Geomagic Design 2013 Released

3D Systems has been acquiring companies left, right and center for the past few years, which has resulted in a large number of brands coming under the parent 3D Systems brand. Too much of a good thing is bad and the same holds true with brands as well, unless you know how to manage them properly without causing confusion in the minds of your customers, present and future. This is why companies integrate/blend/merge brands together after they acquire them.

Today 3D Systems did that with Alibre Design, the CAD system they inherited through the acquisition of Alibre. Alibre Design has been re-branded as Geomagic Design, and is now part of the well known and respected Geomagic brand that was inherited through the recent acquisition of Geomagic. Today if you visit you will be greeted with this image on the home page.

I think this is a smart move by 3D Systems. For a long time Alibre has promoted itself as a “cheap” alternative to SolidWorks, which in fact it is. And I say that in a good way. There are many who don’t need the advanced features of a mid range MCAD system like SolidWorks and Alibre Design is perfect for them. However, if the messaging of a product is largely focused on its low price, it tends to have a negative effect on the brand in the long run. Everyone likes cheap flight tickets. But a cheap CAD system isn’t doesn’t always stir up the same thoughts and opinions.

I’m hoping that with this re-branding exercise 3D Systems starts steering Alibre Design, or rather Geomagic Design, down a path a little different than its earlier owners. A statement on the Alibre web site reads:

At 3D Systems we are committed to improving and democratizing access to powerful and affordable 3D software solutions for the benefit of professionals and beginners alike. A key part of that commitment is to combine the Alibre products and team into the 3D Systems Geomagic group and an initial step is that we have rebranded Alibre Design products as Geomagic Design.

This means that the software will now be a core part of a much larger, yet highly experienced, software operation, making available additional support, development and training resources. It also means that the Geomagic Design products will ultimately be able to benefit from the other interesting and game-changing technologies in the Geomagic group that deliver 3D haptic modeling, reverse engineering, scanning, and inspection software.

I have been part of the Alibre Design 2013 beta program and its very clear that the focus of the development efforts for the last year has largely been on fixing the product. Alibre Design has its quirks and like every CAD system, or any piece of software for that matter, they have accumulated to a point where the wish list turns into a wish heap. Small seemingly insignificant stuff gets pushed down the priority list in favor of “more important” stuff and they turn into irritants that users have to live with. In every complex software product’s life cycle its always good to stop once in a while, conduct a critical analysis of the product and dedicate a significant portion of time and resources to go back and fix the lingering issues.

This is what the folks at Alibre did for the past year and came up with Geomagic Design 2013, which was released today. They could do that because they had the luxury of being part of a large organization like 3D Systems that could afford them the time and resources to do so.

I think the acquisition of Alibre by 3D Systems is probably the best thing that could have happened to Alibre Design, the MCAD product. And now with amazing technologies from Geomagic and Rapidform, the product is only going to improve in leaps and bounds.

In fact, Alibre has changed its tagline to “make amazing”. 😉


  • Elzaan

    ALIBRE/3DS Geomagic Design: There was many expectations and I guess it was to much. Instead, 3DS grabbed Alibre and transferred to it first to be a 3D print tool, not supposedly a core MCAD. Alibre was originally supposed to be a 500 parts handling package with ease, thus a hobbyist MCAD all though Alibre bragged they are “going” to be the MCAD similar as SW but 80% of the tools to be 100% functional (never abled and will never to be in 3DS because the cost to make it a higher end will be to be costly). From 2011, little happened and have actually more bugs as ever before…in the v2016 release. How the heck can you produce a MCAD with so a few and bug riddled features and then punch it as a 1st priority with 3D printing functionality ? What do 3DS think, users will not even proceed to buy a 3D printer from 3DS when their “core” product is sucking ? In relation of the sucking MCAD, immediately the 3D printer will also be sucking. They made a huge mistake to deliver the Alibre MCAD as a 3DS “core” product. Alibre made the ridiculous offer a few years back for $200 and that was with a plan…to get numbers and the to sell Alibre…users feel as sell-outs. Many base features is non existent, working part mirrors (hid primary and secondary objects), working assembly mirrors (hid primary and secondary objects), working sheet mirrors (hid primary and secondary objects), mere assembly constraints, configs which dissociate in 2D sheets, constant dissociate in 2D dwg’s, be able to handle to 10,000 parts with EASE for a “core” product (supposed to do it – it is the modern world of 3D) and of course, 2D sheet need a total re-design. At this moment I does the small stuff in Alibre and export into Turbocad V21 which handles all with ease and a laugh with “history” on in large assemblies. And the 2D sheet capabilities is light years in front of Alibre/Geomagic Design. 3DS must go to the re-consider and re-design and re – construction table of Alibre/Geomagic Design before they want to sell more or start losing of their 500,000 + seats alone. A considerable amount of user in terms of $400-$500 maintenance fees per year….