For a designer, having both parametric and direct modeling capabilities in a single tool is ideal, but of the solutions currently available, only PTC Creo and Siemens NX have both. If this is something you need, your choices are limited, so to save you some time, we’ve done a comparison of key features of the two. We resell Creo, and we think it’s great, but we tried to remain unbiased in this analysis. Here are some key factors you should consider.

In this day and age, having both parametric and direct modeling capabilities within a single CAD tool is crucial.

Feature Comparison

3D CAD Modeling: Tie

We’ve already established that Creo and NX are the two most comprehensive solutions, so you won’t find any key capabilities missing in either one. That’s why some of the finer points—and some intangibles—should be the deciding factor in your choice.

Integration with Other CAD Systems: Creo

Siemens NX offers several vendor-neutral standard exchange formats that allow users to share data with other CAD/CAM systems. The file format translators are included with most—but not all—NX packages, and they use the familiar import and export menu capabilities for ease of use.

Creo, of course, integrates easily with other PTC products, but it also includes the unique Unite technology that allows users to open files from other CAD solutions simply by clicking on them. There’s no cumbersome import and export, and it works with all leading CAD solutions, including CATIA, Siemens NX, and SolidWorks. Creo is truly the best tool for a multi-CAD environment because it makes the whole question of integration moot.

Both solutions integrate with other CAD systems, but the Unite technology included with Creo removes the need for any file import or export.

Integrated eLearning: Creo

PTC Creo offers more than 200 free tutorials available online to help new users come up to speed fast and experienced users to become more proficient. It also includes a “getting started” experience to guide new users through their first steps, and adds indexed help capability using Google’s search engine for easy access.

Additive Manufacturing, IoT, and AR: Creo

Designers and engineers need to cope with rapid changes in product design requirements driven by new technologies that put never before considered demands on products. Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, requires a completely new way of looking at the design process—building up compared to paring away. Creo includes capabilities to make this easy.

Augmented reality and AI require speed and the ability to turn a digital design into physical reality. Creo is integrated with PTC’s ThingWorx Studio to make this easy. Users can publish the AR experience with just a few clicks.

Creo continues to add features and capabilities that support the ever-evolving technology landscape.

Siemens NX, on the other hand, pays little more than lip-service to these new ideas, and that can lead to user frustration as these capabilities become requirements in future products.

Collaboration: Creo

Design is no longer solely an engineering process. Marketing, manufacturing, customers, and suppliers now routinely expect to provide input on design decisions and to have early access to design decisions that affect their own performance. Creo includes simple yet secure sharing capabilities and also simplifies the process for users who are not familiar with CAD.

NX uses JT Data to share information with CAD systems used by partners. It also includes free design review software, and Teamcenter to capture collaborative input. However, the combination of tools is clunky and doesn’t come near to matching the elegance of Creo’s integrated approach.

Support, User Communities, and Training: Creo

The integrated training included in Creo is mentioned above, but Creo also has the most vibrant and healthy user communities. They support online, local and regional user groups. One of the most interesting aspects is PTC’s Smart Connected Support. The software will report its own issues, search for solutions and log incident reports if necessary. This demonstrates an extreme dedication to enabling and ensuring user productivity.

Siemens NX has online support and user forums, but they don’t have anything like Creo’s Smart Connected Support.

Our Take: Creo is the Clear Winner

We told you up front that we have a slight bias toward Creo, but we think it’s well-deserved. There’s a reason we’re the largest PTC reseller on the west coast, and it’s because we believe in the products. If you’re interested in more insight into how Creo stacks up against products other than Siemens NX, check out our other software comparisons:

Or if you are interested in finding a PLM solution and want to know how PTC Windchill compares to other PLM solutions check out:

We’re not saying that Siemens NX and these other software products aren’t useful product. They are, and if you’re happy using them, there’s no compelling reason to switch right now. But if your current CAD or PLM product isn’t meeting your needs, or you’re concerned about its ability to support you in the future, consider the PTC family.

Although both Siemens and Creo have the direct and parametric modeling support you need, the additional features and capabilities available with Creo make it the clear winner.

Want to Learn More?

Give us a call and we’ll walk you through side-by-side comparisons or provide a demo of Creo. We’re happy to discuss pricing and licensing questions—or any questions you might have.

We’re available at 408-986-0200 or click here to contact us and we’ll get back to you as quickly as we can.