4 MBD Features in Creo 4 (That Could Make You 75% Faster)

Written by: Madhavi Ramesh

For those using model-based definition (MBD), the recent release of Creo 4.0 makes it easier to create and validate geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) annotations. In fact, new productivity-focused enhancements could mean you’ll get your work done with 75% fewer mouse clicks.

 Madhavi Ramesh

MBD establishes standards and requirements for tolerances, dimensional data, and other digital design annotations on 3D solid models. Creo 4.0 includes a number of new and enhanced features that support the effort to apply GD&T data to 3D models.

 In this blog post, I’llto each of these 4 areas:

  • Datum feature symbols
  • Datum target symbols
  • Geometric tolerances
  • Dimensions

Datum Feature Symbol

Datum features and datum targets are important for those using GD&T in their work. Processes for creating both are easier and more efficient in Creo 4.0.

 Datum feature ribbon tab

The Datum Feature ribbon tab

First, let’s take a look at 4 types of Creo 4.0 updates that improve processes for working with datum feature symbols:

1) Creation and editing

  • Immediately preview and place data feature symbols
  • A contextual ribbon allows you to easily edit properties


2) Automatic naming
  • The name of the datum feature symbol is assigned automatically
  • The next available name (A, B, C, etc.) is automatically assigned

3) Semantic references

  • Model surfaces can be added as semantic references
  • Maintain reference to geometry
  • No separate plane or axis is needed

4) Additional text

  • Additional text can be included with a datum feature symbol
  • Additional text is placed adjacent to the symbol

Datum Target Symbol

Just like how it’s easier to work with datum feature symbols, in Creo 4.0, you can quickly create and edit datum target annotations. You’ll notice many of the enhancements related to datum feature symbols are also available for datum feature targets.


Datum target ribbon tab

Datum Target ribbon tab

 Here are 4 types of Creo 4.0 updates that improve processes for working with datum target symbols: 

1) Creation and editing

  • Workflows for creating and editing datum target annotations are faster
  • Immediately preview annotations
  • A contextual ribbon is available for editing properties

2) Semantic reference to datum feature symbol

  • Specifying the datum references in a datum target is faster
  • Datum targets have built-in syntax checking
  • You can either select a datum feature symbol or type in text

3) Built-in standard target areas

  • Datum target annotations have built-in standard target areas
  • Standard options are available: Point, Circular, Rectangular, None
  • Target area size related to dimension

4) Standards support

  • Option to specify that target area dimension may be outside of symbol
  • Movable datum target annotations are supported
  • The leader line has been enhanced

Geometric Tolerance

When you’re working with geometric tolerances, you might notice that Creo Parametric now supports a composite tolerance definition of more than two rows. You can create more than two rows of composite tolerance, with flexible tolerance value and datum input fields for each row.

 Tolerance rows

Create more than two rows of tolerances. 

Additionally, you’ll notice 4 types of geometric tolerance-related enhancements, including:

1) Creation and editing

  • Immediately preview annotations
  • A contextual ribbon is available for editing properties

2) Text inputs for tolerance value and datum compartments

  • Flexible typing of values and modifiers
  • Updated text symbol palette
  • Syntax checking

3) Standards support

  • ASME and ISO compliant
  • Fully semantic references

4) Integrated Datum Reference Frame (DRF)

  • Automatically created for geometric tolerances (GTOLs)
  • Place a coordinate system to represent the DRF


When you’re working with dimensions, you can easily edit properties using the contextual ribbon menu. The creation workflow is not interrupted. So, there’s no need to exit dimension creation to edit properties of any dimension.

 In Creo 4.0, you’ll find these 4 types of updates that improve processes for working with dimensions:

1) Creation and editing

  • Immediately preview annotations
  • Contextual ribbon menu for editing properties

2) Improved control of dimension orientation

  • Dimensions between arcs/circles/cylinders
  • Dimension placed on single linear entity

3) Improved dimension text

  • ASME and ISO text symbols
  • Exclude prefix/suffix from basic dimension box

4) Semantic references

  • References collector (including DRIVING dimensions)
  • Dimension origin support

 Contextual menu

Contextual menus streamline creation and editing processes.


Bonus! General Enhancements

In addition to the enhancements related to the 4 areas above, Creo 4.0 has a number of general MBD-related enhancements focused on improving productivity. For example, annotations can now be created and manipulated really easily. And, you’ll find these other notable updates:

Standalone annotation behaviors

  • Similar to annotation feature
  • Notification center

Improved appearance of coordinate systems

  • Arrowheads on coordinate system axes
  • Zoom-dependent option

Dynamic movement of annotations

  • Individual selection and consistent dragging behavior

ASME and ISO standard text and symbol fonts

Option to avoid clipping annotations by cross-section

  • Detail option: show_clipped_annotations 

Learn More About Model-Based Definition

If you’re already following Model-Based Definition, then you likely find the above list of features helpful. If you’re just learning about MBD and GD&T, this post might be a bit over your head. And, that’s ok! Whether you’re an MBD novice or a pro, you’ll find valuable MBD-related terminology, tips and tricks in the free eBook from PTC. Get your copy today.

 Download the MBD eBook

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About the Author

Madhavi Ramesh

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