Solid Edge

What's New for Solid Edge and NX

17 Jun, 2018 By: Nancy Spurling Johnson

At the annual PLM Connection user conference, Siemens PLM Software developers introduced Solid Edge 2019 and upcoming continuous-release delivery of NX, as well as a new partnership with HP to enable design for full-color 3D printing.

Lattice structure design. Lightweighting parts (typically for additive manufacturing) has become an essential part of product design for many. The Lattice command in NX 12 lets users fill a volume with lattices that are represented as facets — helping to reduce material use and manufacturing costs while retaining the structural integrity of the original design.

P&ID Designer. This 2D piping and instrumentation diagramming tool helps to create functional or logical designs of piping and instrumentation systems.

Mesh editing environment. NX 12 introduced a dedicated mesh editing task environment that features data quality analysis and cleanup; new mesh editing tools such as the ability to create transitions, offsets, and merge or divide faces; and improvements to the user interface that make it easier to select and interact with mesh data.

Convergent Modeling enhancements. Now in NX 12, users can perform CAE analysis directly on facet bodies to go directly from a scan to analysis with no need for data translation. In the area of product and manufacturing information (PMI), added capabilities allow users to select facets by region or rule, merge and divide facet faces, and analyze and repair facet bodies.

Instant virtual reality (VR). Not brand new but notable, NX allows designers to “go VR” to view a design immersively with a single click of a button (and a bit of special VR hardware). For the future, developers are examining how to do design markup in VR, including repurposing the right VR controller to use like a mouse, and experimenting with how to make that markup feel natural.

NX user interface development is being driven by the gaming industry, said Bob Haubrock, senior vice-president, Product Engineering Software. “I want to ... leverage what the younger generation knows. That’s how we’re developing the interface for the future.

You can dig into the full list of updates in the What’s New in NX 12 guide.

The Big News: Continuous Release Updates Coming for NX

But Siemens was not without big NX news at the conference: The company announced the January 2019 move of NX to a continuous release cycle, calling itself the first major CAD/CAM/CAE developer to do so.

Five years in the making, continuous release means users will receive NX updates as they happen — as often as daily in some instances, such as security threats. Continuous release not only delivers updates sooner, but reportedly reduces the effort (and cost) of deploying changes. Customers who turn on automatic updates will not have to search for updates online and will not miss critical fixes; the NX Update mechanism will automatically send them update notifications and install updates as they become available. Companies can slow the pace of updates or even stop them if desired.

Siemens PLM identified that the average customer is three to four releases behind in NX deployment and that the largest can spend as much as $1 million for a single upgrade. “They are missing opportunities to improve, to take advantage of new technology,” said Bevans. “This overcomes that.”

The company is announcing the impending change now to allow customers to get used to the idea and to allow developers of NX add-on tools time to prepare.  

Both NX and NX CAM will be updated through continuous release. Simcenter 3D major releases (which provide major new functional contents) will move to a six-months release schedule, also beginning in January 2019. The NX Continuous Release strategy will sustain full NX–Simcenter 3D integration and interoperability, according to the company.

Continuous release comes with no change to file format compatibility — as always, NX will directly read and enable modification of data from previous releases going back to the first Unigraphics release, circa 1984. It also has no effect on licensing, whether subscription or perpetual.

Further information is available in the NX Continuous Release FAQ.

Wrapping Up

Siemens PLM is unique among major CAD software developers in that it’s part of a corporation that is a manufacturer itself: the giant Siemens AG develops products in industries from power generation to transportation and building to healthcare. Many Siemens PLM customers also use Siemens industrial equipment in their manufacturing operations. Siemens designers use Siemens PLM software, and the PLM software team draws on that experience for future development.

That scenario, said Siemens PLM executives, together with the often-touted strong customer relationships, will continue to fuel the design and manufacturing innovation that was in the spotlight in Phoenix last week. 


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About the Author: Nancy Spurling Johnson

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