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Every once in a while, you’ll be enjoying a hot ham ‘n cheese, when something comes along, slaps that sandwich out of your hand, and marks a substantial shift in the future of 3D product development software. They’re shifts that mark moments when other software developers take notice and consider their own software dev plans.

Come to think of it, Siemens has been behind a few of those moments (even if they were not the first) – Mac support (NX for Mac), mixed direct/parametric, history/history-free modeling (Synchronous Technology), facet/surface/solid modeling (Convergent Modeling) – and this week, they put their flag in the sand of future CAD tech yet again with the announcement of Adaptive UI for Siemens NX.

Al Dean at Develop3D, lays it out:

Essentially, you begin a modelling or detailing activity in NX, then the system knows, through analysis and prediction (the machine learning part) what you’re most likely to do next, so brings up the most commonly used operations or commands.

Biff, bam, boom, aaaaand done. More or less. In the Siemens PLM press release they describe the implications:

The NX Command Prediction module is the first introduction of the machine learning-enabled NX adaptive user interface architecture to the market, and will be the basis for, and lead to, additional machine learning-driven UI solutions.

Further, Bob Haubrock, Senior Vice President, Product Engineering Software at Siemens PLM Software, says:

The latest version of NX uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to monitor the actions of the user, and their successes and failures, so now we can dynamically determine how to serve the right NX commands or modify the interface to make the individual user more productive.

Failures? Puh-leeease. Ok, maybe a few… hundred. Before I go any further, have a look at how the NX interface adapts for different users:

YouTube video

Make sense now? Sometimes it’s hard to put new technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence into practical and meaningful concepts but the Adaptive UI for Siemens NX demonstrates it in how your own use of the software helps it learn to make you more productive.

It can go a long way toward reducing clicks but there’s so much potential – completing sketch operations, assembly creation, component addition, generating initial simulation scenarios, drawing view layout/manipulation,detailing, supply chain and parts acquisition – it goes on and on.

And I’m talking specifically about the user interface here, not about the content. Many a software, desktop and cloud, has some sort of auto-complete, shape recognition, assembly definition, or BOM generation capable of utilizing data amassed by its use. But adaptive UIs step into a whole other area of user interation.

Now, imagine it off the 2D screen. Or, applied to our modern day conveyances?

YouTube video
“Well if that was a 3rd class maneuver, then what’s a 1st class?”


According to Pat McManus, Senior Technical Manager at Siemens PLM Software, the patent on this has been filed and Adaptive UI for NX is available now as an add-on for NX, specifically, NX30179 – NX Command Prediction. So, apparently, there’s a license cost associated with that. Price? Who knows.


Josh is founder and editor at, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.