When you first started this thread you mentioned that Alibre had just added MoI to its expert version.
I am curious to know if you have been able to figure out how all of this fits together in relation to TC.
Were you, and are you still thinking that you would use all three programs. Or are you trying to add more functionality to TC in order to use it instead of Alibre.
If I remember correctly you had mentioned that Alibre has recently changed its priceing and feature selection. I take it that this was a major motivation for your work here.
BTW Thanks for sharing, and very impressive work.
The looking at different CAD programs came about because I felt that I wanted to expand the line of products I was writing tutorials for. I was feeling that staying with one program was pretty limiting, market wise. I purchased Alibre hoping it would be the one as it had some nice features, including easy to use constraints and loft guides. The $99 price for the standard version was a huge factor too. Alibre was very easy to learn but very limiting on what it can be used for (mechanical mostly) and the paper space equivalent was less than stellar in my opinion. I did write one tutorial and planned on writing more but not having a real in, into the community, I sold only a couple copies. So there was no incentive to continue. Couple that with all the changes Alibre made to their versions (standard no longer exists) and I would have needed to upgrade to their pro or expert version for a few hundred bucks. With no rendering capabilities, other than a third party low res output version of key shot, it was a no-brainer that Alibre would not be the one. Don't get me wrong, Alibre is pretty sweet in some ways and a lot of fun to use. I am really glad I tried it as it helped me realize two important things. One is that there are many programs that use the parts and assembly approach which is good to know and second that we have an outstanding program in TC with its versatility.
As I continued to check things out I always had at the back of my mind that I wanted to expand what I was drawing and this needed to include organic designs. I had been feeling limited by TC in this regard since I began using it. I had wanted to create a computer mouse from my early days of TC and just could not do it no matter how often I tried. This was frustrating. I also wanted to create an airplane fuselage and a car body, just to say that I could. Although I created a simple version of each in TC, these are not what I had in mind, so that left me frustrated as well.
I have tried several programs now:
AutoCAD, which I didn't like at all seemed so hard to use compared to TC and even archaic in some regards. I know I didn't give it a fair chance, but at the price they want for it, I couldn't afford it anyway.
I had a brief look at Modo and felt that I could never feel comfortable using nurbs drawing â€“ it just seems so unlike real-world construction. I also felt it too costly.
I looked at Cobalt and found it, like Alibre, was pretty cool and had some nice functions, but it is costly. I think I would have gone for this one had support continued to answer my emails after the first one and had they had a user forum. Can you believe that they don't have one available to new users? It sounds like they had one, but are in the midst of making changes. I couldn't afford it anyway but my wife said that if I needed it for business we would make it happen. She is always so supportive! In many ways Cobalt felt like TC, so I think it would have been relatively easy to learn. Market-wise, I don't know how big their market is as it is not a name one hears in the CAD world.
I tried MoI before I tried Cobalt and I liked what I saw immediately but the new way to draw was making me feel stress as it seemed so different to what I am used to with TC. So I put it aside while I looked at Cobalt. Coming back to it now I don't feel as stressed with the new concepts and now that I have made some models I like it even more. The price is right. The program founder is always on the user forum and is approachable and accommodating. Although MoI is still a relatively new name I think Michael Gibson will be sticking with it and bringing it places. He seems to know what he is doing. I would definitely consider writing tutorials for this package if I can get good and comfortable with it. It is definitely good companion software. I believe that is what it is intended to be, not a be all and end all CAD package. Michael is developing version three and he is sure open to user's suggestions, which is wonderful to see. I will be buying MoI when my trial runs out.
I am so pleased that I have tried several programs now as it has helped me to think more outside the box, even when using TC and it has reminded me that I don't have to limit myself to one system. I feel that my world is a little broader now, having been exposed to these other systems. I must say that I still feel TC is tops and I am so glad that I stumbled across it all those years ago.