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Creo GRANITE Interoperability Kernel

Copyright © 2019 PTC Inc.

Introducing Creo Granite gPlugs for improved interoperability

The gPlug is a simple plug-in (.dll) supplied by the Granite licensed software vendor of an application that can be used to create CAD models. The gPlug facilitates model-based communication between heterogeneous Creo Granite applications. gPlugs are useful in any CAD environment and allow diverse applications to recognize other CAD files in their native format and with associative benefits. Creo Granite eliminates the need to translate to or from neutral files and manage those neutral files as well, by directing the target application to the location of the geometry, topology and relevant metadata in a model file.

If Creo Granite kernel is used to author or store the model CAD data, then the data is streamed directly to the target application. If the model is not stored as PTC Creo Granite data, then the non-native gPlug will convert the data during runtime. Creo Granite reduces the time, energy and data required to move models between the various applications in any product development process.

The approaches described in the previous paragraph reference two different types of gPlugs namely, the native gPlug and the non-native gPlug. Native gPlugs can open files that already have embedded Granite data and always consist of a single .dll file. Non-native gPlugs can open files that contain other proprietary model definition. Non-native gPlugs often are composed of more than one .dll and are much larger in size than the native gPlugs. The following table provides some details on the available gPlugs:

gPlug Description
Raindrop Geomagic Native gPlug
Alias (.wire) Non-native gPlug

How to Use gPlugs with Creo Parametric

Use the configuration option pro_gplug_dir to specify the directory or folder where the gPlugs will be available for use by Creo Parametric and Creo Elements/Pro 5.0. You can add a maximum of two gPlugs in the gPlug folder. The gPlugs are interchangeable as long as the user starts a new Creo Parametric session after changing the gPlugs in that directory.

To summarize, the key steps to use gPlugs with Creo Parametric are:

  1. Download the desired gPlugs. See the section on Download the Available gPlugs for more details.
  2. Install them with other required files and libraries (for non-native gPlugs) to a folder (directory) on the local machine or supporting network.
  3. Edit the Creo Parametric Configuration Options to add or set the configuration option pro_gplug_dir to the name of folder using the full path to the desired gPlugs
  4. In case of Alias gPlug, modify the PATH variable to add Alias gPlug folder.
  5. Keep GRANITE dlls of specified version (if required- e.g. for Alias gPlug) in PATH.
  6. Start Creo Parametric.
  7. Click File⇒Open to view the Granite Application File listing inclusive of the gPlug interoperability.


What should you do if the file types from the gPlug(s) do not appear in the File⇒Open list?

What should you do if you cannot open a specific file?

If you have any questions about using gPlugs with Creo Parametric please log a call online by selecting Granite as the Product, or contact Granite Technical Support.

How to Use gPlugs with Other Creo Granite Based Applications

Creo Granite applications can have their own ways of hosting gPlugs to open the supported files, yet they must follow a set of protocols when hosting gPlugs. The only substantial variation is how and where each application looks for the gPlugs. Please note that when using non-native gPlugs, one must make sure that the hosting application uses Granite .dlls that are compatible with those required by the gPlugs.

To open the supported files using gPlugs:

  1. Download the desired gPlugs
  2. Install them together with other required files and libraries to a place as specified by the hosting application
  3. Run the required setup if any as required by the gPlugs
  4. Start the hosting application and look for supported files

For technical support, please contact the company that designs and manufactures the hosting software application.

Download the Available gPlugs

gPlug Developer Notes

All Creo Granite based applications can leverage multiple gPlugs using the Creo Granite SuperPlug mechanism. Please contact Granite Technical Support to obtain an example implementation in C++ using the SuperPlug.