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Trying Alibre and need to know if this kind of loft is possible

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Dantahoua, Oct 29, 2020.

  1. Dantahoua

    Dantahoua New Member

    I'm a guitar maker. I'm also a "switcher", trying Alibre to see if it could replace Fusion360 as I hate having all my stuff in the cloud...
    I'm a user of the loft tool a lot in Fusion360. I want to know if I could achieve the same thing in Alibre Atom3D.
    I upload a file so it's easier to explain.
    I made a very simple test (no guide or tangency for now, just two plane). But Alibre tell me it cannot loft from open line... So if I understand well I wont be anle to achieve what I want (at least the way I know how to do it in Fusioun360).

    The step file is the final product I made with Fusion. Can I make the same with Atom3d?

    Thanks for your support. :)

    Attached Files:

  2. bigseb

    bigseb Alibre Super User

    Honestly I don't think Alibre is the best tool for that sort of shape. It is possible (to a point) but not easily and not as quick to create. Honestly I think you would be better off with Moi3D. A fantastic model software that I use a lot too. Very helpful community too. $295.
  3. Dantahoua

    Dantahoua New Member

    Thanks a lot for the information! :) I'm gonna get a look to Moi3D. Have a nice day. :)
    Edit: I tried it, but I need some parametric and more complex lofting possibility. I was able to make some stuff very fast with it, great simple program, but too simple for my needs... :/
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2020
  4. DavidJ

    DavidJ Alibre Super User Staff Member

    It looks like that STEP part is a surface model (zero volume).

    Alibre is a solids modeller, with only limited surfacing tools. You'd have to use a somewhat different approach.
  5. Dantahoua

    Dantahoua New Member

    Yes you're right! I use a lot of surfacing, even for my neck... I though Alibre would have been the perfect tool for me, but in the end seems it do not suit my needs. That's why I get the trial! Sad because this community seems very helpful.
    Thanks a lot.
  6. bigseb

    bigseb Alibre Super User

    AD isn't bad software, it just has limitations. Moi (the one I linked above) is a very capable software and has far better modelling tools than AD, in my opinion. On the other hand, AD is parametric and allows you to create assemblies and drawings.
  7. bigseb

    bigseb Alibre Super User

    ... AND...

    The shape you uploaded is one that would be super tricky to replicate in AD. However the rest of the guitar should be a breeze to model in AD. In great detail too, with material data, weights, parts list, etc. Here's one I did earlier this year:


    Also, have a look HERE and HERE
  8. HaroldL

    HaroldL Alibre Super User

    Lofts in Alibre are not fun. This can be done after some effort but it may not be exactly the form you want.


    I created and mirrored an Extrusion to get the full body shape. Then selected and started a sketch on the top surface using Project to Sketch with Maintain Associativity checked. This is one of the sketches for the Loft. For the second Loft sketch I edited the existing sketch, converted it to a Reference Figure and added a Node to it. For the Loft, select both sketches and adjust the Tangency parameters for the Node sketch to flatten out the top.

    I tried to Shell but it fails because "LOP_TWK_NO_LOOP: no loop through new edges and vertices", whatever that means.

    It may be that three or four sketches may be needed to get the shape you want/need.

    As you can see Alibre's Loft command needs some serious work. The Tangency options are hit or miss at best. The values will never give the same results when used on different Lofts and it is a guess just to get started. There needs to be some way of controlling the loft with parameters that can be relied on to be consistent.

    Attached Files:

    Dantahoua and Drutort like this.
  9. Lew_Merrick

    Lew_Merrick Alibre Super User

    Hi Dan (???) -- Though I do not use Atim 3D -- and I know nearly nothing about it. As a luthier myself, I create such components using Lift Cuts to the "inner" and "outer" surfaces. I shall dig one out and (hopefully) post it. A Configuration allows me to BOOLEAN Subtract the mating contour from the ribs. -- Lew
    Drutort likes this.
  10. Drutort

    Drutort Senior Member

    I think HaroldL has it good, I would only add that for the final, where you have the surfaces (joining) I would create the lofts, and I would do everything on 1 side with 2 or 3 lofts then mirror the lofts to the other side, it would give you a truer representation

    And I would agree I struggle a lot of times with Tangency in Alibre, a lot of times I look at it and say that should be working and if I tweak it a little bit then it works.

    I agree their should be some parameter user interface for the more complex lofting features. Something that lets you select start end points, for each loft section? and maybe define how far they should go etc...

    I think what we could benefit in Alibre is a slicer, so you could slice say the surface or solids and extract the loft sketches, of course this would be awesome if we had mesh import options too... but thats a different topic

  11. HaroldL

    HaroldL Alibre Super User

    That may work but when I tried lofting half and then applying a mirror the face that would be on the mirror plane bulged out and didn't give a good corner along the top when I adjusted the tangency.:(
  12. bigseb

    bigseb Alibre Super User

    The thing is that AD's lofting is just not very flexible. With something like Moi or Rhino you have a lot more control over your surfaces and (more importantly) the lines flow much better. Yes you could probably get close but its a pain which is why I said:
    I have been suggesting a better loft tool for years. It hasn't materialised. I know Moi is far superior for this sort of work so I honestly can't tell someone to use Alibre when there is a better tool for their needs.
  13. NateLiqGrav

    NateLiqGrav Alibre Super User

    I think Alibre should get MoI's dev to fix lofts and add organic design things directly into Alibre Design. Then it's the best of both worlds.
  14. bigseb

    bigseb Alibre Super User

    I have made this suggestion many times over the years too.
    VoltsAndBolts and Drutort like this.
  15. Dantahoua

    Dantahoua New Member

    Oh waou such great answer here! :) To HaroldL, I usually just generate half of the body and just at the end I mirror it to have the full body, always easier to me.
    I tried lofting in Rhino. Was easier but all the other part where I need precision (aka some parametric) are non existent or very too simple (but I'm not a power user, maybe you could but as far as my reading on forum were, I did not see any answer).
  16. HaroldL

    HaroldL Alibre Super User

    I thought there may be a way to use the STEP file and build on it to create the part. But either I or Alibre's surfacing options are not up to the task. I tried to just Shell but that was a no go, errored out with something about two sided surfaces.

    So I thought I'd try the Surface options. (BTW, does anyone actually use them?) Convert Solid to Surface seems to work, it created a surface but but the result was invisible and I saw the same result with Create Surface from Face.

    Finally I tried to just create an Extrusion by projecting the edges of the import to a sketch. That created another invisible feature but the odd thing is that I could suppress the imported STEP file and the extrusion became visible.o_Oo_Oo_O


    Maybe I went about this all wrong or could this be another missed issue with Alibre? Maybe someone else could take a shot at it to see if they get the same or different results.
  17. bigseb

    bigseb Alibre Super User

    I've tried stuff like this before and there are just too many limtitations with AD. You really want a surface modeller like Rhino or Moi.
  18. HaroldL

    HaroldL Alibre Super User

    That or give Alibre actual surface modeling capabilities like Rhino or MoI. I think what is has was a poorly implemented or at least "half" implemented. I was able to create some pretty complex surface model in SolidWorks but it had a more sophisticated surface modeler and it took a while to learn it well.
    Drutort likes this.
  19. bigseb

    bigseb Alibre Super User

    Again, I have been suggesting this for years. Since Alibre actually more suited for mechanical design this and other suggestions I've made have always lost out to improving drawings or visual elements. Alibre is lagging in the actual design area.
    BlackBird28 and TimoCAD like this.
  20. Lew_Merrick

    Lew_Merrick Alibre Super User

    Whereas I usually perform a more detailed design, I modified your testLoft.AD_PRT in the manner shown in the attached Guitar_Body_Test file. I hope it gives you ideas. -- Lew

    Attached Files:

    Dantahoua likes this.

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