Dassault Systèmes announced some changes to SOLIDWORKS pricing that will be of interest to both students and makers.
SOLIDWORKS is a widely-used CAD system that offers perhaps the most comprehensive set of design tools one can imagine. It’s relatively easy to learn, yet at the same time is incredibly powerful. That makes it a desirable tool for anyone designing 3D objects, be they from business, education or maker.
However, there’s long been an issue in the pricing of SOLIDWORKS: it’s too expensive for many people to consider using. Traditional pricing for SOLIDWORKS has been relatively high based on the amount of function it provided.
While the price + function equation balances, it relegated SOLIDWORKS to businesses that could afford its cost. That left many on the sidelines.
SOLIDWORKS has offered an educational version for quite some time, but this version had a number of limitations and constraints that focused it solely on student projects. It could not, for example, be used for commercial activities.
That might be changing with two brief announcements this week at 3DEXPERIENCE World from Dassault Systèmes, who said on their SOLIDWORKS account:
“Attention students! Unleash your creativity for inspired design with the most widely used set of design tools — within your reach and available soon! All of this is only $60/year via an easy online purchase.”
“With 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS for Students, you’ll get:
- Access to 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS Student, 3D Designer Student (3D Creator, 3D Sculptor, 3D SheetMetal Creator, and Project Planner).
- A complete cloud curriculum and industry-recognized certifications that will boost your resume, and help you land your dream job.
- An invitation to join an online community of peers and experts.
All of this is only $60/year via an easy online purchase. Sign up now to receive more information about 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS for Students when it’s available in May 2021.
This product is for individual student use only and not for research, teaching, or classroom use.”
“Makers, get excited! In the second half of 2021, we will release the special offer, which will include intuitive cloud-based 3D design tools and access to a global community of makers! All of this is only US $9.99/month or US $99/year via an easy online purchase.”
“With the 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS Offer for Makers you’ll get:
- Intuitive and easy-to-use cloud-based 3D design tools including 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS Professional, 3D Creator, and 3D Sculptor.
- An invitation to join an online community of makers filled with “Champion” makers, influencers, and innovators to inspire and help you with your projects.
- Access to new ways to collaborate and share designs.
All of this is only US$9.99/month or US$99/year via an easy online purchase. Sign up now to receive more information about 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS for Makers when it’s available in the 2nd half of 2021.”
It’s not clear all of the constraints that will be placed on these new offerings, but you can be sure there will be some — otherwise they’d hurt their market for the full product.
Nevertheless, this is good news for makers and students who wish to use SOLIDWORKS as their primary CAD tool.
For a time it seemed that Dassault Systèmes was leaving this market for other parties. Autodesk picked up many of this class of user with their very popular Fusion 360 product with a well-designed program for small makers.
Autodesk’s Fusion 360 For Makers program is actually provided at no cost, assuming the subscriber qualifies under Autodesk’s definition of a maker (less than US$100K revenue per year). This means that the SOLIDWORKS maker offer will be more expensive, so we’ll have to see the difference in functionality between it and Autodesk’s.
Either way, this is great news for startups, makers and students.