A Quick History of PTC and PTC Creo

Written By: Mark Brunelli
  • CAD
  • 8/14/2014

Since 1985, PTC has been 100% committed to supporting the needs of leading manufacturing companies worldwide. As one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing technology companies, PTC delivers technology solutions that transform the way companies create and service their products.

But even if you’re a regular user of PTC Creo and other PTC products, you may not be very familiar with our rich company history. That’s why today I’d like to offer you a quick history of PTC and PTC Creo. I obviously can’t write about every little thing the company has ever done. So instead, I’ll highlight some key events over the years that shed light on the evolution of this company and the PTC Creo family of CAD software solutions.

PTC first launched Pro/ENGINEER – the software that would one day become PTC Creo – back in 1988. With Pro/ENGINEER, PTC was the first to market with parametric, associative feature-based, solid modeling software. During that same year, legendary heavy equipment manufacturer John Deere became PTC’s first customer.

Here’s a video that shows just some of John Deere’s powerful machines in action:

A few years later, in 1992, construction equipment manufacturer Caterpillar became PTC’s biggest customer. During that same year IndustryWeek named Pro/ENGINEER Technology of the Year.

Here’s a quick video that Caterpillar’s equipment in action:

Fast-forward to 1998 and PTC Windchill is first launched. PTC was the first to market with Internet-based solutions for Product Lifecycle Management. During the following year, PTC surpassed 25,000 customers for the first time.

PTC has been acquiring the right companies and expanding the breadth of its solutions ever since. Some of the companies that PTC has acquired over the years include:

  • Arbortext, a leader in dynamic publishing
  • Mathsoft, an industry-standard solution for engineering calculations
  • ITEDO, a leading 2D and 3D technical illustration and animation solution
  • CoCreate, a modeling tool enables PTC to offer the industry’s most comprehensive suite of modeling solutions
  • Synapsis Technology, provider of a best-of-breed solution for tracking and improving the environmental performance of your products, parts, materials and suppliers
  • MKS, the provider of Integrity, a Software System Lifecycle Management (SSLM) solution
  • NetIDEAS,a company that has years of experience in managing and deploying complex enterprise applications

Most recently, in 2014, PTC acquired ThingWorx, a provider of Internet of Things technology; Atego, a provider of PLM and ALM solutions; and Axeda, a provider of machine-to-machine technologies.

With the acquisition of Co-Create in 2007, PTC knew that it has a particularly powerful technology in its arsenal. That was the power of direct modeling. The company set out to integrate the direct modeling technology with the parametric functionality of Pro/ENGINEER. After accomplishing this successfully, the company decided to rebrand the product like to reflect the fact PTC could now enable both direct and parametric modeling. The new solution set, PTC Creo, was first introduced in 2010.

PTC Creo 3.0 made its debut in July of 2014, boasting many new features and capabilities.

Here’s a quick video that shows just much PTC grown come since its humble beginnings:

Here’s another video that explains PTC’s core culture and values: - See more at:

  • CAD

About the Author

Mark Brunelli