Looking for a 3D CAD solution is a frustrating process. Every product looks good in the demo and every company claims to have the same features. Are they really all alike? No – but the differences are often found outside basic features or price points. If you are considering SolidFace vs Creo, for example, you might want to consider these factors.

Every product looks good in the demo – but are they really equal?

Compare CAD Software: Features and Benefits

3D CAD Modeling and Ease of Use

Both solutions have excellent 3D CAD modeling tools with extensive feature sets. Of course, you would expect that from Creo, which has been the industry leader for years.

SolidFace has many of the same features and capabilities. They have combined multiple functions into a single user icon, which sounds simpler, but isn’t. This decision increases the user’s learning curve as they must master multiple capabilities within a single function and try to decipher where different tools are hidden.

Creo is easier to use with its full set of clearly defined and labeled capabilities.

Vision, Industry 4.0, Digital Transformation, IIoT, and AR

SolidFace touts its ability to create 3D printer files in STL, but Creo goes far beyond simply pushing files to 3D printers. Creo has fully embraced the entire gamut of emerging Industry 4.0 technologies, including virtual reality, digital twins, IIoT for connected equipment, and artificial intelligence for managing tasks. As such, Creo has expanded well beyond the traditional definition of a CAD system to become a driver to digital transformation and manufacturing excellence.

PTC has incorporated a plethora of new technologies that take Creo to the next level – well beyond that of a traditional CAD system.

Integration and Compatibility

Designers and engineers must work with suppliers and customers who may use a range of different platforms with various product types. SolidFace can import X-T®, X_B®, DXF®, STL and BMP files. Creo, on the other hand, can import all these plus STEP, SAT, IGES 3D, DWG, IGES 2D, and more. Creo also has a viewer and uses proprietary Unite technology. This allows users to view all major 3D and standard file formats, helping save money by eliminating the need to buy licenses for people—like marketing, sales, or customers—who just need to see designs without making changes. When it comes to integration and compatibility, Creo wins.

Creo includes proprietary technology that allows you to work with any other CAD system – significantly streamlining development and reducing costs.


SolidFace has a strong collaboration capability that enables users to share data and files, manage projects, and assign tasks to simplify project management. It tracks the history of all design changes and allows non-technical users to participate in the collaborative process.

Creo creates a secure workspace for users to collaborate. Each user has specific security constraints that grant or limit access to files or edit functions. Creo also allows teams to assign project steps and tasks to specific users and keeps track of due dates. Users can open or view files regardless of the CAD system they use, and even if they don’t use CAD at all. Creo also offers cross-functional capabilities like digital twins, to allow manufacturing to pre-test production processes, and VR, to support marketing by providing insight into how customers interact with the latest design concepts. Collaboration in Creo extends well beyond file sharing, making this another Creo win.

Creo makes it easy to not only collaborate across users but across departments and teams as well.

Supported Industries

Both companies focus on manufacturing. Creo states it explicitly while SolidFace leaves it tacitly understood from their discussions about 3D printing.

Creo also has detailed industry capabilities for specific verticals within manufacturing, such as:

  • Aerospace
  • Automotive
  • Electronics
  • Life sciences
  • Oil and gas
  • Retail and consumer products

SolidFace just focuses on manufacturing without regard for the inherent differences within specific manufacturing niches.

Both solutions focus on manufacturing, but Creo includes additional capabilities to support inherent differences in specific manufacturing niches.

Integrated Learning and Support

SolidFace has an extensive library of educational videos on YouTube. Creo also has an extensive YouTube library, as well as an online user community, forum, and resource center. The resources available include everything from customer success stories, to product datasheets, and how-to specs. PTC support even includes a full-scale developers’ portal that includes sample code and access to third-party apps. PTC offers online support, and its products can even contact support on their own if they recognize a problem. There are online learning and onsite education options as well as a suite of resources for students and academics.

Creo’s educational and support resources are unparalleled.

SolidFace vs Creo: The Winner is Creo

As a PTC reseller, we will admit that we have a slight bias towards Creo, but we always try to remain open-minded when we do these software comparisons. In the case of SolidFace vs Creo, the winner is obvious. SolidFace is a good product—it just isn’t ready to compete against an industry powerhouse like Creo. And if you’re betting your business on the efficiency and accuracy of a CAD system, you want the very best solution you can find. That means Creo.

If you’d like to learn more about Creo’s advanced capabilities, contact us today.

Or if you would like to see how Creo stacks up to other CAD platforms, check out our other CAD software comparisons: