5 Replies Latest reply on Apr 12, 2013 10:25 AM by Tom Bostick

    Student to Contractor – Getting Started with the Cost of Software

    Matthias Psencik

      Solidworks is awesome and I seem to have a knack for it. After the 2nd semester of Solidworks I got my CSWP. I’m currently a student, finishing up my degree. I took an aptitude test and it said I should run my own “3D Business.” I had no idea what that meant until recently. I definitely have a strong entrepreneur drive – I don’t care if I have a degree or not, working a normal 9-5 is not my goal.

      The Problem: I’m a student and the software is $8K but I want to start contracting. On top of that, I do not believe in borrowing money so getting a loan is not an option.


      The Question is: Do I have options I'm not aware of?

      I’m definitely not cut out to design gears all day. I have to have something challenging, unique, and allows me be creative…or else I’ll probably get myself fired.

      It seems my work has impressed a few people and I keep getting requests from people and spent most of the class helping other students. First 30 minutes I would finish up my project and spend the next 2 hours helping other students on their homework and how to use Solidworks.

        • Re: Student to Contractor – Getting Started with the Cost of Software
          Alin Vargatu

          Matthias, what are you going to use SolidWorks for in your business:


          - for designing products?




          - for teaching other people how to use SolidWorks?

            • Re: Student to Contractor – Getting Started with the Cost of Software
              Matthias Psencik

              Oddly enough, both. I have always been handy and built a many things prior to Solidworks, like guitars, amps, desks, robots, ect. Now, I find myself building stuff in Solidworks before I go make it out in the garage - no more guess work.


              I have a vault of projects and ideas I could pull from to package some instructional projects that others may find helpful - would love to make some income that way.


              I also am getting requests to help people build things where they need something made in Solidworks and brought into the 21st centry then send off to be made or tested or whatever. I think this is great because it would keep me in contact with the "real world" of drafting thus making any instructional info actually helpful and current.


              I've built a few guitars/guitar-parts in Solidworks just for fun, used them as projects for my classes, but now the guy I got the original design from likes the changes and wants to look at selling them. It’s an unpleasant gray area to be stuck in. I need money for the software but I need the software before I can make money!


              I think SolidWorks is worth every penny but being a College Student means I only have pennies to spare haha! I tried to contact SolidWorks Sales but did not receive a response.

                • Re: Student to Contractor – Getting Started with the Cost of Software
                  Jeff Holliday


                  Unfortunately, starting a business can require significant investments. I applaud your desire to not refrain from borrowing but sometimes it is necessary. It sounds as though you are likely to succeed based on your history. I am a little curious about the aptitude test you mentioned. I hope it didn't cost very much to take, because I think you already had some indications of that talent. Good luck to you!



                  I am sorry to hear that you are having problems justifying the cost (which certainly is significant and can "eat up" profits quick). Without sounding harsh, if you have a chance I would suggest picking your tasks a little more careful for a better chance of profiting from your investments. We're all in the same boat - good luck!

              • Re: Student to Contractor – Getting Started with the Cost of Software
                John Sutherland

                It gets worse.


                Projects are intellectually challenging when you pay $18K for SW Premium, or even more for the more advanced products, and simulate Motion, FEA and CFD.


                Then real world projects, as opposed to renderings of cars and motor bikes, span many engineering disciplines and SW can help you with all of these; but you never stop learning and I find SW hard to learn because the documentation is written by and for people who already understand the product and just need their memory jogged.


                Before you have learned even a fraction of the contents of the SW Premium product, you will receive a $3K bill for annual "upgrade", which constitutes an improvement to about 0.01% of the $18K product.


                I have made no money from my $18K investment in SW Premium because I take on tasks that I know SW can do, but which I have not attempted before, and I take so long to produce a result that the customer gives up on me.


                Perhaps others will have a more positive spin on your dilemma.

                • Re: Student to Contractor – Getting Started with the Cost of Software
                  Tom Bostick

                       I'm in the same boat Matthias. I don't feel I was meant to be in a cubicle, yet here I am. I'm currently saving what I can until I can afford a decent pc as well as the software. It's definitely a test of patience.