MSC Apex Generative Design 2020

MSC Apex Generative Design gets first full release

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MSC Apex Generative Design 2020 is the first full launch of MSC Software Corporation’s software for optimal product design.

Part of Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division, MSC has released a software that it claims enables engineers to explore new approaches and optimise any part of their design in a single step to develop innovative products ‘up to 80% faster than conventional approaches’.

The new tool was first announced in November 2019, and has featured in this publications D3D 30 list of future technologies to watch.

This first major release introduces new controls that aim to make it easier for designers to adjust the complexity of the generated designs and how much the fixation points can be reduced.

The MSC Apex Generative Design 2020 release also exploits many productivity benefits of the underlying MSC Apex platform, for example, direct export of engineered models (mesh) to CAD formats so that generative design optimisation can be used within common CAD/CAM manufacturing workflows.

Thomas Reiher, director of generative design, MSC Software, said: “Designing an optimal product that fully exploits the available techniques is such a convoluted process today, that designers have to compromise.

“Designers’ eyes light up when they use MSC Apex Generative Design because it thinks like them, improving parts with intelligent engineering decisions – only much faster.”


Reiher reports that its users have slashed their design times ‘by 80 percent’ by reducing the number of individual tools and interventions, automating the optimisation process and streamlining their workflows.

“They start producing products that for the first time they have been able to optimise with design, performance and cost all tailored to their technical and commercial requirements,” he concluded.

MSC claims that the software can run on ‘a normal laptop’ to generate initial model candidates within an hour, and produce a final design within a matter of hours.

Meanwhile, the launch version arrives equipped with a more intuitive user interface, opening its capabilities up to designers and engineers without specialised knowledge of CAE.

Design goals can be set up directly, or set against an existing design from CAD or directly from CAE models.

The ability to link MSC Apex Generative Design with manufacturing simulation tools Simufact Additive for metals and Digimat AM for polymers to reduce build failures and make optimal use of materials at every step, is a promising step for what could potentially mean connections to more elements of Hexagon’s software stable in the future.