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    Default NX good,bad,ugly

    I'm seriously considering buying NX CAD/CAM with 3-axis, 5-axis, nc simulation for driving Brother Speedio with 4th axis. Would like to know from those of you that use this software what the strengths and especially weaknesses are for this product. Thx.

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    Pros:
    You can tell everyone you use NX in your garage

    Cons:
    The price
    Lack of free training materials
    Posts are purchased or the editing tool must be purchased.

    Honestly I think you are setting yourself up for a very steep and frustrating learning curve unnecessarily.

    You won’t need 10 different options for every option in your CAM and I foresee you spending more time reviewing the programs with a fine tooth comb. Throw in speeds and feeds and tooling and I don’t envy the position being created.

    My 2c.

    Start with Fusion, see if it will do what you want. If it doesn’t then look for something that will.

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    I think if you tried starting out on a seat of NX, you would despise machining and wonder WTF you were ever thinking when you got into this.

    NX is a tool for folks who know exactly what they want to do, are pretty experienced in machining, and are ready to spend days/weeks customizing NX to make it work exactly as they want it to. It is the broadest, most powerful tool in the industry (also the oldest).

    Or I'll put it this way; I'm about an 80% tier Fusion user. I'm extremely comfortable doing crazy shit in Fusion 360, and I would say I have native fluency in it as a platform. Even with all that experience (and years of SolidWorks/HSM Works before that), the NX learning curve is fucking vertical. Like, I'm learning TCL tonight so I can bend the post processor to my will.

    I know what you're up to; you will eventually move to NX given your use case, for a multitude of reasons (watch some Realize Shape demos). You will get there faster starting out with Fusion than you will being thrown into it with a seat of NX, probably by a full 12-18 months.
    Last edited by gkoenig; 04-03-2019 at 04:56 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkoenig View Post
    I think if you tried starting out on a seat of NX, you would despise machining and wonder WTF you were ever thinking when you got into this.

    NX is a tool for folks who know exactly what they want to do, are pretty experienced in machining, and are ready to spend days/weeks customizing NX to make it work exactly as they want it to. It is the broadest, most powerful tool in the industry (also the oldest).

    Or I'll put it this way; I'm about an 80% tier Fusion user. I'm extremely comfortable doing crazy shit in Fusion 360, and I would say I have native fluency in it as a platform. Even with all that experience (and years of SolidWorks/HSM Works before that), the NX learning curve is fucking vertical -with a few ledges completely blocking your path sometimes!!. Like, I'm learning TCL tonight so I can bend the post processor to my will.

    I know what you're up to; you will eventually move to NX given your use case, for a multitude of reasons (watch some Realize Shape demos). You will get there faster starting out with Fusion than you will being thrown into it with a seat of NX, probably by a full 12-18 months.

    Start with something easier. If you are experienced with even a couple other softwares, NX will still kick your ass without having a good training program, or someone that already knows it well.

    Oh yea, you wanted to hear some good things. I think once (if?) you got it all setup and learned it WELL, it would do anything and everything you could want in a cad/cam package. There are alot of tools and features.

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    I use OneCNC for 4th axis stuff and love it! It's the easiest to use and does everything I want it to do. Talk to Patrick at OneCNC West and get a demo. Oh, yeah, the very best support, too. And it's easy to learn, has a good work flow, and free training!

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkoenig View Post
    I think if you tried starting out on a seat of NX, you would despise machining and wonder WTF you were ever thinking when you got into this.

    NX is a tool for folks who know exactly what they want to do, are pretty experienced in machining, and are ready to spend days/weeks customizing NX to make it work exactly as they want it to. It is the broadest, most powerful tool in the industry (also the oldest).

    Or I'll put it this way; I'm about an 80% tier Fusion user. I'm extremely comfortable doing crazy shit in Fusion 360, and I would say I have native fluency in it as a platform. Even with all that experience (and years of SolidWorks/HSM Works before that), the NX learning curve is fucking vertical. Like, I'm learning TCL tonight so I can bend the post processor to my will.

    I know what you're up to; you will eventually move to NX given your use case, for a multitude of reasons (watch some Realize Shape demos). You will get there faster starting out with Fusion than you will being thrown into it with a seat of NX, probably by a full 12-18 months.
    Almost like going from a Mustang Gt for $35k brand new to a F35 fighter plane LOL

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    Quote Originally Posted by drcoelho View Post
    I'm seriously considering buying NX CAD/CAM with 3-axis, 5-axis, nc simulation for driving Brother Speedio with 4th axis. Would like to know from those of you that use this software what the strengths and especially weaknesses are for this product. Thx.
    .
    the most important thing is look at available books and training tutorials not just on CAD but the CAM part too. literally i know many who never figured out how to use NX and i only learned the basics after finding tutorials and ebooks on it.
    .
    Mastercam in my opinion has many many books and tutorials probably 10 times more easily available
    .
    go look at what they teach in local schools. if you can find NX training at a local college which i doubt you can easily find classes, take the training classes first to see if you can learn NX. if you cannot learn it from a teacher in a classroom dont expect to learn by yourself any easier

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    A lot of snivelling by people who have never used NX. I'm a Pro/E guy but I-DEAS and Unigraphics were similar.

    It's a picnic. Whatever the cheap crap can do, NX can do better. (Although my I-DEAS friend hates it and wants his I-DEAS back. Thanks, software companies. Customers ? Who gives a shit what they want ? He preferred the appearance and workflow of I-DEAS, he's not whining about how difficult Unigraphics is. But if you want stoopid, you could always go to HP)

    Even Pro/E with the famous "vertical learning curve" was simple to get the hang of. Of course to this day I cannot use everything that's in the program, there's too much there for one dummy to master. But it does everything I need and it's fun to use and not any more difficult than all this cheap crap.

    So if you want NX, buy it. There's tutorials out there for everything !

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    Quote Originally Posted by EmanuelGoldstein View Post
    A lot of snivelling by people who have never used NX. I'm a Pro/E guy but I-DEAS and Unigraphics were similar.

    It's a picnic. Whatever the cheap crap can do, NX can do better. (Although my I-DEAS friend hates it and wants his I-DEAS back. Thanks, software companies. Customers ? Who gives a shit what they want ? He preferred the appearance and workflow of I-DEAS, he's not whining about how difficult Unigraphics is. But if you want stoopid, you could always go to HP)

    Even Pro/E with the famous "vertical learning curve" was simple to get the hang of. Of course to this day I cannot use everything that's in the program, there's too much there for one dummy to master. But it does everything I need and it's fun to use and not any more difficult than all this cheap crap.

    So if you want NX, buy it. There's tutorials out there for everything !

    You don't say? I've used it,, as well as GK and dstry too I believe. But I guess you are the smartest guy int he room. Might as well tell all the beginners just buy a mill turn, quit screwing around with those "simple" 3 axis machines.

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    NX is famous for being hard to learn and this is coming from somebody who was eventually able to learn to use it after years of trying.
    .
    Mastercam i was able to do the basics in a week using easily found tutorial books on it.
    .
    NX i had to create a post processor and it took over 100 tries and weeks to eventually get it to work. compared to Mastercam that comes with basic post processors that worked right off ok.
    .
    literally been at a place with over 100 machinists and maybe 5 at the most could do anything with NX. as i said look for local college teaching any CAD CAM you want to use and take some courses on it first. if you cant learn from a teacher in a classroom it aint going to be any easier learning on your own

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    NX is a high level solution where people spend their whole careers specializing in only one aspect of the software... If you have chips to be made don't fuck with trying to learn how to post. I have a 16 machine shop specializing in 5 axis work. My niche is making parts ... not posts. I sub my post processor / simulation work out to Marek @Ncmatic

    I moved to NX back in 2010 from Delcam Featurecam. The curve isn't as steep as people make it seem. Been using it every day since then... Would never switch now.
    1 more note... There is no perfect CAD CAM... Doesn't exist. Just like there isn't a perfect ERP system/


    NCmatic Siemens PLM Solution Partner

    This guy is one of the best in the industry

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    Quote Originally Posted by EmanuelGoldstein View Post
    A lot of snivelling by people who have never used NX. I'm a Pro/E guy but I-DEAS and Unigraphics were similar.

    It's a picnic. Whatever the cheap crap can do, NX can do better. (Although my I-DEAS friend hates it and wants his I-DEAS back. Thanks, software companies. Customers ? Who gives a shit what they want ? He preferred the appearance and workflow of I-DEAS, he's not whining about how difficult Unigraphics is. But if you want stoopid, you could always go to HP)

    Even Pro/E with the famous "vertical learning curve" was simple to get the hang of. Of course to this day I cannot use everything that's in the program, there's too much there for one dummy to master. But it does everything I need and it's fun to use and not any more difficult than all this cheap crap.

    So if you want NX, buy it. There's tutorials out there for everything !
    You realize the OP has zero machining (at least CNC) experience right? And it will literally be used in his "garage"
    Why jump off the deep end for the sake of an ego trip?

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    I learned the Cam side of NX from NX Training - i GET IT

    Also have had excellent support from the reseller on technical questions.

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    The thing I like about NX (formerly Unigraphics (used it since 1995)), is that for my AADD methods of working, its flexibility is great. You can use curves, surfaces, lines, multiple solids, sketches or no sketches, all at the same time, in the same model. For example, you can project some arbitrary curve in space onto a surface, split the surface on that projected curve, extract or offset that split surface etc. This flexibility (versus sketch-based programs that only allow operating on one solid at a time), creates some extra learning-curve, but the result of that is that almost any modelling problem can be solved. I have a friend that uses NX-CAM (on Matsuuras) and claims it's the best CAM software available, especially for complex surfacing jobs (I have no CAM experience with it). I've used various CAD programs since their inception (CADAM, Solidworks, Catia, Unigraphics/NX, ProE) and prefer NX over any of them; the "training classes and manuals" IMO aren't worth the money, the only way to learn any of them is to start using them (with the standard canned tutorials), then real applications, and have someone around that uses them to ask questions. However, if one is not doing complex surfacing and such, it may be overkill relative to cost of other options, not only the original cost, but the ongoing maintenance costs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hazzert View Post
    Why jump off the deep end for the sake of an ego trip?
    I know a little about OP's application, and I can totally see why NX would appeal to him for what he wants to do. He will eventually wind up as an NX user as he progresses.

    People's opinions of NX is highly dependent on how they come at it.

    1- You have 19 year olds in engineering schools that force NX on them the way Catcher in the Rye is forced on 9th graders. They are attempting to learn basics of CAD/CAM, and are spending more time fighting NX than they are getting actual work done. The moment they step into something like SolidWorks or Fusion, they feel tremendous relief and wonder why the hell they were forced to use such an "awful" piece of software.

    2- CAD/CAM jockeys at current NX based companies like Apple/Diamler/GE/etc. Usually have CAD/CAM backgrounds, and are stepping into seats of NX that have been so heavily customized for the workflow by Siemens/VARs that much of the complexity of melted away. Extensive training regimes and cadres of on-hand experts are there to help out.

    3- Guys like Dystr and I who came to NX with extensive CAD/CAM experience and were looking for more advanced tools to solve complex problems. He is doing crazy 5 axis work under tight deadlines, I'm programming Speedios for production of complex parts in 7 figure annual volumes. When you come to NX from that perspective, what would look like bullshit complexity to most folks actually looks like tremendous capability and power.

    Don't get me wrong; there are still plenty of moments when I want to resurrect Werner von Siemens from the grave only so I can strangle him back to death. Certain simple functions are annoyingly baroque (see: chamfering). For a system that really wants you to customize it through templates, they make that process absurdly difficult (like keeping all the templates in write protected directories). The tutorials available online are atrocious; nobody covers the basics well, and the VARs who post the great technical videos are usually doing so about in-the-weeds advanced topics that don't help out beginners. The Siemens folks I've talked to make it very clear that their mission is to solve hard problems; making things intuitive and simple is of tertiary concern.

    Having said that, it also lets you do insane things. Like total control over every aspect of the tool path, all the way down to Generic Motion which lets you literally move a tool step by step through whatever motion you want just by dragging it around. The Syncronous Modeling tools are what every direct modeling demo wishes it could be. The in process workpiece handling is extraordinary. The setup flexibility is incredible. The post processor system is crazy. WAVE geometry linking is super cool. The overall software reliability surpasses anything I've ever used. The learning curve is vertical, but the results are incredible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dstryr View Post
    NX is a high level solution where people spend their whole careers specializing in only one aspect of the software... If you have chips to be made don't fuck with trying to learn how to post. I have a 16 machine shop specializing in 5 axis work. My niche is making parts ... not posts. I sub my post processor / simulation work out to Marek @Ncmatic

    I moved to NX back in 2010 from Delcam Featurecam. The curve isn't as steep as people make it seem. Been using it every day since then... Would never switch now.
    1 more note... There is no perfect CAD CAM... Doesn't exist. Just like there isn't a perfect ERP system/


    NCmatic Siemens PLM Solution Partner

    This guy is one of the best in the industry

    As he said.

    I think we are off topic a bit as the OP is looking for software for *only* a 4th axis. I think most software will do that, although I don't know that, just an educated guess. I don't think anyone is really disputing NX as a good cam software (...), but certainly not one to jump into on day one!! Sort of what dstryr said earlier about car-plane analogy. Starting with NX (even with some exp.) would be like giving your 16 year old kid fresh with a learners permit an F1 car to drive around!

    Does fusion have 4th axis? Is it still free with the 4th axis add-on/module?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1974 View Post
    As he said.

    I think we are off topic a bit as the OP is looking for software for *only* a 4th axis. I think most software will do that, although I don't know that, just an educated guess. I don't think anyone is really disputing NX as a good cam software (...), but certainly not one to jump into on day one!! Sort of what dstryr said earlier about car-plane analogy. Starting with NX (even with some exp.) would be like giving your 16 year old kid fresh with a learners permit an F1 car to drive around!

    Does fusion have 4th axis? Is it still free with the 4th axis add-on/module?
    Fusion does simultaneous 5 axis nowadays. It's what AVE is running his Haas VM with. I think top tier fusion is $1500/year or something thereaboots?

    Don't get me wrong gkoenig, I'm not shitting on NX but remember who is asking here. Maybe the OP will grow into it. I've looked him up and can probably guess what he's up to but at the same time maybe learning to roll over might be a good idea before putting on the running shoes

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1974 View Post
    Does fusion have 4th axis? Is it still free with the 4th axis add-on/module?
    I may be wrong, but the OP's application is 4th axis indexing to get access for intensive 3D paths on organic shapes.

    What I am not wrong about is that 4th axis simultaneous motion is a giant pain in the ass. Primarily because it is so very rare in practice that the tool sets for it suck; most work that would be 4th axis simultaneous goes to shops with full 5 axis machines. All the CAM guys are putting their efforts into full 5 axis tool sets and not bothering to circle back to 4th axis stuff.

    Fusion is a prime example of that; Swarf has a 4th Axis Limit option that has been in beta for a long time, yet still doesn't work (it will spit out 5 axis motion). For the big project I'm on, we attempted to output 5 axis motion and manually delete the (minor) 5th axis motion, to no avail.

    NX has great tools for 4 axis motion, but they rely heavily on geometry that has been explicitly created with this kind of tool path in mind. It is very easy to make what looks like basic 4th axis swarf geometry, only to find that the underlying structure of the surface is a spaghetti pile; all the multi-axis tools use the underlying surface structure to tell them where to point the tool, and if that underlying geometry is not *very* clean, the algorithms shit the bed.

    Just to give you an idea of how challenging this sorta stuff is and why NX is such an absurdly good tool, this is how my NX reseller worked on our challenge (I would be the customer in his example, though he isn't using our geometry for this demo):

    YouTube

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkoenig View Post
    I may be wrong, but the OP's application is 4th axis indexing to get access for intensive 3D paths on organic shapes.

    What I am not wrong about is that 4th axis simultaneous motion is a giant pain in the ass. Primarily because it is so very rare in practice that the tool sets for it suck; most work that would be 4th axis simultaneous goes to shops with full 5 axis machines. All the CAM guys are putting their efforts into full 5 axis tool sets and not bothering to circle back to 4th axis stuff.

    Fusion is a prime example of that; Swarf has a 4th Axis Limit option that has been in beta for a long time, yet still doesn't work (it will spit out 5 axis motion). For the big project I'm on, we attempted to output 5 axis motion and manually delete the (minor) 5th axis motion, to no avail.

    NX has great tools for 4 axis motion, but they rely heavily on geometry that has been explicitly created with this kind of tool path in mind. It is very easy to make what looks like basic 4th axis swarf geometry, only to find that the underlying structure of the surface is a spaghetti pile; all the multi-axis tools use the underlying surface structure to tell them where to point the tool, and if that underlying geometry is not *very* clean, the algorithms shit the bed.

    Just to give you an idea of how challenging this sorta stuff is and why NX is such an absurdly good tool, this is how my NX reseller worked on our challenge (I would be the customer in his example, though he isn't using our geometry for this demo):

    YouTube

    I don't know the OP (it appears you do?) or what he is trying to do. What you are showing seems to be a pretty specific example of how NX 'kicks ass', will it be like that for every part? Are his parts mostly simple with a few humdingers thrown in? I just can't see the cost of NX for a one man shop (unless I misread that part) being even a consideration...

    edit: I don't know the OP, I am making assumptions based on his post count that he is new. IF that is not the case, and he has *vast* cad/cam knowledge, all bets are off.

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    I don´t know NX at all.

    But I used to do ok in CATIA.
    Since I was 17, around 1985.
    When I made 3D maps of our area to invite friends to a home party.

    Later learning 5+ serious 3d platforms.
    Writing one in bcpl.

    Learning NX or any serious sw well, re: *well*, is mostly work hours and a bit of interest and capacity.
    Not really hard, as such, more work than hard.
    If you like and can do coding this helps with any sw or abstract problems.

    If one wants to learn any complex sw, it is a lot of hours /// experience.
    For me, I would expect to spend 100 hours on basic interface stuff, options, data, db linkage, macro system, etc.

    Then another 100 hours doing a few hard samples in 3D I know of, and looking at how to do them better.
    Model a Ballscrew/ballnut 300-30/5, real, manufacturable, accurate (1 um or less), etc.

    Animate it, lights, tracking, surfaces, bump maps,etc.
    Families of parts, db, etc.
    Costing.
    Excel links.
    Maybe versioning, costing, display model hiving, etc.
    Efficient models for working vs exact models. Via instancing.
    Instances of parts, linking, macro language leverage, etc.

    So I would expect to spend 200 hours on how-do-i-here where You and most-everyone will need about 2000 hours to learn that one can do a,b,c and then see somewhat what the costs and benefits of abc are.

    And 95% of the real challenges are in things that are not in the books or tutorials and you could not appreciate until you have mastered the tutorials.

    Things like
    1. what is the most efficient way to model a square nut with chamfered corners.
    In time, in model size, vs accuracy.

    My post is meant to be positive.
    The better the sw you learn, the better you learn it, the better the results you get from it.
    More complex sw and more skills == much more results and money.

    E:
    I make fairly complex 3d parts, a family.
    A new part, takes 3 secs to make.
    A new-series part takes 1 min into excel c. 12 dims and 5 secs to create the part.
    Simple excel script, driving a rhino script (complex), part done.
    Took 5 days to do, 3 days to learn rhino particulars and 2 days to write script.


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