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Jeff Rowe
Jeff Rowe
Jeffrey Rowe has more than 40 years of experience in all aspects of industrial design, mechanical engineering, and manufacturing. On the publishing side, he has written well over 1,000 articles for CAD, CAM, CAE, and other technical publications, as well as consulting in many capacities in the … More »

PTC Launches Creo 5.0 Emphasizing AM, Simulation, and Topology Optimization

March 22nd, 2018 by Jeff Rowe

This week, PTC announced Creo 5.0, the latest release of its Creo CAD software that covers concept to manufacturing in a single design environment. According to the company, Creo 5.0 introduces five new and enhanced capabilities for  product design and productivity enhancements in the areas of topology optimization, additive and subtractive manufacturing, computational fluid dynamics, and CAM.

“PTC is on the leading edge of some of the hottest technologies today with the Internet of Things (IoT) and augmented reality (AR), but it has not forgotten its roots in CAD, instead transforming this business by infusing its leading Creo software with new technologies and capabilities,” said John Mackrell, chairman, CIMdata.

Topology Optimization

The physical design of products is often limited by existing designs and practices. The new Creo Topology Optimization Extension automatically creates optimized designs based on a defined set of objectives and constraints, and freed of existing designs and thought processes. This helps users save time and accelerate development by enabling creation of optimized parts for given tasks they must perform.

Creo automatically creates optimized geometric forms/shapes based on input conditions and defined criteria.

The Creo Topology Optimization Extension will be available Summer 2018 in the first maintenance build of Creo 5.0.

Additive and Subtractive Manufacturing

Creo enables users to design, optimize, print check, and additively manufacture parts without the need for multiple pieces of software. By streamlining the process and reducing the need to recreate models, more time can be spent focused on what is really important, the design. Creo 5.0 introduces the Creo Additive Manufacturing Plus Extension for Materialise, which extends these capabilities to metal parts, allowing customers to print production-grade parts directly from Creo. Additionally, the extension allows users to connect to the Materialise online library of print drivers and profiles.

Enhanced functionality related to Additive Manufacturing includes:

  • Simplified visualization
  • Develop truss cells
  • Simulate conical beams

Creo Mold Machining Extension

This extension generates optimized high-speed machining tool paths specific for one-off and low-volume production runs.

Creo Additive Manufacturing Plus Extension for Materialise

Whether printing with polymers or metal, Creo 5.0 supports Stratasys and 3D Systems plastic printers and the library of Materialise printers. Additionally, you can generate and customize the support structures needed for metal printing.

With Creo you can design, optimize, validate, and print-check the highly complex geometry that can only be produced through additive manufacturing.

Lattice Creation

Create parametrically-controlled uniform or variable lattice structures. When you combine this capability with simulation, you can optimize the lattice structure to solve multiple design requirements simultaneously. Because this is parametric geometry, lattice structures will be fully-detailed parts with accurate mass properties.

Enhancements in Subtractive Manufacturing include:

  • Additional conventional milling capabilities
  • Additional NC parameters
  • Slice-by-slice machining pre-planning

The new Creo Mold Machining extension provides dedicated high-speed machining capabilities optimized for molds, dies, electrodes, and prototype machining. Creo 5.0 supports 3-axis and 3+2 positioning machining.

Creo Flow Analysis 

The Creo Flow Analysis extension is a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) solution for simulating fluid flows directly within Creo. The workflow between CAD and CFD lets users integrate analysis early to understand and predict product function and performance.

Creo brings the power of computational fluid dynamics to non-specialist product designers for analyzing liquid and gas flow. Premium capabilities are available for more advanced analysts.

Productivity Improvements

Creo 5.0 also includes key productivity improvements for product design, such as an improved user interface, geometry creation with sketch regions, and volume helical sweeps. Other enhancements include improvements to surfacing, sheet metal design, and the application of draft features involving rounds. Users can also now design in Creo while maintaining perspective display mode.

Enhanced User Interface and Experience

Creo 5.0 brings an enhanced interface in the form of improved selection and appearance draggers and a smooth text display. Additionally, there’s an expanded mini-toolbar, along with integrated search functions in the model tree so you can find and perform actions on components or features more easily. The model check reporting tool also has a modernized look, feel, and behavior.

Modeling Enhancements Draft Features

Increased productivity is possible through the faster, easier application of draft features to geometry (both native and non-native) containing rounds. After you identify the surface to which you want to apply a draft, Creo will remove the rounds, apply the draft, and reattach the rounds automatically.

Helical Sweep Tool

Now you can create accurate 3D geometry of parts machined with cutting tools, instead of relying on inaccurate 2D swept approximations. The helical sweep tool will allow you to specify a revolve profile and helical trajectory to sweep along, resulting in accurate geometry of both milling and grinding wheel operations.

Design in Perspective

With Creo 5.0, you can look at a model in perspective mode instead of orthographic, as well as toggle back and forth between display modes for improved productivity and an enhanced user experience.

Sketch Regions

Creo 5.0 gives you the ability to build sketch regions. Sketch regions enable you to create more complex geometry with fewer clicks. Begin by creating a single sketch with intersecting overlapping geometries, then highlight and select multiple closed regions to extrude or revolve.

Subdivisional Modeling

Creo 5.0 expands freestyle subdivisional modeling capabilities in two ways. You can now align your geometry to existing Creo geometry with curvature constraints, and the new box mode enables clearer understanding of your control mesh and faster interactive manipulation of your design.


Creo 5.0’s sheetmetal capabilities introduce two corner relief types with explicit control over orientation for better efficiency. You can use a flat state representation of components and have them stored as part of a design model. You now also have the ability to switch between bent and flat state in either an assembly or a drawing.

With the enhanced Convert to Sheetmetal tool, you can convert solid parts into sheet metal parts –while maintaining uniform thickness. The improvements support the import of sheet metal parts from legacy systems and the conversion into valid Creo Parametric sheet metal parts.

Creo Collaboration Extension for Autodesk Inventor

The Creo Collaboration Extension for Autodesk Inventor enables organizations to consolidate onto a single CAD system, enabling them to reduce the cost and effort associated with maintaining multiple systems and integrations, and enabling better data reuse and resource sharing. Creo 5.0 now supports bi-directional exchange of both parts and assemblies with Autodesk Inventor.

Open files from Autodesk Inventor inside Creo and, with the additional collaboration extension, receive automatic updates.

“Product design is fundamentally changing, and Creo continues to evolve to meet the needs of our customers. With Creo, companies can go from the earliest phases of design to a smart, connected product,” said Brian Thompson, senior vice president, CAD Segment, PTC. “Improved functionality and new capabilities, like additive manufacturing, set Creo apart, and give companies a true competitive edge all the way from concept to manufacturing.”

Outwardly, Creo 5.0 seems to be one of the more significant releases of PTC’s flagship CAD product in some time. Based on the past couple years, until this release, I felt that the CAD side of the PTC house was getting short shrift, as the company focused its attention, resources, and future on IoT initiatives.

I don’t know what or who influenced the decision to bolster CAD once again this time around, but I’m glad to see it again receive its due, and I’m pretty sure a good percentage of Creo customers will, too.

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