NX9 CAM Interactive Cut Regions

By wrightj

Interactive Cut Region management is a new tool added to NX9 to help CAM users easily segregate “steep” from “non-steep” areas*.  This new capability means that the overall NC programming process is speeded up while at the same time reducing the number of screen clicks/picking of faces.

*Measurement of “steep” and “non-steep” areas are based on the relative angle of a surface to the tool axis as specified in the operation.  The actual angle is selected by the user, but the system default is 65° – any part of a face that is steeper than that is classified as “steep” and any part of a face that is less is “non-steep”.

There is more to this functionality than just separating steep from non-steep.  You can also select the cut pattern to be used for a region, which means that multiple cut patterns can exist in the same operation.  You can also choose the order of cut – which region should be cut first, and which one last. You can also divide a region by a plane – this allows differential machining for each sub-region created.  You can also defer a region – save it for machining by a later operation.

Once previewed, NX can display collisions where the holder touches the geometry.  This is useful for determining the proper tool length OR deferring a region for a later operation with a longer cutting tool.  Additionally, the auto-created regions can be further divided by the user.  I’ll show an example of that in the video.  Similarly, two adjacent regions can be merged.

(view in My Videos)

What future enhancements would you like to see?  Should there be a middle ground between steep and non-steep (maybe called “just right”)?  Leave your suggestion in the comments area below.

About the Author

jim.jpgJim has a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Central Missouri. He has over 30 years of experience in the manufacturing industry, and over 25 years of experience in the CAD/CAM field. He serves as Field Support for Siemens PLM CAM products. Prior to his current role, he held stints as CNC Programmer, CAD/CAM Department Manager, CAD/CAM instructor, and Project Coordinator for Siemens PLM CAM software development.  He is fluent in dead languages like Fortran and Pascal.

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