Adding Holes to Your Creo Design in 2021

Written by: Cat McClintock

Read Time: 4 min.

It’s hard to imagine a product design that doesn’t involve holes. It’s one of the first things you learn in any basic CAD tutorial. And with a little exploring, you soon figure out how to create most of the essential hole types—like a simple drilled hole or a tapered hole that complies with industry standards.

But to advance your skills, there are some additional techniques that experts use regularly that you might not know about. Plus, myriad new capabilities added in Creo 8 that will make your job easier too. Here’s a quick overview to bring your skills up to date.


Better Hole Design in Creo: Patterns and Lightweight Representations

Want to speed up your design work? It’s helpful to know about patterns, which replicate a feature (like a hole) so you don’t have to add multiples, one by one, to a part. (Here’s a 2-minute video tutorial showing how it works in Creo.)

You should also know about lightweight representations, which change hole geometry from solid to lightweight, speeding up regeneration of your design as you work (in particular if your design includes many holes, e.g., a large hole pattern)

Creo power users have been applying these strategies for years and there’s no reason you shouldn’t too!


What’s New in Hole Design in Creo 8

Recently, Creo engineers did “a ton of work” on holes to further help you speed your design work. Whether you’re a full-time Creo pro, or just getting started, you’ll want to add these advances to your CAD repertoire:


Lightweight Holes


Maybe you’ve used lightweight representations for holes in Creo before, but look again. Until recently, the option was only available for some types of holes. Now, you can use it for any type in the Part modeling environment, including the standard and drilled/sketched simple holes. See how it works in the video below:


Multi-hole Feature


Traditionally, a hole is one feature in a CAD system. Want to drill three holes on your digital bowling ball? That’s three features.

Unfortunately, that constraint limits your ability to define your hole locations with sketches—and generally slows down busy design engineers.

That changes with the introduction of the multi-hole feature option in Creo. Now you can create multiple holes in a single hole feature, using internal or external sketches. Just select your hole placement type as Sketched, and then place holes on sketch points, line endpoints, or line midpoints.

See all the nuances and time savings waiting for you in the short video below:


Tapped+Tapered Holes

Speaking of using multiple features when just one will do, you no longer have to create a group of features to get a hole that complies with standards like NPT, NPTF, and ISO-7. That is, you no longer need to define one hole feature for the upper tapered section and one for the lower straight section.

Now you can create a straight drilled hole in combination with the tapped, tapered hole section easily. See all your new options in the video below:


Expanded Thread Options

If your holes require threads (think fasteners, among other things), you’ll want to know about these thread depth options in Creo.

  • Through Thread can help you drill holes to a geometric reference.
  • Blind sets depth from the placement reference to a specified depth value.
  • To Reference lets you use other geometry in the model to drive your thread length.

Intrigued? See them in action in the video below:


All these options and more were covered in the Creo 8 Usability and Productivity Conference. It’s too late to catch the excitement of a live webcast, but you can still watch the replay for more about the newest capabilities in Creo and much more.


Tags: CAD

About the Author

Cat McClintock

Cat McClintock edits the Creo and Mathcad blogs for PTC.  She has been a writer and editor for 15+ years,  working for CAD, PDM, ERP, and CRM software companies. Prior to that, she edited science journals for an academic publisher and aligned optical assemblies for a medical device manufacturer. She holds degrees in Technical Journalism, Classics, and Electro-Optics. She loves talking to PTC customers and learning about the interesting work they're doing and the innovative ways they use the software.