Solid Edge is a MCAD package that has been serving the engineering community since 1996 and has been offering levels of functionality that are in many ways equal to its main competitors Solidworks and Inventor. Three years ago Solid Edge introduced a different paradigm into the parametric modeling world called Synchronous Technology (ST) that adds a level of functionality that bridges the world of parametric and direct editing (history-free modeling) at the same time. In it's forth iteration, ST has been finely tuned in regards to offering a balance between these two sides of modeling that makes the software something you'd actually like to use everyday.
Siemens, the company that now owns Solid Edge, has decided to partner up with Local Motors [Ed Note: Jay Rogers, CEO and Founder of Local Motors is our Transportation Jury Captain for the 2012 Core77 Design Awards!] and is now offering several different monthly subscription-based versions of their software. Local Motors is an open source community which brings together industrial designers, engineers, fabricators, and 3D CAD models to help generate content for collaborative automotive parts, "to lead the next generation of crowd-powered automotive manufacturing, design, and technology in order to enable the creation of game changing vehicles." With this new approach Solid Edge is now offering their software for a fee ranging from $19-$299 per month.
What's the catch? you ask. This just seems too good to be true. How can they offer this kind of deal?"This software may be used for personal designs and Local Motors' contests and projects and is a subscription that renews automatically on a monthly basis until you cancel. "
Here is a brief break down of the 5 versions currently being offered. Each stage offers everything in the previous stage and then adds other levels of functionality:
SOLID EDGE Design1$19.00 USD / month
Parts and Assemblies
2D and 3D Data translators such as DXF, DWG, STA, IGES, STEP, JT, Solid Works, PTC
SOLID EDGE Design and Drafting$99.00 USD / month
Native 2D drawing
SOLID EDGE Foundation$179.00 USD / month
Advanced Parts and Assemblies
SOLID EDGE Classic$229.00 USD / month
Basic FEA (Simulation Express)
Insight (for data management)
SOLID EDGE Premium$299.00 USD / month
Full FEA simulation
Wire harness design
Pipe and tube routing
It's a step in the right direction and though it's been tried before in other packages, this powerful design and engineering package is offering a different type of result. This is a major push to help spread the word about Solid Edge.