First planned project - MB Replicator chassis

This is a design I plan to make (not quite finished).
Its an new chassis for my MakerBot Replicator using acrylic panels and 8020 extrusions. Should be pretty cheap and easy to build.

My 3D program of choice is SolidWorks, I also have Camnetics Geartracks which will allow me to cut accurate gears in Delrin for my Festo Smartbird clone. But a new thread on that later.


Yay for solidworks. i thought i was the only one. ha


Licence is a bit too pricey (if you aren’t a student or have access through work)

I looked at Solidworks and drooled awhile back, then died when I saw pricing.
Would sure be cool to play with.

Too bad they don’t have a free use option for those not making money with it.

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i totally agree that its overpriced. I have just been spoiled and always had a licence wherever i have worked.

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Oops… I thought that was a computer case. Sorry! I should really learn to read. :wink:

Another SolidWorks user here. I like it quite a bit, but I would recommend Fusion 360 to anyone who hasn’t already gotten accustomed to a certain piece of CAD software… or anyone who doesn’t need to use SolidWorks’ other features, like their wiring or flow simulator or whatever.

I know I’ve already posted this info in this forum at least once, but I figure it’s worthwhile to get the word out… if you’re a US or Canadian military veteran you might be able to get SolidWorks for, like, $20 (I think that’s the price, but I couldn’t confirm it). I’m not sure if they still charge a maintenance fee for this version (“maintenance” (or as I like to call it: “extortion”) is around $1300 a year for the full version, I believe).

For the folks that want to try out CAD, look into

It’s a solid parametric modeler based in the cloud and there is a free version for non-commercial users. The only restriction for the free version is the number of projects you can have active at any given time.

It operates very similarly to SolidWorks, Inventor, Pro/E and Alibre/Geomagic Design.

If you prefer a CAD package you install locally, Geomagic Design is what I use at home. We use Inventor and Pro/E at my work, and moving into Geomagic was seamless because the interfaces and commands are pretty much identical in all three programs. A Geomagic seat is $2400 with $400 annual renewal which means you always have the latest version. Geomagic design is cheaper than the other guys because it’s just the modeling aspect. The other features more geared towards engineering like FEA, flow, etc. are separate packages instead of being bundled into a single more expensive seat.

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Just to clarify, the free version of Onshape gives you the same features as the full version. The limitation is that you are only allowed 10 private projects that can consume no more than 100 MB of cloud storage, but you are allowed unlimited “public” projects up to 5 GB total cloud storage. No one else can see your private projects (unless you explicitly share them with someone) and any other Onshape user can see your public projects.

This Otto-Langen engine from someone else’s paper CAD plans needs about 60 MB space to model, which isn’t too bad.

Their App Store also has some nice offerings that might of interest to GF-ers, like Kiri:Moto, which offers CAM for slicing and DXF/SVG export of models.


I have tried a couple of different software packages and onshape is the only one i thought has similar design theory as solidworks.


That wouldn’t be too surprising as a number of the developers (including the CEO, I think) worked at SW in the past.


I have never paid more than $25 for SolidWorks in the past 15 years. But then again I don’t use it for business. I started in AutoCad 30 years ago and moved over to a parametric modeler (SW) about 10 years ago.
I combine SolidWorks and Rhino 3D to get what I need done. Seems to work pretty well for me.

The founder of onshape was also the founder of solid works. It’s a interesting story, you should look it up.

Looks a lot like SolidWorks.

I seem to be getting solid works related advertising in email since I signed up to check out onshape, so maybe they’re still teamed together.