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Well, I'm done.

Discussion in 'Using Alibre Design' started by papajoe41, Mar 22, 2020.

  1. papajoe41

    papajoe41 Member

    After struggling to get ATOM 3D working correctly for a month, I am done. I tried a few very simple sketches today as a last resort and even they kept getting stuck or creating multiple shapes, even though I double clicked. So, how do I get my money back? I am sure that there are many success stories; but, I will not be one of them.
    I had big hopes of this one being the one.
  2. HaroldL

    HaroldL Alibre Super User

    That is unfortunate. From the questions you posted it sounds like you don't have experience with CAD in general. It is too bad that the training videos and Help manual didn't help get you up and running with Atom 3D. It would have been beneficial to you if you could have gotten some online help from Alibre Support instead of only just the replies on the forum.

    Way back when Alibre was first launched they had an Online real-time team facility and live support from the Alibre Assistant (Monday - Friday, 8 am - 5 pn Central, according to the disk jacket of my copy of Alibre Design 5.0). Too bad that has not been re-implemented now that there is greater bandwidth on the internet.
  3. NateLiqGrav

    NateLiqGrav Alibre Super User

    Double click is almost never needed in Alibre.
  4. JST

    JST Alibre Super User

    Usually, with this sort of CAD, one may have difficulties until suddenly you "get it" and things begin to flow.

    It seems pretty obvious that you are still in the usual "fighting the software" stage. That's normal, and to be expected, where your expectations, especially if you have used other software, do not match the program.

    This is NOT a problem with the software, it is a user issue. I know, I had the problem at first. Then I went through the videos and examples, and then tried the same things. Pretty soon, I got the picture, and the program became a huge help, and not a problem.

    I started with a version that was likely similar to Atom, although I have never used Atom, and could be wrong. Atom is a subset of "Expert", which I use, consequently I DO understand the basic functions of Atom as well. They will be like Expert, with fewer options.



    I hate to be "cold" about this, but if you have not, then you are putting yourself behind the eight ball as far as getting anywhere.

    If you are still interested in getting value from your investment, first go through the videos. Then come here again with questions that come up when you try to do the things shown in the videos.

    We can help. I, at least, am perfectly willing to assist to the best of my ability.

    Your move.
  5. GIOV

    GIOV Senior Member

    This Software has a special language that you need know before star in its apprentice exploration.
    In the main window called Home Window, you will see varies types of tools element witch you will design:
    1.- A Part WorkSpace
    1.1.- Solid Part as Engine Casting or a simple screw,
    1.2.- Shell Part as a Ventilation Duct or a Instrument hardware box, (Not in Atom Version)
    2.-Assemble WorkSpace: Were the parts are combined to reach the completely model.
    3.- The Drawing WorkSpace: Were you design is interpreted in 2D View follow to a specific Shell Size called Template at precise scale for the shop. Some shop has a viewer screens that is not necessary the 2D Drawing because the information is dynamic for each assemble stage.
    1.-In each Parts WorksSpace you have a two option:
    1.1.- 2D Sketch: In this you will select a 2D Plane at one point of the 3D Space and you will design a flat sketch using 2D Sketch that has Constrain and figures but when you finish one process you need click select to start other design process in your sketch.
    When you finish your sketch you need click Deactive Sketch to finish them and start using features to do a solid.
    1.2.-3D Sketch: Is no well developed yet but has immense potential.: You will combine the 2D Sketch with path that are able to apply features for the creation of solid pipes with corners for example.
    2.-In the assemble Workspace you have features like Insert parts and assemble constraints with which you can combine each part adjusting it to the assembly according to your desire.
    3.- The 2D Drawing WorkSpace where you will insert the part and or the assemble in 3 views where you apply scale dimensions, notes and symbols to you object for easy interpreted in the shop. Also may you star the process of design the sketch in this wWorkSpace to copy and paste in a desired plane of a one part that you will apply certain features.
    Each WorkSpace has its design explorer that gives information of you history able to edit of the design process and identified surfaces,edges,faces and edges of each parts, configurations and tools like parametric equation editor of your sketches.
    Many thinks I avoid or forget to describe but I thinks with this advice plus others above will help you to start again with more enthusiasm.
    Well. This is my little help waiting for you to join this amazing design tool. and never stop making a paper sketch of what you want to transfer to the software before, because it orders your ideas before starting.
    If mistake in something please correct me.

    Last edited: Mar 23, 2020
  6. Hunter

    Hunter Member

    Have you tried trial versions of SOLIDWORKS or Inventor, or Fusion 360?

    I would really like to know how you get along with those. These 3D CAD programs are all pretty much the same, why don't you try one of those and see how you go? I bet you will have the same issues.
  7. DavidJ

    DavidJ Alibre Super User Staff Member

    If Atom3D really isn't for you - contact Alibre Sales (or the reseller. if not purchased direct).

    Really the free trial is intended to avoid too many of these issues - you can play with the software and ask questions for an extended period before purchasing.
  8. simonb65

    simonb65 Alibre Super User

    You need to get out of the habit of double clicking! It is NOT needed when editing sketches and by doing this, you are causing yourself problems.

    I can understand if it's not for you, and it's sad that it hasn't worked out, but I honestly think that in this instance, the issue is not the application, but your use of it. Hat's off to everyone on this forum that has contributed to helping you out.

    I've suggested to you the on-line videos which are short and broken down into the fundamentals. Even though I'm an 'expert' user, I have followed them through and copied the actions verbatim and got the same expected results as the videos. As a new user, and to help prospective new users, please please please leave your feedback to the Alibre team on how they can be improved as we all learn in different ways!

    Good luck @papajoe41, hope to see you back on the forum in the future.
  9. papajoe41

    papajoe41 Member

    I want to thank all the people who have given me assistance and have spurred me on. Many have said that I am not used to working in a CAD program and so that is why I am having trouble. What I am realizing that it is not my lack of knowledge; but, just the opposite I have asked the program to do things that Atom 3D cannot do. I have looked at all the Tutorials, many of which show setting panels and instructions, that are not found in a less than the full blown version. Due to my limited financial means, I have shied away from trying programs that I cannot afford. I full well realize that it would take time to fully acclimate myself to a new CAD program and its complexities. That is why I have persisted with Atom 3D. So 'back to the drawing board' as they say. At this point, that may be my only choice to get the prototypes that I have physically created, using my many years of hands on experience, on paper.
  10. bigseb

    bigseb Alibre Super User

    Dude sometimes you gotta think outside the box. Less features usually means more steps to achieve the same thing.
    simonb65 likes this.
  11. Woodzilla

    Woodzilla Member

    It's best to learn with a good teacher. And videos are the best medium for learning computer skills. Put those two together, and just about anyone can learn any program. Most instructional videos out there are quite mediocre, a large percentage are terrible. You can't learn by someone going on an on about WHAT this program does. You want to know HOW to do things in the program, step by step. My best example for someone that is an expert at this, Logos by Nick. When I wanted to learn Inkscape, I went looking for videos. And Nick was the best I had ever seen at teaching a program. He's not hard to hear, does not go too fast or too slow. He shows every tool in the program and how to use it. And when creating in a practical manner, shows you everything step by step so you can follow along without missing anything. Here's him working, .
    If Alibre had someone like him making videos of their program, we would all learn very well, without getting discouraged and dropping the program. I've had Alibre for a couple decades. I know what training videos there was back then. What is available now is really lacking, really hard to get a grip on using this.
  12. danwilley

    danwilley Member

    Hi Papajoe41,

    I am a new user like you. I obtained the Atom 3D trail license maybe 2 weeks before you did. I had absolutely no real CAD experience except for fooling with some 2D freeware 3 or 4 years ago for a few weeks. That experience was so frustrating and underwhelming that I didn't pursue that any longer. Again, that was 3-4 years ago. I have dozens (hundreds?) of hand sketched drawings I made over the years that I have wanted to formally document, and maybe publish in a few construction articles. I have a full machine shop in my basement and am a serious hobbyist I suppose you could say... mostly metal fabrication and machining. So my metal fabrication and machinist hobby drives my desire to learn a CAD system to document my work. I kind of understood what 2D was but had no idea what 3D was about. A friend of mine suggested I look at Fusion360 and Alibre. I decided to look at Alibre first.

    A few days before I requested a trial Atom 3D license, I watched a lot of the Alibre how to videos. Without the product installed however, it was only somewhat helpful. It might feel like you are learning stuff, but you really need to operate the mouse and keyboard and interact with the product for it to sink in, at least for me. Watching basic how-to videos gave me enough positive experience though to request the Atom 3D 30 day trail license.

    I installed Atom (1st week in February, 2020) and spent the next couple weeks running through the many how-to videos... maybe 3-5 hours a day. My initial frustration was related to just how to use the mouse and keyboard to make things happen. I did not know the basics of how to interact with Alibre. That was extremely frustrating. I had to constantly keep my impatience and attitude in check. Alibre has an interactive personality that sometimes is not intuitive. I went back and re-watched videos until I had some of the basics down. I think you are experiencing some of that frustration. Do those basics over and over until it is automatic. Open a new part, make a square or rectangular, set the side dimensions, then extrude it to a box. Save-as to some part name. Repeat. I followed this process until the various functions became more clear.

    When I had built up some basic confidence, I spent several uninterrupted hours running through the exercise and video that leads you through the steps to build that universal-joint machine with hand crank and flywheel. (Very cool, by the way!) That exercise was the eye opener for me when I got it all to work. That experience took me a lot of saves, restarts and repeats of steps along the way. I would tend to blow through the steps without fully understanding what I had just done. So, I would reload the partial designed part from a prior save (think version save and recover), rewind the video, and do the step again.. until I learned what that step was trying to teach. While doing that exercise, the Alibre experience started to come together in my mind. Light bulbs starting turning on. At this point, I will never go back to a 2 dimensional thinking. 3D modeling is just amazing to me. (For those programmers out there, I had a similar experience years ago when I finally learned true object oriented programing and related design patterns... coming from years of basic procedural programming.)

    One thing that was becoming more frustrating along this learning journey, was that many of the Alibre how-to videos are describing function that is not available in the Atom 3D product. As an example, during the universal-hand crank exercise, you are instructed to make an extruded boss at a 45 degree angle (I believe) up from the base plate. Everything else was at 90 degrees on the X, Y and Z planes I believe... easy. Well, that "3-point rectangle draw function" that makes this easy is not available in Atom. But, at that point I had some exposure to constraints. Not a lot but the seeds had been planted. So I thought, well I am at a road block, so try to make a rectangle from four basic lines at roughly a 45 degree angle. It looked pretty bad until I started adding the constraints... parallel, perpendicular, and angular. That was a moment I kind of started to get it...in my mind. Like "Bigseb" said above, go into this with an open mind and maybe be prepared to think out of the box.

    So after almost 3 weeks using Atom 3D to learn the product, and learning that a lot of function has been disabled for the Atom license, I decided to call Alibre back and ask if my Atom license could be updated to a full Expert license, for the remainder of the 30 day trial license. They said yes and unlocked that Expert function with my remaining existing Atom license key. I then spent the next week or so running through much Expert only related function... part-design helper functions, drawing function, sheet metal and so forth. There is a lot of cool function that is disabled in Atom 3D.

    I ultimately was impressed enough to buy that Expert license which I am using today for about the 4th week. This was a cost decision I made and can fully understand that it pushes budgets, especially for hobbyist. What I noticed with Atom, is that it is not a good license platform to learn from for people new to 3D CAD. There is just too much function that is disabled. As a new person, I was always hitting function disabled brick walls. At one point I almost gave up until I had the revelation to ask for the Expert trial license. I almost think that Alibre should encourage a trial Expert license first for new users so they have better success getting though the exercises... a better overall fist experience. This will allow a new person like you and me to come up to speed faster, without the frustrations of disabled function and having to think out of the box... as if we have the mental tools (experience) early in a learning experience to do so. My comments don't apply to those folks that have years of experience in 2D and 3D CAD systems. For those, once you have learned one 3D CAD system, much of the process is similar with other 3D systems (I am told, and believe).

    Anyway, I wanted to share with you my experience. Learning 3D Modeling and a new product like Alibre.. has a very steep learning curve. You must be patience and persevere. I had my doubts too at points along the learning curve and almost gave up, especially in the first weeks. I would always stop for the day, and retry again the next day with a refreshed attitude. For those new folks out there that might read this, don't expect to pick this up in a few days or weeks. Expect to dedicate many hours a day, over many consecutive days. Eventually the light bulbs will start turning on. 3D Modeling is just a very cool way of thinking about designs and I am glad I invested the time to learn the basics. I have much more to learn. Hang in there!

    My Best Regards,
    simonb65 likes this.

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