Can You Rent SolidWorks 3D CAD?

SolidWorks is a 3D CAD modelling programme, perfect for product design. An engineer can design parts from concept to finished drawings for manufacture. 

However, SolidWorks 3D CAD is expensive with high upfront costs for a full commercial license. These high startup costs can be too much for a new startup.  

A great alternative to get the full power of SolidWorks for a fraction of the cost is to rent the software. 

It is possible to rent SolidWorks 3D CAD for £245 per month for a minimum of 3 months. This can reduce upfront costs and help you get a professional and commercial license for short-term projects. 

Rental of commercial software licenses is something that many engineers might overlook, or may not even consider, but it can be a great way to get to know the software or get a project finished. 

I have rented simulation software in the past to get high-level, professional results without spending thousands for a single simulation license that is only used a few times a year. 

In this article, I will explore the option of renting SolidWorks, covering:

  • Can you rent SolidWorks 3D CAD?
  • How much is it to rent SolidWorks?
  • Can I pay monthly for SolidWorks?
  • How much does SolidWorks cost for hobbyists?
  • Can I buy SolidWorks for myself?
  • Is renting CAD software worth it?

Can You Rent SolidWorks 3D CAD?

It is possible to rent SolidWorks 3D CAD. By renting SolidWorks, you can get the full functionality of the software across the full commercial software suite for a fraction of the cost. 

SolidWorks rental also has extra benefits, such as flexible licensing, where licenses can be shared. In other words, if you have a design group of three and you rent the software, any of your three engineers can use the software. There is not just one named user who may use the software. 

Another significant benefit of renting SolidWorks is that you can mix and match product options. The SolidWorks software suite has a variety of options and features. Instead of paying for everything, you can just pick what you need and pay for what you need.  

For getting short-term projects done when you need limited SolidWorks use, it can be a very cost-effective solution instead of buying a full commercial license.

Of course, if you are going to use SolidWorks all day every day for longer than three months, then it will be cheaper to purchase a perpetual license over the long term.

How Much Is It To Rent SolidWorks?

The cost of renting SolidWorks starts from £735 for 3 months. This is based on the SolidWorks distributors I have contacted in the UK.

12-month rental options are also available. 

You notice they state the price as “from £735”. This cost could be more if there are additional SolidWorks functionality that you require, such as analysis. 

It’s hard to know if you should rent SolidWorks or purchase a full license, therefore it is important to consider which option is more cost-effective for you in the longer term.

If you need SolidWorks for the long term and it is fundamental to your core business, then purchasing a perpetual license will be more cost-effective.

If you use SolidWorks intermittently or need it for a one-off project, then rental is more cost-effective.

Ensure that you speak to your SolidWorks distributor about your needs so that you are not overpaying for added functionality that you do not require 

Can I Pay Monthly For SolidWorks?

The SolidWorks rental system is based on a minimum of three months of rental, which you pay monthly.

SolidWorks describe it as a subscription service where its subscribers get the same benefits and customer support as perpetual license holders.

How Much Does SolidWorks Cost For Hobbyists?

SolidWorks 3D Experience for Makers is designed for hobbyists and personal projects. This is a great way to get the benefit of SolidWorks and its extra features for a fraction of the cost.

Typically, SolidWorks for hobbyists and personal projects cost $9.99 a month or $99 per year, excluding taxes. 

If you have an idea but are not ready to turn it into a business or commercial project just yet, then this is a great way to get familiar with the software and benefit from professional CAD software for a fraction of the cost. 

Can I Buy SolidWorks For Myself?

It is possible to purchase SolidWorks for one user, but the cost will depend on your use, whether your project is personal or commercial.

For personal projects, of a hobbyist nature than you can expect to pay around $9.99 per month or $99 per year for a license. 

If your projects are commercial projects or if you are part of a business and your projects are for business use, then you will need to pay more. 

If you are concerned about whether your use is personal or commercial, it is best to contact SolidWorks directly to clarify that you have the correct license for your needs.

Don’t forget, SolidWorks for hobbyists and personal use is called SolidWorks 3D Experience for Makers and is a fantastic option for private individual creators. 

Is Renting CAD Software Worth It?

Renting CAD software is a fantastic option as you can get all the benefits of a professional CAD license at a fraction of the cost when completing short-term projects.

I have rented simulation software in the past for acoustic and mechanical simulation projects. 

Simulation software is expensive, and often you might just have one problem to solve or one question you need an answer to.

In this instance, rental is fantastic, as you use the software for a short time and get the project done without spending thousands on expensive licenses.

If you have long-term plans to use SolidWorks, then renting may not be the most cost-effective option. If you are going to use SolidWorks for longer than 12 months, it could be worth investing in the perpetual license, but your local SolidWorks representative can advise on the best cost option for you. 

Final Thoughts

It is a great option to rent SolidWorks 3D CAD, as you can get all the benefits from 3D CAD for a fraction of the cost.

Whether you just need a temporary additional license to cover an extra project, or need some additional functionality, such as simulation, for a limited time, renting SolidWorks is a cost-effective and flexible solution.

For hobbyists, there is a version of SolidWorks called 3D Experience For Makers which will help individuals benefit from the power of SolidWorks for a great price which they can use for their personal projects. 

It is wonderful that these large CAD companies are seeing the need for short-term rental solutions which can help us, freelance engineers, out in particular. 

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