MSC Apex Does More Than Improve Midsurface Extraction
Shawn Wasserman posted on August 05, 2015 | 7342 views
MSC has released the fourth installment of MSC Apex, Diamond Python. The software is tailored to the CAE market to perform modeling, meshing, CAD clean-up and FEA simulations. The release features improvements to the modeler’s midsurface extraction and the integrated solver’s ability to check the model for missing information before a simulation computation begins.

Typically, automatic midsurfacing tools don’t always find the midsurface of a model when the geometry gets complicated. This forces many users to manually simplify their model. However, MSC Apex’s incremental midsurfacing ability in Smart Midsurface works with the user to allow the program to find the midsurface more often. According to MSC, the tool is able to automatically midsurface more of the model — significantly more often — decreasing the analyst’s pre-processing time.

Smart Midsurface creates color-coded pairs to guide the user in finding midsurfaces. Users can create, merge and edit pairs. Users can also set and preview an offset before extracting the midsurface. After connecting the midsurface, the mesh can be created.

Model attributes like thickness properties or boundary conditions can also be a challenge. Traditionally, users have to measure a thickness and calculate an offset. Though there are automated functions, they can be limiting. However, MSC Apex has introduced a method to calculate model attributes quickly, even for non-uniform cross sections. MSC Apex also adds the option to use pressure loads to help the model attributes of boundary conditions. 

MSC APEX uses its built-in solver to assess the analysis readiness of a model. I’m sure many users have created a simulation and noticed that materials, boundary conditions, meshes, or connections were missing. This can waste a considerable amount of time locating the missing information. MSC Apex, however, automatically inspects the model and prompt for errors before a simulation is run.

Finally, the new release of MSC Apex also expands its abilities with generative behavior. Changes upstream in the system can automatically update downstream-dependant properties.

Other improvements to MSC Apex include:

  • Rapid construction of surface and solid element meshes
  • Hexahedral meshing
  • Mesh seed-point constraints

MSC Apex is doing an interesting job integrating and streamlining the modeling, pre-processing and simulation process. Having the built-in MSC solver certainly helps to integrate the abilities of many tools into one platform. Given the current trends in CAE, it will be interesting to see how MSC will expand Apex to include more capabilities.

They must be doing something right, as MSC APEX has recently announced as a finalist in the R&D 100 award for the most technology significant products released every year.

“This recognition is proof that disruptive start-ups can exist inside of mature technology companies and it dispels the notion of Innovator's Dilemma," said Dominic Gallello, President of MSC Software. "The target from day one has been customer delight and an order of magnitude productivity improvement. Our tremendously talented team continues to meet and exceed these goals."

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