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

BlogAbout SimScaleCAD and CAE via the Web – Onshape and SimScale Partner Up

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

To us, “easier to access” means that an end-user shouldn’t have 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 or she can simply open up their web browser and have all the simulation capacity they need at their fingertips.

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

Cloud-Based Professional 3D CAD System

If you have not yet heard about Onshape, it’s a collaborative, 100% browser-based, parametric MCAD system that was 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 try!

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

An Engineering Software Stack Right in a Web Browser

As a SimScale user, you are already used to running your engineering simulations via a web browser. With our Onshape collaboration, you can now complete your design as well as your simulation work without any special hardware or software. Create your 3D model on, export a STEP model, upload it to, and run an analysis of it. It’s as simple as that!

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 of the familiar modeling features that you are used to from traditional desktop systems, such as constraint-based sketching, parametric modeling, and assembly design. Find out more about the feature set and whether it fits your particular design needs via the Onshape product tour.

Dynamic analysis of a rubber seal moving - Onshape and SimScale
Simulation of a 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, which allowed the design to be adapted in Onshape.

Good Things to Come from Onshape and SimScale

With the combined power of Onshape and SimScale, the whole technical product development process has made a huge step forward. Both CAD and 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, with both systems being completely cloud-based and with both shipping new versions frequently, there are undoubtedly good things to come that will allow users to leverage both systems even better. Stay tuned for updates!

To discover all the simulation features provided by SimScale, download the document below.

Back to the Blog