The Decade That Was …

In the CADFEM Journal (previously Infoplaner; in German), an announcement was made in the first issue of 2007 about the commencement of India business. This March, CADFEM Engineering Services India (CADFEM India) celebrates its 10th birthday – a decade in business. The company started out as a four person team with the vision that it could help customers in India recognize and realize the benefits of simulation-driven product development. 10 years on, the company has evolved into a confident engineering business, with over 50 colleagues, that has helped hundreds of engineers to realize their product promise.

The Decade That Was …

During this time so much has changed. The world has got smaller, faster and ever more changing. Technology has both been an enabler and a challenge to small businesses and large enterprises alike. As a responsible business, the company’s constant endeavour has been to offer customers the best-in-class solutions to their engineering problems. Today CADFEM India is proud to have gained trust from several local and global companies whose engineers rely on its products, services and know-how on a daily basis.

CADFEM India is a strong channel partner to ANSYS in India by offering the full range of physics (structural, fluids and electronics) across India. This partnership is helping CADFEM increase the rate of adoption of simulation in the country. The organization is structured towards providing and supporting customers with ANSYS software. Today the company has more than 40 engineers comprising of the core technical team, sales and marketing that engage customers in multiple areas of engineering analysis. The team is highly skilled to offer training programs for novices and experienced engineers on a plethora of engineering topics. Several customers, with origins in Germany, are long standing customers of CADFEM in India. CADFEM is the preferred simulation partner for customers owing the nature of strong and high-quality support. Deepak Joseph, the Head of Development (Truck) at Knorr-Bremse Technology Center India, and his team in Pune have been recipients of CADFEM’s technical support regularly. While thanking CADFEM for offering “extended support” to his team, Deepak recently said that CADFEM ”helped us understand ways to achieve accuracy.”

Listing of milestones of CADFEM India

All tools which are critical for success

CADFEM India offers several complementary solutions such as optiSLang (of Dynardo GmbH), Rocky DEM (particle simulations) and simulation-ready hardware. Since engineering simulation requires more than just software, CADFEM India supplies all the tools which are critical for success in simulation – all from one source. As a result, customers in India not only benefit by receiving leading software and IT-solutions, but also obtain support, consultancy and transfer of know-how. The core philosophy ingrained within every colleague is to ensure that customers realize the most return of their simulation investment. Dynardo’s CEO, Dr. Johannes Will, says “Over the last 7 years, CADFEM India has become an important partner for Dynardo to serve the optiSLang business in India as well as to support the Dynardo consulting activities. I personally enjoy that relationship and look forward to intensify the joint business success over the next years.” Since 2011, CADFEM India has organized the Indian edition of the Weimar Optimization & Stochastic Days. In 2016, over 80 attendees came together to discuss the topics of optimization and robust design for sixth year in a row.

In addition to the software business, many customers consider CADFEM India as a reliable engineering consulting partner. Several customers choose to contact CADFEM to seek simulation on demand. CADFEM India’s Managing Director, Madhukar Chatiri says that “this offers a good opportunity for us to demonstrate the power of ANSYS to the customer.” Over the years, CADFEM has solved many engineering problems in automotive, aerospace, consumer appliances, rotating machinery, watches, food & beverage and many more industries. One such example of a strong customer relationship is with Traunreut-based Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH (BSH). For over two years from 2008, BSH worked intensively with two engineers from CADFEM India. As a result, there has been a strong partnership between BSH and CADFEM India. Speaking about this, Dan Neumayer, Head of Pre-Development at BSH said “we could have a mutual cultural understanding and a common way of thinking and working. This intensive learning forms a particularly important basis for our long-term cooperation and we see this as one fundamental success factor.”

Group Photo in the decade that was
Mrs. & Mr. Guenter Mueller while visiting CADFEM India in 2015
esocaet program starts in September 2017

One of the top most challenges for employers in India is the low number of engineers skilled with simulations. To bridge this demand-supply gap, CADFEM India has invested in ANSYS Authorized Training Centre that started in September 2015; over 50 engineers have graduated from this centre. Furthermore, CADFEM has partnered with PES University in Bangalore to bring the much-acclaimed esocaet Master Program in Applied Computational Mechanics to India. The esocaet program offers tremendous opportunities to engineers for continuous learning. The first course will begin in September 2017.

CADFEM India has been operationally profitable since many years – this has allowed the company to scale its investments in India consistently. The company has a long-term orientation, offers employees a lot of independence but functions as a responsible partner to customers. This allows the company to respond with agility to the dynamic needs of the market.

The company has geared up for the next decade of business in the Indian subcontinent. Having recognized the needs of the market, the company is betting big in the areas of Additive Manufacturing, Electronics and Digital Cities. CADFEM India has made another significant investment into the newest partner of CADFEM International – CADFEM SEA Pte. Ltd. in Singapore.

In 2016, the company was recognized as one of the 20 Most Promising Engineering & Design Solution Providers in India by the popular CIO Review magazine. Madhukar still fondly recalls the day when he formulated the vision for the Indian business in his mind. He adds “What a journey it has been for many of us! While waiting for our connecting flight at Mumbai airport, Guenter Mueller discussed the idea of a joint company in India. We thank our customers and partners for choosing to work with us. It has been and is our pleasure to serve the engineering market in India in the past decade.”

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3 Benefits of ANSYS SpaceClaim for 3D Printing

In this article, I will describe 3 benefits of ANSYS SpaceClaim Direct Modeler for 3D Printing and other applications. Specifically I will focus my attention on the Facet Tool in this article.

While searching for freely-available CAD models on GrabCAD.com, I chanced upon the challenges section because it piqued my interest. To my surprise, I found about 75% of the recent challenges to be related to topology optimization. For most of these challenges, lightweighting will yield a final design output that is optimum in weight. However such an output will be complex for traditional manufacturing processes. In the recent years, additive manufacturing or, often referred to as, 3D printing has appeared to be the manufacturing process of choice for several contemporary applications.

For topology optimization, ANSYS is the simulation tool of choice. In the latest Release 18, a significant thrust was provided to this topic. The technology is very powerful and highly-effective for lightweighting the designs. Typically, topology optimization results in the design in STL file format. In my experience, this design output is often fraught with poor facet quality and this requires cleanup by a competent tool.

Typical STL File Output of a Bracket after Topology Optimization towards 3D Printing
Typical STL File Output of a Bracket after Topology Optimization

The full suite of ANSYS Simulation Software offers not just solvers for multiple physics, but also several value added tools such as ANSYS SpaceClaim Direct Modeler (SCDM). This tool allows product companies to launch their offerings faster to market.

Now SCDM has several useful features that allow geometry manipulation and clean-up. Among many features, I found the Facet Tool to be extremely useful. After completion of topology optimization, the STL file output from ANSYS is imported into SCDM.  This Facet Tool helps in cleaning up the STL file output containing poor facet quality and helps me prepare the design for validation using ANSYS Mechanical.

For better understanding, I have included the typical workflow below.

Workflow for Topology Optimization for 3D Printing
Workflow for Topology Optimization

With this context in place, I will now introduce you to the 3 significant benefits of using ANSYS SpaceClaim Direct Modeler for 3D Printing applications.

HIPP Add-In for Reverse Engineering

HIPP is an SCDM add-in developed by ReverseEngineering.com. This tool is quite useful for engineers performing reverse engineering – with the eventual goal of producing the desired part using 3D Printing. For this case, the approach typically starts with scanning of the part desired for reverse engineering. The scan results in an STL file format created directly in SCDM; this automatic scan to STL is powered by the HIPP add-in. The Facet Tool in SCDM is then used to repair and prepare a watertight geometry.

Here’s an example of the scanned geometry of top profile of a piston rod that was generated in SCDM using the HIPP add-in. The facets in this geometry did not capture the profile accurately. Furthermore the geometry has undesired holes along with unwanted parts.

Image of a scanned geometry of a part in SCDM (using HIPP Add-In) for 3D Printing
Scanned geometry of a part in SCDM (using HIPP Add-In)

Using the Facet Tool, the repaired geometry is now ready for topology optimization and design validation before producing it using 3D Printing.

Image of the modified geometry in SCDM using Facet Tool for 3D Printing
Modified geometry in SCDM using Facet Tool
Save Resources – Faster to Market

There are numerous software tools for STL preparation, however SCDM Facet Tool has many value-adding, additional capabilities. With a very little investment, the Facet Tool provides a strong hold in combining multiple solid parts with faceted geometries in a user-friendly manner; this feature has several advantageous implications for 3D printing. Furthermore the tool is very easy and requires little knowledge for geometry repair and preparation. To prepare the bracket geometry (illustrated at the beginning of the article), it took me 10-15 minutes. See the below image. Now I found it to be fairly quick when compared to 2-3 times more using other facet modeling tools.

Image of bracket geometry modified after using SCDM Facet Tool for 3D Printing
Bracket geometry modified after using SCDM Facet Tool
Preventing Failures in 3D Printing

The Facet Tool has features to detect thickness and overhang problems before the model is sent for 3D Printing. Now these overhangs present a challenge to 3D printing without using support material. Problems such as these can be prevented by few techniques like tear-dropping, tapering among others. The effects of overhang cannot be judged immediately until you are a 3D Printing professional.

Facet Tool has a feature which detects the overhangs by providing parameters specific to 3D Printing. In particular, the thickness feature detects all geometry that is thinner than the minimum thickness specified by the printer OEM. In addition, I could understand thickness and overhangs-related problems beforehand by providing the direction of printing as well.

Other Applications

This topic is also of CADFEM’s particular interest because we invest into Digital Cities – a strategic initiative of CADFEM International that aims to simulate cities of our future. This topic is quite special and important since it involves studying the effects of disaster scenarios such as earthquake, tsunamis, pollution, crowd behavior among others.

virtualcitySYSTEMS, a CADFEM International group company, develops 3D city models using scanned data of terrains. For these city models, we use the Facet Tool to repair the geometry before performing urban simulations.

In future posts, I will delve further into using CFD and particle simulations for better modeling of 3D Printing applications.

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Weekly Simulation Round-Up | Issue 3

Welcome back to the Weekly Simulation Round-Up. I hope you had a good start to the new year. Are your sticking to your new year resolutions so far? Either way, I hope this week’s posts provide you motivation to your resolutions.

CAE simulation opens up untold opportunities and it allows engineers to advance in many more areas of application. In this weekly simulation round-up, you will learn about CADFEM’s contribution to the world of simulation.


ANSYS: The IoT and the Economic Data

The economics of the internet, marketplace design auction theory, the statistical analysis of auction data, and the intersection of econometrics and machine learning are all interesting topics to ponder over. In this article, the author says that “there is so much uncertainty about big data that most companies have become risk-averse — so afraid to make a mistake that they fail to do anything at all. This is the single greatest error executives can make (read more).”


Virtual Test Analysis System

ViTAL is a software tool created by CADFEM on behalf of AIRBUS for the fast generation and fully nonlinear analysis of fuselage skin panel within the FE solver ANSYS. This case study says, “simulation is used to reduce the number of necessary tests, perform parametric studies and get additional information on loaded structures which are inaccessible to measuring devices. ViTAL provides boundary conditions to simulate shear pressure tests and frame bending tests performed at AIRBUS (read more).


esocaet – Master’s in Simulation

Since several years, CADFEM has been committed to transfer know-how to the community. Sharing our experiences allows us to grow the industry because better-qualified and better-equipped simulation professionals enter our industry. CADFEM offers extensive education and training, stimulates the global exchange of knowledge among simulation experts, and promotes a strategic rapport between companies and research institutes. Learn about our Master’s Program in Simulation (read more).”


Hardware & IT Solutions

We recognize that Simulation is more than Software®. To ensure that our customers derive RoI faster and in an effective manner, CADFEM offers a comprehensive range of services, from installation and configuration to maintenance and hardware support for individual components, planning, implementation, and support of entire CAE data centers. Since performance of a simulation also depends on the hardware, we offer workstations and servers that function robust to scale up your simulation speeds. Learn more about what we can do to help you! (read more)


Image showing a 3D city model and contour plot depicting the impact of a detonation inside the city model. This image is being used while discussing an article in the Weekly Simulation Round-Up.
Revolutionary Applications – Cities of The Future

We constantly work on tailoring existing solutions to meet specific customer needs and applications. City Simulations are an area of particular interest to CADFEM. While we possess the competency to address the needs of the cities, disaster risk reduction is the reason for our foray into this revolutionary application. To build cities of our future, we are at the forefront of applying simulations and building digital city twins (read more).

Thank you! Hope you liked this edition of Weekly Simulation Round-Up.

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Weekly Simulation Round-Up | Issue 2

Banner for Weekly Simulation Round-Up

I wish you a Happy New Year! Hope you had a great start to 2017. In this edition of the Weekly Round-Up, I’m sharing my favorite posts on how simulation has helped in thermal drying of automotive body-in-white, reconstruction of historic Berlin City, PCB support design and design & development of smart cities.


Simulation-Driven Development of a Drying Oven (Case Study)

High-quality standards apply to the drying process of car body paints. In this case study, you will understand how “with simulations of the oven behavior in the design phase, an optimized oven design was found which fulfills the required criteria of the drying process.” In the process of applying simulations, the customer said “virtual technology helped to avoid expensive changes after the oven is built, and to gain more insight into the manufacturing process (read more).”


Optimization of PCB Supports During In-Circuit Testing

Current automobile industry is driven by interacting electronic controls for which electrical verification tests needs to be carried out. This presentation by Robert Bosch, one of our oldest customers, at the 6th Optimization and Stochastic Days 2016, explains lots of interesting things. Their work explains that “engineer uses judgement and experience to place the supports, and does trials in simulations! Can this be eliminated.” The article then goes on to describe how optiSLang was used to optimize the number of PCB supports to aid the engineers (read more).


Role of CFD in Reconstruction of Berlin City Palace

The Berlin City Palace was a royal and imperial palace in the centre of Berlin. It was heavily damaged in World War II and later destroyed during conflict. Today this important historic site is being rebuilt and ANSYS CFD simulation has played and important role in helping “engineers optimize the many, and often conflicting, requirements of the climate-control system. Engineers are confident that the palace will meet all requirements, including energy conservation, comfort, artistic preservation and costs (read more).”


University of Cape Town uses Rocky DEM to Simulate Particle Behavior

University of Cape Town is gaining multiple advantages using Rocky DEM. In this interview, Dr. Indresan Govender says how “Rocky DEM will be instrumental in extending theories to include realistic shapes.” In addition, he adds by saying that “Rocky is the only DEM package that handles proper shapes. Other packages artificially achieve this by clumping spheres together. Rocky’s main advantages are realistic particle shapes and extension to GPU computing. (read more).


Building Digital City Twins

The combination of semantic 3D city model with numeric simulation offers a great potential for risk reduction. With the 3D City Model, you achieve illustrative scenarios for many applications, such as the analysis of dangerous situations and the planning of necessary preventive measures. Also complex consequences like climate change in the city are getting clearer and more visible (read more).

Thank you! Hope you have found this week’s posts interesting.

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