In “What Exactly Is Creo? – Part 5” I wrote:
For me the key breakthrough (if any) will be in the way Creo does direct modeling. If Creo’s direct modeling is simply automating the hack and whack approach now being used by history based parametric modeling users, then I would hardly consider that as a breakthrough. It will be a time saver, that’s all. Autodesk is trying to achieve something unprecedented by making the software so intelligent that it can pick apart the history tree and incorporate the direct modeling changes made to it, all the time. From the limited understanding that I have on Creo (because I don’t have the software yet) I gather that the software can edit the feature tree if the direct modeling changes made are simple. But if they are complicated, Creo Elements/Direct simply adds a move face feature to the feature tree (which is invisible to the user) which then shows up in the Creo Elements/Pro. If that is indeed the case, then this whole thing is simply reduced to mere automation of an existing task.
Today in a post titled “Smoke, Mirrors, Creo, Ninjas: All good things“, Al Dean of DEVELOP3D wrote:
At its very core, Creo is still a history and feature based modelling system – whether you’re using the Creo Parametric or the Creo Direct app. What PTC has done is an excellent job of hiding the fact away from the user of the Creo Direct app. That’s the one fundamental thing to realise. Creo Direct looks, feels and works like a direct modelling system. All of the user experience flags are there. Grabbing faces, deleting data, re-applicable of rounds, maintaining of geometric relationships where possible. It looks and feels like CoCreate does, like any of the other systems do. But underneath the hood, its storing a history of every edit you make, every feature you create. You just don’t see it.
So as I guessed eight months ago and as Al understands it today, PTC has implemented Direct Modeling in Creo by simply automating the process of adding features to the bottom of the feature tree. If that is indeed the case then, then in my opinion, Creo is hardly a breakthrough in 3D modeling technology. But as Al points out, who gives a shit, as long as users can get their job done and this method of direct modeling solves more problems than it creates.