PTC Creo – the future of CAD for the next 20 years?

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Not a single ‘answer’, but a suite of them

It’s happened: PTC have pulled out all the stops to launch Creo – what it believes to be the future of CAD for the next 20 years.

A super suite of ‘Apps’ launching next summer is what PTC is hoping will answer the “four big problems” facing CAD users today, and it was undeniably rather impressive (apart from the amateur dramatics production of Chicago to begin with and some cagey ‘stage banter’ you’d usually find on QVC).

The Creo suite is set to run under the banner of the four solutions: AnyRole Apps; AnyMode Modelling; AnyData Adoption and AnyBOM Assembly.

AnyRole Apps:

It doesn’t matter what your role is – these apps will give every work role within the PLM cycle “Dedicated Environments”. There’s something for everyone, with a simple UI for each one they’re all set to be the “Goldilocks of Apps” – Just right. And if you needed more? Seamlessly link into another App to get what you need.

AnyRole Modelling:

Killing off the ‘dead ends’ between moving designs between 2D to 3D, and more impressively, parametric to direct, it all looked very slick and fluent.


Push and pull direct modelling retained all its data when opened in the parametric modelling App, but with some Microsoft Word-style track changes.

Team interoperability looks as though it would be rapidly sped up, with little of the clunkiness that you’d expect.

All of this was running off what was described as “The most powerful geometry kernel” around.

AnyData Adoption:

Data from other CAD programs is no longer dead when opened in a Creo App. Far from being a useless block of data, it is now ‘adopted’ into the program, data intact, live, and ready to be modelled.

AnyBOM Assembly:

Sadly, no explosives.

It’s all ready for the manufacturing stage, allowing the validation and reuse of information for highly configurable products using a tight Windchill integration.

The first seven Apps launch next summer in the Creo 1.0 release, including the direct/parametric modeling tools. An autumn date will see the 2.0 release.

PTC are obviously going all out guns blazing with this, as not only are we presented with a new suite of Apps, but a full rebranding of existing products now merely ‘elements’.

Pro/Engineer is now “The Red Power Ranger”… Actually it’s Creo elements/pro. CoCreate is slapped with Creo elements/direct, and Product View is reduced to Creo elements/view. Lower-case, and a lower status for what were once the PTC mainstays. Now they’re all just falling into being part of one big App family.

Tellingly, this notion of Apps and Jim Heppelmann’s convoluted introduction to proceedings about him trying to buy a track from iTunes (your guesses what it he was trying to buy – my bet’s this) would lead to assumptions that the sales channel is about to get a shake-up.

In the later press conference everyone was declining to answer whether PTC would be launching its own App Store, although much theoretical talk about it later that it’s safe to assume it’ll appear by next summer also.

This would also bring in the idea that third party developers would be able to build Apps, although no mention was made of that.

All this and without a single mention of ‘The Cloud’ – who would have guessed it?

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