Design & Technology in Schools Program Update - FAQ

Why are we making changes to the program?
Initially, PTC only offered Pro/DESKTOP to schools. Over the last several years, we have received a lot of requests from teachers to add more functionality to Pro/DESTKOP. Since all of these functionality requests existed within Pro/ENGINEER, we decided to launch the Pro/ENGINEER Schools Advanced Program (formally the Schools Plus Program) to offer to high schools. The feedback from teachers who are using Pro/ENGINEER in the classroom has been incredible. With all this great feedback, in addition to the fact that industry users and analysts have been publicly praising PTC for the "ease of use" of Pro/ENGINEER, we decided that it was time to offer Pro/ENGINEER to all of the schools we're working with. PTC believed this would be a great way for students to get the same experience that industry engineers and college/university students have.

The new Design & Technology in Schools Program includes 2 packages:

What will happen to Pro/DESKTOP?
We are not asking teachers to send Pro/DESKTOP back to PTC; we will still be supporting Pro/DESKTOP. In fact, a development team is in place to provide enhancements to Pro/DESKTOP V8 - these enhancements will improve the performance of Pro/DESKTOP, so that it becomes more stable. PTC does feel, however, that the future of the Design & Technology in Schools Program is with Pro/ENGINEER.

We realize that there will be some transition time for teachers to move to the Pro/ENGINEER Schools Edition. We'd like teachers to make the change after being trained and when they feel comfortable using the new version.

We feel that teachers who have some Pro/DESKTOP experience will have an easier transition to Pro/ENGINEER. So in the meantime, Pro/DESKTOP training workshops for interested teachers will continue to be offered.

What are the differences between Pro/DESKTOP and Pro/ENGINEER and what's the learning curve when transitioning to Pro/ENGINEER?
The functionality in the Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire Schools Edition will mirror what is included in Pro/DESKTOP today. However, there are some differences, outlined below.

Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire has increased functionality in terms of model complexity. While Pro/DESKTOP provides a range of design and modeling functionality, Pro/ENGINEER provides significantly more depth, allowing the creation of more complex and realistic designs.

Photo-realistic rendering in Pro/ENGINEER delivers amazing realism over and above what is provided in Pro/DESKTOP, and there is a more comprehensive drafting functionality with Pro/ENGINEER. Also, patterning of features is significantly better in Pro/ENGINEER, allowing an amazing array of pattern formations, and assembly creation provides the ability to individually rotate and orient a component prior to assembly.

We have positive feedback from those who have moved to Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire from Pro/DESKTOP already - and a few examples are below. Results from a Loughborough University (UK) research study show that students with Pro/DESKTOP experience have an easy time transitioning to Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire.

A few quotes from students in 10th-12th grade at Newburyport High School (MA), regarding their thoughts on transitioning to Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire from Pro/DESKTOP:

In addition:

Does Pro/ENGINEER operate the same way as Pro/DESKTOP does?
Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire has drawn heavily on the groundbreaking ease of use of Pro/DESKTOP.

There are a few differences that will require some getting used to, but these are quickly picked up, for example:

What are the differences between the Pro/ENGINEER Schools Edition and the Pro/ENGINEER Schools Advanced Edition?
We've built the Pro/ENGINEER Schools Edition to include the same functionality that is in Pro/DESKTOP (with a familiar ease-of-use), but with the look and feel of Pro/ENGINEER and a few enhancements and performance upgrades. See questions #3 & #4 for more information about what's included in this version.

The Pro/ENGINEER Schools Advanced Edition will give your students more functionality - the ability to use applications like analysis tools (thermal, structure), sheetmetal, mechanism design, production and manufacturing tools, and our peer-to-peer functionality, which allows students to work on a design together from different computers, in real time. This version is perfect for those students who have some CAD experience already and/or are interested in studying engineering in college or getting an engineering or drafting job right out of high school.

How will teachers know which software package to use?
If teachers have been using Pro/DESKTOP in their classrooms, they should move to the Pro/ENGINEER Schools Edition once they have been trained and feel comfortable with the software. We are going to offer new training opportunities for those currently using Pro/DESKTOP and we will also provide updated projects and classroom materials. In addition, there is an abundance of materials available that have been created by PTC as well as university instructors - and we will let everyone know how to access those as well.

If you have been using the Schools Plus version (which will now be called the Pro/ENGINEER Schools Advanced Edition), you can continue to do so under the new program - the software and package costs won't change. An upgrade will be available this fall as well, and we will be sending you new CDs to use in your classroom if you are already part of the program.

If teachers are new to the program, they should decide which software package to use depending on their students. If you are simply introducing CAD or design to your students, the Pro/ENGINEER Schools Edition is the right choice. If your students are learning about engineering, or are planning to study engineering in college or pursue an engineering-type job right out of high school, the Pro/ENGINEER Schools Advanced Edition is probably a better fit.

What project materials will be available for Pro/ENGINEER?
As part of the launch of Pro/ENGINEER Schools Program, PTC will be creating new projects and materials that we will be posted onto the teacher resource site -

We are also looking into some opportunities with our college base of customers, to see if we can tap into the materials they use with freshman/introductory classes. While we'd like to keep this program as one that is built "by teachers, for teachers", there are also other ways for teachers to learn and other materials we can use to enhance the program.

Who are my contacts at PTC?
Mark S. Fischer is the Education Manager for the Design & Technology in Schools Program - he will be your first point of contact at PTC. Mark can be reached at or either /

Will the program be rolled out worldwide?
Yes, we are excited for students to be able to use Pro/ENGINEER all around the world. We plan to introduce Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire in the UK and US first, as those are the two regions where we initially rolled out the program.

We will begin rolling out the new version in other countries shortly thereafter, and if you have specific questions about any of our plans for worldwide rollout, you can contact our country managers directly.

What is the release schedule and licensing terms?

Schools Program

  • Once a teacher goes through the training they will receive a license agreement for 300 seats of the Pro/ENGINEER Schools Edition. The license will allow teachers to load the software in their classrooms and also allows students to take the software home with them. The license has a duration date of two years and once teachers have been trained, they can use the software indefinitely. After the two year period, if schools are active in the program, they can generate new licenses.

    Schools Advanced Program
    There are several seats packages offered for the Schools Advanced Program. For additional details on the Schools program, please refer to the Schools Advanced product page.

    The license for this edition will be floating licenses and not locked to each client. Schools would install one license server and have all the client point to it to obtain a license. These licenses also have a duration of two years, which needs to be renewed when the licenses expire. In the event that the license does expire, please send an email to for more info.

    PTC releases new education editions with every major release of Pro/ENGINEER. Typically, the release of the various education editions will be within months after the official launch of the major release. For those involved in the program, PTC will distribute new disks when a new edition is released.

    What kind of technical support will I receive?
    Depending on the particular edition that is being used, technical support might vary. Please refer to the particular product page for each edition for details on the support offered.

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