Design Engineering

PTC unveils Creo Elements

By Design Engineering Staff   


Parametric pioneer shakes up 20 years of brand identity for modular, multi-paradigm modeling app suite.

At a high profile event in Boston, PTC dramatically pulled the veil off Creo Elements (formerly known as Project Lightning), a suite of applications the company says will “transform the CAD industry for the next 20 years.”

In one sense, Creo Elements is a major rebranding of the company’s storied line of design applications. Under the new brand, PTC’s parametric modeller, Pro/ENGINEER, will become Creo Elements/Pro; the explicit modeler, CoCreate  will be renamed Creo Elements/Direct; and the company’s design review software, ProductView will become Creo Elements/View.

On a deeper level, the launch represents a new technical and marketing approach for the company’s design software. Instead of individual, monolithic applications, with differing user experiences and underlying code, Creo Elements is a modular suite of apps that share a common user interface, file format and underlying kernel. The result, the company says, is a scalable solution that addresses lingering CAD problems.

In addition, the modular nature of the suite is designed so that companies can pick and choose the bits they require and deliver the right tool to the suit participants needs. In this way, sales agents could quickly model a product with a client in a direct modeler; that model could be fully defined and tested in a parametric module by the design engineers and managers and marketing could view and mark up the model in design review app. In total, the company says it has created eight apps in the Creo Elements line and 30 more are slated to be developed by the products launch mid-2011


“Creo is being specifically created to solve the big problems remaining in the mechanical CAD market: usability, interoperability, assembly management and technology lock-in,” said James E. Heppelmann, president and CEO, PTC.  “By providing the right-size product design apps for each participant in a company’s extended product development team, Creo will enable more people to participate earlier and more fully in the product development process, significantly expanding innovation capacity.”

From the project demos featured at the event, Creo Elements seems to allow designers to shift from the explicit or direct modeling paradigm to parametric modeling mode and integrate changes into the history tree. In addition, Creo Elements/View, formerly ProductView, will allow users to open proprietary and neutral file formats so they can be edited in the suite’s direct modeler, Creo Elements/Direct.


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