5 Replies Latest reply on Jan 28, 2013 12:29 AM by Deepak Gupta

    Light version of SolidWorks???

    Bryan Lagrange



      This topic might have been brought up in a previous post but in case it hasn't I would like to start this discussion and see where it goes


      Is there or will there be a time that SolidWorks will offer a version that is priced and built for hobbyist/inventors?


      I have heard from TV, magazines, internet, and experts in their fields that today's big ideas come from the home rather than the conference room. Take the popularity of today’s hit show Shark Tank. I personally believe this to be true because I have witnessed and participated in home start designs and ideas that move on to the business/consumer world. The one limitation is to get the concept from home in a compatible and correct digital format to the next step of producing a physical prototype.


      In the beginning paper napkins and hand sketches were OK, then 2D CAD made it better, but now a 3D model holds more data and trumps the previous two in visuals to properly convey an idea. The growth of 3D printing and with many prototype manufacturing businesses working with digital data it is so much easier for a hobbyist/inventor to transform an idea into a physical prototype which could lead to a whole new product. Not having a digital format and having a third party create the format to make just a prototype can be an added cost that the hobbyist/inventor has to take on. But what if there was a way for the inventor/hobbyist to skip this step by having the ability to make this file themselves?


      This brings me back to my initial question; is there or will there be a time that SolidWorks will offer a version that is priced and built for hobbyist/inventors?


      I use Alibre at home because it is in my budget However I would love to be using the standard in CAD today, SolidWorks. Almost every manufacturer, engineering firm, design company, or rapid prototype company that I come in contact with use the same CAD tool, SolidWorks. This would make it so much easier to share data with these companies by using a native SolidWorks format and not have the design integrity possibly being altered by using a generic format, and then having it translated into SolidWorks.


      I know that it is impossible for SolidWorks to make a low cost version of its product with all the bells and whistles included, but would SolidWorks produce a version that has the basic part modeling module, with a drawing module? For file import and export you could have .sldprt, and .slddrw for native files with the ability to save as an e-drawing file format or .pdf for viewing and portability purposes.


      Just a thought, I would love to hear a follow up from the rest of the community which one day I hope to be more than a guest.


      Thank you for your time,


      Bryan Lagrange

        • Re: Light version of SolidWorks???
          Adrian Velazquez

          Maybe not a "Lite" version, but a month-to-month based subscription licensing (of the full blown SW). I bring this up because as a hobbyist I've always wanted to get Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, etc..) for Graphic Design and other purposes, but I never got it because it was around $2K and I couldn't justify it for the occasional use. But last year they came up with the CREATIVE CLOUD solution, you get all of their products for a low month to month or annual subscription. It is an awesome option, and yes I'm part of it now!

          • Re: Light version of SolidWorks???
            Mike Pogue

            This is a great idea. Look at Microsoft Office. Office licenses cost a lot of money. Microsoft enforces it's licenses ruthlessly with businesses, but it is comically easy for home users to pirate the software. This is not an accident. In fact, even legal home licenses can be had for $10, assuming you work at a company that licenses Office. The reason is twofold:


            1. The huge base of people who know how to use Office makes the high cost of licensing plausible to companies who have access to comprable tools for free.


            2. The marginal cost of software is negligible.


            A similar course for SolidWorks (or PRO/E, or Autodesk, or Solid Edge) would make sense. Replace the academic license with a non-profit license. $50 down and $15/year. Have the software stamp all files for non-profit use. The stamp should be a popup that is not overly annoying, but clear whenever the file is opened in other than non-profit licensed SolidWorks. Could this be hacked? Of course. But companies willing to use hacked software can currently torrent cracked versions with 8-10 minutes of their release.


            Give it away to people who can't possibly pay for it anyway. Become the dominant standard. Sell it to more businesses who will more or less have to pay for it.

            • Re: Light version of SolidWorks???
              Deepak Gupta

              Bryan, this will be interesting for you: SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual