LightWave 2018

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LightWave uses a software-driven licensing scheme for LightWave. Users that have dongles from previous versions of LightWave can continue to use their dongles or use the software version as they choose and commercial plugins tied to the dongle using the SDK will continue to work using the software license. As with the dongle, running LightWave multiple times on the same machine is possible, and the software license is applicable to Windows 32-bit and 64-bit, and Macintosh OS X equally.

New purchasers of LightWave can purchase a hardware dongle on request but it won’t be necessary, meaning that LightWave can become a completely digital product making purchasing licenses much simpler since no physical product will need to be shipped.

How it works

Everything from now will work through the website. LightWave will be available through your favorite reseller if you’d like that personal touch, but is open 24/7, 365 days a year. If you’d like to buy a new license, or upgrade an older LightWave to the latest version you can do it here.

To do so visit the Store pages on the LightWave3D site. You do not have to be logged in to do so. The shop will sense your location, put the price for LightWave in your local currency and include local sales tax once you click the Buy Now button.

Enter your payment details and hit next. You will be given a confirmation page so you can make any edits and then you can hit next again. There will be a pause as your payment is processed and then you will be presented with download options for LightWave and the license.key file. If you already have the trial version of LightWave (11.0.3 or more recent) installed, you only need to download the license.lwk file and apply that to your Trial Edition for it to become a full license.

Applying the license.lwk is a matter of dragging the lwk icon over your Layout or Modeler window and dropping it. You will need to restart LightWave to activate your license.

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If you don’t have Internet access at all you can send a letter containing your address details, LightWave serial number and reseller you bought LightWave from and what sort of computer you are using LightWave on to:

Attn: Customer Service
5131 Beckwith Blvd
San Antonio, TX 78249


Will my dongle continue to work?
Dongles will continue to work and can continue to be used. If you are still running Windows XP you will have to keep using the dongle. Software licensing needs Vista or more recent.

Will my commercial plugins work if I don’t use my dongle?
Commercial plugins tied to a dongle should* work equally well with the software license.

I usually have several Layouts open and a couple of Modelers. Will I still be able to do that with a software dongle?
Multiple copies of LightWave using the software lock can be run on the same machine, there is an alert if multiple copies of the same license are run on different machines on the same network.

What happens if I run multiple copies of the same license on different machines on the network?
You will get a message that your dongle could not be found and then a message saying that the number of licenses owned has been exceeded. You can either buy additional licenses or close other copies.

I like the dongle. Will I still be able to buy new seats using it?
Yes, purchase of a dongle will be available however you will need to wait to receive your LightWave physically if you would like a dongle. Before it arrives you can use the fully-featured trial edition.

I would like to upgrade an older license of LightWave that I bought from someone to the latest version. Will I be able to?
Yes.  As long as you bought a full version with a dongle you can upgrade it. Purchasing an older version of LightWave without a dongle means that the owner is selling an upgrade, not a full version.

If I want to drop my LightWave on a USB key and take it to a job can I?
Yes, but you will continue to need to use your dongle. The software license only works when you install LightWave locally using the provided installer.


* Commercial plugins getting the Lock ID using the SDK will normally work without changes. Plugins using their own scheme may need to be updated.