CAD Import Module

CAD Import Module

For Effective Simulation and CAD Integration

Image made using the COMSOL Multiphysics® software and is provided courtesy of COMSOL.

Removing the innocuous sliver makes meshing and solving more efficient without changing the simulation results.

CAD Import Module

CAD Import Module Supports Both Import and Export of CAD Files

The CAD Import Module supports the import of a variety of different file formats including the Parasolid® and ACIS® formats, and standard formats like STEP and IGES. These file formats are supported by basically all CAD packages, and you can readily import your files into COMSOL Multiphysics by saving in any of these formats. On top of that, the CAD Import Module allows you to import the native file formats of a number of CAD systems, such as Inventor®, PTC® Creo® Parametric™, and SOLIDWORKS®. The optional File Import for CATIA® V5 provides support for importing the native file format for this system.

When you have installed the CAD Import Module, all CAD files are automatically converted to a Parasolid geometry, using the Parasolid geometry engine that is included with the module. These geometries can subsequently be changed by a number of tools within COMSOL Multiphysics and the CAD Import Module. This can include geometry repair or defeaturing (both explained below), or a conscious change to the geometry. An example of this is creating a model domain around a CAD design. Most CAD models are geometries of the objects to be manufactured, and simulation may be used to model the phenomena around this object, such as the flow of air. When these changes have been made, the CAD Import Module can export them in the Parasolid or ACIS file formats for import into other tools.

Simulation and CAD Integration for Successful Product Development

The first step of product development often involves the creation of a CAD or simulation model. The simulation model provides the understanding and optimization of the desired part, component, or device, while the CAD model provides the detailed information required for accurate manufacturing. In order to have a complete understanding, both models must be created. It then becomes essential to integrate the simulation and CAD modeling processes because information and data from one model affects the other and can often be directly passed between them. To facilitate this integration, COMSOL provides you with a robust tool: the CAD Import Module.

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Product Features

  • File import of the most popular CAD file formats, see table below
  • Encapsulate geometries to model phenomena in the surrounding domains
  • Export geometry files to the Parasolid® and ACIS® file formats
  • Geometry repair through identification of geometric inconsistencies and knitting surfaces to create solids
  • Defeaturing through the finding and deletion of fillets, short edges, sliver faces, small faces, spikes, and faces
  • Manually deleting faces and healing the resulting gaps through filling (creating a new face) or patching (shrinking or expanding adjacent faces)
  • Detaching faces from a solid object to create a new solid object
  • Cap holes or empty spaces to fill the space and create modeling domains
  • Patch removed faces by growing or shrinking the surrounding surfaces to cover the removed face


This is a model of the acoustics inside a sedan, that is inside a typical hard-top family car. The model sets up sources at loudspeaker locations as well as impedance conditions to model soft absorbing surfaces (seats and carpet).

The model results in plots of the pressure, sound pressure level, and intensity inside the car. The frequency response at given points inside the cabin are also determined.

» See model.

This model demonstrates the ability to simulate Multibody Dynamics in COMSOL. It comprises a multilink mechanism that is used in an antique automobile as a gearshift lever. It was created out of curiosity to find out how large forces are on the individual components. The model uses flexible parts, i.e. the Structural Mechanics Module was used along with the Multibody Dynamics Module.

» See model.