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Big news to announce today with 3D Systems acquisition of Alibre. A big question now lingers in the air, what will Alibre CAD become? For those of your who don't know - Alibre systems was in the news in 2010 for slashing its entry level history-based parametric CAD package to $99. Alibre's professional and expert level packages were also dropped considerably to $599 and $1,199.Two months ago they raised prices back up to $199, $999 and $1,999. (About at the same time that they partnered with 3D Systems. I imagine this was in preparation of their acquisition, but who knows? Prices increased previously also.
What this means now is that 3D Systems, a 3D printing company, now owns their very own modeler to pair with their printers. It is probably a brilliant match for a company like 3D Systems just when 3D printing is starting to come down to price where inventors and hobbyists can start to afford a machine of their own. The 3D Systems site is showing a printer kit as selling for about $500.
In an interview between Deelip Menezes, the president of Alibre, and Abe Reichental, 3D Systems president we learn the thought process behind the acquisition. According to Abe "Today’s acquisition of Alibre is consistent with our strategy to democratize access and accelerate adoption of affordable 3D content-to-print solutions that empower professionals and consumers to create and make in 3D. "