why use it when Fusion 360 is free? they want 10 usd per month for this. They should have released a fusion version that is free if they really want to support makers. we have enough things to pay for without having to pay for yet more software.
Yeah. Be aware that they also spam you with marketing crap even when you specifically DON’T give them permission for it (they ask) when signing up to express interest. Ugh.
For me, that spamming crap killed all interest.
I have Solidworks through my EAA membership, which is $99 for three years. It is the academic edition, so it has strong non-commercial limitations, which is fine for my use. It also requires upgrading each year to the current version, which limits ability to collaborate with folks using a different version, since commercial licenses to Solidworks you have to pay a lot to upgrade to new versions.
Also be aware that Solidworks uses an extremely outdated graphics kernel. My Windows computer that runs Solidworks has a GeForce RTX 2060, but Solidworks warns me that I don’t have a good enough video card because it’s not a quadra. This is because you basically have to pay extra for support for outdated graphics kernels. Fusion360 (gratis version) runs smooth with large, complex models on the GeForce; Solidworks definitely lags with complex models, especially with transparency. So you might consider the price of Solidworks, at least for complex models, to be either slow graphics or also buying a Quadra, which wouldn’t actually be an upgrade for, say, gaming. (Not to mention buying video cards right now feels like a fool’s errand, thanks to all those bitcoin miners buying all the video cards and spewing CO2…)
It’s probably not so much an old graphics kernel, as Dassault Systems is super friendly with NVIDIA’s professional workstation graphics cards team, thus their targeting NVIDIA Quadro cards.
That being said, NVIDIA announced last year they’re retiring the Quadro brand. No idea what that’ll mean for their workstation graphics cards line.
For cheap supported graphics cards, you can actually go a fair way with low end models like the Quadro K620. They’re available 2nd hand on Ebay for not much $$$.
Random examples from US Ebay just now (I don’t know the sellers at all):
Honestly, I doubt that it’s propping up quadro; much more likely that they’d rather invest their time in new feature work than in rebuilding infrastructure so it’s cheaper for them to just demand quadros. But I can’t find the articles describing the difference in graphics kernels that I found months ago, so I’ll just say that the performance difference was obvious between Solidworks and Fusion on the same model, on the same computer.
Most of my computers run Linux. The windows computer that runs Solidworks also runs games for the family, so switching to quadro would make other users of this computer unhappy—even though right now I could sell the video card in the system, used, for more than I paid for the entire system, new, back in August.
(Ultimately, I end up in FreeCAD on my laptop more often than I take over the shared Windows machine to use Solidworks. I love the way that “save as directory” in the Realthunder branch of FreeCAD works really well for using Git to manage my models.)
What worries me most about the big boys is that the TOS is a moving target and changes at the whims of the businesses. I am with @mcdanlj, I stick with the open source, freeware choices and get what I need done just fine.
Hmmm, I’m not so sure. One of the “interesting” things about their software is it also used to run at full speed with specific laptop GeForce cards (eg the GT 650M).
I was told it’s because some of their developers used laptops with that model GPU, so it was specifically white listed. Aka, the software is completely capable of running without hindrance on GeForce cards… they just choose not to.
Also saying that as I used to have a laptop with that exact model GPU. Purely co-incidence of course.