04 January 2010

Four Myths about PTC Pro/ENGINEER 3D CAD

1. Pro/ENGINEER seems harder to use
CAD software has some learning curve, and requires some training to use correctly. The more functionality software offers, the more that there is to learn about it (claims to the contrary usually have less to to with engineering design and more to do with clever marketing). Jeffrey Rowe, Editor at MCADCafe writes regarding the latest Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire release:

"Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 5.0, is a refreshing continuation of 4.0 Instead of again just piling on an additional zillion new features and capabilities that relatively few designers use, PTC (like some of its competitors) chose to improve Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 5.0 in other ways that matter to most customers, namely, software stability, better consistency across modeling functions, and promotion of more efficient work flows."

Three examples of this expressed in business are
PowerSki (USA), Hayter (UK), Haald Engineering (Australia) Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 5 further updated its 2D detail drawing interface with a familiar "command ribbon", similar to many other Windows applications. Pro/ENGINEER also holds a tradition of delivering more control over the final design than competing systems. And, unlike many bloated CAD systems today, much of Pro/ENGINEER is still leanly coded using C language.

2. Pro/ENGINEER doesn't support surface modelling
False. Simply put, Pro/ENGINEER has supported
parametric surface modelling for years, with no additional license required to create parametric surface models. PTC tightly integrates surface machining with its manufacturing software.

3. I heard Pro/ENGINEER is really expensive
"For those still in the 2D realm and looking to switch, one thing worth considering is that Pro/Engineer is often perceived as an expensive option, particularly when you consider the price erosion in the mainstream market. This is not really the case anymore and the starting costs are comparable to its competition" - Al Dean, MCADonline.
In Australia, Pro Engineer is being offered at prices lower that its mainstream market competitors, CATIA and Unigraphics NX, perhaps Autodesk. In fact, a recent study in the Australian market found the total cost of ownership for Pro/Engineer to be lower than many mid-range products including Autodesk Inventor and SolidWorks.

4. Pro/ENGINEER can't collaborate
Nothing could be further from the truth. Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire was designed from the start to make use of web technology. Pro/ENGINEER was the first CAD solution to be enabled for social product development. Wildfire offers file import/export including both ACIS & Parasolid, as well as Autodesk Inventor import and more. Windchill, ProductLink, ProjectLink and PTC ProductPoint PDM for Microsoft Office Sharepoint server are all examples of Pro/ENGINEER design team support.
As of 2010, CADDIT will be joining PTC a Pro/ENGINEER Reseller in Australia. For more information, we can be contacted per phone, fax, email, etc as shown HERE.


Unknown said...

Great post! Good to have CADDIT on board.

Unknown said...

Hi Caddit- How do u compare pro/eng to solidoworks and Autocad in terms of
1-CAD functionality
2 CAM functionality
4 NC code output.
5 General Software information(eg are the CAD and CAM futions in the same package.
6-Maintenance/update policies(cost of updates
7-Training andsupport.
8-Software resellers.
9.Cost and installation

CADDIT CAD Software said...

Hi Edozie,

I think comparing Pro/E with AutoCAD is like apples and oranges - two completely different tools for different kind of work. AutoCAD is more about plan view documentation for architectural drawing, Pro/ENGINEER is part of a 3D product and industrial design PLM system from PTC. I will focus comparison on SolidWorks..

1 My viewpoint re. SolidWorks CAD vs Pro/ENGINEER - SolidWorks will always be (thanks mainly to Dassault "policy") an inferior product to their flagship CATIA software, and therefore to any other PLM such as Pro/ENGINEER or Unigraphics.

2 SolidWorks relies heavily on third party CAM solutions, PTC develops several of their own, including long-standing Pro/NC and Pro/TOOLMAKER

3 SolidWorks is probably easier for new users at this point, but that is changing rapidly.

4 I'm not sure how to answer this. NC output depends not only on the quality of CAM software & options offered (i.e. trichordial "loop" ends, etc) but the quality of the POST processor (a script custom-written to match CAM instructions with G-CODE set particular to a CNC controller), and what your CNC controller can support.

5 Pro/E system architecture is second to none. It has several key advantages: native (built-in) solutions for most requirements (CAM, FEA, Rendering, etc), is leanly and cleanly coded in C language, and more scalable - i.e. works well with small companies and large ones. I could go on for an hour on this one.

6 PTC maintenance is different than some, in that bug fixes (called "datecode" releases) and technical support are only made available to customers who continue to pay annual maintenance fees.

7 Great. PTC is very proud of their training. PTCU is an online training resource any company can afford. PTC ATP certified training is very high quality. Lots of books, Pro/ENGINEER used in many universities, etc

8 hundreds, all over the world. PTC switched to distributing software and support through local reseller channels several years ago and they are very loyal to them. Some resellers know the product even better than staff at PTC ;)

9 Comparable to the completion. PTC prices are fair, but your costs will vary from country to country, and depend on what your reseller can offer. Basic installation is GUI driven and not difficult