work, and then hiring people to design the mechatronic control systems. I can't afford that.


I am well aware that even considering patenting anything is a joke. A US patent does not protect the design from being legally copied and stolen in any other country. Patents must be obtained for each individual country where protection is sought, and can easily cost half a million dollars for all the legal fees. And a patent merely provides the legal right to sue, which costs even more.


And so, this is likely going to remain a pipe dream, but I want to explore the potential engineering and simulation of my own powered exoskeleton project as a hobby, using proper professional 3D design tools.