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NX for Manufacturing

A complete solution set for part manufacturing – from CAM to CNC controller.

1/ What’s new in NX 10 for manufacturing?

NX™ 10 has been announced, and the manufacturing applications have lots of interesting updates that will help you improve your manufacturing processes.  A quick overview of the NX 10 for manufacturing updates reveals CAM improvements that help you program faster and machine better quality parts, as well as CMM improvements that help you create accurate and safe inspection paths.

2/ NX 10 CAM updates

Efficient cutting with adaptive roughing strategies for mold and die machining, streamlined programming of prismatic features and high-quality surface finish of complex parts can increase your overall manufacturing productivity.

3/ Mold and Die Machining

  • Optimized roughing: You can achieve more consistent tool load, minimize tool wear and extend tool life with the new roughing strategy in NX. This capability is especially useful for more complex parts that require different cutting strategies for different regions. NX applies inward or outward cutting direction, finds the best available start location and uses the right engagement type to enter the material. This automated process is performed region-by-region and level-by-level, ensuring improved cutting conditions in each machined area. For certain types of molds and dies, the programming time can be significantly reduced.

  • Cut region control for rest milling: NX 10 provides enhanced rest machining capabilities that offer better tool life and higher quality surface finish. The interactive cut region control functions have been extended to cover Flowcut, the valley rest-milling operation, and specify a range of cut patterns for steep, shallow and flat areas. To ensure that the best cutting method is used for each area, you can preview, change and reorder the regions before generating tool paths. With the new cut region control for Flowcut, you can quickly and reliably program even the most complex mold and dies. The optimized machining of the corners and valleys can extend tool life and improve surface finish.

4/ Prismatic part machining

  • Chamfer milling of holes: The new chamfering operation applies the powerful hole-milling approach to a common feature with a minimum programming input. NX 10 enables you to automatically calculate the correct tool offset for chamfering holes and generating a circular milling tool path using the familiar hole-making methodology. You can reduce programming and machining time by chamfering multiple holes with one operation, even when the holes have different orientations. And you can use a single tool to machine chamfers of different sizes that save you even more programming time. The in-process visualization displays uncut material after each operation.

  • Efficient drilling paths: Minimizing the travel and improving the machining accuracy can be critical when drilling a large number of holes. The new optimized sequencing in NX enables you to improve drilling operations by specifying the desired drilling pattern and selecting the best start position. The subsequent operation can start where the previous one ended, reversing the cutting direction, thus further maximizing performance of the machine tool.


  • Group features: With NX 10, you can minimize the number of operations needed to machine parts with many holes. Using feature-based machining, holes are identified, filtered and grouped automatically. Holes sharing similar attributes are programmed together so that they share tools. On the shop floor, the optimized machining process can reduce tool changes, shorten travel distance and increase drilling accuracy.

5/ Complex part machining

  • Swarf cutting of blades: Exact alignment of the tool with the blade geometry can be achieved with the enhanced swarfing in the NX Turbomachinery Milling module. Complex blades can be finished with a single pass using the entire length of the tool, which can produce a high-quality surface finish. The gradual engagement of the tool with the material ensures machining with reduced vibrations that further improve the surface quality. Flat, bullnose and tapered end mills can be used to generate a swarfing tool path that machines the entire blade with a single pass.

  • 5-axis machining of rotary parts: The enhanced strategies in NX 10 make it simple to create efficient 5-axis machining operations for large rotary parts, such as aircraft engine casings. Select a single edge and NX will generate all the necessary operations to machine cylindrical faces. The lateral tool offset option enables you to easily create accurate, collision-free 5-axis multiple passes. For some rotary parts, this method can save you hours of geometry creation and model preparation.

Also, 5-axis chamfering and deburring operations can be easily generated using this cutting strategy. This style of rotary cutting performs best when the tool engages material on its leading edge. NX provides control over the contact point and offers options for tool shifts in order to optimize the cutting conditions. This results in better material removal rates, tool life and surface finish.

6/ NX 10 CMM updates

The automated inspection programming capabilities in NX CMM 10 lets you create accurate and safe inspection paths. The results analysis module enables you to import and compare multiple results sets to improve the quality control process.

7/ CMM Inspection Programming

  • Automatic collision avoidance enhancements: NX CMM makes it easy to program measurement sequences across faces and features, creating safe transfer moves. The system monitors each motion for possible interferences, then adjusts the approach vector or tool axis as needed to keep the program collision-free. NX CMM 10 expands these automated collision avoidance methods to include movement of the measurement point. For example, a point positioned too close to another surface will be automatically moved far enough to avoid any interference.

Another new option in NX 10 enables you to remove measurement points that cause interference conditions. Arrays and scanning patterns can be applied quickly; then only the points that can actually be measured safely are kept for the final program.

  • Scanning paths automated with link to PMI: The NX CMM link to PMI uses the solid model’s product manufacturing information to automatically program measurements against the provided positioning and tolerance information. The programming automation of the link to PMI has been enhanced to provide scanning operations in addition to touch points. This greatly increases application opportunities for this powerful automation method because scanning measurements are being used more frequently.
  • Machine-specific output: NX CMM uses the same proven, flexible postprocessor as NX CAM in order to provide production-ready output to the wide variety of measurement machines found in industry. With NX CMM 10, inspection programs may include user-defined events (UDEs) to make postprocessors even more flexible and provide machine-specific features. Several UDEs are provided as a starting point, but users can create UDEs for their specific application.

8/ CMM Results Analysis

  • Saved analysis results: NX CMM can be used to analyze measured results by bringing them back into the graphics system to compare against the as-modeled geometry. In NX CMM 10, these measured results can be stored in the NX part file for further analysis. NX measurement tools can be used to display deviations and create annotations for reports. Subsequent measurements can be compared against previous measurements as manufacturing processes are refined and quality is improved over time.

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