Mesh files in Alibre Design 2018.1

As of Alibre Design 2018.1, support for viewing, modifying, and using meshes in Alibre Design has been removed.


Why has it been removed?

The technology partner we used for this functionality has moved away from active support of this toolset. The existing functionality was often problematic and did not deliver an exceptional experience. We were faced with a decision to either renew a license with this partner or determine a new course for mesh support, and we have chosen the latter. Unfortunately this means that in the meantime Alibre Design will not support mesh import or conversion to solids, including for existing files.


What is the plan moving forward?

Alibre will work with customers to identify the most-used needs for mesh support. After 2018.1, Alibre will evaluate the best solution partner so that in the future we can implement a more robust mesh support system.


What is the impact on my current files?

If you open a file that has a mesh embedded in it, the mesh will be removed. This has the following implications:

  • The mesh will no longer be available
  • Features that rely on the mesh, such as Boolean features, will fail when the part is regenerated
  • You will be unable to import new meshes
  • You will be unable to view meshes


Are all my files that ever used meshes impacted?

Not necessarily. If you performed a mesh conversion to a solid, it's likely the first feature in your feature history is an Imported File Feature. In this case, the imported file no longer relies on the mesh that was used to create it. You should be able to use the imported file moving forward and the geometry that relies on the Imported File Feature will not fail during regeneration. If however you use subsequent mesh operations such as a Mesh Boolean, that specific feature will fail.


Is there any workaround?

When you first open a file, you will see a notification that the file contains a mesh and that it will be removed. After removal, but before you do anything that may cause the part to be regenerated (such as editing, pressing F5 for a manual regeneration, etc.), you can export the file, for example to STEP or IGES. This will use the cached geometry contained in the file. This will allow you to preserve the geometry of the file, though the feature history will be lost. This workaround may not work if you saved the file in a partially regenerated state.

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