I wouldn't much boast of my recent following of MCAD softwares since lately my company has been more involved in working with jewelry companies rather than engineering companies but until about a couple of years ago, i have been pretty actively following the developments of major CAD softwares around the world. My first experience with 3D CAD was during my college days when i put my hands on I-deas Master Series 8.0 working on an Open GL environment with 1GB of RAM, this was in 2001. I had designed an entire 4 -cylinder engine on the software & it took me almost a month to do that. With that 1 month of experience, i had decided to get into CAD/CAM. Further my first job got me into selling CAD/CAM/CAE softwares to various engineering companies across Western India where we had to demonstrate these solutions to various small & medium scale companies. To my surprise, i found thousands of companies still using 2D AutoCAD & most of them used pirated licenses. Inspite of convincing the technical features, we were unable to convince the price/benefit ratio since these softwares were priced extremely high ( more than Rs 2,00,000/- ).
At that stage only companies who had that kind of a turnover & an imperative requirement invested that kind of money. But i found that a vast majority ( almost 95% of the companies ) would go in for 3D CAD if given an affordable solution..... Alibre ( www.alibre.com ) has done just that !
My company has been distributing Alibre Design for almost 5 years now, when we tied up with the company, the product was priced around 5 times cheaper than mainsteam CAD softwares, still a very good proposition & we managed to sell many licenses even at that price. Recently, Alibre surprised the world by slashing the Alibre Design software prices by almost 5 times further down. The base software is now available in India at Rs 18,000/- which is even 50% the price of AutoCAD.
The product is very good, although it does not have all the fancy tools, it is a pretty robust software with capabilities as good as any mainstream software. With this price, now even students & professionals can afford to buy a license & for those who can't, they can use the free version of Alibre Xpress which has pretty significant tools as well...