In modeling we use layers to separate out Datums & planes / Sketches / Linked geometry - features etc.
If you have a very complex part it can make life easier for another person to navigate that part.
We actually use less layers in drafting.
Same as Mark-J, we have ranges of layers for particular feature types, datums, sketches, reference stuff.
Not so much of a need in drafting anymore, use there has become more rare.
I often use layers by putting different entities, such as curves, datum, surfaces and so on, that I have used to build a feature. So when I activate a layer I only have the entities I need.
I know that a lot of us have legacy systems and older legacy UG data. If you were to start from scratch using NX12 would you still have the layers configured this way?
And then there is the issue with layers and assemblies! What to do for assemblies?
The reason I ask is that the system has, over the years, provided functions that control the display of design elements such as sketches and then assemblies use reference sets. Hide/show (aka Blank and Unblank) are another set of tools that can control visibility.
If you are navigating a part wouldn't you use the Feature Playback function?
Even if I were starting from NX12 (currently on NX11) I would still use layers.
Yes, one could use feature playback but not everyone works in the same manner.
Because of the very complex parts I work on from time to time having certain features on specific layers
allows me to just have the items I really want to see/work with on the screen.
As for assemblies the use of arrangements and reference sets are all that is needed for 99% of my companys work flow.
Layers may not be for everyone depending on your parts and workflow.
For us, we have the layer standard, since I cam from teh old school world of UG, but the company has only been using NX since v9 (4 years). I use it to organize my stuff. Others use show/hide, some embed sketches into features. We allow a lot of flexibility, but as the users gain experience, more and more have seen the usefulness of layers.
One other note from my experience is when I explain the layer concept to new NX users they look at me like I have two heads. After a few months everyone of them has come to embrace layers.
We only use layers in drafting. And only to make title block and parts list visible only. All info is coming from attributes, no one is supposed to edit this by hand.
I have never needed the layer functionality. With show/hide and reference sets there is enough control over what I see.
But maybe my parts are not complex enough though.
We do use layers in manufacturing though. But this is because the switch layer/layout functionality.
Drawing borders on a seperate visible only layer, is the extend of out use of them, in drafting side of things.
At a past employer, they had a layer convention, which put certain geometry on certain layers, bolts on a certain layer, nuts on a layer, etc. They did not use master model, so assemblies would get very confusing using the "entire part" reference set, so their layer system was created. It was incredibly complicated, and on day one, I suggested "why not use reference sets?". That was an eye opening day for them