SIMULIA Community News

March 2016: Exploring the Power of Optimization

Identify Design Alternatives Through Optimization

Training Spotlight

Optimization enhances the benefit of simulation in virtual product development through automated improvement capabilities. Without optimization, simulation specialists and designers need to interpret analysis results to determine how to change an existing design such that it meets all necessary design requirements, often relying on their intuition, experience, and sometimes chance. Adding automated physics-based design optimization to the product development process helps to identify design alternatives. Thus minimizing weight, maximizing lifecycle, and other increases of efficiency become more easily attainable.

Two different approaches for optimization are available:

  • Parametric approach: Change a limited number of design variables (e.g. geometric or material parameters). This easily combines different disciplines and objectives to include nearly every kind of response value in the optimization.
  • Non-parametric approach: Change a specific area of the current design by topology, sizing, shape, or bead optimization. This is particularly useful for design concepts in early design phases and design improvements where easy (“parametric”) geometric changes do not suffice. SIMULIA offers both optimization approaches with Tosca Structure and Isight:


Isight is a general purpose process integration and design optimization (PIDO) solution from SIMULIA. With Isight you can create flexible simulation process flows to automate the exploration of design alternatives and identification of optimal performance parameters (parametric approach).


  • Tosca is a special purpose optimization tool tuned for structural and fluid flow problems. Its non-parametric approach offers a simple setup directly on simulation FEA models.
  • Tosca Structure provides topology, shape, sizing and bead optimization for mechanical structures based on simulation results.

Tosca Fluid provides non-parametric fluid flow optimization for an automated development of innovative flow channels with reduced pressure drop or homogeneous flow.


SIMULIA offers a variety of optimization courses designed to teach the user how to include automatic optimization and improvement methods in the development process:

Introduction to Isight (2 day class)
This course covers the Design and Runtime Gateways along with several fundamental components, showing users the way workflows can be built in Isight and how design space can be explored.

Introduction to Tosca Structure (2 day class)
A comprehensive introduction to the structural optimization capabilities of Tosca Structure: Solving fundamental topology, shape, sizing and bead optimization problems, and integration of optimization into the development process.

Introduction to Tosca Fluid (1 day class)
An introduction to the fluid optimization capabilities of Tosca Fluid: Solving basic topology optimization tasks for internal flow problems, and result evaluation and transfer.

Tosca Structure.durability (1 day class)
This course focuses on fatigue criteria in non-parametric shape optimization.

Tosca Structure.nonlinear: (1 day class)
This course illustrates how to perform structural optimization (topology and shape optimization) based on nonlinear simulation results.

Introductory videos can be found in the “Optimization and Process Integration Learning Resources” in the training section of the SIMULIA Learning Community. (


The SIMULIA Learning Community is the place to find the latest resources for SIMULIA software and to collaborate with other users. The key that unlocks the door of innovative thinking and knowledge building, the SIMULIA Learning Community provides you with the tools you need to expand your knowledge, whenever and wherever.