[ Back ]   [ More News ]   [ Home ]
February 04, 2008
Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 4.0 Launched
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 announced the availability of Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 4.0, a major release of its integrated 3D CAD/CAM/CAE software and a key component of the PTC Product Development System. With this release, PTC expands the industry's most comprehensive parametric solution for product development teams, delivering new industry leading capabilities to help customers optimize key global and electromechanical design processes. Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 4.0 enables customers to create innovative, winning products with faster time-to-market, improved quality and reduced costs.

"Discrete manufacturers need a product development system that will help them compete in a fast-paced global environment. They must optimize their product development processes and adopt the latest design solutions that will help them improve their efficiency, time-to-market, product quality and cost," said Marc Halpern, research director at information technology research firm Gartner.

Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 4.0 offers powerful new capabilities and usability enhancements that optimize key global design processes and further improve personal and process productivity:

Detailed Design

• Innovative new Auto Round Technology -- Saves valuable time with automated rounding of even the most complex features. A rounding task which took an expert user 20 minutes to complete was accomplished by Auto Round in 40 seconds.

• Improved Large Assembly Performance -- Automated and optimized assembly file management using simplified representations reduces memory consumption by 40% and model retrieval times by 60%.

• Enhanced 3D Drawings -- Automatically displays dimensions in 3D drawings which increases design information reuse and delivers production ready drawings. Publishes and accesses saved 3D drawing views in PTC ProductView.

• Advancements in Surface Editing -- Helps optimize designs with new capabilities for directly editing surfaces including multi-resolution editing and smoothing.

• Faster Surface Removal -- Quickly removes round and hole geometry to prepare designs for mold making or simplify designs for analysis. Reduces model editing time by up to 50%.

• New Pro/ENGINEER Tolerance Analysis Extension Powered by CETOL Technology -- This new module quickly analyzes geometric tolerances and variances directly in the CAD model.

• New Feature Recognition Tool -- Quickly converts imported geometries to features in your model.

• Enhanced Import DataDoctor -- New data repair capabilities and easy-to-use, modernized user interface dramatically improves the ability to reuse legacy and 3rd party data.

• Improved Data Exchange -- New and upgraded processors allow customers to better leverage other CAD data (including new module Pro/ENGINEER Interface for JT), publish Pro/ENGINEER data in 3D PDFs, and import exact product representations from ProductView.

Design Outsourcing

• New Pro/ENGINEER Rights Management Extension -- This new module persistently and dynamically protects valuable design intellectual property (IP) enabling additional levels of security when collaborating across and beyond the enterprise.

Verification and Validation

• Easier and Enhanced Simulation -- Helps customers analyze designs faster and easier with smart diagnostics, improved meshing, better assembly connectivity management and analysis of results.

Manufacturing Tooling and Factory Equipment Design

• Improved Usability -- Simplifies and automates the transformation of engineering designs into manufacturing processes with an easy to use, powerful process manager for toolpath definition, annotation features, and other key capabilities.

Electromechanical Design Enhancements

• New Ribbon Cabling -- Creates electromechanical designs faster with intelligent, automated capabilities for adding and routing ribbon cables.

• Faster Design Collaboration -- New Pro/ENGINEER ECAD-MCAD Collaboration Extension accelerates electromechanical design with a new interface between MCAD and ECAD designs. Users can automatically identify incremental changes and cross-highlight between MCAD and ECAD board designs.

"Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 4.0 provides numerous enhancements and resolutions to some key product development challenges," said Frank Menendez, principle engineer, Alcon Research. "We have no doubt that the added functionality and increased flexibility of Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 4.0, coupled with the improvements we've seen in Windchill(R) PDMLink(R) 9.0, will assist us in continuing to improve product development processes at Alcon."

"The improvements in electromechanical design capabilities will increase productivity at Daktronics," states Jon Sprang, engineer, Daktronics. "Importing a complex design that used to take over three hours to complete we can now do in about 15 minutes with Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 4.0. Efficient ECAD-MCAD design collaboration is also an area that we have been struggling with. The new ECAD-MCAD collaboration capabilities will help us address these challenges."

"The new capabilities in Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 4.0 focus on strengthening key processes that have the greatest impact on the success of a customer's global development initiatives," said James E. Heppelmann, executive vice president, software products, and chief product officer, PTC. "This release also underscores PTC's continued emphasis on quality, usability and responsiveness to customer needs. By constantly evaluating our customers' needs and the trends impacting the industry, PTC has made a significant investment in new capabilities for Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 4.0 that will continue to speed new product development in a globally dispersed environment."

Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 4.0 was scheduled to be available late in January.

Commentary By Jeffrey Rowe, Editor

The newest version of PTC's flagship design application, Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 4.0, was a bit long in coming— almost two years after the previous version rather than the 12 months from many other vendors, although, for various reasons, a lot of users don’t seem to mind a longer release cycle. But for Pro/ENGINEER users this release may prove to be worth the wait. Instead of again just piling on an additional zillion new features and capabilities that only a relative few designers use, PTC (like some of its competitors) chose to improve Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 4.0 in other ways that matter to most customers, namely, software stability, better consistency across
modeling functions and promotion of more efficient workflows. Although these areas of enhancement may not exactly contribute to a so-called “blockbuster” release, they will definitely prove beneficial to most users in terms of ease of use and productivity, and, afterall, isn’t that what counts most?

Although there are, indeed, several new features and capabilities (listed above), PTC seems to have listened to its customers and focused on the core product. The user interface, for example, continues to get more consistent and Windows-compliant than it's ever been across functions, making these tasks easier and more efficient to accomplish. Many of these tasks are admittedly routine, but tasks that are performed by the vast majority of users. Doing it this way, however, provides a higher return on investment for everybody - customers are more satisfied so vendors feel their development dollars are better spent.

Of course, PTC isn't the only software company taking this approach, but does represent a trend that customers are increasingly getting what they want and pay for. Namely, more stable, and therefore, more reliable software.

One of my main complaints regarding Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 3 was the relative difficulty encountered in installing and authorizing the software. Hopefully, that problem has been addressed and resolved this time around. As I've said in the past, I can understand PTC's concern with ensuring that it's dealing with legitimate users, but the installation procedure took much longer than what I'm accustomed to with most other MCAD products.

In the past one of the most daunting aspects of learning and using Pro/ENGINEER was its multiple layers of cascading menus. In addition, one of the biggest obstacles that confronts users new to a CAD product is, "Where do I begin?" These issues seem to have been addressed and resolved through Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire’s user interface, which continues to improve with each release.

At the bottom of the interface is the Dashboard, introduced in the first version of Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire. It replaced the antiquated Menu Manager in pre-Wildfire versions of Pro/ENGINEER. The Dashboard is used for one of two modeling approaches in Pro/E and guides you through the process with menus and dialog boxes. With the Dashboard approach, you execute an action first and then select references where the action will be applied. For more advanced users, a second design approach, known as direct modeling, lets you work on a model directly by selecting references first and then applying an action. Most users with some experience will probably prefer the direct-modeling approach over
the Dashboard because it's a lot quicker. However, you can combine and use either approach to best suit your needs. Interestingly, and although it may be called something else, an increasing number of vendors have implemented an approach in their products that is analogous to PTC’s direct modeling approach.

As I said at the outset, Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 4.0 doesn’t appear to be a “blockbuster” release bloated with new features, capabilities, and bells and whistles. It does, however, seem to offer many things that will make users and their workflows more efficient. It's also more adaptable and this is important because even within an organization with design rules and methods, no two users are the same. Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 4.0 demonstrates that PTC is committed to releasing its products with a release strategy and schedule that should benefit its customers.

So, while the announcement regarding Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 4.0 is indeed significant, maybe the bigger issue is how the acquisition of CoCreate figures into the future of the flagship product and PTC as a company. Will features of CoCreate be translated over to Pro/ENGINEER and/or vice versa? How would each product line be positioned? Those are very tough calls, because doing so would cannibalize the product lines at the expense of either or both of them. So, while Pro/ENGINEER may not get all of the future development love from the executive team at PTC, it’s not going away anytime soon, either.

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.

Dassault Systèmes Launches ENOVIA SmarTeam Engineering Express

Dassault Systèmes (DS) announced the availability of ENOVIA SmarTeam Engineering Express, an out-of-the-box, scalable, and multi-CAD PLM engineering solution, specifically geared for mid-sized companies. ENOVIA SmarTeam Engineering Express enables practices for working with Engineering Bill of Materials (E-BOMs) from concept to manufacturing phases of the product lifecycle. With its item/BOM-centric approach and tailorable workflow processes, supporting both mechanical and electronic CAD systems, ENOVIA SmarTeam Engineering Express improves product definition by controlling the product changes and adopting best practices. ENOVIA SmarTeam Engineering Express is prepackaged and based
on ENOVIA SmarTeam's Collaborative Engineering offering.

U.K. Design Consultancy Gets "Creactive" with SolidWorks

U.K. consultancy Creactive Design is using SolidWorks to accelerate development of everything from solar lanterns to phone kiosks and commuter rail cars. Based in Cambridge, Creactive is a design consultancy with eight engineers and eight designers who develop products for the consumer, medical, telecommunications, industrial, and transportation industries. It standardized on SolidWorks software to speed design cycles, reduce prototyping time and costs, and better communicate design information with clients. SolidWorks' enables Creactive to work on client design files sent in other CAD formats to ensure everyone is on the same page. The company also uses SolidWorks eDrawings
e-mail-enabled design communication tool to share 3D models of concepts with clients.

DXF Flat Pattern Supports Wildfire 4.0

Fishbowl Solutions announced that its DXF Flat Pattern for Pro/ENGINEER supports PTC’s newly-released Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 4.0. DXF Flat Pattern is just the first product in Fishbowl Solutions’ product family that offers support for Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 4.0. DXF Flat Pattern automatically creates a 1:1 ratio flat state DXF output from every Pro/ENGINEER sheet metal part in an assembly – eliminating the need for design engineers to manually create them. A design engineer will no longer have to create a flat instance of a sheet metal part in Pro/ENGINEER, create a second page on a drawing, place the flat state on the drawing with a 1:1 ratio and then export the second
page as a DXF. DXF Flat Pattern eliminates all the non-value steps giving design engineers time back so they can focus on value-added tasks.

New VX CAD/CAM Version 13 Now Available

VX Corp. announced the availability of VX Version 13. Product designers will benefit from a new filleting engine that helps them get more "style" into products. Product designers will also realize increased productivity gains for adding digital images to products with the enhanced embossing tool that automatically smooths out irregular surfaces. Another performance enhancement for designers is the ability to model with real-time analysis, thus giving feedback on aspects such as curvature and draft angles. Mechanical designers will benefit from motion simulation where animations can be created for studying moving parts in assemblies. Also, assembly interference can be visually checked
with dynamic clipping offering up-close segmented and internal views of parts and assemblies. Mechanical designers can now get section views on layouts with different hatching options that provide a much better view of assemblies without a lot of manual editing. Mold designers can design electrodes faster with the auto-electrode tool that speeds creation and machining of multiple electrodes. Enhancements to VX's QuickMill for mold machining include new SmoothFlow technology that ensures smooth finishes for reducing polishing time while maximizing machine tool efficiency and reducing machine wear and tear.

Dassault Systemes Unveils PLM 2.0 on V6 Platform

Dassault Systemes announced PLM 2.0 and its new V6 platform. V6 is Dassault's next-generation platform for PLM 2.0. V6 PLM solutions (CATIA, DELMIA, SIMULIA, ENOVIA) are scheduled for general availability in May 2008. V6 matches customers' requirements for their PLM strategies:

• Single PLM platform for IP management: V6 supports modeling applications spanning all engineering disciplines and collaborative business processes through the product lifecycle.

• Global collaborative innovation: PLM's future is about expanded collaboration among all players, so that they can bring together requirements, functional, logical, and physical definitions of the product.

• Online creation and collaboration: V6 is enabled for real time, concurrent work, across multiple locations via a Web connection.

• Lifelike experience: V6's interface is intuitive - any user can find and search information, communicate, collaborate, and experience products in 3D online.

• Ready-to-use PLM business processes: V6 unifies engineering and enterprise processes including program and compliance management and sourcing.

• Lower cost of ownership: Quick ramp-up time via a single server and database for all applications dramatically reduces cost of ownership and spurs efficient collaboration.

Jeffrey Rowe is the editor of
MCADCafé and MCAD Weekly Review. He can be reached at
Email Contact or 408.850.9230.

This Week

Lead Story

PTC Introduces Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 4.0

Product and Company News

PTC Reports First Quarter Fiscal Year 2008 Results

Dassault Systemes Launches ENOVIA MatrixOne 10.8

Arena Solutions Announces Expanded Support for SolidWorks' PDM Product Line

Gasabo 3D Design Ltd. Launches e-commerce Site for CAD File Conversion

Dean Kamen Issues Mentorship Challenge to SolidWorks World 2008 Attendees

Revware Announces RevWorks 8.0

Bunkspeed Delivers HyperShot Solidworks Edition

Whiting Elevates Industrial Equipment Design with SolidWorks

Sony Uses PTC Pro/ENGINEER to Accelerate Development Phase

Customer Breakthroughs Spotlighted at SolidWorks World 2008

SMBs Choose Pro/ENGINEER to Increase Global Competitiveness

ASCON Group and Spatial View Inc. to Announce New Development and Marketing Partnership

EADS-CASA reduces time in aircraft ground vibration testing with LMS Test.Lab

Moldflow Plastics Insight - Enterprise Edition Gains Wide Adoption

SolidWorks Users Recognize Arena PLM as a Natural Fit for Controlling Their Design Through Manufacturing Process

Visual Numerics Releases Updated IMSL C# and JMSL Numerical Libraries

Flomerics Celebrates 20th Anniversary, Validating Concept of Simulation for Non-Specialists

Consumer Product Design Process Improved with VX Real-Time Analysis

Powerful Observatory Camera Model Wins SolidWorks Design Contest 2008

EFD.Pro Engineering Fluid Dynamics Supports Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 4.0

Moldflow to Release Q2 Fiscal 2008 Financial Results

Physical Modeling Consortium Founded by Maplesoft

SolidNEST and Chuck Willis - A Perfect Fit

WorkPLAN Enterprise: new flagship ERP software from Sescoi

3D Systems to Launch Dental Lab System

ETRAGE LLC Announces Support for Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 4.0

Motorola iDEN Mobile Devices Expands Its PTC PDS Implementation

GM DAEWOO Shortens Die Duplication Process with Rapidform XOR

ENGINEERING.com Launches Engineering Video Section

Citizen Watch Shortens Product Design Processes with ENOVIA

Edge Products Tightens Change Control Processes and Cuts Product Return Rates With Omnify Empower PLM

Design Prototyping Technologies Adds Objet Geometries Connex500 to its Rapid Prototyping Capabilities

Agni Link ERP-CAD Data Integration System for SolidWorks and Microsoft Dynamics SL ERP Ships

JETCAM announces V16 of JETCAM Expert – ‘Twice the power of V8’

Edgecam Instrumental in Satellite Manufacturing Processes

ModernTech Selects SolidProfessor

hyperMILL Awarded SolidWorks Certified Gold Product Status

Centric Software Secures $14 Million Series B Financing

Apriso Accelerates New Product Introductions for Consumer Goods Industry

Research and Markets: The Book 'Discrete-Signal Analysis and Design' Includes a Valuable, Full-Featured Student Version of Mathcad 14.0

Delcam's Insignia for Mass Production

WTWH Media, LLC expand relationship with TraceParts. www.tracepartsonline.net added to Design World Online network offerings

Actify Increases Services Partner Network for Digital Design Communication Solutions

Catalog Data Solutions Launches CAD Model Search Engine for Pro/ENGINEER

ZWCAD Version 2008 Released

Intelligent Light Announces FieldView Products for Different Windows Platforms

RPA Recommends Radan Software

Related MCAD News

HP Promotes Open Source Software Governance with New Initiative

Ballard Shareholders Approve Sale of Automotive Fuel Cell Assets

Rocky Ride Ahead for Oracle, BEA Portal Customers

Bombardier Aerospace, Belfast Celebrates 100-Year Anniversary

Fike Corporation Deploys BigMachines Lean Front-End to Streamline Sales Quoting & Configuration

Busy 6 months at Machines4sale

Adept Technology Reaches Production Milestone With 25,000 Robot Shipped

HP Introduces Energy-efficient Business Desktop PCs, Including Industry's First with Solid-state Drive

Delphi Signs Sale Agreement for Wheel Bearings Business

Engineering Circuit Analysis, 9th Edition Completely Revised and Improved

Delphi's Reorganization Plan Confirmed by Bankruptcy Court

Pacific Fuel Cell Sees Increased Activity in Mold-to-Size Work

Corporate Moves

Michael Check Joins Bunkspeed To Lead Automotive & Transportation Business

Former Agile GM Named As New Executive At Arena Solutions

Desktop Engineering Magazine Appoints Amy Rowell as Editorial Director

Centric Software Names New VP

3D Systems Elects William E. Curran to Board of Directors

Industrial Design Firm Joins Carter & Co

Industry Events

Synergis Software to Show Adept PDM at SolidWorks World 2008

2008 3D Collaboration & Interoperability Conference Keynote Announced

CPDA Announces Design/Simulation Workshops

CD-adapco to Unveil STAR-Works V4.14 at SolidWorks World 2008

SolidCAM to Exhibit its Latest version at SolidWorks World 2008

ITI TranscenData to Hold Webinar Series: “Eliminating Model Rework through Automated CAD Repair”

Noran Engineering Shows Award-Winning Nastran Virtual Product Test Software at the 2008 Pacific Design Show

SME’s RAPID 2008 Conference Appoints Official Media Sponsor

Dasi Solutions / Solidworks Var Send 23 Engineers To Solidworks World 2008 And Show Big Industry Support

Delcam to highlight five-axis developments at Industrie

OPEN MIND Technologies at INTEC 2008

Avatech University Presents: Digital Prototyping

STAR European Conference 2008

Materialise USA Holds Open House

3D Systems' New, High-Definition 3D Printer Shown at SolidWorks World 2008

SEMATECH Announces 2008 SEMATECH Knowledge Series

GibbsCAM’s Next Generation SolidWorks Interoperability to be Demonstrated at SolidWorks World 2008

Riverbed to Demonstrate WDS Solutions at SolidWorks World 2008

ESPRIT 2008 by DP Technology at Pacific Design and Manufacturing Show, Anaheim, Calif., Jan. 29-31

Capvidia Announces New Product Range for SolidWorks 2008

Visit QuadriSpace at SolidWorks World!

Delcam to host GTMA Emerging Technologies event

Webinar: High Impact CFD with CD-adapco and FieldView

ESPRIT 2008 by DP Technology at NORTEC, Hamburg, Germany, Jan. 23-26

Corporate Newsletters

SolidCam Newsletter - January 2008

You can find the full MCADCafe event calendar here.

To read more news, click here.

-- Jeff Rowe, MCADCafe.com Contributing Editor.

For more discussions, follow this link …