CEO Speak: Real-Time Simulation for Parametric Modeling

Written by: Cat McClintock

At LiveWorx, PTC revealed a significant partnership with simulation software giant, ANSYS. Over the next two years, PTC expects to integrate a number of ANSYS technologies into its software, starting with the release of Creo Simulation Live.

Creo Simulation Live provides real-time results as you work on a 3D design. Need to shave some weight from your model? What if we move this hole a little closer to the edge?  Real-time simulation shows you the consequences of your changes as you work.

Jim Heppelmann, CEO PTC, provides more insight….

Q: Why did PTC and ANSYS decide to partner?

Heppelmann: Both PTC and ANSYS have decades of experience with technology-driven innovation. PTC, as you know, has a 30-year history of providing technology that addresses how products are created and serviced. ANSYS brings to the table nearly 50 years of developing engineering simulation software. Together we are well-positioned to fundamentally change the product development process.

Q: What is Creo Simulation Live?

Heppelmann: Creo Simulation Live is an integration of ANSYS Discovery Live technology directly into Creo. Today modeling and engineering simulation generally occur in separate environments. You create a model, run a simulation, modify the model, run another simulation, and so on until you get the results you’re after. However, Creo Simulation Live provides real-time simulation. For a designer or engineer that means simulation results change live as you change physics types or inputs, make geometry edits, or alter display characteristics.

Q: Won’t real-time simulation weigh down the user’s system?

Heppelmann: That’s an excellent question, because traditionally simulation technology draws enormous processing power. So it’s easy to imagine that running a fully integrated process while 3D modeling would tap out your central processing unit.

However, this solution uses revolutionary solver technology powered by native parallel GPU processing, rather than the CPU. In other words, the system gets its processing power from your computer’s graphics card to perform the computations, and your computer works as fast as ever.

Q: How do you think real-time simulation, combined with parametric modeling, will make a difference to product development?

Heppelmann: It’s a paradigm shift in the way design engineers use simulation for 3D modeling. They will now have unprecedented insight into the thousands of design decisions they make all through product development. This not only cuts overall time and costs, it also helps designers innovate because they instantly understand the implications of their modeling choices.

Q: Traditionally, simulation was complicated and best left to skilled analysts. What additional expertise will designers and engineers need to use Creo Simulation Live?

Heppelmann: Anyone can use it. In fact, everyone involved in the design of a product should use it. It turns everybody into an analyst—or at least a well-informed designer.

Q: Creo already offers some simulation capabilities. Why did you think it was important to bring in these ANSYS tools?

Heppelmann: Simulation is playing an expanding role in many of our technological advances in recent years. You may use it when adding lattice structures ahead of 3D printing, for topology optimization, and it’s certainly part of the digital twin story.

Simulation of lattice structures

Evaluating density and thickness of lattice structures, introduced in Creo 4.0, with simulation.

Simulation clearly plays an enormous role in product design and optimization and will continue to do so. We believe it should be easy and accessible to every engineer out there.  We also believe it should be powerful—and that’s where ANSYS comes in. Our “powered by ANSYS” products will provide more and powerful solutions today and going forward.

Q: When can we expect this new functionality?

Heppelmann: You’ll start to see the ANSYS integrations in Creo 6.0, slated for 2019. In that release, we’ll roll out Creo Simulation Live, which provides structural, thermal, and modal simulation in real time.

That’s just the start. Over time, our companies intend to go on to integrate the full breadth of ANSYS Discovery Live into Creo.


Try Creo Simulation Live

Tags: CAD Retail and Consumer Products Connected Devices Predictive Analytics

About the Author

Cat McClintock

Cat McClintock edits the Creo and Mathcad blogs for PTC.  She has been a writer and editor for 15+ years,  working for CAD, PDM, ERP, and CRM software companies. Prior to that, she edited science journals for an academic publisher and aligned optical assemblies for a medical device manufacturer. She holds degrees in Technical Journalism, Classics, and Electro-Optics. She loves talking to PTC customers and learning about the interesting work they're doing and the innovative ways they use the software.