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Climbmiller (Mechanical)
18 Jun 08 7:21
Hi,

I've been contracting at a company who use IDEAS alongside an early version of Teamcenter. They're reasonably happy with what they get out of IDEAS as the designs are fairly simple but their VAR is pushing them to go to NX. Whilst nobody can doubt this would give them a much better platform to design future products they just can't suffer the inevitable downtime whilst they ramp up their skillset on the new system. So, for now, they are content to soldier on with IDEAS to avoid impacting critical projects. However the slimy sales guy is putting the proverbial wind up the design manager threatening removal of support on IDEAS.

What is the actual status of IDEAS support from a UGS standpoint ? Is anyone else still using IDEAS and getting similar messages from UGS or the associated VAR ?

Any input from the forum appreciated.

 
MCGNX (Mechanical)
18 Jun 08 9:59
Ideas is not going away anytime soon.  Why?  Ford Motor Company is still using it for one.

However, it's worth noting that the updates to i-deas are fairly insignificant at this point as most of the effort is focused on the TCII aspect and things that make the CMM tool work better.  All in a push to get folks to move to NX.

We have recently made this jump, and I have to say as an I-Deas user the jump to NX was not seamless and there were a few surprises.

You will gain A LOT of funtionality that I-deas just wasn't capable of, however you will lose one big aspect of I-Deas and that was the 2D drafting package.  If your company uses this in the slightest, you may want to put the stall on NX at least until NX7 (which is when I'm told EVEN MORE I-deas functionality will be put in....specifically a standalone drafting)

Right now at our company we are running both....all new designs in NX and we are holding off migrating our CAD data into NX because as it stands right now NX is not a suitable replacement for I-Deas unless you don't alot of drawings.

Also, the CMM tool is still a little buggy when it comes to migrating drawings into NX so lookout there.

My advice is to do a LOT of testing first to make sure NX can accurately replace what you are currently doing in I-Deas....something we didn't do and are now regretting.
JohnRBaker (Mechanical)
18 Jun 08 10:34
If a company using ANY Siemens PLM Software product and they get their support from a VAR and they are unsatisfied with their situation, we want to know about this ASAP.  There are ways to resolve these issues, but we need to know the relevant information, such as the company name, location and the name of the VAR.  Please provide this information via email it to me at:

john.r.baker@ (you should be able to figure out the rest)

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
NX Design
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Cypress, CA
http://www.siemens.com/plm
http://www.plmworld.org/museum/

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.
 

alj722 (Aerospace)
23 Jun 08 14:15
We are standing at the brink looking at NX after running IDEAS since it was I-DEAS 4 (CAEDS), prior to Master Series.  So far I have very mixed feelings about NX.  We are trying to maintain multiple CAD systems with a majority using Pro/E or SolidWorks and a small (15-20) pocket of hold-outs running IDEAS.  It's been my job to figure out how big a transition it is to NX and so far it has looked very ugly.  IDEAS stuff may have been integrated into the guts of NX, but the NX user interface is not fun and there seem to be big gaps in functionality.  Some of our projects are thinking of staying with IDEAS until forced to bail when the computers or OS can no longer support it (We did get IDEAS NX5 to run on VISTA - although it isn't formally supported), though the talk is of bailing to Pro/E or SolidWorks instead of NX.  Not because they are necessarily better, but because most of our IDEAS users have Pro/E and Solidworks experience already.
 
acciardi (Computer)
23 Jun 08 17:48
We've been running a mixed environment (95% I-Deas, 5% NX) for about two years now, and it has been very difficult to get any kind of interop between the two systems with TcEng.  We frequently have to fall back on STEP to get data from I-Deas into NX.

After seeing all the problems up close, I would pull the plug on I-Deas and just embrace NX as soon as practically possible.  In reality, I think most of the parts that people have are pretty static.  When you do need to make changes to existing parts, just remodel them and re-do the drafting.  This also is good practice for learning the new system.

Re drafting - If your processes still require a lot of manual drafting, then I would revisit the processes.  All modern CAD systems are highly model centric and do not easily facilitate manual drafting.  NX does allow one to sketch in a drawing view, and there are many tools available to create view-dependant entities, but it is not going to be like stand-alone drafting.
ewh (Aerospace)
23 Jun 08 17:54
alj722,
What functionality are you finding lacking in NX?

Believe it if you need it or leave it if you dare. - Robert Hunter
 

Helpful Member!  idrawrockets (Aerospace)
24 Jun 08 13:47
My idea of the "standalone" drafting is one that I don't like...
One advantage to NX over iDeas is the fact that the drafting package FORCES the models to be correct if you want the drawings to be correct.  
In ideas you can create a 2D drawing and your model could be completely different, or better yet, no model at all.

If we continue to move forward with technology and design and build with computers, the models and assemblies need to be correct.  If the possiblity of drawing in 2D or "fudging" a drawing to make it look right is there, how can you count on a model at any time?

Just my .02.
Thanks.
Branden
spongebob007 (Military)
17 Jul 08 13:35
What I was told was that NX I-5 would be the last release but the software would continue to be supported for some unspecified amount of time.   

Personally, I really like NX.  I have veen using Pro/E, Solidworks, and ANSYS for the better part of 15 years and when I swithced to I-DEAS at my current company I thought the program was a hokey piece of crap that looked like it was stuck in 1990.   I downloaded and installed NX on my machine in the beginning of this year and I haven't looked back.  I found it very easy to use and powerful and I think it blows the doors off of I-DEAS.  I am an analyst so I really can't speak to the differences in the drafting package.   I also can't speak to the Teamcenter issues since I work locally.  When I need an I-DEAS model from a designer I simply have them make me a STEP file.  Works just fine for what I need.

I was able to teach myself NX and be up and running in under a week.   
realmagicracer (Aerospace)
18 Jul 08 4:14
Hello people. :)
I wish to share my experience about NX vs. I-deas too.
I used to work in a company using I-deas 9-12. Later I've got a job in NX-using company, and I have great experience in the both of CAD products.
I see a lot of functionality in I-deas that NX doesn't have. I'm sorry to say it but I have to say the true. Especially the drafting module was absolute nightmare.
You can get even better "standalone drafting" in Solid Edge 2D or AutoCAD.
I can give you an simple example. Once I had a drawing with a dimension that had lost asociativity. The geometry was moved 0.04 mm. Then I deleted the dimension and built it again and the number of dimension was different (+0.04 mm).
There is more, but it would take me all day to describe the weakness of I-deas drafting. The translators was weak too. The was a lot of step, iges and parasolid files that was impossible to import. And sometimes the translators died (some kind of "Orbit"-something error) and the only way to import file was using interoperate feature.
The modeling was good. There is more simplicity of design. There were more boolean operations (join, cut, add, split surface, cut-add, join-cut... etc.). The interface was good shaped (except the drafting module). You can change at any time the boolean status of any feature in history tree.
In NX4-5 there are some feature that has NX3 interface, the vision of NX is better. But the team workflow is missing. Unless you have teamcenter. But there is a way to make version control system in directory structure using file name.
And so on...

Regards: Dimo Urumov
Aircraft Engineer
Plovdiv, Bulgaria

JohnRBaker (Mechanical)
18 Jul 08 10:05
Just for the record, the Drafting module of NX was never intended to be used as a so-called 'standalone' drafting product.  It was designed primarily as a tool to document NX solid models and assemblies.  However, based on customer requests, we have made some significant enhancements to 2D curve construction within the Drafting module for NX 6 and will continue to add some additional Drafting only curve creation tools, but even with those improvements, if someone came to us with a full-blown 2D standalone drafting requirement, we probably would offer them Solid Edge 2D.  After all, Solid Edge is developed, marketed and supported by Siemens PLM Software, just like NX is, so in the end...

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
NX Design
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Cypress, CA
http://www.siemens.com/plm
http://www.plmworld.org/museum/

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.
 

realmagicracer (Aerospace)
18 Jul 08 13:24
You are right John.
And Solid Edge 2D is FREE!!!

Regards: Dimo Urumov
Aircraft Engineer
Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Brammy (Automotive)
18 Sep 08 21:23
After about 10 years with I-deas - starting at the (scandal-ridden) beginning of Master Series, a new job has thrust me into the NX world.  We're still on version 4 (sadly with little hope of improving that state of affairs) and are using team center.  I also have significant experience with SolidWorks.

As far as NX4's user interface, I feel like I've stepped back in time and am bitterly disappointed.

When I first heard that NX would be a blend of UGS and I-deas I was very hopeful that I'd be entering a new-and-improved CAD universe.  Not being too familiar with Unigraphics, I'll go out on a limb here...... it seems like the "blend" of UGS and I-deas must have been 99 44/100% UGS.  

Why the HELL did they discard the WONDERFUL iccon/panel driven user interface that Master Series pioneered?  Good Lord, why does NX make difficult what I-deas had made easy?  And please don't get me started on the painfully limited functionality of NX drafting.... yes, guys, sometimes it would be nice to sketch some old fashioned lines and curves in good old old fashioned 2D.  Is THAT so difficult to understand?

On the plus side, I will say that NX does not have the BOM recognition problems that had plagued I-deas.

So, will someone tell me? .... what happened when the UGS folks and the I-deas folks originally got together?  Was there gunplay involved?  Personal threats and intimidation?  Financial payoffs?  Clearly SOMETHING happened that caused the I-deas guys to be shoved aside and rudely discarded.

Signed.... bummed out in Oregon.
JohnRBaker (Mechanical)
18 Sep 08 23:13
Actually, I was at that 'meeting', me and my boss, and it was in Milford (and it occurred long before any money had changed hands in the deal that eventually merged SDRC and UGS into a single entity, and part of the EDS Corp.).

While I can understand your position, there was much more to this process than many people are aware of and while I can't really discuss any of the details here, let me say that the direction the combined organization, I-deas and Unigraphics, chose to take in terms of the evolution of NX and how much would be based on UG and how much on I-deas, was mutually arrived at and it was NOT after any, what did you call it, 'gunplay' and 'personal threats and intimidation'.  No, I would say that it was arrived at after a very honest, although not necessarily painless, evaluation and comparison of both products, not just from a functionality point of view, but also from an architectural and development point of view (I know because I was part of the team that ended up doing the item by item, functional scorecard which became the basis for some of those tough decisions that our new management had to make before we could move forward with NX).

And as for the 'I-deas guys', the vast majority of them (at least at the product development level) are still with our organization, playing major roles in the ongoing development of NX (and I-deas as well, albeit at a much lower level of investment) and this is at all levels, not just programmers, but also team leaders and group managers.

And while I'm sure that you may not necessarily appreciate this, NX is still a work in progress, but considering that you're currently stuck at, by your own admission, NX 4, you have NOT seen all the effort that has been expended to date.

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
NX Design
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Cypress, CA
http://www.siemens.com/plm
http://www.plmworld.org/museum/

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.
 

MCGNX (Mechanical)
19 Sep 08 10:16
John, well said.  I've always wondered what went down at those initial meetings.  Your point about NX still being a work in progress is one I've tried to emphasize here as well.  I think it is very commendable of Siemens/UGS to make the changes you guys have with each new release.

Now I'm a long time I-Deas user and it's my understanding that NX5 was the first NX release with significant I-Deas features (CSYS most prominently). What I've seen of NX6 also had alot of I-Deas functionality added in...though it's not being touted as such.  Things like Re-Use library are very similar to catalog parts and also the whole "cutter part"/"bushy tree" ethos of I-Deas.  Also the replay feature, and out of date notifications....all from I-Deas.  So it's getting there guys, and the 2D Drafting Plus is being developed as well to be a replacement for I-Deas style drafting.

As a longtime I-Deas user I can understand all the frustrations put forth in this thread.  There was a lot of misinformation about the whole thing (and still is).  Initially we were led to believe that UG and I-Deas would BOTH gradually change and morph until they were the same product (NX).  As we know this was not the case as I-Deas has not had a significant update since the merger.  There is also alot of confusion concerning I-Deas end of life, which as far as I can tell is all dependant on a few large customers who are still using I-Deas.  There is also much confusion concerning CMM and the transfer of data from one system to the other, but I'm not going to get into that here.

I will say though, as a long time I-Deas user, I love NX and applaud Siemens/UGS with the developments they are making and have made.  I can't stand to go back to I-Deas anymore which unfortunately I am forced to do (mainly because of 2D functionalities), and find the modeling quite cumbersome.  Even with NX's 2D shortcoming I STILL think it is easier and faster to create a drawing in NX than I-Deas.  The problem is when NX does something good it does it really good, when it does something bad, it does it really bad....there is no middle area, and that's what makes it frustrating.

Finally, I did a presentation at PLM2008 concerning this very subject and it goes alot more in depth as to our experiences and struggles that we are still dealing with.  If any of you are PLMworld citizens and interested, it's called Life After TDM Part II
Xwheelguy (Automotive)
19 Sep 08 12:03
I've been a longtime UG/NX user (old enough to recall the UG did have an icon panel about 12 years ago) and I have used I-deas sparingly, but nothing for actual "work"...just trying to figure out the basics as well as attempting to complete a Nissan skills test in the past (fairly simple bracket and drawing with 4-5 views).

While I will agree that NX has a ways to go with its evolution in certain areas, I honestly don't get where I-deas users feel the Drafting is so much better than NX.  Would or can anyone enlighten me on this matter with specific examples?

Tim Flater
Senior Designer
Enkei America, Inc.
www.enkei.com

Some people are like slinkies....they don't really have a purpose, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down the stairs.

cowski (Mechanical)
19 Sep 08 12:31
I would also like to know more about this Ideas 2D functionality. I moved from AutoCAD (plain AutoCAD and Mechanical Desktop - their 3D product at the time) to UG (version 15). There were some usability issues I had with UG at the time, but I can't think of anything AutoCAD did that UG could not. If I want to I can complete an entire design in 2D using UG/NX (not that I would want to - with ANY CAD software).
MCGNX (Mechanical)
19 Sep 08 13:43
Honestly I haven't run into anything 2D wise that NX can't do that I-Deas could.  The problem is that it is just so much more difficult to do in NX.  This is what I was trying to say in my post.  There is giant cavern between how easy the detailing & modeling tools are versus the 2D tools.

Usually it is just easier to make a sketch in model space and pull that into your drawing as an assembly component.  Now you may be asking why in the hell would you do that, well you get more functions such as instance geometry and move geometry that can be used on your sketch, 'cause let's face it, Edit - Transform really blows.

(I have high hopes NX6 will resolve those 2 problems, as edit transform is replaced, and there are now sketch patterns)

Also sometimes it's easier to use the Curves and sometimes it's easier to just drop a sketch into a view.  Sketches work best in my opinion, but they have their own problems such as only one sketch per view which means everything in that sketch must be on the same layer.  The curves work great, that is until you want to go modify a curve you dropped in....good luck with that, as that is one of the most convoluted things I have ever seen.

I could go on, but I think the main point is that coming from the I-Deas background we are being sold this "NX can do anything I-Deas can, and better" line....and it's not entirely true.  NX is FAR SUPERIOR to I-Deas in every aspect except 2, that's 2D drafting and unequal patterns/arrays. (the unequal patterns thing is easy to work around, the major annoyance there is all the BREPS you get when CMM migrating the models to NX)
Xwheelguy (Automotive)
19 Sep 08 17:13
What are these troublesome 2D curves being used for on a Drawing?  Could you supply us with a detailed example and .prt file showing us what you're wanting to do with these curves?  If you can, please be sure to include any possible downstream edits or modifications that might occur, as we do not wish to paint you into a corner with any suggestions.

Please do the same for anything Curve related (curves in drafting, sketching in drafting, modifying curves, etc.), as we might be able to shed some light on a few things.  Maybe best to make this a separate file than above?

As far as Arrays, Patterns, Instancing or anything else close to those types of commands, just be patient....there is something on the horizon.  I don't want to say too much, but actual NX users are assisting Siemens with this project.

Tim Flater
Senior Designer
Enkei America, Inc.
www.enkei.com

Some people are like slinkies....they don't really have a purpose, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down the stairs.

Brammy (Automotive)
19 Sep 08 20:34
>>>by your own admission, NX 4, you have NOT seen all the effort that has been expended to date.

Absolutely true.  I certainly hope that post NX 4 releases will gravitate more and more to the I-deas style user interface and lost features.

>>>>Usually it is just easier to make a sketch in model space and pull that into your drawing as an assembly component.  Now you may be asking why in the hell would you do that, well you get more functions such as instance geometry and move geometry that can be used on your sketch, 'cause let's face it, Edit - Transform really blows.

YUP!!!!  Forget about I-deas for the moment.... other packages like Solidworks can do this type of this MUCH better than NX.  

Off the top of my foggy head, here's a few things that I-deas did so well that (IMHO) NX 4 either does poorly or needs to implement.

1- Dynamic navigator both in drafting and model sketches.
2- All the other drafting capabilities that NX chucked out the window !!!!
3- Movement of parts within assemblies.
4- Master Series style graphical interface.  I-deas was well organized.  NX seems very scattered.  (Yes, I know this is partially a "new user complaint" but the point is STILL very valid)
5- Feature tree: The I-deas tree was SO slick in it's ability to extract feature BRANCHES.
6- Intuitive boolean operations: a continuation of #5... with I-Deas it was so easy and VISUAL to move and place multi-feature parts (see #7) and use them for cuts/joins etc.  NX requires the user to jump through many hoops to achieve anywhere near this type of capability.

and perhaps the largest and most fundamental:
7- Working in Model Files where an assembly and multiple parts can happily coexist in the same space.  Ahhh, the good old days.

And there are more.... perhaps NX 5 and 6 have addressed some of these.  I hope so.

John - I appreciate you sharing your insight into the creation of NX.  However, you must agree that the early NX product (if not still the current) bore very little resemblance to I-deas as far as the overall look and feel of the user interface.  And perhaps my crack about gunplay was over the top, but the end result makes it clear that those promoting UGS carried the day over those promoting I-Deas.  Hopefully NX 5, 6 and beyond will live up to the early expectations of becoming a true merge of Unigraphics and I-Deas.  

I can only speak to NX4, but "state of the art" it is NOT by any stretch of the imagination.
acciardi (Computer)
19 Sep 08 22:01
NX seems to me to be migrating towards a similar user experience as Solidworks and Pro/E.  The workflows are about the same (notwithstanding the new Synchronous Technology) and it is pretty easy to go from one system to another.

This is a good thing for people who have to use multiple systems, but it will probably take some time for the I-Deas users to get up to speed.

On the plus side, learning a modern system will make you more marketable.  I doubt if there are many shops looking for I-Deas experience these days.

Ed
JohnRBaker (Mechanical)
19 Sep 08 22:09
For the record; from day one there was never any serious consideration given to adopting an I-deas like User Interface with NX.  That was a non-starter, period, which means that if you're holding out for some sort of sudden retro-shift in the near future, you're going to be disappointed.  Now there's a lot more to this than I'm willing to discuss in a public forum, but I'll make you this offer.

I travel around the country attending local user group meetings (the Fall is always a very busy time for this) and if any of you who would like to get into this a bit more, just show up at one of these meetings and let me know and we'll sit down and discuss it.

Now where am I going to be?  Well, today I presented at the Intermountain User Group Meeting here in Ogden, UT, so you missed that one, but I've got at least 4 more regional meetings coming up in the next 2 months:

October 14th - Annual joint Chicago/Wisconsin Area Meeting in Kenosha, WI:

http://chicago.plmworldgroups.org/

October 17th - Midwest Users Group Meeting in Minneapolis, MN:

http://mw.plmworldgroups.org/

October 30th - New York State Users Group Meeting in Rochester, NY:

http://nys.plmworldgroups.org/

November 6th - New England Users Meeting in Milford, MA:

http://ne.plmworldgroups.org/

So if anyone would like to have a face-to-face discussion of this or any other issue with respect to NX, I'm willing to sit down with anyone who takes the time to show up at one of these meetings.

And if you want to start planning for next year, just sign-up for the Siemens PLM Connection Americas 2009 in Nashville, TN, June 1-4, 2009.  I'll be there and I keep the invitation open.

http://event.plmworld.org/index_2009.php

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
NX Design
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Cypress, CA
http://www.siemens.com/plm
http://www.plmworld.org/museum/

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.
 

hudson888 (Mechanical)
20 Sep 08 1:35
Brammy,

I thought I'd make a few comments on your points for what it is worth. My background is UG\NX and Catia so take my bias as read.

Take some advice if you will from my comments and pass on some information as recommendations that we're happy to discuss if you're happy to respond to my questions.

1- Dynamic navigator both in drafting and model sketches.

I don't know why I'm meant to want this. Seems to me that sketches are a modelling tool and that drafting is a separate tool for dimensioning 3D models. For me 2D drafting went the way of the Ark some years back, but I clearly don't know what I'm missing so why not enlighten us.

2- All the other drafting capabilities that NX chucked out the window !!!!

NX never chucked any drafting features out the window. It may have neglected to adopt something of what was in I-deas. Again why do we need this?

3- Movement of parts within assemblies.

You can move parts within NX assemblies, both in terms of manipulating the tree structure at will and in terms of repositioning them, arrangements, scenarios, motion and mating conditions or constraints. So what's missing?

4- Master Series style graphical interface.  I-deas was well organized.  NX seems very scattered.  (Yes, I know this is partially a "new user complaint" but the point is STILL very valid)

You can customise to re-organise the user interface in terms of structuring the icons and toolbars however you want them. It is probably a newb thing and for what it's worth the main complaint and difficultly moving between systems is always getting used to the interfaces.

5- Feature tree: The I-deas tree was SO slick in it's ability to extract feature BRANCHES.

I'll take your word for that one. I'd like a demo as it seems probable that we can do the same in NX but without a direct comparison I can't respond as to how. If you're willing to do so then start it in a new thread and I'll follow up in NX-5 when I can.

6- Intuitive boolean operations: a continuation of #5... with I-Deas it was so easy and VISUAL to move and place multi-feature parts (see #7) and use them for cuts/joins etc.  NX requires the user to jump through many hoops to achieve anywhere near this type of capability.

Again not something that I'm sure I want and I'm betting it depends a lot on what you're used to. If you're using I-deas as a purely sketch based tool and have been struggling with coming over to the force (NX) then welcome to the world of hybrid modelling. Because NX combines parametric with non-parametric, primative features with sketches and chucks in direct modelling or synchronous technology to boot, you sometimes defer to modelling without booleans as an added technique.

and perhaps the largest and most fundamental:
7- Working in Model Files where an assembly and multiple parts can happily coexist in the same space.  Ahhh, the good old days.


What makes you think you can't do that in NX? NO file in NX is purely purpose driven any file can contain assemblies, models, drawings, machining and FEA data all at the same time. It wouldn't be pretty if you chose to operate that way and we'd all rather that you didn't rain down anarchy on unsuspecting downstream users. These capacities have occurred as progressive developments in NX world so we know what it is to be without flexibility that it refers us back to a different discipline in managing the data. But to prefer that just because NX is different or used differently as recommended by your peers etc is once again probably in response to the process of adapting to change.
Brammy (Automotive)
20 Sep 08 12:50
Thanks for the invitation, John.  I'll check the schedule and will try to attend one if it is near the Portland area.

Hi Hudson... thanks for the feedback.  To be honest, I think that many of your questions would be answered if you were a former I-deas user or if I could sit down with you at an I-deas station for a few minutes.  I'm sure you'd find it interesting.

>>>1- Dynamic navigator both in drafting and model sketches.
I don't know why I'm meant to want this.

Well, I dont think you realize what you are missing.  It is simply that the cursor highlights parts of lines and edges more actively than NX does.  For instance, NX allows you (if you look closely) to snap to the centerpoint of a sketch line and this is a good thing.  In Ideas that capability is taken further with angle, endpoint, perpendicular, touching and tangent symbols that prominently display as the cursor moves over the line.  This works in both 3d sketches and 2d drafting.  In 2d, lines can be driven with dimensions (ala 3d sketches).  It is simply a graphical aid and once you get used to it you wonder why in the world someone would choose to NOT adopt it in any other product.  As for the need for 2d sketching, I guess it depends on what you are doing.  I've primarily worked in the traditional solids-->drafting mode, but there have been MANY times where I've wanted a robust 2d package for a whole host of reasons.

>>>2- All the other drafting capabilities that NX chucked out the window !!!!
NX never chucked any drafting features out the window. It may have neglected to adopt something of what was in I-deas.

Well... call it "chucked" or call it "neglected" it still amounts to a drafting package (NX 4) with seriously limited capabilities.  Dont you ever want to spruce up your drafting with either associated or non-associated lines etc etc?  Why is drawing a 2d line that is perpendicular to an edge representation so much of a chore in NX?  In Ideas AND OTHER PACKAGES a user can do that sort of thing easy as pie.

>>>3- Movement of parts within assemblies.
You can move parts within NX assemblies

Yes, but not as easily and as slickly as in Ideas.  "Move THIS part from 1/3 of the way along THIS EDGE to the intersection of THESE 3 planes"............ "Make THIS corner coincident with THAT corner and angle THIS edge toward THAT point way over THERE"....... In Ideas you'd be finished with these operations in the time it takes for a couple of good yawns.  Not so with NX4 (and not so with other packages like Solidworks either).

>>>4- Master Series style graphical interface.  
ou can customise to re-organise the user interface in terms of structuring the icons and toolbars however you want them. It is probably a newb thing and for what it's worth the main complaint and difficultly moving between systems is always getting used to the interfaces.

Yes, it's a newbe thing... but not totally and, again, it goes beyond just reorganizing iccons.  It gets into cascading menus and that is something that (IMHO) Ideas had a much better handle on than NX.  I'd love to show you.

>>>Boolean operations...Again not something that I'm sure I want and I'm betting it depends a lot on what you're used to. If you're using I-deas as a purely sketch based tool and have been struggling with coming over to the force (NX) then welcome to the world of hybrid modelling. Because NX combines parametric with non-parametric, primative features with sketches and chucks in direct modelling or synchronous technology to boot, you sometimes defer to modelling without booleans as an added technique.

Oh, I'm very faniliar with the FORCE and have no problem with it.  This issue really gets into "branchy modeling" (an Ideas concept", extractions, and boolean operation with multi-feature parts.  Yes, NX can do some of this (with cut'n'paste of the part history, but it's not the same... trust me... and I think you'd agree after we sat with Ideas for a few minutes.

>>>and perhaps the largest and most fundamental:
7- Working in Model Files where an assembly and multiple parts can happily coexist in the same space.  Ahhh, the good old days.
What makes you think you can't do that in NX?

because you cant.  The Ideas workspace is different than other packages, be it NX or Solidworks or others.  Ideas users on this thread will know what I'm talking about..... correct me if I'm wrong about this, but I dont believe I am.

Thanks for all the interesting feedback folks.  I look forward to meeting some of you if I can make it to a Siemens event.  I hope I don't sound like a stuck-in-the-mud Ideas curmudgeon, but it pains me to see a 21st century CAD package not have capabilities that have long been accepted as standard items with other CAD packages.

Onward and upward!
acciardi (Computer)
20 Sep 08 20:36
I would agree with Brammy that the use of a Workspace concept is a very good thing.  We've been asking Siemens to give us some better functionality than the NX/TcEng combination provides.  We collaborate constantly, and there is no better mechanism for doing this than a buffer (Workspace).

In I-Deas, the user checks items out of the master vault into a Model File on your local hard drive, which can be thought of as a desktop or workbench.  You can pick up parts and put them down again, use them in your assembly (or not) and pretty much do anything you like.  You can bring a bunch of screws into the Model File and use them when you need them in your assembly.  You can hack and slash and make pretty slides for managers and save it all locally.  If you screw it all up, no biggie - just delete it and make a new Model File.  When you finally have a design that is worthy of sharing with others, you 'check in' the parts and assemblies in the Model file that you like, but you still have your local version to continue to evolve or perform 'what-if' work on.

The beauty part is that if someone modifies something that you have a copy of in your Model File, you get notified that there is a newer version and you can update your Model File with the latest.

I was very surprised when I was first learning NX that there is no equivalent to this.  The NX session has no way of knowing that there is a later item revision in TcEng.  This was one of the best features of I-Deas and was copied by PTC when they introduced PDM and Intralink.

You can have 5 or 10 different model files all exploring different 'what-if' scenarios without the hassle of creating all new filenames or new item revisions.  You can play with all the different model files for as long as you want, and just put the desired items back in the vault.

Ed
MCGNX (Mechanical)
22 Sep 08 8:14
Brammy, I will address your points as a former I-Deas user.

1. The dynamic navigator in NX5 (I think) is very similar to I-Deas.  I actually like the sketcher in NX moreso than the one in I-Deas.  Mainly because of the dynamic move, and a trim command that actually trims AND constrains at the same time.

2. Drafting is a sore spot, as I mentioned above.  But UGS are aware of this from (what I'm gathering as many) complaints from former I-Deas users. What they are developing is called 2D Drafting Plus and it is intended as a stand-alone drafting module for NX7.  Also, you may not be aware, but for NX4 there is an NXDrafting you can download from GTAC that is essentialy I-Deas standalone drafting.  I never got a chance to use or test this however as we started with NX5.  Try it out and let us know because I am curious myself

3. The movement of assembly components is very easy in NX5 (another thing I like better in NX than I-Deas), so I'm assuming the "Move Component" command is not in NX4.  Sounds like you are having to use Edit - Transform, and if that's the case, feel bad for you :).  I despise Edit - Transform, and it is also worth noting that in NX6 there is a "Move" command that virtually replaces Edit - Transform.

4.  The interface I can't really give you anything on, sounds like it's just something you'll have to get used to.  I for one love the "updated" style of menus and toolbars that are totally customisable.  One tip I can give you is NOT to use the I-Deas role...that may be some of your problem right there.

5/6.  Feature tree with branches.  You know this was something I too missed at first but I got over it.  I actually think NX does the Bushy Tree thing a little better than I-Deas.  Why, because you can sketch your "cutter part" in place as opposed to relying on relations to position your cutter part.  I do agree that the cut-paste stuff is a little harder to use, but once you figure it out, it works great.  Also worth noting here is (as I mentioned in one of my previous posts) that in NX6 they have turbocharged the Reuse Library and believe me, the cut-paste stuff in there is killer and blows I-Deas away.

7. I agree their needs to be a better way.  One of the hardest struggle we are having with NX is with data management.  We are using TC and while I think it works great, the problem is there is no "Check-out for Reference" type option.  Now this can all be resolved (I'm told) through a rather creative set-up of your TC roles and Groups, but it seems like a lot of work for one simple feature.  Another thing that helps me out is I think of the NX Session the same way I would a model file.  That is whatever you have out in your Session is what is being affected by the changes you make.  Now of course it's not exactly the same because you have to re-pull everything out each day, but hey.  And I kind of like not having the looooong check out times anymore.  I also agree there should be some kind of notification of when an object has been updated or changed, and I'll say it again....NX6 has this feature.

So I guess it's easy to see that Siemens is taking into account alot of I-Deas features, and even though they are not there yet, they are putting that functionality in there.  It may not have the same name, it may not even look the same....but it serves the same functionality.  So in the words of Red Green, "Remember, I'm pulling for you, keep your stick on the ice, we're all in this together"
hudson888 (Mechanical)
22 Sep 08 20:32
Thanks for all you're replies. Interesting stuff. I take all your points to be completely valid exactly as you have written them. I wanted that said before I start to go on making some observations for what it is worth that may be useful to you.

Now some of what's in I-deas with different menus and whatnot the UG users would absolutely hate beyond words. It is always achingly hard when it comes to user interfaces in part because you can get so used to a thing, and also because the difference between a well designed one and a clanger can make or break a CAD system. As with all users moving between systems most of what you're posting about is pretty much informed by those observations. There are a few gems in there as to how one might look to improve drafting etc. Perhaps we'll get the chance to visit some of those again in the future.

As a UG/NX user we found that the integration with I-deas during NX and NX-2 brought some unwanted changes for us to deal with also. Many thought that a few things that were introduced probably provided familiarity with I-deas but that as experienced users we felt that they were unnecessary. You'll get users from other systems coming along from time to time and saying we have dozens of ways to make a line and you only have on or two. Our answer would be yes but if you know how to use the one or two then you can get all of the others without having to figure out which type to pick before you start. By that I mean to analogise that some things are intuitive to a trained eye in ways that don't occur for people who aren't necessarily inexperienced with CAD but simply haven't been used to a new system.

Unfortunately a lot of sites get moved from one system to another more or less all at once as a job lot. That makes for the most difficult possible transition. I have been involved with this process in both directions both as trainee and trainer mentor. The mentoring process is a useful one in that situation.

When you go from one system to another you'll correlate one tool with something familiar from your previous experience and often find yourself struggling with its inadequacies for ages. Whereas a familiar user would likely take a look and ask why are you using that we'd just do it using this other tool because it is better suited for the job. Often the functionality you expect was incorporated in a different way. And so it goes......

BTW, Red Green was a bit obscure for me, try "Git 're done!"

Cheers

Hudson
JohnRBaker (Mechanical)
22 Sep 08 21:05
Hudson,

You've never seen 'The Red Green Show'?

http://www.redgreen.com/

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
NX Design
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Cypress, CA
http://www.siemens.com/plm
http://www.plmworld.org/museum/

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.
 

Brammy (Automotive)
22 Sep 08 21:06
Thanks for all the good feedback.  It sounds like the good news is that post NX4 releases are addressing some of the hot issues.  Over time I can see that MY biggest problem will simply be that (from what I can tell) my company will be on NX4 for a long time to come..... (it's complicated - dont get me started... ugh).

As for the "standalone" 2d package, hmmmmmm.  Whats up with THAT?  """...All we are saying, is give model-related-drafting a chance...""""... (sung, naturally, to the tune of Inagadavida).  I say fuggedabout the standalone stuff, just put good drafting capabilities into the regular package.  Given the state of the art in CAD packages (even el-cheapo ones) I'm still amazed that UGS didn't include decent 2d capabilities to start with.

I'll continue to monitor (with envy) how things in 5 & 6 are progressing.  In summary, it seems to me that perhaps UGS needs to 'get out a bit more' and understand that if they want to be considered "state of the art" they will seriously need to reduce the number of hoops required for simple operations.  With the advent of inexpensive PC packages like Solidworks and Solidedge etc etc, users nowadays have come to expect a certain level of ease and slick features.... as well they should!  Hopefully UGS will continue to move in that direction.

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