Negative Commentary on the Alibre $99 Offer

I have been reading some negative commentary about Alibre’s $99 offer. Although I am pretty sure Alibre expected some of it, I don’t think they are quite happy with the tone and quantum. One commenter called the offer “a desperate attempt by a dying company who can’t compete with the real stuff out there.” Pretty harsh, I must say.

Personally, I believe most of the negative commentary is stemming out of misinformation. And Alibre is partly to blame for that because they did not specify an expiry date for the offer, although they did say that it was a limited time offer. Somehow almost everyone assumed that the $99 is the new permanent price. I see that Max Freeman, Alibre’s VP of Marketing, is working overtime trying to clarify things at various blogs, including mine.

Secondly, almost everyone assumed that Alibre wants the mid range MCAD users to switch to Alibre Design Standard. I think Paul Grayson was quite clear in his blog post that Alibre is targeting the new licenses segment, not existing MCAD users.

Thirdly, there is an ocean full of people using 2D CAD. $99 for a 3D CAD system is precisely what will interest them. I sincerely hope that many 2D CAD users take Alibre Design Standard for a test drive, now that they can afford to buy it. I decided to drop the prices of our Alibre Design add-ons for precisely these people. One of the first things a 2D CAD user would want to know is how he would transfer his CAD data between Alibre Design and his 2D CAD system. SYCODE’s DWG/DXF import and export add-ons for Alibre transfer Alibre Design 3D solids in and out of DWG and DXF files. So assuming that this user finds the $99 offer a good bargain, I don’t think he would fancy paying $195 x 2 to transfer his models between Alibre Design and his 2D CAD system. As an Alibre Solution Partner, SYCODE is trying to do its bit to help Alibre get some life back into this pathetic economic scenario. I think that it is unfortunate that I received an email today from someone advising me not to “stoop down to Alibre’s level“.

I find it odd that when larger CAD vendors give away software for free to people laid off in these troubled times (Autodesk Assistance Program and SolidWorks Engineering Stimulus Package) it is considered noble. But when a smaller company like Alibre tries something bold and new to stimulate the market, they are publicly flogged.

  • http://www.alibre.com/ Max Freeman

    The amusing part about the negative commentary is that in general it’s from people that have no idea what they are talking about. The guy you quote as saying “a desperate attempt by a dying company who can’t compete with the real stuff out there” is the same guy that thinks SketchUp is a valid mechanical design solution. He is also clearly being negative for the purpose of being negative – his quote continues “This is a non-issue for real CAD users because it takes about two minutes of using Alibre to discover its vast amounts of limitations.”

    He obviously hasn’t really used our software – in fact I asked him to *publicly* spell out which limitations he’s talking about – I don’t believe he’s ever opened the software. Wouldn’t be surprised if this was a competitor under a surname.

    Comes with the territory – I invite him to spell out why Alibre Design is not a good CAD system. Hopefully he will choose to indulge me, but my suspicion is that he, like the other negative, anonymous comment makers, will fade away without supporting even a portion of their “opinion” with evidence. We’ll see what he does.

  • http://www.alibre.com Max Freeman

    The amusing part about the negative commentary is that in general it’s from people that have no idea what they are talking about. The guy you quote as saying “a desperate attempt by a dying company who can’t compete with the real stuff out there” is the same guy that thinks SketchUp is a valid mechanical design solution. He is also clearly being negative for the purpose of being negative – his quote continues “This is a non-issue for real CAD users because it takes about two minutes of using Alibre to discover its vast amounts of limitations.”

    He obviously hasn’t really used our software – in fact I asked him to *publicly* spell out which limitations he’s talking about – I don’t believe he’s ever opened the software. Wouldn’t be surprised if this was a competitor under a surname.

    Comes with the territory – I invite him to spell out why Alibre Design is not a good CAD system. Hopefully he will choose to indulge me, but my suspicion is that he, like the other negative, anonymous comment makers, will fade away without supporting even a portion of their “opinion” with evidence. We’ll see what he does.

  • murray

    I’ve used Design Express for a number of years to complement TurboCAD and ViaCAD for abilities that they don’t have. My biggest problem is that the offer doesn’t extend to Australia, or I’d have already taken it. I wonder why a person describes themself as a “real CAD user” and not a designer or drafter?

  • murray

    I’ve used Design Express for a number of years to complement TurboCAD and ViaCAD for abilities that they don’t have. My biggest problem is that the offer doesn’t extend to Australia, or I’d have already taken it. I wonder why a person describes themself as a “real CAD user” and not a designer or drafter?

  • murray

    …or engineer?

  • murray

    …or engineer?

  • http://www.deelip.com/ Deelip Menezes

    Murray,

    I believe the offer is available in Australia. The price is AUD $149. See http://www.caddit.net

  • http://www.deelip.com Deelip Menezes

    Murray,

    I believe the offer is available in Australia. The price is AUD $149. See http://www.caddit.net

  • http://www.cadcam-e.com/ Debankan Chattopadhyay

    I think the $99 price point is a part of buzz marketing and I personally don’t see anything wrong with it. We ought to acknowledge and embrace it. Alibre is NOT the first company to be doing it. It won’t be the last one either.

    Unfortunately, the steep discount has implications for resellers and plug-in developers but then given that this is not a permanent price drop (as it has been already clarified by Max), I don’t think there’s need to panic. And as Max pointed out, the increased customer base can always be leveraged.

    There will be negative commentary – it comes with the territory. Remember, there is no such thing in the real world as “Positive Buzz Marketing”. I refuse to believe that the Alibre marketing team was naive enough to think that competitors (anonymous comments?) will take this lying down. Its not always about lost $$. Its often to do with lost real estate on the media. Negative or otherwise, Alibre has created a buzz.

    The last time I remember we had such responses (read ‘interest’) was when SpaceClaim moved from subcription to perpetual licensing model and even dropped prices by 50% of list price as promotion! So, if I were part of the Alibre mktg team, I wouldn’t fret over negative commentary. My suggestion – soak it in for as long as it lasts:)

  • http://www.cadcam-e.com Debankan Chattopadhyay

    I think the $99 price point is a part of buzz marketing and I personally don’t see anything wrong with it. We ought to acknowledge and embrace it. Alibre is NOT the first company to be doing it. It won’t be the last one either.

    Unfortunately, the steep discount has implications for resellers and plug-in developers but then given that this is not a permanent price drop (as it has been already clarified by Max), I don’t think there’s need to panic. And as Max pointed out, the increased customer base can always be leveraged.

    There will be negative commentary – it comes with the territory. Remember, there is no such thing in the real world as “Positive Buzz Marketing”. I refuse to believe that the Alibre marketing team was naive enough to think that competitors (anonymous comments?) will take this lying down. Its not always about lost $$. Its often to do with lost real estate on the media. Negative or otherwise, Alibre has created a buzz.

    The last time I remember we had such responses (read ‘interest’) was when SpaceClaim moved from subcription to perpetual licensing model and even dropped prices by 50% of list price as promotion! So, if I were part of the Alibre mktg team, I wouldn’t fret over negative commentary. My suggestion – soak it in for as long as it lasts:)

  • http://www.coordsys.com/ Rakesh Rao

    Think of this as a stock market crash. How many of you have missed a value buy for $10 couple of days or weeks back when you know that today, you can buy it only for upwards of $100 !!

    How does the reseller business work? Is there a business opportunity right now? Buy now (low) from Alibre, sell later (higher) to end-user….

  • http://www.coordsys.com Rakesh Rao

    Think of this as a stock market crash. How many of you have missed a value buy for $10 couple of days or weeks back when you know that today, you can buy it only for upwards of $100 !!

    How does the reseller business work? Is there a business opportunity right now? Buy now (low) from Alibre, sell later (higher) to end-user….

  • http://www.gosnelldesign.com Chris Gosnell

    I have always found Alibre design very straightforward to use, especially if you are versed in either Pro-E or Solidworks.

    The sketching is very good, and the features are more than good enough to create prismatic parts as used in Aerospace, Automotive, etc… industries.

    I applaud them for looking for new markets for their software in a crowded market.

  • Alan

    As a mechanical engineer who has used Pro/E since ’94 and Solidworks since ’04, I jumped at the chance to buy the $99 seat of Alibre! It’s perfect timing for me as I just getting some side work and can’t afford +$5k for a seat of ProE or SW. So far, I can do whatever I need to with Alibre – its great.

    How anyone could write about this offer in a negative way is baffling to me. . . These are probably the same people who would win the lottery and then complain about the taxes they would have to pay on the prize.

  • Alan

    As a mechanical engineer who has used Pro/E since ’94 and Solidworks since ’04, I jumped at the chance to buy the $99 seat of Alibre! It’s perfect timing for me as I just getting some side work and can’t afford +$5k for a seat of ProE or SW. So far, I can do whatever I need to with Alibre – its great.

    How anyone could write about this offer in a negative way is baffling to me. . . These are probably the same people who would win the lottery and then complain about the taxes they would have to pay on the prize.

  • Thomas May

    As a purchaser and enduser of both Pro/e (WF4 Enterprise SE plus options) and SW (2009 Premium/Sim Premium) I have to marvel at how Alibre pulls this off, and I’m not talking about the $99.

    Seriously, $399 maintenance on the Design Expert package? I’m considering buying just for the value of Acrobat 3D and Bunkspeed.

    If the $99 brings in new users, then it is a win for Alibre and ultimately the resellers. I might be interested at some time in some of the SYCODE translators for Pro/e as well, so that’s a bonus.

  • Thomas May

    As a purchaser and enduser of both Pro/e (WF4 Enterprise SE plus options) and SW (2009 Premium/Sim Premium) I have to marvel at how Alibre pulls this off, and I’m not talking about the $99.

    Seriously, $399 maintenance on the Design Expert package? I’m considering buying just for the value of Acrobat 3D and Bunkspeed.

    If the $99 brings in new users, then it is a win for Alibre and ultimately the resellers. I might be interested at some time in some of the SYCODE translators for Pro/e as well, so that’s a bonus.

  • Geoff Steer

    The offer is indeed available in Australia and direct from Alibre.
    I filled in the details on the website and my credit card was debited for $US99 at the current exchange rate.
    A small problem with getting my login password resulted in an email from Alibre confirming the offer was good in Australia.

  • Geoff Steer

    The offer is indeed available in Australia and direct from Alibre.
    I filled in the details on the website and my credit card was debited for $US99 at the current exchange rate.
    A small problem with getting my login password resulted in an email from Alibre confirming the offer was good in Australia.

  • Kevin Quigley

    Good on Alibre for doing this. Alibre Design is a decent enough package if you are doing anything that does not require surfaces. But the thing that amazes me is how they manage to pull off any profit (or avoid a huge loss per seat) as they are licensing ACIS from Spatial, D-Cubed DCM 2D and 3D from Siemens and probably other stuff as well. This was always touted as the reason why the mainstream apps were expensive – they needed to use component technology and this costs money. So what does it actually cost to license a kernel and components?

  • Kevin Quigley

    Good on Alibre for doing this. Alibre Design is a decent enough package if you are doing anything that does not require surfaces. But the thing that amazes me is how they manage to pull off any profit (or avoid a huge loss per seat) as they are licensing ACIS from Spatial, D-Cubed DCM 2D and 3D from Siemens and probably other stuff as well. This was always touted as the reason why the mainstream apps were expensive – they needed to use component technology and this costs money. So what does it actually cost to license a kernel and components?

  • Ed

    This special pricing seems to be a good opportunity for those thinking
    about doing some design work on the side, at least for prismatic, read
    “boxy” stuff and an inexpensive way to get some general cad tool available for hobbies and/or general design work if it does includes some translators for 3d files of more free form models, etc.
    Currently there is another inexpensive offer on the market by Varimetrix Corp. for their VX Innovator package that includes surfacing, so that maybe more attractive to some users, it is offered I believe at $195.00 for
    a limited time, I’m thinking myself about buying it, but would to hear from some users first and get some general information on that package before making a buy into it.

    Overall, I think most CAD packages are currently overpriced, most users only need or use about 60 or less percent of the capabilities of any given tool due to lack of training, time or need of all of the included features.

    There should a marked in the $500-$1000 range that would allow anyone
    to do solid design, basic surfacing, assembly modeling, 3d wireframe, some type of motion simulation and drafting all included without living some standard 3d translators out for some inter-operability, this would definitively open the doors for many entrepenurs and increase earnings for the mainstays of cad companies that currently strugle to sell their wares in a tight economy. Add to that some long time market icons like
    Cadkey now KeyCreator which was easy and had an easy to use package
    with a good blend of tools to accomodate almost any job as long as there wasn’t a need for parametrics and other more advanced features like sheetmetal design, etc as we know it today.

    My $0.002

  • http://yahoo Ed

    This special pricing seems to be a good opportunity for those thinking
    about doing some design work on the side, at least for prismatic, read
    “boxy” stuff and an inexpensive way to get some general cad tool available for hobbies and/or general design work if it does includes some translators for 3d files of more free form models, etc.
    Currently there is another inexpensive offer on the market by Varimetrix Corp. for their VX Innovator package that includes surfacing, so that maybe more attractive to some users, it is offered I believe at $195.00 for
    a limited time, I’m thinking myself about buying it, but would to hear from some users first and get some general information on that package before making a buy into it.

    Overall, I think most CAD packages are currently overpriced, most users only need or use about 60 or less percent of the capabilities of any given tool due to lack of training, time or need of all of the included features.

    There should a marked in the $500-$1000 range that would allow anyone
    to do solid design, basic surfacing, assembly modeling, 3d wireframe, some type of motion simulation and drafting all included without living some standard 3d translators out for some inter-operability, this would definitively open the doors for many entrepenurs and increase earnings for the mainstays of cad companies that currently strugle to sell their wares in a tight economy. Add to that some long time market icons like
    Cadkey now KeyCreator which was easy and had an easy to use package
    with a good blend of tools to accomodate almost any job as long as there wasn’t a need for parametrics and other more advanced features like sheetmetal design, etc as we know it today.

    My $0.002

  • Kevin Quigley

    If Innovator is $195 dollars snap it up. I’ve used VX for many years and it is a very comprehensive package. Not sure hoe much surfacing Innovator does but if you need to move up the range to VX Designer, it’s the same file format. On paper VX is a better buy than Alibre, and at $195 (if that is the case) it is a bargain.

  • Kevin Quigley

    If Innovator is $195 dollars snap it up. I’ve used VX for many years and it is a very comprehensive package. Not sure hoe much surfacing Innovator does but if you need to move up the range to VX Designer, it’s the same file format. On paper VX is a better buy than Alibre, and at $195 (if that is the case) it is a bargain.

  • http://www.deelip.com/ Deelip Menezes

    Kevin: “But the thing that amazes me is how they manage to pull off any profit (or avoid a huge loss per seat) as they are licensing ACIS from Spatial, D-Cubed DCM 2D and 3D from Siemens and probably other stuff as well.”

    I guess this depends on Alibre’s licensing agreements with these companies. Normally you need to pay them a royalty per seat that you sell. There is also a concept of minimum royalty per seat. This means that you cannot sell your product for $1 and end up paying them a royalty of a few cents. But there are also other licensing arrangements whereby you pay them a fixed sum of money for the year and you are free to sell as many seats for whatever price or even give it away for free. For the $99 offer to work, I am assuming that Alibre may have this kind of a licensing arrangement.

  • http://www.deelip.com Deelip Menezes

    Kevin: “But the thing that amazes me is how they manage to pull off any profit (or avoid a huge loss per seat) as they are licensing ACIS from Spatial, D-Cubed DCM 2D and 3D from Siemens and probably other stuff as well.”

    I guess this depends on Alibre’s licensing agreements with these companies. Normally you need to pay them a royalty per seat that you sell. There is also a concept of minimum royalty per seat. This means that you cannot sell your product for $1 and end up paying them a royalty of a few cents. But there are also other licensing arrangements whereby you pay them a fixed sum of money for the year and you are free to sell as many seats for whatever price or even give it away for free. For the $99 offer to work, I am assuming that Alibre may have this kind of a licensing arrangement.

  • http://www.designsmith-services.com/ John N

    Even given the press both good and bad, Alibre may eventually make out on this. In a down economy more folks are dusting off their sideline or moonlighting business to pick up some extra work on the side.

    It’s hard to justify a $5K seat of software when you may have billed less than that so far this year, but $99 can be written off against just 1 task.
    If 30% of those new seats later buy maintenance or upgrades, I would expect Alibre’s numbers to be up.

    Some of those folks may get laid off from their day gigs, and go full time in their own business, or get rehired in some small startup. In either case, their now positive view of Alibre will make it more likely for them to push for the purchase of Alibre Design Professional over other tools.

    In my opinion, Alibre is providing 85% of SolidWorks 2007 capability with a SolidEdge 18 style UI, which was a reasonable buy at $999. For $99, it is more than suitable for my moonlighting work, and removes any legal concerns of using company tools for non-company work.

    I actually hope that this gets a good number of other moonlighters off the fence and into a purchase. If for no other reason than to help insure continued competition in the MCAD market.

  • http://www.designsmith-services.com John N

    Even given the press both good and bad, Alibre may eventually make out on this. In a down economy more folks are dusting off their sideline or moonlighting business to pick up some extra work on the side.

    It’s hard to justify a $5K seat of software when you may have billed less than that so far this year, but $99 can be written off against just 1 task.
    If 30% of those new seats later buy maintenance or upgrades, I would expect Alibre’s numbers to be up.

    Some of those folks may get laid off from their day gigs, and go full time in their own business, or get rehired in some small startup. In either case, their now positive view of Alibre will make it more likely for them to push for the purchase of Alibre Design Professional over other tools.

    In my opinion, Alibre is providing 85% of SolidWorks 2007 capability with a SolidEdge 18 style UI, which was a reasonable buy at $999. For $99, it is more than suitable for my moonlighting work, and removes any legal concerns of using company tools for non-company work.

    I actually hope that this gets a good number of other moonlighters off the fence and into a purchase. If for no other reason than to help insure continued competition in the MCAD market.

  • http://www.aircraft-computational.com/alibre Robert Weekley

    I am thinking about buying another seat of Alibre Design – just to go along with the Current Copy of Xpress, and Expert, so when the time comes I need a partner – he has a legit copy for his use!

    Heck – I think – it would even be worth it to buy copies for a few of your engineering Buddies as Birthday or Christmas Presents! (Save money over the pen – pencil sets, and teach them some new programs!)

    I would like to compare the current Version of Alibre Design Standard, compared to what I got way back in Version 6.0! (That I had to pay $$595 for I think – it’s been some time – like 6 years!)

  • http://www.aircraft-computational.com/alibre Robert Weekley

    I am thinking about buying another seat of Alibre Design – just to go along with the Current Copy of Xpress, and Expert, so when the time comes I need a partner – he has a legit copy for his use!

    Heck – I think – it would even be worth it to buy copies for a few of your engineering Buddies as Birthday or Christmas Presents! (Save money over the pen – pencil sets, and teach them some new programs!)

    I would like to compare the current Version of Alibre Design Standard, compared to what I got way back in Version 6.0! (That I had to pay $$595 for I think – it’s been some time – like 6 years!)

  • Rick Stockum

    After evaluating SpaceClaim, Rhino, and Alibre I decided to purchase Alibre largely on price because SpaceClaim is a superior product in my opinion. But, I fell for the sales pressure tactic that I had to take advantage of the great offer on Alibre Standard for $399 now because the price would go up after the end of the November. You can image my surprise when a few days after making the pressured purchase, I got an email saying they were lowering the price to $199. They had just taken me for $200. Of course, I complained immediately but my first two emails were ignored. Then, after the third email, I got a terse reply saying they could not offer a refund. Then, I asked if they would give me a deal on an upgrade to Alibre Professional and that resulted in a call from an Alibre corporate person asking why I was complaining! So, I told him, what really bothered me was that I was forced to pay for support (that accounts for the $200 I paid) and found it was useless. It works like this: You call the support number and get a recording saying to leave a message with your phone number and someone will call you right back. Fair enough, except no one calls and a week later you get an email asking what your problem is! I get the impression that these people are either too cheap to treat their customers right or they are hanging on by a thread and can’t spend money for anything including support. Either way, I would not recommend buying anything from them.

  • Rick Stockum

    After evaluating SpaceClaim, Rhino, and Alibre I decided to purchase Alibre largely on price because SpaceClaim is a superior product in my opinion. But, I fell for the sales pressure tactic that I had to take advantage of the great offer on Alibre Standard for $399 now because the price would go up after the end of the November. You can image my surprise when a few days after making the pressured purchase, I got an email saying they were lowering the price to $199. They had just taken me for $200. Of course, I complained immediately but my first two emails were ignored. Then, after the third email, I got a terse reply saying they could not offer a refund. Then, I asked if they would give me a deal on an upgrade to Alibre Professional and that resulted in a call from an Alibre corporate person asking why I was complaining! So, I told him, what really bothered me was that I was forced to pay for support (that accounts for the $200 I paid) and found it was useless. It works like this: You call the support number and get a recording saying to leave a message with your phone number and someone will call you right back. Fair enough, except no one calls and a week later you get an email asking what your problem is! I get the impression that these people are either too cheap to treat their customers right or they are hanging on by a thread and can’t spend money for anything including support. Either way, I would not recommend buying anything from them.

  • http://www.aircraft-computational.com/alibre/assistance/tutorials.html Robert Weekley

    Well, YOur situation in timing was about the opposite of mine – I missed the end of a special – which I knew about – when I downloaded the 30 Day trial back at V6! that also cost me $$, but – I can’t blame them – for my laggard response to checking out the trial! Yet – along the way – I did learn the program – even after getting initially mixed up because I was evaluation Rhino 3 at the time – a surfaces program that works quite differently. later – Iwent on to make tutorials on Alibre Design – using my wife as a first step feecback. They ended up getting popped up on my web site – here http://www.aircraft-computational.com/alibre/assistance/tutorials.html so that others could used them. Many have! This is waha a few have said – http://www.aircraft-computational.com/alibre/other/user-comments-1.html (I would likely have more but am about 1800 emails behind in my account!!).

  • http://www.aircraft-computational.com/alibre/assistance/tutorials.html Robert Weekley

    Well, YOur situation in timing was about the opposite of mine – I missed the end of a special – which I knew about – when I downloaded the 30 Day trial back at V6! that also cost me $$, but – I can’t blame them – for my laggard response to checking out the trial! Yet – along the way – I did learn the program – even after getting initially mixed up because I was evaluation Rhino 3 at the time – a surfaces program that works quite differently. later – Iwent on to make tutorials on Alibre Design – using my wife as a first step feecback. They ended up getting popped up on my web site – here http://www.aircraft-computational.com/alibre/assistance/tutorials.html so that others could used them. Many have! This is waha a few have said – http://www.aircraft-computational.com/alibre/other/user-comments-1.html (I would likely have more but am about 1800 emails behind in my account!!).

  • John

    I purchased Alibre Standard for the $99 offer (v 11.2). I did not purchase annual maintenance.

    A few weeks later the LCD screen in my WinXP based laptop failed. I bought a new laptop with Win 7.

    When I installed Alibre 11.2 on my new laptop, and tried to run the “site key” application, it would not run.

    I called Alibre and was told I would need to purchase annual maintenance ($299) to get v12 which is compatible with Win 7.

    I’m quite confident that the site key generator would work on Win 7, but they have restricted it from running to force users to purchase an upgrade.

    Given I was underwhelmed with Alibre 11.2, I decided not to purchase their annual maintenance.

    I’ll plug in an external monitor into my old laptop and grumble about their poor customer service each time I use Alibre.

  • John

    I purchased Alibre Standard for the $99 offer (v 11.2). I did not purchase annual maintenance.

    A few weeks later the LCD screen in my WinXP based laptop failed. I bought a new laptop with Win 7.

    When I installed Alibre 11.2 on my new laptop, and tried to run the “site key” application, it would not run.

    I called Alibre and was told I would need to purchase annual maintenance ($299) to get v12 which is compatible with Win 7.

    I’m quite confident that the site key generator would work on Win 7, but they have restricted it from running to force users to purchase an upgrade.

    Given I was underwhelmed with Alibre 11.2, I decided not to purchase their annual maintenance.

    I’ll plug in an external monitor into my old laptop and grumble about their poor customer service each time I use Alibre.

  • Tony

    John,
    I’ll have to see how Alibre runs after I upgrade my laptop to Win 7.
    But you have at least two options on Win7:
    – Use Win7 Pro’s built-in VM (which runs WinXP under a VM)
    – Use VirtualBox to run Alibre under WinXP; IIRC the latest version includes support for accelerated OpenGL graphics in the VM.

    Alibre does have a some nice features, including output to 3D PDF (worth $99 to me just for that) and you can legally install it on up to three PCs.

  • Tony

    John,
    I’ll have to see how Alibre runs after I upgrade my laptop to Win 7.
    But you have at least two options on Win7:
    – Use Win7 Pro’s built-in VM (which runs WinXP under a VM)
    – Use VirtualBox to run Alibre under WinXP; IIRC the latest version includes support for accelerated OpenGL graphics in the VM.

    Alibre does have a some nice features, including output to 3D PDF (worth $99 to me just for that) and you can legally install it on up to three PCs.

  • http://www.gosnelldesign.com/ Chris Gosnell

    I have always found Alibre design very straightforward to use, especially if you are versed in either Pro-E or Solidworks.

    The sketching is very good, and the features are more than good enough to create prismatic parts as used in Aerospace, Automotive, etc… industries.

    I applaud them for looking for new markets for their software in a crowded market.

  • Rmuttley

    I used to like Alibre and bought the full package up to and including version 8, but then it started to get a little too pricey with includes that I really didn't want and wouldn't use. Also, at one time when I asked for some support I got quite a disdainful reply (which rather put the boot in as far as further upgrades were concerned). As a CAD package it really is quite good and for my kind of work (exhibition stand design) it could be a useful and cost-effective tool. The only issues I had/have are the positioning of 3D parts in an assembly (difficult) and the import filters (I can't pull anything in as a part at all). I'm tempted to buy the $599 version but I'd like to trial it first. The problem is that I would have to remove my current version 8 and as it has been on my computer for such a long time I can't find the original license number so I would never get it back on.
    All in all I would recommend Alibre as a good product at reasonable price.

  • Tony

    Rmuttley,
    There are a couple things you could try:
    1. Back up your computer using partition backup software such as Acronis TrueImage or Norton Ghost (and verify you can restore). Then you can install Alibre V12, and if you don't like it, restore back to V8 (but make sure you've kept track of any changes you've made).
    2. Try out Alibre V12 in a virtual machine. VirtualBox, VMWare Player, & VMWare Server are all free. VirtualBox has an experimental option for 3D graphics acceleration. Probably a better option than #1.
    3. See if you can read your license code, either from the Help..About menu, another Alibre menu, or software that reads license keys. Probably the best option, but I'd combine it with #1 or #2

  • Jarrod

    I’ve been using Alibre’s cad with Dolphin’s CAM – http://www.dolphincadcamusa.com

    Quite excited for the new Albire Dolphin plugin.




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