Alibre is the name of a company, whose name has origins in the Latin word Liber, from where comes liberty, liberalism, libero; In short the feeling of freedom. And the intention of this company is based on offering a high quality product at a very surprising price.
History shows us that the price of 3D design software has been becoming accessible every day:
In the years 70's ComputerVision Offered solutions that were for about one million dollars, Catia In 80's down to $ 100,000 while Pro / E Took it to $ 20,000 at the end of the 80's and finally in the 90's SolidWorks Could land in $ 5,000 which is the price so you can purchase a professional software for mechanical design.
From the creators of PC-Draw, the first PC drawing software, I gamble offers solutions below the 1,000 depending; of licensing can be up to US $ 150 or less. That is what is called freedom.
But a price like that would seem to be inconsistent, and could be underestimated. As I've seen in solutions like Manifold GIS e IntelliCAD, After a reader told me about Alibre, I had to think again why solutions of this level are so unpopular if their capacity does not have much to envy to the software of known brand.
What Alibre offers.
The wealth of Alibre is in offering a solution, with specialization in the design for mechanical engineering CAM (Computer-Aided Machining), With 3D modeling, assembling, 2D drawings, static and dynamic material resistance analysis.
Design 3D. The functionality for solids handling is very simple, the rotation of a piece is in a simple key and the free dragging of the mouse. Based on attributes (parameterization), the pieces do not have to be built from scratch, simply choose them from a library, define width, height, thickness, material, borders, and enough.
In addition they can be assembled to form objects together, worked in plant, from below, from above, in cut ...
Steel plates. This is extremely interesting, you can work on metal parts design, with pre-established criteria. The deployment of pieces that are armed with a single sheet with folded edges is almost like playing origami. But beyond that, the modeling of complex pieces that are later expected to be assembled, passed on to analysis and elaboration is very interesting.
Pull and push. The direct manipulation of 3D objects is very practical; A piece that you want to stretch only requires dragging the mouse. It is possible to import without need of extensions, data of the formats:
- SolidWorks: 1999 to 2009 (* .sldprt, * .sldasm)
- STEP 203 / 214
- Rhino 3DM
- BMP / JPG / PNG / GIF / TIF / DIB / RLE / JFIF / EMF
Also with a data connector you can import native data from the most popular programs:
- AutoDesk Inventor: v10 to 2009 (* .ipt, * .iam)
- Pro / E: 2000 to Wildfire 4 (* .prt, * .xpr, * .asm, * .xas)
- SolidEdge: v10 to v20 (* .par, * .psm, * .asm)
- Catia: v5 from R10 to R18 (* .CATPart, * .pCATProduct)
- Parasolid: v18 (* .x_t, * .x_b, * .xmt_txt, * .xmt_bin)
And then with a couple of new toys you can operate:
- SolidWorks: 2004 (* .sldprt, * .aldasm)
- Parasolid: v9 (* .x_t, * .x_b, * .xmt_txt, * .xmt_bin)
2D Documentation. While working with the 3D objects, the system generates the drawings in 2D that will be used for the real elaboration of the pieces.
The semi-automated, isometric view and cutaways are updated in the layout If the parameters of the part are modified.
Your document manager can control the step-by-step flow of each document, which in the end will be the calculation and design memory that will be backed up by the customer.
Analysis and movement. Once the piece is created, its behavior can be analyzed by vectors that will act on it using the finite element method with bright spectrum graphics. Additionally, you can generate videos of how a machine will behave according to its assembly, and all with its parameterized properties, from the K-factor of a spring to the deformation of a piece subjected to torsion.
In this way you can have clarity of the exact position, speed, weakest point and the simple logic of seeing the prototype before producing it. In addition, the design can be optimized to the exact width that a piece occupies according to what the dynamic analysis reflects. Everything automated; change the width of the washer, update plans, update calculation and test its operation.
Rendering. This is scary, I do not know how they will do to not consume as much resource with the rendering resolution offered by Alibre. And it is that the life of the mechanical design is in that, as they are usually metallic pieces, their taste is in the brightness and similarity of reality.
Also the construction of models for industrial lathe is luxury.
How much is it worth?
It has a modular offer that according to its page goes from Standard that is for the US $ 1,000, Professional US $ 2,000 and Expert near the US $ 4,000. Although in an announcement that just came from Sysengtech, distributor in Mexico, Professional is in US $ 499 and Expert in US $ 999, with the option that when you buy now you will have the 2011 version for free.
Definitely, its price is not consistent with everything it does. The best I've seen for mechanical engineering software.