Especially when you tell the customers that they are going to have to pay more. I’ve used Solidworks at several companies and interviewed with perhaps at least fifty more in my area. Lots of them are smaller outfits that can’t get the budget to upgrade every year. Especially in the current economy. Unless there’s a drop in subscription costs they’re going have to justify a cost that those companies can’t really afford. I don’t think that they are going to like being left out in the cold with an arbitrary decision like this. And the new players in the CAD business are already swimming around like sharks. And some Solidworks have already switched.
I was looking forward to looking at the new Solidworks startup program when the details became available for my “Lets Build” series, but if they are going to be this arbitrary and change the rules with this little notice I don’t see how I can. If Solidworks is going to want to keep it’s user base I would recommend that they be more upfront and stop making decisions that sound good for earnings calls, but not for their customers. After all we pay for those earnings, we expect that they remember that.
If you are starting a design, one high power tools is the availability of free parts. You can get parts from many sources to work on your projects. I have a basic philosophy against creating a model or designing a part that I can buy. Most vendors will provide models. In addition I’m going to include resources that I’ve use over the years. This is a great time for timesavers like this.
In the past, things were put together by teams of specialists for the most part. This was especially true when big companies ruled the roost. you enter your career doing something and that’s what you would do until you retired unless you were promoted. That’s what my grandpa Clyde did at Eastman Kodak from the 1930’s to 1964 when he retired. He always worked in the emulsions department, ending up actually heading the department, until he retired. There were other engineers or scientists who handled other tasks and there was only a limited degree of crossover.
There is an industrial revolution going on. Like these things tend to go it starts small, in garages. Back in the 1980’s and 1990’s the idea of making things for yourself or repairing things sort of became passe’ for just about everybody. Products became disposable. The electronic kits of my youth from RadioShack and Heathkit went out of business. Most of the hobbies like modelbuilding or trains were replaced by videogames, at least for the kids with an accompanying closure of a good portion of the hobbystores, at least in my area. It looked like DIY was dead.
As I sit here all by myself, I have to wonder how to make this happen. I’m just a designer and mechanical engineer. Do I have the skills I need to make this successful? The better question is do I need the skills to make this happen all by myself? The answer is no. Nobody is an island. Look at it this way. I’m by nature an introvert with not a huge bunch of friends. Yet in my network I have:
Turning and turning in the widening gyre | The falcon cannot hear the falconer | Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold | Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world | The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere | The ceremony of innocence is drowned | The best lack all conviction, while the worst | Are full of passionate intensity. -- W.B. Yeats, The Second Coming