Using solid works student edition for work

The main website was kinda ambiguous here is what it said

The software is essentially functionally identical, with one major exception. Institutional licenses and commercial licenses are subscription-based. That is, they can be renewed on an annual basis, and upgraded. The SolidWorks Student Edition is a 24-month, limited-term-use license, which means the software will expire twenty four months after registration. It cannot be renewed or upgraded. The SolidWorks Student Edition has a different registration and installation procedure designed for student users, as well as a soft-lock and other features that make this product unsuitable for institutional or commercial use.

its claims it is only unsuitable. does this mean i can still use it for work?

for eligibility it also says

SolidWorks Student Edition purchase eligibility

The SolidWorks Student Edition is available to degree-seeking students or full-time faculty members using the software for personal learning or academic purposes.

A “degree-seeking student” is defined as a student who can confirm enrollment in a degree-granting program, or who can confirm full-time enrollment in a certificate-granting program. Do not purchase this software if you’re not a degree-seeking student or a full-time faculty member. Commercial and institutional use is prohibited.

i am currently a college student and i see using this software at work will let me to see how this really works. (and educational experience)

please respond

While it may not explicitly say it, you should not use a student version of any software for a commercial venture. Student versions are cheap or free because the companies want you to learn the software so when you go out and get a job you have a bias, the intention is not to give students a version which they can use to generate funds. As tempting as it may be, if you plan on doing freelance design then you need a full version of the software.

“Commercial and institutional use is prohibited.”

This line more than likely prohibits you from doing so. This is unless you happen to work for a school and you happen to be teaching students. Basically if you are going to make money with their product you have to pay for a full license.

Of course, I am NOT a lawyer so your mileage may vary.

Depends. If you use it at work, but not for anything to do with work but instead just to learn how to use it, probably OK. That’s what I did: Used it while AT work, but on my own time (and with work’s permission) to design a hypotherical wheel/motor assembly for a robot I was thinking of. MY company has nothing to do with robots, and the design wasn’t used for anything but my education.

The idea was to show the boss how valuable it was and get them to buy a license. Didn’t work out, but not because I didn’t try.

Now, in your case Tri-Lam, if what you design has ANYthing to do with work, then you should not use the software like that. And if you have any doubt, then better you don’t.

I am also not a lawyer, and my opinion is completely worthless. If you want an opinion that matters, contact Solidworks and ask them. They’ll be happy you called, honest.

Now, the odds of you getting sued are admittedly slim. However, if it were to go to court, they would definitely win. Regardless of your reasoning, you would end up paying for it. I would suggest against it and would consider one of the free online drafting software. I’ve heard there is one that is quite similar to Solidworks.

They would have to prove that there was a contract made, and that you broke it, and that they suffered damages. That’s not a definite win.

It would mean proving that the end-user licence agreement is enforceable (these are controversial for several reasons, not the least of which being that they often can’t prove that you personally and knowingly agreed to it), and showing that your use of it diminished SolidWorks expected revenues (or harmed them in some other way).

For example, it would potentially be a defence to demonstrate that your use of the software did not harm SolidWorks because there was no direct commercial purpose to your use of it—basically, what Don did. If there’s no harm, a tort action can’t be sustained.

Pragmatically, I suspect that SolidWorks isn’t interested in providing full support for the (inexpensive) educational versions, and doesn’t want to be responsible in any way for the results of software that is unable to accept the patches that it provides for regular customers. (They would be open to the allegation that they were negligent, for offering software with known flaws, despite the existence of a resolution.) But they’re still out to sell (or rent) software to people, and they understand fully well that this is an investment toward future sales. It’s in their business interests not to mess with you personally.

The workplace, however, might be another story. If they make a habit of using SolidWorks’ educational software for non-educational purposes, the lawyers might be summoned.

Basically, there’s a difference between what is not permitted by the licence, and what SolidWorks will likely tolerate. It’s up to you to decide whether you feel that overstepping the licence terms in a particular way still yields an equitable outcome, and also, whether you can (and want to) assume additional liability (however small the amount) on behalf of yourself and your company.

The student edition of SolidWorks is unsuitable for commercial use because files include a watermark, soft lock, etc. It’s intended for students to learn with, and is missing a lot of the more advanced tools. If you intended to use the software for commercial purposes, i.e. work that generates income, you’ll need to buy a full commercial license.

But using it at your job for personal and evaluation reasons doesn’t actually consititute commercial use, and unless your boss is trying to get you to use the software to do actual office work, there’s no need to worry.

Matthew West / SolidWorks