PTC and Ansys come together to integrate simulation and design

Engineering software companies PTC and Ansys have joined forces to integrate the former’s Creo 3D CAD solution with the latter’s real-time simulation product, Discovery Live.


Announced this week at PTC’s annual LiveWorx event in Boston, the partnership will enable users to visually assess the impact of design changes as they are made. CAD and simulation are generally discrete processes that happen in isolation. By bringing them together, the companies claim design engineers will be able to create better products, as well as reduce development time and costs.

“With the combined solution engineers will be able to see the real-time results of simulation during the modelling process, enabling them to understand design changes in their models,” said PTC president and CEO, Jim Heppelman.

“This capability has the potential to dramatically improve engineering productivity and quality and the combined solution can be a differentiator in the market.”


Jim Heppelman (far right) and Ajei Gopal (far left) explain to the LiveWorx audience how their products will integrate 

Although still in development, the solution was demonstrated during Heppelman’s keynote address at LiveWorx. Having been joined on stage by Ansys CEO Ajei Gopal, Heppelman walked the audience through the design of a load-bearing component on a snowmobile. Initially, it was clear the part was under major stress, with Ansys simulation highlighting the affected area in red. However, a quick design change in Creo saw the addition of some structural solidity, with the revamped part performing much better once the simulation was re-run.

The first commercial product will combine Creo with Ansys Discovery Live, facilitating static structural, thermal, and modal simulation in real-time. PTC said that additional functionality will be added over time, with the goal of embedding increasingly advanced simulation capabilities into Creo. For Ansys, the partnership will mean its software reaches a much wider user base.

“By embedding Ansys Discovery Live into Creo, we will expand our audience to include design engineers – who will be able to design at the speed of thought,” said Gopal.

“The power of simulation will now readily be provided to engineers as they make thousands of decisions and model explorations, providing them with unprecedented insight into their design choices.”