Every year new improvements come along and change the numerical simulation landscape. Good performance, having the wright features and being easy to use is the great challenge that every numerical simulation software teams want to grasp. But who are in the TOP?
The 2017 top commercial numerical simulation software are:
- HyperMesh (Altair)
The 2017 top open source numerical simulation software are:
- NetGen, Gmsh
Ansys continues to be a great software package, since they have bought many other great software packages to integrate there own offer, they have great interconnectivity between geometry and model. I do have to say that their evolution speed is lagging a bit and are failing to show more innovation. Maybe next year we will see stronger rivals. Comsol, and web base simulation packages are just around the corner. LS-Dyna continues to be a great solver that offers a free pre and post processor. They are investing in their implicit solver as well and their software runs in just about any operating system. I just wish they had better integration with geometry and a better mesher. I had to include HyperMesh, normally we only focus on the integrator package and forget its components. Meshing is vital for model creation and some times it is worth having all flexibility available on those problems that require the best mesh we can think of.
2017 will be the great year for open source numerical simulation software. These will match in usability comercial packages, bringing many hobby developers and start up companies on board. FreeCAD 0.17 brings a finally useful FEM module that actually shows results. It is perfect for people who know very little abut simulation and simultaneously for people who like to take a step into whats actually inside the program and look at how things work. Salome-Meca 2017 finally will bring an improved user interface for building up model from the mesh, defining material data, boundary conditions and contacts with ease. This package is growing more and more robust and shows a professional polish.
And finally I need to to give a special merit to the Gmsh and NetGen teams, because it is thanks to them that we have the meshers that are used inside Salome and FreeCAD FEM module. They evolved to a point that are mature enough to integrate other packages, are very usable and flexible.
Until this year comercial packages dominated the landscape but from now on single physics modelling will be more disputed, the open source motor is completely assembled and as many universities and enthusiasts jump onboard to start building modules the development cycles start to accelerate comparing to the yearly update cycle of comercial software. I can see, quite some battle coming in the next couple of years.