For a few years now, software companies that specialize in simulation products have launched marketing campaigns aimed at attracting designers. Understandably, these companies are seeking to increase their customer base and sell more software to a broader range of users. In some cases, these tactics have worked, but from my perspective only marginally.
Here’s why. Traditionally, some software companies have peddled multiphysics products to primarily PhD level users because they have the knowledge and expertise to practice multiphysics exercises.
However, in order to attract new parties for this technology, I think that describing it as simulation software will become more palatable since many CAD packages offer simulation functions for various analytical tasks on 3D models.
There are other reasons why you might warm to the idea of using simulation products. For instance, in today’s economic environment many engineering organizations have been downsized and you are being asked to do more work with smaller staffs. And, with the pressure on to crank out products in an increasingly more competitive global marketplace, manufacturers are under the gun to continue to produce quality, high value goods while remaining profitable.
Here’s where Comsol’s latest version of its flagship product comes into the picture. Scheduled to launch later this year, Multiphysics (simulation) 4.0 has been overhauled significantly and offers attractive features that can appeal to a whole new audience. For instance, the graphical user interface (GUI) has been reconfigured as a tree-based, intuitive tool that mirrors what most CAD systems offer. At the 2009 Comsol conference in October 2009, demonstrators showed how to relatively easily determine if a part or assembly is manufacturable, can withstand usage loads, and meets quality specifications.
The model builder helps you set up and run a simulation. All steps in the modeling process are recorded to create sequences of the features. This provides direct access to model settings.
This example illustrates a mini-compute cluster connected by a Gigibit Ethernet network solving for the microwave magnetic field in an H-Bend wave guide. The simulation sweeps more than 100 different frequencies distributed over the cluster nodes.
The Comsol Desktop GUI helps you control the modeling process. This model includes the coupling of diffusion, fluid flow, and heat transfer. The surface plot shows the species concentration.
The software is the first one we’ve seen that not only appeals to its traditional customers, but also offers innovative and easy to use functions that you will be able to use without time-consuming training. Here are a few examples:
• Comsol Desktop GUI lets you organize workflow and provides simulation overviews
• Quick model set-up in the Model Builder and its graphical programming utility throughout the modeling and simulation process.
• CAD interoperability with LiveLinks for Pro/E, SolidWorks, and Inventor
• Expanded Parasolid support in the CAD Import Module enables
• 3D geometry operations to be performed in combination with imported geometries.
• Geometry parameter sweeps with full associativity. Solid operations are associative and allow for multi-parameter sweeps over any group of geometry dimensions.
• Modal solver for frequency response and time domain
• AWE solver for harmonical electromagnetics simulations Predefined analysis combination: non-linear plus frequency-response solver
• Non-linear least squares solver for parameter estimations
• Direct solvers MUMPS and SPOOLES for cluster computing
• Automated simulation configuration of solver settings, solver sequences, mesh settings, and result visualization.
• Expanded platform support for clusters on Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003, Windows HPC Server 2008, and Linux.
Filed Under: FEA software, Simulation, Software