I would like to create a skeleton model as a base for an assembly. The
problem is that the Skeleton option in the create component box is greyed
Does anyone know why this is? (I,m using Wildfire)
I believe you have to, as Zeta mentioned, have one of the assembly
extensions to use a true .skel part. You can emulate the same functionality
(associative external references) using copy geometry functions that are
available in the foundation package. I've read a couple of good articles on
why going this route is preferable to using .skel parts, but cannot remember
where they were. Maybe someone else can elaborate a bit more. I'm
relatively new to Pro/E and probably going about things the hard way so I'll
be watching for some tips, as well, rather than try to elaborate on the
I just used a skeleton model for the first time. What they are really good
for is that they do not appear in BOMs and do not effect the assembly in an
unhealthy way. Basically, you use the skeleton as a reference for all the
parts you are designing so that they are all coordinated in size, position,
clearances etc. I have tried the copy geometry function a few times
(pre-Wildfire ... so I don't know if it is improved) and it stinks. You
will have to do a little research but I think that there is no associativity
when you do this.
Alternatively, you can use datum planes and curves which you create as the
first features in your assembly (or as a separate reference part). This
method works well but can get confusing since these features are usually one
dimensional in nature. If you work at it I am sure you can simulate 3
dimensional curves somehow (I have done this by creating segments that are
flat and linking them together).
Another alternative is to build all of your parts in an assembly and they
will all have dependencies on one another. This works but creates weird
problems. For example:
Your assembly consists of 3 parts assembled in the following order 1, 2, 3.
Within these parts there is a relationship between feature 3 of part 3 to
feature 27 of part 1. When you change feature 2 of part 3 (which is a
parent of feature 27 in part 1) feature 3 of part 3 fails for no apparent
reason. Much cursing follows (the FCC will not allow me to use the words
that I would actually use in this instance so I will use a tried and true
simulation stolen from "Peanuts" comic strips) AAAAGH##$$&@@@!!!
How can this be when the part is further down the assembly tree? Simple the
parent child relationship does not work like the simple linear tree we all
know and love in individual parts. And the real treat is that if you want
to alter just one part you have to have all the parts available to debug any
problems you might run into. With a skeleton model you only change the
skeleton and everything else follows (actually, this is rare because you
usually forget something and ... you'll see the same problem from the
Here is something you might try (I haven't experimented with this myself bit
it should work):
1. Create a single "master" part with all the important building blocks as
solids (for example: to make an interface between two parts create a thin
feature equal to the clearance required with holes in it for the fasteners
2. When this part is complete and you are satisfied with it save it as an
3. Make this wireframe (not the part) the first part of your assembly and
reference everything off of it while building the parts in assembly mode.
The disadvantage is that it isn't really parametric but oh what fun you will
If you can afford it I highly recommend getting the extensions that will
allow you to use the skeleton method. I believe that it can be bundled with
other useful things like surfacing (wonderful if it isn't abused),
pro-notebook (used with skeletons this is an even better method) and
sheetmetal for a "reasonable" price.
I certainly can't argue against the use of strict skeleton (*.skel) parts if
one has the (whatever it is) module that enables the functionality, nor
purchasing the module, though Wildfire Foundation Advantage already has
sheet metal and surfacing, so the bundling idea doesn't offer much.
You can, however, achieve much of the intent of skeleton parts; e.g. drive
an assembly, part geometry and assembly relationships by way of "master"
parts in a manner that is associative and robust. Do Not Use an iges
wireframe import. Create a master part with datum features, sketches,
what-have-you, defining key features of the assembly and parts. Create an
assembly. Place the master in it, or not, depending on preference (it's
presence has never bothered me). Create a new part in the assy; Creation
Method = Empty. Activate the part. Insert > Shared data > Merge from Other
Model > ..... At the end of the process you have an associative link to
the geometry in the master part. There is a document on PTC's site;
"Suggested Technique for Copying Geometric and Datum References" that
describes the process. Personally, I've never been a big fan of strictly
skeleton driven assemblies, so I usually just place the master part in the
assembly and reference it for various purposes as seems appropriate.
I don't know how what's available in Foundation compares to the use of
*.skel parts, feature for feature, but it does fulfill my needs pretty well.
If I am missing some cool functionality, I'm eager to hear about it.
Perhaps my use of "copy geometry" was misleading. The intended meaning was
in a general sense and sticking to "externally referenced geometry" would
have been better.
"Kev> I just used a skeleton model ................
I must bow to a more experienced user in this arena.
However, there is one detail that must be mentioned and that is if you are
using any type of PDM software the master part method usually causes it to
freak. If you are not using a PDM system but your customer is (and you want
to exchange data) do a test first to make sure everything works before
spending too much time on this method. (I know of this unfortunate problem
due to personal experience with a subcontractor that used a master model ...
Intralink, my PDM software, doesn't handle the situation properly and if I
want to maintain this particular part ... well I haven't figured out how yet
and it's been three years and quite a few PTC phone calls since.)
Copy Geom functionality is not available in the Foundation package with
the 'Pro Assembly Performance' option. It is only available with the
Advanced Assembly option.
If you have copy geom functionality with the foundation package only, I
would like to hear about it. We had this functionality thru v2001 until
Wildfire. Then we lost it. From other comments on the NG people are
being told that having this functionality without Advanced Assembly is a
We also lost Skeleton models, and Interchange Groups.
Jeff Howard wrote:
Apparently, my use of the words "using copy geometry functions" was a bad
choice and can only offer ignorance of the tools and workflow used in
previous versions (and I may not be using efficient workflow in Wildfire,
either) as an excuse.
I guess, given the above, I don't know if I have "copy goem functionality",
but Wildfire does have the ability to create associative copies of
externally referenced geometry without the advanced assembly extension.
(Not meant as a defense of what PTC does or does not include in the current
"foundation" package. It simply originated as a possible way for Andrea to
get around not having AAX and the ability to create true skeleton models.)
Chris, I have Foundation Advantage which as far as I know is PTC's
bare-bones starting package these days. I purchased it in the last days of
R2001 as Foundation II. 'Pro Assembly Performance' option is part of it, and
so, of course, is the Copy Geometry functionality. I might be wrong, but to
my best knowledge this is the 'lowest end' Pro/E package one can buy these
days. Based on that, you might be able to get your license upgraded to
Foundation Advantage if not free, than for a nominal charge.
What I do not understand is how you lost this option with Wildfire: if you
had it, you must have had a package that at least corresponded to current
Foundation Advantage, if not exceeded it. You might want to review your old
package (the list of modules in your old license files) and compare it to
Foundation Advantage. It might very well be that PTC has 'downgraded' your
license either because some rep was out to make a commission on 'new' sales
or through sheer incompetence. You might have a case you can argue with
Thank you for replying.
I also have the 'Pro ASSEMBLY_PERFORMANCE' option listed under 'Help |
Technical Support Info', but do not have the following:
Publish Geometry, Copy Geometry, Shrinkwrap, or Inheritance in part
mode, and Simplified Reps and Interchange Groups in Assembly Mode.
We had all of these options in Pro v2001 build 2002310, but lost them in
WF build 2003370
We are told by our local PTC rep that these options need AAX.
If they do not, or you have these options without AAX, I would like this
ammo to use on our friendly PTC rep.
Also, I have looked without success, but is there a spot on the PTC web
site that explicitly states which options are included in each of the
packages, and what features/capabilities are included in each option?
Alex Sh. wrote:
is there a spot on the PTC web
: site that explicitly states which options are included in each of the
: packages, and what features/capabilities are included in each option?
firstname.lastname@example.org began a thread on 3/18 on the topic of what's included in
different license packages. I replied with a link to the PTC website where they
give their spiel on Foundation Advantage and what's included. The interesting
thing to me, though, is that they talk in general terms about functionality, but
never mention modules. They never say, as does your license, that this package
includes..... followed by a list of modules. They keep it deliberately a big
mystery so they, or their sales reps, can play with it, goose it, stroke it, milk
it for all it's worth, and occasionally, reward the worthy with some bonus,
addons. Keeps you hooked up to the VARs and sales reps. Hmmm.... what is that I
smell? Oh, yeah, just more stinking scams. OOppps, I guess I've screwed my
of getting that Strategic Account Rep in Santa Clara, California.
Don't know if this helps any ....
Shrinkwrap in part mode: Save Copy As and scroll a couple pages down the
Type menu to Shrinkwrap.
Shrinkwraps can be created in assembly mode as part of an envelope (Tools >
Model Sectioning). The envelope can be used in a simp rep (View Manager).
Sorry if I'm stating the obvious. I'm not quite sure if the issue is a lack
of functionality, diminished functionality or having to use different
methods / menu picks, etc.
Chris, here is what my Foundation Advantage license file lists:
#PROE_3085046 1 Pro/ENGINEER Foundation Advantage (Found
Wildfire Lic 01-jan-0 2A225707
#START: License File for HOST ID ??-??-??-??-??-??
#################### LOCKED License #####################
# Serviceable = Mechanism Design
# Serviceable = Pro/ENGINEER Foundation Advantage (Foundation II Wildfire
# Feature Name = PROE_3085046
# Feature Version = 24.0
# Number of Copies = 0 (0 indicates locked licenses or modules)
# Expiration Date = 01-jan-0 (this license does not expire)
# Optional Modules = Pro/INTERFACE for CATIA
# Optional Modules = Pro/FEATURE
# Optional Modules = Pro/DETAIL
# Optional Modules = Pro/INTERFACE
# Optional Modules = WLO
# Optional Modules = Pro/SURFACE
# Optional Modules = Pro/PLOT
# Optional Modules = Pro/LIBRARYACCESS
# Optional Modules = Pro/ECAD
# Optional Modules = Pro/REPORT
# Optional Modules = Pro/CDT
# Optional Modules = Pro/DATA for PDGS
# Optional Modules = Pro/LEGACY
# Optional Modules = Pro/INTERFACE for STEP
# Optional Modules = Pro/WELDING
# Optional Modules = Pro/PHOTORENDER
# Optional Modules = Pro/WEB PUBLISH (> OR = 18.0)
# Optional Modules = Pro/SHEETMETAL-DESIGN
# Optional Modules = Pro/INTERFACE for CADDS 5
# Optional Modules = Mechanism Design License
# Optional Modules = 4DNavigator License
# Optional Modules = Import Data Doctor
# Optional Modules = Design Animation
# Optional Modules = ModelCHECK License
# Optional Modules = Pro/ASSY_PERFORMANCE
Now, I've never used Copy Geom or Shrinkwraps in R2001 or earlier, so I
don't exactly know what their full functionality is supposed to be. But I
have used Shrinkwrap a couple of times in Wildfire with this license (In
Assembly mode, 'File', 'Save A Copy', then select the Shrinkwrap from the
pulldown list of available file types). I have also used Copy Geom, which is
now under 'Insert', 'Shared Data', 'Copy Geometry from Other Model...'. So
most certainly one does not need an AAX for at least these two features.
I have checked on the PTC website and the Foundation Advantage is THE most
basic (read: bare-bones) Pro/E license available these days. It was also a
standard license PTC gave to former owners of Foundation II in the days of
What does your license file say, Chris? If the modules I've listed are in
it, Shrinkwrap and Copy Geom should be available to you. Are the menu picks
I've listed simply not there or greyed out?
This is the contents of my support.inf report: (***=sensitive data)
TIME: 15-Apr-04 08:17:40
Service Contract Number: ******
Pro/ENGINEER Date Code: 2003370
License Name: PROE_*******
License Version: 24.0
License Type: Commercial version, Floating License
Server Name: *******
License file search path: ****@*******
Configured Option Modules
The following Pro/ENGINEER options are installed:
(Note: license extensions are marked with a '*')
Interactive_Surface_Design Pro/ECAD Pro/PLOT
Host Name: *******
User Name: *******
Host ID: **-**-**-**-**-**
Pro/ENGINEER Machine Type: I486_NT
Pro/ENGINEER Graphics Type: OPENGL
OS Name: Windows NT
OS Release: 5.0
OS Version: 2195
Hardware Type: x86 Family 15 Model 2 Stepping 7 GenuineIntel 1993 MHz
Installation Directories and Command Information
Pro/ENGINEER Installation Directory: C:\ptc\proeWildfire\
Pro/ENGINEER Startup Directory: u:\pro24\
Pro/APPLICATION MANAGER Directory: Not Available
Pro/INTRALINK Directory: Not Available
Pro/ENGINEER Start-up Command: C:\ptc\proeWildfire\bin\proe.exe
Configuration files read:
Pro/HELP Search Path: C:\ptc\proeWildfire~w:
Auxiliary application Information
No auxiliary applications loaded.
CONTACTING TECHNICAL SUPPORT
For information on contacting PTC Technical Support, please refer to the
Customer Service Guide or the on-line edition at:
(Click "Contacting Technical Support")
The shrinkwrap functionality I found under save a copy...
but the others:
Copy geometry from other model...
Shrinkwrap from other model...
Inheritance from other model...
are greyed out.
And again, I had all of these features in pro v2001, but lost them in
WF, and are told I need AAX to get them back.
BTW, we are very long users of pro-e going back to v9?, I think. And
yes we got (choose your best expletive) in the change from individual
feature sets to new 'packages'.
My main need is copy geom. I do lots of die and mold work, and copy
geom avoided all of the nastiness with matching accuracies that exists
with merge/cutout. Making sure all of the references update properly is
still a nightmare without some type of PDM though...
Thanks for your response
Alex Sh. wrote:
I took the liberty and pasted our license files side-by-side.
Here is what I came up with.
The lines of plain text are the lines taken from your license; the lines
beginning with > # are the lines from mine.
As you can see, you have more modules than I. My license does not include
Interactive Surface Design, Pro/Scan Tools, and Pro/Composite modules. One
module that I have and you don't is WLO. I have no idea what it is;
hopefully, somebody on this ng will be able to explain this abbreviation.
As I have said in my earlier post, my license is a Foundation Advantage, the
most basic license of Pro/E currently available. It most certainly does NOT
include AAX, but Copy Geometry and other picks that are greyed out in your
Wildfire under 'Insert', 'Shared Data', are all working in mine. And since
my license is not a result of an upgrade from a group of modules separately
purchased previously, but a STANDARD node-locked Pro/E Foundation Advantage
license, you can be sure that EVERY user who has Foundation Advantage has a
license that looks like mine and gives the same functionality. So whoever is
telling you that you need AAX for the stuff you are missing is either lying
or doesn't know what they are talking about.
Hope this helps in your negotiations with your rep.
Alex, can you elaborate a bit?
I'm using WF date code 2003210, commercial, floating. It appears that I
have the same modules that your license lists with the exception of the
I don't think I've ever seen the following (but not limited to) Insert >
Shared Data > menu items active:
Perhaps, to avoid confusion, just the "Copy Geometry..." should be
considered, as I don't even know what Publish or Inheritance are. I can
copy various geometry using different methods, but have never seen the menu
pick active. Is it possible that I'm just not getting in the right mode
with the right entities selected? Or are you referring to other menu picks?