What Everybody Needs to Know about CAE

ship propeller cfd simulation - CAE software SimScale


Computer-aided engineering (CAE) is the broad usage of computer software in analyzing and virtually testing engineering products. With a CAE tool, you can simulate, validate, and optimize products based on numerical analysis’ results.

CAE solutions are used to analyze the robustness and to improve performance of components and assemblies. At the same time, engineering simulation is the major support for design teams in product optimization.

Nowadays, an integration between CAD and CAE has become necessary. Using the SaaS version of both solutions can reduce the differences, offering the possibility of creating a CAD model and run engineering simulations with minimal effort.

A CAE simulation session generally includes 3 main phases:

Main Benefits of CAE 

CAE / simulation for productsThe main benefits offered by CAE / engineering simulation are:

  • Time saving in product development;
  • Improved product quality and reliability;
  • Risk reduction;
  • Possibility to make corrections in the early concept & design phases;
  • Dramatic cost reduction associated to physical testing of prototypes;
  • Keeping the established deadlines in different phases of the engineering workflow;
  • Radical improvement of product quality and reliability thus raising the customer satisfaction level;
  • Product life cycle extension.

CAE Analysis Types

With CAE, we can talk about a large spectrum of engineering simulation CAE softwareanalysis types:

  • Stress and dynamics analysis using finite element analysis (FEA);
  • Thermal and fluid analysis using computational fluid dynamics (CFD);
  • Kinematics and dynamic analysis of mechanisms (multibody dynamics);
  • Acoustics analysis using FEA or a boundary element method (BEM);
  • 1D CAE, or mechatronic system simulation, for multi-domain mechatronics system design
  • Simulation of manufacturing processes like casting, molding and die press forming;
  • Particle simulation as part of a flow industrial process;
  • Multiphysics analysis based on multiple simulation phenomena;
  • Optimization of the product or process.

Large CAE Applicability

All these CAE tools are used in the simulation, validation, and optimization of products with applicability in many industries, including automotiveaerospace, energyplant engineering, industrial equipmentHVAC, electronics, and consumer goods.

Olympia tower Munich frequency analysis displacement magnitude simulation

Olympia tower Munich – frequency analysis

Engineering simulation has a wide range of applications, from small components or products to complex appliances, plants, HVAC equipment, and heavy machines. Here are some examples extracted from SimScale Public Projects library:

  • Equipment and machines parts from an industrial process: water flow through a globe valve, centrifugal water pump using the Multi-Reference-Frame method (MRF), acoustic eigenfrequencies of a muffler, sloshing of fuel inside a moving fuel tank, or particle acceleration in a mill wheel.
Car monoshock wishbone - structural analysis fea simulation total nonlinear strain

Car monoshock wishbone – structural analysis

All the projects presented in this article can be imported into your own workspace from SimScale’s Public Projects and used as templates.

If you haven’t signed up for SimScale yet, you can create your free account here and see for yourself how 3D engineering simulation can help you increase the performance of your engineering activities in any industry.

SimScale is the world's first cloud-based simulation platform, enabling you to perform CFD, FEA, or thermal analyses. Sign up for the 14-day free trial and join the community of 70 000 engineers and designers. No payment data required.