NX offers you a lot of flexibility in the way you design parts, particularly when it comes to importing data and knowledge reuse. Far from just being a buzzword, knowledge reuse is a hot topic in CAD because of the vast benefits it provides—not just at the company or enterprise level, but to individual users like you.
Who wants to create the same parts again? Nothing sucks the fun and creativity out of your job faster than doing the same work over, especially when that work is simplistic. At that point, it just becomes tedious. Tedium leads to boredom, and that is when you start to make mistakes and productivity suffers.
You can avoid all of that simply by taking advantage of existing capabilities in NX. It’s easy to reuse parts because you can import data from a variety of places for use in your model or assembly.
Today we will show you three workflows in NX using the same tooling design. You will learn how to import and use data from Catchbook, CADENAS PARTSolutions, and your company’s own reuse library.
Let’s start with Catchbook. By the way, if you haven't heard about Catchbook yet, it's Siemens PLM Software's 2D drawing and conceptualization app! It leverages the same D-Cubed 2D DCM solver as NX, only the constraints are all in the background so you are unencumbered to sketch away to your heart's desire. It converts ink into precise mathematical curves that are 100% editable. The best part for engineers is that you can export files as DXF to use in a CAD system.
So, here you have a 2D sketch created in Catchbook, which you exported as a DXF and now want to bring into NX. You can do so through the import wizard, which includes many options and settings.
You can even preview what the sketch will look like once imported into NX. Once you are satisfied that everything is correct, go ahead and import the sketch into NX Drafting.
All dimensions come in cleanly and are associated to the 2D geometry. So now we want to switch into a 3D environment. You want to remove some constraints on the sketch and create 3 views: one top and two side views, respectively.
Next, use the Copy to 3D command to select the 3 views and convert them from a 2D sketch to 3D geometry with the output options you are given. To change the geometry, you simply activate the sketch, go in and make any changes necessary, and then apply them to the 3D model as well. You can also add additional features, such as blends or chamfers, directly to the 3D model.
This design you created can now be used in another design such as an assembly. In this case, we have a tooling design in NX to which we would like to add the newly created 3D part from our original 2D sketch in Catchbook.
Use the Add Component command to locate and insert your part. You can then set the proper assembly constraints.
Now, let’s look at how to add a part from a network. You will import a part from CADENAS PARTSolutions to use with this same tooling design.
When in the Reuse Library, right-click the CADENAS Library and select the option Open Web Page. You will then be directed to the CADENAS library online, which contains a multitude of parts you can search for and use.
Type the part you would like to locate in the search bar. Today, the part we want is a clevis. You can navigate through the many results that the site returns. Once you’ve located the exact part you want, you must bring it into NX. How can we do that?
Go back into the Reuse Library in NX. Right-click CADENAS Library and select the option Search Web. Type in the same part you would, clevis, and you will see that all of the parts available to you online are also embedded directly in the NX Reuse Library.
Next, drag and drop the part you would like. You get a list of different parameters you can adjust. Once you update all parameters correctly, you can use assembly constraints to properly define the location of this part and add it to the tooling design.
You can add a library to the NX Reuse Library with the Reuse Library Management tool. This can also be done in Managed Mode. Once you select Add a Library, you choose the folder you would like. Once the path is defined, you can then go in and search for the parts you would like. In this case, you search for bracket and it returns subfolders with any results that match your search term. By expanding the folders, you can drag and drop the parts you would like into your existing design.
Watch the latest NX Quick Tips video to see these steps in action.
For more info on Catchbook, visit our landing page and Catchbook Community.