Max Freeman of Alibre has a video showing some of the new stuff to be released in the next version of Alibre Design – V12. However, I should warn you that the video is 40 minutes long. But it does show a lot of stuff in great detail.
If you are an existing Alibre Design user, the video will serve as a quick (no pun intended) tour of the stuff waiting for you. If you are a 2D user (AutoCAD or otherwise) who is toying with the idea of going 3D, I suggest you take a look as well. Now is as good a time to get a “complete 3D design, verification and drafting” system for a three digit dollar figure. I am not kidding. You can get Alibre Design Standard at NOVEDGE for $799. A reseller here in India is offering two licenses for the price of one. Too bad they are still promoting V9.2 and V10 on their web site when the current version if V11.
There are a lot of small enhancements and useful features added to V12. But in my view the most important one seems to be the significant improvements that Alibre claims to have made in handling large assemblies. Previously, Alibre Design’s graphics pipeline used to render portions of the scene even if they were out of view. This led to a significant reduction in the amount of 3D data that it could handle. The V12 graphics pipeline renders only the portions of the model that are visible to the user as he navigates around the scene, thereby significantly increasing performance.
In the video Max loads a close to 2000 part assembly with around 500 unique parts and effortlessly navigates around the model. Incidentally, I first saw something that closely resembles that particular large assembly on the splash screen of SolidWorks. The one that you can see here. I take it that Max is trying to make a point here. I also noticed that the newly redesigned Alibre web site does resemble that of SolidWorks to an extent.
And by the way, the “OBJImport” menu item you see on the Alibre Design menu is not part of V12. It has been added by OBJ Import for Alibre Design, SYCODE’s Wavefront OBJ file import add-in for Alibre Design.