PTC has released their free Creo View Mobile app for the iPad and iPhone. This will to allow people on the go to easily view and interact with 3D designs anywhere, whether they are on the road, on the shop floor, or even at home on the couch.

What It Can Do

To make data available to mobile users, designers can use Creo to compose and publish views of their models in the compact Creo View format, then share them with mobile users via email, cloud storage, or even iTunes.  Those mobile users can then use Creo View Mobile to load a data set, select a view, then orbit, pan and zoom the model using conventional multi-touch gestures they are accustomed to.

Models can contain multiple views defined by the publisher to show geometry in any context they wish.  When viewing assemblies, there is even a slick feature call "shake-and-break" that allows the user to break assemblies apart into a cloud of parts simply by shaking the device.  Shaking it again will put it back together again.

What It Can't Do

  • No tools to either manipulate or edit data.
  • No tools to measure or mark up the data.
  • No examples of the ability to view drawings.
  • Doesn't directly view any neutral file formats (STEP, etc).  But it will view STEP data that has been published in views from Creo.

Although I don't consider any of these deal-breakers, I wanted to set expectations realistically.  This isn't the functional equivalent of typical PC-based 3D CAD viewing tools.

My Take

Phones and tablets aren't the equivalent of desktop PCs.  Although they can certainly deliver tremendous value just from their ease of use and portability alone, it's apps like this deliver the real value of smart devices in the business world.  Creo View Mobile firmly sets the bar for engineering apps such as this.

Professionally, I look forward to seeing the impact this new generation of mobile tools has on the engineering world.  Personally, I can't wait to show my 6 year-old niece the "shake-and-break" feature.  I'm guessing that's at least 5 good minutes of priceless time just waiting to happen.

Maybe you agree with me?  Maybe you think we should expect more for the money we spend for a tool like this? Either way, I'd love to hear about it.  Feel free to comment below.

 

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