NX is the commercial CAD/CAM/CAE PLM software suite developed by Siemens PLM Software. NX is widely used in the engineering industry, especially in the automotive and aerospace sectors. NX has some presence in the consumer goods design sector.

NX is a parametric solid / surface feature-based modeler. It uses the Parasolid geometric modeling kernel.

NX is a direct competitor to CATIA and Pro/ENGINEER.

NX was originally called Unigraphics. The software was developed by the McDonnell Douglas’ Unigraphics Group. EDS acquired the business in 1991. When EDS acquired Structural Dynamics Research Corporation (SDRC) in 2001, Unigraphics was combined with SDRC’s I-DEAS CAD product. The gradual addition of I-DEAS functionality into the Unigraphics code base was the basis for the current NX product line.

Additional functionality from SDRC’s Imageware styling product was merged into NX to provide reverse engineering capabilities suitable for automotive (Class A) surfacing applications. The styling module of NX is known as Shape Studio.

NX I-deas

NX I-deas was developed to provide a smooth transition for current users of the old SDRC

I-DEAS product. NX I-deas incorporates NX series features while retaining a consistency with the I-DEAS user interface. It is intended to protect investment in, and continuity of user skills and organizational workflows.

NX is commonly referred to as a 3D PLM software application. The product supports all stages of product development from conceptualization (CAID), to design (CAD), to analysis (CAE), to manufacturing (CAM). NX integrates these product lifecycle stages into an end-to-end process using concurrent engineering workflow, design-in-context and product data management tools that apply across all functional areas.
The 2008 release of NX, version 6, provides additional capabilities for 4 key issues.

Design Flexibility
A synchronous technology combining constraint-driven techniques with direct modeling, is used to provide direct editing in the model creation process. Further flexibility is provided through:

Active digital mock-up
A capability referred to as Active Mockup. This feature allows the use of a multi-CAD digital mock-up for visualization and the ability to modify the model within the mock-up.

Multiplatform support
NX operates on Linux, Unix, and Windows XP and newer. Native Mac OS X support had been planned for NX 5, NX 6 and NX 6.0.1, but has never been released.

Functional Strength
Version 6 includes innovations designed to address problems of increasing complexity with regard to design, analysis, simulation, manufacturing and collaboration across disciplines. Areas of innovations include:

Digital Lifecycle Simulation
NX provides a suite of CAE simulation applications, tightly integrated with NX design and managed by Teamcenter. Designers and analysts can work in a multi-discipline environment to perform motion and manufacturability studies, and conduct flow, thermal, vibration and stress analyses.

MultiCAD / MultiDiscipline Models
The capabilities to maintain a Multi-CAD / Multi Discipline design environment, to edit geometry directly from within a complex digital mockup and to edit parametric designs independently of the design tree, are achieved through the use of a lightweight model.

Product Manufacturing Information
An important aspect of maintaining a multidiscipline model is the ability to create and transmit PMI, or Product Manufacturing Information within the CAD model. Historically, PLM solutions have included this capability but ease of use had been low and functionality limited. PLM vendors have been steadily improving their PMI products.