Editor’s Pick: Additive Manufacturing, Real-Time Simulation and AR Inside 3D CAD

PTC Creo 6.0 keeps a legendary design tool on the cutting edge.

PTC Creo 6.0 keeps a legendary design tool on the cutting edge.

New mini-toolbars in PTC Creo 6.0 provide quick and direct in-context access to feature editing options. Image courtesy PTC.

Dear DE Reader:

In the beginning there was Pro/ENGINEER … or, at least it feels that way. PTC introduced parametric modeling to the CAD industry in 1988, and things have never been the same. The first edition of Pro/ENGINEER was cutting-edge technology, and its recently introduced descendent Creo 6.0 is also on the cutting edge. It is a natural as our Editor’s Pick of the Week. 

For a generation, Pro/ENGINEER was the standard of comparison for everything to follow in mechanical CAD. In 2010 PTC renamed Pro/E as Creo, and introduced direct editing into the history-based parametric workflow, launching another revolution in mechanical CAD still playing out today. This newest edition of Creo introduces real-time simulation, extends Creo’s utility in creating augmented reality (AR) content, and adds new features for working with additive manufacturing/3D printing. 

Design is going through a renaissance. CAD models need to become digital twins to the part or product in development. More parts are being sent straight to 3D printing, not just for prototyping but for full production. Some of the biggest players in manufacturing are using AR as an assembly guide or as a virtual field repair manual.  

PTC started investing in Internet of Things (IoT) technology several years ago; at first there was not much crossover between PTC’s CAD and IoT lines. But today it is different. PTC calls it the era of smart connected products. The company keeps adding new features to entice designers to make Creo the heart and soul of their IoT-aware product design. 

Creo Simulation Live is simulation technology fully integrated into the Creo modeling environment. PTC says it gives results in seconds, running in the background during design sessions. It is a joint venture with ANSYS, which showed off its capabilities with ANSYS Discovery Live. Instead of sending out one design to a dedicated analyst and having to wait for a reply, engineers can now test design options iteratively while working. PTC claims the process generates more options faster, cuts design time and leads to products reaching the market sooner. 

Augmented reality is already adding value to engineering, manufacturing and operational support processes. New AR technology in Creo 6.0 includes model and permissions management for up to 10 “experiences” — AR-speak for completed AR visualization spaces. These spaces can be on tablets, smartphones and Microsoft HoloLens headsets (fast becoming the AR industrial standard). AR experiences created in Creo 6 can be accessed and launched using links, PTC’s ThingMarks IoT technology and QR codes. 

So far, so cool. But for some Creo users, the best part of the version 6.0 update will be how the product understands additive manufacturing. Now Creo lets the designer optimize, validate and print check without leaving the Creo environment. It is now possible to analyze and optimize print processes through smarter design of support structures and build orientation. Creo 6.0 also expands support for 3MF, an emerging industry standard for design-for-print. 

There is much more to Creo 6.0. An improved User Interface includes mini-toolbars specific to feature modification. The Feature Dashboard has been updated, and so has the Model Tree. Other updates include intelligent fastener extensions, model-based definition, new cabling tools and faster core modeling capabilities.  

There’s more detail to be discovered in today’s product write-up. Click through for illustrations and videos on this worthy heir to Grandpa Pro/E. 

Thanks for reading DE

The Editors

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DE Editors

DE’s editors contribute news and new product announcements to Digital Engineering. Press releases can be sent to them via [email protected].

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