The NX Series of design software now lets less-skilled engineers generate model variations with a few inputs.
Engineering intent in NX DesignLogic, from UGS Inc., Plano Tex. (ugs.com), can be expressed as associative measurements, functions, formulas, and references, as well as in figures pulled from spreadsheets and tables. A properly constructed model could, for example, define hydraulic manifolds based on the number of ports and a pressure value. The software is capable of defining both individual parts and assemblies this way. NX is a 3D digital design system built on the former Unigraphics and I-deas software.
"Older software that once performed this function demanded that operators be familiar with C++ or other proprietary programming languages," says UGS spokesperson Thomas Teger. "And they were third-party products, so they cost more, were less integrated, and had limited capabilities. DesignLogic is built into NX and takes almost no training because of its simplicity and the wizards that come with it." A streamlined user interface gives easy access to the embedded rules. It helps users write and select rules by presenting the necessary input criteria in a logical sequence. Built-in filtering of inputs and decisions reduces unnecessary user interactions.
A special tool helps decide whether parameters should be driven by measurement, formula, function, or another parameter. Users can associatively connect feature parameters to measurement results such as lengths, areas, volumes and center of gravity. The tool also lets users pick from a list of recently used parametric values. An expression editor simplifies the use of the new capabilities. And a formula builder lets designers link to numerous information resources such as spreadsheets, formulae, functions, rules, and requirements.