Guidelines to avoid common problems when working with Alibre Design

This article sets out a few guidelines which should help to avoid some of the most common problems that Alibre Design users come across.


  1. Do not copy/paste, & rename Alibre files within Windows File Explorer (WFS) when creating a new file based on an existing one.  Instead rename using 'Save As' from inside Alibre Design.  Copy/pasting and renaming in WFS can lead to there being more than one file with a common internal ID value (GUID) - Alibre uses these values when linking between files.  Failure to observe this rule can lead to parts substituting themselves for other parts in assemblies without user intervention.  (Note the Save As dialogue includes a check box to 'Save All As', for use with assemblies).*

  2. Moving files to different locations should only be done using 'Save As'; using drag/drop or copy paste can result in linkages between files becoming disrupted (assemblies lose parts, 2D drawings lose models).

  3. Never start 2 or more sessions - 3D Part in one session and the 2D drawing in a different session - that creates separate instances in memory and changes to part won't update the drawing.  Instead you can 'edit 3D model' from inside the 2D drawing - this will work on the single instance in memory.

  4. Press F5 to refresh and review any changes before you save a part.

  5. Fonts - take care with imported fonts.  Some available fonts are not 'well formed' and can cause problems if used in the 'Text' tool within Alibre Design.

  6. Make sure to enable Recovery Options in Alibre Design - choose a sensible time interval for the auto-saving of work.   Additionally, save your work frequently and before attempting anything complex or that uses functionality you are not yet familiar with.

  7.  If you are new to 3D CAD, take the time to work through the inbuilt tutorials, and watch our free videos ( - 'diving in at the deep end' and attempting to model your latest creation without becoming familiar with the necessary workflows will lead to frustration.                                                                
  8. Alibre Design uses DirectX to display 3D content - if you have problems you may have to update DirectX

  9. Ensure graphics adapter drivers are updated (usually from graphics chip maker's webs site, but see below) - default drivers installed by Windows are unlikely to support all the features which Alibre Design makes use of.
    1.   Laptops/Notebooks - often require customised drivers for correct/best performance.  Download from laptop maker's site.
    2.   Intel graphics - Alibre can be unusable with default drivers, using Windows Update to check for newer driver usually resolves this.  Alternatively download latest driver from Intel web site.
    3.   Laptops with dual graphics adapters - these not only require customised drivers which are not frequently updated, you also need to 'tell' the system which adapter Alibre Design should use.

* if simply renaming an existing file, renaming in WFS will only require 're-linking' of files which may depend upon each other (assemblies, drawings).  Though this is possible, it is not recommended for the novice.

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