It’s that time of year in the Siemens PLM world. Siemens NX 11 was released in late August, and new functionality and streamlined tools always gets me excited. This year marks the 10th year I’ve been using Siemens products, which I realize is a short time in our industries, but it does make me feel a bit nostalgic about my introduction to them.
10 years ago, I graduated college with my B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, and gained my first job as a Project Engineer with a company that produced high-end carbon fiber performance parts. A friend of mine, with whom I had gone to college, was also starting there at around the same time, and when I asked him which design software we would be using, he informed me it would be a product called NX. At that time, not being overly well-versed on all the options for CAD in the marketplace, I was not familiar with Siemens NX and worried that I was about to become experienced in a piece of software that wasn’t widely used. As I said, I was not very well aware of the true marketplace!
We started on NX 2, and it would be new software for the company so, as the young engineers, we were to prove out what it was really capable of. From the very beginning, I took to the software much quicker than I ever had when using PTC or Works while in school. NX offered not only ease of use but powerful design tools I had never had access to before. Since we were a manufacturing shop as well, we picked up NX CAM to program our NC Mills and Lathes to produce fixtures and tooling used to create our parts. Once again, new software, new capability, but nobody knew it, so it fell again to us to learn another part of the software. Eventually, we also procured Femap to do Static and dynamic load analyses on our composite layups to ensure part strength and durability (we were creating carbon fiber prosthetic ankles at that time that had to cycle through millions of steps over the course of a month to pass quality requirements). So within a year, I had come to know the CAD, CAM, and CAE side of Siemens applications quite well, and I continued to learn and grow with the software during my years there.
Fast forward 10 years, a few jobs, and countless projects and experiences with Siemens products, and I still find myself impressed. I remember when Synchronous Technology was first released, and the impact it had on the industry. I remember year after year of functionality improvement, GUI improvement, dialog improvement, system stability and capability improvements. I remember the advancement of freeform tools, and the “wows” as users and prospective users found ways to do their jobs they had never seen before. The Siemens product line itself has continued to grow and become more diverse over that time, delving into every aspect of modern product design, from industrial styling to noise and vibration analyses. Siemens’ acquisitions of industry-leading software companies, and the integration of those technologies into their flagship products, have positioned them as a world leader in digital engineering, digital manufacturing, and Product Lifecycle Management.
I feel lucky that I have been able to touch so many different aspects of the software over the last 10 years, and I am always amazed at the improvements that come with each and every release.
Siemens PLM continues their long history of creating the most powerful and flexible design software in the world today. And as for NX 11, I covered some of the most exciting new features and functionalities in a webinar we hosted just last month. Missed my presentation the first time around? Click here to watch it on demand.
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