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CAE calculation results at your fingertips

Under the motto "visualization of large-volume simulation results", CONTACT is expanding its 3D Connect solution with a plug-in for CAE publishing. This enables companies to accelerate their design validation and decision-making processes.

3D Connect provides the structural framework for the visualization technologies in CONTACT Elements. In addition to basic modules for the conversion and visualization of 3D models in PLM, the CAD-independent solution provides special expert functions via embedded partner technologies. In our newsletter we have reported on the functions and benefits of Viewstation, invenio´s DMU algorithms and the 3D PDF applications. Here we present the integration of the VCollab technology into our 3D Connect offer.

3D Connect CAE Publishing

In many development organizations, sharing the results of CAE calculations is still a challenge. A distinction must be made here between the management of simulation data and the publication of simulation results in product development, where they are of great importance for decision-making processes and compliance with the security requirements.

For simulation experts, the publication of their findings is often still too cumbersome: First, they analyze their usually extensive results data in the CAE system and then transfer them to another application such as Office. There they add red entries to their "hot spot analysis" and then distribute the result by e-mail. Such process patterns not only cause greater manual effort, but also the "statics" of the images as well as their decoupling from data management and the actual result data are anything but optimal.

Therefore, lightweight data formats are also desirable in this area, which enable communication and interaction with the result data directly on color-coded 3D models - without the need to distribute large-volume simulation results and specific software.

Functions and benefits

At first 3D Connect offers a conversion line, which can be executed either locally at the workstation or centrally on the server side. The 3D geometries are converted into a lightweight data format and then color-coded according to the simulation results. The simulation experts have various design options for this:

  • It is possible to include only decision-relevant information, such as the deformation values from a structural analysis by using filters.
  • Markups allow developers to focus on geometric areas which, for example, are subject to excessive stress.
  • Preferred views can be generated automatically.

The conversion path can be configured dynamically via the PLM, so that internal company standards for publishing the results can be triggered manually and then converted into automated process chains.

The 3D models created in this way can be displayed in the Web UI of CIM Database and can be experienced interactively by all PLM users. They can use typical operations such as zoom, rotate, animate and so on without the need for simulation software on their workstations. The current data is stored in the model and document management of CIM Database and made available for decision-making processes via the integrated workflow management. In addition, there is a desktop application from VCollab for editing lightweight models available that 3D Connect also supports.

An interesting option that is compatible with CONTACT's 3D strategy is the rejection of CAE calculation results towards 3D PDF. On the one hand, this has the advantage that this data is recorded in the document management of CIM Database and is easier to find (for example, for audits). On the other hand, it will be easier to communicate calculation results beyond the company's borders in order to coordinate component optimization with a supplier, for example. 


With 3D Connect Extended, we make partner technologies available that address specific analysis and visualization tasks. Like VCollab, they are leaders in their respective fields of application that are tailored to the special requirements of the automotive, mechanical and plant engineering and high-tech industries.  Our scalable visualization solution covers the needs of different user groups from sporadic users to experts and offers a high degree of consistency and consistency in collaboration.

Your contact person: Dr. Patrick Müller, Product Manager PLM


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