Design Contest - Alibre Design
Best Overall - John Peckardt
Quarter-Scale Bentley BR2
In John's words...
"I’m a retired I.T. engineer. I first encountered model engineering when I was traveling through Phoenix Sky Harbor in the mid 2000’s. The Miniature Engineering Museum was exhibiting engines from various builders.

I’m a long time Alibre Design user and I always model an engine before committing to the physical build. Alibre Design helps me ensure that all part dimensions are correct and assemblies function as intended. It also makes it quick and easy when a part needs to be modified as the changes flow through all of the impacted files.

The Bentley BR2 took about 4 months to model. The model was created utilizing dual dimensions as I referenced metric plans, but I’m building with imperial tools. This feature is a huge time saver. I also rely heavily on the Drawings features as these drawings are what I utilize in the shop.

I’ve been working on the Bentley BR2 for about 15 months and expect it will take roughly another 18 months to complete."
Best Mechanical - Chris Line
Paddle Wheel Side Wheeler
In Chris' words...
"I’m Chris Line. I’m a U.S.Navy Vietnam veteran with 14+ years of service in the electronics field. After the Navy, I had a 27 year career as a Field Service Engineer for a leading instrumentation company. I retired from the good life (yeah, right) in 2008.

In 2005 I responded to a “new user registration” offer by Alibre and received a free online copy of their program. It was, to be expected, very limited. Today (2021) I use Alibre Design Expert. The top tier of the Alibre offerings. I use it strictly as a hobby tool. Alibre can generate technical drawings to be used by fabricators. All of my work can be made using manual or CNC machinery or even 3D printed if appropriate. Check out the Alibre Forum Gallery.

This particular project (Paddle Wheel Engine) was a very interesting one. I liked the way it looked and also the thinking behind the design. I mostly use plans from others for my projects. Also a few of my own designs.

There are many CAD programs out there. I’ve tried a few of them, and Alibre Design has by far the shallowest learning curve of all. If I can think of something, I can make a model of it."
Best Heavy Equipment - Jens Podolla
Robotic Biochemical Analysis
In Jens' words...
"My name is Jens Podolla and I am a design engineer in the field of mechanical engineering. With my company Systemfabrikken I offer constructive solutions for my customers. These range from simple 2D/3D layouts to 2D production drawings as a basis for manufacturing in the areas of product development and mechanical engineering.

Here my experience of many years in the ranges food, pharmacy, beverage industry as well as the general mechanical engineering is of large value for my customers. My specialization is product development and customer specific solutions.
Here it is an advantage that I have been working with 3D Cad software for more than 20 years now and can offer the realistic and tested models even before the actual production of the machines and plants. This saves the customers time and money.

Customers usually turn to me when new machines and plants are needed, new functions are to be added to existing machines, for plant expansions/modifications or to expand/add to their own design team.

The robot - plant for the analysis of biochemical products is a good example. A modular system of this type did not exist before and should be very transportable and easy to assemble in the clinics, especially for laboratory use. The design played a major role here, as good designs and user-friendly equipment generate a high level of acceptance among operators. The system has been used successfully for over a year in the Aalborg University Hospital in Denmark and the staff is obviously very satisfied.

For my work I use the CAD software Alibre Design Expert and I am very satisfied with this software. 3D Design, Sheet Metal, Drawings and Rendering with KeyShot. Everything needed for parametric design to the finished product is included here and at a very fair price. This allows even small companies with a small budget to use an excellent design software.

Once again, I would like to thank everyone who voted for the system. A special thanks also goes to the whole Alibre team."
Best Architectural - Randy Wolff
In Randy's words...
"I am a machinist / toolmaker by trade and a farmer by choice. I am currently a CNC programmer for about another year and then retirement will kick in. The gazebo started unknowingly a few years back when we built a firepit out of stone from the old barn walls that fell down 30+ years ago. I wanted to finish cleaning up the stone but not just bury it because the stone had too much character. Thus, the concept of the gazebo and have it look like a post and beam barn.

I found a lot of respect for the men that built stone walled barns considering they had a team of horses and I have an excavator. I use Alibre Design mostly for home projects. I have done some fixture design for where I work. I have a small machine shop at home so if something breaks on the farm, I will draw it up for reference before it is rebuilt. Some other items I’ve used Alibre Design for is parts for our race car, an emergency shut down for a tractor puller, and the wagon wheel chandeliers that will go into the gazebo. Thank you for the opportunity of the contest."
Best Woodworking - Harold Lakoduk
Drop Lid Desk
In Harold's words...
"I created the model from dimensions taken off a desk my dad build back in 1967 for his cousin. I somehow inherited it after all these years and needed to make some room so I donated it to the local Habitat for Humanity. But before they picked it up I wanted to capture the design in CAD. It took about a week of measuring all the parts. I removed the hardware, hinges, door pulls, etc., to get accurate measurements from them and model them up in Alibre. 

The body was made from glued up oak boards and cut to size and I tried to capture that in the model. The lower doors were solid core panels so modeling them required creating all the pieces and creating assemblies for each door panel. That helped for rendering in KeyShot so wood grain would be more accurate. It was nice that Alibre Design now has Limit constraints so I could apply limits to the door swing, the drop lid and the small pull out drawer."
Design Contest - Alibre Atom3D
Best Overall - John Hinkley
In John's words...
"I’m John, 73 years old, and have been retired since late 2003. I’ve been fascinated by all things mechanical since I was old enough to pick up a spanner and I have always had a bit of an interest in technical drawing. Over the years, I tried several 2D computer programs in order to produce workshop drawings. I struggled with any number of shareware and freeware 3D CAD programs too but could never get to grips with any of them, for reasons I was unable to fathom. Having resigned myself to a life of 2D, I was intrigued and tempted by an offer in the November 2018 issue of ‘Model Engineers Workshop’ magazine, to which I subscribe, to try an extended license for Alibre Atom3D for six months.

I took up the offer and, by following the series of tutorial articles in the magazine, produced my first ‘proper’ 3D design. Something just clicked in my brain and I had that Eureka moment when everything seemed to fall into place and make sense. Thus encouraged I started to design various add-ons, tools and fixtures to enhance the growing number of machines in my rather cramped workshop. Further ideas came to mind and I had often thought about building a gearbox to suit a rear-engine sports car. Alibre Atom3D gave me the opportunity to ‘build’ one in the comfort of my home, without the attendant expense of doing it for real in metal, probably making a number of expensive errors along the way.

The result, albeit after a number of months, is seen in my ‘Transmission’ submission to the Alibre contest. By using the Alibre Atom3D software, I was able to use the power and accuracy of the program to enable me to literally visualize my design and fit all the parts together, to validate the viability of the concept. So satisfactory was that procedure, that I set to and made the design into a display model, using Acrylic sheets to form the supports so that the gearbox is effectively ‘see-through’.

Fittingly, I think, the first project for the Shapeoko CNC Router will be a wooden base on which to display the model."
Best Scale Model - Michał Stanowski
1:1 18th century cannon
In Michał's words...
"My name is Michael. I am a 3D modeling hobbyist, history fan and 3D Artist. For 6 years I used Alibre Design software for my full-time work - making projects of parts for plastics scale models. Finally I made decision to to buy Alibre Atom3D for my personal use. This cannon is first project made in this software.

The idea to make this cannon came to me on the summer 2020, when it was still possible to visit museums in Poland (Covid-19). Its located in Castle Museum in Bedzin. Its a part of my country's history. I wanted to make it as realistic as possible in 1:1 scale to also honor the people that used it to defend my country."
Best Architectural - Steve Beamesderfer
Lab Layout
In Steve's words...
"In late 2020 I met up with a long-time friend to discuss a new business opportunity. Years ago, he and his father started and ran a successful countertop manufacturing business. The business is doing well, but they have been unable to expand further than the local vicinity. He knew about my CAD experience and several projects I've completed using Alibre and asked if I could create some marketing materials for his start-up.

Up to the task, I began the job by creating a simple six-compartment cabinet and utilizing the Alibre equation editor to boost the design's dimensional flexibility. The cabinet is outfitted with a countertop in a sub-assembly, then integrated into a complete room assembly as both lab tables and as mounted upper cabinets. Overall the project took only a few hours, including the lab and lighting, and has been significant in generating interest."
Best Woodworking - Ecieno Carmona
Table Chair Combo
In Ecieno's words...
"I’m currently a mechanical engineering graduate student at Florida Polytechnic University. I have been using CAD programs for about 5 years now. I recently learned about Alibre Atom3D as I had started to look for alternatives to the exorbitantly priced software the school uses, now that graduation was getting closer and I would no longer be able to use it afterwards. I also wanted to avoid software that was tied to the cloud and keep my file on my computer. 

To test out the software I recreated a design I had come up with for a furniture design class. The assignment was to create a wooden table, and having just finished a class that focused on smaller modular homes before, I wanted to make something that was multipurpose. So, the table chair was the result, it can function as an end table and if another chair is needed can be rotated 90 degrees. I also wanted it to be able to be assembled and disassembled without any tools. I would say the test was a success, Alibre Atom3D seemed to check all the boxes I wanted and I enjoyed the workflow. I’m excited to start using it even more in the future."
Best Mechanical - Paul Anderson
2 Stage Cider Press
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