Conquer Late-Stage Design Changes with PTC Creo FMX

(Ed. We’re exploring the seven ways using Creo can help you design quicker and develop more – and better – products. Even if you’re under tight deadlines, here are ways you can use the software to both delight customers and make your life easier.)

 You’ve probably encountered a Steve or a Jane. They’re nice folks. Maybe they’re in the marketing department in your company. They might be project managers or even your best clients (most of the time). But, each has the uncanny knack of changing the design of your perfectly modeled product just when it’s 99.9 percent ready to send to manufacturing. 

Last-minute changes aren’t trivial. Especially if some of the parts in your assembly came from other vendors or the work of some long-lost employee. It’s very possible that a call from Steve or Jane could have you working for hours redesigning parts from scratch.

 Worst of all, these changes always seem to appear – like a spooky specter – on Friday afternoons or the day before you leave for vacation.

 Now there’s good news. If your phone rings at 4:59 p.m. on a Friday, you don’t have to be afraid to answer it. Here’s why.

 Meet Creo Flexible Modeling Extension (FMX)

A powerful add-on to Creo Parametric (and part of every Creo Parametric Essentials Package), Creo FMX brings direct modeling flexibility to your parametric modeler, so you can quickly create those late-stage design changes.

That means you don’t have to rebuild a model that can’t be updated without breaking the original constraints. With Creo FMX, you can just select and edit the geometry and features, such as rounds and patterns. The extension keeps track of changes, and captures them as parametric features, all the while protecting your design. It even allows you to edit existing design data and third-party data quickly, without concern for design intent (crucial for those designs from that long-gone employee).

This excellent video illustrates the challenges of late-stage designs and the flexibility Creo FMX gives you:


Be nimble, be quick …and deliver

Product developers can not only respond to late-stage design changes with Creo FMX, they also use it to collaborate with clients.

Creo customer IMA, a company that makes innovative machinery, added Creo FMX to its software environment to do just that. 

IMA’s lamp assembly machine for Philips Lighting – can you count the parts?

 They can import and modify models from neutral file formats (STEP, IGES) and CAD systems like SolidWorks, Solid Edge, and Inventor, without worrying about design constraints. They can quickly modify the geometry and adjust to client feedback, so engineers can concentrate on the design.

 And they can easily build on models from any source and develop new ones, making it faster and less frustrating to accommodate changes that crop up at the end of the design cycle.

 [Ed. And with the current release of Creo, they can use Unite technology to integrate those non-native files into the detailed parametric design. You’ll hear more about that later in the series.]

 Lower your costs and cut the heartburn

Jandia, another Creo user, provides its diverse group of clients with numerous offerings. Sure, they design and prototype gears, drills, and power saws. But they also offer mechanical engineering CAD services, such as converting existing 2D CAD files into 3D files, some ranging from a handful of files to hundreds.

One can only imagine the different file formats or sources they get from an array of different clients and the potential for a long lost weekend. (“Here’s Bob’s files from 2003, you can work with these, right?”)

You can open these, right? Photo: From Wikimedia Commons


However, Creo FMX lets the team modify models without concern for design intent. Old CAD files and late changes from their clients? No problem. Jandia can work with these files quickly and with reduced costs – cutting lead time down 30% according Jandia’s managing director.

 A motorcycle might have a million parts to it. If one those parts need to be re-designed, Creo FMX lets you do that without having to re-design the other 999,999 parts. Creo customers have successfully navigated the murky waters of late-stage design and can seamlessly work with files from other designers. How are you currently responding to late-night, late-stage design requests?

 [Ed. Taking the drudgery out of late-stage design changes is just one of the reasons you should be designing with Creo. Find out more by downloading the free ebook, “Top 7 Reasons to Design with Creo,” here.]