Despite it's billing as a Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 4.0 Launch, most of the buzz at the annual PTC press event was about CoCreate. PTC had acquired CoCreate late last year. Media types and analysts came loaded with questions and PTC executives were only too happy to discuss the acquisition, like parents of a new baby.
"There are 2 types of modelers and we are inventors of both of them," said a proud Jim Heppleman, Executive VP of PTC.
As most CAD insiders know, PTC made its fame and fortune with parametric feature based modeling, whereas CoCreate throughout its long existence has championed plain old solid modeling -- no parametrics, no history tree. They had been calling this "dynamic modeling" modeling (which PTC is now calling "explicit" modeling). While PTC has been the more successful financially, each type has had its ardent supporters. Lately, dynamic modeling (by whatever name) has generated quite a bit of coverage by the trade press, much of it due to a concerted lobbying effort by Kubotek and SpaceClaim.
Despite its roots and because of the CoCreate acquisition, PTC is embracing "explicit" modeling so hard I'm afraid they may soon be changing their name from Parametric Technology Corporation. Hmm, maybe Product Technology Corporation would not be a bad idea. They could at least keep all their monogrammed towels, logos and stationery.
Last year, a product like CoCreate may have been derided for lacking "design intent" or being just too simple to handle real world design. But if you think that a sudden about face and selling a product based on a concept previously dismissed might be a bit awkward, you haven't experienced the amnesia companies develop to deal with inconvenient past claims. In fact, in calling CoCreate easy to use and boon to small firms, PTC came very close to admitting their flagship product, Pro/ENGINEER, was hard to use. "What could be simpler than a CAD products that has no parametrics?," asked PTC at one point.
PTC was not fraid to sling some mud at others, with SpaceClaim taking the worst shot. "Let them cut their price 6 more times trying to get their first customer," said Heppleman.
PTC confirmed that there is no plan to merge products after the acquisition, though certain technologies will appear across product lines. However, the OneSpace name will fade away.
All present resisted the urge to propose renaming CoCreate as Pro/CREATE [credit Mathew Palicki on Ralph Grabowski's blog.].