My name is Silas Curfman. I am a full time mechanical engineer and have happily been a SolidWorks user for over 10 years. I'm posting here in the forum because my concerns have recieved no responses through my VAR or other e-mails to SolidWorks. My concern is this, I think there needs to be more resources (from SolidWorks) for professionals trying to volunteer in educational settings.
This year I just had the unpleasant experience of seeing our entire school district make selections of CAD software that should have involved SolidWorks, but didn't. I am both a volunteer and chair of a communtiy advisory commitee for our High School STEM department. I was aware of the search process and tried to be involved as much as possible. During the process I contacted our VAR ans asked for anything they may have in a promotional package for High School and possibly Middle Schools. They were not able to provide me much other than some pricing of student editions. I also tried to contact SolidWorks by various e-mails looking for help trying to "sell" our school on SolidWorks. I recieved no information through that route. In the end the school disctrict took a confusing course of selecting software that has no professional use within a 70 mile radius, while a number of local businesses are regular SolidWorks users. It should not have been a difficult argument to make. Had I had something more than a brochure with a per seat student edition price to pass to them, I think I could have had a better chance.
I do not believe in bringing up problems without also proposing solutions, so please consider one or more of the following requests:
1) Designate a contact person to assist professionals that want to volunteer in education. If you have done so already, please make it more obvious.
2) Consider a SolidWorks seat "E-Cycle" program. This program would allow professionals with current subscription licenses to exchange old CD-DVD installation packages of any previous version of SolidWorks (associated with that professionals license) for a current Student Edition license to be donated to a school of choice. Such a system would both encourage professionals to volunteer with, or at least connect with, educators while at the same time make the innitial purchase by the school much less intimidating. It could also help strengthen the argument for professionals to remain on subscription rather than drop on and off.
3) Create and make readily available a simple but effective marketing kit designed so that engineers and designers (we don't always make the best salesmen) can make the most supportive argument for a school to select SolidWorks.
To anyone taking the time to read this or share it, I sincerely appreciate your time. Thank you.
FSI Fabrication, Inc