New User Journey | Six months learning in NX

By eilidh.dickerson

NX™ software is for everyone. It doesn’t matter whether you are an experienced CAD designer, or whether you are starting your career as a product designer. Everything available to you in NX is to ensure you can build the designs that you desire.

I started using CAD to prototype my designs as a Product Design student. Product (or Industrial) Design is a broad field that encompasses technology, engineering and design. This combination helps to create innovations and improve problems in everyday life. For me however, product design is about identifying a problem and finding a functional and innovative solution. I take inspiration from anywhere I can, to try and find a user centered, sustainable solution that looks good.

Internship and CAD Experience

When I started an internship at Siemens Digital Industries Software last year, I began learning NX without ever having used it before. I had some core knowledge in another CAD software, and used my knowledge of this to try and navigate the basics of NX. I started learning with the help of the on-demand training classes at Xcelerator Academy.  I spent 2 months going through the classes on Xcelerator Academy, before sitting the NX Certification. The learning path split my learning into 5 distinct sections, starting with a walkthrough of the UX and showing how to model, import, assemble and render models. It can be a great starting point if you have never used CAD and want to learn it on your own, or to supplement other school or university teaching and accelerate your skills.

The NX Certification

The NX Certification is an online exam, which validates knowledge of determining modelling strategies; creating & editing solid models, assembly models & structures; parametric vs. non-parametric modelling techniques; and associative links between parts using NX design. Through passing the NX Certification, I was able to show core design skills in NX. I then went on and spent four more months learning ‘on the job’, through working on different projects, and picking up skills from those around me. Through this I was then able to specialize in the features of NX that are beneficial to my field, but are not taught in the initial Certification.

NX is a software for mechanical design and manufacture, that allows you to create a comprehensive digital twin from the beginning of the process to the end. This includes modelling, simulation, animation, visualization, and help with manufacture. From fittings to 3D printing and mold creation, all the way to viewing your model in virtual reality. Since the software is so powerful, it can be hard to know where to start. Choosing to learn NX is worth the extra work in the initial stages, as it allows you to use one software, without exporting for any stage of the process.

Benefits of using NX

Having everything in one software without having to learn and download other CAD systems, allows me to spend more time fine-tuning the functionality of my designs. Once you get a handle on the basic modelling elements and functionality, learning advanced features becomes easier. You can then pick and choose which apply to your industry, and even personalize your own UX to these features.

Previously, I often found myself having to change my design sketches and ideas to fit what I would be able to model, as my CAD abilities struggled to keep up with the pace at which design projects would move. With the knowledge I now have of NX, and the depth of features, I can now create non-organic or asymmetrical shapes easily. And, more importantly, still be able to add manufacturing data, allowing me full creative control when designing.

If you want to start learning NX, you can download NX Student Edition and try NX for free at

Leave a Reply

This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at