How to Achieve Seamless Simulation with Creo Simulation Live and Creo Ansys Simulation

Written By: Dave Martin
  • 2/28/2023
  • Read Time : 4 min.
An example of a CAD-simulation designed part.

Creo Parametric users now have two tools for Finite Element Analysis (FEA) directly within the Creo modeling environment: Creo Simulation Live (CSL) and Creo Ansys Simulation (CAS). Both are powered by Ansys, one of the most powerful and popular engineering simulation tools on the market. CSL works like a design assistant, providing real-time feedback as you model, letting you know where you can improve your parts and assemblies. CAS is an advanced solution that gives the user more control. This makes CAS well suited for supporting the process of releasing design models to manufacturing. 

Let’s discuss how you can incorporate simulation into your design process.

The Design Validation Process

Product development organizations use simulation to ensure that components, assemblies, and products will survive in their operating environment. This is called design validation. Types of simulation include structural, thermal, modal, and more. (Both CSL and CAS support Multiphysics simulation, where you combine both structural and thermal effects.)

Structural simulation usually involves the following steps:

  • Assign materials to parts
  • Apply constraints to simulate real-world conditions for how an object is restrained or allowed to move. This includes fixed, enforced displacement, cylindrical, ball, and planar constraints.
  • Define loads that represent what the models will experience in various situations. These include forces, moments, pressure, gravity, centrifugal, and linear acceleration.
  • Mesh and analyze the models
  • View the results
  • Improve the model to meet requirements

Traditionally, analysis and simulation teams have been siloed from design. I spent my first five years in industry performing FEA at Lockheed Martin. Often, by the time I completed my work, the design model had already changed. Separating design from simulation results is a time-consuming iterative approach with significant waste. Let’s take a look at how CSL and CAS fix that.

Real-Time Simulation with Creo Simulation Live

With Creo Simulation Live (CSL), engineers and designers can perform simulation as they are working on parts and assemblies. Since Live Simulation is available as a feature within Creo’s design environment, there’s no need to export models or switch applications. Users simply apply the materials, constraints, and loads.

Since CSL uses your computer’s Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) to solve the analysis, results are available in a matter of seconds. You can leave the simulation results displayed on your model. These results will update automatically as you make design changes.

CSL does not require the advanced knowledge typical of FEA packages. This favors people who want to save time and improve their models as they design.

Pre-Release Verification with Creo Ansys Simulation

CSL is really good for identifying “hot spots” in your model for making improvements. However, design teams typically want a more rigorous approach when signing off on models before they are released to manufacturing for prototypes and production. This is where CAS comes in.

CAS has all the capabilities of CSL and more. CAS supports idealizations like mass, spring, beam, and shell elements. These allow you to create more complex representations of your geometry, constraints, and loads.

CSL meshes your model for you automatically in the background. In CAS, you have access to mesh controls. You can display the mesh, control its resolution, and adjust mesh parameters, allowing you to improve the fidelity of the solution.

In addition to results like displacement and von Mises stress that are generated automatically, you can define custom advanced results in CAS. To improve your models, simply switch back to the modeling environment to make changes. Then re-enter Creo Ansys Simulation and re-run the analysis. This eliminates exporting and/or synchronizing models between your design and simulation packages. Your workflows are seamless. 

Next Steps

A study found that bringing simulation to the forefront of the design process can:

  • Reduce labor and prototype costs by 26-30%
  • Broaden design space exploration by 40-60%
  • Save 19-33% on testing costs

Are you interested in how these simulation tools can reduce your time-to-market and improve your design quality? For more information, watch our short video: Streamlined Design Improvement & Verification with Creo Simulation Live & Creo Ansys Simulation.

Get Streamlined Design Optimization & Verification

Analyze your designs in real time, define constraints and loads, perform multiphysics simulations, and more, all within Creo.

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About the Author

Dave Martin

Dave Martin is a Creo, Windchill, and PTC Mathcad instructor and consultant. He is the author of the books “Top Down Design in Creo Parametric,” “Design Intent in Creo Parametric,” and “Configuring Creo Parametric,” all available at He can be reached at

Dave currently works as the configuration manager for Elroy Air, which develops autonomous aerial vehicles for middle-mile delivery. Previous employers include Blue Origin, Amazon Prime Air, Amazon Lab126, and PTC. He holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and is a former armor officer in the United States Army Reserves.