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How to organize your NX CAD model
3 May, 2023


Have you ever found yourself struggling to keep track of all the features, parts, and bodies in your model?

One of the most common issues CAD designers often face during the product development phase is the organization of their models to allow fast modifications on their parts. That’s why it’s important to keep in mind to follow some guidelines to optimize the modeling procedure from an early stage to minimize the amount of work needed to implement it later. Optimizing the command tree in the part navigator allows anyone to apply changes to a part in no time, even if it was created by someone else.

That’s what we call Design Intent!

To keep it simple, the Design Intent determines the modeling strategy of a part.

It also defines the order of the following types of tasks:

  • Organizing the model before starting the design process.
  • Creating expressions to allow parametric modeling.
  • Choosing feature types like datums and coordinate systems to attach sketches instead of faces.
  • Defining sketch constraints.
  • Establishing feature relationships (like size, attachment, and timestamp order) which will affect the final shape.
  • Establishing relationships between parts in assemblies.
  • Duplicating geometry.

Siemens NX provides the user with a variety of tools to choose from and helps each one to decide the best way it suits them to organize their model.

The most common means are listed below:


The primary purpose of layers is to organize part objects across all the parts a company designs. Usually, each company may define a certain counting (for example, layers 1- 20 for solids, 21- 40 sketches, etc.). Another useful application of layers is to hide and show groups of objects.

Check the following video to learn how to easily apply it in your model.

Feature naming

Adding a meaningful user-defined feature name to the system feature name is a good way to identify features and maintain design intent. It’s not necessary to rename every single feature since it can be time-consuming and impractical. However, by naming key sketches and features, the search time is in the part navigator significantly reduced in the part navigator, especially in large-scale models.

Feature Groups

One of the most practical tools available in SIEMENS NX is the one of Feature Groups. You can use the Feature Groups command to organize features in a part model, either by function, manufacturing process, or any other logical group that helps you keep track of your process.

Don’t forget to collapse the feature group nodes to simplify the list of features in the part navigator, as well as hide, pattern, or suppress features as a group.

Considering all this, organizing, and updating a model has never been easier!

We at FEAC hope that this blog post has been interesting and that you will be able to create neat, organized models after reading this. If you have any questions, you are always welcome to contact us at support@feacomp.com.


Elisavet Oursoula (Eliza) Kavoura– Project Engineer / CAD Designer Mechanical Engineer

e-mail: e.kavoura@feacomp.com

LinkedIn Profile: ElisabethKavoura