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Theo Vigliocco
Hello everyone! I just joined the community and have a general question. I'm a product designer, I used for many many years Solidworks and Keyshot, now I want to work freelance, but those softwares are crazy expensive. Some months ago I'm learning how to use Blender, and Fusion 360... Blender is a nightmare! Everything is complex with no need to be that way... Is powerful, for sure, but is annoying. I'm sure many of you had been in this situation, and want to know what is the general opinion when it comes at starting as a freelancer and which softwares to use. 
Thanks in advance! :)
Flannigan Engineering
I don't have a solid answer for you, but if you get an answer I'd like to know it.  
As a product designer with 15 years of CAD experience and 4 years in manufacturing, I've used a lot of different systems.  They all have their issues, but free CAD systems on the average have more issues than paid.  FreeCAD 0.18 is an option for you, but if you're like me you'll find it very annoying to use as most of the "intuitive background decisions" that SolidWorks makes are things that you have to specify yourself.  As someone who is getting going with freelancing, I've really considered grabbing a pirate SW with the idea that I'd get it legit after I get paid for some projects.  I obviously don't condone pirating CAD software, but I do understand it.
When I was working full-time as an industrial designer, I used Rhinoceros.
It's a different way of developing the 3D CAD as compared to Solidworks though, so I'm not sure if it meets your needs for 3D modelling.
In very simplified terms, you are constructing multiple lines to define the shape of the product, and creating surfaces from the lines.

I'd suggest you do an online search of "Rhinoceros 3D vs Solidworks" or similar, to read through all the considerations and advice of users of these softwares.

You can download a trial version and experiment with it: https://www.rhino3d.com/download
And check out the pricing for your region here: https://www.rhino3d.com/sales
Reetie Lubana
I have used Fusion 360, a cloud-based 3D CAD program. I find this software platform to be unique in the sense that it embraces the power of the cloud to bring together design teams for collaborating on complex projects.

Using the Fusion 360° platform, I can successfully store the entire history of the model with all the changes. I have worked with several design options, including the freeform, solid and mesh modeling.  You can work on this software based on a monthly subscription.

Our developers can also update the features, and make improvements as new installments come along. I can run the software on multiple platforms and allow our clients to access information as per their requirements.

The popularity of the software platform has escalated over the last two years and several AEC professionals are praising the software’s professional competences, user-friendly interface, and workflow. 
I totally agree that Blender is a nightmare, at least for me. I struggled with it for a long time, but I never got used to it. Most people start with FreeCAD, Tinkercad, Sketchup and other 3d software as far as I know. Simple and free. The next step might be to try out free trial versions of paid software. Cinema 4D (becides trial there is a free full version for students) 3ds Max, Zbrush are included in this list. My work is related to 3d scanning (Artec and FARO software mostly) and processing of 3d models so my obvious choice is Solidworks.

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