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KeyShot for PTC Creo Plugin

These installation notes are specific to the latest version of the KeyShot for PTC Creo plugin unless otherwise mentioned. For questions about other versions, please contact   


KeyShot plugin for PTC Creo 1 and 2
Version 1.2

(blue star) Download Plugin

KeyShot plugin for PTC Creo 3 and newer
Version 1.1

(blue star) Download Plugin


The KeyShot for PTC Creo plugin requirements are as follows:

  • PTC Creo 1-2, PTC Creo 3 and above

  • KeyShot 9 (Try | Buy)

  • Windows 8,10

Plugins for previous versions of KeyShot are available here.

Supported Features

The KeyShot for PTC Creo plugin supports these features:

  • Maintain color assignments on part and assembly level

  • Maintain assembly structure

  • Select simplified representations

  • Refine tessellation quality

  • Maintain saved views

  • LiveLinking – update model inside KeyShot

  • Export to bip without KeyShot installed

  • Transfer NURBS*

  • Export mechanisms using .FRA files*

*requires KeyShot Pro


  1. After downloading, double-click the plugin installer (.exe) file. Follow the prompts and click Finish.

  2. Launch PTC Creo and open go to File > Options.

  3. Click Configuration Editor > Add... to add a new entry to your configuration file

  4. Set the Option Name to: protkdat

  5. To specify the Option Value, click Browse and navigate to the protk.dat file. This is typically located under:

    1.  C:\Program Files\KeyShot 9\Plugins\Creo.

    2.  C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\KeyShot 9\Plugins\Creo.

  6. Select the protk.dat file click Open. Then click OK and save your changes in the configuration file inside Creo’s working directory.

  7. Repeat steps 2-6 while in assembly mode.*

  8. Restart Creo. Open your Auxiliary Applications and check that KeyShotPlugin is “Running”. If so, you have successfully installed the plugin. Otherwise, you can start the application and close the auxiliary applications window.

KeyShot for PTC Creo Plugin Menu

Once installed, a KeyShot menu will appear inside PTC Creo’s Ribbon. The KeyShot menu, has three buttons: Render, Update, and Settings.

Click the Render button to launch KeyShot. The 3D data will be transferred from Creo to KeyShot. You can also click the drop-down button under Render and select Export to export your geometry as a .BIP file that you can share with other KeyShot users. KeyShot will not launch when you use the Export button.

Click the Update button while an existing KeyShot scene is open to update any changes on your model.

Click the Settings button to access various plugin options like Tessellation value, NURBS, Assembly Orientation, LiveLink Part, and Mechanisms. For detailed information see Plugin Settings below.

How To Use The Plugin

1. Open your assembly or part in Creo.

2. Go to the Creo Ribbon > KeyShot and click Render to launch KeyShot.  The 3D data will be transferred from Creo to KeyShot.

3. To update any changes made in Creo, click Update while your KeyShot scene is open. All materials, textures, labels, animations, transformations, cameras, and lighting in the scene will be updated.

4. When revisiting a project, open both KeyShot and Creo. Load the corresponding scene/model into both applications and click Update to re-establish the LiveLink connection.

Note: Always use the same Creo mode with which you started. If your initial data transfer was done while in assembly mode, then all of your updates should be performed while in assembly mode. Similarly, if your initial data transfer was done while in part mode, then all of your updates should be performed while in part mode.


To export mechanisms created in Creo, follow the steps below.

  1. Load the assembly and save out the Mechanism as a .fra file. This is done from the Mechanism application within Creo.

  2. Go to Creo Ribbon > KeyShot  and click Settings.

  3. Enable "Prompt for .fra file on transfer".

  4. From now on the plugin will prompt you for a .fra file every time you click Render, Export or Update.

  5. Inside KeyShot, play back the mechanism animation.** 

Plugin Settings

The KeyShot for Creo plugin gives you access to various plugin options.

Tessellation Level
Tesselation controls the number of polygons in your model. For smoother surfaces, select a higher tessellation value.  Default value is set to 0.2. Increasing the value will also increase the file size.

Include NURBS
When enabled, the plugin will transfer parametric representation of the data in the scene. This bypasses some of the problems with tessellated data, as smooth curves will remain smooth if rendered with NURBS.

Note: Although more accurate, rendering with NURBS is more CPU intensive, and frame rates in KeyShot will likely be lower. File sizes will increase as well.

Assembly Orientation
This determines the up-vector (x, y, or z).

LiveLink Part Selection
By default, LiveLink Part Selection is set to Automatic. This means that the when you click Update, all part changes will be updated in KeyShot. Choose Manual to manually select which parts should be updated or transferred. Manual control comes in handy when you want to increase tessellation on a single part without changing its definition. 

Prompt For .FRA File
This check box will allow you to transfer mechanism animations via a .FRA file.  See Mechanisms above. 

Note: Animation, Scripting, and NURBS ray tracing features are only available in KeyShot Pro.


You can uninstall the KeyShot plugin from the Windows Control Panel > Programs > Programs and Features.

*Creo has a ribbon configuration for part mode and a separate ribbon configuration for assembly mode. To see the KeyShot plugin menu at all times make sure to set up the plugin for both modes.

**You can't modify the original mechanism inside KeyShot.

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