is solidworks maintenance worth having?

I’m looking at getting a Solidworks seat I can call my own. Its quite a big ££ outlay and I was wondering is the maintenance really worth having?

Yes and no. How much time do you spend on Solidworks? It’s nice to have the latest releases when they come out, but the best part for me is instant tech support on how to do almost anything I can think of by calling my reseller. You also get access to the online community of SW users who are pretty helpful. SW corporate people routinely troll those forums, and I’ve even seen a few software tweaks come out in later updates that came from discussions in those forums. Very nice to know you’re getting through to someone with power. (Note: I think you need a maintenance package for access, but I could be wrong…)

If you only dabble with SW, then it might not be worth it. You could simply buy a new version every 3 years or so (depending on what you do with it.)

I’m not sure of the pricing of SW but factor this in.

Usually maintenance is ~20% of the purchase price, which is a lot.

But if you plan on upgrading more than every 5 years (which is a lot of evolution in terms of product lifecycle) then maintenance makes sense - because if you upgrade after 4 years you’ll pay more off maintenance then you would if you had been paying for it.

Support is a good reason as well as mentioned.

The big reason to NOT do mainteance is if you don’t see your business needing it. If you’re doing basic machined parts and just need something to build simple models and won’t be using any advanced surfacing/rendering/analysis type features and don’t expect to need them in the future, then stay off maintenance and you’ll be fine.

Ultimately it’s up to you.

If you plan to use SolidWorks for business then you need to get the subscription. There are 5 to 6 important updates during a year and… unless you never get SolidWorks files from an outside source, you will need to be using the current version as the program is not upward compatible, ie, you can’t open a SolidWorks2010 with SolidWorks2009. Also, you can’t save to a previous version.

cheers for the input, I’m not fussed about cross compatibility at the moment as I’m not having to work with other SW users …yet. But this could certainly cause a problem down the road. I suppose I’m most interested in having a stable system to be honest. To be honest support is ok as long as they can fix you problem and new features are only beneficial when they update an area you use.

In the end I went with a seat of the standard version with 1yr maintenance …as there was more opportunity to get a reasonable discount. It will let me see if its something worth keeping for next year. I did a quick hunting around to which UK VAR to go with and drew a blank it would be nice to have some feedback between the different company’s as they all speak the same line. I do wish solidworks were more like the adobe CS stuff where you can by a licence and its up to you when you want to upgrade. Perhaps they could have a premium number support line instead.

Next task, as I’ve not got no photoview, is to get Modo 401, keyshot, Maxwell or showcase for rendering. I’m leaning toward Modo 401 as it has some pretty sweet add ons and has allot of depth to it.

as a side note if I was only going to use soildworks to do real basic stuff I would get alibre which is a bargain.

I bought Solidworks Professional over a year ago, without subscription. I have worked on more complex projects, some with large assemblies and more complex surfaces. So far I’ve never been in a situation where I really would have needed the subscription. I work with engineers who use Pro E, so all files that we share are sent as IGES or STEP.
My system is quite stable since I got Solidworks 2009 with Service pack 2 (my reseller rep commended not to upgrade to the next version until at least service pack 1 has come out).
I do like Photoview 360, though my version is a bit shaky and certain materials make it instantly crash.

I don’t agree with the subscription concept in general, though for companies it is not a big deal to pay for the maintentenance and upgrades. I just think that Solidworks benefits very much from the constant customer feedback regarding their product, so they basically make us pay for product testing.

As per my opinion for Solidworks, you get a lot for what you pay. SolidWorks is a very good package for the money. I would seriously consider if you need the added expense. Solidworks is quite capable, though not always the best for every task, of course I seen people do impressive thing in Microsoft Paint, so the individual has alot to do with it.