NX CAD Design, Drafting & Modeling Services

NX Modeling for Automotive and Aerospace Manufacturing

What is NX Design?

NX design software is a powerful integrated solution that has the features and capabilities to help deliver high-quality products to the market faster than ever.

Commonly called NX in CAD, and originally owned by Ross Perot’s company EDS in Dallas, Texas, NX continues to be a very strong and well established leader in the high-end 3D manufacturing world.

Not quite as expensive as CATIA, and 3 times more expensive than Solidworks, NX is used for 3D CAD development product for your engineering drawings.

In addition to 3D CAD development of drawings, NX is used for design and modeling and has expanded heavily into the PLM – Product Lifestyle Management segment.

In addition to this, can you guess who comes up as the number one search result in Google for PLM (Product Lifestyle Management)?

The answer is Siemens Unigraphics NX.


NX CAD 3D Modeling

Outsourcing NX CAD CAM Projects

CAD/CAM services have acquired 30 years of professional experience using NX for modeling and design. Our experts have handled projects for fortune 100 companies such as Byton and Boeing. We can help you with bulk CAD NX modeling task as they arise. The video highlights our approach to an outsourced CAD project and how NX design was employed. CAD/CAM services can help you achieve your digitization task with NX across these activities:

Call:  CAD/CAM Services  1-800-938-SCAN (7226)



There are many other players out there in this space –

Catia Enova, NxRev for PTC’s Creo, Agile PLM from Oracle, SAP PLM, even Autodesk has jumped on the PLM market with Autodesk Fusion Lifecycle, but none as effective as NX.

PLM is often integrated with ERP – Enterprise Resource Planning.  This is basically knowing when to buy product, for true LEAN manufacturing.



Unigraphics NX – 3D Engineering Modeling and Design Work.

Automation and Robotics in CNC Tooling

Automation and Robotics in CNC Tooling

With their tightly integrated approach, NX provides complex product development in a rapidly changing marketplace.

With manufacturing’s need for sophisticated engineering design tools, NX has certainly kept up with the times for delivering the next generation of 3D engineering – modeling – design – and simulation of CAD data.

Once the design is approved, it is now ready for manufacturing.

NX is well suited for direct control of many of the world’s best NC tooling manufactures. In addition to supporting the latest generation of Additive 3D printing. [Hyperlink to 3D print services.]

NX is better geared for the entire manufacturing and PLM – ERP process, more so than the heavy duty CAD designs that CATIA is known to solve.

Call:  CAD/CAM Services  1-800-938-SCAN (7226)

Siemens NX is a product lifecycle management (PLM) tool used for concept design. PLM software is also used in product manufacturing. With NX, modelling complex products and testing them can be done before production. When manufacturing innovative products, NX can analyze production variables. This makes it possible for businesses to take products to market faster.

Siemens PLM software delivers faster product development because it standardizes the development process.

Imagine a scenario were production involves twenty varying tasks. These variables may include; design, quality control, and assessing feature performance and capabilities.

NX has the capacity to standardize these variables. Thus, ensuring product quality is not reduced when mass producing parts. NX, Catia v5, and (Autodesk BIM) are some of the PLM solutions used in digitizing such complex processes.

What is Siemens NX?

Siemens Narwhal extension (NX) is an integrated CAD solution. It helps businesses efficiently manufacture products. NX is used for manufacturing, simulation, CAD design, and engineering analysis.  Its integrated tool-set supports the coordination of activities that involve:

  • Preserving data integrity
  • Engineering simulation
  • Design concepts
  • Program Manufacturing Machines
  • Control Product Quality

Industrial Design Application of Siemens NX Toolsets

NX Design

NX Design

‘Who uses NX’ is a good place to start when analyzing the industrial applications of Siemens NX.

NX is targeted at companies interested in accelerating product modelling activities. Its modelling toolsets are great for 2D and 3D CAD modelling.

It combines wireframe, surface, parametric, and direct modelling techniques in one interface. It does this without converting data which enables faster product development.

Assembly Designs

NX for design has the features needed to create and manage complex models and assemblies. Experience with NX modeling is needed to design complex assemblies such as jet engines. The freeform design tools also speed up the design of assembly concepts. Freeform design makes it possible to test complex models and make real-time changes.

Sheet Metal Designs

Sheet Metal Design in Action

Sheet Metal Design in Action

Advanced Sheet Metal features enable the creation of sheet metal workflow.

It also enables the conversion of solid models to sheet metal.

This makes it possible to integrate tolerances and material properties into sheet metal designs.


Template Based Design

NX product template solutions make it possible to re-use old templates. The creation of new templates is achievable with NX. This puts everyone on a similar page during industrial design projects.

Drafting and Documentation

NX makes annotation and documenting on both legacy and new models possible. This helps your company convert 2D parts to 3D models with accuracy and precision.

Siemens Mentor LogoYou can also choose to use collected data to speed up future development processes.

NX is compatible with other CAD design solutions under the Siemens’ product line. The Mentor software is for the design and development of electrical systems and integrated circuits (IC).

Mentor was purchased in 2017. The Mentor solution is a boon for electronics hardware manufacturers. Your company can design hardware using NX and develop the ICs needed to run it using Mentor.

Manufacturing Application of CAD NX: Subtractive and Additive Manufacturing

Subtractive manufacturing involves the use of machines to cut out materials.  It chips out materials until the desired shape or object is achieved.

Additive manufacturing involves developing objects by adding materials layer by layer. Each manufacturing perspective requires careful considerations when designing parts or assemblies.

Product Design for 3D printing

Developing 3D models for 3D printing comes with constraints. These constraints include; part orientation, layer height, dimensions, holes, and overhangs. These constraints must be integrated into design templates. This ensures 3D CAD models meet the specifications for 3D printing. NX is equipped to work with this constraint when preparing models for 3D printing.

Tooling and Machining Design

Machining & Tooling Shop in Action

Machining & Tooling Shop in Action

Machining tools used in facilities can be designed using NX.

NX delivers a design interface that supports testing tools via simulation.

These tools help with coupling components in aeronautics and automotive factories.


Managing Manufacturing Equipment

NX’s ability to configure manufacturing equipment helps create an interconnected shop floor. The Siemens PLM software collects design data and transfers to the equipment. The equipment uses the data to speed up and manage production. NX and other Siemens solutions can create an interconnected environment. This ecosystem delivers a smart production cycle. The former is used for testing and the latter for automating machines and 3D printers.

Interconnected Manufacturing with NX: Fibersim and Syncrofit

Fibersim PLM SoftwareIndustry 4.0 and smart factories are the driving forces behind modern production. The basic concept behind Industry 4.0 is developing an interconnected facility where data is king.

NX plays a role in creating digital twins and data for smart factories. Here, digital twins refer to creating digital replicas of physical assets. Data collection occurs through industrial cloud solutions.

The integration of Fibersim provides data that support composite structural design. The data is collected and analyzed using industrial cloud solutions such as:

  • MindSphere
  • Teamcenter
  • Syncrofit

This helps businesses reduce waste, speed up production times, and optimize design revisions. Syncrofit uses the data produced by Fibersim, NX, and other PLM platforms to digitize the entire production life cycle. Siemens has been aggressive in acquiring outstanding companies One such purchase was for the entire Mentor Graphics software line – a key product integration.

NX vs CATIA – PTC’s Creo – Solidworks – Solid Edge – or Inventor:

CATIA logo

CATIA logo

Here is a quick comparison of NX vs CATIA: 

 Both are great design platforms.

Aerospace – CATIA wins hands down.

Automotive – NX has the market share.

(As a side note we did run into point cloud limitations on a complex aerospace part using NX. We ended up finishing the design in CATIA. CATIA is more expensive application.)


PTC Pro Engineer Creo

PTC Pro Engineer Creo

Creo – Creo’s strength is in very complex assembles.

Imagine an entire John Deere tractor as a single 3D model that contains every nut and bolt into one file.

That is where Cero’s greatest strength lies. Here Creo and NX are neck and neck.

Creo and NX are about the same cost.


Dassault Systems Solidworks

Dassault Systems Solidworks

Solidworks – Almost an apples to oranges comparison. Both are very good design platforms.

Solidworks is easy to use for 90% of the 3D design work.

NX is more geared towards an enterprise solution, vs. Solidworks which is geared towards an individual user approach. NX is 3x the cost of Solidworks.

Solid Works is an older product line, starting about the same time as NX.

However Solid Works, does not have the market share and control as NX. 


Inventor Autodesk Logo

Inventor Autodesk Logo

Inventor – like Solidworks, this is almost an apples to oranges comparison.  Inventor has really never taken off, even with the marketing clout of Autodesk.

Inventor is also not a very strong 3D design tool. It is very limited (= almost nonexistent)and has problems with free form design (think of airplane wings). There are also severe limitations with point cloud sizes, and more.

Granted NX is 4x the cost of Inventor, Inventor is not even in the same league as CATIA, NX, Creo, Solid Edge, and Solidworks.

Siemens NX hot-features : based on CAD / CAM Services real world design experience:

  • A very convenient search of a required feature. UI: Similar to SolidWorks, just more fluid. Useful selection filter – easy to pick sketches, dimensions, and so on.
  • Comprehensive set of features and functionality.
  • Synchronous modeling, perfect analysis and simulation.
  • NX handles huge assemblies well, comparing to PTC’s Creo.
  • Full featured CAD-CAM-CAE solution
  • Featured-rich PLM than can track down a part to individual customer.
  • Used mostly in Automotive and Aerospace industries
  • Price: more expensive than SolidWorks but cheaper than CATIA
    • Focused more on production process than creativity

There are few cons as well.

  • Less installs than others, smaller online community.
  • NX is not user friendly. Even after us knowing how to fully use in real life production environments, some of the most complex and full featured 3D CAD software systems known to man; we found NX hard to use. To us NX has a complex and expensive learning curve.
  • NX falls behind in designing of complex surfaces.

Most manufacturers require their CAD service providers to produce engineering CAD files in the same software they use.  Thus, CAD/CAM Services will continue to use and specialize in NX for many years to come.

CAD Software Systems are Proprietary.

Proprietary Software Photo

Proprietary Software Photo

Many of the other CAD software systems have their fair share of pros and cons as well.

All of the CAD systems are proprietary, and none of them like to transfer data to other CAD systems.

One big reason it is difficult to transfer data is that, most all CAD software systems use a different 3D kernel for their 3D design engine.

Think of it this way, if you know that CAD software company X spends millions of dollars a year updating their CAD software, do you think the CAD software developer wants to give you a way to export your data to a competitive CAD system?  Absolutely not.

NX is one of the best full-featured CAD systems in the world today.

NX has spent millions on the development and integration of PLM data to work with engineering data, and this huge.

Auto manufacturers spend millions of dollars on any recall. So having an intelligent well-engineered PLM system, overrides the need for a higher end 3D CAD system. The majority of NX users simply do not need the higher end 3D design tricks.  To this user, business intelligence is more important.

CAD/CAM Services specializes in NX and 3D modeling. 

Call in the Experts at CAD / CAM Services!


Call:  1-800-938-SCAN (7226)

Let our team of experts help you with your next NX project.

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