What’s New in NX | June 2023 | Modeling

By Michael Hobson

With the June 2023 release adding scores of exciting new features and enhancements to NX™, it could be easy to overlook the powerful design and modeling capabilities that lie at the heart of Siemens’ NX software.

Our latest video shows you how to use existing NX Core Design workflows to create the coffee machine design seen throughout this year’s What’s New in NX series.

Design Brief

Our videos follow the story of a coffee machine manufacturer with a successful product designed for use in cafés, restaurants and other commercial settings. We join them after they’ve decided to expand into the consumer space and design a new model for people to use at home.

A commercial three-group espresso machine

The technology inside the machine is proven, but the functional, industrial aesthetic of their current commercial model hasn’t performed well in focus groups with their new target market.

So the manufacturer has tasked their designers with creating a new outer shell for a smaller machine that will appeal to their new target market. It must:

  • Look sleek and eye-catching, with smooth, organic geometry
  • Feature the manufacturer’s coffee bean logo
  • Be manufacturable with injection-molded ABS plastic
  • Feature a range of color options

The designers will need a range of Core Design features to achieve all this. You can watch the full video to see the full workflow, but here’s a few key steps we’d like to highlight.

Reflection Analysis

The designers have added edge blends to the outer shell of the coffee machine. They have tangent continuity around the corners and look pretty good to the naked eye.

A 3D model of a coffee machine with edge blends, displayed in Siemens NX software

But using Refection Analysis reveals sharp transitions between the blended edges. This is the sort of detail that our designers need to address to achieve the sleek, high-quality finish required.

Siemens NX's Reflection Analysis tool showing edge blends with sharp transitions

Checking Reflection Analysis again after some tweaks to the blends shows a much smoother transition that’ll look far better on the finished product.

Siemens NX's Reflection Analysis tool showing edge blends with improved transitions

Algorithmic Modeling

A 3D model in Siemens NX, showing a repeating geometric pattern

Repeating patterns like these are common across all sorts of products, but can be complex and time-consuming to model manually. Luckily, you can significantly speed up the process with Algorithmic Modeling in NX.

Algorithmic Modeling gives you an intuitive visual programming interface in which you can create logic rules to generate and control geometry.

Once you’ve made a rule, quick edits to individual nodes can result in widespread changes across the whole model, allowing you to rapidly iterate through design changes.

An example of the visual programming display for NX's Algorithmic Modeling

You can also save any rules you create to NX’s Reuse Library so your colleagues can benefit from them as well.

If you’d like to try it out, these Algorithmic Modeling tips and tricks will help you get started.

Draw Shape

Editing a curve drawn with Draw Shape in Siemens NX

Draw Shape allows designers to define curve profiles directly on existing 3D forms. It’s a great way to add additional detail to a part during the design process.

Once drawn, you can edit the curve splines as easily as you would with a 2D sketch. Then you can manipulate the geometry however you like for the desired effect.

In our video, you’ll see Draw Shape used along with Variable Offset Face to create a raised coffee bean logo that stands out from the outer shell of the machine.

Here’s the finished design with a red ABS plastic material assigned. We think it looks pretty good!

A 3D model of a coffee machine designed in Siemens NX

If you’re interested in the next step in the process, watch the Molded Part Design video. It shows how to turn get this design ready for injection molded manufacturing.

Watch the NX Modeling video

There’s lots more to learn about NX modeling in the full video – check it out below if you haven’t already. And stay tuned for the next What’s New in NX video shortly, covering even more great updates from the June 2023 release of NX.

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