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moose4621

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This is a long way from the OP's question but I too am a long term Linux user to the point where all the house hold and work computers all boot to native linux OS's. We find it much easier to use and much more controllable than windoze. And I have found nothing that can not be easily achieved in Linux including 3d CAD.

More inline with the original question, I currently use Onshape for 3d modelling. It's a cloud based Cad package that allows free membership as long as you don't mind your files being public. I would imagine that most modellers wouldn't mind. You can export the files as several formats onto your local storage device if required. It also has 3d party plugins that can do Cam for mills or 3d printers among all sorts of other things although I tend to use separate software I have already installed locally.
The cloud is always a concern when it comes to data storage and data recovery. I must admit to putting my head in the sand in this regard but if you are doing mission critical work it would make sense to maintain local copies in a format which could be utilised by other software. And if you are concerned about privacy, then as others have said already, one day everything will be hacked into. It's just a matter of whether your data is of any value to them or not as to what they do with it.
 

Mike Henry

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More inline with the original question, I currently use Onshape for 3d modelling. It's a cloud based Cad package that allows free membership as long as you don't mind your files being public. I would imagine that most modellers wouldn't mind.
I like Onshape as well, but one possible problem for model engineers using the free version is that copyrighted plans cannot be modeled in Onshape without the risk of making the plans public. Back when they allowed 10 private files in the free plan I'd modeled someone's plan set and put the parts in my private area. I can still access them there and export them to a neutral format for use with a different CAD program but can no longer edit parts or assemblies in Onshape. I periodically request of Onshape that they create a pricing tier for hobbyists that would allow them a modest number of private files. I'd happily put my Alibre maintenance fees toward such a tier.
 

awake

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... free membership as long as you don't mind your files being public. I would imagine that most modellers wouldn't mind ...
I don't know that I can fully articulate why ... but I would mind. Maybe I don't want others to see all of my mistakes and dubious design decisions!
 

Charles Lamont

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I give my Onshape documents names that nobody is likely to search for, but I see someone has found a project I would have preferred they had not. Unfortunately it seems you can now search public documents on part names.
 
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Mike Henry

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I don't know that I can fully articulate why ... but I would mind. Maybe I don't want others to see all of my mistakes and dubious design decisions!
I doubt that many of your designs would be found, especially now that so many students are using it for remote learning. I'd be more concerned if Onshape let you search on an account or screen name but they don't so you'd most likely have to be found through a random search. None of my files are proprietary so that doesn't bother me.
 

awake

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I doubt that many of your designs would be found, especially now that so many students are using it for remote learning. I'd be more concerned if Onshape let you search on an account or screen name but they don't so you'd most likely have to be found through a random search. None of my files are proprietary so that doesn't bother me.
Yes, that makes perfect sense. But still I feel squeamish about it. As I said, I don't know that I can articulate a rational reason ...
 

Pappyd

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Just received an email from autodesk that announced changes in the personal use licensing:

Effective October 1, 2020, functionality in Fusion 360 for personal use will be limited, and you’ll no longer have access to the following:


  • Probing, 3 + 2-axis milling (tool orientation), multi-axis milling, rapid moves, automatic tool changes
  • Multi-sheets, smart templates, output options for drawings (print only).
  • Download options from public share links
  • Cloud rendering
  • Export options including F3Z, DWG, DXF, IGES, SAT, and STEP
  • Simulation and generative design
  • Unlimited active and editable Fusion 360 documents (10 doc limit).
  • Fusion 360 extensions
 

Richard Hed

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Just received an email from autodesk that announced changes in the personal use licensing:

Effective October 1, 2020, functionality in Fusion 360 for personal use will be limited, and you’ll no longer have access to the following:


  • Probing, 3 + 2-axis milling (tool orientation), multi-axis milling, rapid moves, automatic tool changes
  • Multi-sheets, smart templates, output options for drawings (print only).
  • Download options from public share links
  • Cloud rendering
  • Export options including F3Z, DWG, DXF, IGES, SAT, and STEP
  • Simulation and generative design
  • Unlimited active and editable Fusion 360 documents (10 doc limit).
  • Fusion 360 extensions
To be expected. Thanx for the notice
 

Gordon

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That was exactly my point in the original post. After putting in hours of time in a cloud program the company decides to change the rules. Now it becomes a matter of how much you are willing to walk away from vs how much are you willing to pay to preserve your efforts. Even programs like free cad can suddenly become non accessible or too expensive for your limited use.
 

awake

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Even programs like free cad can suddenly become non accessible or too expensive for your limited use.
Hmm ... in general, the possible problem for free & open-source software (FOSS) like FreeCAD is more that the project might stall, becoming obsolete and unsupported rather than non-accessible or expensive. Certainly a company may fork a commercial version of a FOSS project ... and perhaps the open-source fork then suffers from reduced attention ... ? I am coming up blank on significant FOSS software that has had this experience, but it could happen. More typically, the commercial development has led the open-source development in features, but there has remained a healthy dialogue and interaction between the two forks. (Two examples that come to mind are CrossOver vs. Wine and QCad vs. LibreCAD).

I have seen some FOSS projects fold for lack of attention - sometimes projects that looked very promising - but can't recall that happening with a project of the size and diversity of development effort of FreeCAD. Maybe someone else can point out an example ...
 

ddmckee54

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Yes, that makes perfect sense. But still I feel squeamish about it. As I said, I don't know that I can articulate a rational reason ...
Andy, I know exactly what you mean, but I'm an old fart and I'm pretty paranoid. Or maybe it's that other people aren't paranoid enough? Yup, that's the story and I'm sticking to it.

Don
 

Richard Hed

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Hmm ... in general, the possible problem for free & open-source software (FOSS) like FreeCAD is more that the project might stall, becoming obsolete and unsupported rather than non-accessible or expensive. Certainly a company may fork a commercial version of a FOSS project ... and perhaps the open-source fork then suffers from reduced attention ... ? I am coming up blank on significant FOSS software that has had this experience, but it could happen. More typically, the commercial development has led the open-source development in features, but there has remained a healthy dialogue and interaction between the two forks. (Two examples that come to mind are CrossOver vs. Wine and QCad vs. LibreCAD).

I have seen some FOSS projects fold for lack of attention - sometimes projects that looked very promising - but can't recall that happening with a project of the size and diversity of development effort of FreeCAD. Maybe someone else can point out an example ...
The peeps who are making FOSS believe in stopping the outrageous prices charged for products. A 2000$ program would make more $$ if they reduced their price to 200$--not a joke, this is one of the first p0rinciples of economics--lower the price, sell MUCH more and MAKE more $$ in the end. One has to sell above the costs, of course, the programmers time, the rent, electric, water, etc. but the total costs are much lower than the 2000$ they charge. Cities and many businesses have gone to Linux based OP Systems, it's a wonder th;at microsux hasn't gone out of business. Look who microsux put out of the operating system business: IBM who was, at trhe time, charging 1000$ per computer--that would be about 5000$ in todays dollars. So if you use free software it REALLY IS important to support the programmers. It's CHEAP to support them.
 

Cogsy

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I had a look at the link provided in the other thread discussing these changes and (without being a user myself) the changes they're announcing seem fairly logical to me. It looks like they're removing the functionality from the free version that would make it a real PITA for commercial operations to (illegally) use the free software but would have little impact on the hobbyist. Seems like good business sense - someone has to pay for the development of these tools and surely we want that to be the commercial users who make money from the tools? To me, this doesn't look at all like the Photobucket money grab that we saw a few years ago.
 

BaronJ

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I had a look at the link provided in the other thread discussing these changes and (without being a user myself) the changes they're announcing seem fairly logical to me. It looks like they're removing the functionality from the free version that would make it a real PITA for commercial operations to (illegally) use the free software but would have little impact on the hobbyist. Seems like good business sense - someone has to pay for the development of these tools and surely we want that to be the commercial users who make money from the tools? To me, this doesn't look at all like the Photobucket money grab that we saw a few years ago.
Its all about generating and keeping a revenue stream going !
 

ajoeiam

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The peeps who are making FOSS believe in stopping the outrageous prices charged for products. A 2000$ program would make more $$ if they reduced their price to 200$--not a joke, this is one of the first p0rinciples of economics--lower the price, sell MUCH more and MAKE more $$ in the end. One has to sell above the costs, of course, the programmers time, the rent, electric, water, etc. but the total costs are much lower than the 2000$ they charge. Cities and many businesses have gone to Linux based OP Systems, it's a wonder th;at microsux hasn't gone out of business. Look who microsux put out of the operating system business: IBM who was, at trhe time, charging 1000$ per computer--that would be about 5000$ in todays dollars. So if you use free software it REALLY IS important to support the programmers. It's CHEAP to support them.
Along these lines - - - - it is fascinating that the bulk of today's programming usually 'doesn't' happen in first world countries.
Check on the size of IBM (India) for one.
 

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