PTC has announced the release of an upgrade to its Creo CAD design package. Creo 5.0 adds a number of functions, including topology optimization, which suggests improved design possibilities to objects; additive and subtractive print integration, which allows users to prepare for printing functions without leaving Creo; flow analysis, which gives the user a quick look into analysis while inside Creo; and a number of production enhancements created to speed the design process.
Here’s a screen shot of a 3D drill with volume helical sweep to calculate accurate geometry for a grinding wheel scenario. (Source: PTC)
Many of the moves to improve Creo came directly from customer requests. “We made a plethora of advancements. From a user standpoint, we made significant productivity and usability enhancements to improve workflows,” Paul Sagar, VP of product management for CAD at PTC, told Design News. “We also focused on additive manufacturing. Additive is becoming more prevalent. A lot of customers have requested design function for additive capabilities. It’s also an element of where the market and industry are going.”
The Creo Topology Optimization Extension is designed to automatically create optimized designs based on a defined set of objectives and constraints, unfettered by existing designs and conventional thought processes. The goal is to help users save time and accelerate innovation by enabling creation of optimized and efficient parts.
Topology optimization is a new addition to Creo. “Topology optimization has been around, but one of the significant challenges with any topology optimization is that the end result is a bunch of data – it’s not CAD data,” said Sagar. “The secret sauce in Creo is the ability to reconstruct the topology optimization as a CAD model inside the CAD environment.”
Additive and Subtractive Manufacturing
Another feature of Creo 5.0 is the ability to use additive and subtractive print technology without the need for multiple pieces of software. Creo Additive Manufacturing Plus Extension was created in part with Materialise to extend 3D print capabilities to metal parts technology. The goal of the extension is to let users to print production-grade parts directly from Creo. Users can connect to the Materialise online library of print drivers and profiles. “We’re providing direct integration with 3D printers,” said Sagar. “Just choose a printer, optimize the orientation, do the print checks, and send it to the printer. We expanded the list of supported software and hardware.”
As part of the effort to integrated 3D metal printing, PTC partnered with Materialize. “With the Materialize integration, you can connect to metal printers and their support structures,” said Sagar. “The support structures are important when talking about metal printing. The support can make a big difference.”
On the subtractive printing side, the Creo Mold Machining extension provides dedicated high-speed machining capabilities optimized for molds, dies, electrodes, and prototype machining. Creo 5.0 supports 3-axis and 3+2 positioning machining. “In subtractive, the goal was to generate the optimum tool part as fast as possible,” said Sager. “Our customers want to quickly produce a template-driven part that is optimized for mold machining. We’ve introduced new dedicated high-speed mold machining for 3-axis tool designs.”
Creo Flow Analysis
The Creo Flow Analysis extension is a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) tool that lets users simulate fluid flow issues directly within Creo. The seamless workflow between CAD and CFD integrates analysis early and often to demonstrate product function and performance. The software is directly integrated within Creo with the goal of providing accurate and fast results.
Flow analysis is a new feature for Creo. In the past, Creo has connected out to flow-analysis vendors. “We haven’t had flow analysis in the past. We’ve used third-party add-ons,” said Sagar. “The flow analysis comes from customer requests. They want to be able to perform flow analysis in Creo. We provided thermal and structure analysis, and now flow. One of the biggest challenges was constructing the volume that the fluid is going to flow through in an assembly of pumps. Our flow solution does that for you automatically, speeding up the analysis time and effort.”
The Creo upgrade offers a number of productivity enhancements, including an improved user interface, geometry creation with sketch regions, and volume helical sweeps. Surfacing and sheet metal design have also been upgraded, as well as the application of draft features involving rounds. Users can also now design in Creo while maintaining perspective display mode.
Rob Spiegel has covered automation and control for 17 years, 15 of them for Design News. Other topics he has covered include supply chain technology, alternative energy, and cyber security. For 10 years, he was owner and publisher of the food magazine Chile Pepper.
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