Product Development using 3D CAD Design

Augmented Reality in Creo Parametric



Augmented Reality in Creo Parametric

I recently participated in PTC Forum in Stuttgart and the focus was around Internet-of-Things (IoT) and Augmented Reality (AR) with a part how to create Augmented Reality Experiences in Creo Parametric. According to PTC these business areas will revolutionize how products will be used and developed in the future. Most of all this gives new opportunities for product development and to connect the physical product with the digital product.

Key Benefits with Augmented Reality:

  • Faster digital prototype production
  • Reduce distribution of IP / CAD data
  • Enhanced communication of design intent
  • Interaction with the digital product in the physical world
  • Collaboration between multiple simultaneous users
  • Improved design audits

Quick Guide - How to Create Augmented Reality (AR) Experiences in Creo Parametric

I have in a previous blog talked about the fact that AR is integrated into Creo Parametric 4.0 and that all users have this functionality is in the basic Creo Package. For those who have not tested this yet, I will give you a little instruction so you get started quickly and easily with this amazing functionality.

Step 1: 

Create your CAD models exactly as before in Creo Parametric. There is now need of any special CAD methodology to be able to use AR. This works both with a part and an assembly.

Step 2:

When you are ready and are finished with your CAD model, it´s time to add a ThingMark to your CAD model. You will find this in the menu Tools – Augmented Reality. Click Add ThingMark. You can either place the mark on the ground or at one of the surfaces in the CAD model. Be aware that this will define where the CAD model will be position when you look at the ThingMark using a mobile unit (e.g. smartphone). If you take a close look at the ThingMark you can see that there is a dark arrow that describes the orientation of the CAD model.

The ThingMark will be added in the bottom of the model tree.

One important part regarding the use of the ThingMark is the scale. The size of the CAD model is related to the size of the ThingMark. You need to decide the size of the CAD model when you scan the ThingMark. For example: Do you want to see your product in size 1:1 or 1:10?

Step 3

When you are finished with the CAD model, it´s time for publishing. Go to Publish Model. You start with naming the CAD model (now it will be an AR experience). Choose the ThingMark in the CAD model in the model tree and then choose a suitable quality of the CAD model. Preferably you choose a lower quality which makes the CAD models size smaller which will speed up the dowload to the mobile units (e.g. smartphone),

The last step is to publish the experience and you do this by using a PTC Server, so you need access to your PTC account (same as the PTC Support) If you don´t have any account, just create one at Every user can publish five different experiences. If you re-use a name, you will overwrite the old experience. When you have reached five experiences and create the sixth experience, the oldest one will be removed.

Step 4

Now when we have publish our experience it´s time to distribute and share your experience. You can either share with “Share ThingMark” or “Print ThingMark”. Share means that you send a pre-written  email with your ThingMark. Print gives the possibility to print the ThingMark so you can scan it on a paper instead of scan it from a computer/smartphone screen.

Now when the experience is published and printed we want to view the experience. We need to download an app named ThingWorx View. You find it in AppStore, Google Play and in Microsoft Store. Just download the app, install, start and scan the ThingMark and choose experience.

This functionality was introduced in Creo Parametric 4.0 M010 and are available for all users with this version. In the future AR will be developed directy for Creo, e.g. in M40 spatial tracking will be added which makes it possible to show the model on a flat surface without the ThingMark. In M050 it will be possible to create a profile of the CAD model which will be matched which to the physical product and which positions the AR model.

If you would like to try Augmented Reality outside Creo, please sign up for a trial for ThingWorx Studio (the AR product from PTC for advanced AR experiences. More info at ThingWorx Studio

As you already now, Creo 5.0 will be released in March 2018 and I will be back with a new blog post around news and enhancements in this version of Creo Parametric.

Best regards
Lars Björs