With a focus on improved interoperability with CAD/CAM/CAE
applications and new capabilities for simulating circuit board design, COMSOL Inc. has launched the version 3.5
upgrade of its physics-based modeling system.
COMSOL Multiphysics 3.5 leverages a series of new solvers
and useability enhancements, along with additional application modes, materials
models and properties within each of its discipline-specific modules, to boost
engineering and scientific productivity and make the multiphysics modeling tool
more accessible to a broader audience, says Bernt Nilsson, COMSOL's senior
vice president of marketing.
The first order of business is faster performance,
leveraging new solvers to make version 3.5 more than three times faster for
large flow models compared to the subsequent 3.4 version, according to COMSOL
benchmark tests. Specifically, time-dependent structural mechanics,
electromagnetic, acoustics and fluid-flow simulations are significantly faster
with the new release, and the new time-dependent segregated solver embedded in
the software will reduce memory usage by as much as 50 percent for common dynamic
For better integration with popular CAD and scientific
applications, COMSOL Multiphysics 3.5 offers a number of enhancements. The
upgrade now supports the Parasolid
file format from Siemens PLM Software, which streamlines the file import
process by eliminating the process of converting objects to the COMSOL
geometry, Nilsson says. In addition, a new Autodesk
Inventor bidirectional interface maintains two-way associativity between
Inventor and COMSOL so that any changes in a session in either application are
propagated across both automatically. When used with the new CAD Import Module,
the Inventor interface, along with the existing, comparable interface for SolidWorks, provides the ability to run
geometric parametric sweeps in the COMSOL tool.
"If you don't have access to a robust and successful CAD import,
it's difficult to import 3-D geometries and you need those geometries to get
started," Nilsson says. COMSOL Multiphysics 3.5 eliminates much of the
pre-processing conversion steps previously required in earlier versions by performing
meshing directly on the Parasolid representation of the geometry, he says.
Each discipline-specific module in the COMSOL suite has also
been enhanced, including a number of new capabilities that will facilitate the
design of mechatronics systems. For example, the AC/DC Module now offers an
ECAD interface for creating geometries of printed circuit board designs
imported from ODB++ files and GDS files. Enhancements to the MEMS Module
include a two-phase flow application mode along with new predefined
multiphysics couplings that make it easier to set up electro-thermomechanical
simulations. Finally, the new RF Module introduces new circuit ports for
simulating the connection of a transmission line or an antenna and an external
circuit, and ECAD import functions shorten the path between circuit board
layout to 3-D geometry.
"COMSOL has ready-made user interfaces that make it easy to
combine electromagnetics and structural mechanics simulation on one and the
same model," Nilsson says. By setting up one system to solve both physics at
the same time, companies are able to achieve reductions in the development
cycle, shorten time-to-market and put together more realistic prototypes, he
COMSOL Multiphsyics 3.5 is available now for $8,995.