3D Modeling for Mechanical Design

3D modeling for mechanical systems is the core competency of Alibre Design. Create complex parts from scratch or by using existing or imported parts as a reference. Assemble them together to create a final product, and evaluate the physical and motion characteristics.

3D Part Design

Learning at your fingertips

Find easy access to information about the tools in Alibre Design by hovering over any icon.

Fully parametric design

Everything in Alibre Design is parametric – driven by dimensions you specify. Beyond precision, a huge advantage of parametric modeling is that you can easily change the design by modifying the dimensions. You can also use the built-in Equation Editor to set up complex relationships, or import data from Excel to drive the design.

Infinite complexity, easily

Create parts of any complexity with advanced modeling tools. The features in Alibre Design are geared for the design of mechanical systems. Lofted parts allow you to achieve more organic shapes and transitions.

Part Modeling Tools

  • Extrude Boss
  • Extrude Cut
  • Revolve Boss
  • Revolve Cut
  • Sweep Boss
  • Sweet Cut
  • Loft Boss
  • Loft Cut
  • Thin-wall boss/cut
  • Helical Boss
  • Helical Cut
  • Hole Tool
  • Cosmetic Thread Tool
  • Fillet
  • Chamfer
  • Chamfer Corner
  • Mirror
  • Draft
  • Shell
  • Scale
  • Trim
  • Boolean (Add, Subtract, Union)
  • Global Parameters
  • Equation Editor
  • Move Face
  • Offset Face
  • Remove Face
  • Convert to Sheet Metal

Working with Meshes

  • Import Mesh
  • Position/Scale Mesh
  • Convert Mesh to Solid
  • Boolean with Mesh


  • Import Surface
  • Move/Rotate Surface
  • Scale Surface
  • Trim Surface
  • Split Surface
  • Stitch Surface
  • Thicken Surface
  • Convert Surface to Solid
  • Create Surface from Face
  • Delete Surface Face
  • Trim Model
TrailTech primarily uses a CNC plasma cutter for production work on the shop floor. So we needed a very cost-effective but fully-functional 3D MCAD system to streamline design for the CNC system. That was Alibre Design.
Bernard Brits

Design Engineer, TrailTech

Drag and drop assembly creation

To put parts together into a mechanical system, simply drag parts onto other parts using intelligent snapping. The correct constraints are automatically applied, and you can modify them on the fly. When you’re done, the assembly will move like it would in the real world.

Exploded Views

Create exploded views using the auto-explode tool or by manually exploding your assembly. Publish exploded views into a 2D drawing, or into an animated 3D PDF so others can walk through assembly or disassembly step by step.

In-context part creation and editing

From within an assembly, you can create new parts or edit existing ones using other parts as a reference. Using a technique known as top-down design can speed up the design process by creating parts in the context of an existing assembly.

Create complex assemblies

Alibre Design can handle large and complex mechanical systems with many hundreds of parts. However, it is not intended for assemblies with thousands of parts.

Analyze your design

Using tools like Interference Detection, you can quickly find problems and fix them before the first prototype. You can also find the combined physical characteristics of your model, such as its weight.

“Alibre Design has allowed me to reproduce a full 3D assembly model of our lubrication system. I had already completed a similar design using another big name CAD package, but was surprised to find that I could complete an entire new design in about half the time using Alibre Design.”
Vaughn Power

Marine Systems Engineer, Thordon Bearings