How do I create a single part in the context of the assembly in PTC Creo Parametric?

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For historical reasons, PDSVISION Germany has many customers who use Creo Elements / Direct Modelling. Sometimes these companies want to switch to Creo Parametric for their CAD design in order to benefit from the advantages of parametric methodology in addition to direct modelling.

For those who do not know Creo Elements / Direct Modelling well, this program comes directly from the legendary ME10, which is still in use in its most modern form and is part of the Creo Elements / Direct package.

Creo Elements / Direct Modelling is a so-called “Direct Modeler”, that is, the 3D CAD program has no reference, as is common in parametric applications.

Creo Elements / Direct Modelling is iterative, i. H. the moment I z. B. have executed the command to create a profile, the previous process is irrelevant. The bottom line is a very free construction, which allows very creative work in the context of an assembly.

If you compare the two PTC products Creo Elements / Direct Modelling and Creo Parametric at first glance, some people ask themselves: How can I work as freely as in Modelling? That doesn’t work with a parametric method of working without having external references that later cause problems!

Now, at the said first glance, this is correct, but only at this first glance. So what does the proposed best practice in Creo Parametric look like if I want to or even have to work with external references?

The magic word is reference control. In short, as a designer I have the possibility of external references from Creo construction elements (features or features) or z. B. to use whole areas. The method of “copying” an entire area and then reloading it in a new part is very popular in Creo Elements / Direct Modelling. The crux of the matter in the parametric environment is that external references update themselves when there are changes in the origin of those. Sometimes this is desired and sometimes not. In other words, I have to be in control. Reference control …

I would like to present two recommended ways for you to do this.

Securing external references

This method is intended for external references that come from a Creo construction element. A simple example are e.g. B. two holes that are in different parts of a Creo assembly and must be aligned. That means: one hole is the reference for the second. I can simply save the reference of the second hole in Creo Parametric (1) and then have full control of what happens to the hole when the source is updated.

Now I have the option to choose from four different options (2):

  • Update automatically
  • Manual update with notification
  • Update manually
  • No dependency














I have z. B. “Manual update with notification” selected, I will be notified when the reference has changed.

In the “Show differences” tool, I now see which references have changed by highlighting them in color.














The “No dependency” option breaks the reference permanently and cannot be undone. Creo construction elements (KE’s) can be referenced afterwards or e.g. B. edited with Creo Flexible Modelling.

As you can see, with Creo Parametric I have every opportunity to deal with 3D CAD references.

Creo publishing geometry

The question often arises: How can I e.g. For example, use a complete surface to create a new Creo part in a Creo assembly? An ideal way is to use the publishing geometry function.

In the example, the flange surface is published. I can then see the published geometry in the Creo Parametric model tree. From here the part can now be processed normally. This can be done either parametrically or with the Creo Flex Modelling Extension. In the case of an update of the original Creo part, the already known options for controlling the reference are again available to me. In the example below we have e.g. B. uses the “Thicken” tool.

Creo Elements / Direct Modelling comes as close as possible to the example shown here, but with the advantage that you always have full control over the references.


















A note: The “Publishing Geometry” tool is only available in connection with the Creo Parametric “Advanced Assembly Extension” (AAX). AAX also offers other very interesting functions, such as B. Inheritance parts and skeleton assemblies / parts. Last year I wrote a blog entry about Creo inheritance models, which you can find here.

Why not try the two methods shown – See for yourself the advantages of PTC Creo!

Don’t have a Creo Parametric yet? Just talk to us or arrange a demo appointment with us. For customers with Creo Elements / Direct, PDSVISION offers special paths and packages that make the changeover very attractive in most cases.

Just contact us and we will be happy to show you our examples live and optimize your internal design process.




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