PTC makes the high-end CAD package PRO/Engineer, which is one of the "gold standards" for really serious work. They have a couple of "FREE" offers on their website.
First is PRO/Desktop, which is some sort of subset of PRO/Engineer. What's missing? Their FAQ says:
"Pro/DESKTOP was specifically developed for the designer/ engineer who needs general and conceptual design capabilities, while Pro/ENGINEER provides powerful detailed design capabilities."
Whatever that means. The "Express" version of PRO/Desktop (missing photo-realistic rendering and some other unimportant capabilities) is available as a FREE download. You have to give them your email address and re-register (free) every six months; that seems to be the only limitation on usage.
The other option is "Pro/ENGINEER Special Edition", which seems to be the same thing as their "Student Edition". They give Student Edition CD's away for free at certain events. For this offer you have to send away for the CD, and they'll charge you $15 for shipping and handling. (Hey, if AOL can ship CD's for free, why can't PTC?)
- the CD has to be in the drive when the program is running
- all plots are stamped "Educational Version"
- files are not compatible with non-student versions of PRO/E
- "May be used for educational or personal use only; not for commercial use." I think ERPS use qualifies here. Certainly, if you're teaching yourself CAD by drawing rocket parts, that's educational ...
Why do they do this? They want the world to be trained to use PRO/E. If you train yourself at no cost to them, so much the better. In your next job, you might be a customer.
PS: These run on Windows, not Linux. Deal with it.
Oddly enough, Pro/ENGINEER originally ran only on Unix. The professional version now runs on Unix, Linux, and Windows.
Pro/ENGINEER Schools Edition "will be made available to participating classrooms free of charge".
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