Like some other MCAD packages with similar capabilities, Pro/Engineer 2001 now has what PTC calls Direct Modeling, or the ability to create, grab, and drag features into place, or change them. This capability alone should make Pro/E easier to learn and use, especially for casual users. Building on PTC's shape-indexing capability, Pro/E 2001 has an integrated shape comparison technology that provides graphical feedback on geometric differences between two similar parts. Sketched 2D entities can be associated with model geometry in drawing views, updating when designs are modified, thus extending associativity to 2D drafting in drawings
A significant addition to the program is interactive surface design, brought forth with the Interactive Surface Design Extension (ISDX). With ISDX, PTC can now offer parametric solid and freeform surface modeling in one integrated package. Geometry constructed with either ISDX or Pro/E interacts well and is fully associative with the other package. ISDX is accessed by creating a feature called Style. This feature provides a parallel modeling environment that is somewhat different from the sequential approach found in Pro/Engineer. The geometry created in ISDX is solved locally, much like Sketcher in Pro/E. The entire surface model is solved based upon introduced changes in the Style feature when the feature is completed. ISDX appears easy to use, primarily because you're not forced to set up dimensions to drive the geometry.
Last, Pro/Engineer 2001 is built on PTC's new Granite One platform, a system that allows CAD/CAM/CAE applications built on it to have direct association with both new and pre-existing Pro/Engineer files.
Pro/Engineer runs on Unix, HP-UX, IBM AIX, Sun Solaris, SGI Irix, and Windows 98/NT/2000/ME operating systems. Pricing starts at $4995. (PTC; www.ptc.com)-Jeffrey Rowe