A Quick History of PTC and PTC Creo

Written by: Mark Brunelli

Read Time: 4 min.

Since 1985, PTC has been 100% committed to supporting the needs of leading manufacturing companies worldwide. As one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing technology companies, PTC delivers technology solutions that transform the way companies create and service their products.

But even if you’re a regular user of PTC Creo and other PTC products, you may not be very familiar with our rich company history. That’s why today I’d like to offer you a quick history of PTC and PTC Creo. I obviously can’t write about every little thing the company has ever done. So instead, I’ll highlight some key events over the years that shed light on the evolution of this company and the PTC Creo family of CAD software solutions.

PTC first launched Pro/ENGINEER – the software that would one day become PTC Creo – back in 1988. With Pro/ENGINEER, PTC was the first to market with parametric, associative feature-based, solid modeling software. During that same year, legendary heavy equipment manufacturer John Deere became PTC’s first customer.

A few years later, in 1992, construction equipment manufacturer Caterpillar became PTC’s biggest customer. During that same year Industry Week named Pro/ENGINEER Technology of the Year.

Fast-forward to 1998 and PTC Windchill is first launched. PTC was the first to market with Internet-based solutions for Product Lifecycle Management. During the following year, PTC surpassed 25,000 customers for the first time.

PTC has been acquiring and partnering with the right companies and expanding the breadth of its solutions ever since, most recently adding capabilities almost unimaginable in 1985--like real-time simulation and generative design. Here's a brief timeline:

  • 1998 - Company ships Windchill and is considered first to market with internet-based solutions for Product Lifecycle Management (PLM). PTC acquires Computervision Corp.
  • 2005 - Acquired Arbortext for technical publishing technology.
  • 2006 - Acquired Mathsoft for its engineering calculation software. Acquired ITEDO for its 3D technical illustration software.
  • 2007 - Acquired CoCreate for its direct modeling technology.
  • 2013 - Acquired ThingWorx, the Exton, Pennsylvania-based creators of an platform for building and running applications for the Internet of Things (IoT).
  • 2015 - Acquired the Vuforia business from Qualcomm Connected Experiences, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated. The Vuforia platform is an augmented reality (AR) technology platform.
  • 2018 - Acquired Frustrum for its generative design technology.

When Did Pro/Engineer Become Creo?

With the acquisition of Co-Create in 2007, PTC knew that it has a particularly powerful technology in its arsenal. That was the power of direct modeling. The company set out to integrate the direct modeling technology with the parametric functionality of Pro/ENGINEER. After accomplishing this successfully, the company decided to rebrand the product like to reflect the fact PTC could now enable both direct and parametric modeling. The new solution set, PTC Creo, was first introduced in 2010.

A CAD Renaissance

PTC Creo 6.0 made its debut in March of 2019, boasting many new features and capabilities. Today's 3D CAD includes tools for augmented reality, additive manufacturing, etc. To learn more about the latest technologies in CAD software and how they're reshaping product design as we know it,  download the free e-book, An Engineer's Guide to CAD and the Renaissance of Product Design.

Download An Engineer's Guide to CAD and the Renaissance of Product Design

Tags: CAD Retail and Consumer Products Connected Devices

About the Author

Mark Brunelli