Creo 1.0 and Digital Prototyping

proto

In a recent article, I said Creo 1.0 adds value to business in many ways you might not have thought of.  But nearly everyone has thought about digital prototyping. It’s one of the most powerful reasons company’s use CAD systems. It saves money on building physical prototypes, improves communication and product quality, and encourages innovation as teams explore options throughout product design.

But digital prototyping isn’t the same everywhere. As Deelip Menezes says in his blog, “just like PLM, it means different things to different people.”  The process is simple enough: Design > Analyze > Test > Build.  The complexity is in the details. Who designs? What do you leverage, what do you create from scratch? Who does the analyzing? Who tests? What if problems turn up? How do you communicate problems? What tools do you use?

And we’re not just talking about mechanical components, either. A good approach to digital prototyping considers electrical  components, cables, harnesses.

In this post, I’ll tell you exactly what PTC means when it says Creo supports digital prototyping—from the first models to optimizing the final product design.

Modeling

You can’t read very far in this blog without hearing about Creo’s modeling capabilities. Whether you’re sketching out new ideas or crafting a full-blown parametric model, Creo has an app for you and everyone else on your team.

But what about data you don’t create from scratch? Product development typically includes mechanical parts from vendors or parts leveraged from previous designs. Of course you also need to fit in those electrical systems–PC boards, harnesses, etc.

Creo’s AnyData Adoption is designed specifically to overcome interoperability issues that arise with trying to use data from multiple sources.  You can even combine data created with a direct modeler with data created with a parametric modeler.

Analyzing and Testing

I talked at length about preparing models for digital prototyping in a CAE/FEA workflow here.  We’ve also posted some good demos showing structural analysis capabilities here. So, I’ll just tell you about a few other opportunities for analyzing and testing digital prototypes with Creo.

Creo View ECAD brings visual inspection capabilities to your review. Teams can see mechanical and electrical information from multiple sources and places in one app. Use it to see how your design will perform in a real-world environment.  Extensions and partner apps provide a number of advanced tools too.

You don’t have to be a simulation expert to perform many types of analyses either. That means designers can try out simpler analyses of their systems early on, creating a more simulation-driven design environment. These early tests save time and impact the number of physical prototypes needed later. Plus, they free up analysts for more complex jobs.

Communicating

Not everybody is an expert, and that’s a problem. An analyst can see many things clearly, but articulating solutions isn’t always so straightforward. That’s where Creo’s AnyRole Apps can help:

  • Creo View MCAD and Creo View ECAD both provide comprehensive capabilities for viewing, interrogating, and marking up models. For fast, efficient design reviews, these apps ensure everybody can provide feedback, no matter their area of expertise.
  • Creo Direct is the suggested tool for analysts who don’t want to or can’t spend time worrying about design intent of mechanical parts. Quickly make a change, communicate it clearly to the team, and let Creo and the CAD specialists worry about the parametrics.

Fixing/optimizing

Once your team is clear on the problems and solutions, it’s time to optimize the design. If you’ve been working with various tools, like Creo Simulate, Creo View MCAD, and Creo Schematics, that may sound messy. But underlying Creo is a common data model that ensures changes to a design in one tool carries through to the data in any tool. We like to say that with each app, you’re writing information into a chapter…but each chapter belongs to the same book.

Creo 1.0 supports a powerful and effective digital prototyping workflow. It’s just one process that gets a lot easier with the range of tools available with the Creo family of design products. I’ll tell you about several more processes in the weeks ahead.

Image by jurvetson

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