By Anthony J. Lockwood
Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
I have to begin this with a disclaimer. In my foot-loose life as an independent pen and portly presence—Have Keyboard Will Click for Checks and Food—I have done work for COMSOL. They put me up and put up with me at their recent conference in Boston.
Nonetheless, at that conference, the company released a beta version of its upcoming 4.0 version of COMSOL Multiphysics and I’ve seen it and it’s cool. It is especially cool for you people who design more than you analyze, small organizations with a need to leverage all that you’ve got, and any organization that needs to maximize efficiency.
The heart of Version 4.0 is a new graphical user interface they call the COMSOL Desktop. Basically, what the COMSOL Desktop does is make the high-end analytical functions in COMSOL accessible to people who do not read PDE equations for leisure. (For those of you who have been using COMSOL for years and love the equations, they’re still there for you to work with at the touch of a button.)
The COMSOL Desktop will remind you of the layout in a CAD system. That means that designers, for example, will feel at home with it. It even has tools that make it easy for you to customize your workflows for your convenience. But what it does most of all is make it easy for you to import a CAD file, prep it for analysis, run your analysis, and visualize your results. This means that more people in your organization can apply multiphysics analyses to more jobs, greatly enhancing efficiency throughout the outfit and speeding time to market.
Efficiency is also the word when it comes to CAD interoperability. Version 4.0 has a new version of LiveLink for Pro/ENGINEER and expanded Parasolid support. (LiveLink for Inventor and SolidWorks are already available.) What LiveLink does is establish associativity between Pro/ENGINEER and COMSOL so that changes in the CAD model automatically update the COMSOL geometry. This also means that you can do design optimizations inside of Pro/ENGINEER. The expanded Parasolid support enables 3D geometry operations to be performed in combination with imported geometries, which makes it easier to repair imported CAD geometries.
But I’m just really brushing across the efficiency enhancements in version 4.0. There’s also parallel processing support, built-in cluster scheduling, some new large-capacity solvers, fully automated simulation configuration of solver settings, and more. The entire idea behind COMSOL Multiphysics 4.0 is to make high-end analyses of multiple physics phenomena faster, easier, and more accessible for experts and non-experts alike.
The guys at COMSOL tell me that version 4.0 will ship by then end of the year. You can learn more about what’s coming in today’s Pick of the Week write-up. Make sure to check out the links to the model gallery and workshops. If you attend a workshop, they’ll give you a 14-day complimentary copy of Multiphysics that you can take with you.
Thanks, pal. — Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering