You may have seen the news about Dassault’s poor earnings yesterday. Well, as suspected, PTC (Proe/E, MathCAD) is reporting higher earnings. But, that’s not the interesting part. PTC also announced they are acquiring Germany-based CoCreate, another 3D CAD System, for…get this… 250 million. That’s about $2500 per seat CoCreate reports having. not too shabby.

Why would they buy CoCreate?
CoCreate is a history-free modeler. Pro/E, like SolidWorks, is history-based. History-based modelers makes a list of each feature you create with latter features dependent on previous features. History-free modeling is thought to free up the modeling process by taking away those dependencies that otherwise constrain your design. CoCreate has a fair number of seats. This along with the history-free modeling approach gives Pro/E a wider audience. Mechanical CAD definitely seems to be moving toward this history-free approach and I imagine that is why they are taking that direction. A similar history-free product making some waves is SpaceClaim.

What’s Dassault going to do?
I think this is bit of a bigger threat to Dassault than AutoDesk’s threats of combining Inventor and Alias or bringing better surfacing capabilities into SolidWorks. This changes the way modeling is done and the approach that 3D Mechanical CAD has been thought of. Even though AutoDesk is doing one thing and PTC is doing another doesn’t mean Dassault has to follow suit. Whatever Dassualt does, whether it is buying a company like SpaceClaim or souping up SolidWorks surfacing, it seems to me like it would be a history-free, PLM, 3DVia, Microsoft concoction. If Microsoft wasn’t in the mix it would probably be a SketchUp PLM of sorts.

So, whatcha think? Now that PTC has a history-free modeler, what’s Dassault and AutoDesk going to do?


Josh is founder and editor at, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.