Realize Shape

Using NX10’s Realize Shape Makes for Fast Conceptual Modeling

With the release of NX 10, Siemens PLM Software has introduced a number of new features to its flagship CAD package. Realize Shape ranks as one of the more powerful aspects of NX 10. Siemens has stated that the new version of Realize Shape gives designers even better control over geometry, tighter integration with PLM software (like Active Workspace) and an optional touchscreen interface. Indeed Realize Shape’s abilities really have to be experienced to be appreciated.

For those lucky enough to use NX on a regular basis, you know that Realize Shape (which debuted in NX 9) is one of the CAD package’s most powerful tools. Using subdivision modeling, Realize Shape allows users the ability to create surfaces via an intuitive freeform method. Like other freeform modeling environments, the Realize Shape workflow begins with the selection of a stock object like, say, a sphere. Once placed in the modeling environment, the object can be pushed, pulled, stretched and rotated to begin making a rough version of the final shape. What’s even cooler is that overarching commands like symmetry can be added to a model so that both sides of a component can be modeled concurrently.

To further refine a shape, any piece of geometry can be sub-divided almost infinitely to give a shape more flexibility. But what’s to happen if a model can’t be defined, or is difficult to define, using a single stock solid? In that case, Realize Shape gives users the ability to add other stock shapes to a model scene where they can be manipulated and eventually knitted together with any other geometry.

When used in conjunction with NX’s Active Workspace (NX’s PLM interface), Realize Shape becomes even more powerful. Given that all of the resources for a project can be neatly organized and shared within Active Workspace, adding 2D CAD documents, sketches, or other types of reference models can make Realize Shape’s rapid modeling even faster and more accurate. For those working on reverse engineering projects, or even product updates, having those resources at your fingertips can be a game-changer.

Realize Shape’s freeform tools give you the ability to move through concepts quickly and arrive at the best solution. Realize Shape (and freeform modeling in general) is an easy way to create complex geometry. Whether you’re using NX or other CAD products, it’s becoming more apparent that sub-d, freeform modeling is a go-to tool for everything from concept design to ergonomic sculpting.

In user experience, Realize Shape has a more direct structure yet it has on screen interaction feature and it also has numerous cage and body display controls. It is pretty easy to use because it provides intuitive user interaction. When traditional CAD tools are becoming irrelevant in certain new design and manufacturing processes, Realize Shape provides greater freedom in those processes.