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Pro/ENGINEER (Wildfire)

Pro/ENGINEER (Wildfire) is a solid modeller program marketed by Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC).

PTC Home Page

Design Office ProEWildfire Home Page (for Version 3)


Hardware Requirements

The Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 5.0 program will run on any computer in the teaching system except for gateway computers. It can aslo be run locally in the DPO terminals and the twn01-12 workstations at the East end of the DPO. ProWildfire can also be run on the DPO servers (tyrfing (tw1), scimitar (tw2), khopesh (tw3), kukri (tw4), tanto (tw5) and tachi (tw6)). It is also available in the following server (excalibur (tw9)).



Previously saved part files *.prt.*n assembly files *.asm.*n, drawing files *.drw.*n or section files *.sec.*n where n is a number can be used as input to the Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire program.


Screen plots can be saved in *.plt.

This can be printed on the B & W laser printer (ljmr, ljmr1, ljmr2) and colour printer (cljmr1)

Commands to run the program

Log into the DPO terminals. Click on the Computer icon on the bottom left hand corner. In the new window choose Aplications. Click on the proe icon to start the Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire program. Type proe to run the Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire program (Version 3).

Type ptcstatus to check the current usage of the Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire licences.

Type proflush to release any Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire licences from your aborted sessions.

Type proe-purge part-name.prt to delete older versions of the named part. Example : proe-purge cover.prt

See below for the inter-relationship between Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire, PATRAN and PowerMILL programs.

Part and assemblies created in Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire can be imported into PATRAN and a finite element mesh created and analysed.

Stereo lithography files (*.stl) created by Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire program can be imported into the PowerMILL program. PowerMILL program produces CNC cutter paths for roughing, semi-finishing and finish machining.

Hard copies of the cutter path and finishing can be produced by outputting picture files (*.pic) in PowerMILL which can be read into DUCT.

Flow Chart


See Design Office Pro/ENGINEER Mini manual (2000i version) - it is a beginner's guide. It shows how to create a clamp using Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire.

Following manuals are available on-line :

Getting started with ProEng Wildfire

Installing ProEng Wildfire

Customer Service Guide to ProEng Wildfire

Design Animation Concepts (ProEng Wildfire 2.0)

Hardcopy Output

For ploting to a File

Postscript, JPEG and TIFF format output files can be created from Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire.

Choose File / Save a Copy ....

In the "Save a Copy" dialogue box which appears....

Click on the downarrow (V) on the RHS of the box marked "Type" (last line of the form/dialogue box)

This gives all the options scroll down (use slider) and select the appropriate file format and click on OK.

Direct Plotting

Choose Export / Plotter and then choose the plotter type and the paper size.

The screen plots can be saved into files. The program will use the part/assembly/drawing/section name and .plt as the extension.

If you have chosen the postscript option then this can be printed in the laser printer in the DPO using the lp -dljmr1 file-name command.

Example : lp -dljmr1 -opostscript cover.plt

A3 plots

Choose papersize of A3. Again choose postscript option. Then use the following command to print it.

Example : lp -dljmr2 -opostscript -oa3 cover.plt

On-line Installation (Windows XP)

ProE Wildfire 5 can be installed on Windows PCs running XP and connected to the department's network.

Start ---> Run.... Open : \\diva-appserv\windows . This facility has been set up by Peter Benie (pjb1008@eng).

Then select ProE folder and F000 is the Wildfire 5.0 for Windows.

For License use 7788@proe3-lmserv.

In case of problems look at the installation guide : Installing ProEng Wildfire

On-line PTC Pro/HELP

Start up ProENG Wildfire. Once the Graphics Windows is up look at the double vertical line division between the Graphics region and the left hand side contents section.


This separating region is shaded and in the midle of it you will notice two ">" symbols. If you click on this it will open up and reveal the Design Office ProE Wildfire help information. This is equivalent to opening a book.

Notice that to the right hand side the ">" symbols now appear as "<". Click on this to close the help page to return to Drawing mode.

How to get help - Accessing on-line help

General Suggestions

Avoid long sessions

In running Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire in the twn's (East end of the DPO) avoid having many sub-windows with different parts and also avoid running Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire for several hours continuously. This will cause the process size to increase and because the twg's only have limited amount of resources (memory, swap space) it might slow the response down or might lead to Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire crashing if it runs out of swap space. Also avoid running other large programs/processes at the same time which would reduce the resources available to Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire. Try running 'top' to see which processes are running. Type 'q' to quit from 'top'.

Save parts frequently

It is a good idea to save the part (or assembly or drawing) after a major modification. If Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire crashes or stalls it can be restarted and resumed from the point when it was last saved.

If you have not saved a part recently and Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire has crashed then all is not lost. Most of your work can be recovered from the "trail" file. However this process is slow but should be quicker than redoing the lost work.

Trail file is a record of all the commands (all menu picks, dialog-box picks, selections and keyboard entries) you used in a working session of Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire.

Recovering an aborted working session using trail files

Look for files with the name "trail.txt.n" in the directory from which Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire was started. You may have several such files with file names ending with numbers (n - represents the number). Every time you start a new session of Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire a new trail file is created where the number n is incremented by 1. You need to find the latest file ie file with the largest number.

Then copy this file under a different first name. This is important. For example if "trail.txt.6" is the latest file then copy it as (say) "trailrec.txt.6". Type the following in a separate xterm window :

cp trail.txt.6 trailrec.txt.6

First of all you need to edit out the last few lines of this file. Otherwise when you run this trail file it will crash out like the previous session of Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire.

  1. Start up Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire as usual. Once the menus are displayed choose Misc from the MAIN menu, then Trail from the MISC menu.
  2. Enter the name of the trail file : trailrec
  3. The trail file will run until it finishes (ie end of the trail file). You can continue from there.


Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire can be customised using file.

The system file contains the default units and some hot key functions set by default. This file is located at /export/ptc/proe2001/text/ When Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire is started it reads the system file. Then it reads the file in the users HOME directory, if it is present. Then it finally looks for file in the current directory (directory from which Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire is started). If present it will read it. This is the sequence of loading. The same parameter appearing in more than one location would mean that the later specification overrides the former.

For example the length units are set to mm in the system file. However if the user wants to work with cm then the file should contain the following line :

pro_unit_length unit_cm

The appearance of the Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire menus can also be customized. Some of the settings can be changed by inclusion of the following lines.

3d_menu_buttons yes
menu_horizontal_hint right
thermo_position_hint no_window_overlap

For more details consult the Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire Fundamentals Manual sections 10.2 and 10.15.

Another useful feature is shortcuts for frequently used commands. See the section below and Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire Fundamentals manual section 10.9 - Creating Macros for more details.

Short cuts to frequently used commands

Short cuts can be established using the Mapkey functionality available in Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire. The personalised mapkeys can be included in the file in the user's HOME directory. This is illustrated with a few examples.

For example when creating a part the first thing you might do is to create the default datum plane. In order to do this you choose Feature, Create, Datum, Plane and Default. A mapkey can be set up by including the following line in the file.

mapkey cd #feature;#create;#datum;#plane;#default;

Then by typing cd the default datum plane can be created.

Similarly to create a Protrusion extending to both sides from the sketcher plane the following short cut can be used. Include the following line in the file.

mapkey dp #create;#protrusion; #extrude;#solid;#done;#both sides;#done;

Then typing dp will execute the above command.

Then by typing cd the default datum plane can be created.

The system file contains a list of mapkeys that have been set up.


Solution to problems in DPO Terminals (2009)

Symptoms of problems and Solutions [21 Jan 2009]

Other problems

  1. Recovering the work done in an aborted session. : see above under "General Suggestions".

  2. Using an older version of a part that had been saved : Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire automatically retrieves the latest saved version of an object.

    You can also retrieve any previous version by entering the full file name (with extension and version number) for example "bracket.prt.6".

    If you don't know the specific version number of the object, you can enter a number relative to the latest version. For example to retrieve a part from two versions ago enter "partname.prt.-2".

  3. Deleting older versions of a part to save file space : The purge command can be used to delete older versions of parts etc. All older versions except for the latest version of a particular part can be deleted by typing purge part-name at a xterminal.

    Typing purge without any names will delete all older versions of all parts, assemblies etc so should be used with care. This will just leave the latest version of all the different parts in that directory.

  4. Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire not issuing a licence :
    1. There could be a problem with the licence server or the network. Type ptcstatus.

      If you get the following message then that would confirm this.

      Report this problem to the Computer Operators.

    2. All the licences are in use : Type ptcstatus and this should list the licences that are currently being used and by whom. If you find that all licences are in use then check to see whether any single person is issued with more than one licence. If so this would indicate that there are "lost" licences. Report the problem to the Computer Operators. These lost licences can be claimed for re-issuing by the system manager running "proflush".

© Cambridge University Engineering Dept
Information provided by pjgl2
Last updated: 28 January 2009