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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.

SolidWorks [JourneyEd]
NX 6 [JourneyEd]

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9 Responses to Material Source: JourneyEd

  1. Jim German says:

    I don’t see the point of this. If you are willing to cheat the system to get a student copy if you’re not a student, why not just go the whole way and steal it? At least by just downloading it, you won’t be encouraging the demise/nerfing of future student editions.

    Also this software isn’t “marked-up” as you claim. Its just very low volume stuff that has huge development costs. If you’re using it for commercial projects, you can afford to pay for it. If you’re using it for yourself, just steal it, or use a free alternative, like Sketch-Up.

  2. aaron says:

    i agree with jim. theres no reason anyone should be trying to get something for nothing here. either you use it for profit and should pay fair price or you dont need its capabilities in which case you go freeware/open source.

  3. ToolGuyd says:

    I do agree that there should be a way for hobbyists to have access to cheaper versions of professional software, but scamming the system is not the best way to go about it.

    I also don’t think that Lex is openly encouraging fraud, so c’mon guys, give him a break.

  4. Gregg says:

    Having only used Autodesk from the above list, I would like to throw into the ring http://sketchup.google.com/download/. The free version is powerful in its own right and the pro version can be had for less that $500 if you REALLLY need it. Millimetric or for you colonials, thousandths, perfect, and has a thriving community of designers who may already have the item you wish for already modelled. Costs nothing to check it out!

  5. Jon Danforth says:

    Like many of you I have struggled with the high price of software. For me, Photoshop is the killer app that I wrestled with buying. After illegally using it as a hobbyist for several years I decided to purchase a full retail copy specifically because I was starting to make money using it.

    I could have bought an educational copy at any time, probably.

    If you’re not going to pirate it & are conflicted about buying the student version because that’s untruthful too, then I suggest you take a class! We all know how hard this software is to use so the class wouldn’t be cheating.

    TechShop has classes on Solid Works and I would feel completely cool about buying an educational edition of SW if I had taken that class.

    Just my $0.02.

  6. johnnyp says:

    This student copy is what it says it is. First off, when you print using this version you get the words “student copy or educational version ” printed in the background. Secondly there is an expiration date it is only good for so long.
    This software is a powerful tool and I seriously doubt the hobbyest will use it any near its capabilities. As Greg says Skecthup is fine. There are also several other free programs out there. I been around these programs for a long time and sometimes the best and quickest way to get things done is the old fashion way, 2D,pencil and paper. Remember these things are only as good the user, garbage in garbage out.
    One other note Jim German and Aaron wouldn’t happen to be affiliated with this co.(Dussault). Similar to what I’ve heard at resellers seminars

    Just my $0.02.

  7. bigalexe says:

    Myself being a student I have been purchasing from JourneyEd for the past few years while I’ve been in college. In total I’ve purchased AutoCAD multiple times until Autodesk gave it to me for free, and Solidworks 2006 version with full CosmosWorks and FloWorks.

    The good side is that the files produced are real files in the sense that they conform to file formats and thus can be imported into MasterCAM and similar CNC Programs so everything is fully usable. The downside is that when printing everything has a banner on it stating its an educational version. Also according to the EULA it is ILLEGAL to use this software in a profit making capacity, I dont know the fines in place but I sure wouldn’t want to find out.

    In the end… If you are a STUDENT then yeah educational software is great, if not then please pay legit price for this software.

    Also I don’t know about Dassault being directly affiliated with Journeyed but they do sell pretty much all CAD software.

  8. Don says:

    I’m not a fan of stealing software & I think the makers of 3D software would be doing themselves a big favor by allowing hobbyists to license their stuff at student prices. They probably won’t and as a result, in 10 years Sketchup will become a defacto standard. Just another $0.02.

  9. Shane E. Vadnais says:

    The problem with using the student version of any 3D CAD software such as SolidWorks or Pro/Engineer is that (usually) one is limited to what they can do with the 3D models. For example: I do not believe one can export models as IGS, STEP or STL files. My experience has always been that one can save their “student version” models to be used on student software, if they need to import it to software such as Mastercam, Vericut (for CNC) or another CAD system they are pretty much SOL.

    Keep in mind a full seat of SolidWorks is upwards of $3,000+/- whereas, a lot of times Dassault Systemes (makers of SolidWorks and CATIA) will give away free copies of SolidWorks Student edition. The main difference is what one is getting. Eaxample: SolidWorks = $3,000+/-, CATIA V5 = $100,000+/- but one can design a stealth fighter with CATIA and a small commuter plane with SolidWorks.

    Look at it this way, I could buy a “student edition” moped for $200 made to get myself and my books to and from school. But, I am limited to one rider and I get soaked when it rains. For $2,000 I can buy a used Honda, it’s a decent car, I don’t get wet when it rains, I can haul some of my friends but it doesn’t have A/C and its 15 years old. Or, I can spend $40,000 and buy a nice new BMW with tinted windows, A/C and leather seats with built in back massagers. I’m paying 99.995% more for the BMW than I would for the moped but I’m getting a LOT more for my money.

    If you’re looking for something inexpensive for home/hobby use that has an extensive library of pre-build downloadable 3D models I would suggest Google Sketchup (http://sketchup.google.com/). If you need something more then call a SolidWorks rep and ask them what deals they have going on and haggle with them on the price and pay for the full version. You will be happier in the long run.

    Shane E. Vadnais
    CATIA V5 & Pro/Engineer User

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