January 26, 2009
NX 6 – Synchronous Modeling Promotes Design Freedom
Please note that contributed articles, blog entries, and comments posted on MCADcafe.com are the views and opinion of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the management and staff of Internet Business Systems and its subsidiary web-sites.
Jeff Rowe - Managing Editor

by Jeff Rowe - Contributing Editor
Each MCAD Weekly Review delivers to its readers news concerning the latest developments in the MCAD industry, MCAD product and company news, featured downloads, customer wins, and coming events, along with a selection of other articles that we feel you might find interesting. Brought to you by MCADCafe.com. If we miss a story or subject that you feel deserves to be included, or you just want to suggest a future topic, please contact us! Questions? Feedback? Click here. Thank you!

Geometric changes made at any level within an assembly result in the update of associated data at all other levels of affected assemblies. An edit to an individual piece part causes all assembly drawings that use that part to also be updated. On the other hand, an edit made to a component in the context of an assembly results in the update of drawings and other associated objects (such as tool paths) within the component part.

Final Thoughts on NX 6

Synchronous modeling has been somewhat controversial since it was first announced and has endured considerable scrutiny by a broad spectrum of people ranging from users to pundits. There is yet no consensus on synchronous modeling, but everybody seems to have an opinion – some well-founded, some misleading. Admittedly, this is the first release that employs synchronous technology. Its implementation is a good start to capabilities that will only become more comprehensive over time (and I mean relatively quickly based on conversations I have had with the company). While it does share some characteristics of competing history-free MCAD applications, even at this early stage it also
offers several unique capabilities.

By itself, NX has been a very capable MCAD application for a number of releases, and synchronous technology and modeling techniques make NX 6 a very significant release. Out of the box, the core package is well-rounded and versatile, and there are a large number of optional modules available for handling virtually aspects of CAD, CAM, CAE, and PLM. NX 6 is one the most comprehensive packages out there, with “heavy duty” solvers and a user interface that continues to improve. The addition of synchronous modeling and the range of optional modules make NX 6 a wise choice for complex mechanical and mechatronic design that you are very unlikely to outgrow. As you designs mature
and evolve, NX 6 will keep pace stride for stride moving forward.

There are a lot of things I could cover, but I could only hit some of the highlights. I easily could have written an entire article on each of the topics covered in the sub-sections. There are a lot of new and interesting features and capabilities to be discovered and used in NX 6 – starting with synchronous modeling and branching out from there. Is synchronous modeling perfect? Well, no, but it’s a great start to what’s possible in the future for mechanical design.

If you have any specific questions pertaining to NX 6 that were not covered in this review, feel free to contact me at

                                   NX 6 Evaluation Quick Guide
Overall Product: A-
This version: A
Ease of use: B+
Features: A-
Customization: A
Interoperability: A
Documentation: B
Innovation: A-
Value: B+
Price: Starts at approximately $9,000 (US)
For More Information: NX6
Contact: Siemens PLM Software

The Week’s Top 5

At MCADCafé we track many things, including the stories that have attracted the most interest from our subscribers. Below are the five news items that were the most viewed during last week.

Autodesk announced a restructuring plan to reduce its annual operating expenses. The company anticipates the restructuring will result in annual pre-tax cost savings of approximately $130 million annually starting in fiscal 2010. As part of its restructuring plan, Autodesk plans to reduce its workforce by approximately 750 employees, representing approximately 10 percent of the company's global workforce. The company also plans to consolidate certain facilities. The actions are in addition to the ongoing cost reduction initiatives previously announced, which include a hiring freeze, business travel restrictions, and other reductions in its operating expenses. As a result of this
restructuring, the company anticipates taking a pre-tax charge in the range of $65 million to $75 million. Approximately $45 million to $50 million in pre-tax charges will be taken in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009. Most of the remaining charge will be taken in the first quarter of fiscal 2010.

Lattice Technology announced its new XVL Plug-in version 1.2 for Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro Extended. Acrobat 9 Pro Extended supports the major 3D CAD data formats, such as CATIA V4 and V5, NX, I-DEAS, JT, SolidWorks, Pro/ENGINEER, Autodesk Inventor, and others. Lattice’s new Plug-in developed using the Acrobat 9 3D SDK allows engineers to open any of the supported files formats directly in Lattice Technology’s XVL Studio and Lattice3D Reporter applications. Assemblies can be edited, animated, annotated, and shared with others using PDF. 3D Parts lists and BOMs created in Lattice3D Reporter and Microsoft Excel can be easily shared with others by using the Plug-in to deliver 3D
data, parts lists and interrelated assembly tree data in PDF. The 3D PDF files created can be shared, and the 3D animations, interactivity and related assembly structure data can be viewed using free Adobe Reader software. Information about the XVL Plug In for Adobe Acrobat can be found at:

MSC.Software Corp. announced a new license and distribution agreement with FEV Motorentechnik GmbH. Through this agreement, FEV will continue developing the common ADAMS/Engine technology, and leverage its automotive marketplace expertise to make product enhancements using the technology. FEV will be the provider of new ADAMS-based Engine/Powertrain software products under the new brand: FEV Virtual Engine Powered by ADAMS. FEV’s position in the engine and powertrain technology marketplace makes it well suited to grow the use of the ADAMS/Engine technology in automotive and related industries. FEV is now licensed to develop, market, distribute, and support all MSC Software's
engine modules worldwide.

ESI Group announced the acquisition of Mindware Engineering Inc. (Mindware), recognized in engineering services encompassing CFD, and is also well versed in Fluid/Structure interaction and engineering data management. Mindware has established strong relationships with customers from automotive, aerospace, and defense companies by providing digital simulation based solutions driving product design and development. Through the Mindware acquisition, ESI Group will reinforce its global offering of end-to-end Virtual Prototyping of industrial products involving CFD functionalities. This deal creates an opportunity for both teams to leverage their complementary knowledge to enable
simulation-based design in multi-physics. ESI Group has taken control of Mindware by acquiring 100% of its shares through its American subsidiary ESI North America Inc.

PTC announced the availability of Windchill ProductPoint for sharing CAD and other structured data among teams. Windchill ProductPoint provides an opportunity for smaller companies to experience the benefits of PLM without a large investment while also giving companies with an active SharePoint strategy the flexibility to extend their product development system to broader user communities. Windchill ProductPoint combined with Microsoft SharePoint helps teams to connect to each other in a variety of ways including:
  • Instant access to colleagues via presence detection
  • Personalization of workspaces to organize relevant content
  • The sharing of rich product information throughout the company and with their customers
  • Jeffrey Rowe is the editor of MCADCafé and MCAD Weekly Review. He can be reached at
    Email Contact or 408.850.9230.

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    -- Jeff Rowe, MCADCafe.com Contributing Editor.

    Review Article
    • Yes but it's not new January 27, 2009
      Reviewed by 'Adrian'
      Hi Jeff Rowe
      I am intrested in the noise about synchronous modelling, but is this not already a feature in Think design from the company Think3 now for a few years? Feature set certainly looks simular and Open Mind OEM Think Design in the product called hyperCAD. I certainly know i have been using this function called [censored] modeling for at least 18months.

        3 of 12 found this review helpful.
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