19 August 2010

Alibre Design 2011 - New Features

Alibre Design is one of Australia's most affordable mid-range 3d mechanical CAD solutions. Within the next several weeks Alibre 2011 is expected for release. This major release both adds new features as well as improving many existing ones. A crucial focus for Alibre Design 2011 has been improvement in efficiency and ease of use, including fully customizable keymaps and in-place editing. Developers may also be interested to know that much of Alibre is now written in the Microsoft C# programming language, which allows developers to add new features even faster than before. Here are a few of the many feature enhancements of the new Alibre 2011 version release:

Alibre Design 2011 will offer Alibre's first native 64-bit version, which basically means you can make larger, more complex assemblies and have more files open simultaneously, without the restrictions of older 32-bit operating systems and memory access. With the offering of a
64 bit version comes a tremendous increase in both what can be created in Alibre Design and the types of workflows people can use. Both Alibre Design Professional and Expert versions will be offered as 64-bit editions.

Direct 3D Solid->SheetMetal conversion will allow CAD designers to take ordinary 3d solid models or imported 3D files (like STEP or Parasolid) and automatically convert these into sheet metal parts that can be flattened and machined in Alibre CAM. Of course, the resulting sheet metal parts are fully associative to their original counterparts, so that if you change the original model, the associated sheet metal version will update automatically. The new solid to sheet metal conversion tool will only be offered with Alibre Design Expert edition.

Alibre Design 2011 will add new MIRROR and SCALE modelling commands. Alibre 2011 will offer a new "Double Intersect" sketch command that allows you to join two figures at their theoretical intersection. The tool has several modes, all completely transparent to you, which adapts to the types of figures and orientations that a designer encounters. Alibre 2011 will also make it possible to create libraries of your most commonly used hole types on the fly. Simply fill out the form, type a name, and press Create. The hole's parameters can now be recalled instantly via the Presets dropdown. Alibre 2011 will also offer a new multi-plane creation tool, which can be useful when drawing multiple solid loft profiles, etc.

Alibre will begin rolling out their new "in-place editing" UI framework with Alibre Design 2011. In-place editing takes floating toolbars and context menus much further by opening relevant toolbars and icons just by selecting entities. Any changes are immediately displayed in real time, and to close in-place editing toolbars, we simply move the mouse away from the entity we initially selected. Alibre Design 2011 will offer this framework first in its Detailed Drawing Workspace, but is eventually to be deployed in various forms throughout the product.

Until release, CADDIT will begin offering free upgrades to all new Alibre Design Expert users a free upgrade to Alibre Design Expert 2011 upon release - but while still at current sale prices for V12.1. Alibre is suitable for a wide variety of mechanical design projects, including machine design, fixture design, vehicle and product development, sheet metal products and more. A free full-version trial of the current
Alibre Design software in Australia can be downloaded here. For further questions about Alibre products, CADDIT support can be contacted HERE.

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