ANSYS Discovery Live: Simulations for ALL

This article introduces you to a new, revolutionary technology called ANSYS Discovery Live. This technology provides instantaneous simulation results through an interactive design exploration experience for fluids, structural, and thermal studies.

With the inception of 4th industrial revolution, also called Industry 4.0, every industry is changing rapidly with groundbreaking innovations. In turn, this has placed a severe strain on the product development cycle. Innovative products need to be brought faster to market to reduce opportunity cost. This context has only reinforced my belief to expand the Simulation-Driven Product Development approach like never before.

Engineering simulation, though utilized for industrial applications for several years, is still underused and used by experts. A decade ago, it was difficult to learn and master such a technology. Often executing a simulation task end-to-end took time to set up and run.  In 2007, ANSYS, Inc. launched ANSYS Workbench as, what I believe was, the first step to democratize simulation adoption. Since then, and along with rapid advancements and easy availability of computer hardware, simulation adoption has grown leaps and bounds.

Greater Power to Design Engineers?

However, until late last year, I felt that there is a stronger need to foster a greater collaboration between the design and simulation engineers. From my experience, I have seen simulation engineers complain about “geometry cleanup for simulation of each design” on one end and design engineers complaining about “huge time taken by an analyst for each design validation” on the other end. With such a to and fro between both teams, there is such a huge market need that needed to be filled. Though there are many engineering simulation software products in the market, no one could democratize the simulation to potentially elevate the role of designers in product development. Although the design engineers have a very important role to play in the product development cycle, they have largely been restricted to developing CAD models at best.

In Fall 2017, ANSYS, Inc. conducted a webinar on a new, revolutionary technology that was going to “change how the simulation was done”. My colleagues from CADFEM Germany called it Das ist der Hammer (translation: it’s awesome). Rarely does a product match its hype, but several of us were blown away while watching the webinar on ANSYS Discovery Live (ANSYS DL). In a whole lot of ways, ANSYS DL is disruptive and it made me rethink how I have been doing simulations.

What is ANSYS Discovery Live?

ANSYS Discovery Live is the newest technology from ANSYS, Inc. HQ at Canonsburg, PA. With this technology, every engineer can use to perform instantaneous multiple physics simulation of virtual prototypes to understand the behavior of the product design.

The development team has leveraged on the advancements in Graphical Processor Units (GPUs), developed new discretization techniques along with their knowledge of advanced parallel solver technology. ANSYS DL is built on Direct Modeler tool called SpaceClaim platform to import and modify the solid geometry with ease. Once you define the physics and boundary conditions, you’ll get results in no time. This is instantaneous, real-time simulation! The technology in ANSYS DL has automated the steps of meshing, building the finite element model, solving and extracting the results in few seconds to give you an insight into your design.

ANSYS Discovery Live
Instantaneous Simulation for Every Engineer
Why is ANSYS Discovery Live Unique?
  • Instantaneous results show up for any change in geometry. No need to setup the simulation again. [VIDEO: 50 Simulations in 15 Minutes]
  • It combines GPU-based solvers for multiple physics.
  • You can easily integrate ANSYS DL with flagship ANSYS, Inc. products for advanced studies.
How does ANSYS Discovery Live change things?

Design engineers tell me frequently that several ideas go untested and they are totally dependent on the analysts. I could hardly do anything, but empathize with them. On the other hand, executing any simulation task leaves analysts with limited time to explore different design concepts.

With ANSYS DL, design and simulation engineers can quickly discover the behavior of their product live and instantaneously. ANSYS DL has created a fundamental shift by moving from design verification to experimenting and gaining deeper understanding. This is a huge benefit because you can evaluate several design iterations early in the design cycle. The ease of setting up the problem in ANSYS DL enables design engineers to quickly check the ideas in a shorter time frame. This also allows them to reduce dependency on the simulation engineer. The latter will still continue to perform traditional simulation tasks, but ANSYS DL gives design engineers more power to contribute to product development.

ANSYS DL marks the next step by ANSYS, Inc. to further democratize simulation adoption across different industries.

How can CADFEM help you?
  • Greater Understanding of Hardware for Simulations. Partnership with major brands such as HP and NVIDIA allows us to help you select the appropriate hardware for your simulation tasks.
  • Strong technical expertise will help you solve your engineering problem.
Download ANSYS DL & Attend Webinar

ANSYS DL is available as a Technology Preview until February 7. With this preview, you can test the pre-release locally on your machine by downloading or through your favorite internet browser.

Download ANSYS DL today. Also you must attend the ANSYS DL Webinar as we kick start the 2018 CADFEM Technical Webinar Series. You can do this by accessing the below links.

  • DOWNLOAD ANSYS Discovery Live (until Feb 7). You will need to register using a form and then you’ll get instant access to this exciting technology!
  • REGISTER for WEBINAR: Simulations are Now Accessible to Every Engineer (Feb 1 at 2:30 PM IST)
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ANSYS License Management Made Easy!

Virtual Product Development has enabled companies to predict with confidence that their product will thrive in the real world, helping them to the solve the most complex problems which are limited only by imagination. This wouldn’t have been possible without ANSYS, the market leader in engineering simulations, that is used by many companies spanning enterprises to startups. Consequently, one of the prime goals of these product companies is license management – manage software license requirements among different teams effectively without affecting team’s productivity or asset utilization.

In this article, I will describe the new developments in ANSYS 18.0 that will make it easier for managers and license administrators to manage licenses better.

How To Get Started?

To begin with, the first step in managing the licensing resources is to track current usage of these resources. Previously, tracking and preparing the reports of ANSYS software license usage was always a tedious manual task of looking into the log files and searching for a specific license. As a result, one common question I received on CADFEM’s support hotline -“Is there a better way to track our license usage?” With the release of ANSYS 18.0, this job has eased to a certain extent.

With ANSYS 18.0, License Management Center provides the tools which help license administrators to obtain effective reports from the usage log files. Therefore, reports can be extracted about anything from current usage to peak usage and license denials in a tabular or a histogram form for a requested duration.

ANSYS License Management Center

Opening the ANSYS License Management Center will open up the license manager in the default browser.

  • Windows: Start -> Programs -> ANSYS Inc. License Manager -> ANSYS License Management Center
  • Linux:
    License Management
    License Management Center

    /ansys_inc/shared_files/licensing/start_lmcenter

New subsection has been added for reporting with 4 options. We will discuss each of these options in brief.

Current License Usage

With the View Current License Usage option, you can track current license usage. It highlights all available licenses on the server along with the maximum number of licenses. It also reports the current total license usage along with the license usage per user; different color for each user. In addition, clicking on Show Tabular Data will provide you more information about user count, user names, hostname and Start date in tabular format.

License Management
Current License Usage

Also, you can obtain similar data from Client ANSLIC_Admin Utility for older versions of ANSYS. For the manager and organization, the most important report is the licenses usage over a period of time. Next three options will help them in getting it.

License Usage History
License Management
License Usage History

This option helps in tracking the usage of license for a given period of time. Click on License Usage History and choose the duration and then click on Generate to obtain the histogram for the given duration. Once the data is generated, you get the option of monitoring the data for a specific license. Even a customized duration can be specified to track a particular license usage.

License Management
License Usage History – Specific License Type
Peak License Usage

License usage history report can be confusing at times even for experienced users. Hence if you want to track more simplified averaged peak usage per day for a given period of time, please select Peak License Usage option. By following similar steps as for License Usage History, select the time period and hit generate.

License Management
Peak License Usage

Here you will have more options for filtering out the data with respect to licenses type and months of specific interest. Along with it, you can also extract data for a complete week (24/7) or only for working days (24/5). Clicking on Show Tabular Data provides daily, weekly and monthly average of each license in a tabular form. Now, that’s going to be quite useful for the managers and licenses administrators.

License Management
Peak License Usage: Tabular Form
License Denials

Similar to Peak License Usage, the License Denials option will show the average denial of license due to insufficient licenses or for any other reason for a day for requested time duration. This helps in tracking the requirement and planning for future needs.

License Management
License Denials

Though the Reporting Tool in ANSYS doesn’t include more sophisticated options and filtering methods, it allows managers to track the license usage in many different ways without manually going through log files or investing in third-party tools.

License Management Made Easy

Thanks to ANSYS 18.0, License Management Center is even more potent and useful for you – the department heads, managers and license administrators. You can monitor license usage in real-time or historically, evaluate peak license demands and license denials. As a result, this new feature will allow you to evaluate asset utilization, manage internal license demands, forecast the need to acquire additional license among others.

There’s also a nice YouTube video that is a little more crisper than my article. It covers pretty most of the options that I have described in this article. If you are short on time, this video may help.

I would like to know if there are questions regarding license management that you’ve not been able to address so far. Maybe I can help? Hence please do use the comments section below to reach out to me. I’ll be glad to be of help.

I hope you found this article useful. Please feel free to share it with friends and colleagues. If you haven’t subscribed to this blog yet, please do so on the right side of this article or through this link.

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Opening ANSYS Projects Made Easy!

This post is to describe a solution to a fairly regular problem that troubles many engineers opening ANSYS project files across multiple versions of ANSYS software.

Unless you’ve been living under a stone, you must be as excited as I am about the new ANSYS Release 18. Did you attend the Digital Webcast on January 31? There was so much on display. The new, innovative features of the release were much needed by the market.

Well, this has been the trend since Release 15 in terms of product development and innovation in ANSYS software. Over the past several years, ANSYS, Inc. brought in a many product releases with lots for improvements. Quite obviously, engineers at many of our customer sites have installed many of these versions of ANSYS software on their workstations.

The Problem

Due to several versions of ANSYS software installed on your workstations, double-clicking a project will open ANSYS in the last (need not be latest) installed version. For example: If ANSYS R16.2 is installed after installing ANSYS R17.0, then double-clicking the project (originally saved in ANSYS R16.0) will open the project in R16.2.

Due to this problem, there is a possibility that you will inadvertently save the project in a higher version of ANSYS software by mistake. When saved in the higher version, opening ANSYS project can’t be possible in (original) lower software version due to limitation of backward compatibility. For certain projects, retaining work in certain versions is quite important. Unfortunately there is no way to restore your project file to the older version in case you accidentally open and save it in a newer version.

Possible Solutions

In order to open ANSYS project file in desired version, one approach is for you to open the desired ANSYS version from Start Menu (in Windows). Once you open the desired version of ANSYS, you can open the respective project. Since this is a tedious approach, it is sub-optimal.

Another approach, that is easier and faster, is to RMB (right mouse button) click and select “Open with” and select the desired ANSYS executable. This reduces the turn around time of opening a file by 30-40% when compared to the previously-discussed approach. However many engineers have been confused because the file names of different ANSYS software versions in the “Open with” menu are same.

"Open with" menu in Windows OS for opening ANSYS project
“Open with” menu in Windows OS for opening ANSYS projects

Obviously engineers such as me get confused or do not always remember/know the version of the ANSYS executable in the “Open with” menu. Choice of version becomes more important since companies expect engineers to execute internal projects in different versions of ANSYS. To decode this confusion, we obviously need a better solution.

Optimal Solution for Opening ANSYS Projects

Since ANSYS Release 16, support is available for only Windows 7 and above. This solution is not applicable for other OS.

Step 1
Open start menu type regedit in search bar

Step 2
Follow the below path:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Classes > Local Settings > Software > Microsoft > Windows > Shell > MuiCache

This page contain names of all programs and respective executable files as seen in “Open with” option after RMB click .

Screen grab of Registry Editor view that shows all programs and respective executable files
Registry Editor view of all programs and respective executable files

Step 3
You can select the ANSYS version whose name needs to be changed. RMB click on it and select “Modify…“.

"Edit String" window to update the executable name
“Edit String” window to update the executable name

Now change the Value Data to the desired name. For example, I chose to use file names such as RunWB2_R180.exe. You can complete the same exercise for renaming executable files of other ANSYS versions.

By doing so, the next time you RMB click on an ANSYS Workbench Project and select “Open with”, you will see different names as shown below.

Updated "Open with" menu after RMB click
Updated “Open with” menu after RMB click
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