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What's new in NX 12 for manufacturing

Community Manager Community Manager
Community Manager

Check out what's new in NX 12 for manufacturing


Transform your part manufacturing using a digital machine shop


NX 12 for manufacturing introduces powerful capabilities to boost your production efficiency and expand your business.  New advanced capabilities in NX CAM 12 software for mold and die machining, production machining and complex parts machining let companies achieve a new level of efficiency by digitalizing  the part manufacturing process.  Available October 31, 2017.
Meanwhile, integrated additive manufacturing functions help you to design and print breakthrough products that were simply impossible to manufacture with previous technologies. New capabilities in NX 12 for additive manufacturing make it easier than ever before to print production-quality parts with the full traceability of an unbroken data thread.
New advanced capabilities in NX CAM 12 for mold and die machining, production machining and complex parts machining provide powerful advantages to part manufacturers.  
Mold and die machining
 Adaptive milling is a new high-speed cutting strategy that can reduce machining cycle time by up to 60 percent. This intelligent roughing method enables deep cuts and constant tool load that increases material removal rate, while extending tool life. Although  ideal for cutting hard materials such as steels used for tooling, Adaptive Milling can be used for high-speed machining a of range of materials, including production machining of aluminum parts. 


NX CAM adaptive milling.pngMachine 60 percent faster with Adaptive Milling, a new high-speed roughing method in NX CAM 12This innovative cutting strategy maintains consistent chip thickness by dynamically adjusting the machining parameters, including step over and feed rate. By maintaining consistent chip thickness during the entire cutting operation, the cutting forces can be significantly reduced which enables high speeds and feeds using the entire flute length. This gives you an advantage over conventional milling where you can use only a small portion of the flute length for cutting. With Adaptive Milling, you can use high machining speeds, while reducing the productions costs by extending the cutting tool life.
Enhanced finishing strategies in NX CAM 12 can further improve the quality of a machined surface. The consistent stepover can now be achieved across the entire machined area, regardless of the slope. Also, the intelligent finishing toolpaths can recognize small cavity features in machined surfaces and machine over them, which improves cutting conditions and minimizes part preparation operations.
nx cam smooth toolpaths.pngImprove machining accuracy, reduce machining time, and minimize the wear of machine tools using the smooth toolpaths in NX CAM 12.
NX CAM software has advanced capabilities to create toolpaths with smooth cutting moves. NX 12 gives you even more control to apply smooth engage, retract and transfer moves. The resulting optimized toolpaths without sharp corners eliminate sudden stops and changes of direction during the machining process. These optimized toolpaths can significantly minimize the wear of machine tools, which increases equipment uptime and reduces production costs.
Production machining
New in NX 12 is NX Machining Line Planner software for high-volume production of complicated parts with many features. NX Machining Line Planner combined with integrated NX CAM software enables distribution, balancing, programming and simulation of operations over multiple setups and machines. This integrated solution allows bi-directional change management between programming and line planning.  By using a digital twin of complete machining lines to optimize the process, automotive and machinery manufacturers can reduce planning time and increase throughput.

 nx machining line planner.pngPlan and optimize high-volume flexible machining lines using NX Machining Line Planner. Program detailed NC operations using integrated NX CAM.

For programming of multi-function machines, keeping track of the in-process state of the workpiece is a critical capability. The seamless transfer of the in-process workpiece (IPW) between milling, drilling and turning operations enables accurate visualization of the complete machining process. The enhanced IPW capabilities also let you identify possible collisions between the in-process workpiece and tool holders. With these new capabilities, you can quickly create optimized and safe toolpaths to take a full advantage of the latest mill-turn machines.
Complex parts machining
Five-axis machining in NX enables you to produce precision complex parts with fewer operations and setups – reducing cost and delivery times. NX CAM 12 introduces new advanced capabilities that streamline the NC programming while creating efficient multi-axis toolpaths.


nx cam 4 tube milling.pngEasily create error-free 5-axis roughing and finishing operations with Tube Milling in NX CAM 12


The new Tube Milling 5-axis capabilities drastically simplify programming of hollow and narrow features, including ports of engine blocks. Programming these features using conventional methods can be very time consuming and prone to errors that result in machine downtime on the shop floor. Tube Milling streamlines the NC programming process and allows you to eliminate preparation and minimize input of parameters, which enables you to easily create consistent and error-free toolpaths. These efficient roughing and finishing operations ensure high-speed and error-free 5-axis milling that shorten machining time, and improve machined surface quality.

Robotics for part manufacturing



nx cam 6 robotics.pngAutomate part manufacturing by using NX CAM to program robots for CNC machining operations and machine tending.

In the previous release of NX, new robotic machining capabilities were introduced. Using NX CAM robotics machining you can program robots to perform precise machining-type tasks including trimming, de-burring, grinding, and polishing.
The robotic machining in NX CAM 12 was significantly enhanced by a virtual teach mode technology. This allows the user to easily program a robot to do pick-and-place operations, including machine tending and tool loading.
By combining NX CAM software with the embedded Virtual NC Controller Kernel (VNCK) from Siemens’ Sinumerik 840D SL controller, you can achieve a new level of accuracy and completeness when using 3D simulations to validate the robot motions.
With the new robotics programming capabilities in NX CAM, you can program robots to perform CNC machining and pick-and-place operations using one system, enabling you to farther automate your part manufacturing process. 
nx cam 6 robotics detail.pngUse NX CAM Robotics Programming to automate part manufacturing. (left) A robot perform pick-and-place operation. (right) The same robot performs machining.

NX Tooling Design


Tooling manufacturers can now automatically and accurately determine tooling production costs using the new integrated capabilities of Siemens PLM Software’s solutions. The digitalized process, from part design to tooling cost estimate, can replace the time-consuming manual job tasks. This gives tool manufacturers a unique advantage in this highly-competitive industry.


NX Feature2Cost can automatically identify features on molded or stamped parts using the robust feature recognition capability. It lets you easily recognize many part features, such as undercuts, ribs and bends. During the cost calculation process, the software gives you flexibility to make right decisions based on your experience.


Tooling-2.pngAutomatically recognize features on molded and stamped parts, including undercuts, ribs and bends using NX Feature2Cost.
The complete set of recognized features along with their parameters is seamlessly transferred to Teamcenter Product Cost Management software. After providing additional information, such as the production site and machines, the system can precisely calculate the tooling cost. By being able to quickly provide accurate quotations, tooling manufacturers are positioned to win more orders and increase their profitability.


Tooling-3.pngAccurately determine the tooling costs using the powerful Teamcenter Product Cost Management software. 
NX Additive Manufacturing


Industrialize additive manufacturing with NX 12


Powder Bed Printing


Powder bed printers remain the most popular option for printing of metal parts and NX 12 now has a robust, integrated connection with these printers. 



S3-Plan-print-job (002).pngAutomatically create various support structure types for use with powder bed printers using the new NX AM Fixed Plane Basic module.


This new module, which is powered by Materialise, includes facilities for creation of support structures as well as for the setup of the build tray, positioning and patterning of parts in the build tray, and a build processor framework for connection to powder bed printers. 


With NX 12 you can setup, connect, and print with powder bed printers all in a single system meaning you can now have a single, uninterrupted digital thread from design to print.


HP Multi Jet Fusion Printers
The landscape for printing plastic is evolving as new vendors are entering the industry.  One exciting new addition to the hardware landscape for plastic printers is HP with their Multi Jet Fusion technology.
NX 12 has a new module, certified by HP and powered by Materialise, enabling customers to design, optimize, simulate, prepare print jobs, and inspect processes for HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printers.  NX users can load multiple models, auto nest the models in 3D, and submit the job to HP 3D printers in a single NX environment and with a minimum number of steps.
When HP’s new 3D printers are combined with the power of Siemens NX, printing of plastic parts is easier, faster, and more accurate than ever before.


additive-2.jpgEasily nest multiple parts in the build area to optimize the efficiency of printing on HP Multi Jet Fusion printers.


 Design for Additive Manufacturing


 Companies are looking to innovative solutions in the constant drive to reduce component weight and improve resource usage.  Lattice structures are one way designers can meet these goals without compromising on strength and structural integrity.  NX 12 delivers on these new approaches to design for additive manufacturing with the integrated ability to create lattice structures, powered by Materialise.
This new module allows users to create regular lattice structures as well as randomized structures within a volume.  When combined with Convergent Modeling Technology™, which makes it possible to work directly with facet geometry, creating cutting-edge structures like these is easier than ever before.  Furthermore, having these capabilities in a single system saves companies from the hidden data conversion costs normally required to work with such geometry.


With lattice structures and Convergent Modeling TechnologyTM in NX 12, companies can deliver lighter, stronger products to market in much less time, fulfilling the need for cutting-edge design of lightweight parts.
 Lattice.jpgAn example lattice structure created using the NX Lattice Structures Design module.
NX CMM Inspection Programming 12


NX CMM Inspection Programming enables programming of CMM machines, as well as visualization and analysis of measurement data into the NX graphical environment.


The new feature-specific inspection programming functions in NX 12 let you easily create point sets in circular patterns.  New capabilities allow you to import inspection DMIS programs in NX to create inspection setups and generate touch trigger programs with minimum input.  This enables Robcad CMM users’ easy transition to NX CMM.  And, you can now use NX CMM Inspection Programming to analyze measurement data acquired by laser or white light scanner devices. 



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Additional Resources:


NX12 annoucement press release: Siemens' latest version of NX expands toolset for digitalizing the machine shop


What's new in NX 12 for your industry?  This Tech Tip article is a summary of resources, organized by industry categories, describing NX CAM software updates available with NX 12.


Video: Next Generation Mold & Die Machining with NX CAM.  Learn about the new mold & die capabilities in NX CAM 12.






Good morning, I don't see NX12 in download section. Is it already released?


Can we have a link to a downloadable .pdf so we may share with others in our organization?

Community Manager

 Thank you for your comments. 

 The release will be available next week at which time we'll publish a notice here.  


Gears Esteemed Contributor

31st of October will be another milestone Smiley Wink

Looking forward to upgrade at least to NX 12.0.1

Community Manager

The NX 12 for Manufacturing fact sheet PDF is now attached to the blog post. 


Solution Partner Phenom

"This innovative cutting strategy maintains constant chip thickness by dynamically adjusting the machining parameters, including step over and feed rate."

Ive tested addaptive operation, output nc file and there was constant feedrate.

How can I achieve adjusting F ?

Siemens Phenom

Hello Juraj,


thank you for your question.


There are two ways to maintain a consistent chip thickness in such a toolpath. Either you adapt your stepover while having a constant feedrate or you adapt the feedrate while having a "nearly" constant stepover. 


Adaptive Milling adapts the stepover depending on the part geometry and the material to be removed. It is taking various parameters into consideration. So the the stepover that you set is a Maximum value. The actual stepover in the toolpath can be smaller in certain positions in the part.


If there are any other questions, feel free to contact me :-)





I do not believe they are really maintaining a cutting chip thickness more of a better transfer motion.

At least not chip thickness with any math.


I have used the NX plug-in for VoluMill and there are allot of changes to feedrate. Cutting an inside profile you slow down and going around an outside profile you speed up. this maintains the chip thickness. And I believe for that plug-in they have some patented technology calculating feedrates.


You can use optimized feed rates to over drive and under drive your feed rates. It may give you a little help in chip thickness


Paul S.

Gears Esteemed Contributor
  1. Have you tested adaptive milling?
  2. Have you compared the VoluMill tool path against the adaptive milling tool path?
    • What were the differences?
    • Was NX removing less material in the areas where VoluMill reduced feed rate?

Would be great if someone with access to both could check this.




I have not tested the adaptive milling, but do intend to very soon.

At a new company that does not have VoluMill, so won't be testing... But I can say it was a great product with a very nice NX plug-in, worked very seemlessly.


It is it's own little sub-software not just a different cut pattern.


If you machine hard materials you will save cycle time and money.


This new cut pattern looks like a flavored version of Cavity Mill... Like there are a few surfacing Flavors.

I'm going to imagine the step over is pretty consistant for width.

A great process... I believe it to be comparable with similiar MasterCam offerings


Paul S.

Gears Esteemed Contributor

I have had some presentations and testing of VoluMill and iMachining for NX, so it is nothing new to me too.

I dislike the need to calculate feed rates separately. NX now includes optimize feed rates for some while, so I can use that instead.

I avoid sending users to different software when ever possible, since it is easier for them to get productive if they can stay within one software.

I have never been too impatient to not wait one or two releases for something that we wanted now. It is not easy to make decisions users are complaining about, but in the end it has always resulted in better user experience.

Adaptive milling is at phase one with NX 12.0, so there is more to come over the next MPs, MRs and main releases Smiley Wink

Solution Partner Creator
Hello. It is possible to create 3D print operation by robot ?
Gears Esteemed Contributor

From what I heard at all the additive manufacturing presentations, 3D printing with robots is currently worked on, but nothing yet released.

Siemens Phenom

Hi Chris,


The Robotic Machining is a layer over CAM operations allowing to control, validate and post process your CAM toolpath with any articulated Robot and the supported post processor.


If you can program a milling path that can be used in additive process - you can use it with a robot as well.

In parallel NX CAM develops dedicated 5X additive operations in collaboration with a buisness partner. These paths can also be parformed by a Robot, but the basic additive package has exclusivity limitations based on the deposition technology..



Eddy Finaro

NX CAM Product Manager

Solution Partner Creator
Hello. Thank you for your reply. It is possible to find any materials or tutorials how to generate patch for robot to 3d print operation ?