Pro Engineer and Unigraphics both are having following basic qualities which must be there in a good 3D CAD packages:
- Parametric: 3D CAD models are built by adding features after feature. These 3D CAD features are dimension driven. If you change any dimension of any feature the feature will change automatically. This is called the Parametric modeling approach and this is the major differentiator between 2D and 3D CAD packages.
- Associativity: If you modify any 3D CAD part then the modification will be reflected in all the assemblies wherever the part has been used. This is called Associativity.
Where ProE is better
- GUI: The GUI of Pro Engineer is much simpler than Unigraphics. This is because some options are combined in a single icon in Pro Engineer. Like for creating a cut as well as a protrusion, the same icon is used in ProE.
- Sketch Constraints: While sketching in ProE it automatically places all the possible geometric and dimensional constraints to make the sketch fully constrained. Also you can make all the constraints “strong" at one go. This saves lots of sketching time.
- File extensions: ProE creates different file extensions for different types of files which makes identification of the files easier. For example, part files are saved with .prt extensions, assembly files with .asm extensions, and drawing files with .drw extensions. UG saves all the files with .prt extensions.
- Size of ProE files: Pro Engineer files take less space than Unigraphics files. To give you an idea, a 100 mm X 100 mm X 100 mm cube will take around 100 MB storage space in UG NX 6 whereas the same will take around 35 MB for ProE Wildfire 4.
- Sheet metal design: ProE is good for sheet metal components design.
Where UG is better
- Flexibility: UG is more flexible than ProE. UG is associative in nature, but you can create non-associative features as well.
- History free mode: If you create a 3D CAD feature by referring to another feature, then the second feature is called the child of the first feature. You cannot delete the parent feature without deleting the child. This concept is called History mode in Unigraphics and Parent child relationship in Pro Engineer. Suppose, you have created a block and on one face of the block you are creating a cylinder – then you cannot delete the block without deleting the cylinder. This is the standard practice for most 3D CAD packages including ProE. But in UG NX 6 the reverse of this is possible, and that mode is called History free mode. In this mode all the features are independent. This approach is useful for initial concept design where a large numbers of changes are expected down the line.
- Synchronous Modeling: This is a powerful feature of UG NX 6. Various commands of Synchronous Modeling are very useful for modifying or healing of the surfaces of imported geometry.
- Curves and surface creation options: UG has a large numbers of curve and surface creation options which makes it strong in the field of surfacing.
There is no clear winner for the comparisons between ProE vs. UG. However, ProE is highly parametric and very strong for designing highly engineered parts and assemblies. On the other hand UG provides better flexibility for the designers with strong surfacing capabilities.