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Creo Parametric

Tips and Tricks

Evan Winter
PTC

System

Setting Pro/E style background colors


Blended backgrounds can still be used, and Sketcher can use a default black
background as in pre-Creo releases.

Blended Background in 3D

1.

File > Options > System Colors > Graphics

2.

Select Background and ensure No Gradient is checked.

3.

Set color to black (or other color to be used in Sketcher).

4.

Select Background again and un-check No Gradient

5.

Select Background again and click More Gradients

6.

Set your desired Top and Bottom colors by selecting the


swatch icons.

Default color (black) background in


Sketcher
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Options Dialog
Favorites section in Options menu allows you to quickly change config.pro
settings.
Right click config options and Add to Favorites

Color Schemes allow fast switching of system colors while maintaining


contrast.
File > Options > System Colors

Cmdmgr_trail_output provides explicit command instructions for Trail


files and mapkey creation. Set this to yes when defining Mapkeys for
simpler and more robust scripts.
Note on Mapkeys: Avoid using RMB shortcuts in Mapkeys as they are not consistently
repeatable. For example, use Operations > Edit Definition instead of RMB > Edit Definition.

Creating Mapkeys

File > Options > Environment > Mapkeys Settings

Creating Mapkeys (Cont.)


Create a
Mapkey
Modify an
existing Mapkey
Run (Test) a
Mapkey

Delete
Save a single
mapkey
definition to file

Enter key
sequence
Assign a name
Provide a
description
Choose Record
Keyboard Input
Start recording,
add Pause for
any user inputs
needed, Stop
recording.

Creating Mapkeys (Cont.)

File > Options > Quick Access Toolbar


This process should be repeated for each mode
where command should be available (Part,
Assembly, Drawing).

Access to Free Hardware CAD Models


The Creo embedded browser now includes a tab for 3DModelSpace.com, which is a
repository for standard hardware models in Creo Parametric format. Ensure that
enable_3dmodelspace_browser_tab is set to yes in config.pro

Part

Using Intent References


You can increase the robustness of features using Intent References, which capture
the intent of the feature when selecting resulting edges or surfaces (the edges
bounding a surface of a feature, or a set of extruded vertices).
No failure
after base
feature
modification

Query Select to Intent


references, or use Pick
from List in RMB while
creating Rounds, Chamfers,
Draft, etc.
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Leveraging Advanced Selection Methods


You can build more robust features using advanced Seed and Boundary selection.
1. Hold ALT and select the Seed surface.
2. Hold SHIFT and select the
first Boundary surface.
3. While holding SHIFT
continue selecting
Boundary surfaces (as
many as needed).

4. Release SHIFT
to complete the selection.

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Leveraging Advanced Selection Methods (Cont.)


Within a feature, use the Details dialog to manage advanced selections.

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Showing Feature and Component Layers


You can show Layer Placement and Status for Part Features and Assy Components.

Settings > Tree Columns


Type = Layer
Layer Names and/or Layer Status > Add Column > OK
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Using Solidify To Trim Solid Geometry


Solidify with Datum Planes Use the Solidify command to trim geometry
from one side of a model (e.g. flat cuts at spring ends, setting up Mirrored
simulation models).

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Improving Patterns
Pattern Regeneration options (General, Variable, Identical).
General is the default option. It is the most robust but also the slowest to regenerate. Only use
this option if pattern instances intersect each other.
Variable is faster and works as long as instances are not intersecting each other. Patterns can
cross into other surfaces.
Identical is the fastest to regenerate, but all pattern instances must fall on the same surface and
cannot intersect each other. Use this option whenever possible unless design changes are
expected. Note: Downstream Reference Patterns can fail if referencing Identical regenerated
patterns. Use Variable or General if patterns are failing for reasons otherwise not clear.

Geometry Pattern
New Pattern command that allows you to pattern only the geometry created by features, not the
features themselves. Significantly faster to regenerate than normal feature patterns.

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Getting Transform measurements using Vertices


Vertices can be used to gather Delta X, Y and Z measurements.
While measuring distance between vertices, add a CSYS feature to the Projection collector to
see the transform distances.

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Measuring Multiple Distances from a Single Reference


Activating Replace mode for second reference allows quicker repeated
dimensions.
Single-click on additional references will Replace tagged reference (Edge: F7) and update the
distance measurement from original reference (Surf: F6).
Set measure_auto_replace_mode to Yes will flag second added reference as Replace
automatically.

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Creating Cast/Machined Parts


Create a refined (machined) version of a Cast part using the Inheritance
feature.
1. First create the part as-cast (part_cast.prt)
2. Create a new part to represent the finished design (part_machined.prt) and insert a
Merge/Inheritance feature.
3. Browse to the cast part and place it using Default, then Toggle Inheritance in the Dashboard.
Additional features can now be added to the new model to represent final machining operations.
The base geometry is dependent with the original cast part, and will update with design
iterations.

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Adding colors to Cast/Machined Parts


Apply colors to a model that represent machining operations on a
previously Cast part.
1. In the machined model (an inheritance part from the previous slide), apply a color to the part
definition that represents the machined surfaces (select the part name in the Model Tree when
applying color).
2. Select a single surface, then RMB select Solid Surfaces. Pick a cast (matte) color from the
Appearance Gallery to apply the color to the surface definition of the part.
3. Add the final machining features (holes, chamfers, facing, milling, etc.) to reveal the
machined part color underneath the cast surface color.

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Assembly

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Assembly Constraint Tweaking


Use these options to change how constraints are applied by default.
Set auto_constr_always_use_offset to Never
Coincident will be the default constraint type for the following reference pairs:

Planes
Linear edges / Datum Axis
Planes combined with Linear edges

Set auto_constr_always_use_offset to Yes


Offset (Angle or Normal) will be the default constraint type for the following reference pairs, never coincident:

Planes
Linear edges / Datum Axis
Planes combined with Linear edges

Set auto_constr_always_use_offset to No*


Creo will suggest a constraint type based on current component position and orientation

Coincident
Distance
Angle
Normal

Setting up the orientation tolerance is done with the 3 additional config.pro options on the next
slide.

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Assembly Constraint Tweaking (Cont.)


Use these options whenever auto_constr_always_use_offset is set to No* .
Check if position fits Angle or Normal. For this use values set for options:
comp_angle_offset_eps (-1 seems to work ok)
comp_normal_offset_eps (-91 seems to work ok)

If position does not fit Angle or Normal, then it will be either Coincident or Distance.
Here decision is made based on the value of:
auto_constr_offset_tolerance = (0.5 of the model size by default). If initial distance is bigger than this value, you will
receive Distance, if less, Coincident.
Note: Value is relative to the size of each component being assembled.

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Assigning Mass to Assembly Components


You can input a known Mass value for a Part or Assembly instead of calculating from
geometry and density (material).

1. File > Prepare > Model Properties > Mass Properties >
Change
2. Define Properties by
Geometry and Parameters.
3. Edit Mass field as needed.
4. Calculate to gather related
values.

5. Analysis > Mass Properties.


6. Select Assigned option.
7. Calculate.
Creo will use assigned mass
values in place of calculated
masses when they exist.
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Previewing Assembly Constraint Status


Change Secondary Previewed Geometry in system colors to enhance
the visible status of incomplete assembly constraints.

File > Options > System Colors

Partially Constrained
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Assembly Feature (Cut) Considerations


Disable Automatic Update Reduce memory usage and assembly cut
warnings by manually updating intersection list.
Uncheck Automatic Update and remove any non-cut models.

Why? - Intersected models are duplicated in memory.


Increased memory usage.
Assembly Cut regeneration warnings for components intersected without geometry changes.

Additional models may be automatically added to Intersected list when added to the assembly if
Automatic Update is left enabled.

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Large Assembly Management


On-Demand Simp. Reps Allow quick retrieval of required
reps only when they are needed for assembly operations.

Open Subset Allows the retrieval of an ad-hoc simplification


without creating a new Simplified Representation that is saved
in the assembly. Thought of as a temporary Simp. Rep.
Auto_backup_new_placemnt_refs Automatically backs up
assembly references to the assembly context, allowing
component placement to be updated/modified when using
Graphics Reps and lightweight Graphics Reps.
Copy as External Creates a separate assembly with only the
models included in that Rep. Allows you to share subsets of a
top assembly to other users, and their changes filter back to
the upper level. Note: Must use dependent option for upward
filtering.
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Replace Component Enhancements


The Replace command now handles copied components in unrelated replace.
Components that were created using Save a Copy can now be replaced easier
using the Reference Tag Evaluation utility.
Evaluation rules include By History, which can identify that features in each model come from the same
source.

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Options Modeler

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Config.pro Options
template_cnfg_asm
Specifies the default configurable product template file.

template_module
Specifies the default module template file

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Variant Builder Tips


When changing variant specifications.
To apply a different variant builder option, double click the modified Master representation from
the view manager to revert it back to the original and then apply the desired option.

Save Variant Specifications to the assembly for reuse.

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Legacy Data
Overbuilt Assemblies
1. (Top Level) File > Save As > Save As Configurable Product
2. (Overbuilt Components) RMB > Transfer into Module

Interchange Assemblies
File > Save As > Save As Configurable Module

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Mechanism

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General Mechanism Notes


Wildfire 4.0 mechanism connections will properly convert to Creo 2.
Typical Mechanism Workflow
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Create Connections in assembly mode (Pin, Slider, Slot, etc.)


In Mechanism application, define servo motors to create motion profiles.
Create motion relationships if needed (Gears, Belts, Cams).
Define Mechanism Analyses (servo motors and start/end times).
Define Measures and graph them against previously run analyses.

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Converting Constraint Sets to Mechanism Connections


Constraints can often be converted to connections without the need to
redefine references.
Coincident constraints converted to Pin connection once Allow Assumptions is unchecked.
Otherwise, Convert Constraints to Mechanism is greyed out.

Mechanism Connection type assigned is based on constraint types already defined.

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Using Advanced Collision Settings


You can simulate part interaction without Mechanism Contacts (Cams, Gears, 3D
Contact) using Advanced Collision settings.
Config.pro - enable_advance_collision yes

Assembly Model Properties > Collision


Detection Settings.
Global Collision Detection or
Partial Collision Detection
Push Objects on Collision

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Degrees of Freedom
Connection sets constrain motion while still permitting various degrees of freedom.
Type

Total DOF

Rotation

Translation

Rigid

Pin

Slider

Cylinder

Planar

Ball

Weld

Bearing

General

Varies

Varies

Varies

6dof

Gimbal

Varies

Varies

Varies

Slot

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Creating Analyses
An analysis lets you define conditions for servo motors that move the assembly
Select an Analysis type.
Position verifies the validity of the mechanism based on
defined motors.
Kinematic used to analyze the motion of bodies as a
result of defined motor profiles.
Dynamic Incorporates forces to analyze reactions at
connections (e.g. the Normal load on a pin due to gravity
and Mass Properties).

Choose Motors and define start/end times.

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Creating Measures
A measure allows you to get dynamic information on a component as a result of the
Analysis definition (Speed, position, acceleration, etc.)
Create measurements
(position, velocity,
acceleration, etc.)

Use previously defined


analyses to get measurement
graphs and values.
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Creating Snapshots
Snapshots allow you to capture mechanism position states for use in analysis
features, animations and to display in a drawing view.

Activate as Explode State in


a drawing view.

Set as Initial
Condition
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Drawings

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Working in Multiple Windows


In a Drawing, select the Window overflow from the View tab and pick New.
You will be prompted for a sheet number to navigate to.

You can now work in multiple drawing sheets simultaneously. (Also works
well for large models where regular reorientation is time consuming).

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Dimensioning
Right-click while dragging a dimension will Flip Arrows on-the-fly.
Use dimension names with & symbol in notes and other dimensions to
reference values parametrically (i.e. &d17).
Use Rounded Dimension Value to prevent modification of nominal value
when decimal places are decreased.

Text placed in Prefix/Suffix fields appear within Basic dimension boxes.


Text placed in Dimension text field appears outside Basic dimension boxes.

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Managing Large Drawings (Config.pro Options)

Allow_refs_to_geom_reps_in_drws Controls whether dimensions and


notes can be created in views using Geometry Reps. Care should be taken
as dimensions and annotations may not update if geometry changes.
Auto_regen_views Sets whether drawing views update automatically
when changing sheets or windows. Set to no, drawing views must be
updated manually, but large drawing performance is dramatically improved.
Hlr_for_quilts Determines if HLR is performed on quilt features.
Save_display Saves the display of drawing items such as notes and
dimensions so that they are shown when a drawing is retrieved in read-only
mode.
Force_Wireframe_in_drawings

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Displaying Set Datums on Drawings


Set Datum visibility is controlled through layers, but they can also be erased.
In this drawing there is a Set
Datum that is currently
hidden from view. Although
we can select it from the
Drawing Tree and unerase,
it will still be hidden if it is on
a hidden layer.
The easiest method is to
leave the layer containing
datums shown and control
the datums visibility through
Erase/unerase, otherwise
you need to set individual
view layer status (shown on
next slide).
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Displaying Set Datums on Drawings (Cont.)


Drawing views can have their layer status set independently of the top level drawing.
To set the layer status for an
individual view, we pick the
view from the layer tree
Active View drop-down and
then set the layer status. This
views layers will now behave
independently of the
drawings layer status, and
must be managed separately.
To set the layer status of the
view back to that of the
drawing, we select the view
again in the Active View list
and click Drawing
Dependent in the Layers
drop-down
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Dealing with Erased Dimensions and Axes


Some WF4 drawings may have large numbers of Erased items that must be deleted
prior to being shown in a different view. These can be deleted automatically through a
hidden drawing option.
File > Prepare > Drawing Properties > Detail Options
user_command delete_erased_dimensions
user_command delete_erased_axes

Add/Change > Apply or OK


The user_command is applied once and is not maintained in the .dtl file. It can be run again later
if required.

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Advanced Drawing Update Commands


Some WF4 drawings may have errors or outdated standards when retrieved in newer
releases. The commands below can be used to update drawings as described.
File > Prepare > Drawing Properties > Detail Options

User_command delete_erased_dimensions
User_command delete_erased_axes
user_command clean_duplicate_axes
user_command update_note_text_padding
update_drawing 1808656 (remove extra spaces in basic dimensions)
update_drawing 2119624 (Crosshatching break across text)
Update_drawing 2140864 (secondary dimensions show at maximum decimal places)
update_drawing all (applies all updates. Use caution as this command may make more changes
than are desired)

Config.sup Options

enable_auto_drawing_update yes *(required to use the options below)


auto_drawing_update all
auto_drawing_update_command delete_erased_axes
auto_drawing_update_command delete_erased_dimensions
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Sorting BOM tables by Assembly Sequence


Repeat Regions in BOM tables often sort alphabetically rather than by assembly
sequence. This can be changed through the Repeat Region Attributes.
Under Table > Repeat region > Attributes select the table region > No
dup/Level > Recursive > bln by part > No cbl Info > done/return > done
The BOM table will now be sorted by Assembly sequence.

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Sketcher

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Expanded Sketcher Right-Mouse menu items


1. Show Entity Locks Toggles the display of sketch entity locks
that were used in place of dimension locks.

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2
3

2. References Provides a shortcut to the Sketch References


dialog.
3. Shapes shortcuts Quick access to sketch tools such as Lines,
Rectangles, Circles, etc.
Selection-based Commands:
1. Lock Locks sketcher entities in leu of locking individual
dimensions.
2. Rotate Resize Activates the Rotate/Resize command.

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5

3. Constraints (Tangent, Coincident, Equal, etc.) creates various


constraints based on current selection of single or multiple
sketch entities.
4. OK/Cancel Allows quick completion of sketch feature.

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7
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Simplifying the Sketching Process


When symmetry is desired, create Centerline features first, allowing Creo to give
symmetry assumptions while
sketching.

Use Modify along with Lock Scale to resize


sketches that are grossly out of proportion.

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Customizing the Sketcher Palette Window


You can save custom sketches into the palette folders and reuse them later.
Folders are located in <Loadpoint>\Common Files\Mxxx\text\sketcher_palette
Create custom folders for custom Palette tabs

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Resolving Failures

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Config.pro settings for managing failed models.


Regen_failure_handling

No_resolve_mode*
Resolve_mode

Specifies whether to enter resolve mode when regeneration failures occur.


Resolve_mode - Enter resolve mode when regeneration failures occur.
No_resolve_mode - Don't enter resolve mode when regeneration failures
occur.

allow_save_failed_model
Prompt*
Yes
No
Yes - Failed models can be saved. No - Failed models cannot be saved.
Prompt - Let the user decide whether failed models can be saved.

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Top Down Design

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Skeleton Models
Used for design framework, space claims,
Interfaces between components and assembly
references.
Skeletons should contain Sketches, curves, surfaces and
Datums only.
Not factored into Mass Properties calculations.

Use in conjunction with Publish Geom. and Copy


Geom. to share design information.
Publish Geometry in the source part creates a container of
references that can be shared with a target part later.

Use multiple_skeletons_allowed to share design


information between multiple skeletons.
Create skeletons in subassemblies.

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Standard Skeleton Model Methods


For Skeletons that drive geometry and assembly position.
Use Publish Geometry and/or Copy Geometry that references the assembly context.

For skeletons that drive geometry only (constraints/connections added


later in assembly context).
Use Publish Geometry and/or External Copy Geometry that references the skeleton model
directly.
Allows placement between skeleton CSYS and component CSYS.

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Motion Skeletons Overview


Used for design framework of mechanized
assemblies.
Motion Skeleton is a .ASM that contains a standard skeleton
and Body skeletons.
Standard skeleton contains design geometry.
Body skeletons are assigned geometry from the standard
skeleton.
The first Body skeleton created is assumed as the Ground
component and is fixed. Subsequent Body skeletons are
assigned assembly Connections assumed from sketch
constraints (point/point, point/line).

Create parts in the assembly context


Parts are attached to body skeletons and assume their
motion definition. No assembly connections are created
manually.

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Useful Surfacing Features

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Common Surfacing Tools


Curves
Through Points, Offset Csys, From Xsec
Define ends conditions (Tangency, Curvature Continuity).

Boundary Blend
Similar to Blends, transitions between curves.
First and second direction options.

Intersect
Creates a new 3D curve from two 2D sketches/curves
Creates curve at intersection of surface/surface or surface/datum.

Merge
Combine surfaces into quilts, trimming excess geometry.

Fill
Creates a surface within a sketch boundary.

Thicken/Solidify
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Using PrecisionLMS for Web-Based-Training

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Accessing PrecisionLMS
Go to PTC.COM
Services > eLearning

Login
Learn and Explore tab > Precision LMS
Use assigned login information.

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