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A First Look at PTC Creo Illustrate 2.0

by Nancy Pardo

Until recently, PTC customers had to use PTC Creo Parametric or PTC Creo View for developing images for use in product service documentation. Creo Illustrate is a tool that is built on the PTC Creo platform but has functionality that is intended for illustrators to develop clear images of the design in various stages of assembly or disassembly.

This article offers some first impressions of PTC Creo Illustrate 2.0.


Familiar User Interface

PTC Creo Illustrate shares the same user interface as PTC Creo View and PTC Creo Parametric. The skin, window layout, ribbon and other elements are very similar. This means you may already know how to use the base functionality and can focus entirely on learning how to develop illustrations and other deliverables.


Figure 1


Engineering BOM Vs Service BOM

The Engineering BOM (eBOM) represents how the assembly was modeled in PTC Creo Parametric. This may not be arranged how the illustrator would like to work with the models. One of the first tasks you should perform when working with PTC Creo Illustrate is to develop the Service BOM (sBOM). You can:

  • Choose which components from the eBOM will be present in the sBOM.

  • Create new subassemblies and move components into them. This will allow you to easily select all of the components by simply selecting the subassembly.

  • Combine several components into one. This will take a subassembly and represent it as a single node in the Illustration Structure. This is a great way to simplify complex assemblies.

    Figure 2
    Figure 2


    True Isometric Views

    Illustrate has three true isometric orientations that are not present in PTC Creo View or PTC Creo Parametric. Having the model in an isometric orientation is preferred as it puts the model in a more familiar orientation for the consumer of the documentation.


    Figure 3 Figure 3


    Model Display

    There are two very nice options in PTC Creo Illustrate that will allow you to make phenomenal illustrations for your documents and deliverables:

    The Thick/Thin Display Option. This option will remove many of the internal “isolines” that are present on the faces of the models such as surface patches and tangent edges. Also, the outer edges of the components will be defined with a thick black line and the interior edges will be defined with a thin black line. This will update dynamically when the model is rotated or during an animation.


    figure-4.jpg Figure 4


    Eight Render Modes. With any of these Render Modes, you can change the colors of the components to further enhance the look of the model.

    Figure 5


    Explode Lines & Balloons. PTC Creo Illustrate allows you create explode lines between components in a very simple manner. You can also edit the explode line to drag it out longer, adjust the location of jogged explode lines or change the path of the explode line. Balloons can also be added to provide the consumer of your documentation a way to reference the corresponding parts list.

    Figure 6

    Figure 6


    3D Symbols. PTC Creo Illustrate allows you to add 3D symbols into the design. It comes with several consumables and arrows out-of-the-box. You can add additional models that are in the ProductView. OL file format.

    Figure 7


    Figures. A “figure” in PTC Creo Illustrate is similar to an “annotation” in PTC Creo View. The figure saves the exact configuration of the model as it is shown on the screen. This includes:

  • Which components are visible

  • View orientation

  • Display setting

  • Component color change

  • Explode lines and balloons

  • figure-8.jpg Figure 8


    Figures allow you to return the exact display configuration at a later time to make changes or save it out as an image file.

    Animations. The animator in PTC Creo Illustrate is identical to the animator in PTC Creo View with the exception that there are several additional animation effects that can be added to the timeline:

    Fly In
    Fly Out

    You can also have explode lines and balloons appear during the animation.

    SVG Export. PTC Creo Illustrate allows the figures to be exported in a Scalable Vector Graphic format. This file format is not pixel based like JPG or PNG files. It uses mathematics to define the text and geometry. This means that the user of the image can zoom in without having the image quality degrade. Also, these files can be edited by other software.

    Sequence Definition. A new component to PTC Creo Illustrate is the ability to define a manufacturing or assembly sequence as a series of steps. Each step can contain movements and effects similar to an animation, such as having a component highlight on the screen, translate to a new location and faded out.

    Summary. PTC Creo Illustrate has become the preferred tool to use for generating images of 3D Creo Parametric models for several reasons. First, the process to isolate the components needed for a specific figure is easier when using the sBOM functionality. Second, the display of the geometry is an improvement over other solutions we have used. Lastly, the ability to add explode lines, balloons and 3D symbols will raise the bar on service documentation.


    Want to know more about Creo Illustrate?

    For more information: View Creo Illustrate in Our Products Section


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