3D Design Software: Which One Is Right for You?

Investing in 3D design software is like a getting a tattoo. It's a decision that will reward you with joy and confidence, but you also plan to live with that decision for many, many years.

This means making the right decision the first time is critical. Heck, some folks have even gone as far as to get a tattoo of their trusted CAD program — now that’s commitment!

SOLIDWORKS 3D Design Software Tattoo

You know that you need CAD, but which investment is right for you? You have two options. A permanent perpetual licensing option where you purchase the software and own that version for life, or a pay-as-you-go model where you make monthly payments to use the software as you need it. Let’s discuss the pros and cons of each so that you can make the right decision for your specific needs.

Perpetual Licensing Versus a Pay-As-You-Go Model

Opting for the pay-as-you-go model for CAD is great for companies that hire temporary workers. Whether they be interns or contract workers who are only working for a short amount of time, it’s not necessary to commit to a perpetual license for only a few months. The option of paying a few hundred bucks per month, versus thousands of dollars to buy and own a license, can be a wise investment for short-term use cases. But if your CAD program is your bread and butter, and you plan to hire and house full-time, permanent engineers, the pay-as-you-go model is less attractive. A cheap tattoo will look great for a few years, but if you want a tattoo that’s going to last you a lifetime, it’s worth investing in the right artist who knows all the right tricks and techniques to provide you with a quality tattoo that won’t fade after a few years.

The same goes for your CAD system. As business owners, designers, engineers and managers, we’re all busy people. On the surface, it may seem like an easy choice (and an easier cost to swallow) to select a monthly payment plan. But similar to opting for that low-priced tattoo artist who gave you a tattoo that has already faded after three years, you’ll see adverse cost increases with the pay-as-you-go model. Your Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), over the long term, is always significantly more with the pay-as-you-go model.

This is why perpetual licensing is a beautiful thing:

Perpetual vs Pay as you go pricing for 3D design software

*Note: The prices above are estimates, at list price and do not reflect discounts or promotions. This chart is meant to illustrate the TCO between the two models over time.

The SOLIDWORKS Community and Demand for SOLIDWORKS Skills

There’s a reason that SOLIDWORKS is established as a leader in the CAD market. With a heavy focus on ease of use, affordability, communication and team collaboration, community, and its dedication to serving its users, SOLIDWORKS motivates designers and engineers to develop market-leading products with technology that will meet design needs now and in the future.

Here’s how the SOLIDWORKS Community sets SOLIDWORKS apart from other CAD systems:

  • 2,954,532 total customers (cumulative through Q3 2015) in 80 countries
  • 210,800 total companies
  • 322 Value-Added Resellers
  • 810 Solution Partners
  • 247 User Groups
  • 2.8 million estimated educational seats in 29,000 schools
  • Growing community of 165,000 certified SOLIDWORKS users
  • Over 2 million students graduate every year with SOLIDWORKS training

Queries on Monster.com, a leading employment website, for the top 100 U.S. metropolitan areas reveal that of the 89,120 job openings seeking CAD skills, 32 percent request SOLIDWORKS users (August 2015). This reveals how many more U.S. companies are using SOLIDWORKS.

What does this large network of SOLIDWORKS users mean?

SWX CAD Leader Graph
  • More suppliers and potential partners
  • Larger pool of trained users to hire from
  • Less time invested in training

So, how much is your current CAD system costing you?

Watch the Webinar: How Much Is Your Current CAD System Costing You?

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