Hard time obtaining a Solidworks Trial Demo CD

Hi Everyone,
I have always used AutoCAD mechanical but I am currently evaluating 3D design Software. I have narrowed my choices down to Solidworks,
Inventor, or Solid Edge. I have heard good things about Solidworks, but I'm having a hard time obtaining a demo CD from my local reseller.
The Autodesk and Solid edge reseller's sent out demo CD's right away and Autodesk even sent a very helpful book. When I contacted Solidworks, they referred me to a local reseller. I called the reseller and they wanted me to come to a meeting in order to check out a demo. Some time passed & I contacted the reseller again explaining that I am far to busy to attend any type of meeting. The Solidworks reseller said that they could send a personal edition trial that expires in 90 days or a professional version that expires in 15 days. Since the personal version did not have rendering, animation, or data translation, I told them I needed the Professional 15 day trial. Actually, I had heard Solidworks had great rendering and animation and those were two of the most important features I wanted to check out. I mainly do mechanical drawings, parts & assemblies, but I also need something that is good for presentation.
After I told the reseller that I wanted to try the Professional verstion 15 day trial, they said I had to send them a signed purchase order for the program. I felt that this request was very premature, since I am only evaluating the software at this stage. The Solidworks reseller said they would tear up the purchase order if the program did not fit my needs, but I do not feel comfortable sending them a signed purchase order for the program at this stage. I did tell them I would pay for the CD and shipping, but I have not heard back from them.
It seems Solidworks is making it very hard to obtain a demo, which is strange because if they want to make a sale, you would think they would have no problem sending out a demo. I would like to try the Solidworks demo and compare it to Inventor and Solid Edge, but I need to get a demo & I am not comfortable sending them a signed purchase order for the program just to get a demo.
Has anyone else run into this type of problem before ? I would appreciate any advice or recommendations for another reseller. You can reach me via this forum or at the yahoo email given in this forum.
Thanks for your help. John
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Hi John,
I'm sorry to hear you are having trouble obtaining a demo CD. Based on the information you have given, if it were me, I would call SolidWorks and tell them about your experiences and ask them to put you in contact with another reseller. Requiring you to send a "signed purchase order" for a 15 day evaluation copy is absolutely ridiculous. (Regardless if they SAY they will tear it up if it doesn't fit your needs.)
The SolidWorks community is strong with many newsgroups, blogs, and other online resources. That's really one of the most impressive things about SolidWorks. If there is a SolidWorks User Group in your area, go to a meeting and check it out. (Go to http://www.swugn.org to find a group near you.)
Best of luck,
Ricky Jordan CSWP Dynetics, Inc.
President North Alabama SolidWorks User Group (NASWUG) Huntsville, AL
check out my SolidWorks Blog at http://www.rickyjordan.net
John2005 wrote:

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What a load of b*&^*%$,
Tell that reseller to get lost. Give us their name and we will contact them and shame them, lol
If you tell us where you are based, we will try to find a more "professional" reseller or VAR, as they are known.
BTW My VAR is just as bad, they only help if :- 1, I want to spend some money. 2, If I get so fed up with their ball sh*^, I contact their MD direct.
Before you decide, on who to use, checkout their support commitment first. How many support staff they have, on call at anyone time, not in total. My Var has meetings where ALL of the support staff go, at the same time, so there is no support for that whole day!, WTF!
On a plus point, Solidworks, (most of the time), is a great package to use. I am an AutoCAD user still, but only for the simple things that do not need the extra time required by a 3d program.
BUT please, whatever program you decide on, get the FULL training, it will save you so much grief.

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Don't walk, RUN to another VAR as fast as you can!!! Also, as Ricky suggested, notify SolidWorks of your experience.
Muggs
John2005 wrote:

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Where are you located? No PO should be required......
WT

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Sadly, some VAR's are better than others. A select few are simply not good.
You may just need to go on your own and find a VAR via Google.
If you are in Chicago-Milwaukee area, I recommend Graphics Systems or CATI.
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Hi everyone,
Thanks for all your replies.
I still have to contact Solidworks to tell them of my experience. I am located about 25 miles from Cincinnati. I was afraid that if I contacted another reseller or "VAR" that they would say I had to purchase from the one in my territory.
Perhaps they are treating me this way because I am a small operation. When I originally contacted Solidworks, I told them I only wanted one License or seat, and when the Solidworks inside sales rep for the great lakes and Ohio valley region replied, he said that before he could send a trial CD, he needed to know what CAD system I currently used, the principle nature of my design work, & when I intend to make a purchase. It almost seemed like he wanted me to impress them, instead of trying to impress me as a potential customer.
I gave the inside sales rep the information he wanted, and he then said that the VAR was very unlikely to give me an evaluation license at this time, but that there was something called a Personal Edition that I might be able to get by attending a VAR sponsored seminar.
I then contacted the VAR and was told that in order to get the 15 day trial of the professional version, I would need to send a signed purchase order.
Even though I just want one seat, a sale is a sale & I don't understand why they are not interested in selling. I have money budgeted for the purchase & I know about how much each of the packages cost.
I did tell them initially that it would be a few months before I could make a decision because I am busy and because it's a big decision I want to consider carefully. Perhaps they don't want to fool with me since I am small and since my need to purchase is not immediate.
I have heard good things about Solidworks as a program, but so far my experience with the actual company and it's reps has been discouraging. On the other hand, It may be possible that if I am able talk to some different people at Solidworks my experience would be more positive.
In any event, the experience has left a bad taste in my mouth and I don't think I will expend much more time or energy pursuing the matter further.
Thanks again for your feedback, John
That70sTick wrote:

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Having worked on the reseller side of things, here are some things I think may be going through their minds:
- SolidWorks has a lot of functionality in it, and someone who is unfamiliar with it is not likely to get to the really impressive stuff by just messing around with a demo copy for 15 minutes.
- Its true that most demo copy handouts don't result in sales.
- Sales people have been trained in the corporate method, and if things don't happen according to a playbook, they don't know what to do.
- Sales people want to deal with business types, not with engineers.
A good thing for you to do is to see if you can get the sales guy to bring an engineer as an interpreter and have him pull out his computer and give you a little demonstration. Actually, better yet is to schedule some time to go to their office to sit down and use the software on their computers for a few hours. This is better for you and for them, because demo software usually winds up sitting on a shelf, or gets installed and used casually for 15 minutes which doesn't answer anyone's questions. If you sit in their office, you can get your questions answered, and they feel in control. These are really the two primary concerns when it comes down to it.
Anyway, good luck.
John2005 wrote:

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VAR's don't have territories, per se. Many markets have multiple VAR's. Move on, find another.
The "personal edition" should be able to show you waht SW can do as far as modelling goes.
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Hi Everyone,
Thanks for your reply Matt, and for some feedback from a resellers standpoint. Actually, I intended pick up books on Inventor, Solid Edge, and Solidworks in order to study the programs before installing any type to demo, that way, I can learn as much as possible from the trial before it expires. Plus, I can use the books for reference after installing the demo's. I might check them out from the library, or try to find a good deal online.
With a good book at hand, I have never had any real trouble going through any type of CAD or engineering demo and learning at least the basics of all the functionality. Time is the main problem, I just don't have a lot of time for travel or meetings outside of my normal work. It seems I need to just study a book and then when I get time, install the trial and see what it can do. I am confident I can try most all the features of the program.
The bottom line is, if they don't send me a demo they have no chance whatsoever of making a sale. If they do send a demo, they have a chance to make a sale and have a loyal customer. I offered to pay for the demo CD and shipping, so they have nothing to lose. However, i'm not about to give them a signed purchase order for the full program just to get a demo. I understand I might be able to contact someone else at Solidworks & get better service, but I expected to be treated will a little more respect regardless of who I contacted a Solidworks. Having to search for someone withing a company that will treat me with basic respect does not seem like something I should have to do. I might give Solidworks another chance, but after that, If they don't treat me with a little respect, I will never contact them again no matter how good their software is.
Thanks again guys, John
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John, I think you are on the right track, with a quick self-learning situation.
Some of the features not covered in the quick tutorial, the last time I read it years ago, was things to do with libraries (Toolbox) on a server and the likes of "configurations" in SolidWorks. Generally configurations have been extremely important in generating finished projects for all sorts of time saving reasons. There have been some other comments about comparisons of this between SolidWorks & SolidEdge on this group within the last month or two as I recall from an actual user.
If time is really an issue, just tell the VAR you want to borrow one of their classroom demo machines to try out following the tutorial and see what they say. That would definately save time. Maybe you would have to spend evenings going through the tutorial, but that might not be that bad.
Bo
John2005 wrote:

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Bo wrote:

No, I gotta disagree. Self-teaching isn't going to result in knowledge about the depth of the software. It's barely gonna scratch the surface. Same with any of the books that are currently available - they are primarily for new users and only cover superficial topics.
If the software is going to be used for light-duty modeling, get Alibre and skip the evaluation. If you're going to use it for more than that, you have to invest some time. If you don't you might as well draw straws.
If you have to consider drawings, assemblies, and a modeling specialty such as castings, sheet metal or weldments, a simple 4 hour run through the tutorials is not going to give you enough actionable information to really make an intelligent decision.
I'd also encourage you to look at the larger support community. As you have seen, resellers vary in quality, so a lot of support comes from other sources such as user groups, individual websites, online forums, ezines, blogs, etc.
To start with, are the users of the other software packages giving you useful advice?
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Matt, my view was that John was trying to get a quick feel for how his pick of 3D programs worked on their basic tasks, given his statement about not having a lot of free time (which may be a wrong assumption on my part). I do not think it is possible for a new user of a 3D CAD application to really understand it well until you are 3-6 months into your first 3D CAD application in YOUR PARTICULAR use of 3D in your industry, and John was not going to have that time.
Given he mentioned he doesn't have a lot of free time to do extensive learning, I agree with you he needs to make the best use of local users he can find (maybe through VARs, if he doesn't know people using a particular software), plus various online sources.
I myself had used several 3D CAD packages including IDEAS Artisan, and expressed my displeasure with it to a friend I used to work with years earlier in my prior company before I sold it. He gave me a simple drawing to illustrate SolidWorks doing what I wanted in a filleted multi-port 3D manifold. Since we were designing somewhat similar products, I could at least be comfortable that the company he worked at was doing good productive work with SolidWorks, prior to my trial and purchase of SolidWorks.
End users of CAD packages in John's type or field of work could offer the most valuable help he could get.
Bo
matt wrote:

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Hello John,
SolidWorks is definitely worth looking into. As has been said, there are good VAR's and there are bad VAR's. RUN from this VAR and find one that will treat you right. If this is how they treat a prospective customer then I would hate to see how they treat customers that are already "locked in". My VAR, Cimquest, is one of the really good ones. I am an independent and so I only have one seat, but they treat me like I'm GM or Ford.
And, as I've already said, I would absolutely let SW know of your dealings.
Muggs
John2005 wrote:

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Howdy John,
Purchase the "Educational Version" including Cosmos for $200. If you are a Student it is possible.
http://www.solidworks.com/pages/products/edu/studenteditionsoftware.html
Demo it, evaluate it, and then purchase if you want to. It carries a 2 year license.
BB

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