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Alibre Slashes Prices on CAD Line

Alibre Slashes Prices on CAD Line

After months of experimenting with different price points for CAD software, Alibre, has locked in a $97 price for the entry-level version of its Alibre Design 3-D/2-D design tool and overhauled pricing on its entire line of design tools.

Last summer, Alibre rolled out an aggressive campaign, offering its Alibre Design tool for $99, down from its original price point of $999. Now, months later, Alibre says it saw such pent-up demand for low-cost CAD given the recessionary climate, it decided to completely revamp the pricing structure on its entire line and lock in low fees across the board.

The move is designed to appeal to two markets: The core base of CAD users who are looking for a supplementary tool for home use, as well as the enthusiast/hobbyist, do-it-yourself market, who prior to this release have not had powerful 3-D capabilities within economic reach. "We're trying to position this as a $97 ubiquitous engineering utility that any one can own, regardless of what else they own," says Max Freeman, Alibre's vice president of marketing. "It's less about replacing what they own, and more to supplement (their existing tools), and for the home market, when you compare this with other $97 products, nothing even comes close."

The entry-level version of Alibre Design includes full 3-D design and associative 2-D drawing capabilities, along with Alibre Translate (formerly offered at $499), an import/export suite that can be used to view and work with leading CAD programs, including SolidWorks, ProEngineer, Autodesk Inventor, SolidEdge, CATIA and other neutral CAD formats.

Freeman says last year's experiment with pricing was initially driven by a weakening in CAD sales due to the recession. CIMdata, a research firm that covers the engineering software market, mid-last-year revised its estimates for CAD and PLM software as a result of the downturn. Initially, CIMdata forecast the PLM market to achieve a 6.3 percent CAGR over the next five years to reach nearly $36 billion in revenues, with investments in 2009 showing a 3.8 percent spike over 2008 investments. However, in August, the firm revised its forecast, estimating that the Comprehensive PLM investment would decline 2.1 percent in 2009 from 2008 results with the five-year CAGR reaching 3.5 percent for a total of just under $31 billion in 2013. Freeman said the summer $99 promotion helped Alibre avoid that drop in sales, with the company actually growing its customer base by 30 percent in 2009.

As a result of the pricing changes, Alibre's new lineup is as follows:

- Alibre Design Standard, priced at $97, with one-year of support and updates for another $97. Includes parametric 3-D design (parts and assemblies), 2-D drafting, import/export options for native CAD formats and neutral formats and 3-D PDF creation.

- Alibre Design Professional, now priced at $497, with one-year support and updates an additional $147. This release adds a sheet metal design module, push/pull editing, standard part libraries, design configurations, photorealistic rendering and single part FEA analysis.

- Alibre Design Expert, now priced at $997, with one-year support and updates an additional $197. This release adds a Windows-integrated data/product management solution, integrated physics-based motion analysis, an integrated CAM solution and Machinist Toolbox, a shop utility.

Alibre Design offers 3-D parametric and 2-D drafting functions.
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