News has just broken (the press release isn’t even on either parties’ web-site’s as yet), that Autodesk is to acquire simulation specialists Algor for approximately $34 million with a view to expanding the rapidly growing base of technology to fulfill the Digital Prototyping vision. What does this bring to the deal that previous acquisitions of Solid Dynamics (Motion simulation), Moldflow (Mold filling analysis) and Plassotech (Static FEA) in recent years? The answer is multiphysics, mechanical event simulation* and fluid flow.
According to the release postsed on the Yahoo Biz, “Upon completion of the acquisition, Autodesk’s current intent is to integrate Algor into its Manufacturing Solutions business unit and to continue developing and selling Algor‘s core product line. Autodesk plans to continue developing the Algor products with an open approach, allowing direct data exchange between Algor products and multiple computer aided design software offerings.” The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009.
The worlds of FEA, CFD and other simulation technologies are rapidly merging and becoming, at least in the view of the vendors, much more integrated. While user adoption varies between industry sector, its clear that this is THE big thing for the next few years and expect to see other acquisitions from other vendors as work is done to bring simulation in closer contact with the design process.
* I hadn’t come across this term before, but it seems it “combines large-scale motion and stress analysis and includes linear and nonlinear material models. The combination of motion and stress analysis considering full inertial effects enables engineers to see motion and its results, such as impact, buckling and permanent deformation.”