AutoDesk Nastran-in-CAD

New Simulation Power! AUTODESK NASTRAN-in-CAD

AutoDesk NASTRAN-in-CAD marks a big leap forward for CAD design! AutoDesk has been beefing up its simulation portfolio for quite some time now, and last year it bought and developed the NASTRAN-in-CAD module from NEi Engineering. This worked with SOLIDWORKS, but AutoDesk quickly released a module that works with Inventor, too. So, this is an add-in for either SOLIDWORKS or Inventor that performs high-end simulation (testing & validation). Non-linear. Thermal. Fatigue. Complex deformation. I’m doing a review of the software, and was so excited I had to publish my preliminary notes in my own little blog.

AutoDesk Nastran-in-CAD basically hails the age of simulation-driven design. You get the world’s premium FEA solver embedded right inside the SOLIDWORKS or Inventor interface.

If you know anything about simulation, you’ll have heard of NASTRAN. If not, a quick recap, just so you can understand how significant a shift this in-CAD opportunity is! NASTRAN code has dominated the simulation market for decades. Its pedigree and legacy are impeccable; its precision and fidelity are unchallenged. Based on NASA’s 1968 structural analysis program, NASTRAN, the tool spread from aerospace and military applications to other large industries that could make an investment in the serious mainframe hardware and specialized staff it required. The 1990s microprocessor revolution filtered this massive analytic power down to smaller fish in the sea when Noran Engineering (NEi’s predecessor) deployed the original code to PC.

Inventor Professional and SOLIDWORKS Premium do offer some simulation functionality but AutoDesk Nastran-in-CAD marks a big technical leap forward at the design level, because you can perform more than linear static analysis. Now, linear static simulation is incredibly useful, but not as accurate a picture of, say, what wear ‘n tear will do to a product. Let’s say your key bolt in a cam mechanism shows in the orange on a Von Mises stress test. You think, well, that’s ok for now. You need to export it to send to the next set of experts for complex simulation. They figure out in fatigue testing that it’s gonna bust in 6,000 cycles and send it back to you for the next design iteration. And so on, the back and forth, with the designer working in the dark. With the AutoDesk NASTRAN-in-CAD, designers and engineers are enabled to get a much clearer and immediate input from testing. More soon!  If you want to read more and see some videos of the product in action, check it out here:

Thanks, Rosanna D – Video-Tutorials.Net