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Alibre Design Xpress 11 won’t import STEP files

Alibre continues to restrict Alibre Design Xpress’ functionality; in Xpress 11 after the 30 day evaluation runs out, you can only import AutoCAD (DWG, DXF) files, and export STL files.

I’ve used Xpress occasionally since it was introduced in 2005, and I’ve never had problems importing STEP  (or IGES) files until recently.  Since I mainly use mechanical CAD to model PCBs populated with manufacturer provided part models (typically in STEP or IGES formats), this means Xpress is no longer useful.  As far as I’m concerned, Xpress is now basically just a trial version — great if you want to evaluate Alibre Design before buying, but not useful on its own.

Since I’m not making any money from the PCBs, my budget for MCAD software is basically $0 (OK, I might go up to $250 for software that did a really great job).  If I were primarily doing mechanical design, especially for money, then my budget would be different.

I’m still thinking about what I want to do; my default option is to model in CoCreate PE, which only exports STL and VRML files, but at least it imports DWG, DXF, STP, and IGES files, so it’s still easy to model PCBs in CoCreate and check that all the pieces fit together.

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1 Max Freeman { 08.07.09 at 10:11 pm }

I’m not going to give any details. But keep your ears open the next couple days.

Max Freeman
VP Marketing
Alibre, Inc.

2 Petar { 08.17.09 at 1:51 am }

If you need MCAD under 250$, Alibre is now 99$

3 Tony { 08.17.09 at 11:57 am }

Yes, Design Standard for $99 is a great deal — I’ve already bought it. But remember, it is a limited time deal.

4 Eric Smith { 11.15.09 at 3:48 pm }

Is the $99 deal gone?

The Alibre web page says “starting at $398”, but I can’t find that price in their store, which says that Design Standard is $999.

5 Tony { 11.16.09 at 12:48 pm }

There are still three possibilities, covered by both Deelip (here and here) and Ralph G

1. Get a quote from the SolidWorks, AutoDesk, etc, and Alibre will match for 10% of the quotation.

2. Find a current Alibre customer and use the Refer a Friend program to get Alibre V11.2 for $99.

3. Use the V12 special offer and get Alibre V12 with maintenance for $398.

If you’re serious about using Alibre, 1 & 3 are probably the way to go, since they include V12 and support.

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