PTC’s CAD offerings have come a long way since the 1980s. Its programs and now apps have grown to encompass design, engineering, simulation and manufacturing. For the latest release of its Creo 3D CAD software, Creo 5.0, PTC has introduced several new capabilities for the fast-changing world of product design, as well as some key productivity enhancements.
Creo is designed to enable companies to accelerate product innovation and build better products faster by reusing the best designs and replacing assumptions with facts. With Creo 5.0, concepts can be transformed into smart, connected products, bridging the physical and digital worlds with augmented reality (AR) capabilities. It also expands into topology optimisation, additive and subtractive manufacturing, computational fluid dynamics (CFD), and CAM.
The physical design of products is often limited by existing designs and practices. The new Creo Topology Optimisation Extension automatically creates optimised designs based on the objectives and constraints defined by the designer. Because the geometry isn’t being recreated with each change, design time is significantly reduced.
Additive and subtractive manufacturing
Creo 5.0 extends the additive manufacturing capabilities introduced in Creo 4.0, enabling users to design, optimise, print check, and additively manufacture parts without the need for multiple pieces of software. Designers can now create, optimise, validate and print designs in various materials, from plastics to metals, with the introduction of the Creo Additive Manufacturing Plus Extension for Materialise. Additionally, the extension allows users to connect to the Materialise online library of print drivers and profiles.
The new Creo Mold Machining extension provides dedicated high-speed machining capabilities optimised for moulds, dies, electrodes, and prototype machining. Creo 5.0 supports three-axis and 3+2 positioning machining.
Creo Flow Analysis
The Creo Flow Analysis extension is the first time PTC has included a CFD solution directly within Creo, rather than an add-on, allowing designers, engineers, and analysts to simulate fluid flow issues directly within Creo. This means users can integrate analysis early and often to understand product function and performance.
The software is purpose-builtspecifically for the design engineer and is said to be easy-to-use, highly accurate and to provide fast results.
Creo 5.0 now supports bi-directional exchange of parts and assemblies with Autodesk Inventor
Creo 4 introduced a module that guides the user through the standards-based application of annotations to a 3D model, allowing quick generation of data that conforms to chosen standards and checking it is fully constrained.
Creo 5 extends this work to allow designers to add semantic queries into the model using the geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) they’ve already defined. So when design changes occur or the part is being driven in an automated fashion, it will help rip through any GD&T that becomes disassociated with the originating or reference data.
AR and IoT
This has advanced considerably since Creo 4, where PTC introduced a set of tools that allowed the user to generate an AR dataset that might be shared with anyone, directly from the application. This converted the model, added in a ‘ThingMark’ that enabled the viewing app to ID the correct dataset, and gave it scale. While this was a subset of PTC’s Vuforia tools, it proved interesting and easy to use for design review.
For Creo 5, this work has continued. Now, the ThingMark is not needed for scale. Instead, the apps use spatial tracking and an awareness of surrounding elements to work out how to display the model at the correct, defined scale. In addition, there is a greater set of controls over access to the data created, such as password access control that helps to enforce who can view the AR data.
On the IoT front, Creo 4 introduced tools that made it possible to link Creo models to IoT data stored in PTC’s Thingworx platform. With further development for Creo 5, it is now possible to build in sensors within your digital model that will match up with sensors in the physical realm and use that integration within the simulation environment.
This means that designers can not only move their digital model using data from the real world, but also use physical sensors to drive simulation studies. PTC says there are additional tools in development that will make this even more powerful.
Creo 5.0 also includes key productivity improvements for the fast-changing world of product design, such as an improved user interface, geometry creation with sketch regions, and volume helical sweeps. Other enhancements include improvements to surfacing, sheet metal design, and the application of draft features involving rounds.
The Creo Collaboration Extension for Autodesk Inventor enables organisations to consolidate onto a single CAD system, enabling them to reduce the cost and effort associated with maintaining multiple systems and integrations, and enabling better data reuse and resource sharing. Creo 5.0 will now support bi-directional exchange of both parts and assemblies with Autodesk Inventor.
“With Creo, companies can go from the earliest phases of design to a smart, connected product,” said Brian Thompson, senior vice president, CAD Segment, PTC. “Improved functionality and new capabilities, like additive manufacturing, set Creo apart, and give companies a true competitive edge all the way from concept to manufacturing.”