Alibre Atom3D

David_R8

Scrapper of metal
Moderator
Premium Member
I've been struggling with learning CAD. Tried Fusion360 with limited success, FreeCAD same story.
@jcdammeyer mentioned Alibre Atom3D when I was at his shop last week. I downloaded the free trial and messed around for a day or so. They had a $99 Black Friday/Cyber Monday deal for the software. I jumped on it and have been quite happy so far. One of the things I like about is the fact that it is not cloud based so all of the work is resident on my machine.
There is something about it's interface which just works for me better than either Fusion360 or FreeCAD.
The Alibre tutorials also seem to work better for me than any of the Fusion360 or FreeCAD tutorials.

If anyone has been trying to learn CAD and struggled, I recommend having a look at Alibre Atom3D.
 

jcdammeyer

John
Premium Member
I've been struggling with learning CAD. Tried Fusion360 with limited success, FreeCAD same story.
@jcdammeyer mentioned Alibre Atom3D when I was at his shop last week. I downloaded the free trial and messed around for a day or so. They had a $99 Black Friday/Cyber Monday deal for the software. I jumped on it and have been quite happy so far. One of the things I like about is the fact that it is not cloud based so all of the work is resident on my machine.
There is something about it's interface which just works for me better than either Fusion360 or FreeCAD.
The Alibre tutorials also seem to work better for me than any of the Fusion360 or FreeCAD tutorials.

If anyone has been trying to learn CAD and struggled, I recommend having a look at Alibre Atom3D.
Did you try loading the AD_PRT file I sent you? I'm curious if it has any trouble. I don't think it will. It's the latest version of Alibre or from one before.
 

cjmac

Active Member
I've been struggling with learning CAD. Tried Fusion360 with limited success, FreeCAD same story.
@jcdammeyer mentioned Alibre Atom3D when I was at his shop last week. I downloaded the free trial and messed around for a day or so. They had a $99 Black Friday/Cyber Monday deal for the software. I jumped on it and have been quite happy so far. One of the things I like about is the fact that it is not cloud based so all of the work is resident on my machine.
There is something about it's interface which just works for me better than either Fusion360 or FreeCAD.
The Alibre tutorials also seem to work better for me than any of the Fusion360 or FreeCAD tutorials.

If anyone has been trying to learn CAD and struggled, I recommend having a look at Alibre Atom3D.
Hey David_R8,

I have had Alibre Professional for maybe 15 years. First saw it at John's place. Never had time for the learning curve and always resorted to my other cadd system where I didn't have to think about it. I also took advantage of Alibre's Black Friday sale and updated my maintenance which had lapsed in 2018. I hope now to find time to learn it, so you won't be the only one calling John for help.

Chris
 

David_R8

Scrapper of metal
Moderator
Premium Member
Hey David_R8,

I have had Alibre Professional for maybe 15 years. First saw it at John's place. Never had time for the learning curve and always resorted to my other cadd system where I didn't have to think about it. I also took advantage of Alibre's Black Friday sale and updated my maintenance which had lapsed in 2018. I hope now to find time to learn it, so you won't be the only one calling John for help.

Chris
Thanks Chris :)
Curious what CAD platform you are coming from.
D
 

cjmac

Active Member
Thanks Chris :)
Curious what CAD platform you are coming from.
D
This really dates me. I did a lot of drawings with GenCadd6. It was dos based and 2d but I used descriptive geometry to develop 3d views when I needed them. I used it enough that I didn't have to think about it. I was as fast as doing a drawing by hand. When I tried to transition to Alibre I didn't make time for the learning curve. It was always faster do do things the way I always had. After Alibre, I also got the paid version of Google Sketchup as I was doing house and shop drawings. My plan for Alibre in the next few months is to start with Model B engine internal components. I plan to build the jigs for pouring Babbitt.

Chris
 

David_R8

Scrapper of metal
Moderator
Premium Member
This really dates me. I did a lot of drawings with GenCadd6. It was dos based and 2d but I used descriptive geometry to develop 3d views when I needed them. I used it enough that I didn't have to think about it. I was as fast as doing a drawing by hand. When I tried to transition to Alibre I didn't make time for the learning curve. It was always faster do do things the way I always had. After Alibre, I also got the paid version of Google Sketchup as I was doing house and shop drawings. My plan for Alibre in the next few months is to start with Model B engine internal components. I plan to build the jigs for pouring Babbitt.

Chris
I've been doing the Alibre tutorials and found them very useful.
 

jcdammeyer

John
Premium Member
I tried autocad, turbocad and had pretty well given up on using cad other than for PC board layouts. Then on one of the metal groups Alibre made an entry. For me it just clicked and I'm still learning how to do things.
What really helped the learning curve, other than the tutorials, was also drawing Gingery Lathe parts that were in the book. But as the 3D parametric versions.
Now even if I'm not going to actually make something I might still make a drawing. Like a musical instrument, practice practice practice.
 

David_R8

Scrapper of metal
Moderator
Premium Member
I tried autocad, turbocad and had pretty well given up on using cad other than for PC board layouts. Then on one of the metal groups Alibre made an entry. For me it just clicked and I'm still learning how to do things.
What really helped the learning curve, other than the tutorials, was also drawing Gingery Lathe parts that were in the book. But as the 3D parametric versions.
Now even if I'm not going to actually make something I might still make a drawing. Like a musical instrument, practice practice practice.
Good point John, I think one of my mistakes in the past has been to only use it when I need something which creates a certain amount of pressure.
I think I might make a habit of spending 30 minutes a day drawing stuff just for the practice of it.
 

cjmac

Active Member
I tried autocad, turbocad and had pretty well given up on using cad other than for PC board layouts. Then on one of the metal groups Alibre made an entry. For me it just clicked and I'm still learning how to do things.
What really helped the learning curve, other than the tutorials, was also drawing Gingery Lathe parts that were in the book. But as the 3D parametric versions.
Now even if I'm not going to actually make something I might still make a drawing. Like a musical instrument, practice practice practice.
When I first got Alibre it included Finite Element Analysis, that and the 3d pdf feature, were what sold me on it. Sadly over the years they dropped features. Still does the 3d pdfs.

Chris
 

jcdammeyer

John
Premium Member
Good point John, I think one of my mistakes in the past has been to only use it when I need something which creates a certain amount of pressure.
I think I might make a habit of spending 30 minutes a day drawing stuff just for the practice of it.
Laptop on lap in front of TV watching whatever with SWMBO. Draw stuff. Recently I've been using the parametric features. A new thing for me.
 

PeterT

Ultra Member
Premium Member
It gets mentioned quite a few times on other forums I frequent. I think I failed to connect that Atom is a certain (lower cost) flavor of their offerings. Interesting. Keep us posted how you get along. What was it about F360 that you didn't care for?

 

David_R8

Scrapper of metal
Moderator
Premium Member
It gets mentioned quite a few times on other forums I frequent. I think I failed to connect that Atom is a certain (lower cost) flavor of their offerings. Interesting. Keep us posted how you get along. What was it about F360 that you didn't care for?

Honestly it's hard to put my finger on exactly what it was about Fusion that didn't work for me. I think it's partly the simplicity of the Atom3D interface, partly the training they provide which resonates with me better then any of the Fusion training I've done.
 

jcdammeyer

John
Premium Member
Honestly it's hard to put my finger on exactly what it was about Fusion that didn't work for me. I think it's partly the simplicity of the Atom3D interface, partly the training they provide which resonates with me better then any of the Fusion training I've done.
I can't explain why either. Granted for now I want to keep my 4th axis CAM even though Project #42 (Harmonic Drive 4th axis) isn't finished. Adding 4th to Fusion is well over $1000.

But aside from that I understand how powerful Fusion 360 is but I just don't 'get' it. Each time I try and use it I stumble. Their way of doing things perhaps works better for left brain dominant compared to right brain dominant?

Also I don't trust them. Don't like cloud based data storage. Don't like the idea that if they change the rules that my data, experience etc. vanishes. At least with Alibre or VisualCAD/CAM is yours and the yearly fees are for maintenance not access.

The only criminal behavior in all this CAD/CAM stuff is actually Microsoft. Changing the OS just enough to break old software.
 

Susquatch

Ultra Member
Moderator
Premium Member
But aside from that I understand how powerful Fusion 360 is but I just don't 'get' it. Each time I try and use it I stumble. Their way of doing things perhaps works better for left brain dominant compared to right brain dominant?

I think our brains are similarly defective. Makes sense given your S100 history.

I have managed to make a few F360 designs, but it just seems so non-intuitive and clumsy compared to Catia or EasyCad/FastCad. Even AutoCAD was better. I'm constantly searching the help system and then staring blankly at the answers...... It's like someone from Venus or Pluto designed it.
 

Dan Dubeau

Ultra Member
I've never been that big of a fan of fusion. Yeah it can do a lot, and I still recommend it to people looking for a cheap do all package, especially beginers because it has such a large user following to aid in learning, but I just never worked as efficiently with it, compared to other packages. Just how my brain works. I'm not a Solidworks guy either (yet), although I find it much, much better.

I'm sure if I spent a lot more time with either package and altered the way I approached things, retraining my brain to do things the way the software wants, I would gel with it more. But I can never make time for that. 20 years of habits are hard to change....

I was curious about Alibre, as it's a cheap package, and the added cam is a good value, but have not got around to demoing it yet. I don't think I'd be happy with mesh cam after years of being spoiled with commercial offerings, just form the few videos I watched, but it might be ok for certain things. I want something that I can quickly and efficiently model up weldments, and other assemblies and generate a BOM. Does Alibre atom do that, or does one need to step up to the next level.

I've got a pretty good workflow right now with mechanical desktop for assembly modeling, Rhino for 3d surfacing and wireframe, and edgecam for toolpathing. I would like something a bit more modern for assemblies though. MD, is a bit long in the tooth..... Alibre might be the one. Free cad just isn't there yet.
 

David_R8

Scrapper of metal
Moderator
Premium Member
I've never been that big of a fan of fusion. Yeah it can do a lot, and I still recommend it to people looking for a cheap do all package, especially beginers because it has such a large user following to aid in learning, but I just never worked as efficiently with it, compared to other packages. Just how my brain works. I'm not a Solidworks guy either (yet), although I find it much, much better.

I'm sure if I spent a lot more time with either package and altered the way I approached things, retraining my brain to do things the way the software wants, I would gel with it more. But I can never make time for that. 20 years of habits are hard to change....

I was curious about Alibre, as it's a cheap package, and the added cam is a good value, but have not got around to demoing it yet. I don't think I'd be happy with mesh cam after years of being spoiled with commercial offerings, just form the few videos I watched, but it might be ok for certain things. I want something that I can quickly and efficiently model up weldments, and other assemblies and generate a BOM. Does Alibre atom do that, or does one need to step up to the next level.

I've got a pretty good workflow right now with mechanical desktop for assembly modeling, Rhino for 3d surfacing and wireframe, and edgecam for toolpathing. I would like something a bit more modern for assemblies though. MD, is a bit long in the tooth..... Alibre might be the one. Free cad just isn't there yet.
So far as I can tell it will do exactly what you are looking for; model parts, generate a BOM and 2D drawings.
I recommend having a look at this tutorial:
 

jcdammeyer

John
Premium Member
So far as I can tell it will do exactly what you are looking for; model parts, generate a BOM and 2D drawings.
I recommend having a look at this tutorial:
Interesting how they've organized the icons in a manner similar to all the other CAD systems out there. They changed to that arrangement a few years ago. Me. I stuck with the old way which is still possible. At least in the Pro version.

1669939433539.png
 
Top