Autodesk Fusion for Computer-Aided Engineering

Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE)

Autodesk Fusion is a comprehensive CAE software solution that enables engineers to conduct detailed simulations and analyses, enhancing product performance and reliability.

using Autodesk Fusion to prepare a milling project on the Matsura MX-330 machine.

What is computer-aided engineering (CAE)?

Computer-aided engineering (CAE) is the use of computer software to aid in the design, analysis, and manufacturing of products. It encompasses functionalities like simulation, optimization, and validation, combined with disciplines like finite element analysis (FEA), computational fluid dynamics (CFD), and multiphysics for enhanced engineering analysis.

Autodesk customer, Hermle AG, uses PowerMill to create its machines.

What is CAE software?

Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) software is a type of program that uses advanced computational methods to assist in engineering tasks. It includes several disciplines including stress analysis on components and assemblies, kinematics, mechanics of materials, and optimization of designs. CAE software enhances the engineering process by providing tools for modeling, simulation, validation, and optimization of products and manufacturing tools. It allows engineers to evaluate and improve product designs, ensuring their functionality, durability, and efficiency.

The advantages of CAE software

Enhanced design efficiency

Access advanced simulation study types to validate real-world design performance through side-by-side design comparisons.

Improved product performance and reliability

By simulating real-world conditions, CAE tools enable the prediction and improvement of product performance and reliability before manufacturing, ensuring optimal product functionality.

Reduced need for physical prototypes

CAE software allows virtual prototyping, reducing the need for costly and time-consuming physical prototypes, and speeding up the product development cycle.

Common applications of computer-aided engineering

Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) is widely used to simulate real-world conditions, optimize designs, and validate product performance, enhancing the overall engineering process.

Stress Analysis

Using Finite Element Analysis (FEA), CAE can simulate and predict how a product will respond to physical forces like tension, compression, and shear. This helps engineers optimize and validate their designs to ensure durability and reliability.

Fluid Dynamics

In Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), CAE helps simulate fluid flow, heat transfer, and other related phenomena inside or around a product. This is crucial in fields like aerodynamics, hydraulics, and HVAC systems where fluid behaviour significantly impacts product performance.

Thermal Analysis

CAE can perform thermal analysis to predict how heat transfer will affect a product. This helps make sure the product can maintain effective performance under varying temperature conditions. This is particularly critical in the electronics, automotive, and aerospace industries.

Multibody Dynamics

CAE is used to simulate and analyze the dynamic behavior of systems with multiple components. This helps engineers understand the impact of motions and forces on the assembly. This is crucial in designing complex mechanical systems like vehicles, robots, and machinery.

Featured CAE software

Cloud-based 3D CAD / CAM / CAE / PCB software for product design.

Optimize part design and performance with unlimited cloud solves for generative design, FEA, electronic cooling, injection molding, and more.

Autodesk Fusion simulation extension

Autodesk Fusion Simulation Extension

The Autodesk Fusion Simulation Extension, including Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE), equips your team to analyze part performance, manufacturability, and generative design capabilities.

Generative design outcomes can guide you to achieve weight reduction and performance enhancements. By combining this with various simulation study types like structural, thermal, and explicit simulations, as well as injection molding, you can acquire a comprehensive understanding of how your 3D design will perform under real-life conditions before manufacturing.

Benefits of the Fusion Simulation Extension

Dive into the limitless design possibilities with Autodesk Fusion's CAE capabilities.

Shorten your product development time

Automate performance and reduce design costs with generative design. Minimize physical prototypes with digital prototypes using simulation tools.

Improve your product's reliability

Access advanced simulation study types to validate real-world design performance through side-by-side design comparisons

Expand your design possibilities

Use manufacturing process-aware artificial intelligence to quickly expand design options well beyond human imagination.

Fusion Simulation Extension's CAE capabilities

Nonlinear Static Stress

Nonlinear Static Stress

With the ability to simulate large deformations, motion, and contact behaviors on nonlinear materials, this CAE capability is pivotal in predicting how materials and structures will respond under diverse stress conditions, thus enhancing design reliability.

Structural Buckling

Structural Buckling

This CAE feature offers critical insights on potential structural failure due to buckling. By simulating how structures react under various loads, designers can refine their designs and mitigate risks associated with structural instability.

Event Simulation

Event Simulation

By predicting how time-dependent forces influence 3D design performance, this CAE capability enables designers to anticipate and mitigate potential issues, thereby improving product reliability and lifespan.

Modal Frequencies

Modal Frequencies

This feature allows designers to analyze the effects of natural vibrations on parts or assemblies. Understanding these resonant frequencies is crucial in CAE to prevent potential structural failure and optimize design.

Thermal Simulation

Thermal Simulation

This feature allows designers to simulate heat transfer and temperature-induced stresses. It's crucial for understanding how temperature changes affect system performance, aiding in the design of thermally efficient and reliable systems.

CAE tools for consumer products development

CAE tools for consumer product development

Bringing consumer products to market faster requires a smooth transition from design to production.  With Autodesk Fusion, product designers have the ability to use CAE analysis tools, that were created with the designer in mind, to validate the product performance and quality before manufacturing.

  • Validate product performance and quality
  • Minimize costly delays and rework
  • Intuitive and easy to use analysis tools

How industries harness CAE software for success

Kawai Plastic Industry

Kawai Plastic Industry

Kawai Plastic Industry used the Fusion Simulation Extension, a Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) tool, to run injection molding simulations and flow analyses. This allowed them to prevent short shots in their process, visually confirm mold accuracy, and reduce the number of trial injection runs by 25%, significantly improving their cost efficiency.

Dr. Hannes Schwenke

Dr. Hannes Schwenke

Dr. Hannes Schwenke used Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) in the form of 3D modeling and printing technologies. Using Autodesk Fusion and Netfabb, precise 3D models of artery systems and brain aneurysms were created. These models helped in visualizing complex surgical procedures, improving surgeon training, and enhancing patient treatment outcomes.

Coral Maker

Coral Maker

Coral Maker utilized Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) through Autodesk Fusion to design and prototype molds for mass manufacturing coral skeletons. They also used it to test robotics systems for seeding corals. This CAE tool facilitated iterative design improvements, and enabled the use of CNC machines and 3D printing for manufacturing.



Discover how ACWA-ROBOTICS uses Autodesk Fusion to design water pipe-inspecting robots. The article underscores the significance of Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE), particularly simulations for assessing mechanical durability and thermal characteristics. These CAE features in Fusion are crucial to successfully designing and optimizing the robot's performance.

Fusion resources for computer-aided engineering (CAE)

Get started with CAE with these informational blog posts.

In product development, Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) swiftly validates designs before manufacturing, reducing costs, time-to-market, and enhancing product quality.

This article expands upon CAD, CAM, and CAE, advantages across crucial touchpoints in the end to end product development process.

Explore the world of Computer Aided Engineering (CAE), highlighting its crucial role in modern product development.

Discover how Autodesk Fusion revolutionizes product development with its powerful CAE capabilities, seamless simulation, and innovative digital prototyping in a robust cloud-based environment.

Here are some factors to consider when choosing a CAE software solution and a breakdown on how Autodesk Fusion can help.

Product development uses CAE software like Fusion for rigorous testing and design enhancements under varied conditions.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ) on CAE software

What makes Fusion a unique CAE software?

Autodesk Fusion is unique as it integrates CAD, CAM, and CAE in one platform, allowing for a seamless workflow from design to fabrication.

How does the integrated CAE functionality in Fusion enhance the product development process?

Autodesk Fusion's integrated CAE functionality significantly enhances the product development process by creating a seamless workflow from design to analysis. It allows engineers to perform various types of analyses like stress tests, fluid dynamics, thermal analysis, and multibody dynamics directly on their CAD models without needing to switch between different software. This not only saves time but also ensures that the analyses are based on the most current model.


With the ability to quickly iterate designs based on these analyses, engineers can optimize their designs more efficiently, leading to improved product performance and reliability. Furthermore, this can greatly reduce the need for physical prototypes, saving both time and resources. Fusion's CAE tools also enable engineers to predict how the design will perform under real-world conditions, helping to identify and rectify potential issues early in the design process. This can significantly reduce the risk of product failure and the associated costs.

How does Fusion's CAE functionality facilitate collaboration among teams?

Fusion is a cloud-based platform, which means that it allows for real-time collaboration among team members regardless of their location. This is beneficial for CAE tasks, as it enables engineers to work together on the same design and simulation, facilitating the sharing of insights and speeding up the decision-making process. Team members can view, comment on, and edit designs and simulations in real-time, making sure everyone stays updated on the progress. Access to designs and simulations can also be controlled to maintain security and confidentiality.


Furthermore, Fusion allows for the sharing of CAE results with stakeholders who may not have a technical background. This can be done through visual reports and animations, making the data more understandable and aiding in communication. Overall, Fusion's CAE functionality significantly enhances collaboration among teams, leading to more efficient and effective product development.

What are the key benefits of using CAE features in Fusion?

Using CAE in Fusion allows for efficient design iterations, improved product performance, and reduced need for physical prototypes.

What is the difference between CAD and CAE?

CAD (Computer-Aided Design) and CAE (Computer-Aided Engineering) are both software tools used by engineers, but they serve different purposes.


CAD (Computer-Aided Design) is used to create 2D/3D models and blueprints of products and structures. This software is primarily used by architects, engineers, drafters, artists, and others to create precision drawings or technical illustrations. 


CAE (Computer-Aided Engineering) is a term used to describe the procedure of using computers and software to assist with engineering tasks. It involves the use of computational tools that package together techniques for analysis, simulation, optimization, and manufacturing processes. CAE tools are used in stress analysis on components and subsystems, dynamics and impact analysis, kinematics, and other physical simulations. 

Autodesk Fusion is a comprehensive product development solution that combines CAD, CAM, CAE, and PCB into one cloud-based solution.

How accurate are the simulations in Fusion?

While the accuracy depends on the input parameters, Fusion is generally considered reliable and accurate for predicting real-world scenarios using its advanced simulation capabilities.

Is it possible to revisit and improve old projects with Fusion?

Yes, Fusion allows for easy access and modification of old projects, making it convenient to iterate and improve on previous designs.

What industries commonly use CAE software?

CAE software finds applications in a wide range of industries including automotive, aerospace, electronics, industrial design, and many more where there's a need to understand or predict the performance of a product design or system.

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