# EAA No Longer Has Free SolidWorks

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#### Wanttaja

##### Well-Known Member
i don't get it! jut keep being a student!
If they ask you what school you go to, just enter "Colorado School of Mimes". From that point on, don't say anything....
"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."
A man named John Ford (not related to the director) wrote some pretty good Star Trek novels a few years back. He said the Klingon version of this is, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, prepare to die...."

Ron Wanttaja

#### Woodenwings

##### Well-Known Member
Some of the earlier statements are very true and fair.

To add more of my feelings....

Staff member

#### dave by da lake

##### New Member
That's what I was afraid of. Thanks!

#### billyvray

##### Well-Known Member
Freecad may not be the 'best' but it's still new. From what I've seen it has good potential for what many in this group is looking for - free, supported, FEA, non-cloud storage. I don't have it yet but as the software I have gets older I'm thinking of wading into that water.

#### JML678

##### Member
Hello all. First post. I use OnShape, which is similar to SW but more forgiving in my opinion. Tons of little user-written widgets are available. OnShape is 100% cloud based. It is what the DarkAero guys use so I thought I’d give it a try. It does pretty much anything I ask, but I don’t think they have FEA.

#### PiperCruisin

##### Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
I figure most of the design is done in MS Excel or Matlab. For CAD I was considering Alibre because I can own it outright for a reasonable price or maybe Fusion 360 (some of the surfacing and boolean capabilities are cool), but I HATE the online stuff. If I had serious  backing, probably SW.

For FEA, I hate the embedded/automated stuff even though it is cool and can be useful for simple/monolithic parts. Once the hand calcs are done and you have something to evaluate, then maybe it makes sense to get something professional for a year like Femap+NXNastran. Looking online it said its about \$531/yr... seems reasonable, but could be hard if you have not had any experience with it. There is Simscale, or the Onshape add-on, but again I would prefer something professional or nothing.

If I was going to develop something it would go something like this:
1. Nail down 80% of it in Excel, OpenVSP/VSPAero.
2. Fine tune the layouts in a 2D CAD
3. Draw up in 3D
4. Check structure with FEA Femap/Nastran +Excel tools
5. Finalize 3D model

##### Well-Known Member
View attachment 122454 View attachment 122454 Hello all. First post. I use OnShape, which is similar to SW but more forgiving in my opinion. Tons of little user-written widgets are available. OnShape is 100% cloud based. It is what the DarkAero guys use so I thought I’d give it a try. It does pretty much anything I ask, but I don’t think they have FEA.
Onshape does have FEA but its an add on module from a 3rd party. They have lots of add on's for a fee. The company I was working for was wanting to switch from SW to onshape so we all were forced to try it out. I hated it since it was so foreign to me, however for someone with no experience in any CAD software, its likely a good choice to learn as it seems the all online model is the direction CAD is going. Yet for me I will fight the change tooth and nail and stick to my in house SW software.

##### Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
To add some clarity, SolidWorks for Makers is not an online software however it requires an internet connection to launch it since the license/activation is checked every time.

#### Urquiola

##### Well-Known Member

FreeCAD is Free! You can download from their site. But you were aware of this. Blessings +

#### wsimpso1

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
then maybe it makes sense to get something professional for a year like Femap+NXNastran.
FEMAP! You could define the term "user hostile" with that. Only go there if you really need its flexibility and are willing to spend a man-year getting spun up on using it effectively. I worked in a small engineering house that specialized in that. There were folks there with years on the tube in FEMAP who were still having trouble with it.

Billski

#### Matt G.

##### Well-Known Member
FEMAP! You could define the term "user hostile" with that. Only go there if you really need its flexibility and are willing to spend a man-year getting spun up on using it effectively. I worked in a small engineering house that specialized in that. There were folks there with years on the tube in FEMAP who were still having trouble with it.

Billski

If you think FEMAP is "user hostile", stay very, very far away from PATRAN.

#### PiperCruisin

##### Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
FEMAP! You could define the term "user hostile" with that. Only go there if you really need its flexibility and are willing to spend a man-year getting spun up on using it effectively. I worked in a small engineering house that specialized in that. There were folks there with years on the tube in FEMAP who were still having trouble with it.

Billski
Funny. "user hostile". Can't really disagree with you there.

Have also used Patran and a little bit of Hyperworks. Hyperworks/hypermesh is powerful, but I hate the interface. I hated Femap for years. It has kind of grown on me since. It may not be easier, but I know there is a way to get what I want done. Also used ABAQUS, ANSYS, Ideas, and NX Simulation (the Synchronous Technology is cool). They all have pluses and minuses.

However, the FEMAP/Nastran combo seems to be kind of a standard in aerospace.
Looking at little squares and triangles over the years really works over the eyes. Sucks.