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NX 11 Create 2D Layout from 3D Geometry in NX Layout

Community Manager Community Manager
Community Manager

Did you know NX allows you to quickly generate a 2D layout from existing 3D geometry? It’s possible with the Create from 3D command in NX Layout. Do yourself a favor and take advantage of the geometry that you already have, rather than recreating things from scratch. The steps in this tutorial and video will show you how. 


(view in My Videos)


Start by opening both the layout file and assembly file. Before you begin, look at the assembly file and quickly navigate through all of its components to ensure that everything is in order. Once you have confirmed that the assembly looks good, you can switch back to the layout file using the new Switch Windows dialog in NX 11.


NX Layout 1.jpg


Navigate to the Layout tab in NX and select Create from 3D. With the dialog open, you should now see a list of all of the parts in the assembly. Starting in NX 11, wherever there is a list of parts, a preview window now displays when you hover over a selection, making it easier to identify and select the exact part that you’re looking for.


NX Layout 2.jpg


In this case, select the left pilot seat. Now change the Output Method from Projection to Section. Since there is no geometry currently selected on the X, Y, or Z planes, there are no sections to view. However, if you were to select geometry, you would then see those sections displayed.



Switch back to Projection as the Output Method. Now it is time to start selecting components. As you select geometry, you start to see it projected to the specified 2D plane, which is currently set to the right view Orientation underneath Projection Plane. 


NX Layout 4.jpg


With that done, the right view is now clearly defined, and we can cycle through the remaining views to verify that everything looks good. Notice how the views generate almost instantaneously. Once we have chosen the view we want to display, select OK and NX will take care of the rest.



NX Layout 5.jpg


Once the information is compiled into a layout file, select anywhere on the page to place that file. Notice in the Part Navigator that each of the sub-components of the pilot seat have been captured. Say you don’t want that level of granularity, however, and would rather have a single component group.  It is possible to combine those either by dragging to select the entire group on the page or by highlighting each subcomponent on the Part Navigator and selecting Smash.


NX Layout 6.jpg


Next go into the 2D library to select the proper subfolder, which in this case is the Seats 2D component, and right-mouse click to select Define 2D Objects to create those. Once that is done, it’s necessary to define the objects, select the anchor point, and with that, you have successfully created a 2D layout from preexisting 3D geometry using the Create from 3D command.  This command is available in NX 9 and later versions.


See this workflow step by step in the NX Quick Tips video above. Thanks for reading and watching! Let me know if you try it and have any questions.