A breakthrough for simulation driven design

"Everything is a parameter"

CATIA | SFE CONCEPT is a leading solution for early phase simulation-driven conceptual design. It allows creating and modifying implicitly parametric surface models fast and efficiently. The unique paradigm of the attributive single-layer geometry ensures a high performance - even when handling large structures like an entire automotive body structure or even bigger. Existing model components can re-connected to make use of existing models and to build a high number of variations in a short time for functional comparison. A ready-to-simulate finite element mesh including the connectivity and association to external components can be exported at any time by a click of a button.  The analysis models support a high number of industry standard FE solvers and support the concurrent functional assessment of vibrations, stiffness, crash safety and acoustics. Design variables allow modifying geometry and topology to support a fully automatic process integrating functional analysis and improvement in the early stage of a development process.

Acceleration of the product development process

The traditional product development sequence of STYLING - CAD – CAE (As Is) has essential shortcomings. Feedback information about the functional performance of the finalized product is provided only too late. Functional performance has to be evaluated before the start of a detailed CAD process. Therefore, a new development process is emerging, a process in which CAD is complemented by CAE and testing and simulation is pushed upstream. In an agile development process (To Be) most of the steps are concurrent, are happening in parallel and in short cycles. An approach like CATIA | SFE CONCEPT is key for such a process in order to secure the functional performance of the product before investing in details.

Industry Solutions


The CATIA | SFE CONCEPT empowers the design of lightweight and safer vehicles. An enhanced comprehension of the mechanical behavior of your product shortens the design cycle and creates improved products. Especially for the automotive lifecycle and the demand for speed in the development process the tool brings value. The capabilities of fast geometry creation as well as topological and geometrical modification of body structures combined with its integrated Finite Element Mesh creator are unique. In that way CATIA | SFE CONCEPT addresses the need for an accelerated design process. Variant studies can be performed very quick and with huge quantity, so that the knowledge and understanding of the behavior of the product increases and the performance can be observed and secured through multi-discipline simulation analysis. The combination of all that leading to an agile upfront CAE development process is worldwide very well received in the automotive industry.

Trucks & Buses

The body structures in the Trucks and Buses sector is as well focused on lightweight designs where CATIA | SFE CONCEPT is key for optimization and variant studies. Several topologies and geometries can be investigated to ensure that designs are matching the required performances and the used material serves with an optimal contribution to the design.


In order to optimize the performance of frame structures CATIA | SFE CONCEPT helps to gain knowledge about the behavior by studying a high number of topological and geometrical variants through simulation. That leads to an improved product quality as well as a more efficient design. Targeting a lightweight design with less material used for the structure by keeping the performance has also been proved to be applicable several times.


Simulation and optimization are key in product development for railway transportation. CAE helps in reducing design cycles and increasing product quality and acceptance. Railway acoustics plays a major role in making trains more comfortable - for travelers and for the environment. Building train structure modules and (re-) combining them to new variants of whole wagon structures is a major value for the railway sector. Investigating new designs on a sub-assembly level and combine this new variant with other existing CATIA | SFE CONCEPT geometry modules to a new wagon variant as well as global modifications of the whole wagon model can be managed using CATIA | SFE CONCEPT. Another scenario is the vibro-acoustic optimization approach using CATIA | SFE CONCEPT and CATIA | SFE AKUSMOD – please see “CATIA | SFE AKUSMOD” for more information. 


Handling models of the size of aerospace structures is one major advantage of CATIA | SFE CONCEPT. Due to the performant and flexible implicit parametric geometry several variants and optimization can be applied on the whole structure in order to investigate for lightweight solutions and validating them through simulation in a shortened design cycle by having the finite element mesh including connections at the same time right with the new design.

Other Industries

For any surface based structures CATIA | SFE CONCEPT brings value in order to investigate several studies of designs or optimize the structure validated through simulation.




See video to get more information on how to create a beam structure in CATIA | SFE CONCEPT and how simulation attributes like properties and multiple flange layers (MFLs) are applied to the single layer geometry and all that results in a finite element mesh.

See video and get to know more on CATIA | SFE CONCEPT smart connections (mapping) and the associativity of the geometry with the finite element mesh alongside with adapting connection elements.

See video to get to know more about CATIA | SFE CONCEPT parametric components retrieved from library, assembled to a model with automatic adaptions and its modification with design variables.

Get some ideas from several industrial examples of what can be changed using a CATIA | SFE CONCEPT model with its associative finite element mesh and adaptive connections.


The CATIA V5 Connector enables you to use SFE CONCEPT as a CATIA V5 workbench with an improved usability. The full functionality is provided in the CATIA V5 environment, while the original SFE CONCEPT application code runs in the background.

Integration into CATIA V5 enables direct reference with CATIA data, such as package, styling and manufacturing related data.

The SFE CONCEPT models can be stored and managed as CATParts.

In addition, the SFE CONCEPT surface geometry can be transformed into CATIA V5 surface data for further design steps towards manufacturing.

Just like the stand-alone version of CATIA | SFE CONCEPT, the version integrated in CATIA V5 also features the modular design of the geometry, leveraging the library of existing models, and the top down approach from the first design sketches to all simulation-relevant detail such as crash initiators.