Alternative to Solidworks (revisited)?

I reached a dead end finding a low-cost alternative to Solidworks. There hasn’t been much discussion about it for awhile so I’ll reach out to see if there are newfound alternatives.

I’m hooked on Poppy and am determined to build her. I need to redesign her head to fit a Raspberry Pi 4 bolted on a Waveshare display, a Pi camera, and a pair of Adafruit I2S microphone boards. All the other body parts can print as designed.

I used a product called TurboCAD for years that served me well for home improvement and hobby modeling. It doesn’t import SLDPRT files but after some work did read STL. However, what ended up importing from STL wasn’t usable and locked up my laptop.

Meanwhile I’ll cobble the electronics together into a prototype head shape made of metal and plastic scraps held together with adhesives, screws and hot glue; while I work on the software ideas I have in mind.

I’d appreciate any ideas as I really don’t want to end up with a Frankenstein Poppy forever!

I went back through the forum again looking for Solidworks alternatives, researching each suggestion one-by-one. There’s a free online version of Onshape. The STL files imported with errors and I was not able to work with them. However, the SLDPRT files look viable, even though they also report errors on import.

I’ll take some time to learn the tools and try printing some prototypes, then let everyone know if Onshape works out.

I had the same problem with onshape, being a beginner I didn’t know if it has all the needed features.
I would be interested to find out your conclusion on this. I’m also trying to modify the head to fit my set of electronics.

Thanks for the interest. I’m taking time to learn Onshape through their tutorials while trying side-by-side changes with the SLDPRT and STEP files for the Poppy face. I’ll post progress and my conclusion which works best (or not) in edits to this reply.

It will be slow going as I only spend an hour here and there. If it works out, I’ll document detailed how-to tips in a GitHub project and link out to it from here.