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Thread: Who's using Alibre Design ?

  1. #1
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    Default Who's using Alibre Design ?

    Hello all, I did a search but couldn't find the thread. A little over a week ago someone was asking about cad programs for us HSM types ( I think it was on this forum ?). Any way It was mentoined that Alibre had a free version that was decent & a link was given. I have no cad experience but would like to make better drawings than the "napkin sketches" I'm used to working from.
    So I go to the Alibre site an check it out. They will give you their Pro version for a 30 day free trial then it reverts back to Alibre Design Express ( the free revsion) after the free trial. Well I go through the process of downloading the programe. It took over 8 hrs. on my slow dial-up connection. Then I wade my way through the process of installing it on my computer. I should add I'm far from a computer expert & Thanks to the incomplete & imcomprensible excuses for instructions that seem to come with most computers & software I usually end up pissed & wanting to choke the geeks that design this crap.
    I had the normal hectic work week & didn't look at it much till today. Well I'm pissed as usual. I can't even draw a line with the damn thing. I've been through the tutorial many times, followed the instructions step by step, & stuff they say will happen don't & stuff they don't even mention does, WTF!!!
    Like I said I'm not a computer expert but I am not stupid either. I can read & understand english just fine if it's written by someone who can do the same. Is it just me or does anyone else have the same kind of experiences?
    I have felt for years that the idiots who design & write the directions for this s**t should hire me to read the directions & try out the prouduct before they turn it loose on the public so I could slap'em up side the head & say This don't make any sense a**hole let's try makin some sense.
    OK , sorry for the vent but damn,I'm I the only one who feels this way?
    Rick

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    So. Cal.
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    I bought the upgraded version of alibre shortly after downloading the free trial version. For me it was the best program I could afford the user interface is easy to use compared to other programs I have tried and seems to be user friendly. CAD take some time to learn and understand every CAD program has it's quirks, I know there are others here that use alibre and like it.

  3. #3
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    Dec 2006
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    Hello Rookie, thanks for the reply. When I watch the quick start vids the workspace is blue and has a grid of sorts that shows the planes. But when I open a new workspace it's just a tan screen. Then the tutorial says to enter 2D sketch mode then select the line tool & click near but not on the (escapes me right now, I think they say apex or something like that. I presume they mean where the lines cross but I don't see any lines in my workspace). Any how with the line tool selected your suposed to click once to start a line, more the mouse horz. & click again to end the line. Well the curser looks like it's suposed to when the line tool is selected but when I click & release it doesn't start a line & nothing appears when I move the mouse horz. & click again to end the line. Nothing appears in the workspace except cursor icon indicating it's in the line tool mode. Could you please tell me, When YOU open a new workspace does your screen have the grid lines or is it just blank tan like I'm seeing?
    Thanks , Rick

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    1,644

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    I have both Alibre and Rhino3D. I prefer Rhino quite a lot. Alibre has a lot of promise, but I find I'm just a lot more productive with Rhino.

    YMMV.

    Best,

    BW

  5. #5
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    Feb 2004
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    I recently downloaded the 2D version of Solid Edge,it's free and has no time limitations as far as I can see.

    I only want to do 2D drawings so it's fine for me,there are no instructions as such but I found it fairly intuitive to use and many times easier than Turbocad that I once tried to get into a while ago.Solid Edge just seems easy to use to me after I tried the Alibre package a while ago.

    I'd uninstalled the Alibre some time back and when I went to the Alibre site to download it again,every new password they sent wouldn't work for me and I never did get to download it again.They did me a favour really because I found the Solid Edge freeware that works just fine.

    Allan
    Last edited by Allan Waterfall; 02-03-2008 at 04:11 AM.

  6. #6
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    I recently undertook learning how to use half a dozen different CAD programs so I could compare and settle on just one for most of my work. I ditched Alibre when it self destructed on it's own update.

    Cad programs share a common theme. They are hard to learn if you have no experience with vector drawing software. The common paint programs operate much the same as a pencil and paper. That's pretty easy to figure out but like a pencil and paper once you make a mark that's all you have, a mark.

    CAD is a different story. Instead of storing an image full of marks it stores a written list of instructions on how to make the marks. A simple line is stored as a series of characteristics which include the starting point, end point, pen width and color, number of units length and some other information that will vary depending on the program. A circle need to be described by it's center and radius and so on.

    Because of this the average CAD program is highly menu driven. As well there will be a window that issues prompts for the next bit of information needed when creating any shape including just a line. Basic shapes are called primitives and each must be specified according to it's characteristics. Because of this CAD software also makes heavy use of the keyboard. While you can draw the shape by using the mouse exact information about the shape is often required to be input via the keyboard, especially dimensional information.

    It is important to pay attention to the cues given by the prompt system. It tells you what the expected next step will be. Most programs give a very terse prompt that can be singularly uninformative as to what you should do next. This is where you learn to use the help files. Some software will have settings for how verbose the prompts will be.

    There is no particular standard how this is all implemented although the general user interface of AutoCad is somewhat of a De facto standard as it had an early command of the market.

    I think the choice of CAD program for the novice CAD user should be based on which program has the best included help system and the clearest and most informative prompt system. I won't make any recommendation since my choices are heavily biased by my past programming experience.

    Perhaps the other respondents might give some thought to those considerations and advise accordingly.
    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Origin now settable to bottom left! All values positive. Click Here

  7. #7
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    Good post Evan and I admire your choice of not pushing a program forward as many do. It's a simple fact that everybody has different ways to look at a program and I'm sure that choosing a CAD program is like religion, you will never move some people and it's best not to

    One small point in your post in that you call all basic shapes as primitives, whilst that may be so most programs / help files etc refer to them as Entities, might just clear a few points up when learning.

    There are many free or very cheap programs out there that will do 95% of what the dearer ones can and still be well in front of what most people want.
    The learning curve is steep for any program, some more so than others and you do have to put time in to do this.
    If you expect to D/L a program and start drawing from day 1 forget it.

    Ideally you need to look round, select at least three programs, D/L them or the demo's and do the tutorials to see which one relates best to your way of working.
    Then spend a little time each week using it.
    Doing this will pay off as speed builds up. CAD is immensely accurate, allows quick changes to entities [see that word again ] and allows far more features than is available on paper.

    Things like layers where different parts of a drawing can be shown or hidden at will. Imagine you have say a vise with 6 parts, base, moving jaw , screw, fixed jaw etc and you manually draw each part on a sheet of tracing paper.
    Now lay the sheets over each other and you get a complete vise.
    This is how layers work but if when they are all switched on you spot that a part doesn't fit it's easy to alter just that part without a full redraw.

    The move nowadays is to start straight off in a modeling program, also known as 3D, Alibre has been mentioned. Most of these are costly and the learning curve is a lot steeper. Others are Autocad Inventor, Solid edge, Solid works but these are all about 5K to license.

    On the 2D side in no order there are Allycad, Deltacad, Turbocad, Solid Edge 2D, A9Cad and others. Most of these are free or low cost.

    The first move is to look at their websites to see if a any appeal, then give them a try.

    .
    .

    Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.




  8. #8
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    One small point in your post in that you call all basic shapes as primitives, whilst that may be so most programs / help files etc refer to them as Entities, might just clear a few points up when learning.
    That's the programming experience talking. Entities it is (they are).
    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Origin now settable to bottom left! All values positive. Click Here

  9. #9
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    Like many of you, I've been on a quest for the best cad program but I need to be able to afford it for home use. I've used Autocad from about day 1 and several years ago, moved to Solid Edge. Although I have a home key for it, I want something I can call my own ... forever

    Running Solid Edge for the first time, my first thought was ... where the heck is everything? I knew what I wanted to do but hadn't a clue as to how the functions were accessed. After running thru their tutorial, things started to fall into place rapidly and I had dropped several 2D fab drawings out after a few days, including .dwg Autocad versions for one shop that needed them.

    One of my associates who uses Solid Edge all day runs Alibre now at home and likes it. I believe that Rhino is more for "artistic" solid creations but I welcome corrections to this notion.

    Whatever program you chose, it is probably a good idea to run thru whatever tutorials or examples are provided. You may find methods of doing things that were "preferred" when the program was developed. It may be possible to do what you want in 10 other ways but that preferred way might be the most efficient.

    Alibre evaluation is high on my to-do list. Den

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rwf71
    So I go to the Alibre site an check it out. They will give you their Pro version for a 30 day free trial then it reverts back to Alibre Design Express ( the free revsion) after the free trial. Well I go through the process of downloading the programe. It took over 8 hrs. on my slow dial-up connection. Then I wade my way through the process of installing it on my computer. I should add I'm far from a computer expert & Thanks to the incomplete & imcomprensible excuses for instructions that seem to come with most computers & software I usually end up pissed & wanting to choke the geeks that design this crap.
    I can't even draw a line with the damn thing. I've been through the tutorial many times, followed the instructions step by step, & stuff they say will happen don't & stuff they don't even mention does, WTF!!!
    Like I said I'm not a computer expert but I am not stupid either. I can read & understand english just fine if it's written by someone who can do the same. Is it just me or does anyone else have the same kind of experiences?
    I have felt for years that the idiots who design & write the directions for this s**t should hire me to read the directions & try out the prouduct before they turn it loose on the public so I could slap'em up side the head & say This don't make any sense a**hole let's try makin some sense.
    OK , sorry for the vent but damn,I'm I the only one who feels this way?
    Rick
    Rick,
    I too tried the Alibre software and had the same experience: hours to down load, impossible to install (I had to get a CD from the company as the downloaded version would never work), the tutorial written for the complete version with features that are not on the simplified version so making the tutorial worthless, the instructions are written as though you completely understand the workings of the program, etc.

    As with most software, the writers of the instructions are the people who know how to use the program and skip many IMPORTANT first steps that must be known but since they know them, they ASSUME everyone knows them too.

    One would think that if companies are trying to entice you to buy their expensive software, they would make the "teaser version" of their software the best it could be - Easy to understand and use. I have yet to find a CAD package that does that. I have tried three and the results are the same - Difficult or impossible to use.

    I'm still waiting for a CAD package that the typical "road kill on the information super highway" can use.

    Bill

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