Creo 1.0 and ‘CAE and FEA workflow’


At PTC, we think modeling paradigms that don’t work well together cause most CAD challenges. Creo, however, works across all the paradigms so users can move seamlessly from a parametric modeler to a direct modeler to 2D, etc. And that benefits everyone. In a recent article, for example, I showed how an organization using parametric modeling might use direct modeling to effectively handle last-minute design changes.  Here’s another example: The CAE and FEA workflow.

The workflow

Manufacturers typically use these steps to prepare, validate, and optimize a design:

  1. Import components from multiple sources into one digital prototype – leverage data from multiple tools, locations, and formats into one master digital prototype.
  2. Clean-up data from systems that don’t produce watertight solids, so that the master model is precise, and test results are reliable.
  3. De-feature and simplify models for analysis.
  4. Analyze and optimize the digital prototype for interference, clash, structure analysis, etc.
  5. Capture issues and send the revised model back to its various sources.

With a parametric-based design process, those steps are complicated. CAE experts often find themselves overwhelmed by the complexity of the design software and turn to a 3D CAD expert to help with preparation and optimization of models from multiple sources.

How direct modeling impacts the workflow

Creo, with its direct modeling app, however, can make many of the steps more manageable.

Import: Creo uniquely offers import capabilities independent of the source and format, so you can easily and quickly pass models backward and forward from multiple sources and tools. CAE and FEA experts don’t have to worry about problems with data interoperability. And once they’ve imported data from outside sources, they can easily optimize the data as if it had been created natively.

Clean up. With imported data, direct modeling automatically recognizes key attributes of the imported data, making it easier to work with.  Assemblies and assembly structures, shared parts, surfaces, blends, and dozens of other features are all intelligently recognized.

Direct modeling software can also often assess the manufacturability of the imported models. While most 3D CAD systems produce watertight solids, in some cases only surfaces, sets of surfaces, or surface parts load into the system. Plus, anyone can accidentally create non-manufacturable solid models. With direct modeling, anyone can quickly find non-solids and clean up surfaces and create solids, so the design can be the basis of a precise and reliable digital prototype.

De-featuring. Often, the digital prototype is simplified and de-featured for analysis. With direct modeling, anyone on the team can remove blends, small holes, faces, features ,and other irrelevant geometry. You can even chop off geometry unrelated to your simulation or split models according to symmetry.

Then, use Creo to automate simplification and de-featuring work. That saves time and repetition during the analysis cycle so teams can freely and frequently update and validate designs with no redundant effort.

Analyze. With the precise digital prototype ready, CAE and FEA experts choose from a broad range of studies available:

  • Clash and interference analysis across the whole digital prototype . Clash and interference checking helps teams identify parts that may be in conflict with each other in the context of the master digital model.
  • Simulation of moving mechanisms. Simulate motion, including assembly, disassembly, and mechanism studies for the digital prototype
  • Standard analysis, including linear static, deformation, and stationary thermal analysis.
  • Advanced analysis, including nonlinear deformation, transient thermal, vibration, and failure analysis

Optimize. With direct modeling, you can easily make changes to the model geometry to optimize it based on the results, and share the revised models with the design team as reference models.

Once the study is defined, your team can easily reapply it to a revised model, ensuring the optimized model works.

CAE and FEA are just a sample of the processes done easier when your team can switch between parametric and direct modeling. I’ll tell you about several more in the weeks ahead.

This entry was posted in What's in Creo 1.0, What's in Creo 2.0 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.


  1. fred Barnes
    Posted May 20, 2011 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    In the existing CoCreate product, there is a dreadful problem that occurs then models from other CAD systems are imported into CoCreate. (via step, for instance…)

    The root cause of the challenge is “part accuracy” The default settings of both Pro/e & Solidworks are the same (10Minus3) but CC is (10minus6). when the foreign models are brought in, CoCreate does very strange things and starts to turn solid parts into surface quilts or “face parts”

    If you have years of relevant cocreate data set at 10minus6, you can’t just change the CC accuracy – the geometry sometimes fails there is no easy solution to this.

    I hope you guys have addressed this with CREO 1.0, because if you have not, your Pro/e customers are going to freak out if they start sprinkling in some explicit modeling only to experience failures that the NEVER did with pro/e on it’s own.

    • Geoff Hedges
      Posted May 23, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

      Hi Fred,

      Thanks for taking the time to post on and your comments.

      In Creo 1.0, there are two 3D modes people can work in, direct modeling with Creo Direct and parametric modeling using Creo Parametric. We actually believe that expert users of the Creo Parametric app want to stay in that same environment and edit their model in ways similar to direct modeling. That’s why there’s an extension for Creo Parametric, called Creo Flexible Modeling Extension (FMX), available with Creo 1.0. It enables users to directly edit their parametric models or imported models, but with the simplicity and flexibility found in Creo Direct. The common data model and other technology enablers keep all the different models and versions in sync within the Creo suite of design apps, so there are no accuracy discrepancies. Both Creo Direct and Creo Parametric include industry standard interfaces to leverage data created in other CAD systems.

      With respect to Creo Elements/Direct (formerly CoCreate) there’s a number of enhancements that are part of the release 18.0 that improve the leverage of data created in other CAD systems. Two of the key ones are the ability to import parts with lower accuracites (down to 0.5mm) and the second is to be able to modify face parts (imported 3d models that do not represent closed volumes) like solid models even without prior model repair (as long as the open boundaries are not affected by the modification).

      There have also been some further data exchange improvements between the Creo 1.0 apps and Creo Elements/Direct 18.0.

      I hope this answers your points. Thanks again for taking the time to post your comments.

      Best Regards,
      Geoff Hedges

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