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Unsolicited email from SOLIDWORKS

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ega24/02/2016 18:02:43
2540 forum posts
201 photos

Out of the blue I have just received an email from SOLIDWORKS inviting me to view a promotional video. Although I am aware of this no doubt excellent software I have never before today had any contact with DS and wonder whether anyone else has been similarly approached.

Something of a Dassault Mystere!

V8Eng24/02/2016 18:14:04
1701 forum posts
1 photos

I get Solidworks emails from time to time, have always assumed it is because I registered for Draft Sight.

Edited By V8Eng on 24/02/2016 18:14:48

ega25/02/2016 09:59:01
2540 forum posts
201 photos


Thanks. I didn't know that DraftSight was a DS product but your explanation seems right.

CHARLES lipscombe04/07/2019 23:06:05
119 forum posts
8 photos

I have access to solidworks and at 79 years of age I am starting to learn this program. (Is this a record? smiley). Not the easiest of the CAD programs to grapple with I'm sure, but there it is.

I'm having trouble finding a suitable tutorial and I suspect there is someone on facebook somewhere with tutorial(s) for Solidworks 2018.

Does anyone know of such a site or a good book on the subject? By googling I have not found any free tutorials for Solidworks 2018, only earlier versions. While there are probably not many changes to earlier versions it can be quite baffling for an absolute beginner if selecting a particular option does not produce the result in the videosad


Paul Lousick04/07/2019 23:10:08
2043 forum posts
722 photos

Lots of videos and tutorials on Youtube for Solidworks

Mark Rand05/07/2019 01:09:22
1273 forum posts
28 photos

To Charles:- Well done! At 61, I'm having enough problems transferring from the 2D Visio (which I've used for 24 years, to the 3D Alibre Atom.

Boiler Bri05/07/2019 07:46:49
842 forum posts
199 photos

I get them. Usually from suppliers of the software. One in the Peak district has a very aggressive selling strategy and will not take me off there mailing list which is bloody annoying.

FYI it it about 8k for a single station in the first year. So it must be a good money spinner for them. After that it drops to a lower figure per annum.

For business’s they offer there own finance as other lenders will not put money up against it due to there being no tangible assets if you go bump. So in my mind they are on a good thing 🤑🤑

Thats my take on it


Nigel Graham 205/07/2019 08:47:13
2133 forum posts
29 photos

I receive unsolicited messages including sample / tutorial projects from Alibre, which are pointless because the Atom 3 trial licence has expired. Surely they know I have not bought the full version?

SolidWorks' own web-site does not give prices, leading me to think it's not interested in private buyers. However, the software itself is reputable even if the company's sales people aren't, and it was my employer's choice for its engineering designers. It also produced a student version for schools and colleges, with the cynical purpose of producing for employers, recruits already having been introduced to CAD - but only Dassault's products!

It was observing that use (not using it) which influenced my decision to take up CAD, though with TurboCAD, which was readily available at the time through the model-engineering trade, and at a fraction of the cost of SolidWorks or AutoCAD.

Boiler Bri -

Could you not simply block that supplier in the Peak District?

Bodger Brian05/07/2019 10:29:49
187 forum posts
40 photos
Posted by Nigel Graham 2 on 05/07/2019 08:47:13:

SolidWorks' own web-site does not give prices, leading me to think it's not interested in private buyers. However, the software itself is reputable even if the company's sales people aren't, and it was my employer's choice for its engineering designers. It also produced a student version for schools and colleges, with the cynical purpose of producing for employers, recruits already having been introduced to CAD - but only Dassault's products!

The fact that you think they're not interested in private buyers implies that you haven't spoken to them. So how can you then claim that their sales people aren't reputable?

Having student versions of software is nothing new - Microsoft have been doing it for years with their Office products.
It's a similar idea that my employers follow. They design & manufacture professional audio consoles and one particular market that is always of interest is colleges / training institutes. Get students / future sound engineers familiar with your own products & those are the ones you hope they'll want to use in the future.
That doesn't sound cynical - I say it's good business practice.


CHARLES lipscombe06/07/2019 00:16:03
119 forum posts
8 photos

PAUL LOUSICK: Maybe I did not make myself clear - If I google solidworks I get plenty of available tutorials BUT no free tutorials for Solidworks 2018. Earlier versions yes but not 2018. Paid tutorials yes but none free.

However there could be suitable tutorials on individuals websites with titles like JOEBLOWSTIPS that I don't think would come up as sources of Solidworks tutorials if I search for solidworks tutorials on google. Am I correct in thinking this?

I was hoping someone could point me to a site like joeblows tips with the help I need.

As far as I know solidworks is the current industry standard for CAD work - would be interested to know if this is correct?

Regards, Chas

Paul Lousick06/07/2019 03:01:20
2043 forum posts
722 photos

Solidworks is only one of the professional CAD packages and most of them only include training tutorials if you pay for a licenced copy. The standard version costs $3995 with an annual maintenance fee of $1295. If you find a cheap or free tutorial, it is probably a pirate copy.

When I first started using Solidworks as a design draftsman, I was sent on a 1 week training course to learn the basics and later for another week to master the advanced features. Luckily work paid for the course.

Solidworks is not the only industry standard software. Inventor has been on par with it, as well as CATIA, Microstation and more. I started with Autocad 2D then ProEngineer then Solidworks. The best choice of CAD software depend on what type of industry you are in. I worked in mechanical engineering design and Solidworks was the best choice at the time. Since I hace spent many years using it, it is my preference now because I know how to use it.


Edited By Paul Lousick on 06/07/2019 03:02:31

Raymond Anderson06/07/2019 08:17:10
785 forum posts
152 photos

Charles Lipscombe, Solidworks is not the Industry standard for 3d cad... There is no such thing ! There are quite a few other Mid range offerings, ie, Autodesk Inventor, and Siemens Solid Edge. High end [ with price tags to match ] you could have Siemens NX, Catia, and Creo [ formerly Pro E ] I prefer Solid Edge but then that's just my preference.

terry callaghan07/07/2019 09:27:49
237 forum posts
10 photos

It took me a year to get my head around solidworks, and now it’s my go to cad program. So far I used it to 3d print a WW2 two man chariot submarine for radio control. A rosebud grate for two of my locomotives. Making the drawings for a 1:6 scale whippet tank I am building, making the drawings for two radio control submarines and many more projects. I wasted so much time with the likes of turbocad and I just can,t get my head around auto cad which I also have. I think it is just a question of what works for you.

Alan Jackson07/07/2019 10:51:48
258 forum posts
146 photos


If you search for this on ebay there are many video teachings. This worked for me


Bazyle07/07/2019 11:35:01
6324 forum posts
222 photos

It is an interesting dilemma for small engineering entrepreneurs. We had a talk at EDMES from a young lad who had setup his own engineering business. He had learned I think solidworks at university and used it on his projects then but now as a pukka business he only needs CAD a couple of times a month so the cost of the licence and computer are out of the question.

The policy of introducing students to an expensive software package will only work if they get a job at a multimillion major league company. For the small business it is a millstone and it has actually hampered this chap so round the country the lack of thought by the universities as to what their graduates will actually do is probably having a negative impact on small business.

terry callaghan07/07/2019 12:50:53
237 forum posts
10 photos

Bazyle, I must say the current costs of these cad programs are eye watering. I was very lucky to get the program before it all went on cloud. My understanding is that the best hobby program is fusion 360 which is free for hobby users. I use fusion for the g code as there is no way I can afford the solidworks g code writer, I would not pay the mad asking price if I could. University’s in this country now are just so removed from real life these days it’s so very sad.

Jeff Dayman07/07/2019 15:03:31
2225 forum posts
47 photos

Not sure where the comment that "Solidworks is not interested in private buyers" came from. At least in North America that statement is not true. Not sure about the UK or Europe. In North America you do need to find a local "value added reseller" or VAR who will sell any person or organization as many licenses as they like. My local VAR Javelin Technologies (Oakville Ontario Canada) has been most supportive with license and support purchases and most importantly with any tech questions I have had over the years.

Looking at any large firm like Dassault's home page website it is not likely you would find any costs or even much specific tech info. You will find a phone number though, or enquiry email address, and with those you can easily and cheaply find gateways to any info you want, through your local VAR. (An open mind really helps too)

Avon08/12/2019 14:17:44
71 forum posts
26 photos

Just a thought but why not try Onshape. It's a fully functioned cloud based CAD system built by people who established Solidworks. You can use it for free provided you don't want your models to be private, which to my mind is ideal if your learning cad or just doing it for your own satisfaction.

I'm using it to draw a Smart & Brown Model M Mk1 which I'm renovating. It's a case of I've started so I'll finish.

It's just a thought but saves lots of discussion about costs etc

Raymond Anderson08/12/2019 15:51:18
785 forum posts
152 photos

Avon, Can't see Onshape remaining free for much longer [ or if at all ] as it has now been acquired by PTC if you go here This will tell you about it.

mgnbuk08/12/2019 16:20:39
1188 forum posts
71 photos

You can get personal access (non commercial use) to Solidworks Education Premium for $40 year.

How ? Join the Experimental Aircraft Association (, where it is one of the membership benefits. Needs a pretty capable PC to run it, though.

Nigel B

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