Creo, also known as PTC Creo, is a multifaceted 3D CAD (Computer-Aided Design), CAM (Computer-Aided Manufacturing), and CAE (Computer-Aided Engineering) software for everything product design, development, and manufacturing. The powerful features of Creo include modeling and design, simulation and analysis, smart connected design, model-based designed, augmented reality, manufacturing, rendering and animation, and product data management. Thanks to its features and ability to get the job done, Creo is the preferred choice of many industry professionals.
Before also choosing Creo, there is another factor aside from capability and functionality that you must consider. This factor is cost. So, how much does Creo cost? As straightforward as the question may seem, it does not have a straightforward answer. This is because there are varying factors, such as license type and functionality, that determine the cost of Creo. In this article, however, we will be providing you with a comprehensive answer to this question. We will be exploring the different Creo packages, license types, how and where to purchase the software, cost, and everything Creo pricing.
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How and Where to Buy Creo
For most people looking to purchase this software, the first port of call is usually the official website. However, going through the site, you will discover that not only is there no product for sale on the site, but also very little information on the cost of the software. The reason behind this is that PTC, the makers of Creo, believes that every customer has unique preferences and requirements. Therefore there needs to be a discussion between the customer and a sales representative about the customer’s location, company, job function, and job category before a package is recommended to you.
To purchase Creo, you have to do any one of the following:
- Fill a form on the website to contact sales or have sales contact you
- Buy from an authorized partner or reseller
- Purchase from the PTC E-Store
There are five Creo packages that differ by level of functionality. Before we proceed to the different license types for Creo and their costs, it is essential that we first familiarize ourselves with these packages. This way, you know what exactly it is that you are getting for your money. In ascending order of functionality, the five Creo packages are Creo Design Essentials, Creo Design Advanced, Creo Design Advanced Plus, Creo Design Premium, and Creo Design Premium Plus.
1. Creo Design Essentials
This package is the most basic of the five. However, there is absolutely nothing basic about its features. Creo Design Essentials comes with complete industry-standard 3D capabilities, as well as augmented reality design and visualization. These capabilities include:
- Piping and cabling
- Core simulation
- Augmented reality
- Parametric 3D modeling via Creo Parametric
- Linear structural analysis via Creo Simulation Elite
- Legacy data migration
- Flexible 3D modeling and direct editing
- ISO standards-based digital human modeling (human factors analysis)
- Ability to create advanced structural frameworks (advanced frameworks extension)
- Ability to assemble hardware fasteners without generating assembly references via the Intelligent Fastener extension
- Other extensions/add-ins such as design explorations and Mathcad express
2. Creo Design Advanced
In addition to having all the features of Creo Design Essential, this package has other unique capabilities, including:
- Top-down design
- Concurrent engineering
- Prismatic and multi-surface milling
- Advanced assembly
3. Creo Design Advanced Plus
This package has all the features of Creo Design Advanced, as well as the following:
- GD&T (Geometric Design and Tolerancing)
- Tolerance analysis
- Advanced surfacing (interactive surface design)
- Mold design and machining
- Additive manufacturing
- Tool design
- Model machining
- Behavioral modeling
4. Creo Design Premium
This package comes next in terms of functionality and has all the features of the previous package. It also has:
- Production machining
- Basic CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics)
- Fatigue analysis
- Collaboration for CATIA (V4 and V5) and NX
- Sheetmetal design
- Advanced GD&T
5. Creo Design Premium Plus
This is the most complete and advanced Creo package. It has all the features of all the packages lists above, in addition to the following features:
- Advanced simulation, additive machining, and CFD (flow analysis)
- Topology optimization
- Ability to create and work with configurable structures via the Options modeler extension
- Metal printing
- Complete machining
Creo License and Subscription Options
PTC used to offer perpetual licenses for their products. These licenses required only a one-time payment and optional yearly upgrades. However, from the 1st of January 2018, PTC stopped the sale of perpetual licenses. All PTC products, including Creo, are now only available through subscription licenses. Owners of perpetual licenses may either continue to use them without upgrades or trade up to a subscription. PTC encourages owners of perpetual licenses to switch to subscription.
There are two major types of licenses for Creo. They are locked licenses and floating licenses.
1. Locked Licenses
A locked license allows Creo to run on only one device (independent work station). It restricts the use of the application to a particular device. With this type of license, you do not require a license server. Do note that the locked license is not available for some of Creo’s more expensive products, namely Creo Design Advanced Plus, Creo Design Premium, and Creo Design Premium Plus.
2. Floating Licenses
Using a floating license, you can run Creo on any device that is connected to a local network. Provided that the device is connected to the license server. However, there is a limit on the number of simultaneous users, depending on the number of seats purchased. The license server keeps count of how many licenses are checked out and assigns or denies licenses to users based on license availability.
Having gone through the different Creo packages and license options, we will now go into the actual Creo pricing. The table below shows some of the prices for both locked and floating licenses for the five Creo packages. These prices are for a one-year subscription plan. For more subscription periods and more information, contact the Creo sales team or resellers. As stated earlier, prices are not available on the PTC website. All prices were sourced from resellers and may vary slightly from one to another.
The prices of the five Creo packages (in USD) are summarised in the table below:
Price for one year locked license
Price for one year floating license
Creo Design Essentials
Creo Design Advanced
Creo Design Advanced Plus
Creo Design Premium
Creo Design Premium Plus
Creo Discounts and Freebies
Creo offers a few discounts and free package. Some of these are as follows.
1. Creo Free Trial
PTC allows new Creo users to test run the software for 30 days at no cost. During this period, the user will have access to fully functional features of Creo. After 30 days, users are expected to have made up their minds, whether Creo suits them or not.
2. Creo Educational License
PTC offers free or discounted licenses for a highly functional but limited version of Creo to students. Administered through the PTC academic program, this license is for students and teachers in primary school, secondary school, university, and college. Students do not need to go through their school to get this license. All they need is a valid student email address. Note that educational licenses expire and have to be renewed yearly.
There are several Creo educational licenses:
- Creo University Student Edition Premium (one-year term license): This package is available for $257.00 on the PTC online Store. It is meant for university students for their educational use. A current academic ID is required for purchase. This license provides access to all the features of Creo.
- Creo K12 Student license: The software downloaded using the K12 Student license lacks a number of features as it is only meant to help young students as they prepare to become engineers of the future. It, therefore, has a few basic design, analysis, and simulation tools that can facilitate participation in FIRST Robotics Competitions, for example.
- Creo Schools Premium Standalone license: The Schools Premium Standalone license software is the more fully featured of the free Creo products for students and schools. This license is designed for advanced users and requires a unique product code for each computer
- Creo Schools Premium Lab license: The Schools Premium Lab license is designed for Creo software that can be installed on a local school server. The license is intended for use by multiple users even though it requires only one unique product code for all the computers in the network. Like the Premium Standalone license, the software in this category is also fully featured.
Alternatives to Creo
In terms of capability, Creo ranks among the best CAD software available today. However, considering its cost, you may wish to consider some alternatives. The following are some strong industry rivals of Creo.
- Inventor – Inventor by Autodesk is a professional 3D modeling software for design and manufacturing. Its features include design and modeling, simulation, visualization, and collaboration.
- SolidWorks – Developed by Dassault systems, SolidWorks is a solid modeling and analysis CAD software. This software is excellent for mechanical/electrical design, simulation, visualization and rendering, and manufacturing.
- Solid Edge – Solid Edge is a 2D drafting and 3D modeling software for product development. It is developed by Siemens PLM for design, manufacturing, data management, and technical publications.
For other suitable alternatives, check out our list of top 10 CAD software.