Alibre Upgrades Core CAD Features

DN Staff

November 19, 2007

3 Min Read
Alibre Upgrades Core CAD Features

Focus on the core - that's the mantra behind Alibre Inc.'s latest version of its 3-D CAD package, which delivers a range of enhancements that improve price/performance for mainstream customers, in lieu of serving up bell-and-whistle features for CAD specialists.

Along with a tenfold boost to key feature performance and decreased memory consumption on the order of 35 percent, Alibre Design 10.0 offers productivity improvements in parametric sketching and 2-D detailing along with a fully integrated Computer-Aided Manufacturing module. The software also delivers a direct editing toolset aimed at early stage conceptual design work and for collaborating on models imported from other CAD systems.

Alibre, which has been offering parametric or history-based CAD capabilities like market leaders PTC and Siemens PLM Software, believes providing customers with both 3-D approaches in a single toolset with a common interface will give it an edge. "There are two schools of thought," says Alibre CEO Greg Milliken. "What we've done with version 10 is not to take a position on whether one technical approach is better, but rather, provide both, which have value in various work cases."

When creating models from scratch, Milliken says, the traditional parametric approach works best. But when dealing with imported geometry, direct editing capabilities come in handy. The Direct Editing toolset in 10.0 provides push-pull modeling as well as the ability to quickly move, add and remove design elements. Additionally, a new inferencing engine automates many functions within the tools, further reducing the time it takes to make complex changes.

Also central to the new release are features that enhance the performance of 2-D functions. Specifically, the upgrade offers a Fast Views feature, which projects 2-D views of large or complex models four to 10 times faster than previous versions. A number of detailing features are also more responsive in the new release, including inserting dimensions and annotations such as BOM callouts. "This shows our philosophy not to advance complex services that push the system to handle hundreds of parts assemblies, but rather to stay focused on what the majority of users need," Milliken says.

The other big feature of Alibre Design 10.0 is the fully integrated Alibre CAM add-on, which delivers NC machining capabilities supporting 2.5 and 3-axis milling. Alibre CAM was developed using Alibre Design's API and runs within the platform's user interface. Alibre CAM comes as part of Alibre Design Expert, priced at $1,995; Alibre Design Professional costs $1,495 and Alibre Design Standard is priced at $995.

Alibre Design V10.0 includes new functionality targeted to machinists such as direct editing and Alibre CAM.

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