LiveLink™ for AutoCAD®

Interface AutoCAD® with COMSOL Multiphysics® via LiveLink™ for AutoCAD®

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Effectively Combine COMSOL Multiphysics® Simulations with Autodesk® AutoCAD® Designs

LiveLink™ for AutoCAD® provides essential functionality to enhance your design workflow with multiphysics simulation so you can evaluate how your product or process performs in the intended operating environment. The powerful tools in the AutoCAD CAD system allow you to produce effective 3D product designs. Using LiveLink™ for AutoCAD®, you can synchronise your CAD models with COMSOL Multiphysics® to create model geometries for simulation that allow you to analyse essentially any physical effects and their interactions, so you can better understand and optimise your designs.

LiveLink™ for AutoCAD® includes an array of tools to facilitate the integration of multiphysics simulation into your design process. Features include geometry repair and defeaturing, support for automatic updates to a CAD design, optimisation of design parameters, and automated parametric sweeps in COMSOL Multiphysics.

Synchronise Geometries and Maintain Physics Definitions

LiveLink™ for AutoCAD® synchronises geometry updates between your AutoCAD design file and the COMSOL Multiphysics model. Updates are automatic when you have both AutoCAD and COMSOL Multiphysics open at the same time avoiding the repetitive file import and export process. CAD model parameters defined in AutoCAD can be iteratively accessed to enable parametric sweeps in COMSOL Multiphysics. Optimisation studies or parametric sweeps allow you to fine-tune design parameters such as part shape and sizing.

An important feature of LiveLink™ for AutoCAD® is that geometry associativity is maintained between the synchronised CAD design and the COMSOL Multiphysics model even when a design has changed. As a result of this functionality, physics definitions also remain associated with their respective model domains and boundaries throughout the design and simulation process.

Automatically Prepare a Design for Simulation

COMSOL Multiphysics with LiveLink™ for AutoCAD® includes many features for geometry manipulation to prepare your designs for simulation. During geometry import from a CAD file, a design is automatically evaluated to ensure that any problems are detected and then repaired. The predefined tolerance based repair is automatic during import, and it can also heal gaps to create a solid object suitable for simulation.

CAD designs may contain small features that are either purposefully or unintentionally introduced during the design process. During simulation, small features such as fillets or small edges can increase computational demands by requiring meshes that are extremely dense. Using the tools provided with LiveLink™ for AutoCAD®, you can automatically detect small details or artefacts and then defeature the geometry in AutoCAD or in the COMSOL Multiphysics environment.

To complement the defeaturing tools, virtual geometry operations are available with COMSOL Multiphysics and enable you to suppress specific features in a COMSOL model geometry prior to simulation without having to physically remove them from a design. Meshes created from a virtual geometry are computationally less complex and are still based on the original surface curvature of a design, therefore improving the efficiency and accuracy of your simulations.

Options for File Import and Export

3D CAD designs can be imported from a file into COMSOL Multiphysics for simulation using the functionality provided with LiveLink™ for AutoCAD®. By default, an imported CAD design is converted to a Parasolid® geometry that supports Boolean geometry operations and additional conversions or modifications from within the COMSOL environment. As an example, you can close off, and create the geometry for, cavities in and around imported components to simulate fluid behaviour in a design that initially contains only the hardware for manufacturing.

There are many CAD file formats that are supported by LiveLink™ for AutoCAD® for import into COMSOL Multiphysics. These include the widely supported CAD file formats ACIS®, IGES, Parasolid, STEP, as well as the native formats of other CAD systems such as Inventor®, PTC® Creo® Parametric™, PTC® Pro/ENGINEER®, and SOLIDWORKS®. Optional support for the CATIA® V5 file format is also available. File export from COMSOL Multiphysics in the IGES, STEP, Parasolid and ACIS formats ensures that any design changes made to a COMSOL model geometry can be readily shared with colleagues and imported into most CAD programs or viewers.

Autodesk and AutoCAD are registered trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. For a list of such trademark owners, see COMSOL AB and its subsidiaries and products are not affiliated with, endorsed by, sponsored by, or supported by these trademark owners.

Product Features

  • A LiveLink™ interface that synchronises between the AutoCAD® 2019 or 2020 versions of the CAD software and COMSOLMultiphysics® when both are running simultaneously
  • Synchronise 3D geometric objects (solids, surfaces, and curves) between AutoCAD® geometries and COMSOLMultiphysics®
  • The synchronised geometry is associative, i.e., the CAD model can be modified in AutoCAD® without the need to re-apply model settings in COMSOLMultiphysics® after re-synchronisation
  • Automatically generate selections on the synchronised geometry in the COMSOLMultiphysics® model from the material texture or layer assignments in the AutoCAD® file
  • Synchronise parameters between the AutoCAD® design and COMSOLMultiphysics® model to modify the COMSOL Multiphysics® geometry, either manually or as controlled by a parametric or optimisation solver
  • Connect to COMSOLServer™ from within AutoCAD® to browse and run apps together with AutoCAD®, including those that use geometry synchronised with AutoCAD®
  • File import of the most popular CAD file formats, see table below
  • Encapsulate geometries to model phenomena in the surrounding domains
  • Export geometry files to the IGES, STEP, Parasolid®, and ACIS® file formats
  • Geometry repair through identification of geometric inconsistencies and knitting surfaces to create solids
  • Defeaturing through the finding and deletion of fillets, through and blind holes, short edges, sliver faces, small faces, and spikes
  • Manually deleting faces and healing the resulting gaps through filling (creating a new face) or patching (shrinking or expanding adjacent faces)
  • Detaching faces from a solid object to create a new solid object
  • Cap holes or empty spaces to fill the space and create modelling domains
  • Patch gaps due to missing faces by generating surfaces from the surrounding edges and surfaces
Supported Formats for File Import

Note that not all file formats are supported on all operative systems, for details see System Requirements

File Format
.sat, .sab, .asat, .asab
up to 2020 1.0 (import), R4, R7, 2016 1.0 (export)
.igs, .iges
up to 5.3
Inventor® assemblies
11, 2008-2020
Inventor® parts
6-11, 2008-2020
up to 1872
.x_t, .xmt_txt, .x_b, .xmt_bin
up to V32.0
PTC® Creo® Parametric™
.prt, .asm
.prt, .asm
16 to Wildfire® 5.0
.sldprt, .sldasm
AP203, AP214 (import), AP203 (export)

Every business and every simulation need is different.

In order to fully evaluate whether or not the COMSOL Multiphysics® software will meet your requirements, you need to contact us. By talking to one of our sales representatives, you will get personalised recommendations and fully documented examples to help you get the most out of your evaluation and guide you to choose the best license option to suit your needs.

Fill in your contact details and any specific comments or questions, and submit. You will receive a response from a sales representative within one business day.

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(COMSOL®, COMSOL Multiphysics®, Capture the Concept, COMSOL Desktop®) are registered trademarks of COMSOL AB, LiveLink™ is an unregistered trademark of COMSOL AB, ACIS and SAT are registered trademarks of Spatial Corporation. AutoCAD, AutoCAD Inventor and Inventor are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries. CATIA is a registered trademark of Dassault Systèmes or its subsidiaries in the US and/or other countries. Microsoft, Excel and Windows are registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. Parasolid and Solid Edge are trademarks or registered trademarks of Siemens Product Lifecycle Management Software Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States and in other countries. SolidWorks is a registered trademark of Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corporation. Creo and Pro/ENGINEER are trademarks or registered trademarks of PTC Inc. or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and in other countries. MATLAB is a registered trademark of The MathWorks, Inc. Amazon Web Services, the “Powered by Amazon Web Services” logo, Amazon EC2 and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud are trademarks of, Inc. or its affiliates in the United States and/or other countries. Mac and Macintosh are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. Red Hat is a registered trademark of Red Hat, Inc. in the U.S. and other countries. Neither COMSOL nor any COMSOL products are affiliated with, endorsed by, sponsored by, or supported by any of these other trademark owners. Other product names, brand names or logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.