I am just wondering if anyone has heard of this new CAD software called Alibre. It is the first of its type and I am interested in finding out who has tried it…

It is a new program that you can get for a lot cheaper than the smaller versions of Katia and other such, but it has many of the essential capabilities, from what I have heard.

I also wanted to try this software because it has free live classes online where the operator shows you what to do… Having tried unsuccessfully to learn AutoCAD from a book, I was really happy to hear that they could just show me what to do!

So, I have never heard of anything like this except just recently. I am hoping to try it out, but I wanted to see if I could get some comments from people who may be in the same position as myself?.. have known about this software and like it? …dislike it?

Stop by if you want to see what I am talking about.

I used it a couple years ago. It’s not nearly as good (IMO) as something like SolidWorks. And Alibre will keep spamming you with offers to buy the full software for a long time. I had to send a couple threatening emails to them to stop spamming me. I didn’t have a very good experience with them.


Well, it looks interesting, mostly because it’s dirt cheap compared to the heavy iron (Pro/E, Catia, Unigraphics, etc.), but apparently (in the professional version, at least) it contains many of the same features.

But, it’s very hard to tell from their website whether it actually performs as advertised. I would be pleasantly surprised if it handles assemblies gracefully, and I’d be willing to give it a shot with some imported data.

Since the student editions of Pro/E are cheaper still, to say nothing of the free Inventor licences that we get via FIRST, their price advantage is moot. What they’re really claiming, is that they have the principal capabilities of a $30 000 system, while costing much less—so if you’re in the market for the full package it could save some money. For a new user, what’s more important is function and usability. Does it crash every few minutes? Is the interface intuitive? Can it read other companies’ CAD files? (They say STEP; can it do anything else?)

By the way; learning AutoCAD from a book? That sounds painful.

Sounds intreaging. I’ll try the demo before passing judgement, though. I looked at the guide, and it says that it supports STEP, their STEP, IGES, DXF, and DWG file types. That means exproting all the Inventor and redoing some things that STEP doesn’t remember (like constraints). The 3d modeling protion seems to be powerful, but the interface doesn’t look as good as Inventor. Some portions look like a strait rip off of Inventor (like the edit dimention box, and the way they do the drawing notations (but this may be a standard)). Our school computers are bad, but we have 40 of them. We are considering getting more copies of Inventor when (if ever) we get new computers. Because they seems to have a deal with people that have autocad, it might be a good idea for the extra licenses that we would want.

Sorry about the double post. I just got though with their Introduction siminar that was on the internet. I registered my name to get a trial of it and they signed me up for the siminar. They guy had about 6 slides about Alibre and then showed some things you can do in it. These are my thoughts:
A lot like Inventor. It had the parametric stuff and dimentions like Inventor. It could do assemblies and constraints just about he same. Can do drawings like Inventor, too.
Pros: It is cheeper than Inventor (550 education licence for Inventor and at most 300 for Alibre). They have lots of internet support, with pros and people just using it. They update quickly (Version 9 this summer) and your get all updates free for a year. They guy said that you can renew this for “two ninty five” (2.95, 295.00?). They have a standard parts library with “about 8 million parts”. The better versions have force simulation (don’t know exactly what that means). Can do mass and weight, but only a few materials. Great rendering software with the better versions, too.
Cons: Doesn’t use any Inventor formats (.ipt, ect), so no VKoP for you. No real materials yet, but maybe latter. Threads are retained in the program so the drawing or the machine makes the threads, but no actual thread or bitmap of them, but if you want to be complicated, you can cut out thread using a tool they have.

I still want to try the software, but it looks mideocore. Good for the price (150 for the cheep educational version), but I think Inventor seems to be the better deal if you are going to stay in FIRST and they give you Inventor.

I got a 30 day demo and am currently trying it out. So far I have found that the program is below par. For those that have used Inventor know that you can extrude “loops” in sketches (AutoCADers know them as regions). Alibre requires you to extrude the whole sketch. To get tubing like our team used, you would have to extrude the ouside and cut out the inside. Extra lines are a no no in Alibre. I had a circle in the middle of a surface and had an extra line (Was trying to do a helix so it was tangent) and Alibre got mad and wouldn’t extrude until I deleated the line. Even for the savings, Alibre isn’t worth the money. Get Inventor. Get AutoCAD. Get SolidWorks. Get any other commersial software. Don’t get Alibre unless you are desprate.

If you are a student or teacher, you can get SolidWorks for two years for only $70. Now that is a smokin’ hot deal. I’m not sure how much Alibre is but for this cheap I don’t see why anyone wouldn’t just get SW.

Wow! You must have been very board to dig up this thread, Sanddrag. Alibre ranges in prices from 150-400 for educational versions. The differences are in rendering stuff, and analysis stuff. I am currently trying out SolidWorks and I find it a much better program than Alibre, but I haven’t decided if it is better than Inventor. Our school already has many copies of Inventor 5 (real versions, not FIRST versions) so we could get a discount on Inventor. I have a demo of version 10 on the way, so I got to check it out.
As I said before, Alibre is really difficult to use. You can’t have any extra lines when you boss (like extrude for those of you who don’t know) or anything like that. But, in defence of them, they do have a greatly accelerated development plan that might make it really good in a few years. They try to come out with a new major version every 6 months(like from version 4 to 5) and a minor version every 3 months (like from 4.0 to 4.5) and periodic updates as they come. They have good support but they lack the quality currently.