As I'd rather enjoyed playing around with BikeCad, I asked an old uni mate who works in 3D design about a good CAD software package. I mentioned that I'd heard SolidWorks was good.
Sure he says, it's about £4k for the basic package.
£4.000 : - ( )
I'm a draughtsman at an Engineering firm. We don't use Solidworks so I can't speak for that. We use Autocad which is pretty good though. I've not looked into the ins and outs of it but surely this is a winner (its for students):
Dunno if you have to prove you're a student or not (but that may be easy to get around). Also it'll 'watermark' any work you do to make sure you don't use it for paid/published work. But if you just want a play around and see if you like it before getting a later version it should be good.
For work we don't do anything in 3D although I've had a go myself and it seems pretty capable. It will eat more memory though. My work machine is a tower (3.6ghz Intel Xeon with 8gb of ram) and its adequate on that. I dread to think how it'd cope on my laptop (Intel Core i3something with 4gb of ram).
I've read various things about Solidworks vs Autocad vs Microstation etc... seems like a bit of a Mac vs PC situation to me. Both are fine and do a good job but are different.
So have you got any further along with the design?