MSC Apex

Apex is the world's first computational parts based CAE system. A platform-based for a broad range of physics and applications that MSC Software will introduce over time. Its generative design is the fully automated generative design solution built on the intuitive CAE environment. While employing an innovative generative design engine in the background, it utilizes all the easy-to-use and easy-to-learn features of Apex. This combined benefit decreases the effort required in the design optimization workflow. The generative design is designed specifically to generate detailed and highly complex structures that only additive processes can manufacture. The innovative, stress-based algorithm derives distinct geometries by minimizing mass, creating geometries that are truly unimaginable by the human mind.

Features:

Simplicity: Simplicity: No expert knowledge required for conducting optimizations through high user-focused software design.

Direct output: Export geometry that can be directly manufactured and used immediately without manual re-work.

Automated design: Almost automatically generate multiple smoothed design candidates that all satisfy the design criteria while minimizing the weight.

One process: Import the resulting geometries in Simufact Additive or Digimat AM to achieve cost-efficient first-time-right results for every part.

MSC Apex

Unified CAE Environment for Virtual Product Development

What's New in MSC Apex 2021

How Giant Magellan Telescope uses MSC Apex

The team at GMTO is using MSC Apex to help the giant telescope withstand earthquakes in Chile while helping humanity understand the universe.

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For more information on MSC Apex please visit the MSC Apex ModelerorMSC Apex Structures pages.

For general and product specific platform support, please visit our Platform Support page.

MSC Apex Structure

Apex Structures is an integrated module of a Finite Element Analysis solver, which provides users access to linear, nonlinear structural analysis. Currently, Apex supports four types of linear analysis, including linear statics, linear buckling, normal modes, and frequency response analysis.

MSC Apex Modeler

Apex Modeler is a CAE specific direct modeling and CAD-and-Mesh solution that streamlines CAD clean-up, mesh creation, and attributes setting workflow. The solution features sophisticated and interactive tools that are easy to use and easy to learn. MSC Apex Modeler is a CAE specific direct modeling and meshing solution that streamlines CAD clean-up, simplification, and meshing workflow. The solution features sophisticated and interactive tools that are easy to use and easy to learn. It includes features like direct modeling and meshing, easy to use, and learn.

Benefits

  • New, innovative design mindset – no manual construction necessary
  • Easy-to-use software does not need an extensive training period, cost savings through a much more efficient process of product design
  • Multiple design candidates generated based on optimization settings
  • Direct and feasible part design output
  • Generated results are tailored for a direct Additive Manufacturing production and utilize the technology’s potentials
  • Interoperability for mechanical integrity validation and manufacturability
  • Generation of highly complex, organic shaped lightweight designs for reduced production and operation costs

MSC Apex Modeler

CAE specific direct modeling and meshing solution that streamlines CAD clean-up, simplification and meshing workflow

MSC Apex Modeler is a CAE specific direct modeling and meshing solution that streamlines CAD clean-up, simplification and meshing workflow. The solution features sophisticated and interactive tools that are easy to use and easy to learn.

Direct Modeling - Direct modeling allows users to create and edit geometry interactively. Simply select the entities of interest, such as a face, edge or vertex, and push, pull, or drag to implement any modifications. Direct Modeling is complemented with built in meshing technology.

Modeling and Meshing - For models that have already been meshed and require further geometry modification, use any of the Direct Modeling or Geometry Clean-up/Repair tools and the mesh will be immediately regenerated.

to Use, Easy to Learn - MSC Apex was designed to have multi-purpose tools so as to make the application easy to use. It also features numerous learning aids such as tutorials, video based documentation, workflow and at-mouse instructions which promotes single day productivity.

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Direct Modeling and Meshing Workflow
Remove numerous & unnecessary features
Specify feature type, such as chamfers, holes and cylinders. Then define feature dimension ranges, and automatically remove targeted features from the model.

Interactively extract midsurfaces
Automatically or manually perform midsurface extraction. Options include: auto offset, constant thickness, distance offset, and tapered midsurface.

Repair surfaces with direct modeling
Select an edge or vertex and interactively drag it to a desired location. Guidelines provide a preview of the action being performed.

Mesh geometry and define mesh criteria
Mesh models based on mesh size, element type, mesh seed and feature.

Continue repairing with direct modeling and meshing
Use direct modeling to further repair geometry that may already be meshed. Slivers or cracks may easily be resolved while the mesh is regenerated automatically.

Automatically create thickness and offset assignments
Use Auto Thickness and Offset to create numerous property definitions for shell elements, and export to .bdf format.

For general and product specific platform support, please visit our Platform support page.

MSC Apex Structures

A fully-integrated and generative, structural analysis solution for engineers and analysts.

MSC Apex Structures is an add-on product which expands MSC Apex Modeler functionality with capabilities for linear structural analysis.

MSC Apex structures packages a user interface for scenario definition and results post-processing, as well as integrated solver methods. This solution is unique in that it combines computational parts and assemblies technology with a generative framework, which enables interactive and incremental analysis.

The integration of the user interface with solver methods gives the user a unique ability to interactively and incrementally validate that FEM models are solver ready. At the user’s demand, a series of solver checks can be run against individual parts and assemblies and the model diagnostics are reported in the Analysis Readiness panel. This Incremental Validation is a radical departure from the very time consuming traditional approach where pre/post processor and solver are separate.

In addition, a frequency response analysis type and a specialized results exploration toolset is available to aid engineers improve the vibration behavior of structures. The integrated toolset of MSC Apex enables analysts to experiment with mode contributions and develop design solutions to mitigate and control structural vibrations, all without committing to excessive modeling changes and re-analysis.

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Structural Analysis Workflow
Set model and analysis context
Define the analysis type and a subset of parts and assemblies to be the context of evaluation

Validate models prior to analysis
Use the integrated analysis readiness tool to validate the context has valid model representations for the chosen analysis type

Join dissimilar meshes rapidly
Reduce the need to align nodes across mesh parts using mesh independent glue technology

Make generative changes
Track the status and manage the update of downstream updates whose parent has been modified

Generate results
Define a linear static or normal modes scenario and execute the integrated solver methods to generate results interactively

Evaluate different design variants
Modify parts interactively and incrementally generate results to explore a design space

For general and product specific platform support, please visit our Platform Supportpage.

MSC Apex Generative Design

Smart Generative Design for an unmatched Design for Additive Manufacturing Experience

Not all generative design software is equal

MSC Apex Generative Design provides a truly end to solution for designers making high-precision, industrial components. It takes you from screen to machine faster and with less human intervention than any other software.

Change is upon us. For the first time you can innovate, improve and validate parts and products in one simple end to end solution. Designers unite, join the MSC ApexGD revolution today.

Designers love MSC Apex Generative Design. Their eyes light up when they use it because it thinks like them, improving parts using subtractive, formed and assembled designs - only faster. Users have experienced 80% reductions in initial design and setup time by combining multiple steps, from a starting geometry through preparation to optimisation.

Set the specifications, sit back, relax and then enjoy targeted design suggestions delivered at the speed of light.

MSC Apex Generative Design at a glance

  • Simplicity - No expert knowledge required for conducting optimisations through a high user-focused software design.
  • Automated Design - Almost automatically generate multiple smoothed design candidates that all satisfy the design criteria while minimizing the weight.
  • Import and Validation - Import existing geometries or mesh, find optimized design candidates, and perform design validation - all inside a single CAE environment.
  • Direct Output - Export geometry that can be directly manufactured and used immediately without manual re-work.
  • One Process - Import the resulting geometries in Simufact Additive or Digimat AM to achieve cost-efficient first-time-right result for every part.

At the heart of MSC Apex Generative Design works our "Generative Design Engine

MSC Apex Generative Design's innovative approach has been proven in practice.

It is based on Finite Element Analysis but, unlike traditional methods, does not use a density field, rather utilizes a very fine mesh with well-defined elements. This enables the algorithm to directly evaluate the occurring stresses, as well as reliably derive distinct geometries that are truly unimaginable by human mind.

Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) without Expert Knowledge

MSC Apex Generative Design is designed specifically to generate the detailed and highly complex structures that only additive processes can manufacture. The optimised designs exhibit perfect transitions between structure elements such as struts and shells as well as they contain usually self-supporting structures that ensure the results can be sent straight to print.

MSC Apex in action - Case Studies

Lightweight construction is particularly important in satellite design because every extra kilogram generates high costs for transportation into space. If weight can be saved, the valuable payload of the launch vehicle or satellite can be used for further applications and added value can be created.

This was exactly the aim of the project between the space company Tesat-Spacecom GmbH & Co. KG, the machine manufacturer Trumpf and MSC Software / Simufact Generative Design specialists. The pictured mountings of drives for regulating microwave filters are to be used in the German communications satellite Heinrich Hertz, which is to test the space capability of new communications technologies. For this application, the weight of the mount needed to be reduced.

MSC Apex Generative Design was used to achieve this.

Lightweight Design on a new Level

A new, highly complex design was created by applying generative design, which enables maximum lightweight construction and is perfectly adapted and designed to the operational requirements. The result for the TESAT mount is impressive: 55% weight saving for a component designed for space technology. Instead of 164 grams, the mounting weighs only 75 grams. In addition, the innovative, stress-oriented optimization has further increased the stiffness of the component. The homogeneous stress distribution generated by MSC Apex Generative Design enables excellent stiffness and robustness with maximum weight reduction at the same time.

A perfect fit: Generative Design and 3D printing

"Today, additive manufacturing enables us to produce digitally generated and optimized geometries cost-efficiently. This offers enormous potential for lightweight construction, especially in space technology, but also in many other areas. In the future, generative design will play a key role in the uncomplicated and efficient use of this potential," commented Dr. Thomas Reiher, Director Generative Design at Simufact Engineering.

This new type of complex geometry can now only be produced with additive manufacturing. Trumpf took on this task with the TruPrint 3000 3D printer. The Heinrich Hertz satellite mission is carried out by DLR Space Management on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy and with the participation of the Federal Ministry of Defense.

Every year a team of young students from the UPBracing Team develops a FormulaStudent racing car to compete in international competitions. Two factors are essential for a successful racing car: light weight and strong components. In addition to the races in which drivers and racing cars prove their performance, there is also an extra rating for the lightweight construction of the racing car. Due to its fourfold use, the wheel carrier is ideal for saving weight while meeting high load-bearing requirements.

Smart Generative Design for tailored 3D Printing Structures
In previous years, the teams had tried to design light weight wheel carriers with complex milling designs. The wheel carrier in 2012 with a traditional, already complex, milling design weighed 515g. It was milled from a 16 kg block of material thus producing 15.5 kg of aluminum waste. For the 2018 season, MSC Apex Generative Design technology was applied to create an optimal lightweight design. Design and non-design areas were defined in the model design and the complex load cases were added. The mesh was then automatically generated and optimized. The algorithm generated the finished smoothed result on a workstation with the high-end NVIDIA Tesla P100 graphic card in 6 hours (which would take approximately 14 hours with a solid workstation GPU NVIDIA QUADRO P5000). The result was single wheel carrier of with a weigh of 266g - a reduction of 48% compared to the 2012 equivalent. There was also no significant waste of material because the part was produced by additive manufacturing. This contributed considerably to the overall weight reduction of the race car and gained a lot of attention and a very good rating within the design report, a special category in the overall competition.


A popular example for testing the optimization quality of different algorithms is the "GE Jet Engine Bracket". This bracket of an aircraft turbine was published on the GrabCAD website by General Electric in 2013 as a design challenge for additive manufacturing. The challenge was to redesign the very simple component design using any method, and to develop a component that was as light as possible while taking the given boundary conditions into account. The Challenge attracted a great deal of attention and is still frequently used today to demonstrate the strengths of new algorithms.


Three different designs for the Jet Engine Bracket Optimization by MSC Apex Generative Design created in very short time

Choosing the most promising Design from various Variants
The same component with the same loads was calculated by MSC Apex Generative Design, with the results shown above. They were each calculated on a CAD workstation with two Nvidia P5000 graphics cards in less than an hour. The result reaches from an optimally-shaped, thin, multi-curved shell with thin additional struts for the transmission of the highest loads to a strut only design. Especially the shell design is very stable, particularly light and easy to produce with additive processes because hardly any support structure is required. It can only be achieved with a particularly high calculation resolution as MSC Apex Generative Design is capable of calculating while still being super fast. The automated generative design from MSC Apex Generative Design shown here is even lighter and has lower stress than other solutions. A weight of only about 140g could be achieved with a maximum stress of 680 MPa (target stress 700MPa).