Alibre Design & AlibreCAM are Back!
In May of 2017, Max Freeman the CEO of a new company called Alibre LLC. announced in the Alibre Design forums that several ex-Alibre employees had pooled their resources and started this new company. He further announced that Alibre LLC had entered into an agreement with 3D Systems to assume ownership of the Geomagic Design product (which was formerly known as Alibre Design) for sales, support and development. This announcement was followed up, in early July, with the release of the newly re-named Alibre Design 2017 product.
The previous incarnation of Alibre LLC was Alibre Inc. Alibre Inc. was founded in 1997 and created the first web-based collaborative 3D design product called Alibre Design. Alibre also introduced a subscription license model that was revolutionary for the CAD industry at that time.
However, the product proved way ahead of its time and failed to make a significant impact in the marketplace against more established desktop only products. Subsequently Alibre refocused its efforts and released Alibre Design as a desktop only solid modeling system. SOLIDWORKS lite if you will as it was a smaller, less expensive solid modeling system that mirrored SOLIDWORKS in many respects.
In 2010, MecSoft released the first version of Alibre CAM which was quickly followed by the 64 bit version of Alibre CAM in early 2011. Alibre CAM was the first and only fully integrated CAM add-on for Alibre Design. This product had all the features of our standalone CAM products VisualMILL and VisualTURN.
In July of 2011 3D Systems acquired Alibre Inc and folded the Alibre Design product into its umbrella of 3D software products and renamed it to Geomagic Design. What seemed to be a marriage made in heaven turned to be a damp squib. 3D Systems, a 3D printing hardware company, never figured out how to utilize the technology that was inherent in Alibre Design. The product fell into virtual neglect with every new release sprouting minor 3D printing enhancements rather than core design enhancements.
With almost non-existent support for 3rd party developers after the acquisition, we at MecSoft took the difficult decision to discontinue developing, selling and supporting our CAM product, which was called VisualCAM for Geomagic at that time. Our last release was in 2015 and we shuttered the product bringing an end to an era. Little did we know that come mid-2017 we would be releasing a new version of AlibreCAM 2017!
We at MecSoft are thrilled that Alibre Design is back with a renewed focus. On the urging of our old customers of Alibre CAM, we had decided to renew work on the CAM product. The result of this is AlibreCAM 2017 (note the new name without the space between Alibre and CAM) which we are now releasing in August 2017. We are excited to be in partnership again with the good folks at Alibre, with whom we have had a long relationship. We wish them all success and good luck in this new venture. MecSoft will be with them along this exciting new journey!