**FIRST EMAIL**/2009 PTC Announcement

Greetings Teams: FIRST is pleased to announce that PTC, The Product Development Company, is expanding its sponsorship in this year’s *FIRST *Robotics Competition (FRC).
PTC’s Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions, including Pro/ENGINEER, Windchill, and Mathcad, are the tools engineers use everyday to do their jobs. As a Crown Level Supplier to FIRST and the FRC program, PTC is offering these solutions to help students design their robots and, through which, FIRST students can learn the language of engineering. The following software products are available to each and every registered 2009 FRC team!!!

Pro/ENGINEER - FIRST teams will have access to Pro/ENGINEER, PTC’s integrated 3D CAD/CAM/CAE software. Pro/ENGINEER is the standard in 3D product design, featuring industry-leading productivity tools that promote best practices in design while ensuring compliance with industry and company standards. Pro/ENGINEER enables students to detail the form, fit, and function of their robot.

With Pro/ENGINEER, high-fidelity digital models have full associativity, so that as your robot design changes during the build season, those changes will be reflected in your drawings and assembly automatically. Used by 15,000 high schools and 1,451 colleges and universities, Pro/ENGINEER offers an intuitive user interface making it easy to learn and use. For many years, FRC teams have used Pro/ENGINEER as part of their high school curriculum.

Windchill – Through its understanding of structured information such as CAD files, engineering calculations, and technical documentation, Windchill helps teams to work concurrently together or virtually from home. You can find the right files, and share product development data during the build season.

Windchill supports CAD authoring tools such as Pro/ENGINEER, Autodesk Inventor, AutoCAD, and Solidworks. Windchill also includes robust visualization capabilities, and provides a secure environment for project management and execution.

Windchill facilitates collaboration with web-based workspaces, alerts, discussion forums, and Microsoft Office integration. Hosted by PTC, web-based Windchill is easily accessible through a Web-browser.

Finally, Windchill can manage your entire project including fundraising, marketing, and finance information. Last year, over 300 teams signed up to use Windchill.

Start your FRC project now and get familiar with the capabilities that will allow you to plan, manage, share, and get the most out of FRC team information during the fast-paced build season.

**Mathcad **- Mathcad, PTC’s engineering calculation software, is used to perform, document, and share calculation and design work. The unique Mathcad visual format and easy-to-use whiteboard interface integrates standard mathematical notation, text, and graphs into a single worksheet making Mathcad ideal for knowledge capture, calculation reuse, and engineering collaboration. Mathcad lets teams work with interactive designs to capture the critical methods and values behind each of their robot designs.

Mathcad simplifies and streamlines documentation by combining equations, text, and graphics in a single worksheet. Mathcad makes it easy to keep track of the most complex calculations. Last year, teams used Mathcad to help them with key calculations during the build season to predict the behavior of their robot.

Lastly, PTC has created a dedicated web-page containing various information to aid teams in getting started using the PTC solutions for their robot design. You will find recorded product demos to learn more about the use of our products and how they can help enhance your design and collaboration for your team in this year’s FRC Competition! This page can be accessed from the project OR from www.ptc.com/go/firstgettingstarted.

How to register for the software:

Registration is easy. Your team’s main contact will register at www.ptc.com/go/frcregistration](http://www.ptc.com/go/frcregistration) Once registered, he/she will have the ability to create their team project or projects. In addition, the main contact will become the project manager and manage member access to the team project.

From the project, team members will download the Pro/ENGINEER Schools Edition, for Integrated CAD/CAM/CAE and Mathcad Student Edition for engineering calculations.

For Questions and Technical Support please email: [email protected]

Go Teams!

Does someone know how WindChill works with Labview??? Compatible?? Add-on for Labview??

As far as I know, WindChill is completely different from LabVIEW. WindChill is used along with Pro/ENGINEER to manage all CAD files.

LabVIEW is used for programming.

It says it supports all these other programs including Microsoft Office. Was hoping someone would have experience with it and would know if Labview was just left out of the list??

I’ve had a little experience with Pro/ENGINEER and I am familiar with WindChill. I have also been experimenting with LabVIEW.

Pro/ENGINEER and WindChill are products from PTC that are primarily used for mechanical engineering and design.

LabVIEW is a completely different animal. I would highly doubt that they would work together, but I don’t know that for a fact.

What is the learning curve for PTC Wildfire.

Pro-e wildfire is much harder to learn then inventor or solidworks, unless you have someone on your team proficient in the software already. There are many benefits to know the software for engineering applications but it is harder to learn then the other offered alternatives. That being said Team DeWALT will most likely use Pro-e, as Black & Decker uses pro for design.

That being said I do believe that it is better for large scale manufacturing as it’s tools for FEA, Mechanica and integrated CAM programs are better then inventor and solidworks.

I can’t comment on all of this, but I’m currently enrolled in a class that teaches solidworks, and one that teaches Pro/E. The learning curve on Pro/E is much, much steeper (I’m much more proficient in solidworks now, and the struggling students in solidworks seem to be doing better than the struggling students in Pro/E) and the interface much less intuitive.

I’d have to back up Greg’s recommendation that teams use Solidworks unless they have a real good reason to switch.

However, both professors admit that for large scale projects in industry, Pro/E is probably a better choice.

Thanks guys, I was just wondering because I am currently teaching a class at our school. We have all the software (AutoCAD, Solidworks, Inventor, and Pro/E) and I have never used Pro/E. I was just wondering if I could make use of Pro/E, oh well, thatz what a summers for =).



How many seats do we get?

As far as I know, there’s really no limit…a teacher that attends a workshop gets something along the lines of 300 seats for their school (At school and for student home use). [http://www.ptc.com/company/community/education/]

Do we have to re-register for the 2009 season? My brother and I are having difficulties trying to log in: we type in the login info and it doesn’t deny it, but it won’t load the client. I know my account might be a problem since I didn’t register under the same email that was invited, but dunno about his.

I did the Pro-E workshop for teachers this summer… I’d have to agree that Inventor seems to be a bit easier to use, but maybe that is because I have a couple years experience using it for FRC… and a couple decades using AutoCAD products for general CAD work. I was certainly able to figure out Pro/E and build some models… but it is taking a bit of work getting used to the interface. (Mind you, it took me a while to get used to Inventor, too…)

Currently I’m having some issues importing VEX models into Pro/E Wildfire 3.0, but am hoping that 4.0, the current release, will solve those problems and that new KOP components will be released in a native Pro/E format.

Pro/E was of particular interest to our school because of the generous licensing provisions. As much as I appreciate Autodesk’s contibution of 10 seats of Inventor for team use, it is nice to be able to use the Pro/E software in essentially unlimited numbers of installations for classroom instruction.


Trying to install WF 4.0 Schools, but the bar on setup.exe initialization freezes (There is a ding sound as if an error had occured) at about 80%. Does anyone else have this problem/have and idea why this may be happening?
Does ProE not support AMD/Athlon64 processors?

If we can use licenses school-wide, that’s a big attraction and advantage over the 10 Inventor licenses. The email blast says we can download the school edition. I’m registered and logged into the project, but can’t find where to do a download. The installation guide says start with a CD…

Anybody figure where to download? Or other getting started tips?


Where did you get the setup file? I am trying to find where to download it from.

Schools version install guide says this:

Operating System Service Pack Processor
Windows XP Professional and
Home Edition, 32-bit
Base OS, Service Pack 1 and 2 INTEL Pentium/Xeon family
Windows Vista, 32-bit Base OS INTEL Pentium/Xeon family

But also says look here (http://www.ptc.com/WCMS/files/52592/en/proewf4.pdf) for details. In that document it looks like AMD Opteron is OK, but maybe Athlon is different? Here’s info from that doc under platform requirements.

Platform Support Partner Platform Operating System levels CPU
HP-UX (64-bit only)
11iV1 a
PA8000 or later
 Dell
 Fujitsu-Siemens
 Hewlett-Packard
 Lenovo
 Sun
 Fujitsu
Windows Vista Business x64 Edition Windows Vista Ultimate x64 Edition Windows Vista Enterprise x64 Edition
Base OS, Service Pack 1
Intel Pentium/Xeon/Core Duo/Core 2 Duo family
Windows Vista Business Edition Windows Vista Ultimate Edition Windows Vista Enterprise Edition
Base OS, Service Pack 1
Intel Pentium/Xeon/Core Duo/Core 2 Duo family
Windows XP Professional x64 Edition
Base OS, Service Pack 2
Intel Pentium/Xeon/Core Duo/Core 2 Duo family AMD Opteron family
Windows XP Professional Edition; Windows XP Home Edition
Base OS, Service Pack 1,2 and 3
Intel Pentium/Xeon/Core Duo/Core 2 Duo family AMD Opteron family
Solaris (64-bit only)
8 and 10
UltraSPARC II or later
Solaris (64-bit only)
Intel and AMD Opteron family

If you log into windchill it should be under home>utilities>software downloads
(Home is a top level tab next to Project. Utilities is on the bar that will be below home and project, and software downloads is a link in the main window under utilities)

I got it to install, leaving the setup loading overnight, but the program won’t load * :(. Got it working on another computer that really shouldn’t be running it, but I’m having difficulties trying to use it without making a billion dimensions, and the rotation is more difficult that I’d like (not sure how to get it to face up like inventor…)…It’s probably in a tut that I’m to lazy to go through atm.*

Will Inventor still be available in 2009 through FIRSTbase or are teams going to have to switch to ProEngineer?

Inventor will still be available as indicated here. Autodesk has been sponsoring FIRST for 17 years and they’re not stopping now.

Hi FRC teams,

For FRC teams, PTC offers an extensive amount of web based training to help your teams learn Pro/ENGINEER, Mathcad and Windchill ProjectLink. Specific Pro/ENGINEER courses on modeling, assemblies, detailing, mechanisms, sheet metal are available from the training site. All courses include lectures videos and step by step instructions to help new and existing users become proficient on Pro/ENGINEER and Mathcad.

You can access the training from http://first.ptculms.com. Users will need to register for the site from the login page. Once registered, you can click the online courses link from the left hand menu to choose the desired course.

FRC teams can download Pro/ENGINEER and Mathcad from your team project. To obtain your seats of Pro/ENGINEER and Mathcad, please register for a team project – www.ptc.com/go/frcregistration.

To assist you in using the team project for managing your designs and to access Pro/ENGINEER, please review the Getting Started Guide.

If you are interested in utilizing Pro/ENGINEER for your team, you can install it on all your teams’ computers.

PTC also offers workshop for secondary schools to learn Pro/ENGINEER, STEM focused curriculum and assessments/certifications. These workshops are offered around the US. Here is the current workshop schedule - http://www.ptc.com/for/education/schools/program.htm. A teacher that completes the workshop will obtain a site license (perpetual license) of Pro/ENGINEER Schools Edition. As updates and new releases become available, they are freely available to certified schools.

PTC will be releasing the FRC Kit of Parts in Pro/E native format (fully featured) for the upcoming season. Until the official launch of the competition, PTC will be providing all the models available in the FIRST CAD LIBRARY in Pro/E format. This will be available from www.3dmodelspace.com/ptc shortly.

If you have any questions on need assistance on installing and utilizing Pro/ENGINEER for your team, please send an email to [email protected].

Good luck in the coming 2009 season.

Mark Fischer
PTC - Director

FYI, I like Pro/Engineer a lot. I used it in industry many years ago, and it was great at that time. I’m really looking forward to seeing how far it has evolved in the years since!

** But OOC, do the keys for the seats of Pro/ENGINEER and/or Mathcad EXPIRE?** (… and if so, when?)
IF** they expire, then some feedback: UNLESS FORCED BY THE RULES, around here **most **of my teams are required by their school systems to only adopt and use tools whose keys never expire, regardless of functional level or version. (Several of my teams are still designing with older versions of Inventor, for that very reason.)

Limited time keys in corporate usage aren’t normally a problem as they are profit centers and the key renewal can be booked as a part of the cost of doing business. Schools are a different animal. There’s no profit generated to maintain the tools past their expiration, so the schools often have rules preventing teams from adopting “temporary use software”. That is the case around here.

I’m also always hesitant to recommend teams adopt and begin designing in ANY package whose key expires (regardless of how wonderful it is), because it can affect my credibility. They already know they might lose access to everything they’ve designed after the contest is over should the sponsorship status change next year. Should that happen, they would become mad at me for “getting them into it” when they lose access to one or more year’s worth of widgets and sub-assemblies they worked so hard to design.

Therefore, I’m hoping the keys to the Student Editions of these packages are eternal. Limited functionality is fine with me, as long as we have enough utility to learn how to use it and get the job done in the allotted time. (People can go out and buy the full versions, or upgrade next year, if they want more utility.)

Please advise as to what key type and duration is being provided, so I can form my final recommendation to our schools on the subject. Thanks!

  • Keith