Here Comes Creo Elements/Pro 5.0

As a PTC partner who has developed 14 data exchange plug-ins for Pro/ENGINEER, I was a little concerned about the way PTC decided to turn their product line inside out and do away with the Pro/ENGINEER brand completely. The day PTC announced Creo, they also announced that Pro/ENGINEER, CoCreate and ProductView were being renamed with immediate effect. I visited to see if new builds of the products were available for download but couldn’t find any.

Last night I noticed that Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire was replaced by Creo Elements/Pro in the download area. I went ahead and downloaded the 3.3 GB installer. I wanted to check if PTC had done something that would make my Pro/ENGINEER plug-ins stop loading or not work properly. I also wanted to know whether the time had come to rename the “… for Pro/ENGINEER” in my product names to “… for Creo Elements/Pro“.

As it turns out, apart from a new splash screen, nothing much has changed.

PTC didn’t even bother to change the name of the application in the title bar. It still reads Pro/ENGINEER.

The first thing I did was load one of my plug-ins to check if it was working. To my relief everything worked just fine. Since PTC hasn’t done anything to the UI to this build, like adding a ribbon, my plug-in was able to load its own menu without a problem.

So if you are a SYCODE customer using one of our Pro/ENGINEER plug-ins, you can safely update your Wildfire 5.0 installation to build M065. I didn’t change my plug-in at all. It worked out of the box. However, if you use plug-ins from other PTC partners you may want to check with them first.

I guess I won’t be renaming my plug-ins to “… for Creo Elements/Pro” anytime soon. When PTC does come out with the real new Creo next year that will probably be the time that I will change my product names. Come to think of it, I am not sure what was the need for PTC to switch to the Creo name now, especially since they are not changing the software at all. It just adds to the confusion. The fact that the splash screen says Creo Elements/Pro and everything else, including the About box, says Pro/ENGINEER sounds a little weird to me. Uncalled for, actually.

I have my own views about PTC killing the Pro/ENGINEER brand. Personally, I would have liked them to keep Pro/ENGINEER as it is and change CoCreate to Pro/ENGINEER Direct or something like that. But then what’s in a name, right? A Creo would smell as sweet. 😉

  • Asmith

    Actually names are very important (as I’m sure you know). Over the next few months PTC’s customer will be asking the same thing as you – what changed with Pro/E? And they’ll get the answer “well, nothing really”. And then they’ll ask “so what was the announcement all about?”. And so the whole confusing conversation will go on.

    I think Creo is about integrating Pro/E, CoCreate and ProductView but, as a partner, the first email I got from PTC after the Creo launch was a branding guide that showed all of the products still there but with new names.

    I agree – getting rid of the Pro/E name is a big mistake. And can you imagine an engineer going around in future saying “I’m a Creo Elements/Pro user”.

    • I guess in time people will get used to Creo Elements/Pro. Problem is that time can be years. Glowing example: Unigraphics -> NX.

      • And NX went to less syllables.

      • UOA

        What the hell our MKTG had in mind when they put Unigraphics in the dust and choose NX… sigh. :-((

    • Ian

      The best way is to add pro/e to word’s autocorrect, so every time you type pro/e it will change to creo elements/pro. I wish they hadn’t used a slash in the name a search citeria and filenames don’t like them.

  • Tom

    Names are very important, just look at IRONCAD, a fantastic product!!!, but totally missed the mark on the name! I believe if it had a another name it would have a much more expansive user base.

    • Not sure what you don’t like about the name IRONCAD. Do you think Rhinoceros sounds more CAD-like?

      The problem (if any) with IRONCAD has been their limited ability to get the message out. i.e. marketing. I doubt the name has anything to do with it.

    • Roger

      Have to agree Tom, the first time I heard of Ironcad I thought of “iron age” – which clearly is the opposite to what it is. I did once download a trial version but i never got comfortable with the interface and gave up assessing it – I probably just didn’t give it enough time though.

      If Rhino was an MCAD product then it may have done less well with that name, but as a system aimed at the more creative end of CAD then I think it fits well.

      My guess is the name Pro/e will be back – Creo Elements/Pro is just plain wrong.

  • Tom

    Hi Deelip, you are right that a lack of marketing plays a role regardless of your name. But is you haev a bad name you need to spend effectively more money in marketing whereas a good name tends to help market itself . From feedback over the years, the name IRONCAD immediately pidgeon holed the product as a tool geared towards the steel structure industry which of course is really not the case. As for Rhinoceros, it doesn’t really imply anything, therefore it has the flexibility to be directed as needed.

  • Deelip – The complete rebranding of Pro/ENGINEER, CoCreate and ProductView to become Creo Elements products will take some time. Lots of changes have been made on our website, and in the software releases that are currently available, the splash screen has changed. All of the other appearances of the names in the software (including the title bar) will be updated in the near-term maintenance releases.

    As far as “what really changed” in the Creo Elements products, Asmith is right – not much. Just the name. Same technology. Same capabilities. Same products, but with a new name. Why? Because we want all of the users of these existing products to rest assured that they are on the path to Creo. As we said last week, Creo, the NEW product will be available in the summer next year.

    And finally, the name “Pro/E” isn’t coming back. A name is an empty vessel, until you fill it. And we’re working on filling Creo up with a whole lot of goodness.

    • Tbennett

        You could call it PeanutButter/Pro and I could care less.  Is it better?  Are the changes strictly a marketing ploy or are the engineers, designers, and drafters going to benefit?
        My take is that most releases of Pro/E have been like Star Trek movie trailers: they hype one thing, but when you watch the movie it just feels like a two hour television episode – same ol’ same ol’.
        Still, I am looking forward to seeing Creo.  I am an idealist in a realist’s body.  By the way, there is no way I’m calling it Creo Elements/Pro.  A bit of a mouthful, wouldn’t you say?

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  • Ahmed

    I don’t knwo why you people think nothing has changed. Creo is available in ‘role-specific’ modules where each person involved in the product lifecycle will have an application suited to his/her role with just the righ set of tools – nothing more, nothing less.

  • Tetraxe

    I have used pro engineer since version 16 and I am saddened that my beautiful pro engineer name is gone. I hate the creo name! Regardless of the name I will Always call it pro engineer

  • Bill Losapio

    I think the name change was, if not a master stroke, a smart idea for PTC.
    1) It emphasizes the fact? notion? marketing ploy? that they have (conceivably, at least) CONSIDERED the stem-to-stern product-to-market needs a company experiences, and the needs of the different users along the way
    2) It provides an umbrella for users to grow their solution base, rather than have a disparate array of odd products a potential customer may not even know existed, and increase the confidence of the seamless integration of the different packages (whether PTC delivers on this expectation remains to be seen – HUGE liability for them if they drop the ball here IMHO)
    3) They kept the name “Pro” which in my experience far and away has been the “nickname” for Pro/Engineer.

    I think PTC is pushing the right buttons, if you will. I’ve been a Pro/E, er, I mean, Pro user for far too long not to have some skepticism, but I LOVE the vision being demonstrated by PTC through the announcement and demonstration of CREO.

    Bill Losapio
    Melbourne, FL
    Mechanical Engineer, Aerospace Industry
    Pro user since 1995
    Admin for “3D CAD and CAM User” Group on LinkedIn

  • Deepak

    hey guys i dnt knw wat product u installed,, but i got creo elements pro.5 m070,, nd everywre evn on the title bar its written as creo. the file type is changed, .prt files are atomatically converted into the new form. many new features and an ease to use dis new software. i hv been working on dis software for near abt 2 years wid all my interest. and i think da only thing i always needed in da old version is nw much more enhanced.. indeed da speed is also good and very less chances of software crash or pc hang. i am jst enjoying dis new software. loving da new name creo elements pro. it sounds so modern and givs a feel. name dsnt matters afterall da product is by awesome group dats PTC. and da working is similar wid new looks and easy features,,,
    so guys stop thinking of all dat name issues,,, jst work on dis new software.. ull be loving it.

    • V M

       in English please

  • Rob

    … so all of the matrketing literature that I’ve been binning has really been about ProE all along has it …

    I’d assumed that ProE was dead, so we went with SolidWorks.

    Probably the correct decision – name changes usually signify bad things about a company.

  • Vas

    I Love Pro/Engineer

  • V M


    As of May 2012 Ihave been using Creo Elements / Direct Modeling Express to learn the software.  The experience has been a mixed bag.  I appreciate the ability of downloading the software for free, no questions asked with only an email address.  However, this approach immediately raises some questions. 

    Why all of a sudden free ?? 
    Well it’s a limited version of the full goodies and a way to get  the customer to try out the software before they jump on the PTC bandwagon.

    How does the software work?
    This is a biggie.  Last time I used Pro/E was a decade ago and I didn’t like it back then.  With the new ribbon interface I do find it easier to navigate.  It’s nicely laid out, but one still needs to be clever about using the software.  This is where the meat of it is – ENGINEERING. 
    Unfortunately for that I did not feel that the usage of Creo was as fluid as Solidworks or as  Autodesk Inventor Pro.  However, that would be comparing apples to bananas.  Creo is free and I had the full student version of both Inventor and Solidworks.

    For reals?  Is this a beta version?
    Usually if a company is quick to release some software on the market and there is a lot of usability issues including bugs and simply clunky operation they are testing the market or looking to test out an unfinished product.

    What comes next?
    ‘dunno.  However, I can’t blame PTC for giving away free useable software.  I just hope the bugs will go away or I’ll be looking at other options. 

    One last thing:
    Creo is a valiant effort in capturing marketshare in a croded 3D parametric world and I looked for the option of enabling “anonymous statistics collection” in hope that bugs will go to a PTC database where they will be eventually fixed. 

    P.S:  If large corporations use this stuff, it can’t be too bad, and I look forward to a more solid experience with this software.