Creo Elements/Direct Modeling Personal Edition (PE) FAQs

Basics

How can I get the model to pan, rotate, and zoom?

Use these key/mouse combinations:

Keyboard Mouse Button Action
Ctrl key Left Button Pans the view when you move the mouse
Ctrl key Right Button Zooms the view when you move the mouse
Ctrl key Middle Button
or Dial
Rotates the view when you move the mouse

Is there an easy way to tell what commands are available at any time?

The context-sensitive mini toolbars show the available key commands and options when selecting an object.

Press the right mouse button to display a menu of all valid options and commands.

How do I enter data into the yellow dialog fields?

One of two ways:

  1. Enter a value directly in the field. For example, for dimensions, pull distances, new part names and blend radii, click the yellow field and enter your value directly.
  2. Pick from the model or browser. For example, to copy faces, click on the label or button next to the yellow field and then pick the item in the model or browser. The field then reads “defined.”

What are all the different file types in the load and save dialogs?

Loading and Saving
Bundle (.bd2) File includes both models and the associated drawings in one file.
Package (.pk2) File includes models in one file.
 
Loading
IGES (.igs) File includes 3D IGES data (import only)
STEP (.stp) File includes 3D STEP data (import only)
 
Saving
STL (.stl) File includes 3D data suitable for STL-based rapid prototyping.
VRML (.vml) File includes 3D data suitable for web pages.
 
Other file types include:
 
Session (.se2) File includes all UI, model and workplane settings, etc., in one file.
Note: Only recommended for temporary storage, machine specific.
Environment (.env) File includes Viewport, Light and Annotation settings.
Note: Only recommended for temporary storage, machine specific.
Recorder (.rec) File includes special recorder files. Not recommended.
Lisp Lisp customization. Not recommended.
MI 2D drawings in MI format.
Import 2D Various 2D formats.

What tools are available to teach me to use Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE?

What's the difference between pull, punch and stamp commands?

PTC uses concepts familiar to mechanical engineers. The commands in the machining area of the software reflect typical machining operations:

Note. If you experience trouble using these commands, see Unexpected performance issues, below.

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Unexpected performance issues

Graphics performance is slow. Why?

This is usually a graphics card issue. Your PC has no graphics card or uses a non-supported graphics card. In the absence of a supported graphics card, Creo Elements/Direct Modeling Personal Edition uses software based graphics acceleration – leading to slow performance.

I get a "viewport frozen" error while working with software. Why?

This is another typical graphics card issue. Your PC has no graphics card or uses a non-supported graphics card. Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE has been tested with a broad range of graphics cards and PC configurations. It supports 3D-capable graphics cards with drivers supporting OpenGL 1.1

I cannot pull my profile. Why?

Make sure you have created a profile on the face you want to machine. Usually, you create a workplane on the face, then create the profile.

If you still cannot pull, make sure the profile is fully closed.

Hint: Don’t forget that you can use nested and overlapping profiles.

Round surfaces appear edged in my viewport. Why?

You can enhance edges by increasing the number of circular facets.

To set the default value:

  1. Open Edit>Settings.
  2. In the menu, select 3D Object Settings.
  3. In Part Misc, change the Graphical Resolution to High(er), resulting in smoother round surfaces.

To change the current parts settings:

  1. Select the part
  2. Right mouse click – Part Properties
  3. Facets: Reduce the value of the angle, to get smoother round faces.

Hint: Increasing the number of circular facets for appearance will most often affect performance times. So use sparingly!

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Useful settings

Can I change the system units to inches or feet?

Yes,

  1. In Edit>Settings, select System Settings
  2. In Units, select the units you want

Hint: You can also change the system units by picking the mm tab at the bottom right hand side of the application.

Where do I find menus and dialogs to set default settings for the software?

Edit>Settings. In this menu, all the default setting can be changed.

Hint. If you want to change the default settings in Annotation, switch to the Annotation module first, and then go to Edit>Settings.

Can I save my design data automatically?

Yes,

  1. In Edit>Settings, select System Settings.
  2. In the Save tab, enable the Auto Save option.

Once enabled, the system saves every 10 minutes. For more options, select Advanced.

How can the 3D and 2D CoPilot snapping be adapted or refined?

Use the Page Up and Page Down keys to change the 3D and 2D Copilot snapping range.

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Generating Drawings with the Annotation module

How can I switch between Modeling and Annotation?

  1. To start Annotation initially, use the 2D button on the left side toolbar.
  2. Once initiated, go to the Application menu.
  3. In the menu, select either Annotation or Modeling.

Hint: You can also change between the two modules by clicking on the arrow head icon at the bottom right hand corner of the application.

What drawing standards does Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE support? What about ANSI, DIN, JIS?

By default, the English language version of Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE supports the ANSI drawings standard.

However, you can select DIN, JIS or other standards:

  1. Switch to Annotation.
  2. Choose Edit>Settings.
  3. Use the Default Settings option to select different standards (ASME; DIN, ISO, JIS).

How can I create a drawing with views different than the default?

  1. Switch to Annotation
  2. Choose Edit>Settings.
  3. In the Drawing/View Settings menu, select the Views tab. Here you can choose which views you want as default.

How can I customize my drawing frame in Annotation?

To further tailor the drawing settings, edit the am_customize file. For instructions, see the Annotation customization guide.

How can I customize my dimension settings permanently?

  1. Switch to Annotation
  2. Choose Edit>Settings.
  3. In the Dimension menu you’ll find the options to customize your dimension settings.

How can I customize my hatch setting permanently?

  1. Switch to Annotation.
  2. Choose Edit>Settings.
  3. In the Hatch Settings you’ll find the options to customize your hatch settings.

Why can’t I update my views in the drawing? Why do all views appear red in the Drawing list?

The 3D model needs to be saved after you’ve created a drawing or associativity breaks.

How can I dimension a circle in Annotation?

  1. Switch to Annotation.
  2. Select the Dimension menu on the left hand side of the application, and choose from the most appropriate dimension type.

How can I see which geometry has been updated in Annotation?

  1. Switch to Annotation
  2. Choose View>Show Settings.
  3. Check Upd Color.

Can I predefine the owner of a drawing during creation?

See am_customize and the Annotation customization guide

In my drawing, hidden lines are not calculated. Why?

  1. Switch to Annotation
  2. Choose View>Show Settings.
  3. Check Hidden.

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Security

How secure am I when I register, install, and use the product?

Your protection is important to us. There are a number of levels of protection we offer with respect to registration and usage of the product:

 

User Account

The combination of your Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE user name and your personally defined password provides a unique identifier for you as a user. Your password is stored in a secured PTC database.

Real-time Product Activation

Every time you start Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE, a brief product activation routine runs. This guarantees that only you can use the software on the machine on which you installed it.

The first time you start Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE on that machine, you will be asked to supply your Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE user name and personally defined password. This is a one-time step to register you and the machine with PTC.

Product activation is automatic; it checks online and in real time for:

  • Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE user name.
  • Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE personally defined password.
  • Windows username.

Note. Once activated, your system can start and run Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE for 72 hours. You do not have to maintain a connection to the internet during that time.

More about real-time product activation:

Real-time product activation uses a standard secured socket layer (SSL/https) protocol via port 443. This is like most secured websites you may visit. The communication between Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE and the server is based on an open, readable, text based activation key.

The activation key is a short piece of data (text string), not code, sent from PTC’s web server to your local copy of Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE. The data string is not an executable program and cannot do anything to your machine.

The online product activation failed. Why?

There are five main reasons why online product activation may fail:

No internet connection. Product activation requires an active internet connection. Please make sure your PC is currently connected to the internet. You can check this by opening your internet browser and connecting to a website, for example, www.ptc.com

We don’t have you registered at PTC. Product activation checks that you are registered with PTC. Please make sure you are registered. You can register at www.ptc.com/go/modelingpe

Our registration details don’t match the details you are providing. Initial product activation asks you for your Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE user name (your email address) and your personally defined password. These details are compared to the registration details we have for you at PTC. If they don’t match, product activation will fail. Please make sure that you use the same Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE user name and personally defined password for registration and authorization.Check your account at www.ptc.com/common/account/index.htm.

Our automatic product activation process failed. Our automated product activation handles a broad range of internet and proxy settings that individuals and companies use, but may occasionally fail. In this case, manual product activation starts. You will be able to activate the product manually for a period of 72 hours.

If product activation continues to fail and isn’t one of the reasons described above, you can send an email request to PTC: ENModelingPE@ptc.com

What is manual product activation?

Our automated product activation handles a broad range of internet and proxy settings that individuals and companies use, but may occasionally fail. In this case, manual product activation starts. You will be able to activate the product manually for a period of 72 hours. The steps for manual product activation are:

  1. Sign in to Creo Elements/Direct Manual Product Activation page, using your Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE user name and password.
  2. Copy the automatically generated product activation code.
  3. Paste the automatically generated product activation code into the Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE activation screen.
  4. Click Activate.

The product will be activated for a period of 72 hours.

If manual product activation continues to fail, you can send an email request to PTC: ENModelingPE@ptc.com

 

What data passes through the internet connection when I sign in to my Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE user account?

Your Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE user name and your personally defined password are cross-checked with the details you provided during initial registration.

When I’m connected to PTC servers, who can see my models?

Only you. All your model data is stored on your PC. PTC cannot and will not access this data.

Will PTC track what types of commands I use and what types of models I create?

No. This information is not trackable and not captured.

Why am I getting security alerts when installing or running Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE?

When you install or run Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE, a short license activation sequence is performed. Some security software will alert you to this.
To run Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE, please allow the activation sequence to be performed.

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Connecting to the internet

Do I need to sign in to my Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE user account to start the product?

No. You only need to have an active internet connection to activate Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE.

However, we do recommend you visit your Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE page on a regular basis. You can access new materials, including new Quickstart projects, sample models, Tips and Tricks, FAQs, user discussion forums, specials offers and more.

Do I have to be connected to the internet to use the product?

You must be connected to the internet when you first start the product. Once your license is activated, you can disconnect for up to 72 hours. If you try to start the product after the 72 hour period has elapsed without an active internet connection, you will receive a message that tells you to connect to the internet, so that the product can be activated again.

Why does PTC enable 72 hours of Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE on the machine?

In return for free access to Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE, PTC wants to study patterns of product usage. This helps us understand where communities are being established, how frequently the product is started and how to best load balance our download servers.

After successful product activation, you can start and use the product for 72 hours.

What happens to my work if I lose the internet connection part-way through a design session?

After product activation, you can start and use Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE for 72 hours. If the internet connection is interrupted, your design session will continue. You will be able to keep working and also save your work during this session as you would normally.

What happens if the PTC central server crashes?

We’ve established backup servers to minimize downtime. If this type of problem occurs, it will not affect your session. You will be able to keep on working and save your work as you normally would.

Over what ports and protocols will the product be transmitting data?

Real-time product activation uses a standard secured socket layer (SSL/https) protocol via port 443. This is like most secured websites you may visit. The communication between Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE and the PTC server is based on an open, readable, text based activation key.

Will caching at the gateway/proxy server level pose any problems?

No, there should be no problems with gateway or proxy servers.

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Installation

What platforms do you support?

Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE supports the Windows 7 Editions of Ultimate, Enterprise, Business, and Home Premium, Windows Vista Editions of Ultimate, Enterprise, Business, and Home Premium, Windows XP Professional and Windows XP Home.

Do you support Windows 7?

Yes. Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE 3.0 supports the Windows 7 Editions of Ultimate, Enterprise, Business and Home Premium.

Will you support older Windows platforms later?

While we have seen evaluation or free 3D CAD versions available on platforms like Windows 98, they are often limited to just a handful of features. PTC opted to offer a full range of capabilities supported only on more recent Windows platforms.

How flexible is my free product?

You can install Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE on two PCs in two locations. Product usage is then tied to two machines.

How big is the Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE download?

The Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE download is approximately 160 MB. This includes the 3D CAD product, key Quickstart Projects and Online Help.

How long will the Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE download take?

No matter how fast your internet connection, general performance across the internet will affect your download performance. While many internet service providers heavily promote their top download speeds, actual performance can be considerably lower, reduced by factors like the amount of internet traffic, number of concurrent downloads from the central server, etc.

Here are some typical internet configurations, with peak speeds and expected download times if peak speeds are sustained during the download:

Technology Peak Speed Download time based on peak speed
ADSL Plus20 Mb/s1 minute
ADSL10Mb/s2 minute
DSL6Mb/s4 minutes
Cable6Mb/s4 minutes
T11.5Mb/s16 minutes
DSL2Mb/s12 minutes
DSL1Mb/s23 minutes
ISDN*128kb/s3 hours
Dial Up modem* 56kb/s6 hours 30 minutes

* Note: ISDN (128kb/s or lower) and 56kb/s or lower dial-up modems are not recommended for downloading Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE.

Do you include ads in this free download?

No. For many users banner ads and other forms of advertising cause frustration and often slow down the product’s performance. PTC will not include any form of advertising in the download.

How do I uninstall Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE?

To uninstall Creo Elements/Direct Modeling Personal Edition:

  1. Open the Windows Control Panel.
  2. In the Control Panel, select Add or Remove Programs or the Programs and Features menu.
  3. Scroll the list of applications, and select Creo Elements/Direct Modeling Personal Edition.
  4. Click Remove or Uninstall.

What’s the best way to upgrade from previous versions of Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE to version 3.0?

You can install version 3.0 of Creo Elements/Direct Modeling Personal Edition without overwriting the original. But once you are familiar with version 3.0, we recommend you uninstall any previous versions.

Note: Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE 3.0 can load 3D model files you created with the previous versions of Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE. But you cannot use those created in Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE 3.0 in the older releases.

In your system requirements, I cannot find Windows 7 Home Basic Edition. Won’t Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE run on it?

We targeted the more professional Windows 7 editions for this release. We did only minimal testing of Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE on Windows 7 Home Basic edition. While it appeared to run smoothly, we did no complete test.

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Upgrading to Creo Elements/Direct Modeling

How can I purchase Creo Elements/Direct Modeling?

Click the Upgrade button on the “Free vs. Full Version Comparison” tab and fill the form to get contacted by PTC for more information for upgrading to the full version or click here.

Visit our public website to find contact details for your local PTC office or PTC Business partner: www.ptc.com/company/contacts.

Can designs I create with Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE be loaded into Creo Elements/Direct Modeling?

No. However, if you decide to purchase Creo Elements/Direct Modeling, PTC can convert your Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE design data into a format that is directly readable by Creo Elements/Direct Modeling.

How can I convert my data from Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE to Creo Elements/Direct Modeling?

If you decide to purchase Creo Elements/Direct Modeling, PTC can convert your Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE design data into a format that is directly readable by Creo Elements/Direct Modeling.

What additional features and capabilities are offered by Creo Elements/Direct Modeling compared to Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE?

Creo Elements/Direct Modeling adds:

Extended data exchange: Save STEP, IGES, MI
Publish eDrawings
Load and Save SAT
Load and Save PCB via IDF
Enriched core capabilities: No maximum part limit (PE is limited to maximum 60 parts)
Real-time rendering
Photo-realistic rendering
Advanced Blending, Tapering, Chamfering
Licensing: No mandatory active internet connection
No 72 hour product activation routine
Floating license
Add-on modules: Dozens of add-on modules for data
management, analysis, DFM, etc.

See our comparison with the full version to see a complete list of additional functionality you get with upgrading to the full version.

What do I need to be aware of if I want to upgrade to Creo Elements/Direct Modeling?

If you want to upgrade Creo Elements/Direct Modeling PE to Creo Elements/Direct Modeling, consider the additional system requirements required by the full commercial product. Additional requirements include higher levels of RAM, more disk space, etc. Check system requirements at www.ptc.com/products/creo-elements-direct/modeling.

Note: Creo Elements/Direct Modeling does not support Windows XP Home, Windows Vista Home Premium or Windows 7 Home Premium.

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