Direct Modeling In Creo

In “What Exactly Is Creo? – Part 5” I wrote:

For me the key breakthrough (if any) will be in the way Creo does direct modeling. If Creo’s direct modeling is simply automating the hack and whack approach now being used by history based parametric modeling users, then I would hardly consider that as a breakthrough. It will be a time saver, that’s all. Autodesk is trying to achieve something unprecedented by making the software so intelligent that it can pick apart the history tree and incorporate the direct modeling changes made to it, all the time. From the limited understanding that I have on Creo (because I don’t have the software yet) I gather that the software can edit the feature tree if the direct modeling changes made are simple. But if they are complicated, Creo Elements/Direct simply adds a move face feature to the feature tree (which is invisible to the user) which then shows up in the Creo Elements/Pro. If that is indeed the case, then this whole thing is simply reduced to mere automation of an existing task.

Today in a post titled “Smoke, Mirrors, Creo, Ninjas: All good things“, Al Dean of DEVELOP3D wrote:

At its very core, Creo is still a history and feature based modelling system – whether you’re using the Creo Parametric or the Creo Direct app. What PTC has done is an excellent job of hiding the fact away from the user of the Creo Direct app. That’s the one fundamental thing to realise. Creo Direct looks, feels and works like a direct modelling system. All of the user experience flags are there. Grabbing faces, deleting data, re-applicable of rounds, maintaining of geometric relationships where possible. It looks and feels like CoCreate does, like any of the other systems do. But underneath the hood, its storing a history of every edit you make, every feature you create. You just don’t see it.

So as I guessed eight months ago and as Al understands it today, PTC has implemented Direct Modeling in Creo by simply automating the process of adding features to the bottom of the feature tree. If that is indeed the case then, then in my opinion, Creo is hardly a breakthrough in 3D modeling technology. But as Al points out, who gives a shit, as long as users can get their job done and this method of direct modeling solves more problems than it creates.

  • Cmon

    why should they throw away the valuable history of modeling operations, while it does provide the same experience and properties of a direct modeler?

  • Shyamalroy

    Deelip when you look at your watch do you wish to know what time it is or how the watch works?

  • http://profiles.google.com/cad.sachin Sachin Nalawade

    It would matter because PTC calling new product a breakthrough (call it digital watch) and using same old technology (as Mechanical watch) at back end. Why users will switch/change their existing watches (CAD software).

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

    Nobody is asking them to throw away the feature tree. The real breakthrough would be to incorporate the direct modeling operations in the feature tree, not append move face features to the bottom of it. That’s being done for years.

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

    When I look at my watch I wish to know what time it is. That’s also why I don’t think the watch is a breakthrough in technology.

  • Cmon

    yes, you’re right. a messy feature tree from top to buttom and without design intent is of no use for parametric design. i guess the reason why someone would like to pass the model from direct to parametric is to obtain a model with valuable history and design intent, not junk like what creo direct to parametric makes as seen in this shot: (its modeled in creo direct, brought to parametric before moving the darker green face and after, as you mentioned in this post, it confirms that history is recorded and not shown until brought to parametric, even the blue cylinder that is eliminated, appears as an extrude.)
    http://oi55.tinypic.com/ek0oeg.jpg
    http://oi52.tinypic.com/k2idyr.jpg

    however i doubt anyone would like to design a part form start to finish in direct and move to parametric to gain a neat history tree and design intent.
    is it a breakthrough? no. its only a smarter version of solidworks move face.

  • Cmon

    Up to now,direct editing has failed in my opinion.  one of the main selling points of these products is making changes to models for FEA, but in reality 90% of times, they fail to make those changes, whether its Spaceclaim, ST,Fusion,etc. they only work on  carefully selected models.

  • Cmon

    direct editing works on dumb models and produces dumb results, try to change:
    http://img52.imageshack.us/img52/7125/57462332.png
    to
    http://img594.imageshack.us/img594/8366/46478027.png
    i tried Spacecliam and creo. both failed.

  • Tomas Vargas

    You are  missing the soul of SC, which is to help you interoperate between 8 closed bear traps , also known as traditional CAD systems.  If it also helps you prepare models for CAE or CAM,  with Bid or conceptual modeling good.  How long did it take you to master SC ?    Compare it to  the learning curve of CATIA V4 ?  Pro-E 1 ?  
     For example try to read  a CATIa V4 file into adopted child Solid Works ,  or Inventor or any other  ? You had to live nightmares with IGES & STEP.   Direct Modeling should be an engineer´s entry door ( always open )  to 3D CAD.    I mean hands on  project,  product, engineers not CAD operators.

  • Tomas Vargas

    Did you try with mechanical desktop ?   Pro-E 2001 ?  Solid Works ?  Anybody could break Pro-E with a Cube and 2 rounds,  the third would fail,  it could also model a complete engine.   If you help the software you get ahead,   If you try to break it,   you will.   

  • Cmon

    you don’t need to try to break direct editing,it’ll fail on its own, the chances are high direct editing a complex geometry like an engine would break it too, when it fails on such a simple model.

  • Paul Hamilton

    This example works fine in Creo Elements/Direct Modeling. Doing this example in a history-based system with native geometry is simple – if you created the part right. Doing it with imported geometry is another thing.

    It is unfortunate that there are so many examples of immature direct modeling/editing out there, but it is just a mater of time. There is a place for this technology in product design and that is why it is getting so much attention right now. Thousands of companies around the globe use Creo Elements/Direct for complete art-to-part product development. Capturing design intent and controlling geometry is no problem with it – even on imported geometry. Certainly you can always find ways to break it, but there is always a way around. You should never have to rebuild parts – it’s just geometry.

  • http://twitter.com/bcourter Blake Courter

    That worked for me in SpaceClaim, but like others mention, it’s trivial.  For more complicated operations the preferred way of moving something is to split it off the body using something like SpaceClaim’s split body, heal the surrounding geometry using something like SpaceClaim’s Fill tool, then putting it where you want it using something like SpaceClaim’s Combine tool.  That almost always works, no matter how complicated the geometry, and it’s usually still faster that redefining features.

  • Cmon

    blake, could u please record your screen when you do the trivial?

  • Victor Nassar

    Check out this video: http://www.spaceclaim.com/en/Resources/VidPlayer.aspx?v=Geometry_Re-Use.mp4 

    I don’t think that was trivial.  Maybe SpaceClaim makes look trivial!

  • Roger

    Done in Solid Edge ST3.  Does seem trivial.
    http://youtu.be/MdreLlIjXZg

  • Dave Ault

     OK guys I will bite on this. Why just for curiosities sake don’t you think SE will do this? Here you go in real time in ST3.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gprtxJaH9eY

      Now all I have to do is slap some dimensions on there and I have precise location where ever I want.

  • d3print

    If block`s created first and then cylinder. Does it still works in SE?

  • Roger

    Yea works fine, it doesn’t seem to make a difference what the creation order is.

  • Cmon

    if its trivial why it fails?

    http://bit.ly/jUsOMP

  • Dave Ault

      OK here is this “problem” in an imported IGES file just to address the question of working with imports. In SE this is where ST proves it’s worth more than anywhere else. It is one of the things that helped me to choose SE because importing did not really matter I could still work on things and indeed do it faster than the history based  program that created it. Now I know I am getting a little silly with it at the end but I think you all get the idea. 

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbzS9690rZw

  • Ken

    Looks like it’s trivial to me… If you’re not using SpaceClaim ;-)

  • Cmon

    ST looks good, at least for trivial cases ;-)

  • Lee

    Don’t understand your point. If you have a simple hole in a history tree and later on you change the radius of the hole with direct editing manipulations then, yes, it is more desirable to change the existing hole feature in the tree rather than create one more “change radius” feature. But this approach is not flexible at all because the idea behind direct modelling is your ability to move just anything. This “anything” can contain surfaces from many features at the same time. I am quite sure that in more complex examples it is just theoretically impossible to make such changes in existing features that completely match results of your direct modelling manipulations.  So appending new “direct modelling” features at the end of the tree seems to be more universal and flexible solution that is supposed to work anytime not for simple examples only.

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

    Precisely. That’s why I say that this is not a breakthrough in modeling technology. Its merely automation of any already established way of doing things.

  • d3print

    There are two different part (part copies), not one solid! Does it matter?

  • d3print

    Ok, when you move cylinder first to lower right corner and then to middle of second box, does it still works?

  • Dave Ault

     If you are asking in reference to my post, no it does not matter.  I could do the cylinder inserted into the blocks but since ST is not actually merging the various shapes like a parametric modeler would do it is still recognisable as a cylinder. Same is true for the imports and if the cylinder was merged into the block by another cad program I can move the cylindrical extrude over to see the bottom face and do an extrude there to give me the full length and then move it however I want. I can’t think of any scenario where this will not work in SE.

  • Dave Ault

     If you are asking in reference to my post, no it does not matter.  I could do the cylinder inserted into the blocks but since ST is not actually merging the various shapes like a parametric modeler would do it is still recognisable as a cylinder. Same is true for the imports and if the cylinder was merged into the block by another cad program I can move the cylindrical extrude over to see the bottom face and do an extrude there to give me the full length and then move it however I want. I can’t think of any scenario where this will not work in SE.

  • http://www.domain-hosting-services.in domain and hosting

    I am not familiar with this information but I know what exactly is creo? I want more information about creo. Keep on posting.

  • Neil

    Could you please answer the question directly? Please attach videos that shows how the new Creo Direct or the old Creo/Elements Direct (aka CoCreate) can perform the change that Cmon described?

    Instead of answering directly (pun intended) you keep changing the subject.

  • Neil

    Waiting for your video showing how this change is done trivially in SpaceClaim…

  • Dave Ault

    Just for clarifications sake here the IGES files I am importing were created in VX14.5 so these are true imports from another modeler and not something just saved out as an IGES file from ST3 and brought back in.

  • Paul Hamilton

    Didn’t think I was changing the subject. Sorry about that.  As I mentioned before, this example can be done with Creo Elements Direct Modeling (CoCreate) and here is the video. This is a single body model with no structure in it – just a blob of geometry. 

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bz8R-L9g3Q

  • Cmon

    Neil, creo parametric did it, although it requires selecting the bottom surface too, without it, it doesn’t work. see here, somehow it didn’t capture my cursor. i wait for Paul to record his screen!
    http://bit.ly/lFbGrr

  • Cmon

    nice, thanks for the video.

  • Dave Ault

     Was this file done with a part created inside of Creo? Can you show us a file being  imported from another program to see how the “dumb solid” will work here?

  • Dave Ault

    This is a double post and sorry about that all but i grabbed the wrong reply button. Was this part created inside of Creo? Can you show us a part being inported and then edited to see how a “dumb solid” will work here?:”

  • D3print

    Ok, nice to know.

  • Cmon

    It doesnt merge? meaning you can’t put a fillet there like Paul has done in cocreate?

  • Paul Hamilton

    It’s a dumb solid, but that is the case with any geometry created in CoCreate. they are all dumb solids. I will try to make another video showing the import. I also hope to make videos of Direct editing in Creo Parametric and Creo Direct. Just need to find the time. Perhaps tonight.

  • Tim

    Pault, i can`t do it in cocreate 17, could you do the next video in 17? from start to finish?

  • Dave Ault

      Not sure what you are asking here. Merging had nothing to do with fillets and the part I have been discussing from your post way up the line here had no fillets.  Paul introduced some parts that had no bearing on the original discussion of your part and I have not bothered with them. Merging for the sake of my discussion RE your part means that seperate extrudes are combined to be one solid  feature and not a set of three placed on each other. 

  • Neil

    Thanks, Paul.

    But frankly, this example seems to question the general wisdom that direct modeling ALWAYS allows easy ad hoc changes. Blake Courter has yet to show how to do this in SpaceClaim. And, may be SolidEdge cannot handle this if there is a fillet between the cylindrical face and the rest of the body. And even with CoCreate, we have a user (Tim) who cannot figure out how to do this.

    Now contrast this with history-based modeling. Of course, if the model was done to facilitate this change, this task would be utterly trivial.

    But even if the model was not done to help this change, it is not hard to do make this change. You would simply make a new cylindrical extrude, if necessary add the fillets. You would make sure that the height of the cylinder, the radius of the fillets etc. are equal to the original values. Then you would simply delete the old faces, with healing option, to get the model to match what you want. Of course, as a parametric model these changes would not score well! But remember, our objective was to find the easiest/fastest means to create a particular geometry, starting with a given geometry.

  • Neil

    Thanks, Paul.

    But frankly, this example seems to question the general wisdom that direct modeling ALWAYS allows easy ad hoc changes. Blake Courter has yet to show how to do this in SpaceClaim. And, may be SolidEdge cannot handle this if there is a fillet between the cylindrical face and the rest of the body. And even with CoCreate, we have a user (Tim) who cannot figure out how to do this.

    Now contrast this with history-based modeling. Of course, if the model was done to facilitate this change, this task would be utterly trivial.

    But even if the model was not done to help this change, it is not hard to do make this change. You would simply make a new cylindrical extrude, if necessary add the fillets. You would make sure that the height of the cylinder, the radius of the fillets etc. are equal to the original values. Then you would simply delete the old faces, with healing option, to get the model to match what you want. Of course, as a parametric model these changes would not score well! But remember, our objective was to find the easiest/fastest means to create a particular geometry, starting with a given geometry.

  • Roger

    Solid Edge ST3 again.  Doesn’t quite react the same as Co-create but works well and makes sense.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38AkadB64_E

  • http://twitter.com/alistardean al dean

    the watch is one of those technological innovations that passed so quickly into just a ‘product’ that you don’t think about it – but 300 years ago, it was a breakthrough that opened up the world with accurate navigation.

    but yeah, your watch might be shit mate ;)

  • Cmon

    With all due respect,there’s nothing interesting in your video, you turned it into a multibody part and moved the cylinder body then merged it. you can do this in any  history based CAD. your move face tool should handle this, but it fails “Trivial” cases.

  • d3print

    Depending how you look at it!  Whit all respect, Spaceclaim is best, fastest and nicest to use than any other MCAD in this moment. Why you walk when you can fly?

  • Dave Ault

      Cmon,
        After looking into this the example Paul used with fillets it can’t be done exactly as he did them in SE. Of course there will be things that SE can do Creo can’t. No I don’t have a specific example to point to because I don’t have a clue how Creo works but this is true with any software comparison. People trot out things that make them look good on all sides and you have to decide ultimately what has the most usefullness in your world. Let us see how his stuff works for imported parts shall we;-}

       




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