News From Alibre

Max Freeman from Alibre just let me in on something interesting that is cooking at Alibre. Let me put it this way. One day, in the not-so-distant future, the CAD software industry is going to receive some earth shattering news from Alibre.

Watch this space.

  • brilliant. are they giving it all away for free? or are they putting their price up to 3,995?

  • Nurk

    I wish good news for CAD users. But I hope so for technical improvement in Alibre.

  • open source!!!
    Or is the earth gonna blow up?

  • John

    They are still trying to get me to buy their $197 annual maintenance for my $99 Alibre 11.2 license.

    Originally that offer was to expire on 12/31/09. Yesterday, I got an email from Alibre extending the “discount” until 1/31/10.

    Given my Alibre 11.2 license will not work on Win 7 x64, I've been tempted, but have not decided to take them up on their offer.

    Maybe the BIG announcement is that they have decided to stick with ultra low pricing forever.

  • raulrueda

    Maybe that this time they will release a serious cad platform!

  • Here's the scoop: The exciting news is that a new Alibre blog entry will announce that the name of the software company again appeared on Deelip.com

  • John

    Very funny Ralph!

  • Deelip hearts Alibre

  • Michael

    Second rate? Are you drunk?

  • Another John

    I am dismayed to read the comments of Al Dean and Ralph Grabowski, supposedly two respected members of the CAD media. Al's ridicule of Alibre maybe because the company does not advertise in his magazine or fly him around and wine and dine him. It would be nice to see him poke fun at his advertisers. As far as Ralph is concerned, this looks like sour grapes. If Alibre had told him this *news* instead of Deelip I doubt he would be saying that Alibre's name appearing on his blog was the *scoop*. Pathetic.

    Both these people have zero respect for Alibre customers who actually use the software to design and build things. Not word and image processing software to write magazines and ezines.

  • LOL! If ever the unfortunate day comes to pass when I have to cease being my own boss and work for someone else, I would prefer to take up a software development job. Marketing is no easy job, especially if I have to deal with people like myself πŸ˜‰

    But seriously, if I was head of marketing at Alibre, I would reorient the marketing efforts more towards highlighting what Alibre Design can do (which is quite a bit) and less towards comparing it with other mid-range MCAD systems. I find their marketing more towards why someone should not buy something else as opposed to why someone should by Alibre Design.

  • cadcam

    I have heard some time ago that they were considering some direct editing technology, but after announcements from PTC, Autodesk, Siemens, etc I'm not sure how the Earth would be shattered by them following suite.

    I think the low price for Alibre Design Expert (full 3D CAD/CAM, boat load of stuff like Alibre Translate, Alibre CAM Standard, Algor Designcheck, Hypershot (RIP) – all for USD$1000) is already amazing.

    I had a chat with marketing and we both see the need to get the product features back on front stage rather than the price. Suffice to say I think the (extreme) low price is a transitional period.

  • Jonathan

    You won’t be wrong, Bill. Alibre is all about over promising and under delivering.

    Remember Greg Milliken former CEO of Alibre? ;>)

    http://blog.novedge.com/2007/04/an_interview_wi_2.html

    Reading the above “interview” at this point in time is some pretty funny stuff.

    It’s nice to know that in the real world most CAD users see right through the marketing nonsense and purchase better thought out and marketed products. Albire’s marketing is insulting to anyone who has even a tiny bit of intelligence.

  • Kevin Quigley

    Maybe they are going to introduce surfacing to the product so that they really can do a feature by feature comparison? Or maybe they are going to bundle a CATIA v5 translator? Or…well to be honest its only 12 days into 2010 and we have already had one software company bombshell (Bunkspeed not selling Hypershot any more) so maybe the big news is that Alibre are selling out to SolidWorks and all Alibre users will get a free upgrade? Or maybe Alibre are buying SolidWorks from Dassault and all SolidWorks users will get a free upgrade to Alibre Design!!

    Whatever the news it will be perfectly timed to coincide with SolidWorks World. Maybe the news is that Dassault are so fed up with them flogging cheap software based on their modelling kernel that they have pulled the plug and Alibre are switching kernels?

    Wake me up when it is all over please…

  • Man, you got some wild imagination going on πŸ˜‰

  • Kevin Quigley

    You're not denying any of it then πŸ™‚

    Maybe the big news is actually that Alibre are buying Cadbury's (local UK/West Midlands in joke) and they are bringing out a new type of cream egg which was modelled in Alibre Design!

    Imagination I am not short of πŸ™‚

  • Kevin,

    Alibre buying SolidWorks from Dassault, I think I will have to deny that. Although I think SolidWorks may actually like that idea, if only to rid themselves of Dassault πŸ˜‰

  • cadguy

    Since lots of Crazy stuff is flying already … how about Alibre buying ACIS from Dassault πŸ™‚

  • Then in that case, it would not fall in the “earth shattering” category. We would need something else to describe it.

  • John

    FYI – I still can't find any REAL job postings on the web for people with Alibre experience.

    I did find 5 postings, but they reference experience with numerous (10+) CAD applications.

    Maybe the “earth shattering” news will be that a company using Alibre is actually hiring someone.

    • Jonathan

      You won’t find an REAL job postings on the web for people with Alibre experience because the product is mainly purchased by those who can’t afford SolidWorks, Autodesk Inventor, Solid Edge, Pro/E or Siemens NX. Alibre is also used as a way to overcome the lousy CAD in a CAM package.

      Alibre has never had any earth shattering news in their entire history just the usual hype and nonsense you see posted here.

    • Jonathan

      You won’t find an REAL job postings on the web for people with Alibre experience because the product is mainly purchased by those who can’t afford SolidWorks, Autodesk Inventor, Solid Edge, Pro/E or Siemens NX. Alibre is also used as a way to overcome the lousy CAD in a CAM package.

      Alibre has never had any earth shattering news in their entire history just the usual hype and nonsense you see posted here.

  • Mark Landsaat

    How about Alibre sells 1,000,000th license. I have no idea at what rate they are selling copies but they have to sell quite a few copies with all the promotions they have had lately.

    I also like the idea of SWX buying Alibre. It would increase the customer base for SWX and it would give SWX an opportunity to compete in a lower price segment. I can think of competing against Inventor LT.

    Whatever the news turns out to be, it certainly got my attention.

  • Mark,

    I don't really see the point in SolidWorks acquiring Alibre. There is really nothing stopping them from playing in the lower price segment. All they need to do is remove a whole bunch of features from the base version of SolidWorks and sell it for under $1000. But SolidWorks does not want to go down the LT road. I get the feeling that they are looking up the opposite end, much to the disappointment of Dassault Systemes.

  • allanbehrens

    Having fun tomenting your readers Deelip? Reminds me of dangling a piece of string in front of our cats… Big (as in news) is relative, but SolidWorks exiting from the Dassault family would be big news…Should we start a better rumour?

  • Yes, that would indeed be big news.

    Truth be told, I am quite surprised at the amount of curiosity this post has generated.

  • Bill

    I am really enjoying reading all of these messages. I use v11.1 of Alibre Design Expert. As much as I would like it to be significant news, I have a feeling that when we finally learn what Alibre is up to, it will not be nearly as 'earth shattering' as some of us are speculating it will be.

    (I personally hope that I am wrong about this, however.)

  • Michael

    Your argument about people “can't afford” would fit on practically every product in the world and is pure stupidity. I always thought that smart people paid less than stupid people if the compared products could do the job?

    Besides, you just told us that Solidworks/Inventor something for those who can't afford Catia or NX? Or do you feel that these products has their place in the market below the “real stuff” but Alibre has not?

    In Sweden there are +500 companies working with Alibre and quite a few of them has replaced Inventor or SolidWorks, simply because they don't use more than a fraction of the functionality.

  • cadguy

    My final guess – Google is buying Alibre and getting into 3D CAD business. Perhaps not shocking as they seem to be everywhere now :-).

  • Michael

    Great, then I guess you appreciate it.

  • John

    Bunkspeed buys Alibre or visa versa. Or some permutation.

  • Bill

    Since Google has SketchUp, aren't they already in the 3D CAD business? Still, I think if Google were to buy Alibre, it might very well be 'earth shattering' news. Yours might be the best guess about this 'news' that I have heard yet. (Imagine being able to put Alibre models directly into Google Earth..)

  • Bill

    I have to say that I respectfully disagree with Jon and that even though I do not use the latest version of Alibre, (and I am skeptical of the 'earth shattering nature of this 'news') I have found it to be a highly useful design tool and it is certainly not 'marketing nonsense'. I agree with Deelip in that Alibre is not up to the functionality of SolidWorks, but for its price, I still do not believe there is a better tool out there (especially at $197). It has a lot of good functionality that makes it usable for a lot of 3D design tasks. If you just look through gallery of designs posted in the various Alibre design contests, you will see some pretty amazing things that people were able to do using Alibre.

  • John

    Deelip, any idea when this “news” will be made public?

  • I do, but I don't want to mess with whatever it is that they are planning.

    Actually, Alibre let me in on this news to get my “thoughts” on the issue. Not sure because I am their partner or because I am a blogger and they are planning ahead for free publicity or both. I gave them my thoughts and asked whether I could mention this on my blog. They agreed. So this post is not some kind of a marketing stunt by Alibre. Its me messing with my readers, that all. And judging by the number of comments on this post, I think I have done a pretty good job. I must say you guys have some pretty wild imagination.

  • While this news may not be “earth shattering” to everyone, to me it is pretty significant.

    Michael makes an excellent point about “affordability” when he asks whether the mid-range MCAD systems are inferior because they are bought by people who cannot afford the high-end systems. Having said that, there is a difference in the way the mid-range MCAD vendors and Alibre market their products. They harp on what their product can do best and do not go overtly negative on the high-end CAD vendors. When you set expectations high by comparing your product with something far superior, you run the risk of reducing the perceived value of your product, which appears to be Alibre's problem.

  • raulrueda

    I'm an Alibre user and I agree fully with Al Dean and Ralph Grabowski and because they are serious CAD blogers doesn't mean they can't joke a little! Take it easy, be happy!

  • hol

    I think the news is launch of Alibre V12.1

  • Jonathan

    My guess is that Greg Milliken, former CEO of Alibre, is returning. No one since Greg Milliken could over hype Alibre and get the kind of blogger attention that Greg Milliken did! Gregg Milliken was the darling of CAD bloggers everywhere… just read the Novedge “interview” or any of the many interviews Greg Milliken gave to anyone who would listen and buy into the smoke and mirrors he was peddling.

    While all the above was happening users on Alibre’s highly censored web forum were complaining bitterly and being censored on how slow and how badly Alibre was performing.

    Funny how only one blog ever allowed mention of this fact.

    • Michael

      You’re obviously have no clue… The Alibre forum is not censored at all, except for sex/viagra/politics and other inapropriate discussions. How I know? Let’s say that I just know.

      • Bill

        I agree with Michael. I personally was never afraid to criticize Alibre on their forum. (Although I like the software a lot, I have been in very strong disagreement with some of the things the Alibre company has done.) I have never been ‘censored’ for doing this. Also, as far as I know, out of the many hundreds of Alibre forum members, only one person was ever banned from the forum. (As a matter of fact, most of the forum applauded this action, as this person was very malicious and childish.)

      • Jonathan

        I can name two people who were censored and one who was banned on the Alibre forum. I also suspect you are an Alibre VAR and far from objective or honest.

        Dishonesty runs in the Alibre family:

        http://www.mikescadblog.com/2008/01/the-difference.html

        “Now this wasn’t just any guy, he was Alibre C.E.O. Greg Milliken. So after telling him I was a Solidworks C.S.W.P., User Group Leader, and Blogger, I called him on his comment about Solidworks not being a parametric based system. Needless to say Mr. Milliken was a bit speechless. He tried to explain away his comments to the booth visitor by saying that wasn’t what he really meant to say, yet he had said it, and the guy had walked off none the wiser. I next asked him to explain to me what benefits I would see by switching from Solidworks, to Alibre. Choosing his words carefully, he explained that Alibre wasn’t meant to target power Solidworks users like myself, but to provide a similar software package for what he called the bottom of the pyramid. He knew he really couldn’t slide any more sales pitch stuff my way, so he offered me his business card (just minutes after telling the previous guy he was out of cards), and asked me if I would like a demo CD to play with for 30 days. So I took my CD, and off I went.”

        • Michael

          My title, job or position has nothing to do with the state of the Alibre Forum. It’s free of censorship,that’s all I can say. If you behave like an idiot in ANY forum, you should be banned and this particular person is well known in the cad-world – for the wrong reasons I must add.

          Yes, one person was banned and his behaviour was far from professional. Ring any bells?

          • Jonathan

            First it was none. Now all of a sudden it’s “one person”. The harder you scratch the more the truth gets revealed. ;>)

            The facts:

            Alibre has banned at least one person and has censored at least two others that I know of on their forum for telling the truth about Alibre.

          • Michael

            I never said it was “none”, where did you get that from?

          • Bill

            Still, the fact that only one person was banned out of the many people who are members of the Alibre forum should be ample evidence that the Alibre forum is far from being ‘censored’. And not only was the one who was banned malicious and childish, as I said earlier, but he even seemed psychotic. I hope he gets the help he needs.

          • Jonathan

            Good to see that both you and Michael have finally admitted one person was banned after saying no one was banned and no one had been censored from the Alibre web support forum. LOL. Your credibility is now at zero.

            Why do I get the feeling many people have been banned and lots more have been censored from Alibre’s web support forum than either I know about or you two clowns will admit.

            How about because I know the truth and know how to cut through all the B.S. that’s being tossed around here.

            There are many former Alibre users who have given up on Alibre and purchased a quality solid modeler that can get the job done.

  • Bill

    Thank you for this blog entry, Deelip. It has been a lot of fun!

  • Jonathan

    Here is a link showing the kind of shady tactics former Alibre CEO Greg Milliken used:

    http://www.mikescadblog.com/2008/01/the-difference.html

    “Now this wasn’t just any guy, he was Alibre C.E.O. Greg Milliken. So after telling him I was a Solidworks C.S.W.P., User Group Leader, and Blogger, I called him on his comment about Solidworks not being a parametric based system. Needless to say Mr. Milliken was a bit speechless. He tried to explain away his comments to the booth visitor by saying that wasn’t what he really meant to say, yet he had said it, and the guy had walked off none the wiser. I next asked him to explain to me what benefits I would see by switching from Solidworks, to Alibre. Choosing his words carefully, he explained that Alibre wasn’t meant to target power Solidworks users like myself, but to provide a similar software package for what he called the bottom of the pyramid. He knew he really couldn’t slide any more sales pitch stuff my way, so he offered me his business card (just minutes after telling the previous guy he was out of cards), and asked me if I would like a demo CD to play with for 30 days. So I took my CD, and off I went.”

    • Michael

      As you probably know, there are some facts you forgot to mention.

      1. Greg M. actually commented this and called it a lie.
      2. This was written by a SolidWorks-guy

      So, who’s in for some shady tactics? You are not getting any points for posting this SW-propaganda, at least not here. Maybe you should post some negative comments in a Catia-forum? Oh, I forgot, SolidWorks is considered “crap for those who can’t afford” among the Catia-people…

  • anonymous

    One of the following:
    – Autodesk is buying Alibre.
    – Alibre is going open source.
    – Alibre is going bankrupt.

  • Jonathan

    http://www.mikescadblog.com/2008/01/the-difference.html

    “The comparison I’m trying to make here is the drastic difference between someone like Jeff Ray, and this guy. While Jeff Ray may be a tiny bit on the stiff side, one thing that is evident is his passion for delivering a product that he can be proud of. He shows that he doesn’t need smooth lines, or sales pitches to sell his product. He lets the product speak for itself. This guy from Alibre has obviously only tried to copy what Solidworks does, but he should also take a look at how to create a product that won’t require tricky sales lines, or crafty popcorn containers to be successful. So Mr. Milliken if you somehow come across this article, I ask you this: how do you say “Alibre is the future of 3D CAD”, and that “The guard is changing” in this blog post, but then tell me your product isn’t aimed at a user like me? Maybe Alibre should stick to popcorn bags.”

    • Michael

      Your embarrasing links are two years old and a lot has happened since then. One thing is that SolidWorks actually had a bad 2009 (not to mention Autodesk) but Alibre had a good year. So I guess Mr. Milliken was’nt so wrong after all?

      Btw, is this all you can argue with? Some old story from a Solidworks guy who don’t know Greg and truly believes that Solidworks markets their product with 100% honesty? I actually worked as a Solidworks VAR from 1996-2002 so I’m not fabricating stuff.

      And, ff SW is so bloody good, why do they have to put millions of dollar in marketing every year? Compare that to the marketing budget of Alibre, which is close to zero…

  • H_L_Smith

    How about some hints, Deelip?

    For example is it about:

    1) Product features or product development;

    2) Marketing campaign or industry partnerships;

    3) Ownership, mergers or new venture partners;

    4) Permanent lowering of product pricing to current promotion;

    5) None of the above or something not even mentioned in comments here thus far.

  • John

    Direct3D 11 support added.

  • John (original)

    iPod hardware repair service?

  • Jonathan

    What’s embarrassing is how badly former Alibre CEO Greg Milliken gotten taken to task on his own B.S.

    What’s embarrassing is how former Alibre CEO Greg Milliken departed Alibre.

    What’s embarrassing is how many times Alibre has had to change their marketing plan.

    What’s embarrassing is saying no one has ever been censored or banned on the Alibre web support forum and then having to admit you lied when confronted with the truth.

    What’s embarrassing is how many people have purchased Alibre only to have to move on to a real CAD product that can get the job done.

    The truth may hurt you but it will also set you free… you might want to give the truth a try sometime.

    • Just to let everyone know, this Jonathan fellow is spoofing his IP address. And from the language and tone, I think some will be able to guess who he actually is. Whether it is worth engaging him in a meaningful discussion, I leave it up to your wisdom.

  • H_L_Smith

    Anonymous suggested earlier today that it may be one of the following:

    – Autodesk is buying Alibre.
    – Alibre is going open source.
    – Alibre is going bankrupt.

    Number two is easy to dismiss. The Alibre Board is full of venture capitalists – it won't fly with them. Three is just as easy to dismiss because a company that going bankrupt wouldn't be wasting time informing Deelip. They'd be talking to creditors, possible partners and looking for new savior investors.

    One isn't actually such a bad idea. Autodesk has many thousands of users out there with old versions of AutoCAD that haven't been updated in years. Now they are too far behind in there support/upgrade fees that its almost like a new purchase to move up. They will never be potential Inventor customers.

    They are typically small firms that can't afford to upgrade. But, what if Autodesk buys a significant percentage of Alibre such as 60% and promises a strong program of interoperability and integration improvements between Alibre Design and AutoCAD (especially the drawing editor) as well as the other Autodesk products over 4-5 years? It's cheaper to buy Alibre Design new than upgrade an old AutoCAD, I'll bet. Just leave Alibre Design out there as a low cost, 3D, parametric system that is now greatly strengthened in the marketplace by its association with Autodesk and its deep pockets, huge library of S/W technology and world-wide customer base.

    You could start to move your very old, inactive customer base into 3D through Alibre Design, inexpensively buy a whole new customer base in Alibre Design users themselves and then bring them all “into the fold” at a later date. Perhaps you could also get your existing, active 2D customer base to take the risk of upgrading to 3D at a much lower cost, who wouldn't take that risk with a big-$$$ product like Inventor. It really could make a lot of sense.

    Autodesk might have a much less expensive 3D product to offer high schools and technical colleges for academic training through their education arm too.

  • John (original)

    Given that Alibre is based on the Spatial ACIS kernel (owned by Dassault), I doubt Dassault would continue to license ACIS to them if Autodesk had a majority stake in the company.

    Perhaps Autodesk would swap ACIS for their proprietary ShapeManager kernel, but that would take time and cost money.

  • NYUB

    Deelip, tell us who this Jonathan fellow is.

    Who does he work for?

    Does he have a blog?

    • I don’t think its wise to go down that road. This discussion is not about any particular person and I don’t think we want to make it one.

      Just to repeat what I wrote on the “About Deelip.com” page:
      “I do not moderate comments on this blog. I even allow anonymous comments. So please feel free to speak your mind. However, I expect you not to cross the line. I also expect you to know where that line is.”

      Cheers!

  • cadguy

    Not to mention – google will give away alibre for free. Ofcourse there will be ads on the right pane πŸ™‚

  • NYUB

    So you know who Jonathan is but you won’t tell us because it’s not “wise”. Is it because this Jonathan person knows how to walk the line, cross the line, erase the line, move the line and most importantly not be held back by anyone’s fake/phony lines? Sure seems like he really gets to a lot of people. Why do you think that is?

    • Another Jonathan

      NYUB/Jonathan or whoever you are. You fit the perfect profile of someone who enjoys to be pissed upon. Deelip is right. This has been quite an interesting thread. Lets not ruin it by pissing on this guy.

  • Michael

    Well, you have to remember that Siemens (Unigraphics) are licensing their kernel to their worst enemy – Dassault πŸ˜‰

  • The Real Jonathan

    It’s been an interesting thread because of Jonathan.

    Who is Jonathan?

  • John (original)

    True, but in my outsiders opinion Dassault has more animosity towards Autodesk than Siemens (UG) has towards Dassault.

    After all it is Autodesk that has filed legal actions regarding about orange rectangles and the use of three letter acronyms.

    UGS has a long history promoting their “level playing field” policy. I think it would be hard for them to go back on that commitment at this point.

    I'm not sure if Spatial has a similar formal policy.

  • Wise decision.

  • Bill

    For the same reasons that Deelip suggested that SolidWorks would not need to acquire Alibre, I think also work for AutoDesk. If AutoDesk wanted to, they could offer a stripped-down version of Inventor and sell it for the same price as Alibre, if they wanted to offer a low-priced 3D parametric modeler. I suspect that one of the reasons that neither SolidWorks or AutoDesk wants to do this would be that they would probably 'cannabalize' a good part of their own business if they were to offer such a software. Why buy all of Inventor or SolidWorks if you could get by with just a portion of it?

  • Bill, “If AutoDesk wanted to, they could offer a stripped-down version of Inventor” – I think they already have have done this part – “and sell it for the same price as Alibre” – that's possible too πŸ˜‰

  • But to get back on track here, I must say that this thread has brought out some interesting views. I didn't expect it to go this far. I guess this goes to show that while some may not hold Alibre and its products in high esteem, they also cannot ignore them completely.

  • Sorry guys. Before things went out of hand, I had to sanitize this thread a bit.

  • Bill

    Does AutoDesk already offer a 'stripped down' version of Inventor? Not that I follow AutoDesk that well, but I wasn't aware of this. (The AutoDesk CAD products that I know of are AutoCad, AutoCad LT, and Inventor.)

  • Bill

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  • Bill

    On the Alibre forum, after pulling our cranks a bit, Max from Alibre posted “We are not getting bought, we are not buying anyone, we are not going out of business.” That puts a lot of our speculation to rest.

    (I did have high hopes for the 'Google-buy-out' thing, though.)

  • There is Inventor LT which is priced at $995

  • H_L_Smith,

    You guys pretty much covered it all.

  • It looks like Google has their hands full with SketchUp. MCAD is a totally different ball game.

  • Bill

    I just went to the AutoDesk website to check this out. Now that I see it, I may have heard about this some time ago and simply forgot about it. I have to say, I think if Inventor LT included assembly modeling, I think AutoDesk would sell a lot of seats of it.

  • And then face the same problem that they are facing with AutoCAD LT? I don't think they want to do that.

  • As it happens, we have Alibre resellers advertise in DEVELOP3D and they do very nicely out of it. And for the record, I poke fun at everyone.

  • Kevin Quigley

    Hey Deelip, it just occurred to me what this news is! Alibre are porting to Mac OSX πŸ™‚

    This would be “earth shattering” for you as you'd need to learn how to develop for OSX….not to mention buy some Apple kit πŸ™‚

  • Kevin,

    Please spare me the horror. I am having a tough time with Microsoft and Windows already. For now I don’t want to go anywhere close to Apple and OSX.

  • Kevin Quigley

    Looks like I was right – timed to come out at the time of SolidWorks World…..$99 permanent pricing.

    http://develop3d.com/blog/2010/01/alibre-price-

    Are they moving distribution to retail stores as well I wonder? Earth shattering? Maybe if you are Spatial and you are licensing the kernel to them……

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