Posts Tagged ‘NX’
There are exciting new stories and tips in the NX CAD Community you don’t want to miss! This wrap up features soccer-playing robots, a racecar that drives 300 km/h solely on electric power, and plenty of video quick tips that make using NX CAD a breeze. Don’t forget to check out the NX Design forum for more great resources and tips! Registration is easy and free.
NX Case Study: Robots become superior “soccer players” by design — The RoboCup is pretty much the World Cup for robots. Learn how Graz University of Technology in Austria designs their autonomous robots with the help of NX CAD.
NX Quick Tips: Attributes and List Expressions — You can use attributes and list expressions to change a part in various ways. Learn how with this informative video.
The NX Design Community offer great resources like how-to videos and articles, as well as troubleshooting tips direct from users like you. Register today—it’s free to join and there is no subscription fee!
Siemens Product Engineering
At the FIRST Robotics World Championship this year, there were lots of future engineers and lots of robots. 12,000 students from 600 teams traveled from 38 countries to be a part of this robot superbowl.
I had the chance to spend some time with a few of the teams. Let’s meet one of them now.
And meet their NX-designed robot:
I’ve been impressed with the students at Westminster Christian Academy since I met them two years ago. Their science teacher Lisa Harding noted then that they’ve inspired people to consider engineering. So it was interesting to see just how much inspiration has happened in two years. The team has grown from 30 students to now more than 70.
It’s not just a team, it’s really a company complete with a CEO, CTO, as well as engineering, finance and marketing departments.
Meet Alex Kessel - the team lead or CEO. He’s been a part of the team as it has doubled in size.
Alex emphasized that a robotics team is about much more than building a robot.
“Robotics isn’t just building a robot. We have artists here…it’s a way to incorporate people and get them thinking and working together… It’s just awesome”
Alex noted that they use NX because it’s easier and faster and translates the CAM code perfectly for the CNC machine in their school machine shop. I heard that from a number of teams. They are integrating their CAD work on the robot with simulation and manufacturing.
Now meet CAD leader Abby Smith who became plans to pursue mechanical engineering because of her experience on the robotics team.
If you want to see what was playing on that screen behind – here is a video they played in their pit showing NX software driving a CNC machine in their shop to cut robot parts:
You can also see more images of the team and their robot on their Flickr page.
Stay tuned for some more student stories from this event.
P.S. Siemens is a sponsor of this robotics team.
Microsoft is ending support for Windows XP on April 8th, 2014. If your company is still running XP on ANY computers, you should act now.
Here are 3 reasons why you should act:
1. Your unsupported and unpatched environments could be vulnerable to new exploits that come out after April 2014.
2. XP may be working just fine, but it’s more than a decade old. You should upgrade to take advantage of new OS technology. Better memory management for NX, better file search, improved User Interface and more.
3. Your other business applications may no longer be supported after April 2014.
In 1999, there was the fear that key computers around the world would fail and cause a global “meltdown” as January 1, 2000 approached. While there wasn’t a massive “meltdown” of computer systems, many companies used this as an opportunity to upgrade their systems, re-evaluate and re-engineer their processes. I can’t think of a better excuse to modernize your PLM system than this.
On August 23rd, Elon Musk Musk of SpaceX posted a video of a “touch-less design system”. The demonstration consisted of NX plus some custom drivers for a Leap Motion Controller. The video quickly went viral. As of today, it has been viewed over 1,700,000 times.
At the recent PLM Europe event, we showed more about this Siemens PLM Labs project.
This is a technology preview and we don’t know if we will incorporate it into our production product.
What do you think we should do? Would you like to see this in your NX?
P.S. If you want to learn more about NX, check out our NX Design community site.
Lucas Shoults is a first-year graduate student engineer at Virginia Tech (VT). He is majoring in mechanical engineering and is the business manager of VT’s EcoCAR 2 team. I met Lucas at the EcoCAR 2 Fall Workshop where he, his team and teams from 14 other universities received training in preparation for the third and final year of this collegiate engineering competition.
His story highlights how critical real-world engineering competitions like EcoCAR are to developing passionate engineers. He says in our video interview below that EcoCAR changed his college career and made him care about engineering.
So let’s learn more about Lucas and meet “Mary the Malibu” seen below in all her EcoCAR sponsor sticker glory.
When did you know you wanted to be an engineer?
“I didn’t know I actually WANTED to be an engineer until my senior year of college when upon joining Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team (HEVT) I saw the knowledge I had gained throughout my undergrad actually be put to use in a very real and dynamic project. The reasons I joined HEVT was pretty simple. I didn’t know much about cars and figured I could take the opportunity to learn all the systems of a vehicle, specifically one that is a hybrid as that seems to be the direction that a lot of automotive manufacturers were headed. Secondly, I had a good friend who was team leader and I figured if I could get to hang out with him and grow some relationships with the people on the team, why not?”
Here more in this video interview where Lucas also shares how he became an NX and FEA expert for this team.
What lessons have you learned from EcoCAR 2?
“The last 10% takes 90% of the time. Allow ample time for the mistakes that you will make and the unforeseen circumstances that you cannot control such as a delay in the shipment of a critical component.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. I made a rather expensive mistake my first year on the team when dealing with the half shafts and I had to make sure that it was finally done correctly. However, because of that mistake I have been able to show guys on the team this year the correct way to take measurements for half shafts, ensuring that there won’t be another mistake like last year.
If all you care about is taking 1st place, you are doing it wrong. As much as this is a competition, the goal is the universal growth of knowledge and skill among all teams involved. It is hard enough to get a car working in the first place, the support and help we received from our ‘competitors’ was and is much appreciated. Shout out to University of Tennessee, thanks again for the half shaft.”
What advice would you give students considering engineering as a career?
“Do it. It will challenge you in various aspects of your life. Do not expect to have a normal college experience, because engineering is setting you up for a unique after college experience. Even if you decide at the end of your undergraduate to do nothing within the engineering field, I am confident that the lessons you will have learned about yourself, your study habits, ability to work through countless problems for hours attempting to solve it correctly, and just the work ethic that I have personally experienced and seen among my friends is hard to duplicate. So if you want to be challenged, engineering is a great field. If you just have no idea about what you want to do, engineering is a great field. But if you know what you love, and it is not engineering, do not do engineering, do what you love. I am thanking God I can now, as a first-year graduate student in mechanical engineering, say I love what I do.”
It’s clear Lucas and his teammates love what they’re doing. Here’s a picture of them at the EcoCAR 2 Fall Workshop:
Good luck to all the EcoCAR 2 teams in this final year of the competition.
I wonder what other nicknames the teams have given their Malibus ;-).
P.S. Stay tuned here and on our academic projects web page for the latest on great student competitions.
NX9 includes new tools like synchronous technology for 2D greatly facilitate 2D data editing.
The introduction of fourth generation design (4GD) technology will enhance design productivity for massive assemblies in the Marine Industry NX Realize Shape™ software delivers a new state-of-the-art freeform design toolset with unmatched product development integration.
NX 9 also includes tighter PLM integration through Siemens’ Active Workspace environment. There are many more enhancements throughout the integrated CAD/CAM/CAE solution. The enhancements in NX 9 are aimed at creating value by addressing issues common to multiple industries such as automotive, aerospace, shipbuilding, consumer products, machinery and others.
NX 9 is available for download today.
To learn more, go to the NX 9 web page.
The University of Michigan is finishing up the World Solar Challenge and like any good real-world student project, they’ve experience interesting challenges along the way. We’ll share more about the race challenges soon. In the meantime, I’d like you meet one of their team members who can share the mechanical engineering challenges in solar car design.
Tell us about yourself. What got you interested in engineering?
“I’ve always been interested in the STEM side of things, in high school I went to a magnet school for math and science. I went in to college thinking I wanted to be material science engineer due to the fantastic AP chemistry class I had but after experiencing college organic chemistry I realized that it wasn’t for me. Around that time I had started going to meetings for the Solar Car Team. I had found out about it at a fall activities event showcasing student groups almost around campus. The first division I went to meetings for was the strategy division. I was fascinated at the idea of car wide mathematics models after competing in math competitions in high school. I also started going to the mechanical meetings because I liked working with my hands. Andrew Hwang was the interim mechanical lead and showed me how to maintain the 2009 car, how to analyze parts for structural integrity, and how to design parts in another CAD system (while lamenting how he wished the team used NX!). I loved the work I was doing there, and jumped ship from the strategy division to full-time mechanical and declared into the major soon after.”
What is your role as lead mechanical engineer on the U-M Solar Car team? How did you find out about the project?
“My role as mechanical lead during the design cycle mainly consisted of three things: making sure the car was safe, making sure everything fit together inter and intra-mechanically and training new recruits how to use our software suite, including the recently transition to NX 8.0. The beginning of the semester was truly a challenge for me. As one of a couple returning mechanical members but with only a year’s worth of technical knowledge, I had to stay one step ahead of the rest of my division to ensure I’m always in a position to answer their questions. This included NX. I was still new to the software so I spent many nights with the online software training myself, as well as just CADing files from the previous car for practice. After learning the basics of how NX handled sketching and assemblies almost every other feature I use I’ve learned from just experimentation.”
Tell us about the design process on Generation? What features of NX did you use most?
“Personally, I probably spent more time with assembly constraints than any other feature. I designed more and more later in the year (namely the roll cage and most of the steering system) but I had to spend most my time during design making sure everything fit properly. We didn’t have Teamcenter at the time and I know that would have made things a lot easier, but there were nights where the new chassis would come out as well as the new front suspension, and I would spend hours making sure in CAD we could move the tracking rod and see the wheels turn appropriately.”
What was it like machining the parts you designed?
“Machining parts designed by ourselves is, in my opinion, extremely gratifying. I started the summer with very little machining experience and had to go through over a month of training steps at our workspace, the Wilson Student Team Project Center. Now I have full access to CNC mills, lathes, a router and welding tools. I’m generally pretty clumsy with my hands, but being able to know that this thing I made is accurate to 5 thou, 1 thou, a few tenths for some holes gives me a sense of precision and control I can’t find with a dremel. Having gone through the process of idea, design, manufacture, test (sometimes all in a span of under an hour) countless times to make things work I can’t imagine how engineers who are not on real-world project teams learn to solve non-textbook problems.”
Were there any lessons learned on the recent mock race?
“On the mock race, it was the first time I really felt we were one team not a lot of separate divisions – we weren’t just testing the car we were testing the team. Mechanically we learned that some parts of the car were not as robust as we thought (the canopy opening mechanism broke day 2) but as a whole it was very successful in confirming a lot of our designs were sound. The main lesson learned was bring everything, we spent lots of time waiting for a spare component to be picked up from the workspace electrically. I spent hours one night trying to seat our motor tire because the one tire pump we brought broke and the air compressor decided that was a good night go die as well. We knew that over preparedness was better than being under prepared but didn’t quite yet know how hard missing something would be.”
What is your dream job after you graduate?
“Right now my dream job is to either be a structure or design engineer in the aviation or space industries. Almost everything we do (mass optimization, using the best materials, extended composite work) has direct ties in those industries and I like working on the leading edge of the engineering. After the race I’m almost immediately moving to Los Angeles for a seven-month SpaceX internship.”
Thanks for answering our questions Garrett. Good luck in your return from the outback and your new gig at SpaceX where I’m sure you’ll be honing even more skills on our software.
In just two days, the University of Michigan solar car team will begin their race in the World Solar Challenge from Darwin to Adelaide, Australia (3,000 km). You don’t have to be an engineer or a U-M grad to get excited about this race or the design and engineering in their new car.
Meet Taylor Jay, Steven Ver Halen, Michelle Erbs, Deck Slone and Tony Bindbeutel. Together they are the “Dream Team” at VMH International, one of our platinum channel partners. This is the second summer that VMH has hired student engineers to provide their customers with a Dream Team to tackle new ideas and challenges.
VMH customers submit any idea or problem to the Dream Team. Then the team uses the industry’s latest technology like Siemens PLM software on those real-world engineering projects.
Let’s meet the team. (more…)
Garrett Fielding was on stage at PLM Connection in June discussing solar car design during Bill Boswell’s keynote: What Has Red Arms, Green Wheels and Defies Gravity? After he exited the stage Chuck Grindstaff came over and asked him if he wanted a job. Garrett didn’t know Chuck was president and CEO of Siemens PLM Software. But he soon found out.
“I learned more about the history of the company and everything that Siemens makes. It’s a fantastic, well founded company. The company does a really good job of taking care of its employees and its users.”
One thing led to another and Garrett has spent part of his summer as a student intern at our office in St. Louis. He works with our training team updating NX drafting courses. Since he is one of the student machinists on campus at Principia College and has taken our online learning courses there, he brings a true end user perspective to the material. (more…)