Multiphysics software from COMSOL integrates with CAD

Sept. 28, 2010
Version 4.0 Multiphysics simulation software has a new user interface that provides streamlined model-building.

Version 4.0 Multiphysics simulation software has a new user interface that provides streamlined model-building. Task-specific tools show only currently possible and necessary actions. A series of new LiveLink options integrate the software with CAD programs such as Autodesk Inventor, Pro/Engineer, SolidWorks, and Matlab. It runs on Windows HPC Server 2008.
Burlington, MA

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COMSOL Multiphysics Version 4.0 Now Shipping

New breakthrough user interface makes the power of multiphysics simulation available to a wider audience.

BURLINGTON, MA (April 30, 2010)— COMSOL Inc. announces that version 4.0 of its multiphysics simulation software is now shipping. First unveiled at the 2009 users conference in Boston, COMSOL Multiphysics version 4.0 features an all-new user interface that makes the power of multiphysics simulation available to a wider audience of scientists and engineers. Both expert analysts and non-experts alike will benefit from the organized layout and streamlined model-building process. Along with the release of version 4.0, COMSOL also announces the release of a series of new LiveLink™ options that tightly integrate COMSOL Multiphysics into the mainstream product design workflow. New LiveLink products are now shipping for Autodesk® Inventor®, Pro/ENGINEER®, SolidWorks®, and MATLAB®.

“It feels great to make version 4.0 available,” comments Svante Littmarck, President and CEO of COMSOL, Inc.“We believe this release represents a bold step forward in usability that will increase productivity and problem solving capacity.” Version 4.0 is also a platform for accelerating the pace of development of new functionality. “Customers will notice this effect in the very near future: version 4.0a, available this June, includes three new modules for CFD, Plasma, and Batteries & Fuel Cells,” says Littmarck.

COMSOL Desktop - New Breakthrough User Interface

Model set up is smooth and direct, making tough problems quick and easy to solve. Version 4.0 brings an unprecedented level of clarity to product design simulation by combining an organized model overview and a streamlined model-building process in the new COMSOL Desktop. It uses functional form, structure, and aesthetics as the means to achieve simplicity for modeling complex physical realities. For instance, task-specific tools appear on the Desktop right when you need them and show only the currently possible and necessary actions. This helpful user convenience removes uncertainty from model building and brings order to simulations.

ZINK Imaging, the inventor of the ZINK Technology and the manufacturer of ZINK Paper™ – a revolutionary approach to full-color printing of information and images with unparalleled simplicity – makes frequent use of COMSOL Multiphysics within product invention, development, and manufacturing. Dr. Bill Vetterling, Research Fellow and Director of the Image Science Lab at ZINK Imaging, attended the 2009 COMSOL Conference and tried out the new user interface. "The version 4.0 prerelease that was made available to attendees was a great way to trying out new features,” says Dr. Vetterling.

“Version 4.0, by the way, is a masterpiece! It was a special treat this year to explore its fresh, new interface and insightful approach to the overall management of data,” adds Dr. Vetterling. "In my experience, COMSOL Multiphysics is a product that makes significant advances year after year."

LiveLink family of products for integrating with CAD, MATLAB

By adopting COMSOL simulation, CAD software users can now accurately simulate how real-world physical effects shape the design of new products. To this end version 4.0 features the optional LiveLink family of products. Each LiveLink connects COMSOL Multiphysics directly with leading CAD programs so that all parameters specified in a CAD model can be interactively linked with simulation geometry. The current product line includes LiveLink™ for SolidWorks®, LiveLink for Inventor®, and LiveLink for Pro/ENGINEER®. In addition, LiveLink for MATLAB® is available for those who need to incorporate a COMSOL Multiphysics model into an extended technical computing and programming environment.

COMSOL Multiphysics on Windows HPC Server 2008

COMSOL Multiphysics version 4.0 now runs on Windows HPC Server 2008, creating a scalable and affordable high performance computing solution for simulation and virtual prototyping. Current users with a COMSOL Multiphysics version 4.0 floating network license will be able to deploy across as many Windows HPC Server 2008 nodes as they choose, at no additional COMSOL Multiphysics licensing cost.

“By creating applications that run on Windows HPC Server 2008, scientific and engineering software companies like COMSOL are helping speed discovery”, said Vince Mendillo, senior director, Microsoft High Performance Computing Group. “Scientists, engineers, and analysts need easy-to-use tools and accessible high performance computing power to create competitive advantage.”

COMSOL Multiphysics supports parallel processing through standard shared-memory multicore computers as well as distributed-memory clusters. Users can turn to clusters to solve a series of parameter steps for a model, one parameter per node, or they can solve a single large model using distributed memory. For maximum performance, the COMSOL cluster implementation can utilize shared-memory multicore processing on each node in combination with the MPI-based distributed memory model.

COMSOL Multiphysics Version 4.0 Highlights

  • COMSOL Desktop lets you organize your workflow and provides a clean overview of your simulation job
  • Quick model set-up in the Model Builder and its graphical programming utility throughout the modeling and simulation process
  • LiveLink family of products for using COMSOL with CAD:
    • LiveLink™ for Inventor®
    • LiveLink™ for Pro/ENGINEER®
    • LiveLink™ for SolidWorks®
  • LiveLink™ for MATLAB® to use multiphysics models in a programming environment
  • Extend your existing floating COMSOL Multiphysics license at no additional charge to additional nodes for clusters on Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003, Windows HPC Server 2008, and Linux
  • Geometry parameter sweeps with full associativity
  • New solvers
    • Modal solver for frequency response and time domain (for structural and acoustics simulations for example)
  • Direct solvers MUMPS and SPOOLES for cluster computing
  • Fully automated simulation configuration of solver settings, solver sequences, mesh settings, and result visualization
  • Fast graphics with new functionality:
    • Display of multiple plots simultaneously
    • Probes – measure and plot anything during the solution process
    • Data sets – create new solution data by operating on old data and use for postprocessing

New in Application Specific Modules

  • Structural and Acoustics:
    • Automated boundary conditions for structural-acoustics
    • Elastic materials defined using bulk modulus and shear modulus, Lamé constants, and pressure-wave and shear-wave speed in addition to Young’s modulus and Poisson’s ratio
    • Poroelasticity for anisotropic materials
    • Rigid connector boundary condition for rigid pins and kinematic constraints such as prescribed rigid rotations
    • Structural shell for large deformations
  • Heat Transfer:
    • Conjugate heat transfer (flow, fluid heat transfer, and solid heat transfer) for electronic cooling and heat sinks
    • Heat radiation in participating media
    • Heat transfer in porous media with multiple immobile solids
  • AC/DC, MEMS, and RF:
    • Electrical circuit elements (including resistors, capacitor, and inductors)
    • Fast-frequency sweep solver (Asymptotic Waveform Evaluation)
    • Transition boundary condition for thin metallic layers of arbitrary electrical thickness
  • Fluid Flow:
    • Improved turbulence models and low-Reynolds turbulence model
    • Mixture-averaged diffusion for concentrated species
    • Physics interface for fracture flow in structures with highly permeable thin shells and fractures


COMSOL Multiphysics version 4.0 is available for the Windows, Linux, and the Macintosh operating systems directly from COMSOL and from COMSOL’s global network of distributors immediately. Full details about COMSOL Multiphysics and related products are available at

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