SOLIDWORKS has announced that they have a new offering, specifically for makers! You can now get 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS for Makers, a whole suite of cloud based tools, for $99 a year.
Let’s take a look at some of the awesome stuff that comes in 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS for Makers.
First off, you receive 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS, which is almost identical to the desktop SOLIDWORKS you may have already heard of before. This new version allows you to save all your data to your own secure cloud storage, which enables you to smoothly transition back and forth between SOLIDWORKS and the new pure-cloud X-apps, utilizing cool new features never before introduced within SOLIDWOKRS. This version of SOLIDWORKS is locally installed, and requires a moderate Windows 10 machine + internet connection.
Everything else showcased below is 100% pure-cloud, so all of this works from your laptop or tablet wherever you’ve got an internet connection!
With 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS for Makers, you start off by drawing accurate layouts of parts in 2D, then use all kinds of tools at your disposal. The power of these design tools is that everything is accurate, and you can do all kinds of things like specify exact sizes for holes and distances.
I came to this, having never touched SOLIDWORKS before, and I was able to produce this admittedly simple design and 3D printed it in the first few hours.
This one has me so excited. Coming from a 3D modeling background that was focused more on special effects and game assets, I was used to more manual style modeling where I could grab vertexes and polygons and move them around. Most 3D CAD packages have a different workflow where things are modeled using sketches and parametric changes. Neither method is easier or harder, or better or worse. They’re just different methods. The good thing is, you don’t have to choose!
xShape allows you to utilize some of those more organic methods (that feel more intuitive to me), and still exist within the engineering centered system. You can literally hop between the two workflows at the click of a single button.
As you can see in the video above, doing simple organic shapes is relatively easy since you can just drag points around to get what you want visually. I can’t even wrap my mind around how I would have created this in the typical CAD style method.
I was very happy to see that the online community for 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS for Makers was already quite active. I posted some questions and got feedback pretty quickly. As you can see in the screenshot above, they already have a community for makers, and a community specifically for support.
So much more
I’m no engineer. The example I’ve shown doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what is available. There are features in this offer that I frankly don’t even understand the usage of, and that’s a good thing! I’m eager to dig in to 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS for Makers and learn more.
For just $99/year, the Maker offer is for makers and hobbyists that earn less than $2,000 per year on their design work. If you’re going beyond that, you need to talk with SOLIDWORKS about the other licensing options that are available, such as the startup program or full license.