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PTC License Server for Creo Elements Direct Express dead/removed?


PTC License Server for Creo Elements Direct Express dead/removed?



Since more then 4 weeks the PTC License Server for Creo Elements Direct Express is dead/unavailable

See: See



Users of Creo Elements Direct Express are desperately asking for a response/official reponse.

Thanks for taking ownership for this issue.




Accepted Solutions

I have news from the PTC Infrastructure team that they worked hard on the the problem in the last few weeks,  but it is now fixed.

Max Kublin   Please verify it

Sorry for the inconveniences.



View solution in original post


Hi Max - I've moved this discussion into our PTC Creo Elements/Direct‌ product community, since the PTC Community Help‌ group is intended for discussions about the PTC Community website. Our team is still working on resolving this issue and will have an update towards the end of the week. Stay tuned.


I do not understand, why INNEO cannot contact PTC directly.


Martin Hanák

Firstly, I contacted PTC - see comments of Ryan Kelly (PTC Comnunity Manager)

Secondly, there is *no* Support for CED Express - so there is no official way to contact PTC Support

Thirdly, as one of the developers of SolidDesigner, it is my personal engagement to help the CED Express Community

CED Express was created by CoCreate (before we were acquired by PTC) and the intent was to increase sales of the

Commercial Version of CED (aka SolidDesigner). It is quite obvious that CED Express users love the Software,

but do *not* buy a single seat of the commercial product.

As there is no business opportunity in sight, you should not expect that any Partner of PTC is jumping into the boat here.

It is solely up to PTC to decide about the future of CED Express.

I'm using CED Express, as so much of us, only for my hobby purposes for long time now.

It is a great piece of software and much thank's for that to PTC.

But it strikes me that PTC will some day shut down the free availability. Then all the constructions we made are useless.

So i'm forced to change to ViaCad 2d/3d by Punch! That's so sad, cause nothing is better than CED Express!!

Why couldn't PTC simply sell CED Express to us for a appropiate price, lets say 200Euro??? I think everybody who likes it is willing to pay for it.

But surely not 6000$ for private use only !!!!!!!!!!!

"Download this free 3D CAD software and create assemblies with up to 60 unique parts. Use it as long as you like. Once you've registered and downloaded the software, it's yours to use indefinitely"

Creo Elements/Direct Modeling Express 6.0 Download | PTC

I'm not sure how that relates legally if they've encouraged people to use it because its "Free" and "it's yours to use indefinitely".

I think even for personal use there will be legal consequences if they do an about face on this issue.

If, however, they make it more and more difficult to get a license they will move to fewer users.

But if they are winding down they software line, why not just make it open source and totally free? Creo Elements isn't a competitor for ProE or NX or Catia, it's not cannibalising PTC ProE, if anything it will draw people off Inventor or SolidWorks. It's a direct competitor to SketchUp or Pirated CAD software.

If PTC withdraw Creo Elements, I would start using SketchUp. I tried it before commuting to Creo Elements, and now PTC are messing around with the users who commited to their software ("Free"/"It's yours indefinitely") I am starting to regret trusting the company statements they made.

<It is solely up to PTC to decide about the future of CED Express>

...That's right, but the Roman Empire was once very large too. Competitors don't sleep and offers alternatives! Please take care PTC, otherwise there is no more growth!

As an advocate and user professionally of PTC products, (ProE, WindChill) and evangelist about other PTC Products (MathCad & Creo Elements) I am aghast at the complete silence here.

Please PTC, tell us if you wish to wind it down so we can make alternative arrangements,

This ignoring the "Server Issues" is really causing me ill feeling.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I'm still being told we're working resolving this connection issue at PTC. No indications from my end that anything is "winding down".

I have news from the PTC Infrastructure team that they worked hard on the the problem in the last few weeks,  but it is now fixed.

Max Kublin   Please verify it

Sorry for the inconveniences.



Great, It works. Thanks to all.

I have now  the same problem again.

PTC Express says "no connection to the internet. Send proxy server address..."

Also after reinstallation.

I thought the problem is solved? Or what can I do?


Thanks a lot.

Kind regards


It's broken once again. Not normally one for conspiracy theories but this really is too common to be happenchance. To add insult to injury this forum works, the main website where you can spend thousands of dollars on the full product works - but now even the 72 hour activation for CED Express is broken.



I am allready using the full version at work. So the express would be perfect for at home, because i am very experienced user.
And it is also very helpfull together with my 3d printer, because in express it is possible to safe files as .stl.
I hope ptc will solve the problem soon and stable.

I also have the same problem getting the Proxy request when I start Creo Direct Express and have to request the activation key every 72 hours!  This is crazy since I have been using it with my 3D printer for YEARS!


When is PTC going to fix this???  I even went so far as to add every single EXE file in PTC's folder structure to my firewall's "Allow" list and STILL get this stupid Proxy request on my Home Network.  I set up the network and I know there isn't a server involved.


I haven't found any program that works as well as Creo Direct Express so I really want this fixed.



The proxy request is an automated first response from the main PTC website when it cannot find the Licence server. When that also fails - whether we return it empty or not - we then get the option to ask for a temporary activation key.


The overall problem is that the Express licence server is not functional and we have no information on why, or who has the responsibility for restarting it.


My registered email address I have been using with CREO for around five years was unable to obtain a valid temporary key and after over a week with no access at all I registered an alternate email address which has overcome that limitation and does at least give me a 72 hour work window. It is frustrating that we have to repeat the activation every 72 hours but infinitely preferable to having absolutely no access to what is an exceptional piece of software - ideal for 3D print enthusiasts as I used to tell the hundreds of thousands of Prusa i3 users every chance I got. I have stopped recommending Modelling Express - my conscience won't allow me to make that recommendation again until I see a permanent solution to the current problems.


I am sending separate message to the board administrator to see if I can help break this deadlock.









I work at a CAD servicedesk and also heard of these activation problems via some customers.
So, I created a case for this problem at PTC, but this product is not supported by the PTC support team.

I managed to activate Creo Elements Direct Express by requesting an activation key with my own PTC account and do the manual activation.
However, the customer was unable to do the same with his PTC account.


So, to my knowledge it has to do something with the accounts of some users in combination with this product.


Between this thread and we have over 6000 views. Let's say only 10% of users ever manage to find the obscure location of the forum - that's 60,000 unhappy people who are looking for a discussion on how we can move to a solution.


PTC, we are looking for a choice other than the only option you currently offer us - look elsewhere.

I love this software, and have used it for years, but only for home/hobby purposes. As such I cannot validate the purchase of an industrial seat (Thousands of dollars for features I won't use? Not likely). I am truly hoping that, instead of neglecting the servers in hopes of discouraging usage, the company can see it's way clear to make it work for everybody concerned. I have some thoughts on how;


  • Charge for the software as an "Entry Level" option; an appropriate amount, $100 or so considering the lack of export capabilities (more if that changes of course) but please, not a recurring charge. Revenue for you + Functioning software for me = win!
  • Deprecate the product; Release a final update to remove the online verification process, and walk away. Keep the software closed source, and proprietary. In a couple of years the software will be severely outdated, and largely forgotten. Lazy way out, but at least I can finish my projects before moving on to a new, less desirable software.
  • Contribute it to the Open Source community; Stop all in house development and support, and hand it off to the community, they will run with it like you wouldn't believe. Their offerings in the CAD classification are in desperate need of just such a boost in quality. A simple stipulation that your name must remain on any and all software developed from your original code and design would function as free advertisement, and enhance brand awareness for your company. Do you want to be a Legend? Because that's how you get to be a Legend!

I realize, of course, that you are a big company, and you've got smarter folks than me who get paid to think of these sort of things for you. I just had to put in my two cents.


I really enjoy this product. The user friendly interface, and intuitive workflow are head and shoulders above anything else I've tried. So much so, that I keep a Windows (blech!) machine specifically to run it. Is it worth it though, if starting it up is aneurysm inducing?


Here's hoping for a long, successful working relationship.

I noticed this thread and was having similar issues.  My school district is using an older version of Creo elements in an Intro to Engineering course.  We have to submit an activation key for 72 hours because it asks for a proxy.  Is there anything I can do to bypass this step?


Thank you for your time.


Luke Sample 


I took the hint and moved to Fusion 360. Not at all what I wanted to do, but PTC continued lack of interest left me with no option.

Dear mr. Kublin,


We're also having the CEDE license server problem now.

It occured about two months ago, and we can't use CEDE no more since it showed up.

I've been reading a number of messages about this issue on this forum.

Problem is marked as "solved" but I don't see where or what the actual solution is.

Clicking on "Go to solution" just takes me back to messages I already read.

Could you tell me exactly what to do in detail to make CEDE work again.

Thank you so much.


Best regards,

Luc Mombaerts

Dear all, yes I agree, same issue here. It seems that temporary offline activation is working, but only for 72hours. 


Please PTC fix this issue. 




Best regards, 




Dear PTC,

Same issue here.

Proxy configuration failed. Trial time of 72 hours has expired.

Need advise in to setting proxy values.



I am having the same issue as well!


When this Window appears customers should do the followings:

Click on Request activation key:


The user is prompted to enter his email and password then he receives a 72hour activation key:


Then paste this activation key and click Submit:


After that Modeling Express is starting:


Best regards

PTC Technical Support

Is this a thing again?


I enjoy Creo Elements for my home work and ProE for my work work.


We're not having to apply for a "$£"%^ offline license everytime we need to use direct modelling are we?

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