With the new Unite technology now available in PTC Creo 3.0, you can directly open file formats from CATIA, SolidWorks, or Siemens NX. You no longer need translators or other “in between” software or licenses. Often, you can just click File > Open, select the model, and start working with the external file.
Simple enough. But if you’re ready to make the most of this technology, here are a few more things to think about.
1. Collaborate, consolidate, or something in between. There are three ways to approach working with multi-CAD data. You can open non-native PTC Creo 3D data as part of your overall assembly, referencing the original model as needed. That way, you can see and work with it in the context of the overall model. This streamlines collaboration with partners, suppliers, or other team members working with these external models in their native formats. With the PTC Creo Collaboration extensions, you can also ensure changes on your imported or opened models take place seamlessly in PTC Creo.
You can save the external models as PTC Creo data within your assembly, too, consolidating product data from different formats into a single tool and a single format.
There’s also a way you can save just the parts of non-native files you want to change. If you try to modify non-PTC Creo data in the context of a multi-CAD assembly, a message appears confirming that these changes will not be reflected in the native model. You can then select Convert or Do not convert. If you select Convert, you can choose to automatically convert the non-native data to the PTC Creo format so that only the components that are required for the modification are converted into PTC Creo components. This ensures maximum reuse of existing non-PTC Creo files and prevents the overhead of managing multiple file formats and business objects for each component.
2. Take control of how PTC Creo manages non-native data. When you use File > Open for non-native data, PTC Creo makes certain assumptions and choices about what it imports—how to handle surfaces, colors, gaps, etc. But you can control those settings yourself by changing the “import profile” the system uses. Just click File > Options > Data Exchange. Select a file type (for example, CATIA V5), click on the ellipsis, and then click on the desired .dip file (see the figure below). Of course, that begs the question, where do .dip files come from ….
Data Exchange window with import profile selected for CATIA V5
3. You create .dip files in the Import File Editor, found in the Utilities menu.
Utilities menu with Import Profile Editor highlighted
Want to see more? Open the Unite technology tutorial on PTC’s Learning Exchange. Note that you may need to create an account if you don’t already have one. The good news is that it’s free and after creating your new login, you’ll find hundreds and hundreds of in-depth demonstrations and tutorials for PTC products. In fact, we highly recommend these short videos, Working in a Multi-CAD Environment and Automatic Conversions Using PTC Creo Unite Technology, which cover additional features of Unite technology in PTC Creo.
You can find more discussion of Unite technology and its benefits in this community forum post.
And watch for future “Did You Know?” posts here on the PTC Creo blog for more tips on how to make the most of your design work with PTC Creo tools.
Ed- in our Winter 2014 survey, you told us you wanted to see more tips and tricks – let us know how we’re doing with the Did You Know series of blogs- by adding a comment to this blog.