Thursday, May 15, 2014
Autodesk - the NASTRAN acquisition
Autodesk announced its own 3D printer yesterday and today comes with new surprise - acquires certain assets of NEi Software (formerly Noran Engineering), including its main product, the well known NEi NASTRAN solver. NASTRAN (NAsa STructural ANalysis) is a highly acclaimed tool for analysis of 3D models based on the finite element method (FEA). This solver is also used in other CAE applications (e.g. Femap). The roots of NASTRAN date back the 60s when it was developed for space agency NASA. There are several offshoots of this software (FTC-induced clones in 2002). Calculations from NASTRAN are used today not only in the space program (e.g. for SpaceShipOne), but also for demanding "mundane" behavioral analysis of 3D models - linear and nonlinear analysis, dynamic simulations.
It can be expected that NASTRAN will complement the existing Autodesk simulation products. The desktop- and cloud-based CAE tools by Autodesk are being developed on the technologies derived primarily from acquisitions completed in recent years - such as Algor, Moldflow, CFdesign (Blue Ridge Numerics) or Firehole Composites.
The latest NASTRAN acquisition confirms that Autodesk is very serious in the simulation business.