The Most Important Additive Manufacturing Feature in Creo 4.0

The recent update to our powerful 3D CAD software platform—Creo 4.0—includes hundreds of enhancements, along with notable capabilities in smart connected design, model-based definition (MBD), and augmented reality.

Following the availability of Creo 4.0, we received an interesting question from our social media community. “Just out of curiosity, what is THE new enhancement in Creo 4.0? What do you think?”

To get to the bottom of it, I’ve been sitting down with Creo product managers to ask them to name the top three Creo 4.0 enhancements.

Jose Coronado oversees Creo Manufacturing, including additive manufacturing (3D printing). Here’s what I learned:  

Jose Coronado, Creo Manufacturing and Simulation Product Manager

Jose Coronado, Creo Manufacturing and Creo Simulate Product Manager identified the top 3 Creo 4.0 features related to additive manufacturing.

Coronado reminded me that with Creo 3.0, you can already send a model directly from Creo to a supported Stratasys 3D printer. Plus, Creo can leverage options, such as tray size and colors/materials, from your 3D printer. That way, you design products that are compatible with your additive manufacturing machinery.

Creo 4.0 introduced many more powerful capabilities. So which did Coronado think made up the top 3 additive manufacturing features for Creo 4.0?

Tray Assembly

Creo 4.0 has a new assembly sub-type for additive manufacturing, called Tray Assembly. The Tray Assembly, at the end of the 3D printing job preparation, will include parts, assemblies, positions, rotations, materials, colors, and more.

Since the Tray Assembly is a repository for the additive manufacturing information, you can use it to store and manage each 3D printing job individually.

Using this new Assembly sub-type, you can:

  • Perform a printability check for thin walls and narrow gaps.
  • Use PTC’s 3D nesting algorithm, which means you can optimize your print job.
  • Assign materials, colors, and finishing characteristics when the 3D printer supports these settings.

Plus, it is a valid object in Windchill, so your PLM processes are supported.

Lattice Features

Using Creo 4.0 lattice features, you can create lightweight designs without compromising stress and displacement requirements. Creo 4.0 lattices tightly integrate with Creo Simulate, so you can streamline the design-analysis process and make sure your lightweight model maintains its integrity. Using this feature, you can produce a new lightweight part using Creo Parametric, reduce the weight and validate the design in Creo Simulate, and then optimize the lattice using Creo Simulate. You can also use Creo Simulate Optimization functionality to “drive” the lattice parameters, obtaining in this scenario the optimum lattice structure to perform the job.

A 3D model of a part held together with lattice structures

A lattice feature created using Creo 4.0.

Lattice features are created as precise B-rep  geometry, rather than mesh surfaces.

There are several options you can configure to set up the lattice feature. Choose from different beam cross sections or beam profiles. You can even apply variability controls, and much more.


When your Creo session and your 3D printer are connected to the network, you can directly interact with your 3D printer in real-time. Connectivity allows a bi-directional exchange of information between Creo 4.0 and supported Stratasys and 3D Systems printers.

Plus, the connectivity functionality supports the direct exchange of information between Creo and i.materialise, a 3D printing service. You can automatically upload your Creo model to i.materialise. Then, through the embedded browser in Creo, you quickly receive a quote telling you how much it would cost to have your model 3D printed by i.materialise.

Optimize Your Additive Manufacturing Processes with Creo 4.0

Are you getting the most out of your additive manufacturing? Are you ready to shorten your product development process—all without leaving Creo 4.0? This post contains just a few of the ways Creo 4.0 additive manufacturing features help you make the most of your processes. Visit the Creo 4.0 page to find out more about this exciting new release today.

Download Creo 4.0