Alibre Slashes Price by 90%

Alibre wages price war against other CAD vendors by dropping Alibre Design software's price from $999 to $99.

Alibre wages price war against other CAD vendors by dropping Alibre Design software's price from $999 to $99.

In what’s described as “the boldest marketing initiative in the history of 3D CAD,” Alibre this morning begins offering Alibre Design, a product previously sold for $999, for just $99.

The whopping 90% discount is bound to get CAD buyers’ attention. It’s already fueling a lot of retweeting (voluntary redistribution or the news) on Twitter among CAD developers and users. The unprecedented move suggests Alibre is waging an all-out war against not only its competitors but also the grim economy.

In his blog, Alibre CEO Paul Grayson characterized the offer as “a massive market share grab.” He pointed out,”The [Alibre] technology is virtually identical to that offered by Autodesk Inventor, Dassault SolidWorks, Siemens Solid Edge, and PTC’s Pro/ENGINEER. And those products normally cost $5,000 and more per seat.”

Though Alibre says the offer will run for “a limited time” only,  it has yet to declare a deadline, suggesting the campaign might run so long as it continues to generate sales.

Earlier this year, in February, Alibre ran a “buy one, give one” campaign, which enables Alibre buyers to give a second seat of the same software to a designated recipient. In the announcement, the company clarified, “The recipient can be an associate, a subcontractor or supplier, a coworker, or a deserving engineer.”

In addition, the company offers Alibre Design Xpress, a lighter version of its CAD software, as a free download to entice prospective customers.

This morning, as Alibre launched its latest $99 campaign, market watcher CIMdata issued a mid-year update (a revision, to be exact) to its previous product lifecycle management (PLM) industry forecast. “The global economic situation has been even more severe than anticipated,” acknowledged CIMdata.

In March, CIMdata predicted the comprehensive PLM market (which includes CAD sales) would achieve a 6.3% compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) over the next five years. The company revised its report to indicate PLM investments in 2009 will decline 2.1% (from 2008 results) and the five year CAGR will be 3.5%.

At online CAD software distributor Novedge‘s site, Alibre Design is currently listed for $799. Franco Folini, president of Novedge, said, “From my experience, [the $100 software segment] is not an easy segment where to sell a CAD system. It can be difficult to do business in this segment for resellers such as Novedge, unless the product generates huge volumes or quickly push for upgrades to higher versions.” Folini emphasized this is his personal opinion, not Novedge’s official position.

Max Freeman, Alibre’s vice-president of marketing, said, “[Our reseller arrangements] are basically set up to where we will not out-price them and the vast majority of them are on board with the [discount] initiative.”

At this price, Alibre Design costs more than a consumer-level photo-editing product like Corel’s PaintShop Pro Photo X2 ($49), but less than Google SketchUp Pro ($495) and Autodesk Autosketch ($200 for download, $250 in a box), and the same as IMSI/Design’s TurboCAD ($99).

The price dip also puts third-party developer SYCODE, which markets its Alibre add-ons for $195, in an awkward position. In his blog, SYCODE CEO and founder Deelip Menezes revealed he’s considering a price slash too, at least to put the add-ons on par with Alibre Design’s new price.

For more on this topic, read Menezes’ blog post.

Note: A quote in the post was subsequently revised to better reflect Franco Folini’s sentiment. New information was also added to provide SYCODE’s perspective.

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39 Responses to Alibre Slashes Price by 90%

  • Kenneth, your blog post is taking my words out of contest, distorting my opinion. Let me clarify my position about Alibre decision.

    The lower end of the CAD market (below $100) is very busy with a lot of competitors, and aggressive promotions running al the time. From my experience it’s not an easy segment where to sell a CAD system. It can be difficult to do business in this segment for resellers such as Novedge, unless the product generates huge volumes or quickly push for upgrades to higher versions.
    I like Alibre Standard. It’s a great 3D product delivering a great value to the end user. In my opinion it fully deserves every single dollar of the old $799 price. That’s the reason I didn’t expect Alibre decision of lowering Alibre Standard price to only $99.
    I believe the price change is intended to shake the current very slow CAD market forcing people to question the price of mid-range CAD system and placing Alibre products under the spotlight. Personally, I don’t see this as a sales decision, but as a marketing decision. In those difficult economic times we are all desperately trying to revive a very slow CAD market and I’m glad Alibre is willing to experiment outside their comfort zone.

    Please note this is my personal opinion, not Novedge official position.

  • Kenneth says:

    Franco: Thanks for the clarification! I’m sorry if I misconstrued what you said to me previously. I’m revising the blog post with a quote pulled from your comment here instead of the earlier paraphrase. I’ve also noted that this is your personal opinion, not Novedge’s official position.

  • Now that Alibre has gone on record clarifying its position on the offer (the fact that this is not a permanent price drop – “…it will not run longer than V12″), the sensationalism that was initially created has abated to an extent. However, the steep price drop does have serious implications for resellers, plug-in developers in the medium to long term and thats something they will have to deal with. But once the storm passes by, and if the Alibre marketing plan (notice, I do not call it a sales plan) works, they might be left with a larger customer base to leverage.

    Having said that, my take away from this entire Alibre episode is much less profound than what others are making this out to be viz. all-out-war, stirring up grim economy, setting new benchmark etc. Done right, buzz marketing works brilliantly especially with the whole social media community! Everybody and Santa Claus covered the Alibre offer. Even if they were to end their “limited time offer” next week, Alibre would’ve increased at least one of the “m” shares – if not “market” share, “media” share for sure!

  • Kenneth says:

    Debankan: Thanks for the input! The “m” share, as you call it, is a double-edged sword. As you can see, a fair amount of speculation and skepticism come with it. Nevertheless, I give Alibre credit for taking decisive action. Dropping the price from $999 to $99 is, in my view, Alibre’s way of punching back at its competitors and the sluggish economy.

    I also think it’ll be a tough battle, because price is seldom the determining factor in company-wide CAD adoption. Compatibility with legacy data, long-standing working relationship between the company and the CAD vendor, the power-users’ preference — all of these play a role.

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  • Henrique says:

    Great move from Alibre!
    The new generation of Designers and Engineers will certainly like it!

  • md says:

    Perhaps tough, perhaps not. Price is seldom the determining factor in company-wide CAD? That may be partly true. If SW, Pro/E and Autodesk predicate their margins on bespoke service contracts, education and support as well as the name product, they’re partly justified. They’ll try initially to disparage Alibre by direct comparison on price alone, but the simple equation is: do the others add fifty or more times more value to company operations that use them? Consumer-priced CAD has been giving basic training to CAD users from across disciplines, in the same way that the availability of PCs brought word processing within everyone’s reach. The ability to own and use MCAD software will become widespread in the same way, and some users are going to demonstrate innovation and ability that will make traditional MCAD buyers consider their choices., because they’ll choice.

  • John says:

    Kenneth,

    Given I could find NO jobs listed on monster.com, etc. for people with Alibre experience, I wonder if there are really people using it in commercial environments.

    I suppose it’s possible that all of the jobs requiring Alibre knowledge are currently filled, but it does seem odd to me.

    If Alibre was really helping boost the bottom line of their customer base, you would think they would be hiring people.

    Alibre does have two “Senior Software Developer” positions posted on their website.

    I wonder how many $99 licenses (less royalties) they have to sell to pay the overhead of a “Senior Software Developer”?

  • Kenneth says:

    md: Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I’m curious to know how you define “consumer-priced CAD.” Do you have a dollar figure or a range in mind?

    My impression is, because MCAD is so complex to learn and use that even dropping the price to the sub-$100 level won’t make it appealing to 3D enthusiasts and hobbyists. This audience demands not only affordability but ease of use and simplified interface — as exemplified by Google SketchUp, Dassault’s 3DVIA, and auto*des*sys’ Bonzai 3D.

  • Kenneth says:

    John: Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Your experiment piqued my curiosity, so I did a few searches on two CAD-specific job-listing sites: CAD Talent (http://www.cadtalent.com) and Just CAD Jobs (http://www.justcadjobs.com/). I must say, keyword searches on “Alibre” didn’t produce any encouraging results. Even before the recent price slash, Alibre’s pricing has been highly competitive, compared to that of SolidWorks, Pro/ENGINEER, or Autodesk Inventor. This led me to believe price is just one factor — and not necessarily the most important factor — in grabbing market share.

    I believe Alibre’s current $99 offer makes it possible for many businesses to try it out without taking a financial risk. Perhaps that will encourage some companies that are not yet committed to any 3D MCAD program to take a serious look at Alibre as one of the options.

  • John says:

    Kenneth,

    The risk isn’t only the initial license cost. The real value is in the time spent learning, and data portability.

    I’ve had a bad experience importing a moderately large assembly in STEP format that was created in Alibre. Most of the data was useless. Not a good scenario for a commercial user.

    What happens when the Alibre can’t complete the job at hand?

    In a professional design environment, companies typically don’t have the luxury of training users from scratch. They expect users to hit the ground running. If nothing else, hire an experienced recent grad and let them teach the old timers.

    If Alibre is so good, why the lack of jobs, and fire sale pricing?

  • michael says:

    John:

    I would not worry about training users for Alibre. I have been playing with it for a few days and if you have any experience in Solid Works, Solid Edge, ProE, AutoCAD, or most other packages the learning curve is pretty small.

    I just sat down with a technical graphics communication book and started creating models of all the drawings and assemblies that they have in the book. After the first twenty or so models I ended up using around 85% of the features that I used to use in Solid Works.

    About the only things I have not done yet are lofting/sweeps.

    There have been some pretty complex parts that did involve lots of adding new axis and planes at all kinds of angles in order to create the geometry on the 2D drawings, but it was pretty easy to learn.

    The forums are great too. The times that I could not figure out how to do something I posted on the forum and had an answer withing 30 mins. There are a few experts (or at least the seem so) that troll the forums and dive all over people’s questions/problems.

    Even full price of AD Expert ($1999 when not on sale) is a bargin.

  • robert says:

    John;
    a word of encouragement – I’ve been using the package since 2003 for professional design tasks, with moderately complex designs, up to about 300 different parts in a couple of instances per assembly. I remember that with very modest 2D design experience, it took about a week to get to reliable results. I can definitely say the single license purchase has paid back many, many times by now.
    Handling import/export issues proved to be something that has to be anticipated between all of the CAD packages in the market. It’s more a matter of clarification when taking on a job.
    Since the package is fairly intuitive to use (something that cannot be valued enough in software), there have been total 4 cases where I had to resort to tech support for a how-to.
    In the end, a product is worth what customers are ready to pay for it. And unfortunately, with expensive CAD packages, the cost incurred by a learning curve is less important if compared to purchasing cost. So, attention shifts to learning cost only for less expensive products, which seems not fair.
    On the other hand, it seems debatable to me if a once-developed software package should become a retirement insurance for it’s developers. If there is no true innovation in between, IMHO, there is no way people should still be charging the world for product ideas they had in 1985, and even discuss price increments. I hope the price move generates some healthy competition, and wakes up some of the market players to a point where they replace reliance on marketing and defending intellectual assets by a truly innovative spirit – generating more value for money instead of discussing less and less money for value.

  • Paul says:

    John,

    When I found Alibre two years ago their stated customer base was the lower end of the market… struggling entrepreneurs with engineering backgrounds that didn’t need all the bells and whistles and could not afford full priced CAD seats. I’m sure Alibre didn’t mind “stealing” a customer from the “Big Guys”, but that was not their stated strategy then.
    I had no experience with 3D CAD or modeling. The learning curve was steep, but the features, capabilities, and price allowed me to pitch the acquisition successfully to my management. Our drafting department is somewhat small and overworked (~15:1 engineer to drafter ratio). Instead of providing concept sketches on paper for design ideas to drafting, I can now provide importable models that they can “fill-in” and complete in the required format. I can also share .pdf renderings of my models with my customer for feedback. Our drafters work with Pro-E and Solid Works. None of the models I have exported to drafting have failed to import. A drafter told me that importing files into one of the CAD packages (don’t remember which) can be challenging, but certain tricks get the import to work. She indicated that the fickleness of the import was inherent with the application, not Alibre.

  • John says:

    For 2D CAD users, training or hiring experienced users are important components to success in my opinion.

    Given the products you referenced are perpetual licenses, why would someone who all ready owns SW, SE or IV purchase Alibre? If you are purchasing it for side work or personal use. that’s a different story.

    Since Alibre is a parametric modeler, it stands to reason that it would not be a huge transition from SW, SE of IV. Other than the feature and performance limitations.

    For a 2D CAD user, its a complete paradigm shift. That is where the problem lies regarding training.

    Alibre has been trying this low price strategy since 1997, and have very little market share to show for it.

  • Max says:

    John,

    This offer isn’t about getting people to drop SW/Inventor/ProE/etc., send their licenses back after 5 years, and buy Alibre Design. It doesn’t take an industry insider to realize that would never work.

    There are a huge number of new businesses, smaller shops, individuals, etc. that haven’t ever or are just starting to get into 3D CAD. Some have only used 2D, some have used a competitor before but are now starting their new business and don’t have an endless budget. Regardless of their situation, these people are numerous and are looking around and comparing. When they see what we can do, and then look at a quote from a competitor, they take a good hard look at whether or not it’s worth it. A lot of times people people without infinite pockets find it isn’t.

    Those are the people this offer is for. Not a 40 CAD seat engineering firm with 30,000 native SW parts. The market is not comprised of just mid/large companies with long-established CAD packages, tons of native data, and no reason to switch. Cost at that point is less of a factor, no doubt about it.

    Also, have you ever used or owned Alibre Design? You seem to have some strong questions and opinions, but aren’t really phrasing them in a way that indicates you’ve ever had personal experience with Alibre Design:

    1) “I wonder how many $99 licenses (less royalties) they have to sell to pay the overhead of a “Senior Software Developer”?” (How is this relevant in any way to whether Alibre Design is a good CAD product?)

    2) “The risk isn’t only the initial license cost. The real value is in the time spent learning, and data portability.” (Are you basing this off of one STEP import? And if real value is in time spent learning, then that’s good news for us because our learning curve is way below the competition)

    3) What happens when the Alibre can’t complete the job at hand? (Not “I had a job I couldn’t complete”…)

    This is classic FUD – Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt. No facts, just bad “what if” scenarios. If you are basing your comments on a single STEP import you got from someone that went poorly, then I invite you to actually use our software and then make a decision at that point.

    Max Freeman
    Alibre, Inc.

  • Michael says:

    John, you are appearently working for a reseller (not Alibre of course) and are constantly trying to talk negative about Alibre Design. To bad your arguments are false and you obviously don’t know what you talk about.

    Alibre has been in this game since 2002, the first years was startup years and with some different product configurations. The first version, that i similar to todays product, was V4.

    Alibre is used by a lot of companies, I estimate their customer base to be around 1/10 of SolidWorks (which I presume is the software you sell). If you count the Xpress users (private, educational and casual users) there are about 500.000 registred licenses.

    I have met a lot of companies that have left Solidworks and switched to Alibre. The reasons are – Alibre is easier to use, has better support and it’s more expensive to buy Solidworks maintenance than a full license of Alibre Design.

    Perhaps you should switch to?

  • John says:

    Max and Michael,

    I just purchased a license of Alibre Design 11.2. My previous Alibre experience was using DesignXpress.

    I tested an issue (Part modifications don’t flag errors if features become disjointed) I had with DesignXpress and confirmed that it hasn’t been resolved in the 11.2 release.

    Scenario:

    1.) Create boss extrude (e.g. 6″x4″x1″ plate)
    2.) Create cut extrude (e.g. 1″ dia hole positioned at the center of the plate using dimensions from two edges)
    3.) Modify plate dimensions (e.g. change 6″ dimension to 2″)

    The hole becomes disjointed (cuts air) based on the modifications made

    Admittedly, this is a simple issue to resolve, but what if it isn’t detected? In an obvious example such as the one I described, it is easy to visually detect. In a more subtle case, the problem could much more serious.

    Scrap parts, re-work, and missed deadlines are important to all users, large or small. Damaged reputation is the hardest one to fix.

    Other products I’ve used would flag this issue and warn the user.

    Is that a concrete enough example? No FUD, just fact.

  • Max says:

    John,

    “The hole becomes disjointed (cuts air) based on the modifications made

    Admittedly, this is a simple issue to resolve, but what if it isn’t detected? In an obvious example such as the one I described, it is easy to visually detect. In a more subtle case, the problem could much more serious.”

    SolidWorks will turn the cut in the design tree red for you if you dimension the part so off base that it’s cutting through air. If you are just a little off you don’t get any feedback…

    Just like any software package and any industry, there is generally a right and a less right way to go about doing things. An easy “fix” for this is to just set the dimensions for the circle placement to always equal half of the x and y dims for the box. Problem solved. Using constraints would also work…

    If the red Extrude2 in SolidWorks for a specific workflow is worth $5K to you, then it’s worth $5K to you. It isn’t for most people.

  • John says:

    Max,

    The example you illustrated is what I would expect.

    If a cut is removing material, it is a valid feature, no matter how small the cut might. If it is cutting only air, it is not a valid feature, and the user should be warned.

    “Your” solution would work if the design intent dictated that the hole be centered. In other cases dimensioning from edges would be more appropriate.

    It is the sum total of features and capabilities in SolidWorks (and other mid-range modelers) that makes it worth the money, not one feature.

    Thanks for taking the time to respond, but your argument doesn’t hold water.

  • Max says:

    John,

    I was just replying to your example where you indicated you wanted the hole to be centered:

    “Create cut extrude (e.g. 1″ dia hole positioned at the center of the plate using dimensions from two edges”)

    Obviously if the design intent is not to have it permanently centered, then what I suggest wouldn’t be a good way to go about it. This feature would be very easy to add, but we really haven’t had anyone ask for it before. Not to say it isn’t a good idea.

    I’m not trying to knock SolidWorks, Inventor, etc. – they are excellent products with great capabilities. But it comes down to one thing – is the increased price justified?

    For some people, the answer is “absolutely(!!!)”. For some people, the answer is “no way (!!!)”. All we’re trying to point out is that these 2 camps do in fact exist – that not everyone is in the “absolutely” category. Vendors and some commentators seem to think there is only 1 camp – that if you aren’t using SW/Inventor/etc. you aren’t “serious” or aren’t doing “real work” or are destined for “CAD failure and business doom”, which is almost farcical. But, we are happy for vendors to ignore this group – better for us.

    An amusing quote from our forum from a user that was in a demo of one of the higher priced guys explains the mentality of these vendors:

    “In conference with another high-end competitor I touted the improvement in CAD offerings allowing developers to work without a roomful of PHD’s. The Demo fellow conceded that CAD is dropping into the realm of the peasant class. OPEN MOUTH – INSERT FEET! I assured him I was the peasant class he was thinking of…”

    Max Freeman
    Alibre, Inc.

  • John says:

    Max,

    Please remove the words “center of the plate” from my example scenario.

    The crux of the problem is in Alibre “part modifications don’t flag errors if features become disjointed”.

    The bottom line is Alibre does not warn a user when a cut feature no longer intersects the part!

    If you would respond to that specific point, I would appreciate it.

    I have never said that Alibre users aren’t “serious” or doing “real work”. What I have pointed out are shortcomings in Alibre that hold them back.

    – John

  • Max says:

    John,

    I did respond to it:

    “This feature would be very easy to add, but we really haven’t had anyone ask for it before. Not to say it isn’t a good idea.” A cut feature is really the only case where we don’t notify the user though. This isn’t a systemic problem with our software. From the lack of users asking for this, the problem doesn’t seem to affect that many people or at least isn’t perceived by our users as being overly important or an impediment to their work flows. But, we’ll put this into v12.1 since it’s so simple to address.

    Sorry, I wasn’t trying to imply that you personally were saying people aren’t “serious” etc, I was referring more to some of the general commentary the offer had stirred up.

    Max

  • John says:

    Max,

    I’m quite surprised your users haven’t raised this issue. FYI, it also occurs with patterned cut features that fall outside the extents of the body being cut.

    I’m still testing other facets of Alibre and have to say the number of issues I’ve encountered are disconcerting.

    Perhaps I’m spoiled by more robust software, but the items I’ve encountered are fundamental weaknesses.

    Today I was modeling a part and had the associated drawing open. I made a change to the driving part dimensions while working in the drawing. When I returned to the part, the dimensional changes were not reflected. I attempted to rebuild the model, but the changes still did not update.

    While I’ll admit I’m new to Alibre, this is a basic feature that all other parametric CAD applications I’ve worked with support.

    John

  • Max says:

    John,

    I can understand that since you are new to Alibre Design the workflows for everything may not be readily apparent to you. I don’t think this thread is an appropriate place to go back and forth on how to do every specific thing you have encountered. If you would like, I can speak with you and help you with your questions. After which you can report back the summation of your experience if you wish. We’re beginning to get into turning this blog into a training seminar, which I’m sure is not interesting to other readers. I am sure they would be interested in hearing your comments afterward though.

    Max

  • John says:

    Max,

    Given your statement that “…if real value is in time spent learning, then that’s good news for us because our learning curve is way below the competition”, I surprised these VERY basic functions would not be easily discoverable.

    I was not looking for assistance, merely pointing out what I see as deficiencies with Alibre. After 22 years teaching a range of CAD, FEA and PDM applications, I’m not really new to this stuff.

    Since you and I appear to be the only active participants in this post, I’m happy to cease and desist.

    As the VP of marketing for Alibre, I would imagine this is not the most constructive use of your time.

    – John

  • I was very interested to hear about this discussion. That is how we all learn things from each other. I am still up in the air about this offer and I think many others might be too. I have read Kenneth’s report on it and have done my own research as well. If you take the offer and place down $99 dollars what do you actually get for this so I can tell my readers about it too? Is it the full version of Alibre Design Pro or a cut down version of the Pro program? I have read and re-read some pages about this and still cannot decide about it. I would also like to have a page or web site that directs my readership directly to the “buy” page if possible. I am testing it out myself at this time but I really started late yesterday and will spend time with it as I get some time.

    Richard Williams aka Corporal Willy.

  • Kenneth says:

    Richard: I think you raise a good point. I too had some trouble distinguishing the features of Alibre Design Standard (which is what you’ll get for $99) from those of Alibre Design Professional (which is what I get to try out in the first 30 days).

    Max from Alibre can verify this. My understanding is, when the 30-day trial expires, the following features will disappear (because they belong either in Alibre Design Professional or they require an add-on like Alibre Translate):

    Sheet metal tools.
    Direct-editing tools.
    Standard part libraries.
    Import options for SolidWorks, Inventor, Pro/ENGINEER, Catia, Parasolid, and Solid Edge.
    Export options for SolidWorks and Parasolid.

    My recommendation for Alibre is to allow people to test-drive specific versions of Alibre software for 30 days to avoid confusion. Otherwise, people might mistake the Professional version’s features in the trial version for what they’ll get when they buy Alibre Design.

  • Hi Kenneth,

    I just left a comment on someone else’s blog about this issue. People must be made to understand in advance that by putting down $99 dollars to partake of this offer, is like buying a brand new car without a spare tire, trunk, roof, wipers and a partially filled tank of gas. Depending upon how you see the glass as half full or half empty, I guess it still beats walking. Ambiguity can be missleading and whether it is purposeful or not, I think Alibre should clarify this offer or I cannot write about it to others. That $99 dollars will reach into your pocket a few more times if you decide you like it and need more from the program. Not a bad deal but if you are collaborating outside of your own office then you will quickly see that more is needed. I have always liked the program and even wrote about it a long time ago and I would like to see the company grow but a full disclosure should be forthwith. Some that have not fully understood what will happen after the 30 days will be left with a bitter taste. Otherwise, I am still evaluating my downloaded copy. One final thought here. Perhaps the Alibre Company should offer the choice of one translation file format in this offer. Then I could wholeheartedly write about it, because it would enable those users to use it at their own place of business but reach out in a limited way to others. Only an idea to kick around by Alibre of course. Bye for now.

  • Max says:

    @Richard Williams:
    If you take the offer and place down $99 dollars what do you actually get for this so I can tell my readers about it too?

    – Alibre Design Standard

    Is it the full version of Alibre Design Pro or a cut down version of the Pro program?

    – Alibre Design Standard is one below Professional. There is a line item comparison between all the versions of the software on the offer page.

    Ambiguity can be misleading and whether it is purposeful or not, I think Alibre should clarify this offer or I cannot write about it to others.

    – On the offer page there is a link that allows you to compare all the versions of Alibre Design side by side. There is also a “Look inside Alibre Design” link that breaks it down as well. We definitely aren’t trying to hide this info…

    People must be made to understand in advance that by putting down $99 dollars to partake of this offer, is like buying a brand new car without a spare tire, trunk, roof, wipers and a partially filled tank of gas.

    – That may be a little…harsh. Is the tire, trunk, roof, etc. software maintenance? If so, anyone can get Alibre Design Standard and a year of maintenance for $398. That is still $900 off. Consider competitors’ maintenance at over $1200…per year.

    @Kenneth:

    Max from Alibre can verify this. My understanding is, when the 30-day trial expires, the following features will disappear (because they belong either in Alibre Design Professional or they require an add-on like Alibre Translate):

    – If you register and download the Trial version of Alibre Design, you will be given a Trial license of the Pro version. Once you buy Standard, your license will be automatically converted to the Standard version. If you go online and buy without getting a trial account, then you will only see Standard.

  • Hi Kenneth,

    I am not alone in my misunderstandings here but thanks for taking the time to try to untangle it for me as well as others. Bye

  • Max says:

    To help with the confusion some people have been having, we’ve created a new interactive offer helper on the offer page. Additionally, we’ve made the offer even better – you can now pick and choose *exactly* which items you want, instead of having to buy a bundle offer. So, if you want Alibre Design Standard for $99 and Alibre Translate for $99, you can. Any combination you choose.

    Hopefully this will help to clear up any confusion.

    Max Freeman
    Alibre, Inc.

  • Nathan says:

    John/Max/Kenneth,

    The reason nobody is hiring Alibre designers is an indicator that the market for Alibre is not necessarily small and not growing, but most are “owner/operators” and even if they are hiring, the main requirements for the new hire are not CAD skills, but other things in conjunction with that. I would ratehr train a new Design Engineer in Alibre than have to train him about my product.

    Another reason is that there are not many people with Alibre experience out there so that it really limits the ability to find someone with your necessary / required skills for the job…in other words if you ACTUALLY found a guy/gal with Alibre experience, the odds are VERY slim that they would meet your other requirements. But that WILL change I am confident. We use another Large, expensive CAD program, but we just bought a license of Alibre for $99. We couldn’t resist. We had used it before as a trial and considered buying it but never did. Then when the deal came out at 99 bucks it was a no brainer.

    Easy learning curve, great functionality. Perfect product to train a newbie on and get them up and running fast.

    Here’s the deal: If you are a small business where you control the start to part process and don’t have to really interact with other companies and CAD systems – sending/receiving models of various types, file extensions and such, then Alibre is the winning ticket for you. Don’t even think about buying anything else. Most of our work is 100% controlled by us and we don’t have to interface with other CAD systems.

    About translating: Even if you interface with other companies you still have trouble with the “BIG BOY” brand name translators. I haven’t tried Alibre Translate but I have heard it works well. The super expensive ones don’t work without periodic intervention from all of my blog reading and talking with CAD guys in the know and it stands to reason none of them ever will be a real substitute for the native CAD station to import/export ability.

    Not sure many would switch to Alibre from Solidworks because of the investment they already have. But at a price lower than the maintenance fee for Solidworks, it seems to me they will start switching over little by little.

    Nathan

  • Kenneth says:

    Nathan: Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I quite agree that the hiring criterion should be engineering skill or design skill, not skill in a specific CAD package. I suspect anyone familiar with a dominant parametric CAD package — SolidWorks, Solid Edge, or Inventor — would have no trouble figuring out Alibre and becoming productive in it in a short time.

    There are companies that need to invest in more CAD seats for their second-tier employees (not necessarily second tier in talent, but in how often or how intensively they interact with CAD files). Some of them are probably dragging their feet because of the sluggish economy or the cost of their company-standard CAD package. My guess is, $99 Alibre could find a market among those buyers. But for that to work, people using Alibre needs to be able to read and write files in other CAD formats. So if someone is buying Alibre to augment the existing CAD package, he/she would have to invest in Alibre Translate as well.

    On the other hand, if you can work with neutral file formats throughout the entire work flow, then, like you pointed out, Alibre might be the winning ticket.

    The $99 deal is coming to an end tomorrow, so all this discussion may no longer be irrelevant 24 hours later. :-)

  • Michael J says:

    Paul,

    In what world do the designers get Pro/E AND SolidWorks while the engineers are sketching concepts by hand? Also, your company already had licenses for Pro/E AND SolidWorks dedicated to drafters but couldn’t foot the bill for a few seats for engineers?

    Buddy, I’m calling your BS.

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  • jerald Small says:

    The most amazing thing about alibre is that you can’t get a straight answer out of the sales people, when you buy, Mine shut down the last time I went to open i,t this is the second time I thought I had bought this program for my personal use,only to be locked out of it.

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