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Swx to Creo back to SWX

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Newbie

Swx to Creo back to SWX

Myself and another new mechanical engineer recently started working at an established company 2-1/2 months ago to replace a person that left.  Both of us have years of experience using SWX and Inventor and a few other CAD packages; the company is using Creo, which either myself or the ME ever used.   After 2 months of using Creo, both of us are finding  that Creo is so unintuitive to use with a steep learning curve that there's a large drop in productivity that its effecting the company.   During the interviews we were never asked if we know Creo, because from what I found out by asking around, management ( non-engineers) assumed that if you know one CAD s/w package how hard could it be to learn another, there all the same.     We asked for 2 weeks training but after showing the training quotes they took no action on it, and swept it under the rug.

Recently I stated my argument to the same managers, that with no training on using Creo management should expect a productivity drop of 50+% for one year, because of the difficulty on using this s/w as we come up to speed.  One can only watch so many Youtubes video and post Creo questions for so long.   We came here apply our engineering skills and learn the companies products, not watch Creo video's day in out.   After a long discussion a few time management said if we change CAD platforms will we get productivity increase and secondly how will that effect the existing Creo data and what need to be prepared for a switch.

So my question is if we get approval to switch from Creo to SWX, what issue will we have on importing Creo files and how to prepare them

27 REPLIES 27

Re: Swx to Creo back to SWX

I would back up a bit before jumping!

What business/product area is your company involved in?

Does your company have manufacturing plants to make your products or do you sub them out and only do assembly/distribution?

How long has the company been using Creo/Wildfire/ProEngineer and do you also use Windchill for your PDM?

Who made the decision to purchase the PTC CAD package originally?

You need to ask the import of Creo files to SWX to a Solidworks forum.

Will the cost of 4 weeks (2 for 2) training be less than the cost of the Solidworks seat(s)? Present that as a cost savings instead of switching.

Training is not an expense but an investment in your employees!

Re: Swx to Creo back to SWX

What business/product area is your company involved in?

We design custom machinery so no two design are ever the same

Does your company have manufacturing plants to make your products or do you sub them out and only do assembly/distribution?

No plants, our products are one offs for each customer's needs

How long has the company been using Creo/Wildfire/ProEngineer and do you also use Windchill for your PDM?

Long time, no sure how long.   No windchill being used here

Who made the decision to purchase the PTC CAD package originally?

Previous ME.   funny thing is they could find engineers they interviewed that had Creo experience, its not popular in New England area and personally I know  no one that is using it.

Will the cost of 4 weeks (2 for 2) training be less than the cost of the Solidworks seat(s)? Present that as a cost savings instead of switching.

Two weeks training is 7K per a person.  1 week is just the modeling 2nd week is drafting.  Total economic cost of not having either engineer at work plus training.. more..

I also argued this, but training is not in the cards.. again the thinking is CAD is CAD, if you know one you can know them all..

Re: Swx to Creo back to SWX

If product history or data reuse isn't an issue, that opens a lot of options that wouldn't necessarily be viable for companies that want to keep all that existing work.

Other than current projects, the loss is minimal so it's a valid option.

Seems if they aren't willing to spend on training, why would they be willing to spend on new software and the setup time that goes along with it?


Steve Williams
Pro/E Version 15/16 (Circa 1995/1996)

Re: Swx to Creo back to SWX

come down to India for training.Would be much much cheaper.I guess good training here would not cost more than 20000/- Indian rupees(One person).That would be maximum amount charged.

Re: Swx to Creo back to SWX

Whoever quoted you 2 weeks of needed training didn't know what they were talking about. Right now I am teaching the PTC class "Creo Parametric 2.0 for SolidWorks Users". It's a 3 day class. That's about $1450 USD per student (list price, I think).

Will it teach you everything about Creo? No. Will it get you up and running and productive? Yes, it will. I just asked the students in my class and they think it will. Yes they know they will have more to learn when they get back, but they predict they will be proficient with Creo Parametric within a few weeks at most.

Re: Swx to Creo back to SWX

If you use one of the universal file formats such as STEP the converted models will have no features, no datums. Drawings will loose the associativy to the model if converted to DWG format for example. So, you will basically end up remodeling and redrawing everything from scratch. That's the real cost of the switch from feature based to a feature based CAD.

Re: Swx to Creo back to SWX

The part of translation to step I'm aware of.  However a PTC can be opened directly in SWX..

Re: Swx to Creo back to SWX

it will try to create the history tree in solidworks,would work fine with simple parts but would fail with complex parts.the geometry would not be defined..in short lot of rework would be required.

just a thought , when you switch job after some years and the new company would be using a different software maybe be NX or CATIA..what would be your plan then?

Re: Swx to Creo back to SWX

read the job description, beforehand.  we were duped by the recruiting agency, they assured us and the company I'm at that Pro-E pretty easy to use..

Re: Swx to Creo back to SWX

I had the opposite problem.  I wanted Creo to work with SolidWorks only to find out that this requires a special license and as noted by others, it isn't a magic bullet by any means.

My solution... I purchased SolidWorks.  Hate it, but its making me money.  Drawing with SW is the PITS.  ...so not much different than Creo.

Learning Creo from scratch without help $ucks.  When you learn what Creo can do that SW cannot... priceless!

Feel free for you and your buddy to post "how do I" posts here on the community and ask for SW methodologies in Creo.

1st thing you'll learn (learned) is that Creo has midpoints in sketch but no mid-plane in selection or mating.

Once I dig into SW commands, I quickly realize that Creo has 3 more directions you can take any command.  Why doesn't a SW sketch recognize a perpendicular surface as a reference?  Why doesn't SW have cylindrical and spherical equation curves?  Why are edges of surfaces not recognized as trajectories?  ... and in the last year, I can take this to the Nth level... but only because I did spend a couple of years getting very familiar with Creo outside my normal comfort zone.  I can promise you that I would never try to go this far with SW.  Nothing there that Creo can't manage in one way or another... and probably 5 more ways after that.

Again, I feel for you on the learning curve.  If you embrace it, you will grow to love nothing else.  I'm very glad I learned Creo before SW.  I'd be feeling like I've settled for less had I only discovered Creo after SW.  Maybe I'd feel just like you.

But we are here to help.  And if your company is at least covering maintenance on Creo, submit support cases to PTC liberally.  It's paid for!

Then again, if you have the full intent to convert your organization to SW, treat the whole process as a corporate CAD conversion.  That's a different conversation.

Re: Swx to Creo back to SWX

I definitely can feel your pain.

We switched to Creo a few years back.  No one can pick up this software and start running unless the work needed done is very simple.  It has been a very hard road, but once through the pain it has been worth it.    We purchased a seat of the Creo Learning Library.  What was suggested to us was to work through numerous specified topics prior to actually getting the 2 days of training that management was OK with.  This accounted to 1 day of overtime per week.

After a couple months of going through the very tedious and unspecific Learning Library, management pulled the plug on overtime for training.  About a year after we started using every free moment we were able to get through the needed sections of the Learning Library to get to our 2 days of training.  At this point we still did 99 percent of our work in ZW which was our software prior to the switch to Creo.  The 2 days of training was a drop in the bucket towards what we needed to get going.  The trainer had one approach towards the project we used for training purposes and it didn't work as our geometry was much too complicated and we needed to be able to identically duplicate the customer's geometry in our model project.  Not really the great fault of the trainer, he had to rush through a part project that had to fit in a 2 day time envelope.

In our company we have been under a lot of pressure to get work done, much of the time we are working overtime to complete hot jobs.  We have always been pinned down to where it is a struggle to put time towards any development.  We almost ended up abandoning Creo after a year and a half.  This was a terribly steep learning curve.  Finally after a year and a half we started piecing things together to how it would work well within our needed geometries scheme.  Once the ball started rolling things really took shape.  Now after a couple years we dread working in our old software because Creo is so much more powerful and quicker.

I believe we are seeing about a 20% time savings over the old software that we were using.  This would be a great success story were in not that our management thinks we are still way too slow.  If only they would take the time to actually see what a lot of part complexity does towards adding time to a project.  In our line of business there is no way to push a button to design a die.  We might be able to get perhaps another 10% faster if we had the time to further refine our technique by learning and using more of the many tools available from Creo's toolbox.

The moral of the story for our situation is that if we had 2 weeks of training we would have cut out 2 years of misery and lack of productivity.  Management has to see that this is the true way of getting return on investment.

Re: Swx to Creo back to SWX

Why wouldn't you take this opportunity to expand on the skills you will carry with you throughout your career?

First of all, what guarantee do you have that the software you use now will look or behave the same in the future as it does now? Long time Pro/E users can attest to the fact that it can change under your feet.

Second, why not take every chance to learn a new software, instead of retreating to what is comfortable? It will do nothing but expand your options when you move to your next position, and make you more valuable to a future employer.

Third, by dumping Pro/E before you have learned what it is really capable of, you will miss out on a truly powerful CAD experience. It is by no means an easy software to learn, but it is worth all of the time you put into it.

In my last 20 years of product/tooling design I have used many CAD programs. CATIA, SW, Inventor, all flavors of AutoCAD, IronCAD, Intergraph, Pro/E....and a few I can't even remember. One company I worked at had a four programs running concurrently. Sure, they all had a learning curve, and all of them approached design theory slightly different, but they are just tools for accomplishing your tasks and conveying your intent.

I am not going to sit here and praise one program over another, because they all have pros and cons - but I will tell you that you will never regret having the confidence to walk into any interview or project and know that no CAD program will keep you from what you do best.

Good luck.

Re: Swx to Creo back to SWX

Not one company I ever interviewed at was using Creo.. Did I mentioned i live and work a few towns over form PTC corp. in  MA. . Everywhere is either swx or Inventor, except a few places that might be holding out using Creo..

It all comes down to the company making money and deliverying projects on time.  No one cares how great of a mathamatical modeler it is.  We have to ME's neither knows the program, its too unituituve with a steep learing curve, we are not producing drawing and designs on time...so.. well.. the project is time slipping.. sooooo... would you want to be the program manager and go to the customer and tell them their proejct will be delayed?   probably not...

If two ME's can get the tools they need to hit the road running at a lower cost than training and get the project done in time is it worth it??  

Re: Swx to Creo back to SWX

Unfortunately the project manager is probably thinking they hired the wrong two ME's.

Please clarify... are you working with SW now?  Are you trying to get your current Creo library converted to SW?  Are you being forced to work in Creo and simply trying to make parametric parts in SW become parametric in Creo?

Again, I feel your frustration.  Maybe a few conversations with human resources to get a better idea of what the project manager is really expecting from you.

Most often, it is the company that doesn't understand what we go through.  And if they think brow-beating while not understanding their role will improve the situation, they are in for a world of hurt.  This means you will be part of that environment.

Re: Swx to Creo back to SWX

Good question, we don't work for the PM ( program manager)  they are customer facing not internal facing.   We both have the skills to do the job, but if I can't get our designs done quick enough the drafting package is really confusing so drawings are near impossible to do without watching videos on how to, then we are goign to lose customers.  IT all comes down to efficentcy<<sp

Any six sigma/ lean training will tell you that if something is taking to long, its casuing money find the root cause.. in our case its the s/w, solution buy something that increase productivity.

.

No we are working with Creo right now,  and we are not looking at the conversion.   we are a very small outfitt maybe 20 people, so HR is not is allso the receptionist and purchaser.   

The major problem is we gorund productivity to a standstill, and there is a major concern that we wil lnot make the delivery date.  We both voiced out frustration on using Creo, but again its being swept under the rug

Re: Swx to Creo back to SWX

Look at getting a Creo contract engineer to make the date. You and engineer #2 can look over their shoulder to see where the commands are and see how it works. I'd recommend a hands-on interview with the engineer to see they can do the work you need.

If this is machinery, I can typically knock out a from-scratch drawing in about 4 hours - between 30-40 dimensions, notes, sections, breakouts. I rarely use the 'drafting' part because that is time hole and isn't significantly required. If you are sketching or drawing on the drawing, you are mostly doing it wrong, which would be very dissatisfying.

The company could check with their VAR or PTC, or both, for names of people. I also see 3HTI as a supplier of PTC product support, including engineering staffing.

Engineering Staffing (and i'd really appreciate if Jive would not auto-promote web addresses) at  3HTI.com **

They are near the top of the list for Google search result "going from SolidWorks to creo" I didn't see any cross-training; perhaps this is a sliver market for PTC to capture contracts.

Finally - check your browser to turn on spell checking and correction. It's letting you down.

Re: Swx to Creo back to SWX

Also

http://learningexchange.ptc.com/ (requires free account)

https://www.youtube.com/user/ECognition/videos

http://www.e-cognition.net

Beginners Guide - How to Model Almost Anything

https://www.ptcusercommunity.com/docs/DOC-4619 (which may also require a free account)

It includes models, but they may be the educational versions; dunno, but the material is easy enough to read.

Re: Swx to Creo back to SWX

Also I'm not defending saying SWX is the one and only soultion, I 've used Inventor and SolidEdge and both are easy to use CAD packages....well.. maybe except SE.. not a fan of it..

Re: Swx to Creo back to SWX

Maybe we should just tackle the top issues you are still dealing with and put them to rest.

This is how we all do it.

Re: Swx to Creo back to SWX

Interesting. If no two designs are ever the same in your company then you might wanna try to find a CAD package that is not feature based and has a decent drawing environment, that is easy to pick up considering your previous experience with SolidWorks, SolidEdge, Inventor, toys like that.

I'm a huge supporter of Multi-CAD and I find that no single CAD/modeling/drafting tool can do a job efficiently enough, while combination of a few can.

Re: Swx to Creo back to SWX

first of all expecting guys with experience in solidworks to start making complex assemblies and parts in Creo straightway without any formal training is sheer stupidity.

Thinking that all the 3D CAD softwares are very similar and easy to learn is foolish on the part of the management.


what ever software you pick up other than solidworks would need some kind of formal training.

Sticking to solidworks will keep your modeling skills limited to companies using solidworks.



Re: Swx to Creo back to SWX

Agree

Bit of status update.

We had a meeting with executive team, my bosses boss, not happy, turns out we missed a mile stone with the customer.  We explained that the reason we are not hitting the ground running is neither one of us knows Creo well enough with formal training.  We were told that there is too much work for the next six months to ramp up on a CAD system and have two people out for training will not happen, we missed a milestone the customer was not happy and we have another order with them.

We were told sternly, "we have another scheduled milestone in 30 days, we can not and will not be late.  If you both know what ever CAD s/w you know get it here this week."  So basically, we cut a PO for two seat of Swx....

Re: Swx to Creo back to SWX

I've had that same argument with myself and did the same thing

Sorry you are dealing with so much pain.  Nothing wrong with making things work.

Re: Swx to Creo back to SWX

I also sympathize with you. Hopefully, SW is gonna do the job for you.

Re: Swx to Creo back to SWX

we are here to help you with your issues in Creo.

Please tell what are your problems are we will be happy to guide you.

Re: Swx to Creo back to SWX

I think you better go for your own software. Good luck bro.

Re: Swx to Creo back to SWX

Here's the first bit of help I'd suggest (while you address the s/w conversion or training issues). Use the Command Search in Creo. Turn on the Find Solid Works command option for it. Now when you want to do something, type in the command you would use in SW and let Creo tell you where the Creo command is.

Here's how to do it:

  1. In the top right corner, expand the Command Search window by clicking on the magnifying glass
    Capture1.PNG
  2. Start typing something in the box, like "solid", when the window pops up with the dynamic search results below, select the "Setup" buttonCapture2.PNG
  3. Turn on the SolidWorks Commands, and select OK.

    Capture3.PNG

That should be a pretty big help.

A couple of other things to keep in mind.

  • Creo is NOT a drafting tool. Drawings are all about detailing what you modeled. If you didn't model it, then you will struggle to "draft" it.
  • Creo insists that everything is correct. Not close enough, not about this, etc. Sketches must be fully defined, components should be fully constrained, quantities must be exact.
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