JMAG Newsletter Spring,2011Product Report


CAD Link Features in JMAG-Designer

These product reports focus on the features of JMAG. This product report takes a look at the CAD link features realized by JMAG-Designer (hereinafter referred to as JMAG)


Product development, not limited to electromechanical machines, originates from determining the geometry of the product for the required specifications. In most cases, current trends for the geometry design use CAD. CAD is an indispensible tool to support the process for improving the geometry of a design and finding the easiest geometry to manufacture that has good performance. The object of using CAE is to evaluate whether the geometry design fulfills the requirements and whether or not there is a better design based on the feedback obtained from the analysis for the design. Therefore, the tools related to product development are expected to be highly compatible with CAD. Analysis tools are also expected to run analysis directly using the CAD data (geometrical information) .

CAD link features are necessary for a more efficient development process because the more advanced the links between CAD and CAE the more advanced concurrent development becomes shrinking the loop of development and increasing the speed of the design process. This report focuses on the features to link JMAG and CAD, but the Geometry Editor built into JMAG can also be used as CAD for anyone that has not presently using a CAD system to run analyses using the CAD link features.

Fig. 1. Process to achieve a CAD-JMAG link
Fig. 1. Process to achieve a CAD-JMAG link

Improving Compatibility with CAD for JMAG

JMAG is based on the concept of being "OPEN" and features are continually developed to improve the compatibility with CAD. First let's look at the basic feature for importing data created using CAD. The process of reworking a new geometrical model for an analysis decreases the efficiency of development and inhibits the use of CAE. A CAD data converter is available in JMAG to import geometrical data exported from a wide range of CAD systems. As a standard feature, 3D geometry can be imported as SAT data and 2D geometry can be imported as DXF data. Furthermore, the proprietary converter available for JMAG supports CATIAv5, CATIAv4, Pro/ENGINEER, and IGES-3D.

The CAD link features achieve a concurrent process that links JMAG and CAD in addition to simply importing the geometrical data. More information is provided later, but this allows the geometrical information to be shared between CAD and JMAG. Changes to the geometry in the CAD data can be sequentially reflected in the input data for CAE because the material properties and condition settings managed in CAE for the geometrical information (solids, faces, and edges) managed in CAD are maintained when a link is established. The converter required to share the geometrical information in CAD with CAE was developed to realize this feature.

Using an actual user case as an example, a magnetic field analysis of the magnetic circuit geometry for the layout design created in CAD was run to evaluate the magnetic saturation as well as unnecessary magnetic pathways. These results were then reflected in the geometry design in CAD, and then the cycle was repeated by evaluating the new geometry using another magnetic filed analysis.

Presently, the CAD systems that JMAG supports are CATIAv5, Pro/ENGINEER, NX, and SOLIDWORKS.

Fig. 2. Data configuration of the CAD-JMAG link
Fig. 2. Data configuration of the CAD-JMAG link

Advancing CAD links with JMAG-Designer

The features of JMAG are developed with a strong focus on CAD link analyses. The benefits of the CAD links are taken one step further by not only linking the data, but also providing analysis features.

(1) Section Analysis

Unfortunately, even though the speed of analyses have improved drastically, time is still required to run 3D magnetic field analysis, making it unsuitable for rapid analyses during the beginning stages of an evaluation. Using a 2D analysis to refine and determine the validity of a design before running a 3D analysis is usually the flow of a simulation, especially for machines that can be evaluated using a 2D analysis. However, this means a 3D model and a 2D model need to be created to use 2D and 3D analyses. This extra work is seen as being unnecessary from the point of view of the geometry design.

JMAG provides a Section Analysis that allows an appropriate 2D analysis cross-section to be extracted from 3D analysis data to address this problem. The material settings and the boundary conditions are shared between the 3D and 2D models, just as the CAD geometry is shared between CAD and JMAG. Designs can be refined by running multiple 2D analyses using this feature, and then finalized by running a 3D analysis. The geometry of the design can also be examined even further by returning to the 2D analysis to efficiently and accurately finalize the design.

Fig. 3.Section analysis
Fig. 3.Section analysis

(2) Analysis Templates

Often the design process is a repetitive routine. An engineer designing a motor one day vary rarely designs a transformer the next day. Therefore, the condition and material settings that are often used and the desired analysis results excluding unnecessary physical quantities often overlap. The analysis template feature in JMAG addresses this need. A template including the necessary material and condition settings as well as the results to display for an analysis can be created. The analysis data that is often utilized can be exported as an analysis template.

The condition and material settings requiring the users attention can be contextualized by applying an existing analysis template to a model linked to CAD or geometrical data that is imported as a file. Furthermore, the settings, such as conditions, are automatically linked by establishing a rule for using the same names for parts in the CAE data because JMAG offers a feature to link the settings based on the name of parts. This feature makes a process that was conventionally handled using script easy to use. Analysis policies and standards for evaluations can be standardized and one's expertise pass to other designers by sharing the analysis templates.

Fig. 4.Using analysis templates
Fig. 4.Using analysis templates

(3) Parametric Analysis

Creating a design (judging a design) is the process of finding the optimal characteristics by combining various parameters under the limitations of design. Whether or not a design meets the requirements using various analysis conditions can be determined using a parametric study. For this reason, multiple analyses need to be run by combining various geometry, material properties, and analyses conditions.

JMAG offers a parametric analysis feature to efficiently run parametric studies A parametric analysis can be run easily by parametrizing settings such as the discrete values for the current, voltage, rotation speed, and material properties used for an analysis. The degree of freedom is even greater for the geometry use for a parametric analysis using SOLIDWORKS or the JMAG Geometry Editor because dimensions of the geometry are shared allowing JMAG to control the geometrical dimensions in CAD.

Fig. 5.Parametric Analysis
Fig. 5.Parametric Analysis

(4) Mesh Generation

Mesh is vital as a parameter which determines the analysis accuracy for the CAE finite element method used in JMAG. The mesh generation features in JMAG are also developed recognizing the CAD link to increase the success when generating mesh for various geometrical models.

For example, defeaturing contributes to improving the stability of the mesh generation and reducing the calculation cost by recognizing and removing detailed geometry that is unnecessary for an analysis, such as C chamfers and screw holes. JMAG also provides a feature to generate symmetrical mesh automatically by identifying the regularity of geometry, which is extremely effective in improving the accuracy of rotating machines. The appropriate mesh can be generated and an accurate magnetic field analysis performed even if the user is not familiar with the program. There are also various control functions for the mesh generation to further increase the accuracy. The element size of solids, faces, edges, and vertices can be specified, mesh simulating the skin effect can be generated, and mesh morphing can modify the geometry directly using the mesh.

Fig.6.Mesh generation
Fig.6.Mesh generation

(5) Drag-and-drop Operations

The efficiency of the development process would not improve if the operation in JMAG was complex. For this reason, JMAG provides an intuitive user interface. The material properties and the condition settings can be specified using drag-and-drop operations with the mouse. The settings panel opens when the mouse button is released, and then the settings can be specified by selecting items from a list or entering numerical values in the text boxes. Each of the settings panels links directly to information in the manual through a help button so there is never any confusion about the settings. Warning features built into JMAG caution users when the settings are incomplete. In addition, the magnetization and iron loss characteristics of materials that are vital to analyses are implemented as a database.

The stress of running analyses is further reduced because the materials can be set by selecting from materials cataloged by the material manufacturers.

The settings can be changed and modified easily because all of the specified settings are clearly displayed in a treeview.

Fig. 7.Drag-and-drop operations
Fig. 7.Drag-and-drop operations

(6) Geometry Editor in JMAG

The previous section discussed challenges assuming users that have implemented CAD, but the CAD link features in JMAG can be used by anyone that does not have a 3D CAD system using the Geometry Editor built into JMAG. JMAG's Geometry Editor can be used to create 3D data for the parts required to run an electromagnetic field analysis easily. The geometry editor can be thought of as a light weight CAD system. A powerful CAD link analysis feature can be achieved by linking the Geometry Editor and JMAG.

Fig. 8. Geometry Editor in JMAG
Fig. 8. Geometry Editor in JMAG

Operating JMAG When Using CAD Links

The actual flow to use a CAD link is as follows:

  1. Prepare a machine that has CAD, JMAG-Designer, and the CAD link features installed.
  2. Start JMAG. Import a CAD file after JMAG starts.
  3. Establish a CAD link.
  4. Specify the condition settings for the model that is imported into JMAG.
  5. Run the analysis, and then evaluate the results in JMAG.

    The procedure up to this point is pretty standard. The effectiveness of the CAD link can be exhibited in the following process.

  6. Edit the geometry in CAD, and then update or replace the model in JMAG.
  7. A new model that still has the conditions specified after the geometry has been modified is added if the model is updated.

Expanding Possibilities Using CAD Link Features

New avenues for design become available because of the high compatibility between CAD and JMAG. Optimization is one example. As you know, optimization software is a tool used to support designers in finalizing designs. The design variables and design proposals defined by the designer are prioritized, and then the optimal design can be flushed out. This frees the designer from simple daily chores and allows them to be more creative and productive.

However, the full potential of the optimization software cannot be taken advantage of if the compatibility between CAD and CAE is weak because the interface becomes cumbersome between the software, more preparation is required, the operation is unstable, and unnecessary evaluations are performed. In other words, high compatibility between CAD and CAE is required to use optimization software to the fullest extent. The optimization software can be utilized even more by merging the robust geometry features of CAD and the highly accurate analysis features of JMAG with optimization tools. JMAG also has direct interface capabilities with the optimization software ModeFRONTIER and Optimus. Other optimization software can also be supported by creating script to use in JMAG.

Fig. 9. Linking to optimization software
Fig. 9. Linking to optimization software


In addition to the CAD link features that have been introduced, JMAG for CATIA V5 provides the JMAG magnetic field analysis right inside CATIA V5. For anyone currently using CATIA V5, the design through magnetic field analysis cycle can be performed directly in CATIA V5 by implementing JMAG for CATIA V5. The user interface will be familiar to CATIA users because JMAG for CATIA V5 was developed with the same design as a CATIA add-on.

The analysis data that is created can also be imported into JMAG to perform even more in-depth analyses.

Fig. 10.JMAG for CATIA V5
Fig. 10.JMAG for CATIA V5

This product report has introduced the CAD link features available in JMAG. The CAD link features achieve an efficiency in the design process that cannot be realized by simply importing CAD files.

JMAG is continually developed to reinforce these features to provide even more robust CAD link compatibility. Don't hesitate to try it today.


  1. Implementing JMAG
  2. Product Report
  3. Model-based Design
  4. Impact of FEA on the Design Process
  5. Utilizing Support
  6. JMAG Application Catalog
      70 - Analysis of Impedance-Frequency Characteristics of a Cable
      126 - Magnetization Analysis Accounting for Eddy Currents
  7. Event Information

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