Introducing CAD Mode

Welcome to the CAD Mode forum! SimScale CAD Mode is a brand new addition to our comprehensive list of functionalities, and allows you to perform CAD pre-processing operations within the SimScale environment. Currently in open beta evaluation stage, the functionality in the CAD Mode is currently limited, however with your valuable feedback and suggestions we will strive to evolve it continuously.

Here’s is also a brief getting started document that explains what is currently supported in the minimal beta implementation: CAD Mode - Getting Started - Google Docs


Its a good start Muhammad in fixing one of the more annoying aspects of Simscale i.e. lack of a geometry modeller. It literally is the difference for me between choosing Simscale for an FE study and choosing another code e.g. Ansys or Creo Simulate that have inbuilt 3D modeler for de-featuring parts, repositioning or blanking-off unnecessary bodies, sectioning, adding coordinate systems and points and so forth.
My current workflow is usually out of the client’s modeler into Creo via STEP for de-featuring and geometry prep using Direct Modelling (Ansys Spaceclaim does the same thing) then over to Simscale via STEP (not Parasolid) then load case build. It almost always is recursive for one reason or another. The to’ing and fro’ing is so frustrating that I only use Simscale where I need creep or loads of CPU cycles.
From a quick use, I’d say 50% of my geometry manipulation needs are now there. Ultimately, an embedded ‘headless’ direct modeler such that used by Spaceclaim or IronCad might be more useful. What do others think?


@tonyowens_uk amazing feedback! Thanks for sharing your workflow with us, helps us understand where we need to go. A few questions regarding your preferences:

  1. how often have you felt the need to undo the clean-up operations that you do in your CAD environment?
  2. which clean-up operations are most important for your application, and where do you think SimScale CAD Mode should evolve to support your application?
  3. do you normally have to do the to-and-from for clean-up operations alone, or does this include design iterations as well by changing the CAD in a direct modeling environment?

And yes, what do other’s think about having a direct modeling approach to clean-up in SimScale?

To answer your questions Muhammad:

  1. I rarely need to undo cleanup ops. If I remove one radius too many, I would feel foolish and see having to go back to the original CAD once more as a suitable punishment for not having my mind on my work!
  2. Thats a harder question. The ones currently available are half the battle, perhaps. If needed to do more, I dont think I’ve be happy to use anything less than a ‘proper’ solid modeller. As for where or whether Simscal should evolve to allow broader solid modelling alterations (reshaping and adding features) I dont really see an alternative. Every other self-respecting structural and many CFD packages include some kind of geometry editing and creation tools, either as a preprocesser or something more like a CAD system. Perhaps one of the Russian kernel development firms could help? Until then, what is there now is quite useful, and personally I’d rather see engineering hours going into related issues such as the postprocessor and more analysis functionality!
  3. In my case, I usually improve the geometry of the thing I am analysing. Usually I would want to do that myself, interactively. Sometimes its is something simple but if not I expect to go back and forth between CAD and CAE several times. Bear in mind that I tend to use CAE as a way to understand how a proposed component or assembly behaves when used or abused, usually quite early in the desig/development process. On the other hand, I am not a user of geometry optimisation features. I rarely used FEA-based shape optimisation in Pro/Mechanica a couple of decades ago, and I find so-called ‘topology optimisation’ functions amusingly useless for real work.
    I hope some of that is useful.