Less expensive solid modeling alternatives

I used to work as a mechanical designer. At the company I worked for we used SDRC I-Deas, I have also used Solidworks some. My problem is now I
am a computer programmer and all my mechanical design work is just for my own garage projects, and I don't have access to solid modeling software any more. Now that I have used solid modeling, I can't go back to the 2D/3D wire frame drafting packages. But I can't seem to find any packages that are reasonably priced. Solid works at $4,000 is the closest, but that is still way to much for me to justify when all I am doing is personal projects that will never make any money. Can't Solidworks or someone else come up with some version that is limited somehow that would still be useful on the small projects a hobbiest would be working on for less than $1,000?
--
Chris W

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I wonder if you could get a dealer to sell you an older version of SW for a heavily discounted price. Ofcourse it would have to be far enough back so that you couldn't upgrade to the current version for less than if you were to by a new liscense right out. Otherwise you could get ripped off by the pretend software piraters that annoyingly post here most every day to get a few suckers to send them money.
Corey

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Look at Alibre (www.alibre.com). You should only need the basic application (not the Pro or the Expert versions at additional cost), so it should only be $695 if I remember correctly. It seems to be pretty good from what I hear -- poised to become a threat to SolidWorks, Inventor and Solid Edge (if it can ever get some market share).
Mark 'Sporky' Stapleton Charlotte, NC
Chris W wrote:

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You might look into (?) Alibre, Pro/Desktop, Concepts3D.
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Well, obviously you did not look very hard at all.
Here are some under $1Kusd (parametic feature based): Alibre http://www.alibre.com / Solid Concept http://www.solid-concept.com/english/product/index.htm Inovate (IronCad) http://www.ironcad.com/inovate.asp VX Basic http://www.vx.com/vx_basic.cfm SolidThinking Forma http://www.solidthinking.com/products/forma/index.htm Ashlar Argon http://www.ashlar.com/products/index.shtml ParaLogix http://www.a3ds.com / TurboCad Professional http://www.imsisoft.com / CadMax (not sure how parametric it is?) http://www.cadmax.com/products /
Internet reseller which supplies many of the above: http://www.novedge.com /
and some reviews.. http://www.deskeng.com/articles/02/sept/cover/index.htm
(I'm sure there are other reviews if you do a google search on either of the above modelers)
..
Chris W wrote:

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And, also, as Jeff mentioned...
Pro/Desktop (nice program but I think it's in limbo?) http://www.tenlinks.com/CAD/MCAD/users/prodesktop / Concepts Unlimited http://www.concepts3d.com /
..
Paul Salvador wrote:

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We have 2 seats of Cadmax , we bought it oh about 4-5 years ago and it was more powerfull than solidworks was at the time. Yes it is parametric and parasolid based kernal with there own surfacing module-nurbs based. When we bought it it was about $3000 a seat but the prices have dropped quite a bit. The program is not as user friendly as Solidworks and is a little dated.

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Well I have downloaded and tried CADMax, TurboCAD Pro, ParaLogix Level Two, and Alibre. So far Alibre is the only one that is even close to what I would call a good solid modeling package. I post this mostly to see if there is something I am missing in the othere packages?
--
Chris W

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Check Solidworks website for free Personal Edition.
Paul Miller

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There used to be student/academic versions of some CAD programs available at deeply discounted prices. Perhaps enroll in a class somewhere that qualifies you for this.

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History of Tim Olson's Concepts Unlimited and enhancements made to Concepts over the last 12 months:
http://www.csi-concepts.com/CU2UpdateNotes.pdf
Concepts 2.0 is now in Open Beta:
http://www.csi-concepts.com/betaDownload.htm
Does SolidWorks Corp. do Open Beta testing ?
Does SolidWorks allow a user the option of running on Mac OS X ?
;>)
Have fun, ~ posted via http://www.cncgurus.com/usenet/ ~
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo-dot-com.no-spam.invalid (jon_banquer) writes:

Heard a rumor of a "free demo" again did you? You ever going to learn to actually use any system of any sort? In actual 3D?
There's more to it than simple press releases. And you don't seem to know which is CAD, CAM or CAD/CAM yet.
--
Cliff

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Mark,
"Well... the description they chose for their product pretty much says it, doesn't it."
Worse than that. A3DS was doomed from the start because the didn't think hybrid modeling was a top priority. Big mistake and they paid for it.
I believe this is one of the first things Pathtrace will address. It's not like the have a choice because their accounts will need the hybrid functionality and since they sell to job shops as one of their main markets they won't be able to get away with the crap SolidWorks Corp. has for so many years by not providing the needed hybrid tools.
BTW, Concepts Tim Olson makes it very clear that they have no intention of being very strong with assemblies. He believes like I do that many users want better modeling functionality over large assembly capability. One should not come at the sake of the other but in a difficult market it's obvious that some developers are going to forsake one at the expense of the other.
By way of comparison, many CAD/CAM programs have skipped on implementing decent non-modal toolpath editing. MasterCAM most certainly has. SmartCAM, which has seen no development in years, is still far, far ahead in this area. Certainly this is one of the main reasons you see so many seats of SmartCAM still being used in Phoenix, AZ. It's a major reason why shops don't replace SmartCAM if they are doing production machining. No reason to downgrade to MasterCAM, Gibbs, etc.
jon ~ posted via http://www.cncgurus.com/usenet/ ~
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