Creo Combination States and Model-Based Definition (MBD)

Written by: Madhavi Ramesh

The recent release of Creo Parametric 4.0 is huge for companies that are on the MBD path and for those that are waiting on the sidelines to jump on the MBD path.

MBD is based on Y14.41-2003 Digital Product Definition Data Practices that establishes standards and requirements for tolerances, dimensional data, and other digital design annotations on 3D solid models. Creo 4.0 introduced a number of new features that allow for easier creation of MBD model.

In this blog post, I’d like to cover the key enhancements with respect to Combination States in Creo Parametric 4.0. These include –

  • Combination State Enhancements
  • Combination State Printing

Combination States are important in the MBD context as they facilitate the presentation of model and the related annotations

Combination States in Creo Parametric

In Creo Parametric, you can view an assembly in different states like simplified representations, orientations, explode states, cross sections, and zone clippings. Combined views are collections of one or more of these individual states and you can set combined views in 3D or 2D views. For a detailed explanation on creating and organizing Combined Views, refer to this free tutorial on learning exchange here

Screenshot from PTC Learning Exchange

Combination States Config Option

You can customize the way in which Creo Parametric runs by setting options in a configuration file ( To set the default combination states, add the combined_state_type option to the configuration options.  Choose one of the following configuration option that makes the most sense for your organization.

• mbd — The Annotations and Supplementary Geometry check boxes are activated for the new combination state.

• semi_mbd — The Annotations check box is activated and the Supplementary Geometry check box is inactive for the new combination state. This is the default.

• no_mbd — The Annotations and Supplementary Geometry check boxes are inactive for the newly created combination state.

When you select the combined_state_type configuration option, the Annotations and Supplementary Geometry check boxes of the new combination state are selected or cleared.

Publishing combination States

PTC’s Visualization suite offers easy and light weight visualization of MBD data for all users across the enterprise.  Publishing is the process of converting Creo files into a light weight file that can be read by Creo View. Publishing of combination states to Creo View can now be controlled using the Publish column that is available in the All tab of the View Manager dialog box as shown below.

View Manager

Combination State Enhancements in Creo 4.0

Appearance states

  • Saved appearance in a combination state
  • You can define different appearance states for the model from the View Manager dialog box, Appearance tab. You can define different color combinations for specific use cases easily, without compromising your design.

     Appearance tab in the View Manager

    Visibility management

  • Visibility of annotations and supplemental geometry

    using either layers or combination state

    Publishing options

  • Combination states to be published to Creo View
  • Default combination state in Creo View

 Models with different appearance states

These are just a few of the enhancements in Creo Parametric 4.0. 

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MBD is quickly becoming the preferred approach to design. Engineers are discovering the benefits of MBD outweigh any challenges. Plus, hurdles to creating a single source authority model for every stage of product development are falling away as more teams implement an MBD approach.

To learn more about model-based definition, check out the free eBook from PTC. You’ll find out more about the limits of 2D drawings, how MBD simplifies complexity, and where to get started. Download your copy today.

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Tags: CAD

About the Author

Madhavi Ramesh

Madhavi Ramesh is the founder of Punditas, a product intelligence company. Read more of her blogs on