Points, Lines and Triangles… Oh My!

Hi folks,

This article is targeted at those users who are interested in using PTC Creo Parametric and PTC Mathcad together. Hopefully readers are aware of the bidirectional integration of the two products which has existed since ProEngineer WildFire 3.0 M030 (Sept 2006). This integration is a supported product and sends dimensions and parameters from PTC Creo to PTC Mathcad, triggering calculations, after which PTC Mathcad sends results back to PTC Creo. These returned values can be tied to dimensions, parameters or really to any features such as annotations. Using this integration, PTC Mathcad can also generate vectors and matrices which can be imported as datum in PTC Creo.

PTC Mathcad can also create PTS files and IBL files to be imported as datum and then turned into curves to be blended or simply extruded.

Point data in PTC Mathcad Prime 3D Graph Viewer

Imported as datum and ran a curve through it.

Finally applied a variable section sweep to the data

Here we use math models to create a profile in PTC Mathcad Prime, export to PTS file, import datum, run a curve through the points, and simply extrude.

Or we import two or more curves and do a boundary blend

So these examples are very useful when we have curve data. But we really don’t have a great solution for surface meshes. And there lies the rub. Mathematically we create surfaces quite often. It’s nice that curves are satisfied by these techniques, but what if we want surfaces?

Please consider this as a first pass at a solution- we have a simple worksheet to take mesh or matrix data and export the data to STL. We are aware that STL is a triangle format and may not always be an appropriate format since it is a low resolution model. Again, let me state this is a first pass. We will follow this up with higher order surfaces in formats such as STEP.

That being said STL is very useful for small projects or initial stage projects. The implementation is quite simple, built with three inline-programming routines, the first routines takes a matrix and creates triangles from the data. The second routine formats the data into the STL file format and syntax. The third routine very cleverly removes double quotes from all strings, an annoyance in PTC Mathcad strings. This routine is useful for any file format output. Wish I could say I wrote it, but my colleague Magnus Eklund wrote this.

We have a worksheet provided. With this worksheet users enter their math model, PTC Mathcad models in the 3D graph viewer, and then PTC Mathcad exports the data to an STL file, which can be read directly in. No need to run curves through data or create any features to connect data.

Mesh in PTC Creo

Hopefully you will find this first pass solution useful. We should have a second pass with higher order surfaces shortly (4-6 weeks).. Stay tuned.

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8 thoughts on “Points, Lines and Triangles… Oh My!”

Thanks, John.

1. John Sheehan says:

You’re welcome. working on NURBS now.
John

Hi John,

I know that you are working on plug-in for integration between Mathcad and SolidWorks.
Do you plan to develop in the future new plug-ins for integration between Mathcad Prime (version 3.0 and above) and variety of CAD platforms (SolidWorks, Autodesk Inventor)?
Thanks.

P.S. I wanted to write an e-mail, but the address (j.sheehan@ptc.com) does not work.

2. Anna Giangregorio says:

John has indicated that the timeframe for Solidworks 12-13 integration will most likely occur in the release of PTC Mathcad Prime 4.0.