Industrial Engineer Solving Problems, Working on a Personal Computer, Two Monitor Screens Show CAD Software

From CAD to CAM, simulation leads the way

Nov. 10, 2022
With cloud-native tools, software can deploy CAD and simulation to an enterprise

Greg Brown is vice president of product management at Onshape.

How has simulation-software technology benefited from remote connectivity and networking?

Greg Brown, vice president of product management, Onshape: Nothing is built by one person alone. We live in a highly connected world, where design, engineering and manufacturing teams are often globally dispersed. People have to communicate, especially finite element analysis (FEA) results, asynchronously off-line and collaboratively in person.

Remote connectivity and networking can only function with cloud-native simulation software.

Also read: Simulation becomes part of the computer-aided lifecycle

There is not a more natural way to connect simulation with CAD than to unify it with the assembly. This allows users to co-edit a model in real-time with a colleague and watch the simulation results refresh interactively.

With cloud-native simulation, simulation is finally ready for a multi-user world.

Can you explain how improvements in simulation-software design and production have impacted industrial applications?

Greg Brown, vice president of product management, Onshape: Many companies are just now returning to profitable growth after the economic downturn. Important industrial initiatives such as sustainability, which are often at the forefront, can become last in line due to budgets and resources. Product design, or computer-aided design (CAD), is one of the most critical technologies used to bring all kinds of industrial applications to life, and simulation goes right along with it, helping companies meet and exceed their goals.

Improving product design with simulation is how we build products with better materials, that reach longer lifespans and have better manufacturing techniques for a sustainable future that is economically realizable.

Simulation improves the quality of a product's design, the pace of the design team to market and the overall profitability of companies enabling teams to invest further into innovation and sustainability.

Also read: Optimize designs of new product generations with simulation software

When will simulation-software technology become IT-friendly enough that engineers/IT professionals are no longer required for installation and operation?

Greg Brown, vice president of product management, Onshape: Now. Today. We are already here at this milestone and doing more. With cloud-native tools, simulation software can deploy CAD and simulation to an enterprise with ease.

What future innovations will impact the use of simulation-software technology in manufacturing operations?

Greg Brown, vice president of product management, Onshape: The Internet. We are here at 5G and cloud, so what’s next, 6G and Blue Sky?

The next generation, 6G, will likely bring applications with even higher throughput requirements including massive Internet-of-Things (IoT) machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, tactile Internet, and augmented-reality/virtual-reality (AR/VR) environments.

We are likely to see further connectivity of people, processes and data with continued investments in sophisticated automation. One example would be direct CAD to computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) connections for cloud product development and manufacturing, so more manufacturing as a service (MaaS), equipment as a service (EaaS), everything as a service.

Also read: Data infusion enhances simulation software

In this case, we are also likely to see more consolidation on industry formats for cloud-native application-programming-interface (API) exchange so that cloud solutions can interoperate with each other efficiently.

Tell us about your company’s state-of-the-art simulation-software technology.

Greg Brown, vice president of product management, Onshape: Onshape is known to be the fastest-growing CAD platform, and the response to our new cloud-native simulation tool has been overwhelmingly positive.

Onshape Simulation will change designers’ expectations and workflows: You can set up and solve full assembly-level static simulations in seconds, which is to say that Onshape Simulation is by far, the fastest and easiest way for CAD designers to get meaningful and timely decision support on the behavior of their designs under load.

Onshape serves many fast-moving industries that need a platform for agile product development, so having FEA built-in to the assembly environment just makes sense.

Also read: Simulaton software benefits from graphics and ease-of-use improvements

As part of the Onshape Doc, your assembly and your FEA analysis stay in sync throughout your design process, and FEA results can be simply refreshed as your design changes.

Users can do analysis as early and as often as needed, more quickly identifying the best- and worst-performing aspects of their models. Furthermore, there are no steep learning curves required to benefit from this new analysis tool. If you know how to use Onshape, you already know how to use Onshape Simulation. 

About the Author

Mike Bacidore | Editor in Chief

Mike Bacidore is chief editor of Control Design and has been an integral part of the Endeavor Business Media editorial team since 2007. Previously, he was editorial director at Hughes Communications and a portfolio manager of the human resources and labor law areas at Wolters Kluwer. Bacidore holds a BA from the University of Illinois and an MBA from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. He is an award-winning columnist, earning multiple regional and national awards from the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He may be reached at [email protected] 

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