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Is Creo the right tool for us?


Is Creo the right tool for us?

Hello All,

We're a fairly small motosport company looking for a 3D Cad system. Our job is mainly designing aero parts (wings, body, etc..) and some mechanism (kinematic, etc..). We're also running CFD on those shapes.

We're looking for 3-4 licences, all of us have experience on specific software (Solidworks, Catia, NX, Creo..) but unfortunately none of us have a deep knowledge of Creo and another one, which makes comparison a bit complicated.

Is Creo the right tool for us? Most F1 teams and motorsport are using Catia.

Cost is not a major issue, we just want the right tool for our needs; which are: 1/good surface modelling (nurbs and subdivision; tsplines, IMA or similar) 2/good file export (stl, parasolid,..) 3/good scripting capability (we test loads of different shape and we'll need to streamline the process CAD->CFD).



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Tough call, Nick. You will need the surfacing extension and maybe even the flexible modeler but is PTC the right company?

You might be comparing apples to oranges though. Catia and NX are one class and Creo and Solidworks are another. However, bringing Creo up to the level (I say this with great caution) to the level of a well expanded NX system would bring them closer together in capabilities but as far as the fit and finish, I really enjoyed working with NX. It was simply "unremarkable" which Creo users cannot say. I mean that NX just works and it is not esoteric. As for Solidworks and Catia... well SW is the baby brother, right? Your requirements are well beyond Solidworks... but what does Catia have to offer that makes it a game changer for your business? I cannot answer that having never used it.

I'm sure for 3 seats and a long time commitment to service agreements, all 3 companies would be falling all over themselves to prove to you they are the one to solve your problems. And although I use Creo as a preferred platform for my business model, I will state my serious reservations about how PTC really handles their smaller customers. I'd pretty much say that in the decade+ I've experienced PTC, I'd say their code is outdated. Again, I've had no issues when using NX... it simply did what I needed it to do. I never used NX in any advanced mode. I offer that as a disclaimer.

It's hard to say Creo has a scripting capability despite the large number of programming interfaces.

There's Mapkeys that are simple regurgitation; same with trail files.

Program is more like a family table without the grid - gross relations and feature/component inclusion/exclusion

For free, there's Web-link and J-Link, but those are software development tools that have high learning curves. Also free is the VB API, which shares the high learning curve.

None of these offers full content creation, but one can build work-arounds.

At the top of the heap is Toolkit, separately licensed.

There doesn't seem to be a middle place where scripting is usually found.

Do a Google search for "what-were-ptc-thinking-when-it-came-to-apis-for-proengineer-creo-elements" It's a good article, at least in matching my experience.


Thanks for the replies.

@Steven; we'll be doing CFD outside the CAD system; meshes are big and everything is Linux based. So we don't need to have CFD inside the CAD.

@David; scripting is one area that concerns me deeply with Creo, nothing clear nor easy. Catia (or Solidworks) with VBA along with the record macro feature makes it easy with a small learning curve. Plus there are tons of online examples. The Toolkit looks powerfull but who wants to compile C++ macros.

My main concerns right now are:

1/ scripting looks powerfull but very high learning curve

2/ not a huge amount of online activity (forums, youtube,...)

3/ in 3-4 years the gap catia-NX vs Creo might get even bigger.


Are you also going to be doing composite layups and specifying the manufacturing of those products from a composites standpoint? If you get into the manufacturing, you may also want to consider how well other products play nicely with those kinds of manufacturing tools. Creo dropped their Pro/Composite lineup a while ago but you can still get a decent 3rd party tool that integrates with it (FiberSIM). From what I hear other software solutions play a little more nicely. NX because Seimens owns FiberSIM, and Catia because it has built in capabilities as well as FiberSIM capability. That being said I haven't used NX and Catia in that context yet.

We have windows on our workstations for CAD purposes.

Our HPC is linux.

On the 'integrated' CFD tools in a CAD environement look nice but are quite limited.

Thanks again,