As the title suggests, I do not have the choice of selecting skeletons as an option when creating components in Assembly mode. The selection is there, but it is grayed out and can't be selected. I have looked at all of the config choices and can't find anything I think is relevant. Any ideas?
BTW: This is a brand-new install of Creo 3 Parametric.
Skeletons are part of Advanced Assembly Extension, so if you have this license, you should configure Creo to use it at the startup. To do that you need to go to \Creo 3.0\MXXX\Parametric\bin folder and run reconfigure.exe. When the PTC Installation Assistant window appears click Next until you'll get to Application to Customize section, click Customize button (upper right corner), select Command Configuration tab, click Edit and move licenses (AAX license is called ASSEMBLY, if I'm not mistaken) from the left box (Available Licenses) to right box (Startup extensions and floating options). After that just go back to main window and finish reconfiguration.
open your license file in Notepad and look for the following line:
# Optional Modules = ASSEMBLY
If it exists then you own AAX license.
So you are telling me that there is no functionality for skeletons unless you buy the AAX module? Even the educational version of Creo 3 Parametric has skeletons.
Correct. The educational version includes additional functionality not included in the base package so students can learn more of Creo capabilities. Once you switch to the commercial side, everything costs extra.
And PTC wonders why Creo sales to users like me are so dismal compared to Solidworks.
If you can buy any version of SW that will give you the functionality of skeleton driven top down design, I want to know. I've looked for it and could not find it. From what I've seen, SW top down design tools are not nearly as robust as skeletons in Creo.
You are correct. Creo is far better with its top-down tools than SW.
If you pay thousands of extra dollars to get it.
If you don't pay the extra Creo is no better, and some would even say worse, than SW. Try using Creo without AAX, then compare that to SW and come back and tell me what you think. I bet you won't be so glowing about Creo after that experiment.
SW may not have as much ultimate capability as Creo, but at least SW gives you everything up front, instead of trying to milk you for more money every time you need something. Now maybe that doesn't matter to you, if you work for some company that pays for everything you use. But for a small business like me, every dollar that gets spent on anything for the business is a dollar out of my pocket. And that is why PTC has lost most of its market share with small businesses like me. They simply don't care about me, because my tiny $10k investment is nothing to them, they only care about the big fish. SW at least pretends like they care.
My point was that comparing to SW is irrelevant when talking about skeleton modeling because nothing comparable is available in SW at any price. Yes, Creo is more expensive, but it's a bit like comparing 2 SUVs and complaining that one charges extra for a 3rd row seat when the other doesn't charge extra for anything but doesn't even have a 3rd row seat. If you need that 3rd seat, it doesn't really matter the price of the 2 row SUV, does it?
I have used TDD in Creo without AAX, it's more cumbersome than using a skeleton but still better than Solidworks. Using the master model merge technique you can accomplish much the same thing as skeleton modeling, but you have to copy all of your master model into each part rather than targeted geometry like you can with skeletons & copy / publish geometry pairs. Simple parts get messy because they have to carry the entire master model.
We used this technique in WF4 to develop a coffee maker for a client in 2014. We went from clean sheet of paper to units on the store shelf in about 7.5 months. That's design concepts, assy & part layout, part detailing, drawings and tooling release for about 30 injection molded parts in 16 weeks. No way we could have done it without the TDD tools in Proe / Creo. We did convince them to get AAX for the next round.
I do agree, PTC is more focused on bigger companies (and as a small business with only 8 seats were aren't really on their radar either) and SW is more friendly to a lone guy with a single seat. In the end, I'd want the tools that will help me deliver to my clients. Creo plus AAX equips me to move as fast as my clients can, typically faster.
As for the SUV analogy: This all fine and great, assuming the 2-row models are similar in specifications. But if, in order to make room for the 3rd row, the first two rows had to be made smaller, then you really aren't making an equal comparison. Sure the 3-row version has more seats, but if you are comparing each of the 2-row models and the 3-row-capable model has less seating room, then what? The buyer is forced to sacrifice seating room in their 2-row model for a 3-row option they don't even have. In that case, the buyer with the 2-row budget is better off with the 2-row-only model.
But enough of analogies, we could go on all week with this one. I have been a customer of PTC since the WF2 days, around 2007 in think. And I have been continually disappointed with the empty promises of support and maintenance the entire time I have had Pro E/Creo (don't even get me started with my Prismatic Milling post processor fiasco story). I have been so disappointed that I dropped out of maintenance for a while, and swore I would never again give my money to a company with such poor customer service and total disdain for any customers that spent less than 6 figures annually. But when the time came to move to something else, I just couldn't do it, and I ended up renewing maintenance.
I also teach at the University here, and we use Creo in our mechanical engineering department, thus I have seen all of the versions of Pro E/Creo throughout. So when we got Creo 3 installed, I saw that it had skeletons (though limited to one per assembly) as an option. This is something that we never had in any of our previous Educational versions, so I assumed that PTC had finally decided to give the entry-level Creo some limited top-down tools. This was clearly an incorrect assumption on my part, and if I had known this, I may have reconsidered whether or not I would have stuck with Creo at this point. So all of this is why I am so frustrated by this. It is not just about not having skeletons, it is the better part of a decades-worth of poor customer service and empty promises, with the no-skeletons issue being the cherry on the top.
At this point, I am again reinvested in Creo, so I will just have to move forward. I am not familiar with the master model merge technique, I have always used the "in context" method to build top-down assemblies. And I can tell you that, if you use this technique, SW seems to work far better and is much less glitchy. Are there any good lessons on MMM anywhere, or any other techniques available without AAX?
I certainly won't argue that PTC is a customer friendly company if you're a small business. Nor will I argue that they don't look for every opportunity to get folks to buy new upgrades.
Master model technique is simply using a merge feature in the assy to copy the entire master model into your target part. I built my master model just as I would a skeleton - datums and surfaces only, no solids. Without AAX, you have only the internal merge available, you cannot use the external merge, so assy position will drive the position of the merge. In Creo 3 in the assy go to the Model tab, Component section, click the drop down arrow and select "Component Operations". In the cascading menu (yep, they're back!) you'll find "Merge".
I think that's a better, more robust technique to in context edits. It's very easy to create a tangled reference mess by doing so, but I suppose if you're careful and use and only reference a master model it's not likely much different that the technique I described above. In context edits also mean that most of the work is done in the assy, so wouldn't that also limit the number of users that can work on a project concurrently? With MMM (and skeletons), you capture the shared data and you can hand that part off to someone else to work on. Another nice thing about the MMM is that when the master changes, all the parts get the change. What's not nice is when the master changes, all the parts must be fully regenerated. In the coffee maker project, late master changes meant a 10-15 minute regen of 6,000+ features over 30+ parts.
While I've not used in context edits in SW, I'm not surprised that they would work better since it's one of SW's supported TDD methods. I still would think it could easily get very messy if you're not very diligent about what you reference. And it still makes it hard to share the work across a team.