View Full Version : Anyone download the Alibre free CAD program

08-07-2005, 03:13 PM
I downloaded the free Alibre free CAD program and it looks reasonably good except that like most 3D programs it has a steep learning curve and unless you use it all the time, it is hard to remember the steps it requires. Anyone else have any experience with it.

08-07-2005, 03:23 PM
I downloaded and installed it. I havn't the gumption yet to try it out. It seems to have some decent tutorials - but one can't really tell until trying them.

My problem is that I always need the drawings "yesterday" and it is faster to warm up the ol' pencil than learn or relearn how to use the program.


Your Old Dog
08-07-2005, 04:28 PM
I registred for it but forget to get it. Now I can't find any info either in my email confirmation or the saved site. Anybody able to supply me the url?


08-07-2005, 05:10 PM

Search your inbox for mail from this guy:
Greg Milliken [mailto:xpress@alibre.com]

If you have spam filter, it might have been sent to the bit bucket, so check there too.


08-07-2005, 05:25 PM
www.alibre.com/xpress/download/ (http://www.alibre.com/xpress/download/)

there is the link they sent me.

John Stevenson
08-07-2005, 05:58 PM
Yes got the download on the first as they promised.
There was a bit of a muck up with some features disabled that they hadn't said but they did agree to reinstate these features for the original 100,000

All in all a very useful and powerful program.
The base version is adequate enough for most people except the most demanding tasks but for what is basically a free non time limited program you can't go wrong.

Sir John

08-07-2005, 06:19 PM
I got in on the 1 0f 100000 deal. Downloaded tried to install keep getting "error missing file needed to install failure. So now I'll have to reload and it's big on a dail up line 4 hours. But I'll try again.

08-07-2005, 06:27 PM
downloaded it and have been going thru the tutorials, definately a steep learning curve, but it seems to work really well.

08-07-2005, 07:11 PM
I downed loaded it as well, but have not run it yet.
Will it run in windows 98 SE or do I need XP?
take care

Nick Carter
08-07-2005, 08:20 PM
I downloaded it but I'll have to wait until I have a more powerful computer, it was excruciatingly slow on my machine (Win 98, PIII 750mhz and 380M ram,well below the recommended system for running it.)

08-07-2005, 08:45 PM
I have down loaded and installed it .

I like it even though it does have a steep learning curve.

08-07-2005, 09:47 PM
I'm using the retail Pro version of Alibre and was surprised at how easy it was to pick up at least the basics. I think it took me about 10-15 hours with the tutorials over less than a week to get comfortable with it. I use it now now anywhere from once to a few times per month or so and haven't had any trouble remembering how to use it.

2-D CAD was another story for me - total frustration.

Guess that's just another example of YMMV.


08-08-2005, 11:48 AM
I got my download and fired it up Friday night. I did have to download Virtual Machine from Microsoft before Design Xpress would load. Went through the first 3D tutorial which took about 45 min for me. It seems like a very nice piece of software. I have no experience in 3D cad but have in the past made extensive use of 2D systems (ME10) at work but nothing at home.

My thanks to Sir John for posting a message about it to the board else I wouldn't have known about it. While I will mostly use it for 2D tasks (haven't run those tutorials yet) for me it looks to be a "good thing". Oh yeah, My version will import an Autocad .dwg file with no apparent problems. Sure can't beat the price and the ad's are unobtrusive in a strip at the top of the window.


J Tiers
08-08-2005, 12:07 PM
So, did we miss out if we forgot to go and sign up with them?

08-08-2005, 03:39 PM
J Tiers
No, you can still download the freeware from the website https://www.alibre.com/xpress/ however I think there may be some features missing from that version that are in the first 100k to sign up. I don't know what those are but I think they had to do with import/export of files. I looked in the user forum but didn't find the reference I'd seen. Perhaps John S knows.


J Tiers
08-08-2005, 04:49 PM
Cool, thanks for the info.

John Stevenson
08-08-2005, 05:07 PM
Yes the program can still be downloaded but only the original 100,000 get the extra's.

Alibre fudged the plot a bit by not saying just what the deal was.
On announcement they said you need internet access to run this and there are google ads at the top of the page.
Shelling, the process of cutting away the inside of a part wasn't going to be included and some file import export types again not included.

This created a wave of upset and so they did an about turn.
For the first 100,000 you got file import / export and shelling.
Internet access and ads are still current but for $49.00 you can switch the ads off and work off line.

I have paid the $49 as I feel it's a small price to pay for what's on offer, a 3D solid modeller that for the non professional takes some beating.

Alibre have also announced that shortly they will publish a list of prices to allow you have have the options you require switched on.
This is done by a key code.

The biggest shout was about the google ads but these are all CAD related and also mainly Alibre's.
When I was running the program initally I found you soon ignored them, they are only at the top.

Now I have no ads I've actually missed out as over the weekend apparently they had a 1/2 price offer on the full program just in these ads only.

John S.

Your Old Dog
08-08-2005, 05:44 PM
Your Dudeness, Sir John

Thanks for the heads up on the software offer. I was eventually able to find my info and download a copy but mine seems to be only a part copy. What do I have to do to get the 3D?

I found the email they had sent me with my username and password they sent but even with that I' don't think I got the whole enchailada! Did you "tele" or do online support.

thanks elbryant, when I searced as you suggested it popped right up.

thanks again,

John Stevenson
08-08-2005, 06:37 PM
Ray, Drop Alibre a line with the email address you signed up on.
Tell them you were one of the 100,000 and they should upgrade your program the next time it's opened.
It checks back on the site.

Sir John

J Tiers
08-08-2005, 09:16 PM
I signed up, and got to the download page, now I find it is a 70 meg download.

They can keep it, I am just about to pull the plug on the download process... I would be here until next week (56k dialup).

They could have saved me the trouble by clearly showing the size. I would never have bothered to start it.

Hah, my ISP saved me the trouble, they dumped the connection, no more problem.

John Stevenson
08-09-2005, 03:08 AM
Email me a snail mail address and I'll post a CD over.

John S.

Your Old Dog
08-09-2005, 05:56 AM
I don't mind sending him a cd from buffalo, I've got it saved off, I'll copy it, take it to work, check in for his email address and get it right out to him. He could have it by Thursday (It's Tuesday morn now).

He'd have to use his own username and password from the way the software appears to be setup.


[This message has been edited by Your Old Dog (edited 08-09-2005).]

J Tiers
08-09-2005, 08:22 AM
Figured I ought to get it anyhow, so I let it run overnight (good thing I don't have AOL) and the computer claims it downloaded.

Thanks for the offer, hopefully the download I have is complete and readable.

Your Old Dog
08-09-2005, 10:15 AM
If it ain't, let me know. I was able to burn a copy for you begore my compuker s--t the bed. Looks like I'm back to my notebook till I can find out what happened.

If you need it just let me know.

J Tiers
08-11-2005, 10:17 PM
Well, it worked on download #2.....

But the program seems to be pretty worthless. It needs an open internet connection, already a pain..... and will run only 10 min without it.

Then also, it has yet to run more than 3 minutes before encountering a protection fault...and automatically closing.....

I think I go back to AutoCadLT, and my ancient copy of CadKey..... or the even older 3D designer program...... they at least work.....

I'd say that the program is the worst possible advertisement for Alibre that they could possibly manage to put out there, from my experience.

yeah, I use 98SE...but they SAY it will work, albeit not super well/fast. They DO NOT say it will toss its cookies and go into the weeds every 3 minutes.....


08-11-2005, 10:49 PM
"I'd say that the program is the worst possible advertisement for Alibre that they could possibly manage to put out there, from my experience. "

My experience has been jsut the opposite of yours. I'm on XP. No crashes or glitches.

Generally, I like the program and am getting better with it as I practise. I've paid bucks in the past for software that wasn't near the equal of this.

So, in summary I like it and may at some point step up to the "real" version.

Incidently, I paid to have the ad-free version, gives more screen space.

Also, I'm surprised how many signed up for the freebie and aren't trying to use it.

J Tiers
08-12-2005, 04:09 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by DR:
My experience has been jsut the opposite of yours. I'm on XP. No crashes or glitches.

Well, if it won't work on 98, they should have made XP a requirement, then I wouldn't have bothered. Don't have XP, not going to get it, most likely, since it is still big bux (and I need 3 copies), and now seems to be obsoleted by another MS OS that I REALLY don't want......

I downloaded 100meg of stuff, including the downloads the install program wanted.....got nada out of it.....

All just because they didn't want to say you couldn't run it on 98SE.... say WHAT?

I think they are silly..... and I stand by the "bad advertisement" thought.

[This message has been edited by J Tiers (edited 08-12-2005).]

08-13-2005, 01:12 PM
For DR,

There are a lot of folks that can't resist anything that is "free" but that really don't have the need to use it or the time to learn even the basics.


The Alibre Express web site lists system requirements for the program. It will run on Win 98 but they don't recommend it for "use in production work". No indication if that means it is too slow to be useful or too prone to crashes in Win 98.

I've had very few problems with the commercial version of Alibre, but one trick that I have found useful is to have the Task Manager running in Win XP. Some operations in Alibre tend to use a lot of CPU time, and what appears to be a program hang is actually a lot of CPU work being done in the background. The CPU usage is reflected in the little bar neter in the task tray and when that's getting pinned I know to let Alibre finish it's current task. The Resource Meter applet might provide the same info in Win 98.


J Tiers
08-13-2005, 10:00 PM
I am very used to long operations, I use circuit analysis and magnetics design software at work. I have had to leave the very fast work computer to go on working overnight many times. (makes the IT folks mad, they think that may allow viri into the system...)

But if they KNOW it is going to crash regularly, they oughten't to recommend anyone even try it...... It does no-one a favor, and makes program and company look bad.