Currently, I use Solidworks Student Edition, but I finish college in December... at least for a year. The thought of not having access to a basic version of Solidworks is actually a bit disheartening to me. I would love to see a consumer/hobbyist version of Solidworks, it doesn't need to have anything but the ability to model, create assemblies and assembly animations, with a subscription cost of around $100 a year.
With the rising interest in 3D printing, I'm surprised Dassault hasn't tried to capitalize on this yet. Does anybody know if it's reasonable to expect a consumer version of Solidworks sometime in the near-ish future? Or should I start teaching myself one of the open source CAD softwares available to hobbysits? I've looked at a couple in the past, but usually get frustrated they can't do what Solidworks does, and quit using them soon after downloading.
I know Autodesk Inventor has a student edition you can download for free. Problem with that is once you graduate, I don't believe you can download newer versions each year. No matter what unfortunately, Solidworks is a software you must pay for.
Not a thing changed in 6 years!
SolidWorks is very powerful so I can agree the costs. But it is also saddening that small companies are hurt big time with SolidWorks. Dassault need strong competitors to bring them down. Fusion 360 is a great alternative.
Maybe you can try to learn other CAD Modelling software in the meantime.