Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Multi body part modelling-Transitioning fron SolidWorks to Creo

Re: Multi body part modelling-Transitioning fron SolidWorks to Creo

Creo is not the High-End product advertised.  They are an ancient, decrepit excuse for CAD.  This is only one of hundreds, maybe thousands of good examples of how the software hasn't evolved and why their market share is embarrassing.  If it weren't for legacy customers in defense and government, would PTC even exist?  I mean, really, we remember when Pro came on the scene and there was no stopping them.  But it looks like they stopped themselves.  Archaic interface, poor integration with Windows, horrifying usability, and so on.


Multi-body functionality is an advanced feature that, once learned, enables the user to much more powerful modeling workflow in many instances.  I figured this out in the early 2000's when I had just started using SolidWorks.  Our division at Northrop was using SolidWorks and we were very close to some of the top brass there.  They would come see what we were up to quite often and used our massive assemblies to improve the product.  At that time, assemblies in the 40k component range.


I had come from solid modeling in AutoCAD where Boolean was a very useful tool.  I quickly found out that SolidWorks at the time did not have this capability so I requested it.  Shortly thereafter SolidWorks created the multi-body capability.  Now it is one of my favorite features.  Using it doesn't necessarily come instinctively, but once you "get it" you can't go back.  It's an awful thought that I will not be able to use it in Creo despite Creo being billed as "high-end" and SolidWorks only a midrange product.  So far, from what I've seen, except for ZTG and direct editing, I would put SolidWorks up against Creo any day of the week.


One example of the power of multi-body functionality is a weldment my team was working on years ago, around 2013.  The weldment had roughly 1000 parts consisting of 250 drawings (sub-weldments and unique parts).  No one would ever update the weldment whenever a new machine was designed because of the complexity of the drawing package and all the work to change it.


Using SolidWorks weldments feature, which leverages the multi-body functionality, we reduced the drawing package to about 35 drawings!  If you consider that in a 1000 part assembly you need at least 3000 mates (or what Creo calls "placements") to fully constrain the assembly and then in the new assembly you would need about 35 x 3 = 105 mates, which one would you rather manage??


One weldment I designed had about 200 members in it and about 90 were unique.  I did this in a single part.  One part...One part number...One description...One drawing with 90 details.  This versus 90 parts, 90 part numbers, 90 descriptions, 90 drawings. I find the thought of doing it the "old" way hilarious.


Because of the way SolidWorks Weldments works, the relations between all the welded parts stays within the part and eliminates the need for mates.  This:

1. Makes it extremely fast to model complex, welded parts.  For instance, I had a team of myself, one engineer and one to two designers and we could model complex oil drilling equipment with tens of thousands of parts in a matter of months.  I don't see this ever happening in Creo.

2. Makes the model more accurate as the relationships between bodies stay in the part and not at a higher level in the assembly where things can quickly go wrong.  This gives more accurate geometry that has less gaps or interferences.  This is extra-helpful when moving the model into an FEA program.

3. Makes it extremely fast to modify the model.  The frame weldment mentioned above with 200 parts may have taken days to make major changes, but in reality only took hours when I did have to modify it.

4. Makes documentation infinitely faster.  I don't want to make a drawing for every piece of cut structural steel when a cut list is sufficient.  More complex welded members can have a drawing detail, but why make a new part number and new drawing for each part in a weldment?  Some say that each part needs a unique number for manufacturing.  That is easily resolved with a dash number for each cutlist item.

5. GREATLY improves performance.  Now a fraction of the mates (placements) need to be evaluated compared to the old way of doing it, and SolidWorks has the ability at the part level to "LOCK" the drawing tree.  This in effect forces the part to only rebuild when loaded and then never again in session!!  The performance gains due to this are phenomenal.  If SolidWorks users understood properly how to utilize the software, then this wives-tale about Creo being better on large assembly performance would be in the CAD museum where it belongs. 


Right now I came across this thread because I have imported a simple assembly from a vendor into a part (has to be a part) to save as a COTS item.  The problem is that the vendor had threads in their assembly and our policy is to remove these threads, which are interfering in the model between the hardware and the model's main body.  I never had to remove threads in SolidWorks, but I guess for Creo you need to.  So, in SolidWorks to do this you simply make the cut and tell it which solids the cut effects.  I can pick the screw.  I can pick the body.  I can pick both.  Whatever.  SUPER FRICKEN SIMPLE.  I can not figure out how to get this to work in Creo.  Granted I'm new to it and have found that often you can get something done in a roundabout way, but really?  Do I really have to start this over as an assembly, modify it, save it, and then re-import it in as a part?   Wow, really efficient!


All of the ex-SolidWorks users I'm running into that are having to use Creo due to program requirements ARE NOT HAPPY.  This should tell you clueless exec's something.  I'm guessing your programmers have already mentioned much of this to you but the decision makers probably can't even open the program and draw a line (although I bet they could figure it out in SolidWorks).  Kudos on buying Onshape, though.  Please tell us some of this innovation will make it into future versions of Creo!  And do please explain to us why multi-body functionality shouldn't be part of your program!

Re: Multi body part modelling-Transitioning fron SolidWorks to Creo

Multibody will be introduced in Creo 7.0 (April 2020).




Re: Multi body part modelling-Transitioning fron SolidWorks to Creo

LOL  Do we have a Solidworks vendor here or what?  Spinal or toroidial bend, does Solidquirks have them?  No?  How about using graphs?  No on that too?  How about not having trajpar?  how about the 150 (if I remember) turns HARD limit in a sweep (as if trying to do a phone cord).  Oh, and try reversing that twist several times.  Yeah, we evaluated Solidquirks and of the 10 examples I gave to the vendor to reproduce, he was not able to faithfully reproduce a single one.  Not.  One.  I spent time on the Solidquirks forums looking at geometry they flat couldn't create, or had a lot of trouble creating.  In every case I was able to produce what they wanted, and if they could do it at all, my model was far simpler and a lot more robust.



Re: Multi body part modelling-Transitioning fron SolidWorks to Creo

I'll take multi-body over all that, any day of the week.


Right now I'm stuck not being able to do SIMPLE STUFF that I could EASILY do in SolidWorks.  I imported a model from a vendor into a part.  The model was originally several parts.  I need to edit those "bodies" yet I can't.


Two workarounds:


1. Throw away what I've already done.  Re-open the files as an assembly.  Edit the individual parts.  Export the cleaned-up assembly.  Re-import as a part.


2.  Open the vendor's file in SolidWorks.  Easily and efficiently clean up the intersecting bodies.  Export to Creo.


How long ago did you evaluate it?  They have come a long way, and I never argue against added functionality as long as the programmers aren't focused on creating features to allow people to create PHONE CORDS over actually creating functionality that will be used on a regular basis to create real parts and assemblies.


As far as graph, there's a variety of ways to do similar things in SolidWorks.  Sketches can drive a lot of features, and complex curves can be generated with Excel spreadsheets. 


As far as complex sweeps and helixes, that's evolving as well.  I've yet to run into an issue where I couldn't do what I needed to.


But to be fair, you have no idea how much "S" I've given SolidWorks over the past 20 years.  Especially over not being able to manage ZTG, and also failing to evolve in a logical manner just like it appears Creo is guilty of.  Why despite generating billions of dollars do neither of these platforms have voice commands standard?  How about gesture control, and so on?  We are still interfacing with CAD much like we were 40 years ago.


Both platforms have increased the number of clicks now with ribbons, flyouts, and so on.  Sometime a single command will take three clicks where it used to take one.  SolidWorks doesn't allow the icon customization to get back to where each command could have it's own icon at the ready like it used to.


The one thing about SolidWorks to it's credit, and this is probably why it generates four to five times the revenue that Creo does, is that it's very intuitive for the most part.  So far, my experience with Creo has been more of a wrestling match.  That's not fair to the user.  You don't expect to hit the brakes on your car only after flipping a switch, pulling a lever, turning a knob a specific number of degrees, and then you can push the brake.  That's how Creo feels. But so may of you users are just used to it and don't realize what is being asked of you.


The fact is they BOTH have a LOT of room for improvement.  From what I read on another post, Creo will incorporate multi-body functionality, so kudos to them!!!  I can't wait.  We're just transitioning to 4 so I'm bummed it will be years before we see it!!!!!!!!


Re: Multi body part modelling-Transitioning fron SolidWorks to Creo

I started using AutoCAD in 1986, V2.18, became expert at that at the very forefront of PC-based CAD then transitioned to Pro/E V15 in early '96 when it was still Unix-based - I miss my Silicon Graphic Indy workstation....  For S/W I used it for 6 miserable months in 2004 before we finally got Pro/E (Windfire), then evaluated it in late 2015.  It was in 2015 that I handed the vendor those files which he could not reproduce.  He tried to cheat on a couple and I caught him.  I'm on the S/W forums as well, though I haven't posted in years.  That was how I found S/W's limitations.


And yes, there ARE reasons to model something like a phone cord, say, for a cooling tower.  So, having that hard limit is a complete show-stopper.  No, S/W can't do graphs and there isn't a way to accurately mimic it.  I've done a lot of advanced surfacing and S/W just doesn't have the tools.  Sometimes, Creo doesn't have the tools either and I have to make do, BUT Creo has a lot more tools than S/W.  The lack of "spinal bend" is a show stopper for me as well.  Top-down design is WAY better in Creo, S/W just doesn't have as many tools.  For speed, I use mapkeys and avoid Creo's menu altogether.


Yeah, it'd be interesting to have multi-body functionality, sure, but to be honest, I've never needed it.  If I need to do something like that, I'll do it with surfaces.  I spent almost a year on NX 8.5 (working for Sierra Nevada on the Dreamchaser) before I got back on Creo and became an expert in that, and that has multi-bodies, but it also caused problems as well.


Just because Dassault sells more seats doesn't mean it's better.  Kia sells more cars than Ferrari.....  😉  And having driven one just a few days ago (7 hot laps in a 488 GTB in Las Vegas), I'll take the Ferrari any day.

Re: Multi body part modelling-Transitioning fron SolidWorks to Creo

You're in luck, I have some of the Creo STEP files handy.  I have S/W 2019 on my system now in fact.  The "2015-12-08_square_spiral-01" and "2015-12-15_sperical_rope_coil" were both problems that showed up on the S/W forums.  The "rope" file is a truly spherical trajectory, something you can't do in SW because you only have a cartesian coord sys if I remember.  In Creo, you can create curves using cartesian, cylindrical, or spherical coord sys's.  No one was able to create the file.  For the "square_spiral", I did it in only a couple features, mine is correct, and is easily modifyable to well over 100 turns with no failures.  A guy who was an Engineer for Dassault was able to come up with something approximating it, but it took 15 features, and the corner radii were all the same instead of the correct "nested" approach I have.  His file was far more fragile and cumbersome and he was the only one to take the bait.  The Balseal is a real part, and a real geometric solution for it.  The coil spring is perfectly circular in section, and "smeared" the way Balseal does it.  The jellyroll is a simplified version of a real part, an assembly of a battery that is rolled up.  S/W can't wrap a curve like that upon itself.


Have fun....  😉

Re: Multi body part modelling-Transitioning fron SolidWorks to Creo

Looks like fun, but I need this functionality almost never, and I would say that the majority of users are in the same boat.  Some of this can be done in SolidWorks using patterns, not as slick as a single feature, but it can be done.  I have modeled various toroidal coils and such in SolidWorks.  Your right, it isn't always pleasant.


But, on the other hand, I used multi-bodies almost daily for well over a decade.  Not having it is a real handicap.


You might want to reread my original post, though, my complaint is not the lack of advanced, esoteric functionality, but rather the lack of basic usability and missing (what I would call more mainstream) features such as multi-body, Windows integration, modern GUI, and so on.  


My philosophy is that the CAD system should not come between you and your design.  Creo certainly does by being way to specific how a command is executed, how to get to the command, how to build your parts, how to build your assemblies, how to create your drawings, and so on. 


I can't even do simple things like drag and drop parts into my assembly from one window to another!  Why?


I want to be focused on my work, not on how to get the cad to respond properly.  Maybe after thousands of hours of use I can be brainwashed into forgetting how easy operating SolidWorks was. 


Or...Maybe PTC has something up their sleeve with the acquisition of Onshape??


Can you unroll the jelly roll to get a flat pattern?  That would be impressive.


Also, you need to understand that posting a challenge to the forum isn't necessarily going to prove that something can't be done.  There are only a handful of power-users that hang around there.  What you need to do is present it to a forum member named Alan V. and he can post it as a user challenge.  This usually gets a good response.


Please, keep complaining about SolidWorks.  Negative feedback is a positive force.  I'll keep complaining about both if that's OK.  And as a Creo fan, wouldn't you want it to outperform SolidWorks in every way?


Here's one post on the SolidWorks forum that now already has over a thousand responses questioning functionality of SolidWorks.


We just want the best tools possible.

Re: Multi body part modelling-Transitioning fron SolidWorks to Creo

I've actually needed these advanced capabilities, so for me to not have them, is a complete show-stopper.  I LOVE doing stuff like this, many times I do it for fun.  So, I base my preference on that.  As far as usability and GUI, me, I hate the cartoonish look and functionality of S/W.  NX was worse, it's interface truly sucked and was REALLY archaic-looking, and it's drawing mode was appallingly bad, but at least NX was very powerful.  I grew up on old school functional but plain interfaces, so the lack of the latest whiz-bang graphics doesn't faze me and I in fact prefer it.  I realize that millennials etc. grew up on fancy graphics (I'm not a "gamer") but they don't actually help the job get done any faster.  I use extensive mapkeys that are far faster than any GUI, S/W or otherwise.


I understand some people like multi-bodies, and after using them in NX, meh, I've always been able to do exactly what I want without them.  I can't see a scenario where I couldn't make what I wanted.  In some cases I'll make a family table where all the instances are driven by "skeleton" curves inside the generic.  So, essentially I can make a "multi-body" part.  Also, in Creo, you CAN have multiple solids that are not connected to one another, it just treats them as one part.  You could easily cut them out and make instances of the different "bodies".


I'm Sure you could easily "Flatten Quilt" to flatten the jelly roll.  But, things like that going from flat pattern to rolled are exactly what "Spinal Bends" are for.  I've done things like that were one instance was the flat pattern, and the other was formed.  There's a post here where I had some tines bent in the final form, and had to use that to drive the length of the unbent tines via an "Evaluate" feature which drove the length of the unbent tines geometry.


No, those parts were me responding to "Help!" posts on the S/W forum, and as such a lot of "power" people replied, but nobody had solutions.  I did, but in a different CAD system so they couldn't use them, sadly.


I agree, I want the best tools possible too, which is why you can also find me being very vocal and bashing PTC here when I feel they need it.  For the advanced capabilities I need, I still think Creo is the best, and WISH I had the ISDX module for the more advanced surfacing.  *sigh*

LiveWorx Call For Papers Happening Now!