Creo 7.0 Adds Generative Design and More
Michael Alba posted on April 07, 2020 |
PTC’s new release also targets real-time simulation, multibody design, and performance enhancements.
(Image courtesy of PTC.)
(Image courtesy of PTC.)

PTC has revealed details of the latest Creo release, Creo 7.0, which will be available on April 14. There are four key areas of focus in the upcoming release: generative design, simulation driven design, multibody design, and productivity enhancements. These were highlighted in a livestream presentation announcing Creo 7.0 from Paul Sagar, PTC’s VP of Product Management.

“Creo 7.0 delivers the next generation of design innovation with revolutionary new capabilities… [that] allow engineers to build higher quality products faster than ever before,” Sagar said.

Generative Design

(Image courtesy of PTC.)
(Image courtesy of PTC.)

While generative design technology has been available in other CAD platforms for a couple of years, Creo 7.0 users will now have access to the algorithmic design assistant. Generative design is still going through growing pains, but its allure is the promise of quickly homing in on lightweight and manufacturable designs.

“Jacobs [Engineering] expects that using Generative Design will shorten design time by 20% and produce parts which are incredibly lightweight, resulting in significant fuel savings,” said senior Jacobs engineer Jesse Craft in a pull quote for Sagar’s presentation. According to Sagar, Jacobs Engineering is using PTC’s generative design to help design NASA’s next generation spacesuit.

Generative design will be fully integrated into the Creo 7.0 design environment, where users can specify their design space, constraints and loads, materials, and manufacturing requirements. From what we could see in the livestream, Creo’s take on generative design seems quite similar to that in Fusion 360 from Autodesk, one of the early advocates of generative design.

Screenshots of generative design in Creo 7.0. (Images courtesy of PTC.)
Screenshots of generative design in Creo 7.0. (Images courtesy of PTC.)

Some features of Creo generative design, such as the ability to run multiple studies simultaneously in the cloud, won’t be available until Creo 7.0.2. Initially, the software will only support structural optimizations, but Sagar says thermal and modal optimizations will come in a later build. At time of writing, we have been unable to confirm exactly how users will access generative design in Creo 7.0.

According to Sagar, “Creo 7.0 is just the tip of the iceberg” for generative design.

Simulation Driven Design


(Image courtesy of PTC.)
(Image courtesy of PTC.)

In 2018, PTC partnered with simulation company ANSYS to bring Discovery Live, ANSYS’s real-time simulation technology, directly into Creo 6. For Creo 7.0, PTC has continued down the track of simulation-driven design.

“What product development teams really need is a simulation tool that’s so fast, so responsive, so simple to use that it can literally keep up with the design engineers every step of the way,” Sagar proclaimed.

Creo 7 introduces transient thermal studies into Creo Simulation Live, whereas previous releases were limited to steady-state thermal analysis. Users can set initial temperature parameters and toggle between transient and steady-state.

Screenshot of a thermal analysis in Creo 7.0. (Image courtesy of PTC.)
Screenshot of a thermal analysis in Creo 7.0. (Image courtesy of PTC.)

In addition, Creo 7.0 introduces the ability to add probes as parameters for real-time simulation, which can be used as variables to calculate the optimal design of a system.

Using probes for parameter studies in Creo Simulation Live. (Image courtesy of PTC.)
Using probes for parameter studies in Creo Simulation Live. (Image courtesy of PTC.)

Creo 7 also introduces what Sagar referred to as Creo Simulation Live Plus, which adds support for internal and external fluid flow simulation.

Airflow simulation in Creo Simulation Live. (Image courtesy of PTC.)
Airflow simulation in Creo Simulation Live. (Image courtesy of PTC.)

Beyond real-time simulation, PTC is furthering its ANSYS partnership with the introduction of Creo ANSYS Simulation, which will see ANSYS solvers integrated inside Creo 7.0 for more comprehensive analysis (to be released in Creo 7.0.2).

“Users will now have a powerful and rich set of analyst-level tools directly at their fingertips, supporting structural, modal, and thermal physics leveraging the powerful ANSYS auto-meshing capabilities, simplifying the process and putting these typically complicated tools in the hands of every engineer, leveraging all of the boundary conditions and inputs directly from Creo Simulation Live,” Sagar said.

Screenshot of Creo ANSYS Simulation. (Image courtesy of PTC.)
Screenshot of Creo ANSYS Simulation. (Image courtesy of PTC.)

Multibody Design

The next highlight of Creo 7.0 is the addition of new workflows for multibody design, which Sagar claims will “allow Creo users to separately manage, visualize, and design geometric volumes” to enable “more efficient and flexible part design and improved reusability.” The workflows will be especially useful for generative design, additive manufacturing, and simulation, he noted.


(Image courtesy of PTC.)
(Image courtesy of PTC.)

Creo 7.0’s multibody design workflows will make it easier for users to define bodies as references for generative design studies (such as defining the starting shape and obstacle geometries), additive manufacturing (such as defining volumes for lattice creation), and simulations (such as defining fluid flow cavities). Sagar also claims the new workflows will make modeling quicker in general.

“Having the ability to split your model into multiple bodies and perform operations on those individual bodies such as regular, flexible modeling, dramatically reduces the time taken to perform design change,” Sagar said. “The use of bodies allows users to perform local operations on specific areas of the part, such as a shell, and provide richer patterning capabilities. The use of Boolean operations provides users with more flexibility in the design process, being able to build bodies to act as tools or negative geometries, speeding up the overall design process.”

One specific example is that Creo 7 allows users to define construction bodies. Much like construction planes, construction bodies can be used to simplify modeling operations without affecting the end result.

Screenshot of multibody design work in Creo 7. Note the option to set the highlighted body as a construction body. (Image courtesy of PTC.)
Screenshot of multibody design work in Creo 7. Note the option to set the highlighted body as a construction body. (Image courtesy of PTC.)

“Many of these workflows could have been achieved in previous releases, but required the use and understanding of surfacing techniques. Using multibody design significantly improves the overall usability of Creo,” Sagar said.

Performance Enhancements

Finally, no CAD release would be complete without the obligatory list of performance enhancements. For Creo 7.0, that list includes sketching enhancements, with clearer design intent visualization and easier mirroring; easier drafting capabilities, such as allowing users to modify drafts on imported geometry; improved model based design, with support for the latest ASME and ISO standards, more leader annotation options, and easier access to drawing view information; enhancements to Render Studio, such as the ability to add a custom floor plane and pause rendering; improvements to additive manufacturing, including expanded API support and enhanced lattice capabilities; and more subtractive manufacturing options, including support for Swiss type turning machines and toolpath highlighting during synchronization.

Creo 7 improves user-defined lattices with support for curves and surfaces. (Image courtesy of PTC.)
Creo 7 improves user-defined lattices with support for curves and surfaces. (Image courtesy of PTC.)
Creo 7 adds improvements for model-based design. (Image courtesy of PTC.)
Creo 7 adds improvements for model-based design. (Image courtesy of PTC.)

“Creo 7.0 is a realization of the message around renaissance of design that we’ve been talking about for a while now at PTC,” Sagar concluded. “The introduction of generative design being a big piece of that continued push for simulation driven design, with new capabilities in fluid flow simulation, the introduction of the higher fidelity final validation with Creo ANSYS Simulation, as well as continued evolution of our additive manufacturing capabilities.”

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