LinkedIn Video Tutorial: Designing A Bike in Solidworks

Helpful video for those who have access to Solidworks and LinkedIn, looks like they give you a course free for 24hrs. Especially in the conclusion section where it shows how to create 2D paper mitering templates.


Nice! I browsed the free chapters. It’s pretty detailed.

I did a bit of poking and Solidworks has a " 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS for Makers"

  • $99/year
  • does not appear to have any limitations
  • You can’t make over $2000 w/ the product (I think this amount prohibits small “startups”)

The price is not too bad, considering I find most engineering students in the US learn Solidworks.

For comparison, Fusion360 has a few options:

  • Free for hobby use w/ really annoying limitations
  • You can apply for a startup license (1 year free, <$100k revenue)
  • Full version is $545/year

Any diehard Solidworks people out there?

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Many years ago I was taught Solidworks for 3D CAD.

I recently scabbed a Fusion360 educational license and did some basic things. The transition wasn’t an issue but I’ve not yet done anything proper, let alone assemblies or simulations.

Haven’t used either in anger since the Solidworks days though. Much of a muchness for me.


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I may be the only Solidworks diehard, fusion is hard to beat on value especially with integrated CAM. If I hadn’t been doing contract design/drafting in the past I’d have fusion

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I was until I saw the price tag for using it as a small biz. I still bemoan Fusion’s joint system every time I use it, Solidworks’s mates just make so much more sense.

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Solidworks is what I learned in machine technology school for 3D modeling and generating prints. It was also installed on my work computer, which I will NOT allow IT to upgrade because they’ve stopped installing it on the newer machines. :wink: I tried Fusion360 when my educational Solidworks license expired – it’s OK. We use NX at work, which I’m slowly getting comfortable with. I didn’t know that there was a $99/year Solidworks license! Now I just wish they made a Mac version. :smiley:

-Jim G

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I use SolidWorks at my normal job. The Body/Part/Assembly structure and also the positioning of things relative to one another makes a lot more sense to me than in fusion.

I thought about this maker’s license as well, but there is one very annoying limitation: There is no possibility to upgrade it to a proper license later, as it “watermarks” all the files created with it so they cannot be opened with a commercial license. So if you want to grow from hobbyist to semi professional (with solid works) at some point, you’ll have to redo all the cad in the commercial version.


That sounds like a massive oversight!

Surely someone at Solidworks could click the magic button so that the files become compatible with the commercial version. I bet they have a file conversion tool, but you’d probs have to send them the files.

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Not that I know of… It’s the same watermark that is in the “student design kit” for university students


Just received SW files from a freelancer done on SW with the Maker License. In-house we have a computer with SW23 and were not able to open those files.


Thanks for the real-world feedback everyone. I never thought the maker’s license would be a big issue, but apparently, SW knows what they are doing to keep people in their lanes :sob:.

At Meet your Maker event last month, I met a cool engineer and custom bike enthusist named Hans (hanskellner). He works in Autodesk’s Peir 9 (Technology Centers | Autodesk), doing R and D on cool advanced manufacturing tech and workflows. I had two takeaways about the company:

  • the vast majority of their money comes from Autocad
  • they invest heavily in future technologies
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Adding in to the discussion:

I was taught SW in college and used it at all my day jobs for 10 years until recently (switching to Creo has been a bear)

To keep my SW knife sharp, I bought the Maker’s license to make easy 3DP and sheet metal models. One limitation I wish I knew before I bought it - there’s no way to add in the FEA simulation to the Maker’s edition.

When my year is up in a few months, I’ll probably make the switch over to Fusion - what’s another CAD package to learn :man_shrugging:

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The Educational license is the same way.

-Jim G

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I also learned solid works in college and used it for years designing manufacturing equipment. I really like the surfacing tools In solid works, it makes it easy to create 3d printed nesting, funky notch profiles for tapered head tubes or motor cabinets. The limitations of the educational files with solid works are frustrating, I suppose it’s better than nothing though. Onshape seems to be pretty intuitive coming from solid works, and decent for designing simple parts, collaborating with others and making prints.


I’ve been on the Solidworks Maker license for the last year since I have about 16 years of experience with the program (Starting to feel old with statements like that.)

It appears to be fully featured solidworks without any FEA access. The main drawbacks I have found:

  • As stated above, all files produced are treated the same as an educational license and cannot be opened with commercial licenses.

  • It is some weird mix of web based and system based do you still need a quite powerful processer and GPU to run it but also a web connection. The web platform is super klunky and I get lost everytime I try and to an update (which is quite often). I got so frustrated last time they had an update and I got locked out for a few hours that I cancelled my subscription.

My sub ends this month so I need to make a decision, leaning towards Fusion but OnShape is a solid option too. Not looking forward to learning a whole new program.