Feature Based Machining – Feature Recognition & Grouping

What is Feature Based Machining (FBM)? (Part 1)

How to use Feature Recognition & Grouping in NX CAM

Questions regarding feature based machining (FBM) in Siemens NX CAM arise from time to time – including ones about feature recognition. CAM users want a clearer understanding of the out-of-the-box functionality. As well, levels of customization to minimize efforts and time spent by CNC programmers while operating within company standard practices is a must.

In first piece of our feature based machining series, we’ll provide more insight and additional exposure to these tools.

feature based machining, fbm in nx cam

What is Feature Recognition?

Feature recognition is the first step to using feature based machining. Oftentimes, users go no further than this function. Although it is a good start, it should not be the end goal. We’ll start by looking at the use cases for feature recognition using this sample plate.

  1. Start by specifying the part geometry in the Geometry View of the Open Navigator.
    feature recognition in feature based machining


  1. Using the Find Features command, NX will interrogate the solid 3D model to find and classify features that are found.
    1. The part geometry can be a native NX model or a dumb body from other systems.
  2. Set the following:
    1. Feature Type as Parametric Recognition
    2. Search Method as Workpiece
    3. Feature to Recognize as Parametric Features,

NX will find and create Features for all geometry possible.

feature recognition and group for FBM     

Grouping Features

These features can now be grouped and used as geometry for manufacturing purposes using the Group Features command.

  1. Right click in the white space in the Machining Feature Navigator –> Group Features.

Geometry groups are now available in the Operations Navigator –> Geometry View and can be used for your manufacturing operations.

Pretty easy, right?

Once you’ve mastered feature recognition and grouping, head on over to the next issue of this series. We’ll be looking at creating Feature Processes utilizing built-in Machining Knowledge functions.


Post by John Vincent

John's passion for understanding NX CAM has led him to become one of the most well-respected experts in the industry. His vast knowledge in post processing, mill manufacturing, and CNC programming is invaluable to manufacturing engineers and has earned him high praise from trainees looking to craft their knowledge. Did we mention he has his own show? (Tooling Time Season 1, Ep 1, Ep 2, Ep 3)

4 Comments "Feature Based Machining – Feature Recognition & Grouping"

    • Hello KOTI,

      Yes you can use FBM on imported files without a feature tree. NX analyzes the topology of the model to find geometry features.

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