Automatic Feature Recognition in NX CAM

Automatic Feature Recognition in NX CAM

(For Parts with Many Holes)
Automatic Feature Recognition NX CAM

Automatic Feature Recognition in NX CAM is the first step in automatic programming using feature-based machining (FBM). However, your organization may not require or have the resources to fully implement feature-based machining.


(Check out our 2020 blog on this HERE)

The automatic feature recognition in NX CAM can be utilized when creating operations manually and will help in decreasing programming time. Automatic Feature Recognition is particularly useful when you have a part with many holes of different sizes.

How to Specify the WORKPIECE Geometry

  1. From operation navigator geometry view, edit the WORKPIECE
  1. Specify the target part
NX CAM Recognition

How to Find Features Within Automatic Feature Recognition

Use Find Features to create machining features from existing modeling features

  1. Open the Machining Feature Navigator
  1. Expand the assembly tree to see the target part, MB3, and find features
  1. In the find Features Dialog, verify the type is set to parametric recognition
  1. The search method will be workpiece
  1. In this example, the only features I want to find are the holes so verify that STEPS is the only toggle active
  1. Select Find Features, this may take a few minutes depending on the complexity of the model
  1. Select OK
Automatic Feature Recognition

How to Create Geometry Groups

The hole features that were automatically recognized can now be used to create geometry groups based off similar features.  The feature groups will then be used as the parent geometry when creating hole making operations.

  1. Highlight all of the step hole feature geometry that was automatically recognized, MB3, and group features
  1. Select Create Feature Groups
  1. Select OK

Switch to the Operation Navigator geometry view, which will now have multiple feature groups. The names of the feature groups are generic and can be difficult to determine geometry that the feature group is associated with. Hovering your cursor over the feature group will display the attributes of the hole geometry.


I recommend renaming the feature groups based off the hole geometry to make selections easier while creating operations.

Automatic Feature Recognition

With the feature geometry created, a hole making operation is created as a child of the feature geometry.

Automatic Feature Recognition

The holes will be inherited into the operation. On stepped holes, the machining area defaults to the first cylinder in the list. You may need to change the machining area depending on which feature you intend to machine.

Automatic Feature Recognition

Using Automatic Feature Recognition in conjunction with grouping feature geometry is a fast, easy, and accurate way to select many holes. You will no longer have to manually select each hole individually, which may lead to missing or incorrect hole selection.


With the feature geometry automatically created by analyzing the model geometry, you will have full confidence the correct holes are being machined.


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Post by Collin Kopecky

Hi, I’m Collin, and I’m a CAM Engineer at Swoosh Technologies. For over 15 years, I’ve programmed various 3-, 4-, and 5-axis machine tools, as well as multi-channel mill turn machines. My experience in the manufacturing industry has given me insight and knowledge in mold making, high volume production, and process improvements.

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