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Re: Frustration....I could do this in solidworks but can't seem to do it in NX!?


Hi Kochg


To be honest the only formal training I have ever had in NX was way back on 3.5 (sometime around 2007) and that was not the most 'high-end' just a week off-site at a resellers traing facility.


That said I have used four different CAD systems over the years Solidworks (probably for around twelve years), Next up NX (for maybe six years), SolidEdge (around two) and finally Pro-E (for another two) so it's not like I am un-aware on how to use it (3D CAD) just that on balance, for sheer 'ease of use' I think Solidworks takes some beating.


I aliken it to back in the days of early PC's....we sat there on AutoCad, fiddling in the background with MS DOS (with lots of tweaks possible) then along came Windows to make life so much simpler.


I think that's what Solidworks did for engineers.....removing all the crap in the background and presenting the choices available in a clear manner (that's when all the other software companies had to wake up to the fact that not every design engineer is a nurdy geek software nut and to make life easier for us).


I'm certainly no NX expert.....I spend my day not only using CAD but also dreaming up solutions to engineering problems (generally with a pencil and a piece of paper to begin with.....which is where Solidworks excellent sketch tools seem to be so much easier to use) and then running calculations or FE (Ansys) liasing with the workshop, etc, etc I simply don't have the time available to simply sit in front of NX and 'play'.


Life would be easier if NX was more intuative (like solidworks is) but alas it isn't.


That all said it's the system I use now (and have done for the past four years at my employers) so I just have to get on with it!


I manage to produce some great work, good designs, just possibly not in the way a fully fledged NX Guru might do it.


If you can recommend some reading I'd appreciate it.





Re: Frustration....I could do this in solidworks but can't seem to do it in NX!?

Solution Partner Legend Solution Partner Legend
Solution Partner Legend


NX doesn NOT have SW-like 'configurations' for a reason. It was already mentioned above.

Here's how I'd have made this.

Re: Frustration....I could do this in solidworks but can't seem to do it in NX!?

Honored Contributor
Honored Contributor

Just some personal observations, of the Solidworks to/vs. NX transition.


Note, I am a long time NX users, since UG v8, and have had no training in Solidworks.  I can open it, and export legacy data out, for use in NX.  But, I have been working with users transitioning to NX, since my current employer moved to NX 5 years ago.


John Baker has said on here, "The good news with NX is there are 10 ways to do anything, the bad news is, 9 of them are valid".  My understanding is that Solidworks has 1, or maybe 2 ways to do something, so it could be seen as more intuitive, since your choices are limited.  When SW users ask me, how do you do _____, I'll toss out a few options, and the next question is, "well, which is best?".  Now it gets tricky, and experience will play a big role.  The end goal, and how you anticipate the design will evolve, will determine this, and even experienced users will change methods during the design.  


I've had users show me how they did something, asking if it was the correct way.  I've answered, "that's now how I would have done it".  I don't mean it in a bad way, just that they did it in a way that I may not have thought about, it's not "wrong", just different.  New NX users looking at it with SW eyes, have shown me different ways things can be done, both good and bad.


Another observation, is that NX is picky or finicky, and things fail to easy during rebuild/revisions, etc.  Again, the experience will play a role.  NX is less "fuzzy", since it has options, it expects the user to tell it how it should be done.  I know Siemens has been moving NX to anticipate, and assume more in newer versions, but I don't anticipate it not requiring the user to be specific in what they want, because of the multiple ways to do things.


So, what may seem non-intuitive, may just be options, and these options require the user to be specific.


The nice thing with NX, I have never found a part I could not model (some put up a good fight though!).  I have been told by the former SW users that certain things could not have been done in SW.


Again, just my personal observations.

NX1867(if it had versions) | Teamcenter 11.6 | Windows 10

Re: Frustration....I could do this in solidworks but can't seem to do it in NX!?

Solution Partner Valued Contributor Solution Partner Valued Contributor
Solution Partner Valued Contributor
There are a lot of analogies and cutesy sayings about CAD systems. One of the greatest is, "The best CAD system in the universe... is the one you know." Usually the favored system is the first one a user learns and this sets the benchmark for all others to compare to. They never do because all others are "weird" and do things so differently that they're just wrong! lol Before responding here, I felt playful so I thought I'd throw "intuition" into Wikipedia and see what fantasies came up... "Intuition is the ability to acquire knowledge without proof, evidence, or conscious reasoning, or without understanding how the knowledge was acquired." After reading that, I shook my head a bit,then almost decided to just not respond at all! I can't say I agree with it all but there is truth there. Yeah, I get it... a child once bitten by a Rottweiler will intuitively assume they are dangerous but they don't know it for a fact. When it comes to intuitive CAD software, it's based on what you already know; a reference of assumed process based on previous experience. So after 12 years of SW experience, then placed at the helm of an NX interface, you go with what you know. In these circumstances, where a user is exposed to a capable system with many more options, as DaveK alluded to with his quote from John Baker, so many of them are valid that the user is left wondering which is "the best"? One must realize that good, better, and best are relative assessments on a product or service dictated by the requirements. I used to work with an instructor who, instead of flying, drove to most of his teaching assignments in a GEO Metro with no A/C or cruise control and only an AM radio to listen to! His requirements were much different than mine! His included the benefit of mileage reimbursement actually paying for his Metro while my requirements included sipping an adult beverage during the two hours that I flew to the training venue city compared to my colleague's entire Sunday. Pro's and con's for both but all based on what we required from the plan. One more analogy and I'll wrap it up... in the old days of automotive audio systems before FM, 8-tracks, and cassettes, there was only AM radio. The factory OEM radio was the amp, pre-amp, tuner, and equalizer. There was no storage media, no Bluetooth, not even multi-channel separation (stereo). In fact, there was only 1 damned speaker, usually so distorted it sounded more like a barrel of ping-pong balls! There were 5 push buttons for "programmed memory" station settings. (Hah! They were mechanical stops for the string that wrapped around the tuning dial!) And you had the tuning knob and the on/off/volume dial and that was the "audio system". If you had a deluxe radio, it had a "tone" control ring around the volume or tuning dial forcing you to choose EITHER bass or treble, but not both. That was it! But I digress. Any moron could operate the thing because it was "intuitive". Nowadays you have all the bells and whistles of Sirius web-based stations, Dolby, multi-DVD player, and even Bluetooth apps on your phone that allow you to run the entire 9-speaker surround sound system. You cannot understand how it all works without reading the instructions, or in reality, watching the YouTube video on your cell. This is called training. Understanding the complex requires an interpreter. For the CAD system with which I will achieve the great works of my life and career, I think it best to have the deluxe CAD tools that are fully capable of achieving the intended result despite the most demanding requirements. If I truly want to make the man years of my working life fulfilling and fruitful, I'll fully understand the capabilities of my CAD system, whether by watching YouTube videos (which I highly dissuade due to semi-educated "experts" attempting to appear "published") or getting actual training from an established professional expert in the subject. And that expert needs to know how to explain how the application can fulfill the requirements. Pushing my services? Not at all; doesn't matter to me. But it matters to you. If you can fly a Cessna, great, but you'll find the Boeing 7-series jets aren't very intuitive. Ooops, snuck in another analogy there!

Re: Frustration....I could do this in solidworks but can't seem to do it in NX!?


@Gazzachap,  Have you been able to go through the Siemens "Learning Advantage" training at this site:  ""  These tutorials have been very helpful for me.


I've had numerous times with the frustration of using NX.  I've used other CAD softwares for 20 some years and it's been "interesting" using NX.  I had formal training for 2 weeks several years ago and then moved off to different companies and other softwares.  I've now been using NX for 3 years and went through many of the tutorials.  I've also asked a lot of questions on this forum and have some on eng-tips forum "", as well.


As others have mentioned, I'll use past experience as at least a direction for where to proceed and then I'll typically have to see where NX can't quite do what I want and then work around to get the task completed.  Again, this will be after taking the tutorials, asking questions here or other sites.  It will often take additional steps, more picks and figuring out where it's not quite as intuitive (other CAD systems I've used were very powerful, yet more intuitive - my opinion), but I can usually at least get an acceptable solution.  It may not be as simple and streamlined as you are used to, but it should at least be a solution. 


I forgot to check and see if you are on NX 12.  If you haven't "updated' to NX 12 yet, don't do it unless you can go to MP4.  We're unfortunately stuck on MP2 until second quarter of this year. Different posts on this forum and also this post on Eng-Tips "" give details about NX 12 MP2.  Stay away from it...  If you are now using NX 12 MP2, update to MP 4 as soon as possible.