Integrated Motion & Stress Analysis

SimWise 4D Motion FEA
Are you looking for an engineering tool that will resolve design problems, reduce failures and warranty costs, turn around designs faster, and work either with your existing Windows-based 3D CAD system or as a standalone application?

SimWise 4D is for design and engineering professionals developing products involving assemblies of 3D parts. By simulating your assemblies in this unique virtual environment, you will produce more creative, robust designs and reduce cycle time.
CATIA Design
With SimWise 4D, you can simulate the rigid body dynamics of an assembly, “size” components, determine part interferences and collision response, identify stresses induced by motion, produce physics-based animations, and test your control systems.

A Proven Simulation Tool

SimWise 4D was born when DST acquired a license from MSC Software Corporation to the MSC.visualNastran 4D (vn4D) product. The software traces its roots to the Working Model 3D product developed by Knowledge Revolution, which was acquired by MSC in 1999, extended to include FEA capabilities, and renamed Working Model 4D. It has found tens of thousands of users among engineering professionals, students, and educators.
SimWise consists of SimWise Motion, which provides 3D kinematic and dynamic motion simulation, and SimWise FEA which provides linear static, normal modes, steady state thermal, and buckling FEA analysis. Each of these products can be purchased and used separately.
SimWise 4D Motion FEA Durability
SimWise 4D is the combination of SimWise Motion and SimWise FEA resulting in one seamlessly integrated mechanical simulation product. SimWise 4D delivers the same independent capabilities as SimWise Motion and SimWise FEA but the integration produces a coupled Motion and FEA capability that computes the stresses resulting from the dynamic loads induced by the motion of an assembly.

Motion Simulation

SimWise Motion lets you start with an assembly designed in your CAD system or one created using SimWise's basic geometry creation capabilities. The physical properties of each of the parts in the assembly will be calculated and if assembly constraints were present in the CAD mode, they will be automatically converted to SimWise constraints.

To make your simulation closely reflect real word functionality, SimWise Motion allows you to add various motion characteristics to your model. SimWise Motion supports motors, actuators, gravity, realistic contact between bodies, springs, friction, damping and other generated forces as needed. Running a simulation is as simple as specifying how long you want the process to run and then clicking the calculator icon to compute your motion results.
SimWise Motion Flowchart

Finite Element Analysis

SimWise FEA is a Finite Element Analysis tool that performs stress, normal modes, buckling, and heat transfer analysis on mechanical parts. SimWise uses a fast iterative Finite Element Analysis solver that takes advantage of multi-core processors and which is based on a Preconditioned Conjugate Gradient method. SimWise FEA exclusively uses ten-node tetrahedral elements and the solver is optimized for this type of problem.

SimWise FEA can display FEA results as shaded contours, deformed shapes, or animations. In addition to these engineering values, SimWise FEA also calculates factors of safety and errors in the stress results and both of these can be displayed as shaded contours.
SimWise FEA


Once you know a design will work and is strong enough to operate safely, you can start to consider making trade-off between product attributes in the areas of weight, cost, manufacturability, and performance. SimWise 4D contains the HEEDS® optimization engine from Red Cedar Technology which rapidly iterates through many design alternatives looking for design parameters that meet all targets and criteria.

As the optimization runs, the engine will choose different values for the parameters and run multiple Motion, FEA, or Motion+FEA simulations. The high performance search algorithms in the HEEDS® engine guide the choice of parameter values. The data from each run are preserved and can be reviewed. Each run is ranked in terms of how it meets the optimization criteria and the rankings can be used to arrive at the final values used for your design.
SimWise Optimization HEEDS

Control Systems: Simulink® Co-Simulation

The popular Simulink® product from The MathWorks, Inc., makers of MATLAB®, integrates effortlessly with SimWise Motion. A pre-defined block (sWPlant) can be added into Simulink to represent the mechanical system in SimWise, allowing you to simulate an entire system, including hydraulics, electronics, and controls.

Simulink output variables can be connected to SimWise Motion entities and SimWise motion output values connected to Simulink inputs creating a coupled simulation.
SimWise Simulink Co-Simulation

CAD Integration & Geometry Translators

SimWise provides three methods of using CAD assemblies for motion and FEA simulation:
  • CAD Plug-ins that transfer geometry and assembly constraints in an associative manner to SimWise for the following Solidworks, SolidEdge, Autodesk Inventor, SpaceClaim and Geomagic Design.
  • Native File Readers that directly read the CAD system database and convert the assembly geometry to SimWise for CATIA V4, CATIA V5, Unigraphics, Solidworks, SolidEdge, Inventor, Creo.
  • Neutral file formats such as STEP, IGES, Parasolid, ACIS, VDA-FS and STL.
SimWise CAD Integration

Durability Analysis

SimWise 4D already calculates the dynamics loads that result from the motion of a mechanism, and the stresses and strains that result from those dynamic loads. SimWise Durability uses the stresses and strains to compute the fatigue life.

SimWise Durability is built on widely used fatigue calculation methods. It offers fatigue calculations based on stress life, strain life or factor of safety criteria. It comes with more than 150 materials with fatigue properties based on the SAE J1099 standard. It produces contour plots showin either the fatigue life in cycles, or the factor of safety.

SimWise Durability is an add-on to SimWise 4D and requires a license of SimWise 4D be present prior to its use.
SimWise Fatigue Durability