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seriously thinking about buying a seat of Pro/E.......


seriously thinking about buying a seat of Pro/E.......

....and a good machine to run it on and starting my own business apart from my day job.

I've been doing this kind of work for 25 years, and want (need) to start doing something on the side, and it may as well be lucrative and something I'm good at. I don't plan on quitting my day job, but hopefully one day it will allow me to do that as well.

Any advice on the business side of things? How to start, advertize, get clients, etc.?



Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.

Dr. Seuss

This thread is inactive and closed by the PTC Community Management Team. If you would like to provide a reply and re-open this thread, please notify the moderator and reference the thread. You may also use "Start a topic" button to ask a new question. Please be sure to include what version of the PTC product you are using so another community member knowledgeable about your version may be able to assist.

I've thought about doing the same thing for years and have never had the resources to throw at it. Aside from the cost of a Pro-E seat there's obviously the hardware (not only computer but plotting, data storage, etc). As far as advertising goes, when you first start out, keep it personal to get your feet wet. Use contacts you already have in the community to get you work. There are a number of places that can give you leads, either from vendors who know of people who need help to businesses who may have turned away smaller jobs.
21-Topaz II

You might get a better response on the 'network' list. Last I checked
it, it seemed to be full of contract folks with their own seat of Pro|E.

Doug Schaefer
Doug Schaefer | Experienced Mechanical Design Engineer

I've been getting a lot of e-mails with very helpful information. Keep 'em coming! Thank you all!



Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.

Dr. Seuss


If a contractor owns his own seat of ProE, what hourly rate could he expect to charge?

Since no one would hire me, I had to go out and find clients on my own. It's been terribly difficult and I wouldn't suggest it to anyone. I have collected over eight hundred phone numbers and names with little success. By the time you find someone who actually does use Pro/E, they have a different revision than you do, and the deal doesn't work. Pro/E is an expensive, difficult to learn program and is only used by large companyies who don't work with independent contractors. This has been my experience for many years. There are exceptions, but finding them is 'way too difficult to make any kind of living. AutoCAD is much more widely used, but engineers in the fields that use AutoCAD have Professional Engineering licenses and don't do product design or any of the things that Pro/E people do.

The little work I can find in Dallas has paid $50/hour. I met one person who was awfully good on Pro/E and ALSO Solidworks who got $75 when he did moonlight work. I met him while he was on the way to working in a company as an employee. His experience didn't lead him into becoming independent either.

Very interesting to ask about rate with your own seat.
The reality is that you are asking for your hourly rate
when you are working on Pro/E. That tends to be
between $50 - $100 / hour depending on your own
negotiations. You need some serious selling skills to
negotiate rates like that, and you have to have enough
business to turn business down before you can go for
the higher rates.

There are also no referrals. "No one is going to say...
This guy does really efficient quality work, let's try to
slow him down by sending other people his way."

Your workflow is only as good as your marketing.
Amount you get paid for marketing: zero / hour.

Your income only occurs when your accounts receivable
department hunts down your account and threatens with
legal action. Amount you get paid for chasing checks: zero / hour.

The projects you received are often an unmanaged mess that
someone else couldn't find the time to unravel.
Hourly rate for your own project management: zero / hour.

Your accounting is key as well... if you are paying your
bills faster than your accounts are paying you, you go out of business.
Hourly rate for doing your own accounting: zero / hour.

These are only a few examples of the extra work you will be
taking on. The bottom line is that one person cannot expect
to do it all. You are much better off grappling with the unpaid
activities and roping in your colleagues to do the actual Pro/E
work on your licenses... (Buy them one at a time... make
sure the purchases make sense... when you can justify
the cost of another one, buy it...)

It's the extra garbage that no one wants to do that makes
you successful... everyone and their mother wants to put in
a few hours at night for $50 / hour.

Make it work for you and you will be incredibly successful.

That's my two cents...

Thanks much,

Frederick Burke


If I were starting out looking for clients, Pro-E would definitely not be my
first pick of CAD software. Several of the companies that use Pro-E want the
work to be done on-site. This is fine if the company is local and a short
commute, but I often work with companies in other cities or states.

When I first purchased Pro-E, I was offered work in exchange for obtaining a
license of Pro-E. That company stopped using contractors shortly afterwards,
and I was very fortunate to have a few Pro-E clients lined-up for more work.
Overtime, I found I was getting more requests from small companies to work
on projects, and most of those companies were using SolidWorks. Another
start-up (which did not have a CAD software other than TurboCAD) later
converted my Pro-E designs into SolidWorks when they relocated out-of-state.
That was when I realized that to make a decent living, I needed two CAD
software and not one. So SolidWorks now brings in a higher percentage of my
income than Pro-E. Of course, that can change in the future depending of the
success of the PTC VARs to sell Pro-E to small businesses and start-up

I am not knocking Pro-E, it is a good program. I believe Pro-E is better in
managing large assemblies, and designing sheet metal parts. I still get
clients requesting for parts to be modeled in Pro-E when they are unable to
do it themselves. So my suggestion is that unless you have clients lined-up
for Pro-E to provide work, or plan to design and market your own product,
consider another CAD package such as SolidWorks where work is more
plentiful. Also, my SolidWorks VAR has referred a few potential clients to
me, and I have not yet heard of any PTC VARs referring clients to
independent contractors.

To summarize, find your potential clients before purchasing a CAD system as
an independent contractor, and use the CAD system they are using.


Chris Thompson