I've been using SE since v20, but am now considering switching to NX so I can do parametric analysis with an FEA code I have (JMAG). The code only supports certain CAD packages and unfortuanately SE is not one of them. But NX is, along with SolidWorks (which I'm also considering) and few others.
I started of trial of NX (v10 since that is what JMAG currently supports) and so far have mixed feelings. Some things I like, but some things seems more tedious to do than in either SE or SW. This leads to a couple of questions:
1. For those of you who have made a similar switch, is NX actually harder to use than SE or SW once you know it? I don't want to make the switch if it's actually going to make me less productive or be unenjoyble to use. I do mostly mechanical design types of stuff (motor and actuator design) btw.
2. Any recommendations on how best to learn it (quickly!)? Unlike SE and SW, NX doesn't include any built-in tutorials.
Thanks for any feedback on this.
NX provides many "getting started" videos on various topics in the help to assist new users to get up to speed with the product and usage:
We also do provide some tutorials on using Sketch:
Hello, I use UG-NX for about twenty years and recently I used SE SW and Inventor. The mistake I made was to want to transfer the commands of NX in the same way as other CAD. My advice then is to erase all memory of the other CAD and start from the beginning.
The command finder can help with the switch.
You can type in commands that you know from se, sw and other systems and NX will find the same command within NX.
As a long time NX user, that moved into a role assisting Solidworks users migrate to NX, I can tell you a few of the big "issues" that I have seen.
1) NX has multiple ways to do things, and users get frustrated when trying to answer the question, "what is the best way to do ______?", and I offer up a few options.
2) Because of so many options, occasionally you have to add some extra geometry, ie datum plane, etc. They find this as "extra work", and a weakness in the software.
3) The concept of reference sets.
Command Finder is your friend. It recognizes commands from other cad software, and will show you the NX equivelant.
Thanks for all the replies.
I've been using the command finder, and it's been a great help.
Expecting NX to work like SE has been one of the greatest challenges. With SW that was mostly the case. With NX some things are similar but some are clearly different and not necessarily intuitive.
I like working through tutorials to learn a new CAD package, but I haven't found many for NX10 and (more perplexing) the ones I have found don't always match what I see on the screen (with identical version). For example, I was working through one last night where, in sketch mode, I had to draw a circle centered at the origin. The tutorial said to just click the origin to draw the circle (just like you would in SE or SW). When I did that a "QuickPick" window opened asking if I wanted the "point of datum" or "sketch origin". For some reason the tutorial didn't mention that part. Later on I had to select a face but wasn't able to do that "inferred" (the default setting). I had to switch to "select plane" to select it. Again, the tutorial didn't mention that. I think my default settings must be different from the tutorial's.
My worry is that I'm going to have to make a decision on whether to go with NX or SW before I've learned it well enough to appreciate the benefits of the extra "detail" it has. I'd rather not go with SW (for various reasons) but I don't want to make my life harder either.
Thanks again for the help. Any further suggestions are welcomed.
Same situation here as DaveK. We had I-DEAS and Solidworks switch to NX over the past 8 years.
The biggest and most common hurdle and complaint to overcome were users trying to use NX in the exact same manner as their previous CAD tool and then complaining that things took too long or required too many steps. Once they began using NX the way it is designed to be used and taking advantage of what it had to offer, complaints went away.
The other complaint that continues to this very day is that there are too many ways of accomplishing the same task in NX. People were complaining that NX was too flexible! LOL. "Oh no! I have options. I only want one way to do things.".
Thanks Larry and Greg. My VAR provided a trial of Learning Advantage which I'm checking out.
Larry, if you don't mind me asking, what prompted you to switch (what benefit did you get from NX that you weren't getting from I-DEAS and SW)?
Now that your user know NX, would they switch back to SW if they could?
For I-DEAS, we were forced to migrate to NX by the discontinuation of I-DEAS in favor of its designated replacement CAD tool, NX, by SPLM.
For Solidworks, they were an acquisition. Since we only want to have one CAD tool for all, we decided that the path forward was for everyone to use NX; partially due to company history and partially since NX was much more capable than Solidworks for large assemblies/drawings, had better FE tools, and worked better with Teamcenter.
"Now that your user know NX, would they switch back to SW if they could?"
For I-DEAS, no way. NX is MUCH better.
For Solidworks, you'd get mixed answers. Some remember the bottlenecks and limitations using Solidworks for our projects, but other newer users and those never affected by it's limitations would still prefer Solidworks.