**Guest blog post by Cat McClintock**
Earlier this year, John Sheehan talked on this blog about how PTC’s leading 3D CAD software and Engineering Calculations software work together. “Hopefully readers are aware of the bidirectional integration of the two products which has existed…since 2006,” he wrote. Dimensions and parameters can be sent from PTC Creo to PTC Mathcad where it can run complex or even simple calculations and return values to PTC Creo where they can be tied to dimensions and parameters.
Not Just for PhDs
Direct integration of these two solutions is part of a broader vision to optimize worksheets as effective communication tools—not just among “the PhDs, but between engineers, designers, and everyone else in the development cycle,” says Andrew McGough, Product Manager of PTC Mathcad.
A worksheet is already easy to read and modify—especially with the introduction of templates in PTC Mathcad Prime 3.0. So, even if you’re not ready to generate your own Fibonacci conch using the integration between the two systems, you can still tweak the algebra when you need to.
“PTC Mathcad is a powerful communication tool for the entire workflow, from concept to detailed design,” says McGough. “As more designers leverage what ‘the PhDs’ started and apply it to their designs directly, a lot less is lost in translation.”
You can expect more interaction between the PTC products in upcoming releases. McGough says that the next step is to embed worksheets into the 3D model data.
Envision, for example, an item in the model tree in PTC Creo that indicates there is an associated worksheet. A user clicks the item, and PTC Mathcad launches with the worksheet. Designate inputs and outputs, make your calculations, regenerate the model, and quickly see your results.
“It creates a much tighter correspondence between the model and the worksheet,” says Kucan. “You know the calculations in the worksheet always reflect exact values used in the model because they’re tied together right there.”
Plus, an embedded worksheet is faster to reach and always travels with the model. That means product developers spend less time digging for a file, and more time exploring design options.
McGough says embedded worksheets are planned in the next release.
**Cat McClintock is a writer for The Creative Treatment, based in North Dakota.**