Comparing Drawings Models and PCBs with PTC Creo View

Written By: Madhavi Ramesh
  • 11/3/2014

As the design of your product evolves, it gets more and more difficult to understand what has changed from one iteration to the next—especially when other team members may have modified the data. With PTC Creo View, you can easily determine the differences between two versions of an MCAD or ECAD design. You can see what’s changed in 2D drawings, 3D parts, images, PCB schematics, and PCB layouts including attributes and graphic elements.

One of the key aspects of compare with PTC Creo View is that it works in a standalone mode (when not connected with PTC Windchill) as well as in the context of PTC Windchill. This means that an engineer can quickly evaluate a supplier provided design for changes before checking the data into PTC Windchill. Or, if the dataset was already available in PTC Windchill, different revisions of the dataset can be accessed in PTC Creo View to identify the changes.

To rapidly determine what’s changed, PTC Creo View offers these tools for finding and reviewing changes in a design:

1. Comparing 2D Drawings
2D drawings can be visually compared to identify differences between different versions of a drawing. Just select the two drawings (A and B) and compare them. The two-color comparison mode uses red and green to highlight the differences. You can compare “A to B” or “B to A” and discover what’s in both drawings, or the overlap between the two. Drawings can be aligned by center or by a reference point.

2. Comparing 3D Models
Moving beyond 2D, the 3D comparison feature in PTC Creo View rapidly computes the graphical and volume differences between 3D parts. You can easily compare drawings and models stored in PTC Windchill by adding them to the clipboard and then work with them in PTC Creo View.

Comparing 3D models

3. Comparing raster images
PTC Creo View compares not only vector based 2D drawings and 3D models, but also bitmap formats such as BMP and TIFF. The image below shows the comparison of two images with differences highlighted in red and green.

Comparing images

4. Comparing ECAD designs
PTC Creo View ECAD comparison automates the task of finding differences between any two versions of PCB designs. Use the tool to check for different objects, including design summary, components, nets, board outline, properties, regions and holes. These rich design interrogation capabilities identify proposed changes and key design differences. Additionally, you can add comments, which are then stored with the viewable transaction history. All of this can be done either in the standalone PTC Creo View ECAD client application or in conjunction with other products, including PTC Creo and various native PCB authoring tools.

Comparing ECAD designs

“Comparison” is something we do all the time every day. How many times have you compared any two “things” in the last 24 hours? At least a few, I’m sure – whether you were comparing airfares, humidifiers, cars or whatever else. Comparing objects is also important in the context of the CAD and PLM tools we use at work. Are you using any of the above tools? If yes, what is your experience? I’d like to hear your feedback.

  • CAD
  • Retail and Consumer Products
  • Connected Devices

About the Author

Madhavi Ramesh

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