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COMSOL Becomes SolidWorks Solution Partner
Posted Tue May 01, 2007 @09:30AM
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News SolidWorks Corporation, the leader in 3D CAD technology, and COMSOL, the worldwide leader in multiphysics simulation software, have strengthened their ties: SolidWorks has named COMSOL as one of its select Solution Partners.

This program provides SolidWorks 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.

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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 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 Live Connection allows engineers to combine the power of CAD and multiphysics simulation in a seamless environment. 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 to study 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. This method has the advantage that the physics and boundary settings are saved between geometry updates, which results in considerable time savings.

Taking advantage of the link’s bidirectional nature, 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.

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