The Universal Key

By mirna_b

Congrats! You are all moved into your new home! All that is left to do it put together a few items from IKEA. Instead of purchasing different tools for various nuts and bolts, IKEA is well known for having one-size fits all hexagon allen key to assemble their products. This makes assembling SO much easier and allows customers to connect all the pieces of furniture together without having to use a number of other tools. Cool right?

Well imagine if we can apply the same concept of using one universal tool, or key, to connect various simulation solvers together.

The key is Universal Connections! Large simulation models often consist of an assembly of components that need to be connected together.  There are many types of connections one can use, 1D elements, welds, etc. but universal connections allow ensure your connections will adapt as the design changes. Updating and changing a model has never been easier. It is a two-step process that lets you:

1) Figure out the geometry of the product

2.) Map a solver specific element to the connection definitions

This means that it is solver neutral and can efficiently generate input for multiple solvers and analysis types.

                                                                   Okay, so what does that mean?

Let’s say one CAE engineer was meshing an automotive structural sub-system such as a front driver-side door and need to perform a side-impact crash analysis. While meshing it, the engineer uses NX Nastran first to run a normal modes analysis. However then another engineer needs to run the crashworthiness analysis using Abaqus. Normally this would mean rebuilding the assembly mesh with new connections to accommodate that specific solver language. 

If they’re using universal connections, the second engineer can simply re-use the initial model and when switching solvers all the connections will automatically change to the new language because they are solver neutral, it will allow you to define how components are connected in an assembly without redefining the mesh.  This essentially helps improves the speed and efficiency of the product workflow.

 For a more in-depth understanding, watch the demo below on how you can quickly perform a single button update command to update to the new geometry of a car door model with Universal Connections.

This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at