Given the diversity of backgrounds and expertise, there would appear to be definite demand for multiple levels of CAD functionality within the Local Motors community. While Solid Edge Design1 is targeted at the needs of design and engineering enthusiasts, small proprietors in the OEM space or the supplier aftermarket might want direct access to more robust CAD functionality, noted Jay Rogers, president and CEO of Local Motors, in a press release.
"For these use cases, a broader spectrum of CAD functionality is important, and the pay-as-you-go subscription model presents an ideal business model for them to leverage," Rogers said.
I have to applaud the Solid Edge team's efforts to explore novel and more budget-friendly ways of pricing CAD software. While they are not quite near the levels of the many lower-cost CAD tools currently available, I think we'll see more iterations of this kind of multi-tier, monthly subscription price model from them and perhaps other CAD vendors--and not just for a specialty community like Local Motors. I see these announcements as a simple testing of the waters.
Nice article, Beth. I would imagine that most PLM software would work well in the subscription model. Let the software maker own the software. All the user needs is the functionality. I would imagine the subscription model would also lend itself more to continual updates. But maybe the pricing model doesn't affect the update process.
Rob, yes PLM does lend itself well to the subscription model. In this case, it's not that the software is owned and run by and at the provider, however, as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) delivery model. This is purely a pay-by-the-month and pay-by-the-pound usage model, which is helpful, particularly for smaller companies wanting to take advantage of PLM without the huge upfront licensing costs.
So a top-of-line offering with full FEA, wireharness and design functions, pipe and tube routing and other features is $299/month? A price of $3,600 per year for all that seems amazingly low to me. How does that compare with, say, a few years ago?
I see this as a good way for schools or after school clubs to affordably share this product with younger students that are learning about 3D CAD and drawing. It's a really good way to get into a market that might be more accessible on a per month type basis.
@jmiller. I agree. I don't think this is the license for students/educational facilities because it's too expensive. But the Solid Edge team did come out with a license specifically for students as have other CAD providers. The student edition of Solid Edge is available to full- or part-time students as a free, 12-month license, only available via download. The version is not intended to be used for commercial purposes so it can't share CAD models with professional versions of Solid Edge like the ones Local Motors is offering to its community.
Curious, does it allow you to share models with other student versions? Quite often in the classroom more and more teachers are focusing on team work and working in groups. Having the ability to share with other students would be very helpful. I understand the reason they don't want files shared with the professional versions.
My guess is that there is some sort of share capability for other Student editions of Solid Edge, but that you can share models across versions with the Professional portfolio. In that way, they encourage the team collaboration in class that you're referring to without any risk of companies buying it for professional use because it is a cheaper option.
While every company might have their own solution for PLM, Aras Innovator 10 intends to make PLM easier for all company sizes through its customization. The program is also not resource intensive, which allows it to be appropriated for any use. Some have even linked it to the Raspberry Pi.
solidThinking updated its Inspire program with a multitude of features to expedite the conception and prototype process. The latest version lets users blend design with engineering and manufacturing constraints to produce the cheapest, most efficient design before production.
MIT students modified a 3D printer to enable it to print more than one object and print on top of existing printed objects. All of this was made possible by modifying a Solidoodle with a height measuring laser.
Siemens released Intosite, a cloud-based, location-aware SaaS app that lets users navigate a virtual production facility in much of the same fashion as traversing through Google Earth. Users can access PLM, IT, and other pertinent information for specific points on a factory floor or at an outdoor location.
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