Product Design

PTC Creo 3.0 Includes Game-Changing Multi-CAD Data Handling

25 Jun, 2014 By: Nancy Spurling Johnson

New Unite technology said to be the first to allow users to open foreign CAD formats in their native environment without need for additional software, as well as export data in those same formats.

And in a few short weeks, we’ll have Creo 3.0 with its new Unite technology for AnyData Adoption. It will debut with support for SolidWorks, CATIA, NX, and Autodesk Inventor data import as well as the new Collaboration Extensions for SolidWorks, CATIA, and NX, which allow users to collaborate with nonnative PTC Creo software and receive automatic updates of geometry changes from those nonnative CAD solutions. October will bring support for Solid Edge import and the new PTC Creo Mold Analysis Extension.

According to PTC, 70% of Pro/ENGINEER users in the United States have transitioned to Creo (60–65% worldwide). The goal is 75% worldwide by the end of 2014, Thompson says, “and we think we’ll get there.”

Unite Technology

The new Unite technology in PTC Creo 3.0 aims to improve CAD data sharing and collaboration — and significantly reduce the time and expense associated with CAD data translation — by enabling CAD data of varying formats to be used directly in the PTC Creo Parametric, Creo Direct, Creo Simulate, and Creo Options Modeler apps.

How it works. Creo 3.0 users will be able to open files in major CAD formats in the native Creo environment; upon opening, Creo does not automatically make a new object but does retain the geometry of the foreign object. When the Creo user attempts to “touch” that object, Creo presents the option to make it a Creo object. In this manner, only those objects the user wishes to convert are actually converted, saving time and system resources. Models saved in Creo can be a mix of native Creo and foreign CAD objects.

Thompson explains how design dependencies are maintained under the Creo 3.0 umbrella: “When the geometry is a top-level update that pushes out changes to the rest of the environment, we want all those changes to propagate all the way through the process. ... Dependencies update the Creo design, but drawings also get updated automatically, the simulation that is based on that [design] gets updated automatically, all the associativity that’s baked into the Creo platform applies now to any of the formats that we can open in Creo. Once you get [the foreign data] into Creo, all the power of associativity on the Creo platform applies to that now, because we can update the foreign geometry no matter where it’s used in the ecosystem.”

In addition to directly importing neutral CAD data formats (such as STEP, IGES, and DXF) into PTC Creo Parametric 3.0, users will be able to import and open most popular proprietary file formats without the need for a separate translator or access to the native authoring software. Click image to enlarge.


New Concept Design Tools

New and enhanced conceptual design tools in PTC Creo 3.0 aim to ensure that efforts undertaken at the concept design stage are fully reusable in later stages of the product development process. Updates include:

  • Align Freestyle: Part of PTC Creo Parametric, it enables designers to create and drive freeform designs parametrically, combining organic geometry creation and modification with associative parametric design intent.
  • PTC Creo Layout: Greater scalability and richer tools in this app support 2D concept engineering activities and seamless reuse in the 3D parametric environment.
  • PTC Creo Direct: More powerful and easier-to-use features help users more quickly create concept designs that are fully reusable in PTC Creo Parametric.
  • PTC Creo Design Exploration Extension: This new app provides a dedicated environment in PTC Creo Parametric for developing design alternatives, investigating modeling approaches, and risk-free investigation of design changes. It significantly reduces the current level of manual effort and overhead required to undertake these activities, according to PTC.

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About the Author: Nancy Spurling Johnson

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