Tips& Tricks: Adding a Non-Creo Part to Your Assembly

You have an Xbox and your buddy has a PlayStation. You want to play Madden 16 together, but the systems are on different ecosystems and you can’t play against each other unless you can convince your friend to buy a new system (because you’re obviously not going to be the one to switch). If he won’t budge, well, you’ll just have to go find new friends with the right systems. 

Image: Mack Male via Flickr.

Sad. Software and file incompatibility is one of the oldest problems in the digital age. Product developers know this as well as anyone. The difference is, they’ve been willing to buy that second system in order to keep playing. Some even buy a third and fourth system.

In our surveys, we found companies use an average of 2.7 CAD systems in order to accommodate suppliers, clients, legacy data, and so on. How many does your organization use?

Creo 3.0 introduced Unite technology, which has put an end to the madness. Now, you can "play together" even if your CAD data isn’t all coming from the same system. Just pull models into Creo as if they were native files, without having to install any third party software first. Here’s what you do …

To add a non-native part to your Creo assembly, follow these steps:

  1. With your assembly open, click Model > Assemble. A dialog opens where you can browse for the part you are adding to your assembly.
  2. Locate the non-native part file, select it, and then either…
    • Click Open—This adds the part to the assembly, but keeps the part in its native format. The data is not converted to Creo data unless you make modifications to the non-native part.
    • Click Import—This adds the part to the assembly and creates a Creo part file. This is what you should select if you plan to make changes to the non-native part.

Notice that there are fields located at the bottom of the Open dialog that allow you to search for a specific part file name or file type.

Screen shot of Open dialog
  1. If you are importing a file, complete the Import New Model dialog, and then click OK. With this dialog, you can specify options like the import type and file name. For more information on completing this dialog, read the Help Center page About the Model Import Options in the Profiles.
  2. The non-native part now appears, move the part to its proper location on the assembly.

Screen shot showing new part

Repeat the steps above for each part you want to pull into your Creo assembly.

You can distinguish the different formats in the model tree by the individual file icons and file extensions. Once you begin working on non-native parts, Creo automatically tracks changes made to the foreign data in each file’s native system, keeping the designs current.

How smooth is that?! Now, wouldn’t it be nice if it worked that seamlessly for you and your PlayStation-loving pal?

To learn more about multi-CAD functionality, register for free credentials to access the PTC University Learning Exchange and check out our video.

You can also get more guidance at the Creo Help Center page About the Creo Unite Technology.