#2: This is something that PTC should have done years ago. With the product and range of technology that the company has in its arsenal, with everything from analysis and simulation, through CAM and into digital mockup, the fact that there was no real way to gain a step into those areas, was a real sticking point. What PTC has announced today is bringing a taster of these technologies with stripped back or ‘Lite’ functionality to every user – based on three areas.
CAE lite: This follows the basic FEA tools found in other systems, using the Pro/Mechnica technology to create a simplified user interface to analysis. The interface guides you through the process of carrying structural analysis of not only parts (as is done in SolidWorks and Inventor) but also assemblies. The system guides you through setting up loads and constraints and full results inspection and visualisation tools.
CAM Lite: PTC has had Pro/NC for a long time and while there’s been some adoptance, CAM is something that needs serious attention in terms of sales and development to make sure it gains traction. PTC’s NC related tools got a boost with the company’s aquisition of NC graphics last year. CAM Lite brings basic 2/5 axis milling tools, allowing you to machine basic prismatic parts, but in full 5 axis positioning if you need it.
Manikin Lite: We talked about the release of the Pro/Manikin tools when they were announced sometime ago. What Manikin Lite does is bring these tools to the majority of its user community. The Lite version brings you the ability to place and position human forms in your 3D data environment, but there’s limitations on the ability to pose that form, there’s no ergonomic analysis and no ability to save the designs with the manikin in place.
The latter is a concern. There’s huge potential for this type of tool to proliferate. I understand the need to trade off exposure of technology with the need to build revenues around that technology. But with something like this, something not familiar to the vast majority of users, you need to be able to evaluate it, use it in the real world: not just to see if its worth additional investment, but in this case, to learn the basics of how it works from first principles. Not being able to save that work, is pretty ridiculous.
Manikin Lite is available now, CAM and CAE Lite will be available in February this year, presumably through the PTC Customer portal. It’ll be available to everyone within the Pro/E community, from the base level packages upwards.