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November 08, 2010
PTC Introduces Creo Design Software
Please note that contributed articles, blog entries, and comments posted on MCADcafe.com are the views and opinion of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the management and staff of Internet Business Systems and its subsidiary web-sites.
Jeff Rowe - Managing Editor


by Jeff Rowe - Contributing Editor
Each MCAD Weekly Review delivers to its readers news concerning the latest developments in the MCAD industry, MCAD product and company news, featured downloads, customer wins, and coming events, along with a selection of other articles that we feel you might find interesting. Brought to you by MCADCafe.com. If we miss a story or subject that you feel deserves to be included, or you just want to suggest a future topic, please contact us! Questions? Feedback? Click here. Thank you!


PTC unveiled Creo design software. Creo is being designed as a scalable suite of interoperable, open, and easy-to-use product design apps. The Creo vision and strategy, first introduced in June at the PTC/USER World Event as Project Lightning, recognizes that product development involves many different users with different needs at different points in the product lifecycle. Unlike solutions to date, Creo is designed to remedy lingering, unaddressed problems that have plagued CAD for decades.


“Creo is being specifically created to solve the big problems remaining in the mechanical CAD market: usability, interoperability, assembly management and technology lock-in,” said James E. Heppelmann, president and CEO, PTC. “By providing the right-size product design apps for each participant in a company's extended product development team, Creo will enable more people to participate earlier and more fully in the product development process, significantly expanding innovation capacity.”


“Historically companies have made significant investments in CAD applications that bind them into inflexible business processes and design practices dictated by the specific visual authoring or simulation application that they pick. PTC's game-changing vision to release a highly flexible CAD application in a new code base, while sticking to existing file formats under the Creo portfolio, is expected to rejuvenate the mature CAD market and open up a path for non-PTC CAD users to move easily on a flexible visual design platform,” says Sanjeev Pal, research manager, IDC.


Highlights of planned apps include:
  • AnyRole Apps


  • Will offer customers the right tool, for the right user at the right time, enabling everyone in the organization to participate in the product development process. The result: new ideas, creativity, and personal efficiency are unlocked.

  • AnyMode Modeling


  • Will provide the industry's only true multi-paradigm design platform, enabling users to design in 2D, 3D direct, or 3D parametric. Data created in any mode will be fully accessible and reusable in any other mode, allowing each user to work with their own or another user's data in their paradigm of choice. Additionally, Creo's AnyMode Modeling will let users seamlessly switch between modes without losing intelligence or design intent, unlocking teamwork efficiency.

  • AnyData Adoption


  • Will enable users to incorporate data from any CAD system and unlock multi-CAD design efficiency and value. Valuable information created throughout the product development process in the Creo product design apps will be able to be accessed and reused by others throughout the product development process. Further, Creo will enable reuse of data from legacy systems, reducing the typically high switching costs which drive technology lock-in.

  • AnyBOM Assembly


  • Will give teams the power and scalability needed to create, validate and reuse information for highly configurable products. Using BOM-driven assemblies and a tight integration with PTC's Windchill PLM software, customers will be able to unlock and realize unprecedented levels of efficiency and value across teams and the extended enterprise.


  • “We believe Creo could be significant and a positive advance in PTC's product offerings.” said Mike Galbraith, Global Engineering Systems & Services, Tyco Electronics. Creo could allow the teams involved in designing new products and bringing them to market...across different functions, different locations, etc... to productively use the same toolset throughout the product life-cycle process. We're looking forward to working with PTC and their other partners in shaping these new capabilities."


    “Creo is being designed to allow product development organizations to do what they do best - innovate and develop great products free from the constraints imposed by the tools they depend on,” said Brian Shepherd, EVP Product Development, PTC. “Many customers are trapped by legacy tools and locked into technologies that may no longer meet their needs. High switching costs make it difficult to migrate to a new technology, application or vendor and retire old tools. “We expect Creo will eliminate the pressure to standardize on a single vendor or technology platform.”


    Heppelmann concluded, “By leveraging a core set of technology assets unique to PTC, we are once again redefining a market plagued by seemingly insurmountable challenges.”


    Existing Brands


    PTC's current design software product families and associated modules, extensions and packages are being rebranded in alignment with the functional capabilities provided by each product.
  • Pro/ENGINEER becomes Creo Elements/Pro

  • CoCreate becomes Creo Elements/Direct

  • ProductView becomes Creo Elements/View


  • Data created in these applications will be fully upwards compatible with the Creo family of products.


    PTC expects Creo1.0 to be available during mid-year 2011. The timing of any product release, and any features or functionality thereof, are subject to change at PTC's discretion.


    To learn more about Creo, visit
    http://creo.ptc.com.



    Commentary By Jeffrey Rowe, Editor


    We ventured to Boston for a day to witness a new technology (known for the past several months as Project Lightning) that PTC had been promising would influence the MCAD market for the next 20 years with its vision. Needless to say that's a pretty strong statement, and I'll admit I was more than just a little bit skeptical about the claim. However, my opinion changed to a much more positive one as the day progressed.


    PTC's new CEO, Jim Heppelmann, kicked off the day's event with a question - “Is the CAD market mature and are all the problems associated with it solved? No,” he said. According to Heppelmann, some of the big problems that remain unsolved include interoperability, the fact that CAD products are still too difficult to learn and use, and the inability to switch between CAD and related products.



    With AnyRoleApps Creo provides a special purpose-built app for industrial designers.


    PTC hopes to address these and other CAD problems with the introduction of Creo (the Latin root word for “create”)- PTC's next generation suite of simple applications (or apps) for design, visualization, and collaboration. Creo is built from the elements of Pro/ENGINEER, CoCreate, and ProductView. It is intended to deliver a common user experience across the apps and leverages a common data model and a common PLM backbone based on Windchill. According to PTC, Creo is an enterprise CAD and PLM tool for what the company calls product configuration modeling. It promises to allow for better utilization of product data offering CAD for casual users, but will provide more than just
    visualization.


    All of the apps that were discussed and shown on stage were later demonstrated “live” at the Technology Bar PTC had put together. Creo partners - Luxion, Simpoe, and Vistagy - also were on hand to demonstrate their software applications running inside the Creo interface. Since Creo is a so-called open system, I expect to see a lot of partners sign up for the program.



    Creo provides a visualization and markup application for anyone in the design process.


    PTC stressed that its current products, Pro/ENGINEER, CoCreate and ProductView, are not being discontinued, but are being renamed. Capabilities from these products are being further developed and will continue to live on as elements in future Creo releases. Current products including Pro/ENGINEER, CoCreate, and ProductView (which are being rebranded) will be upward compatible with Creo and will continue to be maintained in accordance with PTC's standard maintenance service terms and conditions.



    Creo's AnyDataAdoption lets users incorporate data from any CAD system.


    Creo 1.0 is expected to be available in mid-year 2011, and a beta version of the product is expected to be available in Spring 2011 (in English only). The pricing and packaging for Creo were not available at the event, but PTC said it might create an online app store (a la Apple) to sell the applications.



    Incorporate 2D data in any 3D mode with Creo's AnyMode Modeling.


    While the presentations for Creo were impressive, Creo is a major platform shift that is not without risks, and a lot of questions still need answering. The success of Creo will be totally dependent, short term and long term, on how well PTC executes and delivers what has been promised, as well as how well the apps work together. That said, however, I have to admit that at least for now the excitement is back at PTC, something it really hasn't had for a long time. Creo ushers in what I'll call the beginning of the “Heppelmann Era” at PTC and I'm looking forward to experiencing the new apps for myself as they become available for review.



    The Week's Top 5


    At MCADCafé we track many things, including the stories that have attracted the most interest from our subscribers. Below are the five news items that were the most viewed during last week.


    Luxion supports PTC Creo

    Luxion announced that it was selected by PTC as a launch partner for “Project Lightning,” now known as Creo. Luxion demonstrated the integration of Creo and KeyShot at the launch event in Boston, MA. “Selecting Luxion as a launch partner enables us to demonstrate that Creo in combination with Luxion's KeyShot rendering technology allows other members of the community such as sales and marketing to be involved early in the design process and utilize the digital data directly for the creation of product imagery,” said Michael Campbell, PTC's Divisional Vice President of Design and Visualization Products. Luxion will continue to support the PTC customer base by providing the
    ability to import Pro/ENGINEER data (now known as Creo Elements/Pro) natively into KeyShot on both PC and Mac. In addition, Luxion offers a plug-in for Pro/ENGINEER that provides a dynamic link between Pro/ENGINEER and KeyShot. This plug-in is available to all KeyShot customers free of charge from the KeyShot website.


    Aras Explains PLM Cloud Strategy

    Aras announced its PLM cloud strategy that is designed to deliver enterprise PLM technology for the cloud, and provide global companies with the ability to securely leverage cloud-based data, services and analytics in the PLM workflow to enable new, more effective ways for global companies to conduct business. The initial phase of the Aras strategy is based on the company's cloud-ready platform technology and open-source business model, which together, are suited for large-scale deployments in the private cloud environments of multinational corporations and global systems integrators. Aras is a true cloud architecture that runs on the latest virtualization technologies and partitions well for distributed deployments where compute resources are automatically provisioned for elastic scalability. Partitioning also enables a wide variety of deployment scenarios including highly secure hybrid deployments where replicated file vaults remain on-premise behind the firewall while application servers operate in the cloud. The model-based SOA framework makes Aras capable of running in a multi-tenant scenario as well where a single system has different customizations and vaults for each organization and where upgrades can be conducted during continued operation without impacting system modifications. Web services federation enables secure connections to other systems whether
    located on-site or in the cloud. As data sets “of record” continue to expand in the cloud, such as online parts / component databases and other third-party sources, the ability for end users to securely access and bring information to the point of use in the right context during the PLM workflow represents a powerful new approach to achieve greater agility and productivity. Additionally, services and analytics available through cloud APIs such as specification analysis, compliance validation and BPO product engineering services will further drive process innovation.


    Altair Engineering Shows Significant Growth in the Global Aerospace Market

    Altair Engineering, Inc. announced a 30 percent year-over-year revenue growth in the global aerospace market. A number of European aerospace OEMs and suppliers will discuss their use of Altair's HyperWorks suite of computer-aided engineering (CAE) tools in presentations at the 2010 European HyperWorks Technology Conference (HTC). The 4th annual European HTC highlighted the latest trends, developments and applications in the field of enterprise CAE and showcased cutting-edge methods, applications and industry examples of CAE-driven innovations. Presentations from Altair aerospace customers - including Airbus, MT Aerospace, AugustaWestland, EADS and Eurocopter -examined how the
    aerospace industry is leveraging structural design optimization and simulation technology to drive innovation, weight reduction and improved designs. HyperWorks offers a suite of CAE tools for minimum-weight design, stress analysis, and mechanism and vulnerability simulation for metallic and composite structures. Aerospace customers that have employed HyperWorks and its simulation-driven design processes, enabled by a strategic combination of Altair experience, technology and methods, have reported an average of 15 percent weight reduction for products while shortening the product design and development cycle by up to 50 percent


    ANSYS 13.0 Built for Fidelity, Speed and Power

    ANSYS, Inc. announced the launch of ANSYS 13.0, the newest release of its engineering simulation technology suite designed to optimize product development processes. The advanced technology behind ANSYS 13.0 includes hundreds of new features that make it possible for users to bring new products to market, with confidence in the results they will achieve. ANSYS 13.0 delivers new benefits in three major areas:
  • Greater fidelity via new solver methods. As engineering requirements and design complexity increase, simulation software must produce more accurate results that reflect changing operating conditions over time. ANSYS 13.0 features an electromagnetic transient solver that produces higher-fidelity results in dynamic simulation environments, among other new features.
  • Higher productivity built on an adaptive architecture. ANSYS 13.0 includes dozens of features that minimize the time and effort product development teams invest in simulation. For example, as product designs grow in size and complexity - and consideration of a single physics is no longer enough - ANSYS 13.0 makes it easier for users with different engineering specialties to work collaboratively to exchange data and develop real-world simulations that incorporate multiphysics.
  • Performance innovation via software and computational power. ANSYS 13.0 can provide speedup ratios that are dramatically greater than previous software releases. Complex multiphysics simulations can be accomplished more quickly and efficiently, speeding up product development and market launch initiatives.

  • Alibre Launches Next Generation 3D Design software -- Alibre Design 2011

    Alibre Inc. announced the release of its latest version, Alibre Design 2011. Alibre Design 2011 now makes 3D designing easier and more robust with major enhancements, including a complete top to bottom code re-write, native 64-bit version, powerful sheet metal conversion tools, and a myriad of time saving tools and customization features. Available immediately for download at:
    www.alibre.com/store. With prices starting at $99 for Personal Edition (PE), $699 for Professional, and $1399 for Expert, Alibre Design 2011 brings the power of 3D CAD design to everyone, from DIYers, inventors, tinkerers, entrepreneurs, designers, engineers and scientists. New Alibre Design 2011 Features Include:
  • For Industrial Design: New Sheet Metal Conversion Tools with Automatic Conversion - imported or natively designed solids are now able to be automatically converted into unfoldable sheet metal parts, so users can take libraries of dumb solids generated from other applications and convert them into fully native, editable sheet metal parts. Sheet metal parts can also be designed in a normal part workspace and then converted to sheet metal later, fast tracking many common design requirements
  • For Power Users: Complete Code Rewrite and Native 64-bit Version for Larger & More Complex Models - Alibre Design 2011 has been completely rewritten in the C# programming language, in addition to being re-architected to support a native 64-bit version of the software. This enables Alibre power users to make models of incredible complexity and size, while providing tremendous performance benefits.
  • For Beginners: New Faster 2D Detailing Framework Avoids Confusing Toolbars & Dialogs - 2D detailing is now incredibly fast with the new in-place editing framework. This set of tools is hyper-context sensitive, allowing users to avoid toolbars and dialogs almost altogether. By clicking on items, available options are shown directly at the mouse, and users can make edits to almost anything in real-time, without cumbersome dialogs

  • Jeffrey Rowe is the editor of
    MCADCafé and MCAD Weekly Review. He can be reached at
    Email Contact or 719.221.1867.








    This Week



    Lead Story


    PTC Introduces Creo Design Software



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    You can find the full MCADCafe event calendar here.


    To read more news, click here.



    -- Jeff Rowe, MCADCafe.com Contributing Editor.