A commenter after a recent Toolmonger post about French curves complained about the cost of 3D software, which is a very good point. Retail copies of software like SolidWorks, Autodesk Inventor, or CATIA can go for ridiculous amounts. No, seriously. Their markups can make Snap-On reps run for cover.
But, as is the case with basically every rule in human history, there’s a loophole. An online retailer called JourneyEd offers software at educational prices, which are massively less than retail. SolidWorks, my graphics program of choice, sells for $140 through JourneyEd, but full retail is $2995. 95.3% off, anyone?
The catch is, only students are allowed to buy the software, but JourneyEd won’t check on exactly who the end user is. If you have a kid in high school, or access to any student ID, you’re set. It’s a great way to add some high technology to your arsenal.