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Thoughts on PTC Creo?

g-coder05

Titanium
Joined
Mar 5, 2006
Location
Subic Bay
Ok, I know this sounds like another one of those software questions that could be answered with a search in PM but the last time Creo was brought up was once in 2015 and then 2013. So, Just want to see if anyone here is using the new stuff 5.0 or 6.0. I was chatting on one of the machine groups and only one person had used it back in 2010 and said it absolutely sucked.

I got a 30 day demo a few days ago and spent the last couple watching some YouTube vids tutorials and I must say I am impressed. Both on the Cad and the Cam side as well as the post building. The modeling after a couple of hours seemed to just smoke Solidworks and Powershape as far as ease to use and navigation. Picking up Sketching and Solids I would say maybe took 4 or 5 hours to get comfy with it. Not proficient, just comfortable enough......

Then went to the cam side of it, really straight forward navigation again. I didn't think any cam system had a FBM as well as Esprit and Featurecam but the Auto Feature recognition wizard just made quick work of the whole part in just a few clicks. Cutter path options here really nice (Never seen a bi directional cut with chip thinning option).

What seemed to really surprise me was while I was creating tool paths it was creating the CMM program in the background. This could really take the QC stain off the shops I work with.

Finally, The post setup. Since Engineering Geometry Systems came out with Xbuild I have sworn it was the best post builder/modifier ever made. Pfffft, Not ever playing with Creo before, I had a full blown Tilting head 5X post (including a right angle head) ready to go from scratch in less than an hour.


So far with just a few days into it I'm hooked but would like to hear the other good and bad before chunking out $25K.
 

m98custom1212

Stainless
Joined
Aug 1, 2011
Location
Toledo, Ohio
When we were talking on facebook about Creo.. I decided to try it out with the 30 day demo... I'm really impressed they blended the power of NX into much more user friendly experience. PTC in my opinion knocked it out the park on 6.0

The packages are well laid out, only thing I see is the subscription model that every software company is going to.
 

morsetaper2

Diamond
Joined
Jul 2, 2002
Location
Gaithersburg, MD USA
Been 20 yr daily user of Pro/E - I started on Rel 18 in late 1990's. When they changed to Creo a couple yrs back, we held off, and moved after Creo 2.0 had been out for awhile. Different, like every other ver upgrade we have gone through (ie rel 19, 2000, 2000i^2, WF2.0, WF 4.0, etc). I complained at first but a couple weeks later I was always fine with latest upgrade. Came to grips with Creo 2.0 and got productive with it. About a year ago we moved to Creo 4.0.

Been using it (Creo 4.0) now not quite a year. I still don't care for it (4.0) still, nearly a year later. Seems they made most things more difficult and less efficient.

Tell me if they improved Creo in release 5.0 or 6.0 ? This guy still does not care for 4.0.
 

tooldude328

Aluminum
Joined
Mar 29, 2011
Location
New York
I like Morsetaper2 have been a daily user of Pro/E since rev 18 and a CNC programmer using Pro\ Manufacturing that whole time. The software was a vast improvement over what I had been using at the time (Building plastic Injection molds)and had a steep learning curve. but over the years they improved the manufacturing software to being probably one of the most capable out there other than the very high end packages. The only complaint I have with PTC in the past couple of revisions( since Creo 4) they have stopped most development and work on the subtractive manufacturing side of the software and started to put all there time into the additive manufacturing(3D Printing) They throw the subtractive manufacturing a bone every now and then but for the most part they are now buying other software companies products and including that in the manufacturing software and charging more money for new technology.
I was all excited they were touting a new high speed machining function for mold machining in Creo5 so I jumped on the creo 5 updates when it came out to look and see what the new high speed machining was all about but learned it was another 5,000 dollar option that you could add to your existing license and they didn't even make it. It was developed by Moduleworks and just ported to read Creo files.
Not a happy PTC guy anymore but I guess all the software out there is like that anymore.
This Rant of mine does not in any way mean that the software is any less capable it just pisses me off that with all the money you spend on maintenance you get very little in return. But that's another whole subject.
 

AD Design

Stainless
Joined
Jun 27, 2012
Location
Tennessee USA
I took formal classes in Pro-e when it was version 2000i and successfully mounted the drop-down menu learning curve. I was a big fan of PTC but needed to use other programs on the job. Most industries favor one program or another and I'd occasionally get to work with Wildfire versions. I started a Tooling Engineer position that would have me using Creo 2 and I looked forward to returning to the fold. I was really disappointed that there hadn't been more development in the modules I needed. Seems like most of the new features were aimed at the interface with the other departments in manufacturing. That's a good thing and helps sell the seat but sometimes even Creo 4 felt less feature capable than it did in the drop-down menu days, probably my imagination has partnered with advancing CRS to produce "The Good Old Days". Creo does, at times, feel a bit clumsy but it depends upon what I'm doing with it. I prefer making drawings in SolidWorks but that's a small point of personal preference. I have little experience with the CAM end of things other than a DXF out or a fairly simple Master Cam post so I have no valid opinion. A couple of other members seem to like NX and I'd want to check them out after seeing the few crumbs SW and PTC toss us every year.
 

Pattnmaker

Stainless
Joined
Nov 2, 2007
Location
Hamilton, Ontario
We are a little slow right now so I am evaluating Cad software right now. We currently use Solidworks now but have often run into limitations with it. Adding draft to both models we make and to customer supplied models often gives us grief. Looking at the online help for Creo it does all(or at least most) the things I wish Solidworks would do regarding draft. Only other software I have looked at that seems to have similar control for draft is Catia although I have not looked hard at NX yet. I see it is all subscription based which I am not super keen on but on the other hand it saves me some capital. Ballpark pricing for a year of Cad Only? Cad and Cam?

How is Creo with imported geometry doing things like removing features like machined holes removing filets for adding draft etc?

Watching some training videos Sketching doesn't look as intuitive as SW but maybe that is just the last 7 years of modeling with SW it seems like the "right way'

We are often modeling things like impellers fan blades and pump casings from paper drawings and the old drawings often require a little fudging to get smooth surfaces as the original dimensions were not perfect. How is Creo with this sort of thing?

Looked at Cimatron on Thursday and we liked a lot of things and it was able to work with a couple of the models we had serious issues with using SW but the draft we were still using surfaces to build faces same as we have to with SW.

Contacting PTC now and thought I would give this thread a bump.

If we switch Cad I would prefer to switch CAM as well. I do most of our toolpathing and I often find minor or even major design changes that have to be made. If I am working with a dumb solid it will not update the coreboxes if I make a change to the pattern. So if I have to make a change in the Cad then have to re import it I have to start over on my toolpathing.

We are currently using HSMworks and it does what we need it to do. Its not perfect but I can program a part quickly, maybe we are cutting more air than needed but we are almost always cutting a part once. Most of the time the machines are not the bottleneck in the shop. Modelling, toolpathing, preparing stock and finishing Had some quick looks at the CAM end of the help files for Creo, Looks like more steps maybe better toolpaths but longer to create??
 
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g-coder05

Titanium
Joined
Mar 5, 2006
Location
Subic Bay
We are a little slow right now so I am evaluating Cad software right now. We currently use Solidworks now but have often run into limitations with it. Adding draft to both models we make and to customer supplied models often gives us grief. Looking at the online help for Creo it does all(or at least most) the things I wish Solidworks would do regarding draft. Only other software I have looked at that seems to have similar control for draft is Catia although I have not looked hard at NX yet. I see it is all subscription based which I am not super keen on but on the other hand it saves me some capital. Ballpark pricing for a year of Cad Only? Cad and Cam?

How is Creo with imported geometry doing things like removing features like machined holes removing filets for adding draft etc?

Watching some training videos Sketching doesn't look as intuitive as SW but maybe that is just the last 7 years of modeling with SW it seems like the "right way'

We are often modeling things like impellers fan blades and pump casings from paper drawings and the old drawings often require a little fudging to get smooth surfaces as the original dimensions were not perfect. How is Creo with this sort of thing?

Looked at Cimatron on Thursday and we liked a lot of things and it was able to work with a couple of the models we had serious issues with using SW but the draft we were still using surfaces to build faces same as we have to with SW.

Contacting PTC now and thought I would give this thread a bump.

If we switch Cad I would prefer to switch CAM as well. I do most of our toolpathing and I often find minor or even major design changes that have to be made. If I am working with a dumb solid it will not update the coreboxes if I make a change to the pattern. So if I have to make a change in the Cad then have to re import it I have to start over on my toolpathing.

We are currently using HSMworks and it does what we need it to do. Its not perfect but I can program a part quickly, maybe we are cutting more air than needed but we are almost always cutting a part once. Most of the time the machines are not the bottleneck in the shop. Modelling, toolpathing, preparing stock and finishing Had some quick looks at the CAM end of the help files for Creo, Looks like more steps maybe better toolpaths but longer to create??


My demo ran out a few months ago but I backdated the Cmos to get to tinker with it a little more during this lockdown. It seems to handle everything I throw at it magically. Admittedly I don't play with it everyday but I have maybe 100-120 hours on the demo and I don't recall ever losing a feature or having a feature modified in import. The UI is easy to navigate around and the Cam side is nothing short of spectacular. There is no shortage of toolpath options and the post mods are almost as simple as Xbuild from Featurecam.

It's seems to look and act like the perfect software for us to swap to after ditching Autodesk but I want the shop staff to evaluate and give me their thoughts. Most Asians start NX in their first year of highschool then have another two years of it in Polytechnic school so it would seem that NX would be my obvious choice since before they come to work they already have six years of it, But that's what worries me. Intellectual theft is big over here and that's the last thing I need is for a cracked version of NX to ping Siemens or my customer letting them know someone is using stolen software to make their products.
 

AD Design

Stainless
Joined
Jun 27, 2012
Location
Tennessee USA
This may/may not apply to your situation so regard it as such. While working for Maytag/Whirlpool (Cleveland) all of the design work there was done in Wildfire (4 I think) and I had to work with non-native file models from others around the world now and then. Models/assemblies that were created with surfaces (as opposed to solid modeling) would often resemble modern art. The component might be still recognizable but the model was essentially useless due to overlapping, open seams, intersections, and one-sided surfaces. This didn't seem to happen nearly as often with solid models. That was in 2008 and may not be an issue with non-native files now. Almost all work since then with PTC products has been with solid modeling so I don't know if this is still problematic or not. If you're not working with surfaced models very often (injection molding) then this may be a non issue for you.
 

g-coder05

Titanium
Joined
Mar 5, 2006
Location
Subic Bay
This may/may not apply to your situation so regard it as such. While working for Maytag/Whirlpool (Cleveland) all of the design work there was done in Wildfire (4 I think) and I had to work with non-native file models from others around the world now and then. Models/assemblies that were created with surfaces (as opposed to solid modeling) would often resemble modern art. The component might be still recognizable but the model was essentially useless due to overlapping, open seams, intersections, and one-sided surfaces. This didn't seem to happen nearly as often with solid models. That was in 2008 and may not be an issue with non-native files now. Almost all work since then with PTC products has been with solid modeling so I don't know if this is still problematic or not. If you're not working with surfaced models very often (injection molding) then this may be a non issue for you.


So far I haven’t had any problems with overlapping in Creo, but then I'm still just scratching the surface of its power.

Maytag? HAHA, where you in the old plant near downtown in the "hot" shop or the new Michigan Ave "Modern Shop"?
 

gregormarwick

Diamond
Joined
Feb 7, 2007
Location
Aberdeen, UK
With regards to interchange of models, two of our customers use Creo, and neither of them seem to be able to give me usable solids reliably. Every format we've tried (including step, which is normally rock solid across pretty much every platform) has been a complete failure or a lot of work to reconstruct in every piece of software that I've tried to import them into. I have not had this problem with any other source.

Something to keep in mind if you intend to use some other software for CAM or other downstream activities.
 

AD Design

Stainless
Joined
Jun 27, 2012
Location
Tennessee USA
So far I haven’t had any problems with overlapping in Creo, but then I'm still just scratching the surface of its power.

Maytag? HAHA, where you in the old plant near downtown in the "hot" shop or the new Michigan Ave "Modern Shop"?

-Creo/Wildfire/Pro-E has improved several aspects, most of them seem more tailored to the business end of things or in coordinating the flow between different departments. The design features/modules seem to have a few nice changes in capability but only enough change to stay abreast of the competition. A young engineer at Miller Ind. (tow trucks) had returned from a PTC training seminar announcing a great new tool that allowed manipulation of a model/features in a visual manner. It was the "Warp" feature that was around in the old drop down menu days (Pro-e 2000i) but being touted as a hot new feature. There are other industries, ship building for one, that PTC may be spending all the development dollars on but I really haven't noticed any major differences in the program over the years. Small improvements that are very helpful yes but just enough for the next release announcement. Then again, I'm not using the full capacity of the program (like the CAM side of it) to know everything that's changed and my opinion is limited to how I used it. The surface tools are definitely better than SW but other programs like NX (formerly Unigraphics) are likely even better. The importing of non-native files would be big on my list and whether I can manipulate the feature tree or it just comes in as a dumb solid. Different industries preferring different software sort of thing and my likelihood of needing to work with/alter those files. I was a big fan of PTC but am less so now days in an admittedly What-Have-You-Done-Lately attitude. Not the groundbreaking innovation that impressed me in 1999.

Maytag? Thought you'd like that. I worked at the old (formerly Brown Stove and some plow foundry?) plant near downtown Cleveland and was all over the campus while running prototypes through stamping, enameling, and into the test kitchens. The basement was...interesting. That was right at the time Whirlpool came in like a whirlwind and changed the operations. Met a lot of good people while there as a Chicago transplant working as an engineering contractor. The 2009 product line (stoves) was my assignment, particularly the Gemini double stoves. I still run into engineers around town now and then from the old plant, most of them don't seem very happy at the shiny new Michigan Avenue plant. Such is progress I suppose. Hope things are well for you and yours.
 

Pattnmaker

Stainless
Joined
Nov 2, 2007
Location
Hamilton, Ontario
Importing files is pretty important to us and exporting for a while for exporting to cam.

Exporting to send to customers is also somewhat important. We have several customers we send their model back to them after we add draft and machining to the part.

I used to get some outside modeling done about 6-7 years ago and the guy I used was using NX. Parasolids seemed to be the most reliable coming into Solidworks but the parts always came in as an assembly. With steps most would come in clean or would repair using the import repairs. But around 10% would come in with dozens or hundreds of misjointed and or missing surfaces.
 

g-coder05

Titanium
Joined
Mar 5, 2006
Location
Subic Bay
Maytag? Thought you'd like that. I worked at the old (formerly Brown Stove and some plow foundry?) plant near downtown Cleveland and was all over the campus while running prototypes through stamping, enameling, and into the test kitchens. The basement was...interesting. That was right at the time Whirlpool came in like a whirlwind and changed the operations. Met a lot of good people while there as a Chicago transplant working as an engineering contractor. The 2009 product line (stoves) was my assignment, particularly the Gemini double stoves. I still run into engineers around town now and then from the old plant, most of them don't seem very happy at the shiny new Michigan Avenue plant. Such is progress I suppose. Hope things are well for you and yours.

Small world, We had to have crossed paths before. I had the industrial supply and machine shop on South Lee in front of Bradley high school and supplied Brownstove and Maytag with most of their power transmission drives. Loved the old Maytag and those antique flywheel presses. They chewed up V-Belts, Bushings and Sheaves by the truck load.And you guys sure could go through miles and miles of conveyor chain when you started new lines. Fastenal bought me out in 06/07 then leased my buildings for 10 years so surely you had to have been in there?

Seems I remember trying Wildfire out it 2000 when we started doing a bit more modeling rather than just importing DXF's into Featurecam. I struggled with the UI back then and settled on Solidworks but when I demoed Creo Elements 6 last year my jaw just dropped. Modeling and assembles are just so much more intuitive than Solidworks and PowerShape. And the probing cycles,,,,,Top of the line. I was worried about finding a good probe replacement for Delcam PowerInspect but Im extremely impressed with Creos stuff now.
 

gregormarwick

Diamond
Joined
Feb 7, 2007
Location
Aberdeen, UK
Small world, We had to have crossed paths before. I had the industrial supply and machine shop on South Lee in front of Bradley high school and supplied Brownstove and Maytag with most of their power transmission drives. Loved the old Maytag and those antique flywheel presses. They chewed up V-Belts, Bushings and Sheaves by the truck load.And you guys sure could go through miles and miles of conveyor chain when you started new lines. Fastenal bought me out in 06/07 then leased my buildings for 10 years so surely you had to have been in there?

Seems I remember trying Wildfire out it 2000 when we started doing a bit more modeling rather than just importing DXF's into Featurecam. I struggled with the UI back then and settled on Solidworks but when I demoed Creo Elements 6 last year my jaw just dropped. Modeling and assembles are just so much more intuitive than Solidworks and PowerShape. And the probing cycles,,,,,Top of the line. I was worried about finding a good probe replacement for Delcam PowerInspect but Im extremely impressed with Creos stuff now.

What can you tell me about Creo vs PowerInspect?

We run our CMM from PowerInspect, I have been considering blanket replacing everything with NX, but AFAICT it's inspection module only generates DMIS code, so you still need something driving the CMM. I did read somewhere that you could write an I++ post for NX Inspection which I could in theory use to talk to our CMM directly, but I haven't seen that confirmed anywhere yet.

How does Creo operate when running a CMM?
 

g-coder05

Titanium
Joined
Mar 5, 2006
Location
Subic Bay
What can you tell me about Creo vs PowerInspect?

We run our CMM from PowerInspect, I have been considering blanket replacing everything with NX, but AFAICT it's inspection module only generates DMIS code, so you still need something driving the CMM. I did read somewhere that you could write an I++ post for NX Inspection which I could in theory use to talk to our CMM directly, but I haven't seen that confirmed anywhere yet.

How does Creo operate when running a CMM?

I'm still using the demo version so I'm not quite sure how the code will come out to drive the unit but I'm guessing/hoping it will work. I like how the workflow is when creating the CMM program. Build probe library, import fixture and part, Set the WCS and plane, Done. After that just click the feature you want then pretty much the only thing it ask is how many hits you want. I want to wait until I get a bit better at it to request the 30 day code generating demo but im only tinkering with the basic demo a few time a week as I get a chance. But, So far I can't find anything to complain about it aside from not enough youtube videos for self teaching.
 

Qwan

Cast Iron
Joined
Sep 12, 2013
Location
Midwest U.S.A
@g-coder05
A friend of mine uses Creo to prep rocket part models for printing parts with Inconel alloy and programs them with Creo to run in an Integrex. He likes it very much and it's very capable. They settled on Creo mainly because they knew it from their instructor days at NASA so using Creo for cam was a no brainer. I don't recall if their Integrex has one or two turrets but it does everything they need it to and their simulations are run in Vericut, not Creo. I was told they would have used NX if they had not already known Creo.

If you really like Creo and have experience with it then I would go with it, especially if you get native Creo part files from your customers. If not then I'd go with NX or other high tier software if that is the level you need.
 








 
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