What Exactly Is Creo? – Part 1

Today PTC finally revealed Creo, codenamed Project Lightning. To say that the company has been making a lot of noise about it would be an understatement. Yesterday evening, I spent an hour with Mike Campbell, the man heading the R&D of Creo. Earlier I had been given a far more in-depth briefing of Creo as a PTC partner. The contents of that briefing are still covered under the partner NDA which is not going to be lifted for some time to come. So I will not be able to get too technical here.

In summary, Creo is the name for a new brand of design and visualization products from PTC. Basically, it is Pro/ENGINEER, CoCreate and ProductView mixed together and then separated out to smaller products for specific tasks. For example if you want to do a rendering in Pro/ENGINEER you will need to have a license of the Pro/ENGINGEER application and then have a rendering module bolted on top of it. With Creo you will simple need a product that does just rendering. The number of tabs on the ribbon bar of this Creo rendering application should give you an idea of how focused the product is.

Here is a 3D conceptual design Creo application.

This is a Creo simulation application

PTC has already developed 8 such Creo applications. In all there will be about 30 Creo applications that will rolled out over time. Pro/ENGINEER will not exist. There will be no Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 6.0. Instead there will be Creo 1.0. The CoCreate and ProductView brands will go away as well. All the features of these products will be spread out into these Creo applications.

Some may stop here and say, “Really? Is that it? Is that what all this fuss was about?” On the surface it does seem that PTC has simply shaken up their product line and come up with a new brand name. But if you look a little closer, and more importantly, understand why they did it, you will understand the true value that Creo has to offer.

As they stand, Pro/ENGINEER and CoCreate are huge monolithic CAD systems that do not talk to each other very well. Apart from both having their own native file formats, they look and feel completely different. Moreover, CoCreate came from an acquisition. So the underlying platform and technology is completely different from Pro/ENGINEER. This causes all kinds of interoperability problems. All Creo applications will use a single common data model. This means that they will all use one native file format. Users of the Creo history based parametric modeler and the Creo direct modeler will be able to work on the same file. The direct modeler can trash the model around and send it back to the history modeler and the feature tree will stay intact or get modified to take into account the changes made. This is quite similar to what Autodesk is doing with Fusion, but with a difference. I will explain that a little later.

Part 2 >>

  • Anonymous

    Please clarify me again…
    The Pro/E brand will be disappear ? So they will build completely different brand ? They have spent much money to build brand image of Pro/E. CAD community already familiar with brand “Pro/E”. I think it will not easy to build brand image. Will take money and time. Just my opinion…

  • Hermecondesign

    So how will Creo read cad data from other programs.
    Are we talking about the same cad translator/converters again…….

  • Jburrill

    OK, so PTC’s vision is to have a modular line-up with a common file format. This is the thing that’s going to change MCAD and drive it for the next twenty years.
    Give me a break. Wake me up when deflection under load is a design parameter and not an analysis result.

  • Jaheer

    What happens to the “Pro/E legacy” modules that customers have? How will the mapping take place and Why would companies pay to get themselves retrained on Creo? Hope PTC answers some of these soon before the customer starts asking these.

  • http://www.deelip.com Deelip Menezes

    That is correct. The Pro/ENGINEER, CoCreate and ProductView brands will go away. Or at least PTC hopes that they will. ;-)

  • http://www.deelip.com Deelip Menezes

    Yes. Nothing appears to have changed on that front. The interoperability that PTC claims to have solved is their own interoperability issue. The one between Pro/ENGINEER and CoCreate. CoCreate still uses its own kernel, just that it uses Granite to talk to the Pro/ENGINEER side of things.

  • http://www.deelip.com Deelip Menezes

    Creo is mostly Pro/ENGINEER. Nothing much has changed apart from the new UI which they already started adding in Wildfire 5.0. The old plug-ins will need to be ported to Creo. I am told that it is not a very difficult job. I intend to find that out soon.

  • http://www.kevindesmet.com Kevin De Smet

    Oh my! Brilliant last words there :-)

  • L_d_304

    CREO ? what the h*ll is that name ?, sounds like children software !!……..Bzzzzzzzzzz ! try again !.

  • L_d_304

    CREO ? what the h*ll is that name ?, sounds like children software !!……..Bzzzzzzzzzz ! try again !.

  • Pred

    Sounds like disappointment to me. I thought they Pro/E will come with killing price and such… but this is just something that I will wait for a loooong to start using.
    We had so much bugs just from WF4 to WF5 and with ProductPoint. I cannot imagine what will be. Good luck… creo!?!
    I’m taking different path. Low cost 3D paramagnetic software Alibre, etc.

  • Pred

    Sounds like disappointment to me. I thought they Pro/E will come with killing price and such… but this is just something that I will wait for a loooong to start using.
    We had so much bugs just from WF4 to WF5 and with ProductPoint. I cannot imagine what will be. Good luck… creo!?!
    I’m taking different path. Low cost 3D paramagnetic software Alibre, etc.

  • Ajay

    I understand that for the interoperability problem of your products, u have changed the brand name, but still the name ‘Pro/E’ will exist and it takes a long time to fade away, it creates confusions for the forthcoming generations, cos they know Creo as the app name, they may not be heard of the name Pro/E and the companies will continue using the name “Pro/E” not “Creo”.Are u sure that the name “Creo” will completely replace “Pro/E”?
    I raised this cos, i already came across a similar problem in I-Deas as UGS and now Siemens PLM named “NX” also mechanical desktop replaced by “Inventor”.Still the old names r in use………..

  • Ajay

    I understand that for the interoperability problem of your products, u have changed the brand name, but still the name ‘Pro/E’ will exist and it takes a long time to fade away, it creates confusions for the forthcoming generations, cos they know Creo as the app name, they may not be heard of the name Pro/E and the companies will continue using the name “Pro/E” not “Creo”.Are u sure that the name “Creo” will completely replace “Pro/E”?
    I raised this cos, i already came across a similar problem in I-Deas as UGS and now Siemens PLM named “NX” also mechanical desktop replaced by “Inventor”.Still the old names r in use………..

  • Ajay

    I understand that for the interoperability problem of your products, u have changed the brand name, but still the name ‘Pro/E’ will exist and it takes a long time to fade away, it creates confusions for the forthcoming generations, cos they know Creo as the app name, they may not be heard of the name Pro/E and the companies will continue using the name “Pro/E” not “Creo”.Are u sure that the name “Creo” will completely replace “Pro/E”?
    I raised this cos, i already came across a similar problem in I-Deas as UGS and now Siemens PLM named “NX” also mechanical desktop replaced by “Inventor”.Still the old names r in use………..

  • Ajay

    I understand that for the interoperability problem of your products, u have changed the brand name, but still the name ‘Pro/E’ will exist and it takes a long time to fade away, it creates confusions for the forthcoming generations, cos they know Creo as the app name, they may not be heard of the name Pro/E and the companies will continue using the name “Pro/E” not “Creo”.Are u sure that the name “Creo” will completely replace “Pro/E”?
    I raised this cos, i already came across a similar problem in I-Deas as UGS and now Siemens PLM named “NX” also mechanical desktop replaced by “Inventor”.Still the old names r in use………..

  • http://www.deelip.com Deelip Menezes

    Dan Staples from Siemens PLM left this comment on another post in this series:

    “Funny you should mention Unigraphics. That is what the PTC guy called the part he brought in from NX. Said it twice. Got a kick out of that.”

  • http://www.deelip.com Deelip Menezes

    Dan Staples from Siemens PLM left this comment on another post in this series:

    “Funny you should mention Unigraphics. That is what the PTC guy called the part he brought in from NX. Said it twice. Got a kick out of that.”

  • Ron_keeley

    Just to let you know Deelip, I saw this error when I tried to view these pages this morning, after successfully reading them for awhile.

    Database Error: Error establishing a database connection

    Fatal error: Maximum execution time of 30 seconds exceeded in C:Inetpubvhostsdeelip.comhttpdocswp-contentpluginscontact-form-7modulesfile.php on line 8

    Fatal error: Maximum execution time of 30 seconds exceeded in C:Inetpubvhostsdeelip.comhttpdocswp-includeswp-db.php on line 560

    Just FYI.

  • http://www.deelip.com Deelip Menezes

    Yes, I am aware of this. I am moving to a new server this weekend. This one cannot handle the increased traffic. I have been struggling to even post these articles to the blog. ;-)

  • Uwegraphics

    brands…. technologie
    history/direct
    what catches the needs of the market. It is a money ruled thing.
    you will find the success of the history based (1) systems
    you will find the sucess of the direct model (2) system
    you will find the sucess of the 2D systems (3)
    (..1) is nice when you have the complete product process in your company . But the mess begins with outsourcing, designers and designs.
    Now the (..2) direct modelling starts. And still at the end we are still not in a paperless world – strong (…3) 2D systems ruling (ME10) .
    Another thing I can review for about 15 years, the cad solution must work without any education in most of the companys. There is a lot of self learning heavy parametrics is a gap . Another thing is you get (inerherit) a parametric design, must rework it, and fighting against the delivered feature structure. The feature structure is not straight and sometimes hard to control. Remove the parameters and direct model.
    What about long term products. Would the feature tree you did 15 year ago in ProE look the same as in WF5 2010 ? What about the migration process from old parametric designs? A lot of things you have not to think about in a dump modeling system. You will get there faster ;) (->I-deas) with a (…2) direct modeling system –

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  • Anonymous

    PTC will be acquired by SAP, Oracle, or Microsoft soon enough…

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  • Stekicar

    Not sure what PTC tried to do here. Revolutionary things? Which ones? For God’s sake, they did not fully ported Pro/Engineer from Unix to Windows OS yet. And they even made all the way up to the Pro/E 5. I can feel the pain from current Pro/E users (myself included) if/when we start moving to Creo. My personal opinion will be to stay with v4 as long as possible.

  • http://twitter.com/MillTurn Daniel Santos

    8 Months ago I wrote at PTC Planet blog: “Yes, Creo might be the best
    move in CAx industry in the last 20 years, but if PTC do not put the
    crap GUI code in the trashcan and start over, this will be for sure
    their last chance. Their credibility will be incinerated if Creo do not
    address these issues”

    http://communities.ptc.com/blogs/markhodges/2010/12/07/welcome-to-the-voice-of-the-customer#comment-2123

    I’m felling like an a$$ for being right… I, a simple mortal, with a
    simple education, was able to smeel their crap miles away from it…

    I don’t trust a single word coming from PTC… it’s pure and shemeless b.s.

    Daniel

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  • Budda1450

    good luck Creo, having been a Solidwork user and then forced to to use ProE (I cried daily) due to a job change all I can say is maybe it will dissappear before i do. BTW the name should have been BlowE, worst 3D software out there.
    Dh




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