Got Multiple CAD Formats? Try These Features in Creo 4

Written by: Cat McClintock

Not long ago, PTC introduced Unite technology in Creo Parametric. A breakthrough  enhancement, Unite technology made it possible to directly open and reuse data from a variety of non-Creo CAD systems—all without translators or rework.

Now with Creo 4.0, we’ve refined the software even more to help you succeed in a world where all models don’t come from the same 3D CAD package. In fact, we’ve added so many new ways to transfer information between Creo and other supported CAD systems, we can’t go through every one in a single blog post.

So, we asked Mark Fischer, PTC, to highlight the three most important new Data Exchange features added in Creo 4.0. Here’s are the features he says you don’t want to miss:

Mark Fischer, PTC

Mark Fischer, PTC

Capture MBD information in standard STEP AP 242 format

Those working with model based definition will be happy to hear that standard STEP AP 242 file format is now supported in Creo. This allows you to export files in a standardized format that is optimized for long-term archival and retrieval.

“This format helps organizations manage data across applications,” Fischer said. “STEP AP 242 allows you to capture MBD information, both in a graphical state and in a representational state (semantic PMI information specifically), so that it’s not just a geometry file, it’s a geometry file with semantic product manufacturing information (PMI) in it.”

Creo has supported STEP for quite some time, but the AP 242 standard that is supported in Creo 4.0 is focused on presenting semantic PMI in the data set, both for import and for export.

Check authenticity of imported files with new validation tool

When you’re importing non-Creo files into Creo, a new validation tool is available. The tool helps you determine whether the model that you import is similar to what it was in the original authoring tool. For example, the tool can be used to validate whether the volume and center of gravity are the same, as well as whether there are any potential errors that were introduced and whether the import is complete.

To access the validation tool in Creo 4.0, in the Model Tree, right-click the model or component and select Import Validation.

Consolidate conversion files

It is now easier to manage Data Exchange profiles for opening, importing, and exporting files. Once defined, these profiles automatically control which information get into your session without any additional dialogue or user interaction. To access these profiles in Creo 4.0, click File > Options > Data Exchange.

Fischer said, “We’ve made it easier to export files or create what we call ‘profiles.’ So, you can define the recipe for how you want to export a SolidWorks or NX or CATIA file. You can create company standards for how exports are handled. Through these profiles, individuals in an organization can gain confidence that exports are similar throughout the company.”

Runner-up – Managing non-Creo models in Windchill

I asked for a list of the top 3 Data Exchange enhancements, but Fischer briefly mentioned another notable one. It allows users to check non-Creo models in to Windchill using Creo’s Unite Technology. Previously, the Workgroup Manager application was needed. However, with the newest release (Windchill 11.0 M20 and Creo 4.0) you no longer need the Workgroup Manager application to check in your team’s non-Creo files.

Streamline data within your multi-CAD environment

If your development team is working with files that are coming from a variety of CAD systems, you NEED those files to play together. Your productivity is at stake. As you can see, standardizing, consolidating, and recognizing CAD data was a big focus of Creo 4.0 development efforts. Are you ready to try it out? To learn more, or to download a free 30-day trial, visit the Creo 4.0 page today.

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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.