MSC’s Civil Simulation Software Follows Trend Towards Domain Specific Tools
Shawn Wasserman posted on July 01, 2015 |
CAE company seeks to grow customer base by expanding the number of disciplines it covers.
MSC Software has announced the release of CivilFEM 2015, an application specifically tooled for civil engineering (see press release). CivilFEM will be  powered by Marc and will facilitate the analysis of large projects including bridges, buildings, tunnels and nuclear facilities.

CivilFEM was developed with the civil engineering company Ingeciber S.A., which also supplies a version to ANSYS. CEO Miguel Angel Moreno, said "CivilFEM is powered by the advanced nonlinear finite element capabilities provided by MSC's Marc solver, which enable robust, efficient, and accurate simulations for the infrastructure, energy, construction and mining industries."

The CivilFEM platform is coupled with pre/post processing, a multi-language GUI and a set of tools that are tailored for civil engineers. Capabilities include:

  • Design verifications by international standards for steel, concrete, and other civil materials
  • Load path history
  • Automatic response spectrums for seismic analysis
  • Non-linear time history analysis
  • Time-dependent material properties for true stress-strain diagrams with non-linear behaviour

Generating the structural model is also simplified for civil engineers thanks to a library of materials, hot rolled structural steel sections and other common building parts.

"CivilFEM 2015 … can dramatically improve the efficiency of the structural design and analysis process, identify better solutions earlier, and reduce the risk of innovative construction processes," said John Janevic, MSC Vice President.

Dennis Nagy, Principal of BeyondCAE, in his recent keynote at the NAFEMS conference

Trend stated in the NAFEMS keynote of Dennis Nagy, Principal of BeyondCAE. Image by Shawn Wasserman.

The release of CivilFEM for MSC follows a trend noted by Dennis Nagy, Principal of BeyondCAE, in his recent keynote at the NAFEMS conference.

Nagy mentioned that CAE venders are facing a “fork in the road” with the expansion of their portfolios.

Many big names like ANSYS, Dassault Systèmes, Siemens, and COMSOL are expanding with broad, general purpose multiphysics CAE environments. Even MSC is in on this side of the trend with MSC Apex.

Others, however, are aiming to produce domain specific applications like ESI Group’s various tools for stamping, welding and seat simulation. What is interesting is that some organizations are hedging their bets, like COMSOL with their app builder and ANSYS with ACT. Some of the domain specific tools allow users to create their own software through app creators (COMSOL) while others produce these job specific tools themselves, like ESI and MSC.

It will be interesting to see which path CAE venders continue to take, and which path, if any, will dominate in the market. There will always be a place for generic CAE tools as well as job specific tools.

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