New Creo 11 enhancements

Just like fine wine, Creo keeps getting better with time! Creo 11 by PTC offers numerous enhancements to improve the productivity, usability, and functionality of frequently used tools. In this blog post, we will explore the key updates in Creo 11 that aim to streamline workflows, enhance user experience, and boost efficiency in product design.

Usability Enhancements

Easily Access Creo Options

One of the standout features in Creo 11 is the ability to search and find settings in the options dialog easily. That being said, this enhancement enables you to locate relevant Creo options more quickly, reducing time spent navigating through menus and improving overall efficiency.

Improved Model Tree

Creo 11 introduces improved collapse/expand behavior and renaming capabilities in the model tree. Specifically, these enhancements enhance the user experience by making navigating and managing complex assemblies and parts within the software easier.

Enhanced Drag Handles

Due to popular demand, the software now offers improved drag handles for feature dimensions, simplifying identification and manipulation controls for complex features. This improvement simplifies the editing process and ensures a smoother user experience.

Selection Enhancements

Flexible Selection Options

Creo 11 introduces box, lasso, and trace selection support, providing you with more flexibility in selecting multiple surfaces and entities. You can now toggle between selecting all surfaces or only visible surfaces, improving the precision and speed of selection workflows.

Multi-Body Design for Sheetmetal

With the introduction of multi-body design capabilities for sheet metal parts, Creo 11 simplifies single-part design workflows and enables you to split single sheet metal parts into multiple parts. As a result, this feature allows for greater control over manufacturing and design costs and facilitates the design of multi-thickness sheet metal parts in context.

Simplification Features

Shrinkwrap and Merge Options

A new shrinkwrap option in Creo 11 allows you to collect bodies from referenced assemblies into a single part, streamlining the creation of simplified models. So, merge options for bodies in assemblies offer flexibility to keep separate objects, merge into single bodies, or merge all bodies for efficient design workflows.

Modeling and Design Enhancements

Enhanced Features

Creo 11 enhances modeling capabilities with features such as enclosure volume and new options for point patterns, for increased flexibility, and faster regeneration. These improvements aid in the creation of bounding boxes for optimization purposes and streamline pattern referencing workflows.

Welding and Surfacing Improvements

Welding Capabilities

Creo 11 provides a faster and more flexible definition of spot welds through improvements in spot welding functionality, joint members, and XMCF features. These enhancements increase productivity and eliminate additional steps in the welding process.

Surfacing Enhancements

Surfacing with freestyle and style features, including rotational pattern support, new bevel operations, and improved curve editing controls are new enhancements. These updates offer greater control over curves and surfaces, improved usability, and streamlined workflows for working with multi-level subdivisions.

Design for Electrification

Routed Systems

Creo 11 introduces improvements to routed systems, allowing for easier design and creation of electrical systems within the software. These enhancements include cabling, removal locations capability, dynamic previews in the graphics area, expandable filtering, and undo/redo functionality. These enhancements increase productivity and make designing and managing electrical systems easier within Creo.


In addition to the improvements in routed systems, Creo 11 also includes enhancements to ECAD (Electronic Computer-Aided Design) functionality. Users of Solidworks and Inventor might know this as electrical-mechanical integration and compatibility enhancements. Enhanced ECAD visibility simplifies control and understanding of ECAD layer presentation through data visibility. These enhancements improve usability and provide more flexibility in the design of electrical systems.

Design for Composites

In addition, Creo 11 introduces expanded functionality for designing composite materials. This includes the ability to modify transitions in graphics, improved usability for laminate sections, and enhanced draping simulation. These enhancements make it easier to manage and visualize composites, improving usability and productivity. Additional improvements include zone-based design, enabling faster creation of large-scale composite products, and a conceptual top-down approach to composite design.

As for Model-Based Definition (MBD), Creo 11 also includes enhancements to make it easier to organize and manipulate data in a tabular form. MBD enhancements in Creo 11 include creating tables, adding semantic references, and supporting parameter callouts. Also, Creo 11 introduces support for STEP AP242, allowing for the export of PMI (Product and Manufacturing Information) information in a machine-readable format.

In simulation-driven design, Creo 11 introduces enhancements to improve accuracy and productivity in time-based motion analysis. These include updates to solvers, expanded structural and fluid results, and a new conjugate heat transfer capability. These enhancements allow for faster and more accurate predictions of heat transfer and structural optimization based on simulation results.

Design for Manufacturing

Connection Lattices

In response to the rise in additive manufacturing demands, Creo 11 introduces a new lattice command to connect two or more separate lattices, giving you more flexibility to create complex lattices. This workflow is straightforward and can be performed inside the same familiar Lattice UX. Additional enhancements include beam lattices, stochastic lattices, randomization value, and defining pore size. Moreover, you can also adjust simplified lattices using warp and export in 3MF/STL format. Finally, Creo 11 has added a penetration option for simplified lattices, providing additional flexibility to prepare parts for 3D printing, particularly in medical implants.

Subtractive Manufacturing

Creo 11 introduces new 4-axis rotary roughing and finishing toolpaths, which can pass 360 degrees and be used for crew-type parts. Also, Creo 11 supports end mill, ball mill, and bull nose mill. These enhancements provide automated roughing and finishing sequences, which will be applicable for automotive and oil field crankshafts, camshafts, and drill heads.


Another enhancement is trajectory milling or CAM Programming, which allows you to define entry and exit movement along the direction of the cut, reducing the possibility of breaking small tools. This method is also more efficient, saving time spent on retracts. Additionally, Creo 11 supports curves not on the surface and trim retract motion to a plane. You can now easily manage the display of manufacturing geometry in the graphics toolbar.


Creo 11 has modernized 4-axis area-turning user interfaces, providing a streamlined and consistent user interface across all toolpaths. Improved material removal cut functionality for profile turning and additional area turning capabilities have also been added to the 4-axis. Creo 11 now supports user_output_point, CUTCOM support at each slice, clear distance, and turn profile start and end driving the cut direction.

These enhancements in Creo 11 provide you with greater flexibility, productivity, and efficiency in all areas of your product design. By incorporating these new features, Creo 11 continues to lead the industry in product design and manufacturing. You can watch the Creo 11 Webinar to learn more at your convenience or reach out to one of our experts to see which enhancements would benefit you the most!

3D printing vs Additive Manufacturing

What is Additive Manufacturing

“Manufacturing” has been around for centuries. The basic definition, “the making of articles on a large scale using machinery” which is a good summary. There are myriad methods of manufacturing. Casting, sintering, machining, and molding are just a small sampling. With the advent of 3D printing, the term ‘Additive Manufacturing’ evolved as an umbrella to generally refer to all manufacturing methods that use 3D printing. 

Additive Manufacturing (AM) is a relatively inexpensive process to implement. The equipment is straightforward, for the most part, and does not require the extensive resources of equipment that traditional (i.e. casting, sintering, machining, molding) require. The materials available to Additive Manufacturing are comprehensive and growing. These include everything from plastics to metals, with plastics being the largest substrate by far. 

In addition, additive manufacturing offers not only innovative materials but also enhanced sustainability. By minimizing the amount of scrap generated, this manufacturing process contributes to a more sustainable approach. Unlike traditional manufacturing methods that often generate significant amounts of waste material, additive manufacturing builds objects layer by layer, utilizing only the necessary materials. This low cost of entry has made it possible to rapidly iterate product development. AM is so commonplace now that it’s easy to lose sight of what a major impact this has had on getting products to market.

What is 3D Printing

April 12, 1981, was the launch of STS-1 – the first Space Shuttle. That same year, Dr. Hideo Kodama invented the first 3D printing machine using a polymerized resin that could be laser-cured layer by layer. In 1984, Chuck Hull patented that technology as the first ‘Stereolithography Apparatus’ (SLA). Chuck would go on to found 3D Systems, today one of the leading SLA manufacturers in the world. In 1988, Scott Crump developed a plastic extrusion machine he called ‘Fused Deposition Modeling’ (FDM). His company, Stratasys, began selling FDM commercially in 1992. Back then, a 3D printer cost over $300k ($800k today).

3D Printing is a Commoditized Process

3D Printing has become a commoditized process that is accessible to anyone.

It’s that commoditization that equates the term ‘3D printing’ with a low-cost, hobbyist platform. Most implementations of these low-cost 3D printers in any commercial environment have little to no impact on overall business goals. It’s not uncommon to see a 3D printer sitting on the desk of a design engineer. It provides an easy way to manifest physical outputs to be used as a supplement to the development process. 

However, when considering commercial applications that are a part of overall business strategies, these consumer-grade (sub $2000) printers lack the ability to conform to the rigorous processes companies require when developing manufactured (end-use) parts. For instance, there is much more to medical device products than the product itself. There are overarching FDA and ISO requirements, supply chain requirements, and process control requirements such as receiving and inspection that need to be applied to production equipment.

The machines need to go through a lengthy characterization process that includes manufacturing documentation, performance monitoring, and understanding service level agreements from the equipment vendor. This is not something you will be able to develop for a $200 3D printer purchased from Amazon.

While 3D printers find a great deal of utility as a tactical, point solution. There is a coming-of-age that requires more from this equipment in order to realize its true strategic potential. That’s where Additive Manufacturing comes in.

The Difference Between Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing

To get a sense of the implications for industrial-grade Additive Manufacturing solutions, consider a company like Cargill. You can be forgiven if you do not know who Cargill is. They are the single, largest privately held corporation you’ve never heard of. They provide all the basic ingredients for the food you eat. You would be hard-pressed to not consume a Cargill product.

Given their great importance to the entire world’s food supply, it’s no surprise they employ rigorous controls to automate production. These controls are very expensive. However, their function is simple. One of their representatives was asked something along the lines of, “you realize that Arduino and Raspberry Pi can do all the stuff you guys are doing at a fraction of the cost.” They agreed. Then replied, “sure, but if one of those devices fails and people die, who’s liable?”

Implementing a manufacturing solution is much less about the technology and more about mitigating risk while having a positive outcome on business goals. Bringing 3D printing into the business ecosystem as a strategic solution is the defining characteristic of Additive Manufacturing. 3D printing is a component of Additive Manufacturing.

As a solution provider, the team at EAC is more interested in the broader implications of Additive Manufacturing. We have decades of experience in the design, development, and implementation of products. This gives us a unique perspective with the ability to understand how Additive Manufacturing fits within our already extensive offering. It is a natural extension of development. 

Why Should I Implement Additive Manufacturing

A ‘paradigm shift’ is defined as “a fundamental change in approach or underlying assumptions.” We have seen several paradigm shifts in the last 50 years. Mobile phones weren’t much of a paradigm shift when they were introduced in the 70s. They were exclusive to the few who could afford them. The infrastructure did not exist to make them ubiquitous. While that quickly changed in the 90s, it wasn’t until phones took on many other tasks beyond being a phone with the advent of the iPhone. That device ushered in a major paradigm shift that we are currently experiencing. 

Manufacturing is currently experiencing a paradigm shift. We are still in the early stages. The early stage of a paradigm shift is characterized by creativity, confusion, and ‘solution saturation’. Additive Manufacturing is a major component of that paradigm shift. With over 2000 manufacturers of Additive Manufacturing equipment, it can be daunting to figure out what direction to take when implementing an AM solution (or whether implementing AM even makes sense). It begs the question, “why bother?”. For many manufacturers, this is uncharted territory.

Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC)

As a manufacturer, you will not want to carry the overhead of managing an entire Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) machining floor or invest in a room full of injection molding equipment. The specialized nature of this equipment requires extensive resources and expertise that impacts the bottom line of your retail sales of vacuum cleaners. As a result, it has been a tradition to outsource the fabrication of components to providers who perform these specialized operations. While this is cost-effective, there are other considerations such as lead times and quality control that manufacturers have to contend with. This is especially challenging when developing new products as it is difficult to have design iterations using these traditional providers. The time and expense of creating tooling for products that may not work is not practical. 

This desire to quickly iterate through a design is what has driven the implementation of 3D printers in manufacturing environments. 3D printing was used as a bridge to a final product that was machined or injection molded. While this is a very useful process for development, there’s still a gap between the iterative prototyping phase and the final production phase. Unfortunately, that gap can be quite costly when the final product does not conform to the results of the 3D printed prototyped product.

3D printing was relegated to this stage in development for a number of reasons. From an aesthetic standpoint, 3D printing left a lot to be desired. For FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication – remember, the term ‘FDM’ is owned by Stratasys), the stair-stepping of layer lines is apparent. Resin-based printers are capable of very smooth surface finish but there are often artifacts left behind due to support structures. SLS does not have to worry about support, but the surface finish is described as ‘grainy’, and highly detailed features are difficult.

3D Printed Parts and Isotropy

In addition to that, 3D printed parts exhibit poor isotropy. Meaning they do not perform the same across all axes of the part. FFF parts in particular have less strength in the z direction than in the x and y direction. SLA, on the other hand, has 100% isotropy, yet resins have not demonstrated the same kinds of strength that traditionally manufactured parts exhibit.

Now, as this paradigm shift picks up speed, all of that is changing. Especially in regards to SLA and SLS. There are SLA resins that can create incredibly strong structures from silicone to polyurethane. For SLS, new postprocessing equipment is capable of reducing or even eliminating the graininess of powder-based prints. The implications of this are enormous. It means that design iterations can be performed using the same equipment and materials that are used for final production parts.

With the relatively low cost of entry and skill requirements, AM equipment can be reasonably implemented within the walls of final production. Lead times for production parts can now be a matter of days (or even hours) rather than months. The lack of tooling (AM is often referred to as ‘tool-less’ manufacturing), eliminates major costs. One major aspect of AM is the fact that each part can be unique. Not only does this mean each part can be personalized. It also means that changes can be implemented with no impact on production (other than appropriately documenting the change). 

How EAC Additive Can Help

EAC Additive is your go-to partner for all things Additive Manufacturing from hardware to consumables, and even services. While there are many AM providers in the industry, our company that’s been providing engineering solutions for over 27 years, EAC has the expertise in all aspects of manufacturing that companies require in order to be successful. We understand the implications that AM has on product development, quality assurance, supply chain, and production. 

To that end, EAC offers the AM Assessment, which is a comprehensive analysis of your company’s current state of utilizing Additive Manufacturing, and then gives you a roadmap and actionable steps to improve and integrate this innovative technology into your operations.