PTC unveils Creo as CAD without technology lock-in

Paul Boughton
PTC has unveiled Creo design software, which is described as a scalable suite of interoperable, open, and easy-to-use product design applications. The Creo vision and strategy, first introduced in June at the PTC/User World Event as Project Lightning, recognises that product development involves many different users with different needs at different points in the product lifecycle. Unlike software packages to date, Creo is designed to remedy lingering, unaddressed problems that have plagued CAD for decades.
James E Heppelmann, president and CEO of PTC, states: "Creo is being specifically created to solve the big problems remaining in the mechanical CAD market: usability, interoperability, assembly management and technology lock-in. By providing the right-size product design apps for each participant in a company's extended product development team, Creo will enable more people to participate earlier and more fully in the product development process, significantly expanding innovation capacity."
Sanjeev Pal, research manager of IDC, comments: "Historically companies have made significant investments in CAD applications that bind them into inflexible business processes and design practices dictated by the specific visual authoring or simulation application that they pick. PTC's game-changing vision to release a highly flexible CAD application in a new code base, while sticking to existing file formats under the Creo portfolio, is expected to rejuvenate the mature CAD market and open up a path for non-PTC CAD users to move easily on a flexible visual design platform."
Highlights of the planned applications include:
* Anyrole Apps: These will offer customers the right tool for the right user at the right time, enabling everyone in the organisation to participate in the product development process. The result will be that new ideas, creativity, and personal efficiency are unlocked.
* Anymode Modeling: This is claimed to provide the industry's only true multi-paradigm design platform, enabling users to design in 2D, 3D direct, or 3D parametric. Data created in any mode will be fully accessible and reusable in any other mode, enabling each user to work with their own or another user's data in their paradigm of choice. Additionally, Creo's Anymode Modeling will let users switch seamlessly between modes without losing intelligence or design intent, thereby unlocking teamwork efficiency.
* Anydata Adoption: This will enable users to incorporate data from any CAD system and unlock multi-CAD design efficiency and value. Valuable information created throughout the product development process in the Creo product design apps will be able to be accessed and reused by others throughout the product development process. Furthermore, Creo will enable reuse of data from legacy systems, reducing the typically high switching costs which drive technology lock-in.
* AnyBOM Assembly: This will give teams the power and scalability needed to create, validate and reuse information for highly configurable products. Using BOM-driven assemblies and a tight integration with PTC's Windchill PLM software, customers will be able to unlock and realise new levels of efficiency and value across teams and the extended enterprise.
PTC's current design software product families and associated modules, extensions and packages are being rebranded in alignment with the functional capabilities provided by each product.
* Pro/Engineer becomes Creo Elements/Pro
* Cocreate becomes Creo Elements/Direct
* Productview becomes Creo Elements/View
Data created in these applications will be fully upwards-compatible with the Creo family of products.
PTC expects Creo1.0 to be available around the middle of 2011.
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