Wildfire 3.0 – the road test… (feels more like 2.1)
inally got a couple of hours to try Wildfire 3.0… (read pre-release thoughts)
From the PTC blurb mentioning “hundreds of reasons” – and listing their “top 10”, you’d think this was another revolutionary release of Pro/ENGINEER (maybe not as big as 2001-WF1, but at least WF1-2?). From a first look at core modelling, drafting + assembly, it feels more like a minor update. It’s a bit better: quicker, nicer and easier in places, but there are also several key areas untouched by the Wildfire make-over.
Here we’ll look at the 3 top areas mentioned in the literature: Sketching, Drafting + Assembly (click images for larger screenshots):
Sketching is a bit quicker
The new palette gives you access to common shapes, that you can drag, drop + resize as required. I gather you can also create your own palette shapes – could be handy… Plus – getting to sketch requires one less step than WF2 – skipping the dialog box (available via Sketch Setup). That’ll save hundreds of clicks in a typical week. And you can lock dimensions for the life of the model (unlike WF2 sketch dim locks, which evaporated on exit).
Drafting is a bit nicer
The long-awaited Part Simplified Reps are here! (see this post from PTC/USER 2004 where I talked to PTC’s PLM – and they predicted WF4)
Plus the oft-mentioned Shaded views – more for marketing than design me-thinks…
Rad dims more editable, with plenty options for the text…
- Ctrl+Alt+Mouse still works – so you can still spin/pan before constraining.
- Define multiple constraint sets, and turn on/off.
- The power of Right-click comes too! [see screenshot] – mate/align, delete/disable, change offset, etc – duplicating the dashboard.
- Interfaces and Mechanism Connections are now built-in alongside the assembly constraints.
Oh, and PDFs are a bit easier The new “Save to PDF” button produces tidy output (certainly looks better than our current Ghostscript output). – plus there are plenty options to set – and you can create searchable text.
Anyway – that’ll do for now. Post comments if you have feedback, or you get a look @ Sheetmetal, CAM, etc…
Some updates that sadly didn’t make it this time
- Edit > Setup still uses righthand menus.
- The Failure Diagnostics process looks identical to WF2 – shame.
- Creating cross-sections follows the same righthand menus.
And finally: it seems to work with Pro/INTRALINK 3.3, but remember to add the graphics tag (-g:opengl) – to the Launch command.
The age-old incompatibility issue is carried forward – a WF3 file could not be opened by WF2 (even after I tried to trick it by changing the header in a text editor!). This is another reason upgrades will take time, particularly in larger companies who need to co-ordinate across many users.
OK, so there may be a couple of reasons to upgrade, but remember to consider your Data Management too. WF3 is officially supported only on Pro/INTRALINK 3.4 M030+ and Pro/I 8.0+ (more @ the build code list)
Extra notes: Olaf Corten has updated his config.pro search tool to include WF3 PTC provides a useful WF3 Resource Center, including Menu Mapper