SolidWorks Corporation has named COMSOL as one of its select Solution Partners. This program provides SolidWorks 3D CAD users with access to integrated products and services that can further boost productivity. In this case, COMSOL Multiphysics includes a feature in the CAD Import Module called the SolidWorks Live Connection, an easy-to-use bidirectional link that allows users to modify a geometry in the CAD environment and automatically transfer these changes to a linked multiphysics model based on that geometry.
Just one user who enjoys great productivity gains from this link is Mark Fowler, Senior Engineer at Digital Fusion in Huntsville, Alabama. That firm's Advanced Technology Division provides a variety of engineering services to a broad base of customers in the defense and aerospace industries. “Our designs are extremely sensitive to their thermal and structural operating environments,” explains Fowler. “COMSOL provides a finite element analysis tool that allows us to study how our designs react to simulated conditions to which the hardware will be exposed. We use the SolidWorks Live Connection to interactively iterate our CAD designs based on the simulation results. This combination has allowed us to conduct studies in a short time, which helps increase our iteration rate for hardware designs.”
The SolidWorks Live Connection in action
Users first create a CAD model in SolidWorks and then initialize the connection from within COMSOL Multiphysics; in this step the connection translates the SolidWorks model into a COMSOL Multiphysics geometry. After assigning physics properties and boundary conditions, users conduct a series of studies on the model, such as heat transfer, fluid dynamics, or electromagnetic properties. When they suspect that a change in geometry could improve a model's performance, they return to SolidWorks and make an appropriate modification. They then update the COMSOL Multiphysics model to reflect the changes in the CAD model with a simple menu selection. The physics and boundary settings are saved between geometry updates, which saves a lot of time.
A bidirectional link between a CAD geometry
in SolidWorks (left) and the corresponding simulation in COMSOL
Multiphysics (right) allows users to quickly examine the effects of
changes to the geometry, which they can steer from either environment.
Users can also initiate geometry changes from within COMSOL Multiphysics. To do so, they define variables, shared by both environments, that allow for parametric studies of the geometry. It is possible to automate this procedure, yet retain the underlying physics even when the geometry changes.
About the COMSOL product line
COMSOL Multiphysics is a scientific-software environment for the modeling and simulation of any physics-based system. It can account for multiphysics phenomena. Optional modules add discipline-specific tools for chemical engineering, earth science, electromagnetics, heat transfer, MEMS, and structural mechanics. The COMSOL products are available for the Windows, Linux, Solaris, and the Macintosh operating systems.
About the COMSOL Group
COMSOL was founded in 1986 in Stockholm, Sweden, and has grown to include offices in Benelux, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the US, with offices in Burlington, MA, Los Angeles, CA, and Palo Alto, CA.
SolidWorks Corporation, a Dassault Systèmes S. A. company, develops and markets software for design, analysis, and product data management. It is a leading supplier of 3D CAD technology, giving teams intuitive, high-performing software that helps them design better products.
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