Spacecraft are designed starting with designs. These designs can take the form of rough sketches on napkins or more detailed engineering drawings created using software such as NX. While NX software is highly valued in aerospace design circles, its acquisition and learning can be quite costly.
Siemens PLM Software has decided to give students at L’SPACE free access to its NX CAD software.
What is NX?
From napkins to engineering drawings on computers, all spacecraft designs begin as concepts. At NASA, engineers use computer-aided design software (CAD) to make these plans, while L’SPACE has partnered with Siemens so our students can gain access to its NX CAD software free through this skill module.
NX is an advanced open-source build system designed to help developers maximize their CI performance and code quality by offering tools like workspace analysis, task running, caching distribution and automated dependency updating. Furthermore, its flexible configuration system enables it to adapt itself to the requirements of different tools and languages.
One of the key advantages of NX is its ability to cache operations like building, testing and linting so they only run when code changes occur – saving valuable time on your CI pipeline.
Star Trek features the NX-Control center as the hub of mission control where mission controllers monitor the Enterprise and communicate with its crew members on board. It is inspired by NASA’s real mission control centers where fellow pilots act as CapCom and relay orders from Earth.
Aerospace engineers from multiple companies worked collaboratively on building the Dream Chaser spacecraft. Siemens PLM Software’s NX CAD system was chosen because it can integrate easily with different systems and data, as well as its ability to handle large, complex models without taking hours to load or crashing.
Designing Spacecrafts with NX
Spacecraft are complex products requiring sophisticated systems to function in some of the harshest environments known to humankind. Their immense complexity has historically caused immense costs and drawn-out design timelines for space-bound products and systems.
Engineers need an efficient tool like NX to optimize their decisions early in the design process and ensure their spacecraft will be safe to launch. By simulating its virtual representation, engineers can simulate how it would operate before making their final decisions on its design and launch date.
NX is a computer-aided drawing (CAD) program used by NASA and many aerospace companies for spacecraft construction and design. Engineers utilize it as one tool that enables them to turn napkin sketches into reality.
SNC Space Systems used NX to design the Dream Chaser cargo spacecraft which can return cargo from the International Space Station. They chose it because of its speed and compatibility with various systems.
Getting Started with NX
Start designing spacecraft faster with NX! Siemens PLM Software, the creators of this spacecraft design program, are providing L’SPACE students with free access to NX through our Skills Module so that they can begin learning how to model parts and assemblies using this powerful program right away.
Starships included an additional room where their commanding officer and senior officers would meet to monitor progress of their mission: the situation room on NX-class starships was designed after real NASA mission control centers and even made use of an un-used script from “Dead Stop”.
Kobayashi Maru, the Pocket ENT novel, indicates that NX-class production resumed following the Earth-Romulan War with four additional ships being produced: Challenger (NX-3), Discovery (NX-4), Atlantis (NX-5) and Endeavour (NX-6). These ships did not make appearances on screen but could be found at Federation Museum 2023 as models; similar ships appear in video game Star Trek: Elite Force II as well.