Altair Acquires SIMSOLID

Jeff RoweJeffrey Rowe has more than 40 years of experience in all aspects of industrial design, mechanical engineering, and manufacturing. On the publishing side, he has written well over 1,000 articles for CAD, CAM, CAE, and other technical publications, as well as consulting in many capacities in the design community. As editor of MCADCafe, Jeff…

 

Altair Acquires SIMSOLID

November 1st, 2018 by Jeff Rowe

Altair, a company that promotes and enables “Simulation-Driven Innovation” has acquired  SIMSOLID, a company founded by asking a simple question:  “Why does the geometry used in the Design and Structural Simulation worlds have to be so different?”

SIMSOLID works on full-fidelity CAD assemblies to provide fast, accurate, and robust structural simulation without requiring geometry simplification, cleanup, or meshing.  Its underlying technology is based largely on the work of Dr. Victor Apanovitch, a former professor at Belarus Polytechnic University and the cofounder of SIMSOLID Corporation.

“We believe SIMSOLID is a revolutionary technological breakthrough which will have a profound impact for product design,” said James Scapa, Altair’s Founder, Chairman, and CEO, “It’s incredibly fast, accurate, and robust and we believe a game changer for our industry.”

SIMSOLID is structural analysis software developed specifically for design engineers. It eliminates geometry simplification and meshing, the two most time consuming and expertise extensive tasks done in traditional FEA.

SIMSOLID can analyze complex parts and large assemblies not practical with traditional FEA and do it efficiently on a desktop class computer. Both fast and accurate, SIMSOLID controls solution accuracy using a unique multi-pass adaptive analysis. Adaptivity can be defined on a global or part local basis and adaptivity is always active. The SIMSOLID methodology is fast and efficient.  It provides superior performance metrics for computational time and memory footprint that allow very large and/or complex assemblies to be solved quickly on desktop-class PC’s.

The SIMSOLID computational engine is based on breakthrough extensions to the theory of external approximations. External approximations are a generalization of Finite Element Method (FEM) in terms that:

  • Absolutely arbitrary geometrical shapes can be used as “finite elements”
  • Basis functions which approximate field of interest in the part volume can be of arbitrary class and are independent of the volume shape

SIMSOLID does not use the point-wise degrees of freedom (DOF) inherent in traditional FEA. SIMSOLID DOF are functionals with geometrical support in the form of volumes, areas, line clouds, and point clouds. This provides the ability to handle geometrical imperfections, as well as assembly contact imperfections like gaps, penetrations and ragged contact areas.

According to the company, the SIMSOLID computational engine is a commercial implementation of novel and unpublished mathematics based on extensions to the theory of external approximations.

Dr. Uwe Schramm, Altair’s Chief Technical Officer, notes that, “We are very serious about solution accuracy.   Others have tried to accelerate the interface between CAD and simulation by degrading the mathematical robustness.   It is our feeling that by rapidly moving forward with the methods in SIMSOLID and expanding them across applications we can have a real effect on how design gets done while maintaining our high standards for computational excellence.”

SIMSOLID Cloud App

Earlier this year SIMSOLID announced SIMSOLID Cloud, a browser-based structural analysis application. Available in the Onshape App Store, it uses Onshape’s single sign-on and runs completely within an Onshape Document tab. With SIMSOLID Cloud, you never have to leave the Onshape environment. All modeling, analysis and results visualization are completely embedded.

SIMSOLID Cloud offers structural static, modal vibration, and thermal analyses. It comes with an integrated material properties library. Both individual parts and assemblies can be analyzed and parts can be either mesh or CAD solids based.

SIMSOLID Cloud comes with unique design study capabilities. Design studies are used to collect and quantify design performance variation. Each SIMSOLID project can contain multiple design studies and each study can contain multiple analyses. SIMSOLID design studies are also associative to Onshape geometry updates. As the geometry evolves, the study can be updated without having to recreate existing analysis configuration settings.

“SIMSOLID is an innovative partner,” said Jon Hirschtick, Onshape CEO. “Their meshless FEA approach is truly changing the way design analysis is performed. I think it is fantastic that Onshape users no longer have to simplify geometry before running analysis.

For some time I’ve thought that Altair was one of the more interesting and innovative companies in the simulation space, and the SIMSOLID acquisition, as well as cloud availability, reinforce that sentiment as additions and capabilities that will benefit customers.

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