I wrote: For anyone interested in non-commercial use of a serious CAD software package:
SolidWorks is available as a free MAKE/Student version including some finite element analysis. If there is interest by the FOG I will post details for US access to the free version.
here is more regarding access to a free version of SolidWorks:
a US based international membership organization, EAA, the EXPERIMENTAL AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATION (aircraft homebuilders and sport aviation participants and enthusiasts) has entered into an arrangement with SolidWorks to provide free access to SolidWorks Student edition for EAA Members
Here is a link listing what the Engineering edition provides: https://www.solidworks.com/sw/docs/Student_Access_Product_Matrix_LB.pdf
To be eligible for free SolidWorks Download you need to be or become a current dues paid member of EAA.org annual dues $ 40.00
Use of the software is strictly limited to non-commercial use. You can't use it to produce work which you sell for profit.
Disccussions between SolidWorks and EAA are currently ongoing to expand the available modules in the Engineering Edition to include FEA (Finite Element Analysis) and more - refer to the Product Matrix link above for more details.
GIven the inteest in this subject by a number of FOG members who have emailed or messaged me, I will update this information as I develop more infomration. This is not vague idea or future proposal, it is a program that is already working with some 1,700 (!) EAA members to-date having downloaded their free SolidWorks software.
EAA continues to be a hotbed for innovation in the aviation space. For those of you not familiar with this 200,000 member international organization, this movement has given birth to the origins of the round-the-world, non-stop and non-refueled VOYAGER designed by Burt Rutan, and innovative aircraft like the CIRRUS line of high performance aircraft as well as the line of some 9,000 flying homebuilt aircraft of the RV design line. All made possible by the freedom to design, build and fly airplanes which are not burdened by the regulatory constraints of certificated aircraft.
More to follow as I obtain more details.
I'll be glad to provide more specifics if the Moderators think this is the right place for it.