What industry isn't facing challenges around compressed time-to-market schedules? Not to mention complexities related to collaborating far earlier in the design process across the key mechanical, electrical, and software engineering disciplines. It's a scenario that is framing the evolution of a host of different design applications, the latest being Maplesoft's new version of its MapleSim physical modeling and simulation software.
With the new MapleSim 5, based on the Maple mathematical engine, Maplesoft is expanding the capabilities of the modeling environment so it can be used to simulate more types of systems, thus be applied in new avenues of model development. To support this goal, the latest release expands the software's initial set of about 200 components to more than 570, including libraries for magnetics, thermofluids, thermal, electrical, 1-D rotational, and others. Support for the Modelica standard has evolved in parallel, and new to this release are features that simplify the creation of custom components. Now, custom components can be designed straight from a set of equations, via the Maple environment, which was also recently upgraded in the form of Maple 15, stocked with more than 270 new mathematical functions.
Much of the new functionality in MapleSim 5 stems from feedback from industry, particularly from the automotive segment, according to Derek Wright, product manager at Maplesoft. "The automotive industry is heavily influencing our development," said Wright in an interview. As OEMs take a more system-level and holistic view of cars, they need a software model to help optimize the high-level of parameters they need to consider. "That's where we shine, in simulating the entire system," he says.
Also in direct response to meeting the needs of automotive engineers is MapleSim 5's ability to automatically generate fast code for hybrid system models, including event switches. This is accomplished through faster, more comprehensive solvers, which have been rewritten to pre-generate the model at a lower level, hence speeding up performance.
The other major highlight of MapleSim 5 is the interface, which has been revamped to help reduce model development time and to help customers better handle the growing complexity of their models. Specifically, the new release has enhanced diagnostic tools that provide early feedback related to the definition of the model. Not only will MapleSim 5 identify inconsistencies or problems, it also delivers some assistance around solving those problems -- an approach Wright claims is unique to Maplesoft, and one that will help users more easily make corrections prior to running the simulation.