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An Introduction to NX CMM

In this video tutorial, PROLIM PLM application engineer, Kyle Bentley, covers a brief introduction to NX CMM inspection programming.

NX CMM is a separate environment inside of NX (similar to NX CAM) that allows you to quickly program your CMM (coordinate measuring machine). Inside of NX, in the CMM environment, you can create CMM inspection programs directly from 3D CAD models. You can also automate inspection programs and reduce inspection programming time by 80% using NX integrated tools. 

NX CMM Basic Operations

In the video, Kyle opens a part file that already has Product Manufacuring Information (PMI) associated with the object. He starts a new template with a simkit that’s already been built, which pulls in the previous part file into the template. Starting a new template pulls you directly into the NX inspection environment.

Inside the template, there’s the “Machine View” and the “Method View.” The Machine View offers a tool rack with separate probes, while the Method View allows you to specify best practices for inspecting features.

Link to PMI Feature

Now, Kyle has some things already saved for new templates, including “Part Alignment features,” such “Teach Point” and the “Teach Point Path” to align the part coordinate system. If you don’t have those features, it’s easy enough to use the “Part Alignment Assistant” to help align the part coordinate system.

After aligning and positioning the part, we’re ready to run the feature “Link to PMI,” since PMI is already authored on the part. This will specify the inspection paths, features and tolerances with just a couple of clicks. Once PMI is successfully linked, you can run the program. You’ll see the features, such as cylinders and planes, be automatically created from the associated PMI.

Below “Features” in the “Program Order” window, you’ll see the created “Inspection Paths” based on the methods and features.

Collision Avoidance

Before simulating, you’ll want to look at “Collision Avoidance.” All you have to do is select your program, then select “Collision Avoidance” in the toolbar. You can specify a safe plane, which Kyle specifies as 50 millimeters above the top of his part. This will optimize your inspection paths.


Now, you can select your program again and select “Simulation” in the toolbar. With no collisions, you can run through the simulation to verify inspection paths then postprocess to a standard DMIS, machine-specific or to a certain software. This will create your post directly from NX CMM.

Would you like to see a Snackbyte video tutorial about a specific functionality in NX CAD, NX CAM, Solid Edge or Teamcenter? Send us a Tweet @prolimglobal or leave a comment below!

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