3D software cost savings

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  • Don't post links to downloads of pirated software or directions/tools to crack trial software. They'll be deleted.
  • Don't ask in a public forum where you can download pirated software.
  • Don't be fooled by online retailers selling "cheap OEM" copies of software online. None of these programs come in OEM (original equipment manufacturer, or anyone who makes computer hardware and bundles software with them) versions. Many companies such as Autodesk only sell their software through authorized retailers. These too good to be true offers are just that: crooks trying to get you to pay them money for pirated software. (ed.: Trust me: I've fallen for it before and now know better).
  • Do be aware that downloading pirated software is a good way to end up with malware on your system such as trojans and keyloggers.

That said, here are some of the legal options you can look for:

  • Educational Licenses: If you're a student or know one willing to help you, you can usually get a significant discount on most of these programs. The downside is that many educational licenses say you're not supposed to use the program for commercial purposes.
  • Annual Licenses: Many of the same educational vendors also offer an option to buy a one or two year license to the full version of the program, sometimes for as little as $200 or less. Even over the course of several years, this could be the most economical option and you won't be crippled by the terms of an educational license.
  • Subscriptions: If you already own the software, some companies, particularly Autodesk, offer subscriptions that can get you access to extra new features and deals on upgrades.
  • Trials: Most 3d software has a demo or a "learning edition" that you can download from the software maker and try on your system. They will be either time or feature limited but this is a good way to get your feet wet.
  • Old versions: Someone who just bought the latest version of that expensive software might be able to sell you their old version at a very low cost. eBay might be a good source of this.

So with that out of the way, back to the list...