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CAE Software Seeks Design Insight

CAE Software Seeks Design Insight

For CAE companies, designing better software to simulate a product's performance under stress would seem to be the overriding goal in software development. And it is. But when it comes to approach, CAE development trends point to providing users with a deeper understanding and fewer usability headaches.

Barry Christenson
Manager of Product Marketing, ANSYS

Design News: You're involved with new products that ANSYS develops for the CAE industry. What do you see as a trend in CAE software?

Christenson: Companies want greater design insight. They need to understand design more and they need to make more innovative design decisions faster. We're finding that customers have a number of different challenges in trying to implement this design insight, whether it be in the form of automation, ease of use, overall presentation, etc.

Q: Why is this need for greater design insight a trend now?

A: It's been a trend for a while, and it's still evolving. But more simulation is being used by less technical experts now.

Q: Is probabilistic analysis a trend in the industry?

A: It is. Probabilistics is an extension of better design understanding. Users of probabilistic analysis are considering what happens when a design changes unintentionally. You never have the same conditions every time. There's always variation. So probabilistics help users evaluate that unintentional variation in the design process. It's complementary to gaining the most design understanding possible.(To read a Design News article on how ANSYS and other CAE companies are incorporating probabilistic analysis into their FEA software, go to

Q: Any other trends?

A: Multiphysics analysis. With ANSYS, we've taken away the task of having users understand every physics problem separately. Instead we've come up with an automation tool that does the grunt work and brings together these physics problems for multi-users.

Q: What are the challenges that CAE companies are facing right now?

A: We deal everyday with the challenge of trying to provide more features in less time. Customers are demanding more tools in their products.

Q: What should NDES attendees look for at the ANSYS booth?

A: In the ANSYS booth (Booth #4315), we'll be showcasing the ParaMesh mesh morphing tool, which lets users take existing CAE mesh and change it without geometry. It's particularly useful for the automotive and aerospace industries.

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