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User feedback on Creo2

ejenner
Newbie

User feedback on Creo2

Since I can't find any place else to put this, I'll put it here. If anyone knows a way to send this to PTC directly or if there is a more appropriate location, please tell me, as I have no idea if it will even be seen by PTC here. These are my observations about how the current iteration of creo works. Most of these have to do with clearly legacy behaviors that need to be corrected.

  • It should always be possible to select where to save. Currently, if a new part,drawing, etc. is made, it MUST be saved in the folder of the last file I opened. The options to put it elsewhere are greyed out.
  • Closed files should be cleared from the environment. Currently there is a massive memory leak. Even if you close a file, it is still in memory so long as Creo is. If you are forced to move a file due the having saved it in the wrong place, need to reuse a name of a file that you stopped making or did not save, etc., you have to completely close creo and open it again because the name clashes with the closed version. Also generates a huge memory footprint that cannot be reduced without closing and restarting.
  • There is no way to tell whether you have saved a file or not. You get a warning that anything unsaved will be lost when you go to close the last creo window, but nothing when you close individual files. Files need to be treated individually, not as a monolithic session, particularly since there is no way to tell creo to save all versions in memory if newer than saved versions from this last window.
  • There is no reason to make a completely new file every time you save something. Embed the old versions in one file as history data, with an option of how many versions to retain. Combine with change tracking and save on close so that saving multiple times without changing anything does not cause older version to be moved off the end of the save queue. This will drastically lower the amount of space taken up by creo work, as each file will be only the current version plus a small amount of data for backtracking, instead of the entire file repeated over and over. The current model causes major problems with windows file handling, since adding '.#' to the end of the file extension leaves windows unable to handle opening anything. It also takes up massive amounts of space and, if using an online storage system, bandwidth, since a complete, full size file must be saved and uploaded each and every time. Exacerbated by having to save repeatedly, in order to make sure you have remembered to save before you close the window, since there is no way to tell whether you have or not
  • Open files from the windows browser in the current session. Currently, if you open a file from a folder, it starts an entirely new Creo instance. Files should open in the current instance at all times.
  • Files incorporated into an assembly from a different folder should be properly loaded into the assembly on reload. Currently, any file not in the same folder and an assembly will be missing every time the assembly is opened, requiring manual relocation. This is even true if the file is in a subfolder of the folder the assembly is in. Manual library tinkering can be used to fix this, but it should be automatic.
  • Window switching should change focus, or creo should be one window. Currently, even though creo creates a separate window on the taskbar for each open file, clicking on the taskbar icons does not change focus; the in program pulldown menu must be used. This completely defeats the purpose of having multiple windows. Either enable switching with the taskbar (preferable), or have Creo occupy only a single taskbar icon.
  • Allow for showing and hiding of axes, planes, etc. on individual parts in assemblies. To do this currently, you have to spend a large amount of time creating layers for each part to do this. It should be an inherent property of the assembly instance.
  • Properly remember Hide/unhide behavior on save in assemblies. Currently, if an item is hidden when the assembly is saved, unhiding it and resaving will not result in it being unhidden when the assembly is reopened. Only manually refreshing the tree and then resaving will permanently changing the state.
  • Do not exit modes with center click. Center click (mouse wheel) is used to change view, but also exits many modes, such as 'Edit Definition'. This creates multiple instances of inadvertent exiting of these modes while trying to move.
  • Allow for window switching while in feature specification mode. For example, if creating a hole, it should be possible to start the hole, jump to another file to position or size information, then jump back. Currently, one must completely abort the hole, switch files, and then restart. Especially annoying if multiple parameters need to be taken.
  • Allow for mixed Inch/Metric units. Being able to specify dimensions for a part in both will vastly simplify making mixed parts, as well as produce better quality drawings. Currently, one must simply perform the conversion outside the program and hope there are enough decimal points to achieve the needed accuracy.
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11 REPLIES 11

Re: User feedback on Creo2

Hello Elliot,

I can tell you that there is a very good chance that PTC personnel will see this.

For your first six points, the majority of the corporate world would probably disagree. Many of this functionality derives from database management requirements. Most of this functionality actually makes things much quicker and more robust for the user.

  • Agree with you on "Windows switching". Creo 2 functionality for switching windows kind of sucks, at least with Win 7.
  • Hide/Unhide behavior...I'd rather it be temporary if done from model tree and controlled from layers
  • Don't take away my center click. It's been the same since Rev. 16 and I'm happy with it
  • Allow for window switching...never been a concern for me
  • Allow for mixed Inch/Metric Units...could be a "nice to have"

Re: User feedback on Creo2

Are you sure you mean the first 6 points? I can see no way 'can't save where you want to', infinitely expanding memory', 'never able to tell if you saved or not', 'open files in new instance', and 'always manually locate any file that is anywhere else on the system' can be important for database management.

The only one in the first 6 I can see being important for a database is 'makes completely new file every time you save', but this should be an option, rather than a requirement. Not all of us have infinitely large storage capacity or bandwidth requirements. I have to keep the folder open and IMMEDIATELY delete any old versions anytime I save anything to stay inside my space allocation.

Almost every single thing I make is Inch/Metric. It is a constant and glaring problem for me, and will be for anyone else who is involved with physicists. It is not 'nice to have' for me. We currently have to reconstruct every part in solidworks for the machinists due to this issue. We need Creo for simulations or we wouldn't use it at all.

Re: User feedback on Creo2

Elliot Jenner wrote:

...

... It is not 'nice to have' for me. We currently have to reconstruct every part in solidworks for the machinists due to this issue. We need Creo for simulations or we wouldn't use it at all.

You do know you can quickly convert the units in one of two ways, right?

file>prepare>model properties>units... you can convert 1:25.4 and you can change 1:1 You can even make your own units if you need custom shrinkage allocation.

Re: User feedback on Creo2

Hey Elliot,

*The save location is based on working directory and your original save location. It's set up so that you don't move stuff around and lose it or confuse it. Use a "File", "Save As", "Save Backup" to change the location you're saving to. It's still going to expect you want that part in it's originating directory. As an admin in a corporate enviornment, I wouldn't want my users creating copies of things all over the place. Still recovering from that scenario and we've been in a database system for 12 years.

*Infinitely expanding memory: I'm not sure the legal ramifications, but I know I've seen questions on products from 10 or 15 years back. If you don't have these requirements, purge. If there are no changes to the model, there shouldn't be a new one saved. You might want to check your part references if you see otherwise, you may be changing things that you didn't intend to.

*Always open files anywhere on the system: Which system? I might be working out of several mapped directories and local files. This is where the search path helps. If you designate too many places to search, performance will be bad.

*Inch/metric units: You might create a mapkey for switching units and place it in your Quick Access Toolbar. Then just hit it to convert to Metric or Inch. On drawings, you're probably going to want to show dual dimensioning if both the physicists and machinist are going to see it. I'm not sure why you would have to "reconstruct" something in Solidworks, unless they just want that file type.

Re: User feedback on Creo2

File Delete old Versions can be used to reduce the number of previous edition files. There is a ProPurge.exe file that will do this for you. Making a mapkey to delete old versions and resave will give only the latest and previous. Or if you want just one do save then delete old versions. At least the Student Edition of ProE is licensed for life and not restricted to 12 months like with SolidWorks or 13 with autodesk.

My ProE WF2 Student Edition still runs today but won't allow you to create trailfiles. When I was in school we were using floppys consider yourself lucky.

Michael

Re: User feedback on Creo2

The proper method for your observations is to post them in the Ideas area. You have to have active maintenance to access this area. PTC is notified of the posted Idea and maintenance users get to vote on it. Several of your observations have already been included in the ideas area so you may want to search for them and vote for them instead of posting it again.

Thank you for taking the time to post your observations. I suspect many of us would really like many of them. Some of the seasoned users understand where the limitations are derived from and agree that the 21 century is upon us and UNIX is something that most people have never heard of (no, it is not a sultan's harem guard!).

So if you do have an active maintenance account, please feel free to post each suggestion in the Ideas section.

Re: User feedback on Creo2

Unfortunately I am a mere student. Unless a maintenance account came with my student license, I don't have one. That dosn't make me any less an active user. The more I like and can use this program, the more likely I am to want to use it when I graduate and go into industry. Currently you are losing in general usefulness to Solidworks due to weird interface issues like those I mention. The more I have to fight the interface, the less I want to.

Re: User feedback on Creo2

The -you- here is PTC and certainly not me.

You are definitely preaching to the choir in this case. We've had some very lively discussion with regard to many of your observations.

The fact that ideas can only be posted by maintenance customers is sort of odd. The fact that less "vested" users don't get an ear from PTC is even more troubling in my view. Then again, PTC is working with an age-old tried and true engine that to date has done wonders for backwards compatibility. You have read up on what SolidWorks plans to do for SW6, right?

I think it would be interesting if PTC were to venture into another "lite" version. That would be a great opportunity to make a "pretty" interface. I wouldn't hold my breath though. Its been done in the past.

I have used many different CAD systems over many years. I am glad I learned Pro/E. And yes, the interface is still annoying. The depth of capabilities is still surprising me.

Re: User feedback on Creo2

Elliot,

Like any CAD tool, the more complex your design and deliverables become, the more you need to know about the tool. I have seen one of the assemblies you are working on and it is quite complex. I can completely understand that without much training or in-house support resources, you could become frustrated from time to time. If you were at a company using Creo as their main design tool, you would likely have access internal support, peers, best practices and previous designs to use as reference.

I would also note that many of the frustrations you are feeling are data management related. Windchill Project Link was developed specifically to address these issues. Anyone not using Windchill or another data management tool has to be very regimented about where files are saved to and how they are accessed.

Below you will find my comments to your list:

  • It should always be possible to select where to save. Currently, if a new part,drawing, etc. is made, it MUST be saved in the folder of the last file I opened. The options to put it elsewhere are greyed out.

Josh explained this well.

  • Closed files should be cleared from the environment. Currently there is a massive memory leak. Even if you close a file, it is still in memory so long as Creo is. If you are forced to move a file due the having saved it in the wrong place, need to reuse a name of a file that you stopped making or did not save, etc., you have to completely close creo and open it again because the name clashes with the closed version. Also generates a huge memory footprint that cannot be reduced without closing and restarting.

Many users would be extremely upset if closing a window meant their model was remove from memory. The erase tools found in File> Manage Session should be used to manage which models are open in memory and which are not.

  • There is no way to tell whether you have saved a file or not. You get a warning that anything unsaved will be lost when you go to close the last creo window, but nothing when you close individual files. Files need to be treated individually, not as a monolithic session, particularly since there is no way to tell creo to save all versions in memory if newer than saved versions from this last window.

I am used to seeing this in my title bar because I typically work with Creo linked to Windchill. It is unfortunate that it is not visible when not using Windchill. That said, if an open part or assembly is saved, it will be saved whether the model has been changed or not. If an assembly is open and saved, by default in Creo, only the assembly and any modified models will be saved, not all the models. You can use Save a Backup to save every component in an assembly to your current working directory or a new folder.

  • There is no reason to make a completely new file every time you save something. Embed the old versions in one file as history data, with an option of how many versions to retain. Combine with change tracking and save on close so that saving multiple times without changing anything does not cause older version to be moved off the end of the save queue. This will drastically lower the amount of space taken up by creo work, as each file will be only the current version plus a small amount of data for backtracking, instead of the entire file repeated over and over. The current model causes major problems with windows file handling, since adding '.#' to the end of the file extension leaves windows unable to handle opening anything. It also takes up massive amounts of space and, if using an online storage system, bandwidth, since a complete, full size file must be saved and uploaded each and every time. Exacerbated by having to save repeatedly, in order to make sure you have remembered to save before you close the window, since there is no way to tell whether you have or not

Again, this functionality has been in Creo since the very beginning and is something that experienced users value greatly. If you are worried about your file count or disk space, I would suggest adding the internal purge.exe utility to your Windows Explorer right-mouse pop-up menu. Also, with a little searching, you can find a 3rd party tool named Spekan Purge. This tool, among other things, enables you to purge a set number of revisions (for example, keep only the last three saved models).

  • Open files from the windows browser in the current session. Currently, if you open a file from a folder, it starts an entirely new Creo instance. Files should open in the current instance at all times.

You can drag a model from your windows browser into a Creo window. This will not open a new session.

  • Files incorporated into an assembly from a different folder should be properly loaded into the assembly on reload. Currently, any file not in the same folder and an assembly will be missing every time the assembly is opened, requiring manual relocation. This is even true if the file is in a subfolder of the folder the assembly is in. Manual library tinkering can be used to fix this, but it should be automatic.

Again, Josh has explained this well. If not using Windchill or another data management tool, search paths can and should be used to manage common or shared models. This is a Creo strength, not a weakness.

  • Window switching should change focus, or creo should be one window. Currently, even though creo creates a separate window on the taskbar for each open file, clicking on the taskbar icons does not change focus; the in program pulldown menu must be used. This completely defeats the purpose of having multiple windows. Either enable switching with the taskbar (preferable), or have Creo occupy only a single taskbar icon.

I too sometimes wish I could active windows from the taskbar. However, with large assemblies, I find it useful that I can view (pan, spin, zoom, etc) an open window (from the taskbar) and not activate my large assembly. If you mistakenly try using the taskbar (as I do from time to time), it’s easy to activate it using the Windows drop-down menu.

  • Allow for showing and hiding of axes, planes, etc. on individual parts in assemblies. To do this currently, you have to spend a large amount of time creating layers for each part to do this. It should be an inherent property of the assembly instance.

The default layers included in the PTC template models enable you to do this. The display of datum features in designs throughout the world are managed using this functionality.

  • Properly remember Hide/unhide behavior on save in assemblies. Currently, if an item is hidden when the assembly is saved, unhiding it and resaving will not result in it being unhidden when the assembly is reopened. Only manually refreshing the tree and then resaving will permanently changing the state.

As a designer engineer, sometimes I often change layer displays that I don't want saved. That is why we have the Save Status button in the View tab.

  • Do not exit modes with center click. Center click (mouse wheel) is used to change view, but also exits many modes, such as 'Edit Definition'. This creates multiple instances of inadvertent exiting of these modes while trying to move.

This has been a feature in Creo-Pro/E from way back (it was a user requested enhancement). Anyone using Creo to make a living would scream foul if this was removed.

  • Allow for window switching while in feature specification mode. For example, if creating a hole, it should be possible to start the hole, jump to another file to position or size information, then jump back. Currently, one must completely abort the hole, switch files, and then restart. Especially annoying if multiple parameters need to be taken.

You can only perform/edit one operation at a time. I am not sure how this would be managed if a feature were able to be in a state of definition in multiple windows.

  • Allow for mixed Inch/Metric units. Being able to specify dimensions for a part in both will vastly simplify making mixed parts, as well as produce better quality drawings. Currently, one must simply perform the conversion outside the program and hope there are enough decimal points to achieve the needed accuracy.

Agreed, this would be nice, especially for standard inch sized holes in metric unit components.

Re: User feedback on Creo2

  • Files incorporated into an assembly from a different folder should be properly loaded into the assembly on reload. Currently, any file not in the same folder and an assembly will be missing every time the assembly is opened, requiring manual relocation. This is even true if the file is in a subfolder of the folder the assembly is in. Manual library tinkering can be used to fix this, but it should be automatic.

Again, Josh has explained this well. If not using Windchill or another data management tool, search paths can and should be used to manage common or shared models. This is a Creo strength, not a weakness.

I must VEHEMENTLY disagree here. I am not saying that creo should go digging through the entire computer to find a part if you move it. However, the exact part that is included in the assembly should always be loaded if it has not been moved, regardless of where it is. I should not have to set a search path to do this. It already reloads all the items from the same folder when you find any one of them using "retrieve missing component", and once you do this once it should be able to find the part everytime until you move it again. This should be automatic.

  • Closed files should be cleared from the environment. Currently there is a massive memory leak. Even if you close a file, it is still in memory so long as Creo is. If you are forced to move a file due the having saved it in the wrong place, need to reuse a name of a file that you stopped making or did not save, etc., you have to completely close creo and open it again because the name clashes with the closed version. Also generates a huge memory footprint that cannot be reduced without closing and restarting.

Many users would be extremely upset if closing a window meant their model was remove from memory. The erase tools found in File> Manage Session should be used to manage which models are open in memory and which are not.

The most common place where this is an issue is mistakes. Usually happens when I have the wrong window in focus when I go to make a drawing (see comment about window switching), and now I have to restart the entire session because even though I never saved the file the name is reserved. At the very least, in a situation like that where there is nothing but a name in memory left, the name should be cleared.

The other issue this causes is if I have two parts with the same name in different files in different assemblies that need to be opened at once. The names then clash and whichever one was opened first takes precedence. The assemblies should know that part a goes in assembly A and part b in assembly B, regardless of if they have the same name. This is very common if you copied the part from assembly A to B's folder and modified it. Since there is no way to rename the part once it is in B without removing and redoing all the connections (which could potentially destroy large parts of B due to dependency), you are now stuck with being unable to ever open them together. this makes parts non-portable.

  • There is no way to tell whether you have saved a file or not. You get a warning that anything unsaved will be lost when you go to close the last creo window, but nothing when you close individual files. Files need to be treated individually, not as a monolithic session, particularly since there is no way to tell creo to save all versions in memory if newer than saved versions from this last window.

I am used to seeing this in my title bar because I typically work with Creo linked to Windchill. It is unfortunate that it is not visible when not using Windchill. That said, if an open part or assembly is saved, it will be saved whether the model has been changed or not. If an assembly is open and saved, by default in Creo, only the assembly and any modified models will be saved, not all the models. You can use Save a Backup to save every component in an assembly to your current working directory or a new folder.

This is needlessly obfuscational. Just as with, for example, any MS office program, if I have made changes and not saved before I close a window, I should be TOLD so. If there is no way to save them at the end of the session when you receive the only warning, you need to be sure they are saved when the windows are closed. I cannot count the number of extra copies of files I have made because I have to continually save them over and over to avoid losing anything. Not having a warning dialogue incurs a workflow (continually stopping what you are doing to save so you don't forget), memory (excessive numbers of save files with no differences between them) and related time penalties. This is not an assembly issue, it is a general user interface problem.

  • Window switching should change focus, or creo should be one window. Currently, even though creo creates a separate window on the taskbar for each open file, clicking on the taskbar icons does not change focus; the in program pulldown menu must be used. This completely defeats the purpose of having multiple windows. Either enable switching with the taskbar (preferable), or have Creo occupy only a single taskbar icon.

I too sometimes wish I could active windows from the taskbar. However, with large assemblies, I find it useful that I can view (pan, spin, zoom, etc) an open window (from the taskbar) and not activate my large assembly. If you mistakenly try using the taskbar (as I do from time to time), it’s easy to activate it using the Windows drop-down menu.

This is bad user interface communication. The interface for the entire windows operating system says "if there is a window button in the taskbar and I click it, the window gets focus". Changing this behavior for a single program creates confusion, wastes time, and makes your program harder to use. If it is a memory issue then use statefulness to not actually load in the file until you go to use a function other than visual, but continually forcing the use of the window selector and blocking the OS paradigm makes the program clunky. Especially since you put the close window button right next to it, leading to accidental closing. Either there should be one window with a switcher required or the taskbar should be functional.

  • Allow for showing and hiding of axes, planes, etc. on individual parts in assemblies. To do this currently, you have to spend a large amount of time creating layers for each part to do this. It should be an inherent property of the assembly instance.

The default layers included in the PTC template models enable you to do this. The display of datum features in designs throughout the world are managed using this functionality.

If this is in here I can't figure out how to do it.

  • Allow for window switching while in feature specification mode. For example, if creating a hole, it should be possible to start the hole, jump to another file to position or size information, then jump back. Currently, one must completely abort the hole, switch files, and then restart. Especially annoying if multiple parameters need to be taken.

You can only perform/edit one operation at a time. I am not sure how this would be managed if a feature were able to be in a state of definition in multiple windows.

I'm not talking about the same feature, I am talking about the matching feature. For example, part A has a bolt circle and part B needs to match up, so I have to grab the sizing and positioning info from A and use it in B. Currently this involves making a random hole on B and then copying and regenerating the dimensions one at a time (even slower due to the way window switching works). It would be nice to be able to have the features open side by side to make this quick. Even better would be the ability to copy a feature from part to part (needs a reference selector dialogue). Currently you can't even move a hole form one side of a part the other in it's own feature without memorizing the reference coordinates.

  • Allow for mixed Inch/Metric units. Being able to specify dimensions for a part in both will vastly simplify making mixed parts, as well as produce better quality drawings. Currently, one must simply perform the conversion outside the program and hope there are enough decimal points to achieve the needed accuracy.

Agreed, this would be nice, especially for standard inch sized holes in metric unit components.

I have to do this on virtually every single part I make, not just for holes but for everything. For example, I often have to make parts with metric OD but Inch length. It is the single biggest problem with the program. The current solution is to manually add the metric dimensions to the drawing, which of course destroys any updating.

Re: User feedback on Creo2

Additional items:

  • Holes and hole patterns should list size and screw type on the feature tree. Currently they are just 'hole_#' or 'Pattern_of_Hole_#'. You have to open the feature up if you want to check the size. Having a listing such as 'Hole_4-40' or 'Pattern_of_hole_0.31' would speed work considerably.

  • It is very hard to get the dimension you want on drawings consistently. I often get edge to edge dimensions on holes when I want center to center (or edge to center), or radius when I want diameter. Even when you get this things do not update properly in all cases, such as diameters still having an 'R' prefix.
  • Holes must be entered on drawings manually, since the dimensions the program gives are not usable as easily read specifications, as they do not indicate to humans things such as clearance vs tapped holing, counterboring, thread count, or size in a standard way. Having a diameter printed on the hole does not tell a human that it is size 8 tapped. An automatically generated note such as "6x 8-32 tapped counterbore" from you patterns for human readability would save time and prevent errors form having to manually manage notes.
  • Allow for inversion and rotation in drawings. Sometimes you have a part model oriented upside down or sidewise relative to the way you would like it to appear in the drawing. This can occur if, for example, you have to add a feature to a part after adding it an assembly, and that feature happens to be on the bottom relative to the original file orientation. Currently you have to redo the part, then redefine the assembly relations. Just let us change the drawing orientation instead, as there is no actual CONTENT change needed. The initial choice of coordinated in the model is not always the most ideal for a drawing.

Also a bug report:

  • The mirror feature type often fails to regenerate properly. I find that if I change a parameter of the original item the mirror will vanish, move in a completely unrelated way, or just vanish entirely, rather than regenerate. I almost always have to delete and recreate the mirror to get the feature updated properly.