Is Cloud-Based Simulation Affordable Enough to Dominate the Start-Up Market?
Shawn Wasserman posted on April 30, 2015 |

SimScale Is a Small Company with Big Aspirations for Cloud-Based CAE

SimScale appears to be the latest to target its CAE tools to individual consultants and small companies. These users will have access to the web-based simulation platform, training and support from SimScale’s team of consultants.

"Engineering simulation is now available not just for the largest companies, but for start-ups,” said David Heiny, managing director of SimScale. “CAE simulation can help start-ups bring their designs to reality more quickly than ever before. The start-ups that we are working with are creating a wide range of projects, including structural mechanics and thermodynamics designs."

The key features from SimScales’s product are similar to other cloud-based simulation offerings:

  • Web-based platform
  • Multiple solvers: structural mechanics, thermos structural, fluid dynamics and acoustics
  • Share-ability and collaboration with clients
  • Fast compute times

What appears to set SimScale apart is its low price point of $190/month (170 euros/month) for the platform and $835 (750 euros) for the training. The service appears to be free if you are only interested in simple linear static analysis.

Currently, SimScale has about 20,000 users — from small businesses to universities.

Many Players Want to Offer Simulation for Designers

Many other big simulation players are offering cloud-based simulation platforms (either internally or with the help of third party partners) such as 3DEXPERIENCE, ANSYS, Autodesk, ESI Group, and SimulationForDesign. Many of these options offer industry-standard simulation technology. This can make for an uphill battle for smaller companies like SimScale.

Leveraging the cloud isn’t the only path to making simulation more accessible. Other simulation companies are using different methods to bring down the cost of entry. For instance, SOLIDWORKS and Autodesk bring simulation in-CAD, while Rescale offers a pay-as-you-go cloud computing and license subscription service. Finally, COMSOL’s application builder and server allow for greater control over how simulations are shared with clients.

With all the options that users have to reduce the price and increase the collaboration of their simulations, it will be interesting to see how this market develops.

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