As part of  Autodesk Design, Lifecycle, and Simulation’s 2016 Manufacturing Launch, the company has unveiled their next push in an expanding end-to-end engineering solution, which includes their Simulation portfolio alongside Product / Factory Design Suites and Inventor HSM.

The following highlights are only the tip of the iceberg, and more information will be available shortly.

Simulation Software Titles

  • Simulation Mechanical
  • Nastran and Nastran In-CAD
  • CFD and Flow Design
  • Robot Structural Analysis Professional
  • Moldflow and Moldflow Design
  • Helius PFA and Helius Composite

Dropped Simulation from the Name

Autodesk Simulation software titles will no longer be prefixed with the word ‘Simulation’ with the exception of Simulation Mechanical; Autodesk Simulation CFD is now simply ‘Autodesk CFD’ and so forth.


I am rather excited about this product. SimStudio is a new product available to Moldflow, CFD, and Simulation Mechanical subscribers. This nifty toolset was developed from the Autodesk Labs Arrow project, and essentially replaces the old desktop version of Inventor Fusion, which served as one of the best defeaturing technologies ever.

New Autodesk SimStudio 2016

SimStudio is a new software build designed specifically for defeaturing and direct editing. It has a streamlined toolset that appears (in demonstrations) to seamlessly repair and simplify complex surfaces, as well as search and remove common manufacturing features like rounds, fillets, chamfers, holes and more.  One really sweet feature demonstrated was the geometry replacement tool, where small detailed electronic components were swiftly replaced by simple geometric shapes. Model data is handed back and forth between SimStudio and simulation products, as well as acting as a go-between for Inventor and simulation.

Task automation can further be enhanced with 3rd party applications and custom scripting. Customized in-app geometry and data extraction tools can be applied using JavaScript and Python.


  • Increased pre-processing efficiency
  • User feedback driven UI refinements, such as having all tabs permanently available on the Ribbon
  • Completely integrated CFD for conformal cooling studies
  • New processes and additional controls
  • Copy settings to a new study
  • Controlled valve gate opening rate – evaluate the results of injection speed across valve gates to study flowfront and injection pressure profiles.
  • Induction heating – RocTool partnership enables this new feature in 2016
  • Advanced Material Exchange – map data to Abaqus and ANSYS


Export Warped Model

My favorite MoldFlow addition so far is the ability to export the simulated warpage of cooled, molded plastic parts back into the overall product design process as a new model. Users can then check the fit in the assembly as well as better collision detection.

Autodesk Moldflow Export Warped Part


  • New Graphics engine delivers large model performance with >15X frame rate increase
  • New scalable solver – delivers ~80% scaling ratio per networked station
  • External radiation model enhancements
  • New turbulence models – enable more accurate solutions with high curvature flows

External Surface Wrapping and Geometry Fault Detection

CFD now offers an automated process to create simplified mesh that incorporates multiple bodies into a single externally wrapped mesh. Ideally this would substantially improve solving times in models with even moderate complexity.

Autodesk CFD 2016 New Features and Error Detection

Geometry faults can be detected inside CFD. Gaps and seams with poor geometry definitions are highlighted within both the part geometry and assembly component levels. While these functionalities might fit well within the SimStudio product, CFD model preparation and gapless flow channel challenges require both of these processes. Having them seamlessly integrated as part of CFD core functionality is a real blessing.


Nastran and In-CAD have made themselves at home and finally make their debut as part of the Design, Lifecycle, and Simulation product launch. No new features have been announced for these products but I suspect some new enhancements will be arriving shortly.

Simulation Mechanical

2016 will represent the first official product launch with Autodesk Nastran as part of the solving capabilities. I have heard that there is some degree of expanding use of Nastran in Simulation Mechanical. I expect more specifics about enhancements will be coming to light soon.


There was a lot of things happening with simulation this year considering the Nei Nastran purchase, and determining how the products would sit within the company’s growing portfolio. That said, MoldFlow and CFD received some valuable improvements, and as a subscriber, since you will still be using the products, enhancements are simply a good reason to keep subscribing.

We spend a little time with Nastran In-CAD last year, and found it to be quite a nice addition to Autodesk Inventor and am happy to see it emerge in an official launch. This year I am really looking forward to spending some well-deserved, concentrated research time with CFD 2016, as well as SimStudio.

Autodesk Software Information and Downloads

Simulation software portfolio

These products are available now!

Images courtesy of Autodesk, Inc.