In a design studio full of people working, a man in the foreground works at a computer station on NX CAD.

Product design tools

NX CAD 3D modeling

Providing powerful and versatile CAD modeling tools, NX CAD enables you to freely use any modeling approach that fits your design challenge and helps you get innovative products to market faster.


Explore how NX is advancing generative technology

CIMdata explores NX capabilities for generative design, such as topology optimization and convergent modeling for lighter and stronger products.

A 3D rendering of a car made in NX. It has yellow rims on the wheels, a yellow frame allowing you to see the inside of the car, and black seats with a red exterior.

Modeling technology platform

Deliver greater innovation and higher quality at a lower cost. With NX 3D product design software you can interchangeably use the most productive modeling approaches—from explicit solid and surface modeling, to parametric and direct modeling and facet-based modeling.

Adaptive user interface

Leverage the NX personal assistant that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to track and learn from user actions. This feature predicts the NX commands you will likely use next based on the context of what you are currently doing. It then presents those commands on a compact adaptive user interface (UI) panel. For example, if you're doing something in sheet metal, it knows that a certain sequence of commands will be used and it will provide them to you.

Dashboard of NX showing a part design.

Convergent Modeling

Perform faceted-based modeling without needing data conversion. By combining facet, surface and solid modeling in a single integrated environment, NX eliminates the need for reverse engineering. Simply model with topology optimization results directly. Convergent Modeling, compared with traditional modeling techniques, can be up to ten times faster.

A component showing the result of an NX Topology Optimization study.

Equation-driven modeling

Certain functional surfaces and solids are most easily defined using mathematical equations. Functional examples include optical surfaces, cam profiles, airfoil geometry and any other geometry for which you can define the math. Using Convergent Modeling, equation-driven geometry can be specified using robust 3D plotting tools in NX Maple and then associatively incorporated into NX designs for further refinement.

NX Maple can easily handle algebraic math, differential and integral calculus, differential equations, linear algebra and much more. You’ll have complete control over the smoothness or resolution of equation-driven geometry created by NX Maple. Also, the intellectual property defined by NX Maple worksheets can easily remain managed within Teamcenter.

NX Maple window open in NX. Gerotor design tool.

Synchronous technology

Experience synchronous technology, a collection of simple, direct pull/push tools for editing and creating both 2D and 3D geometry.

Perform fast and intuitive modeling with NX—freely modify 3D geometry without needing to understand how models were constructed using simple push-and-pull methods. You can use synchronous modeling interchangeably with all other CAD modeling tools—on NX models or geometry from any other source for greater versatility.

An example of NX Synchronous Modelling - Move Face, showing the original and new positions of a boss and blends.

Topology optimization and generative engineering

Create and optimize a new generation of products by taking performance requirements into account from the start. Compressed schedules often force engineers to choose the first feasible design option. By mimicking nature’s evolutionary approach, generative engineering empowers you to identify the best design sooner, while reducing the number of iterations needed.

Automated calculations iterate until optimized geometry is achieved. The resulting organic shapes are lightweight and meet all performance requirements. NX allows you to automate the design exploration process.

Image shows a before and after example of part reduction on a bolted pipe assembly resulting from NX Topology Optimization.

2D and 3D CAD modeling

Use any modeling approach that fits your design challenge—with the versatile NX CAD modeling tools—and get innovative products to market faster.

Assembly design

Create and manage assembly models of any size or complexity with powerful CAD assembly design tools. With both top-down and bottom-up techniques supported, you can manage and navigate assembly models and keep your team organized and on track:

  • Handle complex assembly designs on the daily
  • Access control structures and constraints for parametric assemblies that simplify design changes and accelerate modeling of configurations, options and variants
  • Design in the true context of your product
  • Validate your designs and identify and resolve issues with complete support of digital mockups
A ship assembly in NX with some components removed to reveal the interial structure.

Feature modeling

Design the next generation of products faster and less expensively. In a single modeling solution, use comprehensive, high-performance parametric wireframe, surface, solid and facet modeling along with the direct modeling power of synchronous technology.

Combining feature modeling techniques with synchronous technology gives you a fast approach to creating the designs you need.

A component in NX with 3D dimensions  created by NX Model Based Defintion that are applied to a hole feature.

Freeform design

Explore alternative design concepts quickly with NX freeform modeling software.

This versatile, integrated toolset combines 2D, 3D, curve, surface, solid, facet and synchronous modeling for fast and easy shape creation, evaluation and editing.

With advanced freeform modeling, shape analysis rendering and visualization tools, you get all the capabilities of dedicated industrial design systems, as well as complete integration with NX design, simulation and manufacturing to accelerate development.

Image of a concept aircraft being designed with NX Realize Shape, a sub-division modelling application.

NX Sketch

Improve your productivity. Every mechanical CAD tool has some form of sketching—all based on the same core concepts. Old approaches keep you from iterating efficiently and will enable you to change your mind and quickly adapt your sketch. They rely on building lots of rules and relationships that control behavior.

Try our new approach to sketching. Our latest sketch capabilities reduce users' time capturing ideas by up to and over 30%. For many users, as much as 15% of their day is spent sketching —reducing that even by a small margin provides a significant improvement in productivity.

Image of a dimensioned  NX Sketch profile with an angular dimension being modified and the sketch relations being shown.

Sheet metal design

Efficiently create sheet metal parts based on industry knowledge of material properties and manufacturing processes, using familiar terminology and workflows.

Access NX sheet metal design tools that incorporate material and bending information, enabling the model to represent the formed component and flattened blank shapes. You can quickly convert solid models to sheet metal components and create sheet metal parts that enclose other components. NX Advanced Sheet Metal provides functions that enable modeling sheet metal parts with more complex shapes.

A component being designed in NX Sheetmetal Design with 3 flanges being added.

Template-based design

Reduce costs, increase innovation and boost efficiency in product design by reusing design information and process knowledge.

Accelerate design, standardize product design processes, and maximize the time and cost savings of reuse in NX CAD. You can create templates from existing designs and reuse them for new designs. With simple drag-and-drop tools, quickly and easily create custom interfaces that control design inputs and engineering operations for templates.

With NX Product Templates, you can automate much more than design modeling. Incorporate product and manufacturing information, drawings, motion analysis, structural simulation and validation checking into the templates to automate and standardize engineering processes.

A machine tool head designed with an NX Product Template, image includes the template dialog.

Design for additive manufacturing

Meet the unique challenges of designing, optimizing and building metal and plastic components using the latest additive manufacturing methods. Our breakthrough technology delivers advanced methods for designing lightweight parts, while design validation checkers ensure manufacturability.

Design rules

Ensure your product is designed for manufacturability and correctly optimized for performance using additive manufacturing methods. Identify issues such as overhangs, areas that need support, assembly issues and more to deliver products that can be manufactured the first time while saving money and materials used.

A component in an NX graphics window with an NX Design for Additive Manufacturing - Analysis - Wall thickness check dialog.

Lattice structures

Deliver lightweight components without compromising on structural integrity. The NX integrated lattice tool makes it easy to embed lattice structures inside a substantial part or incorporate them as part of an overall design. The lattices are complex geometry represented as facets, which you can then modify and change directly using Convergent Modeling technology.

An automotive control arm with a NX Lattice Structure to provide lightweighting of the component.

Manufacturing preparation

To transition additive manufacturing to an industrial production process, it must have digital integration between design, production and automation, and include control and monitoring of machine performance. To accomplish this transition, our solutions include NX, Simcenter (a robust suite of simulation software and test solutions) and elements of Siemens’ Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM) portfolio for manufacturing automation. Our integrated solution uses smart product models through all phases without the need for data conversion between applications or processes.

Learn more