We are excited to announce our investment in Munich-based SimScale. SimScale makes complex engineering simulations, such as mechanical stress and fluid flows, available to anyone in the world with a web browser. These kinds of simulations were pioneered in the aerospace industry and are now also fairly widely in use in automotive manufacturing.

SimScale broadens access to simulations in three important ways. First, the system is entirely accessible by web browser with a unified workbench for all different simulation types. Second, the pricing plan is straightforward and affordable even for individual engineers. Third, SimScale offers a community with public projects so that people can learn simulation from each other.

For instance, as a sailor, I am interested in simulations of boat hulls. I was excited to see that there is already a simulation of a boat passing through a wave. So I have copied that simulation, like I would fork an open source repository on github, and am now examining it and modifying it in my own workspace.

Or consider someone who wants to 3D print a camera attachment for a drone. They can now simulate whether that part is strong enough not to break for different weights of the camera and accelerations of the drone. Somebody who doesn’t know how to do this themselves will be able to find others in the SimScale community who can.

SimScale sits at the convergence of many important technological and organizational trends. From a technology perspective, CAD modeling is becoming ubiquitous and there are exciting advance in CAD modeling just around the corner with AR and VR technologies. 3D Printing lets anyone be a manufacturer, for instance through our portfolio company Shapeways. SimScale provides an important link between the two by making it possible to simulate properties and thus iterate even more rapidly.

From an organizational perspective, we are seeing in engineering, as in many other disciplines, an erasure of traditional boundaries between amateurs and professionals, between formal degrees and self taught, and between working inside a corporation or independently. With SimScale, someone could become the leading expert on simulating boat hulls and do so from anywhere in the world.

So if you have an interest in simulation, go ahead and sign up for a free SimScale account, explore the community and start your own project from scratch following one of the tutorials or by copying an existing public project. Also, SimScale is hiring!

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