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What is simulation software?
Simulation software is used by engineers, scientists, designers, and mathematicians to imitate a real-world product or process using a set of formulas and models. It allows users to observe an operation through a simulation program without actually performing or developing it.
The software can be used to analyze any process during its prototype phase and study its outcome and behavior under different sets of parameters. The simulation technique is commonly used in two situations: when the uncertainty around the performance of a product in the real-world scenario is highly risky, and when manufacturers want to experiment with their product or process in a low-cost environment.
The benefits of simulation software
- Get practical feedback when designing a real-world system: With a simulation program, designers can create and test the efficiency of a design before actually constructing it. It also gives them the freedom to easily change the shape, size, structure, or model of their design in the software. This helps to test the relative superiority of each design and finalize the most stable and efficient design before forwarding it to production.
- Simulate real-world experiences: Simulation software includes tools and models to simulate a variety of real-world phenomena such as the impact of gravity, speed of light, and wind motion. This allows designers to digitally create environmental conditions and analyze their products against it.
- Save money: Simulation results are generally highly accurate, which leads to the development of a great product, process, or operation with minimal changes during the production phase. It is more cost effective to change a virtually-designed product using simulation program than an already developed product.
Typical features of simulation software
- Reporting and analytics: Analyze data and report key information from the simulation process for documentation and presentation.
- Mathematical modeling: Design and execute simulation workflows using mathematical formulas.
- Direct manipulation: Enable human-machine interactions to represent objects of interest via physical, reversible, and incremental actions.
- 3D modeling: Develop mathematical representations of objects in three dimensions.
- Dynamic modeling: Use simulation program to design models that display time-varying behavior.
- Graphical modeling: Use simulation software to design models that express the conditional dependencies between two or more random variables.
Considerations when purchasing simulation software
- Define your project needs: Finding the right simulation software can be a daunting task. There are literally thousands of simulation systems for every type of process, technology, operation, and technique. It's up to users to find the right simulation tool that suits their needs. Before evaluating any simulation software, you should have a clear understanding of your goals and expectations from the software, including functionalities and techniques employed by the software.
- Ask for a demo: Asking for a software trial or demo can help you fully evaluate the software before committing to a purchase. Ask questions about specific features and functionalities that you require for your projects. Check how intuitive is the software in terms of ease of use.
Relevant simulation software trends
- Simulation adoption is on the rise: Simulation process started as an advanced extension to computer-aided designing in manufacturing and the R\&D sector. It is now growing rapidly in other sectors as well and is used for military training and combat expertise, medical research, aviation training, and more. We will see more use cases of imitating a real-world process in a digital experience through simulation in the coming years.
- Simulation software to integrate with 3D printers: Integrated 3D printing simulation software is gaining importance, especially in the manufacturing sector. Adapting to metal 3D printing can be a bit expensive and complex to learn. Using simulation program to learn 3D design processes can minimize the failure rate and optimize 3D production. This becomes more relevant when the parts to be printed are very complex and the designer needs to check the efficiency of different parts. Simulation software can test each part under a number of parameters and help finalize the most optimized design to print.