Our team recently received a $1000 grant from PTC. As part of the grant agreement we have agreed to integrate 1 of 3 PTC software products (Creo, Mathcad, or Winchill) into our 2012 robot build process. I have spent some time this weekend looking at these products. We were rookies last year and we are still learning the FRC ropes. My question is this: As a 2nd year team with limited mentoring resources which one of PTC products would you recommend we choose to start things out?
I’d say Creo because there’s a bunch of training that PTC offers and you could also get a lot of feedback on the discussion boards on Planet PTC.
However, I think you should use whatever your team feels like it needs and can utilize the best.
Mathcad is the easiest, provided you’ve got a little bit of engineering theory to back you up. Although for the most part, you could just use a spreadsheet instead, calculations like gear ratios, dynamics and stresses are perhaps more clearly expressed in Mathcad, and don’t require much learning beyond the physical principles you need to know anyway.
Creo (Pro/E) works fine, but choosing it requires considerable dedication to learning how to use it properly. (Otherwise it will frustrate you.) Also, do you use any other CAD software already?
Windchill is also useful, but I’ve never found the PTC-supplied service (running on their servers) to be particularly fast, and there have always been glaring UI problems in the web-based client. The integration with Pro/E is very convenient. In order to set it up and establish a hierarchy of parts and files, you’ll want to have someone moderately experienced with CAD drafting and configuration management, or even computer source code version control (e.g. an engineering student who’s interned somewhere).