Adventures with Alibre

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For my first entry, I'll talk a little about CAD. I downloaded the free trial of Alibre ( today, and so far I'm enjoying using it. I've installed it inside of VMWare Fusion on my Mac, so the performance isn't great, but it's surprising usable.

My background in CAD comes from some experience using Solidworks, so don't be surprised if some of my comments tend to refer back to Solidworks.

For tonight, I spent about an hour and a half working with Alibre, and drew one part, the back cylinder head, just to get my feet wet. I'd like to post my CAD drawings, but we don't have copyrights to the designs yet, so I must restrain myself.

I found Alibre to be relatively comfortable, coming from a background in Solidworks, and was able to pick it up and start working, without referring to the tutorials or the manual. I think this is mostly because it shares a lot of the same philosophy and workflow as Solidworks. I had no trouble creating sketches, mostly circles and simple contours, but enough to see some of the power of the sketch engine. There was one point, however, when the sketch tools failed me, and I had to go back to pen-and-paper calculations to generate offsets, and enter them manually. In this case, it seems that either Alibre doesn't allow you to put a dimension on the angle between three points, or I simply wasn't smart enough to figure out how to do it.

Other than that, I'm quite happy with Alibre, and it seems as though the Standard edition has all of the features we'll need, for now.

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This page contains a single entry by Austin Hendrix published on March 15, 2010 11:52 PM.

Oh sweet zombie jeebus, this is going to get expensive... was the previous entry in this blog.

Open Source? We'll see... is the next entry in this blog.

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