Changes/Improvements related to handling of Material property in Version 22-SP2
In Alibre Design, there are two places where a part’s material can be specified, namely, File Properties->Part Data and File Properties->Material dialog pages. Prior to V22, user could enter a different material value at the above noted locations or alternatively choose to sychronize the material value across these two locations. It should be known that the material property value displayed in 2d-Drawings and BOM comes from the material value specified in File Properties->Part Data. Going into V22 it was felt that, to be meaningful, a part may be assigned only one material, the following changes were made in V22:
- User can select a part’s material only from the Material Library that is new to V22. The same material will get displayed in both File Properties->Part Data and File Properties->Material dialogs
- Unlike earlier versions, user cannot change the material property value inside : File Properties->Part Data. This field was made read-only.
- The ability to specify a “Custom Density” (without making an explicit material selection) was removed
- A newly created part would automatically be assigned with ‘Aluminum – Cast Hammered’ by default
- Parts saved prior to V22 that had not been explicitly assigned a material would automatically be assigned with ‘Aluminum – Cast Hammered’
- The ability to specify a material property for Assembly was completely removed
Changes/Improvements in V22-SP2
Some of the changes noted in the previous section turned out to be problematic for some users. To address this, the following changes have been made in version V22-SP2:
- The ability to specify a “Custom Density” value without having to explicitly select a material has been restored. See screenshot below.
With the “Custom” checkbox in checked state, user can enter a density value that should be used in Physical Properties calculation. The material will remain unassigned as shown.
- The ability to edit material property in File Properties->Part Data has been partially restored - ONLY when user has not selected a material for the part from the material editor. That is, in the Material page, if “Custom” checkbox in checked state (as shown in screenshot above), then, user will be allowed to enter a material name in Part Data page as shown in screenshot below.
IMPORTANT TO NOTE:
- Part files created prior to V22 but opened in V22-SP2 will retain material property values exactly as was seen in the legacy versions. User will continue have the ability to edit the material property value in File Properties->Part Data dialog
- If user changes the part’s material from the Material Editor, then, the same material will also get automatically applied to the material property under File Properties->Part Data. That is, part material gets automatically synchronized in both locations and the material field in File Properties->Part Data will become read-only.
- In V22-SP2, a newly created Part file will not be assigned any material by default. Instead, the “Custom” checkbox will be checked by default.
- For an Assembly file, though a material cannot be assigned from the material editor, the ability to type in a material property value from File Properties->Part Data dialog has been restored
- If a Bill Of Material file has a ‘Density’ column, then, the density units shown there will be picked from the Material Editor’s units for all new BOM files created in V22-SP2.
- The ability to set the ‘File Properties->Part Data’ material property via Alibre Script API has been restored (subject to the conditions noted in bullet point #2 above).
- Changes have been made to the M-Files vault implementation consistent with the improvements described above.
A combined list for 2019.0.1, 2019.0.2
- Fix for Precise Section View failures in Part and Assembly workspaces
- Fix for stability issue in Convert To Sheet Metal feature
- Fix for occasional disappearance of cross hatch in 2D Section Views
- Fix for issue where some parts failed to export to STEP, Parasolid and 3D-PDF
- Fix for Hide Small Faces threshold setting of 0px not being honored.
- Fix for Crash in Convert to SMP
- Fix for STEP export resulting in incorrect part locations on some machines
- Fix for 3D PDF export resulting in incorrect part locations on some machines
- Fixed broken link in Help file for Customize Performance page
Windows 10 Fall Update Critical Bug Fix
- Microsoft’s Fall Update for Windows 10 introduces a bug to Application.VisualStyleState that causes the ribbon to become unusable when a File > Open, File > Insert, or File > Save dialog is shown. Alibre presented the bug to Microsoft, and Microsoft acknowledged the bug and plans to fix it. However, no release date is currently available for this fix from Microsoft.
- Alibre has implemented a stopgap patch that circumvents Microsoft’s bug. This results in a slight modification of the appearance of the Alibre Design window by forcing the Windows Vista Glass appearance off.
- If you install the major Windows 10 Fall Update without getting Alibre Design 2018.2, you will be unable to use the software.
- Helical Boss and Helical Cut have been added to Alibre Atom3D
- The 2018 versions of DWG and DXF are now available for import/export.
Keyshot 8.x for Alibre Design
- Keyshot 8 is now available.
- For large assemblies, we’ve made several changes that should improve SaveAs/SaveAllAs dialog interaction performance significantly. Other changes should help improve assembly loading (open) performance.
- Drawings of complex assemblies can now be opened faster. Optimizations for assemblies with many constraints and configurations now improve drawing file load times.
- A bug was fixed that occasionally prevented the editing of External Threads.
- A bug that caused the dimension style in-place editing menu in 2D drawings to have overlapping input boxes when the Fit option was selected has been addressed.
- A bug causing an exception during first-run of the Script overlay if the ribbon is disabled has been fixed.
- A bug that caused 2D drawing export to DXF to fail in some cases due to a centerline issue has been fixed.
- A bug causing some add-ons to have issues if the ribbon is disabled has been fixed.
- A bug when overriding the dimension value on the in-place editing menu in 2D drawings that caused the style to also be overridden has been fixed.
- A bug causing a Disposed Cursor Error exception after switching color schemes has been fixed.
- A bug causing issues with new View insertion in 2D drawings when the default units are in Feet and Inches has been fixed.
- Several Alibre Script bugs were addressed.
- The last-used export type is now remembered between sessions. For example, if you tend to export STL files a lot, you no longer have to select STL as the export format after reopening Alibre Design / Atom3D.
- New APIs to hide reference geometry such as reference planes, axes, and points.
- The Computer Name of the licensed machine will be passed to the Alibre licensing server. This makes it easier for you and for support to figure out which machine needs to be decommissioned if you have a licensing issue. This will replace the “DeviceID” that is currently used, which is a random string of characters.
- A Partner Code license type has been introduced. This does not affect customers.
- A string update in context menus in 2D drawings for consistency
- A German language dialog has been modified.
- Modified some PDF publishing strings to be more clear
- Restoring a package file now auto-scrolls the Windows Explorer dialog to show the default folder being used during target folder selection
Alibre Script Updates
- Added find/replace.
- Enabled SQLite3 support.
- Added support for show/hide of design planes, axes and points.
- Fixed bug that caused an error when closing dialog windows.
- Added support for activating configurations of parts and subassemblies inside assemblies.
- Fixed selection bug.
- Fixed missing Python libraries bug.
- Added Sketch.ToXml(), Sketch.FromXml(), Sketch.SavetoXml() and Sketch.LoadXml().
- Added Sketch3D.ToXml(), Sketch3D.FromXml(), Sketch3D.SavetoXml() and Sketch3D.LoadXml().
- Script-based dialog windows now have a selection system that more closely matches the built in dialogs in Alibre Design.
- Script-based dialog windows now always highlight the focussed input.
- Added button to preferences dialog to delete saved user data for Alibre Script.
- 2D Sketch functions that add a Bspline now return a Bspline object.
- Added GetPoint() to 2D Bspline object, allowing evaluation of a Bspline at any point.
- Added Length and SubDivide() to 2D Bspline object.
- Added Length, Subdivide() and SubdivideGetNormals() to BSpline3D.
- Added GetPointAt() to 2D Bspline object.
- Added GetPointAt() and GetNormalAt() to 3D Bspline object.
- Hovering over script tab now shows path and filename of script.
- Added Polyline3D, CircularArc3D, Line3D, PolylinePoint3D.
- Added Sketch3D.Figures to query the parts of a 3D sketch.
- Added constructor for Polyline.
- Added support for passing parameters to scripts from the console.
- Added support for running a specific script from the console.
- Added Sketch.GetSurface to obtain the plane or face that the sketch was created on.
- Script-based dialog windows now allow multi-selection of faces, edges, vertices, points, planes, axes and sketches.
- Added context menu to script tabs.
- AlibreScriptVersion global variable changed from major.minor as real to build number as integer.
- Added auto indentation in editor.
- Added tab/space options.
- Console now shows Alibre Script build number.
- Added Part.ExportRotatedSTL().
- Added input changed callback to options dialogs.
- Added ability to enable and display dialog inputs.
- Added callback to options and utility dialogs to set up the user interface after dialog creation, e.g. enable/disable items based on current settings.
- Added STL Exporter example script to allow export of rotated STLs for 3D printing.
- Added Part.GetUserData() and Part.SetUserData() to store user data in part files.
- Added Assembly.GetUserData() and Assembly.SetUserData() to store user data in assembly files.
- Code completion now shows enum values.
- Added some missing classes to code completion feature.
- Fixed bug that caused script-based dialogs to not always be on top of the Alibre Design window.
- Fixed bug that caused cross-contamination of python environment between part/assembly sessions when using the Windows class.
- Added Part.SaveSnapshot() and Assembly.SaveSnapshot() to save images of parts and assemblies.
- Now requests Windows perform a thumbnail refresh before saving a thumbnail of a part or assembly.
- Added Part.GetFeature()
- Added Feature.SetColor(r, g, b)
- Added Part.Select() to select edges and faces
- Added IGES and SAT exports of parts.
- Added export options for assemblies.
- Added part exporter example script.
- Added file copier example script.
- Added Part.Selections and Assembly.Selections to get current selections.
- Added option to allow user to disable saving of layout and scripts to part and assembly files.
- Added option to set and reset the default layout.
- Added BIP export for parts and assemblies.
- Alibre Atom3D is a new product focused on consumer and enthusiast customers. It is similar to the legacy Alibre Design Personal Edition but does contain a different feature set.
- Available in Alibre Design Professional and Expert, Alibre Script is a fully integrated, Python-based scripting language capable of driving nearly everything available in Alibre Design’s API without the overhead associated with making a standalone add-on. It’s particularly useful for automating repetitive tasks or creating 50 parts that vary slightly, for example. Try out some sample scripts.
In this release we had to remove 2 pieces of functionality that rely on the same 3rd party technology library that we felt was not a good long-term solution and that is no longer under active development by the technology partner. These items are:
3D Print Analysis
The 3D print analysis feature has been removed. Alibre currently has no plans to replace this feature.
The ability to import, view, or use mesh files (OBJ/STL/etc) has been removed from the software. Alibre does currently have plans to replace this feature, pending an evaluation of available technology partners. We do not currently have a timeline, and an analysis of technology partners is occurring with the following criteria:
- Substantially more robust import and conversion tools
- Customer conversations to ensure we not only replace the previous features but enable more robust workflows
- Other available mesh modeling technologies that might be of interest to our customers
Open button on Home Window
- The open button has been moved to the left per customer request
Quick Access toolbar
- The Roll View Left and Roll View Right commands have been added to the Quick Access toolbar (near the gem) at the top left of the window.
- The Reset View (formerly Orient to Sketch) tool has been made more prominent near the Select tool in Sketch Mode.
- Several tools have been renamed for simplicity. For example, the “Measurement Tool” has been renamed “Measure”.
Insert Axis and Insert Point dialogs now DPI aware
- The Insert Axis and Insert Point dialogs in Sketch Mode now properly display on high resolution monitors.
- Cannot create external cosmetic thread if the cylindrical face has any feature on it
- Some users experienced an error: “Attempt to access index __; valid range is 0..__” when editing or creating Notes after a Windows update. This has been addressed.
- Sketches created via the API could become deformed in some circumstances
- Glitch in displaying complex sketch in canvas when outside sketch mode
- Sheetmetal error with converted conical sheet metal parts
- Flatpattern fails for certain classes of converted sheet metal parts
- Workspace orientation is not respected when project as flat pattern is applied
- Object Ref Error seen when regenerating some legacy sheet metal parts
- An “Unable to create bend law when adjacent flanges are coplanar” error has been fixed
Licensing & Viewer Mode
- For customers in extremely secure environments who cannot have data leave their computers during the licensing process, a new licensing mechanism now exists. A license can now be generated by sending Alibre the computer’s Site Key, a short code that looks similar to LSURFTBZQX.
- Allows customers to install a Licensing Daemon on the internal network via a Linux virtual machine.
- All licensing is done on-network
- Great for large, secure deployments
- A new Viewer Mode has been added. When a license is not detected during startup, you have the option of inputting a license or selecting the Viewer option. The Viewer option starts the product in Viewer Mode, which allows you to open and interrogate the model (e.g. take measurements).
The following core technology components have been upgraded to the latest versions, giving you access to several years of updates and bug fixes from these component providers:
- ACIS – the core modeling kernel
- 2D-DCM – the 2D constraint manager / solver
- 3D-DCM – the 3D constraint manager / solver
- HLM – the hidden line manager
- ST-Developer – STEP import/export
- Datakit – Import/Export of 3rd party proprietary CAD formats
- Adobe PDFLibs – PDF publishing
- ODA Toolkit – 2D import/export
- The build environment for Alibre Design (Visual Studio) was upgraded
New Import Formats
- Solidworks 2018 import is now supported
- Inventor 2018 import is now supported
- Parasolid 30 import is now supported
High Resolution Support
A lot of effort has gone into making Alibre Design more pleasurable to use on high resolution displays (e.g. 4k):
- Design/Drawing/Assembly Explorer icons now support higher resolutions
- In-Place Editing icons now support higher resolutions
- The Ribbon icons now support higher resolutions
- Grabbing the Design Explorer divider to resize it is easier
- Larger 2D Constraint Symbol option (System Options > Parts/Assemblies > Sketching > Sketch Constraints Size)
- Larger Sketch Node option (System Options > Parts/Assemblies > Sketching > Sketch Node Size)
- DPI-aware selection snap makes selecting things much easier on high resolution displays
- DPI-aware dialogs have been created for many that were not DPI aware – this fixes the jumbled look of dialogs on high resolution displays
General Display Fixes
- Several scenarios where the canvas would be replaced by the “Red X”, for example after waking from Sleep Mode, have been addressed.
- Miter flanges (video) can now be created via the Miter option on the new Corners tab of the Flange dialog, dramatically simplifying the creation of many classes of sheet metal parts.
New Home Window
- The Home Window has been completely redesigned.
Graphical Most Recently Used
- On the new Home Window you can see icon previews of your most recently used files, making selecting recent documents easy and fast.
STEP export units
- Previously all STEP files were exported in cm. Now, you can choose which units to use via System Options > Interoperability > STEP
Configurable Mouse Buttons
- The Zoom, Pan, and Rotate commands can now be customized. If you use several programs, you can now make them all operate the same way.
Pick PDF Engine
- The PDF publishing engine is now an option and can be selected from System Options > Drawings > PDF. If you install a new PDF writer (e.g. PDFill), it should show up here to be selected for use.
Default color scheme
- Small changes to the default color scheme for rollover and preview color
The following API improvements have been made:
- New framework for creating .NET based AD Add-Ons
- AlibreCAM: Trimmed surface API has been updated so AlibreCAM by MecSoft can be upgraded
- Assigning Color to a Feature in Part
- Selection Events
- Access configurations of Global Parameter Files
- Dimensioning Between Points
- Anchor/Hide/Suppress sub-assemblies
- Capture images of the canvas
- Set a part configuration within an assembly
Releases prior to 2017.0 not shown.