MSC Aims to Take CAE from Frustrating to Efficient

30 Sep, 2014 By: Nancy Spurling Johnson

New MSC Apex will enable a paradigm shift that accelerates design validation and enables rapid trade studies earlier in product development, according to the company.

Make quick geometry changes with MSC Apex direct-modeling tools.

MSC Apex Structures, available later this year, is a fully integrated, generative solution for linear structural analysis. It leverages the computational parts and assemblies functionality, which enables solver-validated modeling and incremental solving of large assemblies.

MSC Apex Structures is an add-on to MSC Apex Modeler and augments modeling capabilities with analysis readiness checks, studies and scenarios definitions, loads and boundary condition attribution, and postprocessing capabilities. The first release will support linear statics and modes extraction, and future releases will support frequency and time response.

Before committing to a computationally expensive analysis, MSC Apex Structures
evaluates the analysis readiness of the model and notifies to the user to any model
issues that may compromise an analysis.


MSC Apex products will be available in English, Chinese, and Japanese versions.

The MSC Apex platform is designed to support multidisciplinary workflows, said
Hughes Jeancolas, product manager. “We have all the tools you need to import CAD,
clean it up, and get a nice mesh.”


Computational Parts and Assemblies

What exactly are the computational parts that make MSC Apex unique?

The company explains: Computational parts are mathematical models that represent the behavior of a part independently from other parts in an assembly. A computational part has a boundary where the part can be connected to other parts, and sensors where users can define key metrics to be recovered. In the case of linear behaviors, many expensive operations can be moved to the computational parts generation phase, saving the computation effort in assembly simulations.

A computational assembly has all the same characteristics as a computational part (boundary, sensors, and prevalidated physical behaviors) and also contains connectors that are joining the assembled parts.

Computational parts and assemblies offer significant advantages over the traditional CAD and mesh assembly methodologies, according to MSC Software, including:

  • Incremental validation: Computational parts can be independently created and validated rather than waiting to validate parts during the assembly validation phase.
  • Trade studies: Computational parts support the rapid assessment of assembly responses during part conceptual design and during structural layout trade studies, facilitating rapid what-if scenarios to help optimize designs.
  • Multiuser support: Computational parts can be exchanged and assembled to share both parts and systems representations in a distributed workflow with teams of individuals involved in creating and analyzing models for parts, subsystems, and systems — facilitating faster time to market.
  • IP protected parts and systems through the supply chain: Computational parts and assemblies can be exchanged as public (including shape, material model, and behavior), semisecret (shape and behavior) or secret (behavior only), substantially shortening the design-validation process.

Target Customers

MSC Apex was developed for design engineers and analysts, the company reports — not CAD users, but engineers, Gallello clarified — at companies of nearly any size.

Brad Holtz, president and CEO of Cyon Research, said, “MSC Apex addresses key pain points of its big analysis customers and, with the same broad stroke, opens the door for MSC Software to meet the broader needs of smaller firms, who have not been part of MSC’s core customer base. The concept of computational parts makes it feasible for firms to push exploratory analysis into the hands of those without deep expertise in analysis.”

Availability and Pricing

MSC Apex Modeler is available now via annual lease for $7,500 per seat. MSC Apex Structures, available soon in beta format and as a full release in Q4 2014, is an add-on to MSC Apex Modeler and can be leased for an additional $8,500 per year per seat.

To learn more, visit to request a product demo or free trial or to register for the MSC Apex launch webcast on October 9.

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About the Author: Nancy Spurling Johnson

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