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Creo 2 Rollout Question


Creo 2 Rollout Question

In Creo 2 you can use the Flexible Modeling tab to edit existing geometry with direct edit features.

While it empowers designers, this hybrid environment supports a clash of modeling paradigms. A designer is able to change the geometry created by several parametric type features with a single edit (which is itself another feature). Once this has happened, there are potentially two places in the model tree describing the geometry. The last one in the model tree wins.

This seems like a logical place to discuss standards.
Are there any prevailing thoughts on this subject?
Will you take the extreme approach and hide the flexible modeling tab?
Or maybe take the opposite approach and add the concepts/features to your training regimen?

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You bring up one of the most important considerations of Flex Modeling - when and where to use it. I have just spent considerable time training my users on Creo 2.0 (we switch in early October from Wildfire 5.0) and this topic came up throughout the training sessions. Here's my 2 cents:

1) The Flex Modeling module is perfect for dealing with imported IGES / STEP files, in particular being able to add intelligence to features within said geometry or make modifications to imported data.

2) It's great for de-featuring models for FEA or CFD analyses, removing features that aren't needed.

3) Design reviews are great with Flex. The "what if" discussions can now be dynamic - geometry can be moved "live", with the agreed upon changes being made later in the model to retain the maximum parametric constraints.

4) Where I am concerned with using Flex Modeling are for functional changes on a native Creo part, in particular where it involves the utilization of shown dimensions on drawings. When the user uses a "Move" feature in Flex the geometry is relocated or changed but the original dimensions of the feature(s) remain where it was originally located (sort of like a mirror copied feature when you use Edit Definition - it takes you back to the location of the original sketch, not the new spot, even if the parent feature is deleted). The designer/engineer needs to create new drawing dimensions in the relocated position that represent the original sketch/depth dimensions, then add parametric notes in order to put modifiable driving values in place of the created driven values.

That's a lot of extra work and is the one area of concern we have. We use shown dimensions so the downstream users of the models can make production changes by modifying dimensions on a print. They don't have to know how to use surfacing, ISDX, Flex Modeling, etc....., which the majority don't. As you stated too, the Flex features are last in the model tree. Users would also need to know what "prior feature" they need to modify using Edit or Edit Definition, adding more complexity to the situation.

We are in the process of documenting exactly where Flex Modeling can be used and what expectations/requirements are placed on the designers/engineers, and suppliers when using it. We're not going to hide the tab/function, and it is and will be a required topic in any user training going forward. I like the functionality and want to utilize it to its maximum potential but our users and our suppliers will not be able to go wild with it.

Again, just my 2 cents


When I first saw the Flex Modeling Demo, I thought - let a million
problems start.

The basis for this idea is that Pro/E is an interactive software
development environment.

Models are created by recording, editing, and reordering steps to
produce instructions for the Pro/E interpreter to process.

Flex Modeling is the equivalent of replacing calculated results with a
'Print' statement. Wouldn't that make programming classes easier?

For some applications the model basis doesn't matter as much as the
finished appearance. If the previous modeler once used clay and a
scraper, that's probably true.

In other applications, it seems to me that caution should be used.

Dave S.

I have similar concerns with the idea of Flexible modeling.

Here is were I see it as an issue, but PTC sees it as a benefit.

Let's face it. We all have lazy users who don't care to comform to standards or good practices. All these users want to do is get from point A to C and it does not matter if they skip B in the process.

When you have a project due date coming and you are needing to make some changes to the design, the lazy person would do what ever it takes to just get it done. They don't care what breaks in the process but eventually someone is going to have to deal with it. So I see two potential cases were Flexible modeling can be used in a bad way.

1. Due date is almost here but some last minute changes are needed. The user takes advantage of Flexible modeling to quickly move, push and pull things to were they need to be with little though on how it affects other features or downstream operations.

2. The user is having some issues with making a change and rather than thinking it through and using good sound modeling practices, they use Flexible Modeling to get it down quick and dirty. Chances are the issues they ran into were based on their habit of not caring about what they do and how they do it, but now we empower them with a tool that makes this bad habit easier for them.

I understand that Flexible Modeling has some advantages in certain areas that make sense as described by others, but I see it as something that can cause more harm than good. Companies must be very clear on when it should be used and when it should not. Some of the examples by PTC on using Flexible Modeling give me chills. This will come back to haunt you later.

Does anyone know if PTC has guidelines on using Flexible Modeling?

I am not yet sold on the idea.

"Too many people walk around like Clark Kent, because they don't realize they can Fly like Superman"

I'm sure harm can be done with these new software feature, but I don't
think it is up to the software to prevent that, or to *not* implement
these new features because of the possible harm.

Isn't every feature a possible risk?

Think of the free form surface features. I'm pretty sure not a lot of
companies could create those in their workshop. Should they then be
removed from the software? I don't think so. The cad user should be
tought what the consequences are of using such a feature, and then their
intelligence should keep them from using it wrongly.

Even a simple hole feature is a risk. It is up to the engineer to judge
if the hole diameter is not too small to be machined in the workshop.
That is why they are engineers, and not just cad users.

That is my opinion anyway.

Best regards,
Patrick Asselman

As a side note, way back, before the intent manager, PTC came out with an auto dimension feature for the sketcher.

One of my friends was showing it to an expert user, who exploded, "Now any @$* #$&^ idiot can use ProE".

David Haigh

I believe have access to all the functionality and features your software offers is important. As long as the end users are trained on how to use the tools correctly and follow some best practices, you should be fine.

Flexible Modeling is something you must pay for to get. If you feel you need this technology, just make sure you take the time to set some best practices for your users. The power it provides can be good and bad like many things in Creo. Educating your users is the important thing.

"Too many people walk around like Clark Kent, because they don't realize they can Fly like Superman"


Yes, Flex modeling is a Pandora's box, and no, changes are quite tracable in the model tree.

Coming from (back to) Pro/E from UG NX, one can do a whole lot more damage when they are allowed to. It is the user community that must keep the designers in line. At some point, someone will pay the price for sloppy modeling. It is the nature of the beast. This is just one more hammer in the toolbox.