PTC Set to Release Creo 4.0

Creo 4.0 is set for release: What’s new and can the package continue to compete with other CAD software?

PTC has announced the release of Creo 4.0 and, with it, new features that improve Internet of Things (IoT) development, additive manufacturing support, augmented-reality creation and model-based definition tools.

Over the past two years, PTC has become almost single-mindedly focused on IoT. With the development of its ThingWorx IoT platform, PTC has made a bold push to support the development of connected products, so it should come as no surprise that Creo 4.0 will feature IoT development tools.

According to PTC, Creo 4.0 “provides the ability to pull real-world information back into the design process. It also enables a design for connectivity strategies in which developers proactively design products with custom data streams by integrating sensors into the design process.”

If there’s been an obvious also-ran when it comes to PTC’s focus, second place has to go to augmented reality (AR). PTC has also shown excitement about telling more compelling design stories and creating more informative design reviews by overlaying the digital atop the physical world. To that end, PTC acquired the AR platform company Vuforia back in October 2015. Now it appears that the standalone Vuforia package will be native, or at least integrated with PTC’s modeling tool.

When it comes to enhanced support for additive manufacturing, PTC says that Creo will now support the design, optimization, validation and print simulation of a model within a single environment. In addition, designers will have the ability to parametrically control the valuable internal lattice support structures that make 3D printing, and the lightweighting that it can provide, so valuable.

Finally, greater support for model-based definition has been added to Creo’s latest release. In 4.0, users can be guided by the software on how to apply geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) to models properly. With a solid education in GD&T, users can ensure that fewer manufacturing errors will occur. Creo 4.0 will also validate that GD&T is “captured in the 3D CAD model in a fully semantic way [and] that the model is compliant with ASME and ISO standards.” With that check in place, 3D PDFs can be created, reducing the need for 2D drawing and instead relying on validity of the CAD model.

“Creo 4.0 enables designers to replace assumptions in the design process with real-world data to make better product design decisions and, along with model-based definition, helps give designers a more complete digital definition of a product,” said Brian Thompson, senior vice president of PTC’s CAD segment.

While PTC’s announcement of Creo’s blockbuster features is a bit vague, the potential for enhancing the Creo package is certainly present. One question I have is whether PTC will continue to develop Creo along the traditional line of major updating or if the company is considering moving to the more progressive model of monthly updates that Autodesk, Onshape and others have adopted.

Will PTC’s traditional method be a hindrance for adoption? Can the software continue to compete in the rapidly evolving CAD market?

The adoption and release of Creo 4.0 might give us a few hints. 

PTC Creo 4.0 will be available December 15.