Alibre Design Back At $99

Alibre recently rebranded its entry level MCAD product. Alibre Design Standard is now Alibre Design Personal Edition and is priced at $99. Also you no longer need to purchase maintenance. So the final price of a license is $99 only.

Easily the largest criticism of Alibre Design is that it cannot do much. This was further compounded by noises coming from Alibre itself, such as the infamous “get 80% of the functionality for 20% of the price“. Personally, I am glad that the company has moved away from that line of messaging. Instead now they are saying that they give 80% of the people 100% of what they need, which makes far more sense.

Alibre has reworked their web site with the aim of conveying that very message. The new products landing page gives a very good idea about their product line. The web page has two sections – “Business Class Software” and “Home & Hobby Software“. The business side takes you to Alibre Design Professional and Expert and the hobby side takes you to Alibre Design Personal Edition. Maybe now there will be lesser people making a fuss about what a $99 hobbyist software can and cannot do.

Alibre Design Personal Edition is the same as the old Alibre Design Standard with a couple of differences. You cannot create section/partial/detail views in drawings and 3D export is restricted to STL only. The idea is that hobbyists or individuals who are running a CNC machine for personal projects only really need STL, and probably do not need partial/section/detail. So, if you need those, you are probably a business and need to buy Professional or Expert.

The detailed feature list of Alibre Design Personal Edition is listed here.

  • Probably a smart move by Alibre, and at least they're still keeping maintenance open for existing Standard users. But I won't move from V12 Std to any version of Personal.

    You did miss one big omission: STEP and IGES import is now not included. This makes it much harder to re-use existing models (e.g. STEP parts from 3D part libraries), and makes it unusable for me (I use lots of STEP models).

    The problem with no STEP output is that you can't share your designs with others unless they also have Alibre (which is another thing I like to do — and I don't consider STL files a good basis for sharing).

    This lack of standard (STEP,IGES) import and export moves it a lot closer to free programs like CoCreate PE (which can import IGES and STEP, but IIRC is STL-only export — and has a 60 part per assembly limit, unlike AD PE) and PowerSHAPE-E (can import STEP, IGES, no assembly limit, but costs $$ to export to anything, and I found hard to learn).

  • I didn't know about the missing IGES and STEP import. If that's true, that this is really limiting.

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