July 25, 2011
Some Questions Answered About PTC’s Creo 1.0
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by Jeff Rowe - Contributing Editor
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A few weeks ago, we discussed the launch of PTC's Creo -- a reinvention and rebranding of several of its venerable mechatronics design products that include Pro/ENGINEER and CoCreate. The launch left a lot of unanswered questions that we posed to PTC. Since those questions were published, we spoke with Mike Campbell, PTC Divisional VP, Design and Visualization Products, who answered all of them.

Campbell was very up front about the fact that Creo is something evolutionary and entirely new, and not just a repackaging of the monolithic Pro/ENGINEER, CoCreate, or ProductView product lines. Functionality was pulled out of those products as role-based apps that provide what he termed “any mode modeling.”

Mike Campbell
PTC Divisional Vice President
Design and Visualization Products

The 1.0 release of Creo will have a total of nine apps. He said that ultimately, Creo would consist of approximately 35-40 role-based apps, but gave no time frame on when this might happen, only saying it was possible in the future.

According to Campbell, Creo 2.0 is scheduled to be launched sometime in the spring of 2012.

MCAD Weekly Review (from MCADCafe.com) recently posted a
review of Creo 1.0. In it, we asked a number of questions about Creo 1.0. Below are the original questions with answers.

What about the level of Creo integration with industrial design and CAM? Especially CAM, because it is so closely related to the Creo CAD apps.

PTC continues to develop and deliver CAM solutions that span a broad set of needs and are integrated with our design solutions. The Creo CAM strategy is mainly focused on improving the usability of our products, developing functionality to serve the production machining market, and expanding the user base mid-market, by serving the mold & die segments. Creo Parametric has CAM extensions to serve those areas.

We also offer our PTC partner program, which provides access to a range of third party applications in the manufacturing domain, including: NCG CAM Solutions
, Gibbs and Associates, and Austin N.C.

Campbell said that for industrial design, there would be a democratization of G2 surfacing with a technology called Freestyle available in Creo Parametric. He also said that in the future there might be one or more apps specifically aimed at industrial design.

How will Windchill integrate and interact with Creo? Admittedly, Windchill is a totally different ballgame. Will it ever have a Creo-like moniker and branding?

Windchill 9.1 and higher integrates with Creo 1.0, and is the PLM platform of choice. Windchill 10, our latest release, introduces a new user experience that has been well received by users. Users will continue to see improvements in the user experience across all PTC products with each release, including consistency.

There will be no rebranding of Windchill to Creo, but it will manage Creo with its common data model and structure.

To what degree does Creo Parametric (formerly Pro/ENGINEER) possess direct modeling capabilities and to what degree does Creo Direct (formerly
) possess parametric capabilities?

There’s an extension for Creo Parametric, called Creo Flexible Modeling Extension (FMX) that offers ‘direct modeling like’ capabilities. This is ideal for users of Creo Parametric who want to stay in that same environment and edit their model in ways similar to direct modeling. It enables users to directly edit parametric models, but with the simplicity and flexibility found in Creo Direct.

Creo Elements/Direct is a comprehensive direct modeling solution. It serves as the core product development tool, supporting engineering teams in developing complete products from art-to-part using the direct modeling approach. There’s an extension called Advanced Design, that enables users to add relations and constraints to models.

Note: Creo Direct and Creo Elements/Direct are two distinct products. Creo Parametric has what we call flexible modeling inside of it. Creo Direct, which contains no parametric capabilities, is targeted at a more casual type of user.

Ultimately, will Creo Parametric and Creo Direct become one app? I know that gets back to the monolithic thing, but having direct and parametric modeling capabilities in one package can be a good thing.

No, there are no plans for Creo Parametric and Creo Direct to become one app, they will continue to be developed as seperate apps, focused on different user roles, and modeling approaches, leveraging a common data model. In Creo 1.0, there are
two 3D modes people can work in, direct modeling and parametric modeling. For parametric modeling, Creo Parametric is the app for that.

As direct modeling addresses a number of different needs, it’s available in a number of ways. As mentioned earlier, there’s an extension for Creo Parametric, called Creo Flexible Modeling Extension (FMX). This is ideal for users of Creo Parametric who want to stay in that same environment and edit their model in ways similar to direct modeling. It enables users to directly edit parametric models, but with the simplicity and flexibility found in Creo Direct.

What is the upgrade path and associated cost for current PTC customers?

Customers who have existing products can take a no-cost upgrade to the corresponding Creo app, extension, or package – there is no loss in capabilities. We’ve posted a product mapper to help explain the transition.

Our goal is to protect customers’ investments in our technology going forward. There are no regressions for customers who upgrade to Creo 1.0, because there is 100% upward compatibility.

How long will current pre-Creo PTC products be supported?

As we have tens of thousands of customers using pre-Creo PTC products, we expect that there will be a long period of time where pre-Creo products will continue to be supported. The
PTC Product Calendar describes our current plans for the end date for standard support.

For example, we will support Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 5.0 until well after Creo 2.0 is released next spring.

Beginning with the release of Creo 2.0 apps, PTC plans on providing customers with an annual “synchronized” release cycle, meaning that the new versions of Creo apps and Windchill will be released at the same time. The first synchronized release is scheduled for March 2012, and will repeat annually thereafter.

How consistent is the UI across the various Creo apps with regard to look, feel, and behavior?

The Creo apps are standalone programs, but have a common UI paradigm and experience, including the use of the Ribbon, common icons and common tools (such as the 3D Dragger) that are all consistent across the various Creo apps. Key areas, like saving, opening, dynamically viewing, and other functional capabilities and default settings behave consistently.

So for example, a Simulation Analyst working with Creo Direct to defeature and prepare a model for simulation will find that Creo Simulate has the same look and feel and UI experience for core areas, including were part files are stored by default, view set ups, etc.

"PTC developers have worked very hard to ensure that the UI is consistent across the apps. The common data model that all Creo apps share ensures that users can easily move data across the various apps."

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-- Jeff Rowe, MCADCafe.com Contributing Editor.


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