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Pro/E vs Cocreate - the skinny


Pro/E vs Cocreate - the skinny

Can someone tell me the real difference between the modeling of CoCreate and pro/E

I have used both and hear is what I have found.


Easy to learn

Make parts fast

No design intent(skeleton models that control the design)

More useful for simple quick designs


More difficult


Use relations and skeletons to create large driven assems

More useful for complicated things like cars and machines

Is this correct or not.

I also notice that CoCreate had an incredibly high price tag compared to Pro/E but that was 4 years ago that I checked. I find that interesting as it seems Pro/E has many more features.


Also with the creo, I watched the videos but Im not sure if I get it.

Is creo just the same basic program but you open up many differant apps to do what you want so that the screen is not cluttered with icons and buttons you dont want to use. Like for example working on a part you click to one app and it contains sketches and sketching tools then go to the other and it shows 3D and 3D tools.

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Hello Randy,

one Point is not correct.

"More useful for simple quick designs"

We build big machines with more than 12000 parts and we are working with 6-8 engineer at the same time at the same machine.

We had some little rules, that nobody changes the model from the other engineer. That's it.

It's a great programm. No design intent, that is the best for our company.

To test the CREO/Elements get the free trial Version from PTC.


I have used Cocreate products for many years and I can agree with you about what you have written but don't forget the big limits of this product in 3d modeling.

Cocreate products are really simple and useful if you design products made of parts with simple geometry and simple relation between them but if you have to design products where you have to manage also complex shapes or parameter, rules, configurations........ it could be really difficult or even impossible.

Regarding the price I think the big difference is in the base licence where Cocreate doesn't include a lot functions often included in the base licence of many other software and due to this many Cocreate customer have to buy some expensive modules in order to have what they need.


I mostly agree with the things mentioned above. But what I would like to add is the fact that CoCreate is extremely good in large assembly handling.

There are a few reasons for that:

  • no constraints in assemblies
  • no history or parameters in parts

This means that filesize is a lot smaller than in history-based applications.

I think that at this moment the price for Creo Elements/Direct Modeling (CoCreate) is almost the same than the price for Creo Elements/Pro (Pro/ENGINEER). It's true that there are some extra modules available in Creo Elements/Direct, but the base application already contains a lot of functionality:

  • part and assembly modeling
  • 2D drawing generation (Annotation)
  • standalone 2D drafting solution (Drafting, formerly known as ME10)
  • basic sheet metal functionality
  • basic surfacing functionality
  • machining
  • 3D documentation
  • rendering
  • data interfaces (STEP, IGES, SAT, Pro/E Granite, ProducView, IsoDraw, STL, PCB)
  • etc.



It's true Creo\elements\Direct, thanks to its light weigth 3D parts and assembly, is good in large assembly handling but it's quite difficoult for me to understand how it is possible to design large assembly without any parameter or constraints.

Do you mean that it could be a good and safe way to design products with all the components without any relation between them?

For my point of view it could be really dangerous.

In Creo \\Direct if you want to add assembly relations you have to buy an extra modules, if you want sheet metal functionality similar to Creo\\Pro you have to buy an extra module, if you want surfacing functionality for sure less powerful than Creo\\Pro you have to buy an extra module.

The only chance is to get a big discount.


Exactly the good thing with CoCreate (Creo Elements/Direc)t is, that you don't need any relations or parameters or constraints, when you design large 3D assemblies.

More an assembly gets bigger and heavier, more you can see the advantages of CoCreate, as there is no need for any relations, constraints or parameters. Practically you can design unlimited sized models with CoCreate, the limit is only your computers memory.

I have seen CoCreate Models with more than 200,000 parts (without standard parts). These kind of huge assemblies can be designed and managed easily with CoCreate. CoCreate is several years ahead in comprasion to the similar direct modellers in the market.

See a video and report about CoCreate Modeling and large assemblies at the following link :

I have used ProE (aka Creo Parametric), Solidworks, and CoCreate (aka Creo Elements Direct).  I gotta say I just don't get most of the benefits of parametric modeling in general, and I don't get ProE at all.  To make a parametric modeler really work you have understand how the part will function and what changes are likely to happen.  However in my work a part's form and function can change quickly to adapt to changing design requirements and new data.  I need a CAD tool that allows me to move fast to adapt to those changes.  When I have to spend as much time designing the CAD as I do designing the part itself, the CAD is slowing me down, not helping me.

I need to able to work collaboratively with other engineers, even at the part level.  CoCreate, or any geometry based modeler, can do that because many engineers can work on the same part and the changes combined by the part owner.  Parametric modelers can't support multiple users working on the same part.  CoCreate is also easy to use in assemblies.  Being able to see all of the parts at the same time while working on a specific part is one of the most powerful parts of CAD.  Parametric modelers can do this, but it's a lot clunkier and slower.

CoCreate is also super easy to learn.  An engineer who's never used it can be designing in it within a couple of days.  A parametric modeler takes more time to learn, and ProE is especially bad.

Where Solidworks makes sense is that it's inexpensive.  It's also ubiquitous.  Most MEs know have used it.  They may create models with lots of blue, unconstrained sketches, poorly thought part trees that are unnecessarily long and complex slowing part regeneration, and red and yellow decorated assemblies filled with errors and exceptions, but they can generate a part.  CoCreate is a lot harder to mess up.

So if you have a choice, and price isn't an obstacle, I'd go with CoCreate.  If money's tighter, which is usually the case, Solidworks will get you a professional level CAD product that's well known and not that hard to learn.

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