|The latest in CAD/CAM software|
Alibre Design Workshop offers complete and unrestricted design, says Alibre's Max Freeman. The program fits the needs of many types of shops. Sheet Layout, a program that generates cut lists, tracks inventory, and creates cost reports among many other functions, comes with the program.
"Many programs focus only on one aspect of woodworking: kitchens, cabinets, doors, etc. Alibre Design's primary audience is the Mechanical CAD industry, and as a byproduct of that it is a general purpose modeler," said Freeman.
The software features a parametric modeler, which basically allows for fast and easy design changes, explains Freeman. For instance, the dimensions of a table or cabinet are represented as parameters, or variables, that can be easily edited and changed. With some packages, to change the value of a line, for example, you would have to delete it and recreate it. In Alibre Design, you just click on the dimension, type in a new value and the model, and 2D drawings update automatically.
The product also allows users to create 2D drawings for the shop floor, but rather than creating each view 2D separately; the views are automatically generated and associative. This basically means they are linked so when a model is updated, the 2D drawings and bill of materials update automatically. Alibre Design also provides a cut-list program.
Alibre Design has had a total of 16 releases. Alibre Design 10.0 is the current version, representing nearly eight years of refinement and customer input, Freeman said. It sells for around $1,000.
ArtCAM Pro from Delcam is the signmaker's and woodworker's design and CNC routing solution. The software's features have been designed to make day-to-day work easier, faster, more productive and profitable, according to the company's Web site.
The combination of the three ArtCAM programs can be used for nested-based manufacturing, carcass manufacturing, 2D cut-outs and 3D sculpted designs.