CAD & CAE via the Web – Onshape and SimScale Partner Up

Part of our vision here at SimScale is that engineering simulation methods will be significantly easier to access than they are today and hence become an integral part of more product development processes in more industry verticals and organizations.

“Easier to access” means for us that an end-user should not need to deal with high fixed expenses for software, complex license situations, deployment of high-performance computing hardware and the maintenance of all that. Instead, he opens up his web browser and has the simulation capacity he needs.

But in the end, engineering simulation is just one of the tools an engineer needs to get his work done and so I was very excited when I first learned about Onshape.

A Browser-based Professional 3D CAD System

In case you have not heard about Onshape yet, it’s a collaborative, 100% browser-based, parametric MCAD system created by the original team behind SolidWorks. This means a web-browser and an internet connection is all you need to create professional 3D mechanical designs using functionality powered by the Parasolid modeling kernel. Don’t take my word for it, create a free Onshape account and give it a spin.

Obviously, the vision of Onshape is very well aligned with ours and so we’re excited about the partnership we now have with them. Soon, we will provide more information on our collaboration and how you can benefit from it. But for the time being, let’s have a look at what you can do now using the two systems together.

An Engineering Software Stack Right in your Web Browser

As a SimScale user, you are used to run your engineering simulations via a web browser. Now you can get not only the simulation but also the design work done without any special local hardware or software. Create your 3D model on, export a STEP model, upload it to and run an analysis of it.

Modeling a rubber sealing in Onshape - Onshape and SimScale
Design of a rubber seal profile with Onshape

The animation above shows Onshape in action during the design of a rubber seal profile. Onshape comes with many familiar modeling features you are used to from traditional desktop systems such as constraint-based sketching, parametric modeling as well as assembly design. Find out more about the feature set and if it fits your design needs via the Onshape product tour.

Dynamic analysis of a rubber seal moving - Onshape and SimScale
Simulation of the seal sliding with SimScale

The seal profile was then exported in STEP format, uploaded to SimScale and a dynamic analysis was set up applying a rubber material model for the seal. The simulation immediately provided insights into the stresses and strains of the seal during the sliding process and allowed to adapt the design in Onshape.

Good Things to Come from Onshape and SimScale

With Onshape and SimScale, the whole technical product development process has made a huge step into the web. Both CAD as well as CAE functionality is significantly easier to access than with traditional methods. For now, the suggested workflow is the model export on Onshape followed by an import to SimScale to get the simulation done. However being completely web-based and shipping new versions frequently, there are good things to come that will leverage both systems even better. Stay tuned for updates!


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