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SimScale official logo.png
Developer(s)SimScale GmbH
Initial release2013; 8 years ago (2013)
PlatformWeb browser
TypeComputer-aided engineering

SimScale is a computer-aided engineering (CAE) software product based on cloud computing. SimScale was developed by SimScale GmbH and allows computational fluid dynamics, finite element analysis and thermal simulations.[1][2] The backend of the platform uses open source codes:

The cloud-based platform of SimScale allows users to run more simulations, and in turn iterate more design changes, compared to traditional local computer-based systems.[3]


SimScale GmbH was founded in 2012 by five graduates of TU Munich, David Heiny, Vincenz Dölle, Alexander Fischer, Johannes Probst, and Anatol Dammer with the goal of bringing CAE solutions to the mass market and provide an alternative to the traditional on-premises solutions which were the industry standard at the time. After a beta phase, the SimScale platform was launched in the second half of 2013.[4][failed verification]

On 2 December 2015, a community plan was announced making the platform accessible for free,[5][6] as part of the initiative to democratize CAE and expand their user base of professional engineers and CAE experts to include small and medium scale enterprises, as well as students and individual product designers.[7][8]


Finite element analysis module[edit]

The FEA module of SimScale uses the open-source codes / solvers Code_Aster and CalculiX. These codes allow linear and nonlinear static/dynamic analysis of structures. Code_Aster is used simulations involving fatigue, damage, fracture, contact, geomaterials, porous media, multi-physics coupling and more. CalculiX has similar functionalities allowing users to build, calculate and post-process finite element models.

Computational fluid dynamics module[edit]

The CFD module of SimScale uses OpenFOAM for fluid flow simulations. Both steady state and transient analysis for the below types are possible. The following analysis types are possible in SimScale.

Thermal module[edit]

The Thermal module of SimScale uses OpenFOAM for solid-solid and fluid-solid thermal interaction problems. For thermo-structural analysis, SimScale uses Code_Aster and CalculiX. At present, SimScale allows uncoupled thermo-mechanical simulations,[9] conjugate heat transfer[10] and convective heat transfer analysis. Both steady-state and transient simulations are possible. In addition, fluid simulations also allow usage of Turbulence models. Types of analysis possible using SimScale include:

Conjugate heat transfer (CHT), simulates the thermal energy transfer between a solid and a fluid, was added most recently to SimScale physics portfolio. It is most commonly used in the design of heat exchangers, heaters, coolers, electronic components and other heat sources.[11]

File format[edit]

SimScale allows import of geometry in STEP, IGES, BREP, Rhinoceros 3D, Autodesk Inventor, SolidWorks, Parasolid, ACIS and STL formats; mesh in OpenFOAM, UNV, EGC, MED, CGNS formats. In addition, the geometry can be directly imported from their partner CAD platform, namely Onshape.

Industrial applications[edit]

Japan-based Tokyowheel — a company that engineers technical carbon fiber racing wheels for competitive cyclists — used SimScale's CFD software component to determine the most aerodynamic wheel profile.[3] QRC Technologies performed thermal simulations on SimScale to test multiple variations of their RF tester.[12]

SimScale community[edit]

The SimScale Community Plan was announced on 2 December 2015 based on new investment round led by Union Square Ventures (USV).[13] The Community Plan is free and includes 3000 computation hours and 500 GB of storage per year for any registered user. Simulations/Projects created by a user registered under the "Community plan" are accessible to all other users within the SimScale public project library].[1]´

SimScale outreach program[edit]

SimScale has also organized several free webinars as a part of its outreach program to make simulation technologies more popular among hobbyists and designers. Webinars organized by SimScale include:

  • 3D Printer Workshop[14]
  • F1 Aerodynamics Workshop[15]
  • Simulation in Biomedical Engineering Workshop[16]


  1. ^ a b Wasserman, Shawn (9 December 2015). "SimScale Brings the Price of Computer-Aided Engineering Down to Zero".
  2. ^ Tara, Roopinder (16 June 2016). "Be Warned: The CAE World Is About to Shift".
  3. ^ a b "Enhancing Cycling Performance via Simulation". April 2016.
  4. ^ Schmitz, Barb (26 August 2013). "Cloud-Based Simulation".
  5. ^ "SimScale announces free access to simulation technology as a part of its new community plan" (Press release). NAFEMS. 2 December 2015.
  6. ^ König, Peter (15 April 2016). "Mit SimScale und Make gratis simulieren lernen wie die Profis" (Press release). MAKE. Archived from the original on 5 October 2017.
  7. ^ "SimScale to bring simulation technology to small and medium businesses". Global Manufacturing. 8 December 2015.
  8. ^ Wasserman, Shawn (30 April 2015). "Is Cloud-Based Simulation Affordable Enough to Dominate the Start-Up Market?".
  9. ^ Wasserman, Shawn (19 January 2015). "Transient Heating and Thermal Shock Analysis for Free".
  10. ^ Wasserman, Shawn (19 May 2016). "Freemium Simulation Software Now Includes Conjugate Heat Transfer".
  11. ^ "Freemium Simulation Software Now Includes Conjugate Heat Transfer". May 2016.
  12. ^ "Simulation Experts Save Electronics from Thermal Damage". February 2017.
  13. ^ "Union Square Ventures invests in Munich-based startup SimScale". 2 December 2015.
  14. ^ "SimScale Offers Three Workshops to Teach 3D Printing". 11 February 2016.
  15. ^ "SimScale Offers Online F1 Aerodynamics Workshop". Inside HPC. 11 March 2016.
  16. ^ "SimScale Offers Training on Using Simulation in Biomedical Engineering". 19 August 2016.