The first release of Creo was over 5 years ago. Since that initial release, many elements have been changed and improved, from new capabilities like additive manufacturing tools to an improved UI. Even though Creo has drastically evolved, one thing has remained the same: it is only available for Windows.

While this may not be a huge deal breaker for some users, many designers prefer to use Macs. If you use a Mac, you may feel like you need to invest in a Windows machine or simply find another CAD solution, but this is not the case. Here is how you can get Creo for Mac.

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It’s not exactly Creo for Mac

PTC has not released a Mac version of their Creo products, but it is possible to run PTC Creo on a Mac. You have a few options:

  • Run the Windows operating system on your Mac using Bootcamp
  • Run a local Windows/Creo virtual machine on your Mac using Parallels or VMware Fusion
  • Run or use a remote Windows/Creo virtual machine via XenDesktop

PTC has not released Creo products compatible with OS X, however, you can run PTC Creo on Mac.

Boot Camp: Run Windows in Your Mac

This would be our top recommendation to run PTC Creo on Mac. Boot Camp, a native Mac feature, allows you to install Windows in a dual-boot configuration. This means you can simply run the Windows operating system on your Mac device. You can only use Windows or macOS one at a time but you get the full computing power of your Mac to run Creo.

If you are working with Creo on a daily basis you don’t want to be limited or slowed down due to performance issues. Boot Camp provides you with the highest performance options without having to purchase another machine or use performance-limiting virtualization.

Boot Camp allows you to run PTC Creo on Mac by installing the Windows operating system.

Plus, installing Boot Camp is simple:

  1. Backup your computer (always better to be safe than sorry).
  2. Open the Boot Camp Assistant application (press Comand+Space, type “Boot Camp”, press enter).
  3. The assistant will walk you through the set up process including partitioning and downloading drivers, and then will start the installer.
    • When partitioning, keep in mind how much space you want to allocate to each operating system (consider the applications you will be using on each and various file sizes).
  4. After installation, your computer will automatically reboot and you will have the standard Windows installer.
  5. Continue the set up process (skipping over steps that require internet access).
  6. Once back on the desktop, the Boot Camp installer should appear, at which point you can install all your drivers and then Creo as per normal.
  7. Done!

Whenever you reboot your Mac it will still run macOS by default. To boot using Windows simply press the option key while your computer is turning on and you will be given the option to boot macOS or Windows.

Parallels or VMware: Virtualize Windows Locally

Another option is to run Windows as a program within macOS and then run Creo through that software. This can be useful if you use a lot of other Mac-based programs throughout your day and don’t want to have to constantly reboot. One downside, however, is that using Parallels or VMware can significantly decrease the performance of Creo unless you have an extremely powerful machine. If you’re trying to run virtual network functions on your virtual machine/network, ThousandEyes has additional information on linking VNFs together in order to increase network scalability and agility.

You can get away with this if you are only working on small tweaks but the huge assemblies in Creo usually require more computing power for sustained workloads. Sadly, Apple still doesn’t pack its laptops with powerful graphics chips so you will likely be disappointed in performance unless you are working on a really high-end machine.

We recommend testing out the free trial version of Creo on VMware or Parallels before committing to be sure the performance will be acceptable with the assemblies that you use most often.

Parallels and VMware can work for light or occasional workloads.

Creo 3.0 Offers “Citrix Ready” Mac Compatibility

PTC does offer another option for users. They have modified their software compatibility so you can get PTC Creo running on a Mac without installing additional software. With the release of Creo 3.0 (and more recent releases like Creo 4.0), PTC verified that some of their most popular software is “Citrix Ready.” This includes:

This means that these applications can be run using virtualized desktops on an IBM server through a Citrix and NVIDIA-powered integration. Essentially, the software is running on another server and getting projected over to your machine via XenDesktop

Starting with Creo 3.0, PTC offered its most popular software as “Citrix-Ready”.

Benefits of Going with Remote Virtualization for Creo

There are a few non-obvious benefits to taking advantage of remote virtualization, whether or not you do so to allow the use of Mac or Windows machines:

  • Improved Performance: Using the complete “Citrix Ready” integration boosts the performance for heavy-duty engineering software compared to standard virtualized desktops, which might otherwise be too slow for working on large assemblies.
  • Simplify IT Administration: Rather than having to individually install software updates on each machine, global teams can simply get the latest software by updating a single server.
  • Increased IP Protection: This integration ensures additional IP protection. With company data maintained on servers rather than local machines, organizations avoid potential breach risks
  • Efficient Collaboration: Having access to all of your data on one server can actually improve the user experience and increase speed rather than being forced to load data across a network and improves collaboration between internal and external teams who can both access the data at the same time.

Viewing and Sketching Supported on iOS

While not Macs, Apple’s iPhones and iPads are ubiquitous and PTC has released a couple of apps for these devices to allow for better collaboration, casual viewing of CAD files, and sketching:

  • Creo View Mobile (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch running iOS 5.0 and above): allows users to view 3D Creo models on their mobile devices, including CAD designs created using other software and then published using Creo View.
  • Creo Sketch (iPad running iOS 7 and above): an easy-to-use, standalone platform for designers and engineers to quickly sketch out their ideas graphically.

Getting Started: PTC Creo on Mac

Setting up the virtualized environment can be confusing, especially if you have a complicated server network. Or, you may not be sure which solution is best for your particular needs. We have tons of experience working with all of the PTC software products, so if you’re looking for some assistance getting started with PTC Creo on Mac or in other virtualized environments, contact us.