In Simulation 2021.2, the adoption of AI by engineering is “transforming product development and applying machine learning to time-consuming tasks,” such as part search and categorization, according to Altair. (Altair/PRNewswire photo)

Altair’s 2021.2 simulation software update is said to deliver AI-driven speed, democratization, and innovation at every stage of the development cycle for complex products and systems.

October 5, 2021

TROY, Mich.—Altair, a developer of software and cloud products at the convergence of  simulation, high-performance computing (HPC), and artificial intelligence (AI), reported that it has made significant enhancements to its integrated portfolio of simulation and design tools.

The update to Altair’s simulation software suite is focused on speeding simulation-driven design and unleashing the power of AI by embedding augmented intelligence in the broadest possible range of computer-aided engineering (CAE) tools, the company said in a release.

“The latest release of our simulation solutions embodies Altair’s position at the sweet spot converging simulation, HPC, and AI,” said James R. Scapa, founder and chief executive officer, Altair, in a statement. “For engineers, designers, and simulation specialists, this release fosters exploration, innovation, and collaboration.”

Altair’s Simulation 2021.2 is said to “take simulation-driven design to the next level.” Its simplified modeling workflows offer faster design iterations, resulting in optimal, manufacturable designs earlier than ever in the development cycle, the company said in the release.

One of the enhancements is the parametric feature-based modeling and simulation workflow.  Altair® Inspire™ is reported to make geometry modeling and editing accessible to all designers and engineers, even if they do not have time or access to traditional computer-aided design (CAD) tools. A robust history-based CAD modeling approach ensures “quick and easy” creation and modification of geometry, the company said.

Another enhancement in Simulation 2021.2 is the ability to perform what-if studies faster and more easily. Powering Inspire are Altair’s high-end solvers that are said to encourage wider collaboration. They also extend to flexible bodies for motion analysis and even faster integration with Altair® SimSolid®, facilitating rapid analysis of large assemblies, the company said.

Simulation 2021.2 also features a comprehensive Python-based application programming interface (API). More than 500 documented, running examples enable fast automation and customization of simulation-driven design and manufacturability workflows, according to the release.

Altair’s release of Simulation 2021.2 is aimed at enhancing simulation-driven design, taking it from the desktop to the enterprise through efficient orchestration of mixed-fidelity models to simulate complex ‘systems of systems.’ (Altair/PRNewswire photo)

Altair said that Simulation 2021.2 combines computationally efficient reduced order models and detailed CAE analysis with process automation of labor-intensive tasks. Users can now build mixed-fidelity models with the appropriate complexity to help faster decision making.

A major development includes Altair® Pulse™. The new tool orchestrates meaningful models, from the broad workflows required to simulate complex systems of systems, to the focused workflows needed to enable fast, reliable, and repeatable modeling, analysis, and optimization.

Pulse is said to accelerate decision-making and inspire greater confidence in the process across the entire product development lifecycle. One of its key features is a digital thread that drives script consolidation, process commonization, and data traceability for simulation key performance indicators (KPIs) across the enterprise and throughout the product lifecycle.

Pulse digitizes best practices to increase team efficiency and analysis consistency, while reducing procedural errors and non-value-added time. More effort can be invested in using simulation to inform performance targets, evaluate attribute trade-offs, and explore what-if scenarios. It also boosts efficiency by using multiple scripting languages to eliminate repetitive tasks across applications, even for complex processes, the company said.

According to Altair, AI-driven design, augmented intelligence, and predictive analytics all contribute to broader collaboration, faster design convergence, and greater product innovation. Machine learning (ML) algorithms in the software are leveraged in three main areas.

For one, the update augments existing products with AI. Beginning with the modeling and visualization products, the latest release of Altair® HyperWorks® includes features like shapeAI. This feature applies ML to quickly find and classify parts, by shape, inside geometry files or finite element meshes.

Simulation 2021.2 also adds AI power to product design. Altair HyperWorks’ Design Explorer is said to enable easy set-up and execution of design of experiments (DOE) and optimization studies. It deploys ML models to provide real-time field predictions for any design change, Altair said in the release.

The new release also leverages field data across the entire product lifecycle. With new tools like signalAI, ML can interpret field data to prevent product failures when the data shows health deterioration. It can also predict the effects of environmental changes in real time, the company said.

“Leveraging new capabilities enriched by AI, we are liberating users from tedious and repetitive tasks, and enabling them to run more what-ifs and design iterations,” said Scapa in the release. “By supporting better decision making at the earliest possible opportunity, Altair is once again accelerating and optimizing design and manufacturing outcomes.”

For further information on the latest simulation software update, visit

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