Opera Features > 3D Simuliation > Dassault Systèmes®

Opera Simulation Software is a Finite Element Analysis software suite which allows users to perform simulations of electromagnetic (EM) and electromechanical systems in 2 and 3 dimensions. Opera complements the existing SIMULIA EM portfolio with its strength in low frequency simulation, which is extremely useful for the design of magnets, electric motors and other electrical machines.





Components or assemblies can be imported from an existing CAD system, or created using Opera’s built-in 2D sketcher, or 3D Modeller. The Opera model file contains a complete history of the commands that created it enabling files to be ‘replayed’ and modified – providing a template that can be used to automate the design variations of standard products.

Pre-Processing functionality includes:

  • CAD Import
  • Geometry construction (Boolean operations, Swept faces, Loft between faces, 2d sketching, Copy and transform, Background region, Blend & Chamfer)
  • Parameterization and rebuild
  • Automatic meshing (Mesh control, Layering for skin effect and thin sheets)
  • External circuit definition

After the simulation is complete Opera’s post-processor simplifies the analysis of the results. As well as displaying the field, temperature or stress, there are numerous functions to prepare and display derived quantities in forms and units familiar to the user (including forces, power loss, stored energy), and also to compute and display particle trajectories through the computed electric and magnetic fields.

Post-Processing functionality includes:

  • Field values (contours & vectors on 3d geometry surfaces, contours & vectors on arbitrary planar, cylindrical and spherical 2d surfaces, Graphs along lines, circles and arcs in 3d space, Iso-surfaces, export to text files)
  • Integrated values (force & torque, energy & power, line, surface and volume integrals, Q-factor)
  • Harmonic analysis
  • Deformed shapes
  • Charged particle tracking (display on geometry, intersection with surfaces, beam current density maps)
Application environments

Using the Machines Environment, motor and generator models can be rapidly setup and analyzed using parameterized templates. Extensive model customization can be included in the Machines Environments in order to meet the user’s design requirements.

Standard machines available include:

  • DC
  • Induction
  • PM Synchronous
  • PM external rotor
  • Switched Reluctance
  • Synchronous Reluctance
  • Synchronous

Standard design calculations can be performed to obtain useful results such as back-EMF, cogging torque, load torque, open and short-circuit curves.

A direct coupling with the Opera Optimizer allows the refinement and optimization of designs based on user requirements.

Using the Transformer Environment, transformer and reactor models can be automatically defined, solved and prepared for optimization. Standard analyses include short-circuit, open-circuit and inrush. Finite Element Analysis is performed, meaning that accurate results are calculated using true nonlinear properties and representative drive circuits. The automatic output quantities include impedances, resistances, forces and losses, as well as the usual display options for the magnetic flux density and other quantities. The Environment is integrated with the Opera optimizer, meaning that the user can automatically optimize parameters such as core dimensions through bolt diameters.

Standard results include:

  • Efficiency
  • Inductances
  • Saturation curves
  • Short-circuit analysis
  • Open-circuit analysis
  • Inrush current/load test
  • Switch on transients
  • Losses – copper, eddy-current, hysteresis
  • Design optimization
  • Co-simulation with Simulink®
  • Stray field/shielding analysis (EMC/EMI)
  • Dynamic forces on coils

Options exist to solve for materials that exhibit:

  • Linear or non-linear electromagnetic behavior (with hysteresis)
  • Isotropic, Orthotropic or Laminated properties
  • Permanent Magnet properties (including magnetization & demagnetization solutions)




Opera is intended to aid in the design of electromagnetic/electromechanical devices. So its primary capability is low-frequency electromagnetics. But other physics, such as structural stress and thermal are required as support functions. Opera is, therefore, multiphysics software. Analyses are chained, passing results between the different physics. Properties are nonlinear. So the user can perform, say, an electromagnetic analysis, pass losses to a thermal analysis, calculate the thermal distribution, then perform a subsequent electromagnetic analysis taking into account the temperature-dependent material properties. This can be used for studies such as loss of torque in permanent magnet motors, or homogeneity studies in magnets under load.


The Opera Optimizer is a software tool which can assist users in achieving optimal designs. It is fully integrated with Opera and enables quick and easy investigations of possible design spaces for multiphysics problems. It uses an efficient optimization algorithm that combines deterministic and stochastic methods that is used to solve single and multi-objective optimization problems.

Optimization problems are easily defined using:

  • Design variables, along with numerical limits
  • Inequality and equality constraints
  • Objective functions and whether they are to be minimized or maximized

The optimization process itself can be controlled by means of:

  • Termination criteria for the optimization algorithm
  • Design of the initial population distribution
  • Set of solution databases to keep