Solidworks / Rhino Academic Licensing for Manufacturing

I am a student looking to manufacture a product but unsure of which software to use.

Can I use my Solidworks Academic software to give CAD drawings to a manufacturer for production? Is there some special deal with Solidworks where you cannot profit from using their software without a certain license? How about Rhino?

Solidworks claims that it is “not suitable for commercial use”. Why is that? Rhino claims that its educational software is exactly the same.

Either way, I need to get a relatively simple CAD file to a manufacturer and I don’t want to violate any laws. Is using the wrong license of Solidworks illegal?

thank you for our help,


This is not really an answer, but I’ve heard of some companies allowing you to upgrade from an educational version to a commercial license at little to no cost, this could be an option to explore.

Maybe contacting the companies, letting them know that you’re trying to do the right thing could go a long way in that matter.

so i called solidworks and as most of you probably already know, you cannot export drawings in the academic version to formats needed by manufacturers. sooo, no go. Rhino is waaay cheaper than solidworks so that is the way i will go.