1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

First thread - New User

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Billybuck, Nov 18, 2019.

  1. Billybuck

    Billybuck Member

    Longtime Inv/SW guy going out on my own with Alibre Design Expert.

    Couple of initial questions -

    1. Can't live without my spacemouse but after installing the mouse (3dConx compact, latest drivers) I got no mouse action in Alibre, do I need to flick a bit somewhere to use it?

    2. How do I rotate components in an assembly. I figured out how to make constraints etc.. cannot for the life of me figure out how to rotate unconstrained parts!


  2. NateLiqGrav

    NateLiqGrav Alibre Super User

    You have a few options.

    I usually hold shift and drag the part.

    Or the Component Placement tool upload_2019-11-18_22-15-5.png will let you move using a couple other methods.
  3. Billybuck

    Billybuck Member

    Shift+drag, don't think I tried that but I will now, thanks!!
  4. OTE_TheMissile

    OTE_TheMissile Alibre Super User

    I use a 3Dconnexion SpaceMouse Wireless and I can't recall ever having to make any changes in Alibre for it, it pretty much just plunked right in after installing the drivers.

    Not very helpful, sorry, but know that it can be done.

    @NateLiqGrav - Learn something new every day, 10 years using Alibre and this is the first I heard you could hold Shift to rotate unconstrained parts :D
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
  5. MilesH

    MilesH Alibre Super User

    Here's a tip for using 3D Connexion controllers:

    The cursor centric rotation function is activated and controlled by dragging the cursor with left and right mouse buttons depressed. The geometry under the cursor is selected as the centre of rotation. Unfortunately, there is no way to access this function directly to use it with 3D Connexion (et al) controllers. However, once it has been initiated using the L&RMB drag, the new centre of rotation is also active for 3D controllers, for as long as the mouse buttons are held depressed.


    - Position the cursor over the geometry that you want to act as the centre of rotation.

    - Press and hold down L&RMBs and make a small drag movement to initiate the command.

    - Rotate and zoom with the 3D controller.

    - Release L&RMBs
  6. Billybuck

    Billybuck Member

    Thanks, got it working well now!

    One more question -
    In an assembly with sub-assemblies. I edit a subassembly in its own window, how do I get the parent assembly to rebuild with the changes made to the sub? I just realized that when I saved the parent assembly it appears to have overwritten the subassembly changes. The only sure fire way I've come across is to close the parent without saving then re-open to get it to rebuild, Regenerate Assembly doesn't seem to do anything.
  7. Billybuck

    Billybuck Member

    And one more, because I'm planning poorly.

    In Inventor I would build everything in the top level assembly and then demote the logical subassemblies from within, is this feature available in Alibre? Related, can I drag components into an existing subassembly?

    I'm really enjoying the software so far. Thought I would hate the separate BOM but it works reasonably well. Modeling a breeze. We'll see how the annotation goes after a bit!
  8. simonb65

    simonb65 Alibre Super User

    Just closing the sub-assembly edit window saves the change and it then goes back to the main assembly where the changes should be visible. DON'T open a sub-assembly for editing and then switch back the the main window before you close the sub edit, you'll get Alibre in all kind of knots! Alibre should prevent you from doing it really ... but it doesn't!

    Take a look at ....
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2019
  9. Billybuck

    Billybuck Member

    I think I was unclear, I was editing the subassembly from a completely separate window, then try to update in the parent assembly. Your answer give me insight to the correct workflow though, once I have the sub inside the parent I should be RMB-ing and editing from the parent as opposed to opening the sub separately from the home screen.
    What if I have a sub in more than one parent, I can't edit from within both parents at the same time, in that case how would I force the parent to update?
  10. simonb65

    simonb65 Alibre Super User

    Unless the workflow is to edit from within, the only way to get a parent to update is to re-open the parent. At that point it will drag in the child changes (but only if you ensured if the parent didn't save anything when it closed). Using the flow you are looking at, I would close the parent down first, then open the sub assembly for editing, then re-open the parent. My workflow is RMB-ing and editing from the parent!
  11. Billybuck

    Billybuck Member

    That's what I'm teaching myself to do now, thanks!!
  12. HaroldL

    HaroldL Alibre Super User

    If you have the screen space, Edit in Separate Window and arrange the windows on the screen so you can view both the assembly and the part you are editing. Then as you update the part you can view the update taking place in the assembly.

    One more thing -- regenerate the part (F5, F6 or the ribbon tool) before you close the part window to go back to the assembly, especially if you had to roll it back to edit a prior feature.
  13. simonb65

    simonb65 Alibre Super User

    Totally agree. If you don't do this it will also destroy any constraint dependencies!! Suggested in a post a while back that there should be an option to do this automatically when you close an edit as its caused me loads of pain in the past ... still waiting for it to be added.
  14. Lew_Merrick

    Lew_Merrick Alibre Super User

    Hi Eric -- The real issue is context. If you Edit, Change, and Save a Component from "outside" the contact of a "UsedOn Assembly" you will have exit the "UsedOn Assembly" and reload it for the changes to take effect. However, should you RMB select the Component from (almost certainly the File Exporer within the "UsedOn Assembly") and select an Edfit (here or in a separate Window), the changes will appear in real-time -- they must be Saved in the context of the "UsedOn Assembly."
  15. Hunter

    Hunter Senior Member

    I'm also a new user, also coming from SW and Inventor. Unfortunately you cannot do top-down design in Alibre, nor create sub-assemblies in the context of another assembly using drag-and-drop in the part tree. I was trying to use a sketch to drive an assembly, but you cannot see the sketches of other parts in an assembly. At least the mating of parts work really well.

    I'm hoping the development team is planning to add this functionality (top-down design and sub-assembly creation) in future versions. Overall, at the price, Alibre is excellent value for money and I enjoy using it, it fulfills my needs.
  16. Nick952

    Nick952 Senior Member

    According to this video, Alibre is capable of Top-Down design, although possibly not to the level or in the way that you are used to with SW:-

  17. Hunter

    Hunter Senior Member

    Hi Nick,

    Yes, you are right, top-down is possible. I should've been clear in what I meant (the video you linked to shows what I know as in-context editing or part creation). But yes, it is top-down design.

    I was referring to using sketches as layouts/skeletons for driving a design (I should've mentioned it) -- it's an efficient way of designing since you can use a sketch to size and constrain your parts. But it does make big assemblies slow. I'm absolutely fine with how Alibre does it; just the old habits/ways, you know?
  18. DavidJ

    DavidJ Alibre Super User Staff Member

    You can also use GLP files if you have Expert, to drive shared dimensions across multiple parts in the assembly.

    In place of your layout/skeleton sketch - you might get some mileage from a semi-transparent 'fake' 3D part, which you can then 'project to sketch' from - though you'd obviously have to be careful about placement.
  19. Hunter

    Hunter Senior Member

    I don't have Expert... yet
  20. dwc

    dwc Alibre Super User

    That's how I work.
    I make a skeleton of fake parts, all 0.1mm thick, that are constrained together and determine all the functional dimensions.
    They are then used to project or simply to constrain the real parts.
    Everything that is not determined by the skeleton can be placed more or less at will (more realistic, best practice).
    When not needed the skeleton is hidden.
    The skeleton is a sub-assembly that can be taken and used in many products that may look very different, but will all work as the functional dimensions are assured.
    Have fun,

Share This Page