Follow Up: PTC Offers Free Software for I-DEAS Users

Offer too good to be true, say readers. Free software not compatible with 'real' Pro/E.

by Roopinder Tara,

WALTHAM, Massachusetts, August 16, 2001 - If you thought PTC would give away its $5,995 flagship product away for nothing, think again.

On August 7, PTC announced  SDRC I-DEAS users free Pro/ENGINEER software. Shown was a picture of the Pro/ENGINEER 2001 boxed product while the text referred to a "Special Edition for SDRC Users."

After the story ran on our site, we started receiving word from our readers that the software being given away was not the same as the full commercial product. One SDRC reseller said he could very easily "crack" the code to receive the software. He went on to say the Special Edition was actually based upon the more limited educational version of Pro/ENGINEER (obtainable for $300). The most important difference was that files created with the Special Edition could not be used by the commercial version. Also, it was not upgradeable.

We called PTC to check.

Yes, the Special Edition for SDRC Users was based on the Educational Version, said Tom Shoemaker, Director of Marketing for PTC and was different from Pro/ENGINEER 2001 in the following ways:

  • Files generated with the Special Edition are NOT compatible with the commercial version. Files created within the Special Edition cannot be opened with commercially licensed Pro/ENGINEER. Files created with the commercial Pro/ENGINEER cannot be opened with the Special Edition.

  • Special Edition is NOT upgradeable.

  • Additional modules are included. Along with Pro/ENGINEER Foundation are 6 additional modules: behavioral modeling, mechanisms, advanced surfacing, animation, advanced assembly and interactive surfaces.

  • Not included are: Pro/Interface for CADDS, Pro/Interface for CATIA, Pro/PDGS, or Pro/CDT.

  • No hard copy manuals are included but the Special Edition does contain a 6 hour computer-based basic training CD.

  • Special Edition does not have access to floating options. No additional modules may be added on to the Special Edition.  The commercial version can expand capabilities by adding modules for analysis, collaboration, etc.

  • Prints generated with the Special Edition will include a note that it was created using the educational version. A plot banner will appear along the four page borders.

  • Special edition will read or write trail files (a record of commands and output in a design session).

  • Special Edition will only run when a user has the application CD-ROM in the local drive. The CD must remain in the local drive during the users entire session.

  • No box (such as the one shown on PTC's site).


The Special Edition is compatible with the Pro/ENGINEER Education Edition found in college and university labs -- provided that the Special Edition and Education Edition are both the same Pro/ENGINEER release.

For the most part, the Special Edition for SDRC users offers the full functionality and behaves like the full product, said Mr. Shoemaker. Its intention is not to serve as a design tool in industry but rather as a learning and evaluation tool.

The value of the whole package would cost $24,485, according to PTC. However, students, faculty and staff can buy essentially the same bundle of software for $299.98 at, a popular education merchandiser.

Teljes cikk

@ 2001 KFKI ISYS Informatikai Kft.