EAA No Longer Has Free SolidWorks

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rotax618

Well-Known Member
How to import airfoil data to Freecad.
Airfoil Macro.

rotax618

Well-Known Member
This is a talk given by the developer of the Realthunder Link branch of Freecad, he gives a brief history of the development of Freecad and an explanation of the various common Workbenches, he alse explains the topological naming problem and the fixes he has applied.
The relevant parts are from 37:36 to 1:13:00, it would be invaluable information to anyone wanting to learn and use Freecad.

daveklingler

Well-Known Member
I may be in the minority, but I see this change as an improvement.

For $50, you now get support and your models and drawings no longer come with an "Education Version" warning on them. If you use the support once or twice a year, SolidWorks is probably about breaking even on the$50 you paid them.

This new "Makers Version" is priced low enough that it's not like it's $5000 a seat (or whatever they charge now for the full version), but Dassault gets a little something every year. And that's fine. Money paid for value received. Does anyone know whether all the FEA tools work the same way? EDIT: What FEA tools? I now realize that 3DExperience is CATIA, not SolidWorks, and that FEA is not included. It's still a great deal for$50/year, but a lot less than EAA members were getting with SolidWorks. Same parent company, different software.

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BJC

daveklingler

Well-Known Member
I'm now disappointed in this change because it's a completely different CAD package. I was dead wrong in my belief that 3DExperience was a new version of SolidWorks. It's still a good deal for EAA members, but not nearly as powerful.

For those of you who still have the previous download of SolidWorks and are having trouble learning to use it, go up to the top and start with the tutorial. It's excellent, easy to follow, and it begins at the beginning.

That's how I learned SW, several years ago now, and I now use it regularly to design airplane parts, even to just sketch ideas.

Regarding 3DExperience, ONLY the proprietary files are no longer able to be saved.
You cannot open up files created with your Maker account within a commercial or academic platform. This digital watermark is added to native 3D file formats, such as .3dxml, .sldprt, .sldasm, and .slddrw.
And at this point I've confused myself. Remember when I said that 3DExperience was CATIA? That quote says you can't save SolidWorks files. Someone who knows more will hopefully straighten me out here, or I'll be forced to read a little more...

Regardless, you CAN save STL and other non-proprietary files out of 3DExperience for exchange or 3D-printing, OR you can 3D-print directly. I haven't figured out whether you can print regular old mechanical drawings, which are still the way I send things to machinists even if I modeled them in fancy software.

I wonder whether there's a free CAD program out there, or whether anyone here has ever used one....just kidding, rotax618! I'll give FreeCAD a look some time, but for now, I do love working in SolidWorks.

daveklingler

Well-Known Member
Something else occurred to me just now whilst poking around the web. Dassault Systemes, the French company that produces Solidworks and 3DExperience, originally wrote CATIA in 1977 to support design of the Mirage fighter jet. CATIA (after many rewrites) eventually became 3DExperience in 2014. It's still heavily used in aviation.

Some bright-minded person at Dassault Systemes may have decided that 3DExperience, with its roots in aviation, was better suited for EAA members.

mcrae0104

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Log Member
If this were a woodworking forum, this would be like a discussion on the latest and best tools. Hey, have you tried that new Woodshaver 2000? No, I stick to my Whisperdust 990; best ever. Sure, but the Choppermatic is easier for beginners. Beginners? Pshhh. I run a cabinet shop. If you don't run with Slicer-matic, you're a chump. Then somebody chimes in and says it's been going downhill since the electric induction motor came on the scene, and you can pry his Japanese chisel and Arkansas stone from his cold, dead fingers.

Meanwhile, other people are using what works for them and silently getting things done, whether EAA gave them a free set of tools or not. At least I hope they still are.

Voidhawk9

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Meanwhile, other people are using what works for them and silently getting things done...
MS Paint?

Hot Wings

Grumpy Cynic
HBA Supporter
Log Member
Dassault Systemes, the French company that produces Solidworks and 3DExperience
You mean the French company that bought SW and is only now phasing out their former competition for an cloud based system that they can completely control?
Yes, I'm a bit cynical.................

Keyepitts

Member
Just for another data point, I use Solid Edge at work and love it. It does both direct-modeling and history based parametric modeling, and has had the direct-modeling capability for the last ten years or so. There is currently a full-featured version of Solid Edge available for hobbyists for free, Google for "Solid Edge Community Edition"; It installs the full version of Solid Edge on your computer, not a cloud version. I believe this version comes with a permanent license. All that said, If I were starting from scratch looking for a CAD software for hobby use today, I would probably go with FreeCad. The CAD software industry has a long history of pulling the rug out from under their customers, ALL of them.

Jay Kempf

Curmudgeon in Training (CIT)
I managed to get the CFDOF (OpenFoam) workbench up and running on FreeCAD last night. Compared to all other ways to install and try to figure out how to use OpenFoam it was a breeze. That being said I think it is limited in solvers to compressible, incompressible and Basically a RANS turbulence model. For me that is fine for what I would want to use it for. The FEA options are even easier.

What so far isn't up to par is the 3D modeler and especially the surfacing capability. Far from easy to figure out. But it is for the most part all there. There is also a CAM workbench that I haven't messed with yet. But suffice to say FreeCAD and it's add in modules seem to be quite broad and capable. I may do surfacing in another package and dump in this interface just for analysis. Of all the other analysis packages out there that aren't cubic dollars it is the best 3D interface. More CAD like than all the others. If Fusion had an OpenFoam module like this it might be the perfect package.

Jay Kempf

Curmudgeon in Training (CIT)
You mean the French company that bought SW and is only now phasing out their former competition for an cloud based system that they can completely control?
Yes, I'm a bit cynical.................

That is really old news. Catia and SW have lived under the same roof for a long time. There seems no interest on the part of DSS to pick one or the other and absorb one of the choices. They are completely different customer bases with completely different budgets.

HBA Supporter

daveklingler

Well-Known Member
You mean the French company that bought SW and is only now phasing out their former competition for an cloud based system that they can completely control?
Yes, I'm a bit cynical.................

Well...to be fair, if that's the case, they did wait 24 years.

And CATIA 3DExperience has been available for 7 years. But I don't think they're phasing SolidWorks out. They're just saying that instead of getting free apples the way we've been getting for the past several years, they'll give us oranges, 98% off.

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Wanttaja

Well-Known Member

It is able to load Solidworks files, so one doesn't have to do a hurried conversion in SW before the license expires.

Looks to have a pretty good tutorial, too.

Ron Wanttaja

Jay Kempf

Curmudgeon in Training (CIT)
Yeah, that is mostly freehand illustrating. I'll let you know if the parametrics hold up. I have a bunch of acid tests for modeler kernels. Looks reasonably stable though.

Jay Kempf

Curmudgeon in Training (CIT)
You can make a plank wing in almost any modeler. Needs to be more elaborate to give it the thumbs up. Wish the interface was a little higher res. Seems very 640 doslike.

rotax618

Well-Known Member
How you produce plans from Freecad models.