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OptiStruct Overview

OptiStruct is an industry proven, modern structural analysis solver for linear and nonlinear problems under static and dynamic loadings. It is the market-leading solution for structural design and optimization.

OptiStruct Introduction Video Watch this quick introduction video to learn how OptiStruct can help you.

OptiStruct helps Euro-Pro improve product performance and durability Static analysis with OptiStruct unveils weak spots on plastic parts, before they are produced. Read the Euro-Pro Case Study
Based on finite-element and multi-body dynamics technology, and through advanced analysis and optimization algorithms, OptiStruct helps designers and engineers rapidly develop innovative, lightweight and structurally efficient designs.

Continuing to build on its 20 year legacy of providing innovative optimization technology first-to-market, OptiStruct offers novel solutions for the design and optimization of 3D printed lattice structures and advanced materials such as laminate composites, in keeping up with the latest manufacturing trends like additive manufacturing, while driving design trends.

OptiStruct is used by thousands of companies worldwide to analyze and optimize structures for their strength, durability and NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) characteristics.

“By using OptiStruct in the product’s initial design period to carry out topography optimization for several major parts, our products can effectively avoid the constant experimenting, avoid the occurrence of resonance, shorten design cycles and improve product quality.”
–Zhifeng Xin, Director Mechanical/Thermal/Simulation/M&M
Lenovo Notebook Product Development

View Case Study


Accurate and Comprehensive Physics

An inaccurate simulation is one not worth performing. This becomes more important when designs are being driven and optimized based on simulation results. Therefore, at Altair, we strive to develop accurate and comprehensive analysis solutions that capture the behavior of products in the everyday environment that they are developed to exist in.

Highly Parallelized Solver

OptiStruct is a highly parallelized solver that is able to take advantage of the latest hardware technology. Through methods such as domain decomposition, OptiStruct can be executed on hundreds of cores. This has even bigger implications in the larger design development scheme, allowing engineers the ability to perform large scale optimization runs, design for reliability and robustness, and carry out design exploration studies via design of experiments and so on.

Most Advanced Solver for NVH Analysis

OptiStruct supports the most advanced features and process workflows necessary for efficient and effective noise, vibration, harshness and acoustic analyses. Through innovative process workflows, full vehicle NVH analyses can be performed very quickly and efficiently.

Integrated Fast and Large Scale Eigenvalue Solver

A standard feature of OptiStruct, Automated Multi-level Sub-structuring Eigen Solver (AMSES) can rapidly calculate thousands of modes with millions of degrees of freedom.

Better Performing, Lightweight and Innovative Designs

The strategic use of appropriate optimization technology throughout the design process maximizes the potential for designers and engineers to rapidly develop better performing designs. Through these advanced optimization algorithms in OptiStruct, often, better performance comes along with a reduction in weight through the development of an innovative design concept.

Optimization Enabled Solution

Optimize! Optimize! Optimize! The most efficient way to meet the many, often conflicting and challenging design requirements in a timely and economical manner is through the application of optimization in the design process. Simulation needs to drive the design process. Therefore, the OptiStruct development strategy of enabling analysis solutions for optimization stands out as one of our differentiators, while empowering clients with the best technology to develop the best designs.

20 Year Legacy of Award Winning Optimization Technology

For over 20 years now, OptiStruct has lead the development of new and innovative optimization technology. This includes many first-to-market technologies such as stress and fatigue based topology optimization, topology driven design for 3D printed lattice structures, and technologies for the design and optimization of laminate composite structures among others. OptiStruct provides the most comprehensive library of optimization responses and manufacturing constraints allowing the needed flexibility to formulate the widest range of optimization problems.

Cost-effective Nastran Replacement

OptiStruct is highly compatible with Nastran. OptiStruct solutions use standard Nastran type input syntax and write analysis results in both Nastran PUNCH and OUTPUT2 formats to support legacy models and compatibility within Nastran workflows. Deeply integrated in HyperWorks, OptiStruct increases end-user efficiency and significantly reduces corporate investments in third-party solver solutions.

Recover Valuable Engineering Time

Simplified and easy to understand error messages, combined with strict model checking contribute to more accurate simulation of design behavior. This allows more time for engineering instead of time spent model debugging as well as iterating due to modeling errors.

Easy to Learn

Using streamlined analysis workflows and the commonly understood Nastran input format, OptiStruct is very easy to learn and to have integrated in to existing processes.


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Car frame design with topology optimization Equivalent Radiated Power (ERP) Non-linear material Large Strain Plasticity for Solids Typical optimization process on VW compressor bracket Additive manufacturing project at EADS Topography optimization of a door panel Composites optimization
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Structural Analysis Types Include:

  • Linear and Nonlinear static Analysis

  • Nonlinear Implicit Quasi-static Analysis

  • Normal Modes Analysis for Real and Complex Eigenvalues

  • Linear Buckling Analysis

  • Direct and Modal Frequency Response Analysis

  • Random Response Analysis

  • Linear Direct and Modal Transient Analysis

  • Coupled Fluid-structure (NVH) Analysis

  • Linear Steady-state and Transient Heat Transfer Coupled with Static Analysis

OptiStruct provides comprehensive solutions to simulate stiffness, strength and stability, noise and vibration, powertrain durability, thermal analysis, kinematics and dynamics, and more.

Topology Optimization

OptiStruct's award-winning design-synthesis technology uses the topology optimization approach to generate innovative concept-design proposals. In the initial phase of the development process, the user enters the package space information, design targets and manufacturing process parameters. OptiStruct then generates a manufacturable design proposal that is optimized for the given design targets. The manufacturing process parameters are important in achieving interpretable, feasible designs.

In sheet metal parts, beads are often used to reinforce structures. OptiStruct's topography optimization technology will generate an innovative design proposal for the ideal bead pattern of reinforcement.

Composite Optimization

OptiStruct’s comprehensive composite design and optimization package streamlines composite structure design work for both the designer and the analyst. This ply-based approach simplifies the interpretation of the concept design results from free-size optimization. OptiStruct also considers manufacturing requirements early in the design process to achieve practical designs and proposes a lay-up sequence that meets these requirements.

Multi-Disciplinary Structural Optimization

Analyzing the performance of structures is only one of the many steps in the product development process. Based on the analysis results, product engineers make part modification proposals in order to meet stress, weight and stiffness requirements. OptiStruct's seamless integration of state-of-the-art, gradient-based optimization methods make multi-disciplinary size and shape optimization easy to use, robust, and very fast.

Size optimization defines ideal component parameters, such as material values, cross-section dimensions and thicknesses. Shape optimization is applied on existing product components. OptiStruct’s free-shape optimization can be used to reduce high-stress concentrations. OptiStruct can also use HyperMesh's morphing technology to update finite element meshes during optimization. As a result, OptiStruct can easily propose design modifications without a need for underlying CAD data and with minimum user interaction. Within the OptiStruct environment, optimization parameters can be defined with only a few mouse clicks.

OptiStruct can use responses from many different disciplines in the optimization process, such as static, buckling, frequency response, random response, thermo-mechanical, heat transfer, and acoustic analysis. In addition to these, OptiStruct has innovative methods for system level optimization and fatigue optimization.

System Level Design Optimization

The Equivalent Static Load Method (ESLM) is an innovative method implemented for simultaneous optimization of both flexible and rigid bodies during multi-body dynamic analysis. This first in-industry, innovative method, allows for the optimization of system level multi-body dynamic models. Additionally, ESLM can be applied to conceptual design synthesis and design fine-tuning.

Fatigue-based Concept Design and Optimization

OptiStruct’s fatigue optimization capabilities allow concept design synthesis (topology, topography, and free-size) and design fine-tuning (size, shape, and free-shape) based on fatigue performance. Damage and life from either stress-life or strain-life fatigue analysis can be used as design criteria. This capability allows concept design using fatigue responses and is computationally efficient compared to fatigue-based optimization using third-party applications.

Easy Model Set-up, Post-Processing, and Automation

OptiStruct is tightly integrated into the HyperWorks environment enabling fast and easy model set-up in HyperMesh. Animations, contour plots and charts can be generated using the post-processing tools in HyperView and HyperGraph. Moreover, jobs can be easily automated by using the powerful automation and data management layer available in HyperWorks.

Complementary Solutions

Inspire Inspire allows design engineers, product designers and architects to generate and investigate structurally efficient concepts quickly and easily. Inspire embeds Altair’s OptiStruct algorithms bringing topology optimization to a broader audience. Overview Video | Learn More
HyperMesh High-performance finite element pre-processor to prepare largest models, starting from import of CAD geometry to exporting an analysis run for various disciplines. Overview Video | Learn More
Multiscale Designer Multiscale Design is a software used for seamless integration of modeling, simulation, testing, uncertainty quantification and optimization of composite materials and structures at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Learn More
DesignLife DesignLife by nCode provides fatigue life prediction from finite element results to answer the question "how long will it last?" or "will it pass the test?" before prototyping. Overview Video | Learn More

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