Siemens Introduces a Wicked Smart Sketcher
Roopinder Tara posted on June 17, 2020 |
NX Sketch infers design intent in 2D sketches.
 (Picture courtesy of Siemens.)
(Picture courtesy of Siemens.)

In yet another conference gone virtual, Siemens held a meeting for media and analysts online, dubbed #SiemensMAC2020 for Twitter, and took the opportunity to introduce a sketch tool so intelligent that simple geometry brought into it immediately turns smarter, too. 

NX Sketch will take imported geometry, without any history or design intent, and intuit what the design intent was. For instance, change the diameter of one geometric hole, and NX Sketch will adjust the rest of the geometric holes on the bolt circle.  

How did it know there was a bolt circle? 

We are reminded of Arthur C. Clarke's 3rd law: any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. 

When it came to changing all the ventilation holes in the rotor,  we thought NX Sketch was brought down to Earth. Changing the diameter of one of the ventilator holes changed most of the holes—but seemed to miss others. As it turns out,  NX Sketch correctly found all the holes of one size. The holes it didn't change were of different diameter.

NX Sketch will “work with tens of thousands of curves within a single sketch,” per the announcement. NX Sketch will also recognize tangents and other design relationships on the fly, according to Siemens.  

The type of magic in NX Sketch be familiar to Solid Edge users with their Synchronous Technology, Siemens mainstream CAD application. Both share the D-Cubed 2D constraint solver. 

Ten percent of 3D design time is spent in the 2D sketch mode, estimates Siemens. While creating a sketch from scratch is enough to parametrize it (add in design intent, in other words), imported geometry may lack sketches and parameters. That can be time that NX Sketch can save. 

NX Sketch appears to be a technology that will be available in NX, Siemens’ enterprise CAD software. However, to be an alternative to engineers’ notebooks, napkins, tablecloths or whatever appropriated to quickly get a concept out of our heads, it would be nice to have it on an iPad or other tablet.  

So, look for NX Sketch appearing soon in an NX near you, and maybe one day, on your tablet. 

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