Simulation for Product, Nature and Life

With 3D Printing and Virtual Human Modeling and Simulation, Life Science companies have the opportunity to innovate faster and with more confidence than ever before

By: Sandra K. Rodriguez, Market Analyst

SIMULIA is one of eleven brands at Dassault Systèmes.  During their Analyst Day, company executives provided an overview of the brand’s simulation offerings under a common theme: Enabling end-to-end digital design to production processes by deploying all multiphysics simulation technologies to enable clients to start making parts and systems that work, faster.

Print to Perform

3D Printing, also referred to as Additive Manufacturing (AM) is a complex process. However, on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, users can digitally accelerate AM while creating lightweight, yet functional generative designs.  When moving from powder to working parts, there are significant challenges in the real-world process phase of AM. Using simulation for build planning, virtual printing, post-processing and heat treatment effects can optimize the build and ultimately save time by reducing errors and rework. With virtual printing, users can simulate not just a printing process but post-processing procedures and conduct in-service validation. Rather than relying on static documents and experience from expensive physical builds, establishing a digital thread from design to field performance unites all functionality and eliminates silos via a digital platform.  SIMULIA’s Additive Manufacturing message is clear: Print to Perform.

Virtual Human Modeling

Karl D’Souza, Sr. Solution Consultant, SIMULIA Virtual Human Modeling at Dassault Systèmes, pointed out that simulation is widespread in the development of medical devices but that a lot more is possible. In particular, medical device companies are now creating more realistic models of the human body to understand how a product will perform in its intended environment. 


Companies are seeking to understand how a device impacts the body and how the body impacts a device. With SIMULIA Virtual Human Modeling, it is possible to understand different loading scenarios (walking, running, lifting) and how they would impact a knee implant, for example.   Because our bodies are dynamic and adaptive, the company is also simulating patients – not just the body as a collection of individual physical parts, but rather the body as a whole physiological system. SIMULIA is also providing companies with the ability to predict the in-vivo performance and safety of a device with simulation.  Coupling human modeling with device performance not only improves product quality but more importantly it supports improved patient outcomes.

Unhealthy Heart Modeling

An update on Dassault Systèmes Living Heart Project noted that virtual testing of devices is now available on their platform, through on-premise or cloud licensing.  How a device impacts the heart, how it responds and affects the body, can all be simulated and tested on the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform.  The Living Heart can be modified to represent a wide range of cardiovascular diseases (unhealthy hearts), which allows companies to simulate virtual patient populations which normally does not occur until post-market surveillance.   A key benefit of a virtual population study is that it reduces the amount of time it takes to do bench testing, clinical trials and animal testing and often provides better insights into why and how a product might fail.

FDA Encouraging Modeling and Simulation

Encouraging the use of modeling and simulation is the FDA.  In high risk devices, failure is not only expensive, it can be deadly. As a result, simulation is being used for product-life interactions and personalization.  Because drugs can have an effect on the heart, companies are required to prove their products are safe for the heart.  Multiscale simulation on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform can now be used to predict if a candidate drug might cause rhythm disturbances in the heart. This allows for better targeting of the drug as well as the development of dosage guidelines.

Maintenance Excellence, IoT, AI & ML

David Barnes, Sr. Director, SIMULIA Industry Applications at Dassault Systèmes reviewed how maintenance excellence can be achieved using the 3DEXPERIENCE Twin, which is the coupling of a virtual model and physical part, system and/or process.  The Internet of Things (IoT) allows companies to collect data in real-time from systems or components and gives an organization a way to look at the data. Advancements in machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) allow users to make sense of huge data sets to determine correlations and trends that were not previously available.   With a virtual model of a physical asset and IoT sensors to continuously monitor systems, companies can adopt predictive maintenance strategies.   Machine learning (ML) and AI can identify early warnings that typically appear leading up to a failure.  Identifying these with the use of IoT sensors allows maintenance to be scheduled when the required parts and resources are available to avoid unplanned or extended downtime.

Barnes pointed out, “assumptions are often made about operating conditions that are used to design a product. Often times, it’s difficult to have full confidence that wise choices have been made. With the digital twin, it allows us to validate or replace those assumptions using the data.”  Using the 3DEXPERIENCE Twin to predict when maintenance is required, can reduce cost and downtime while safeguarding against unexpected failures.


Combined, SIMULIA customers are innovating and rapidly advancing their 3D Printing, Modeling, Simulation and Maintenance Excellence initiatives.

Enabling end-to-end digital design to manufacturing processes by deploying all multiphysics simulation  to enable clients to start making parts that work, faster….is quickly becoming more than a theme.  With 3D Printing and Virtual Human simulation, Life Science companies have the opportunity to innovate faster and with more confidence than ever before.  We will continue to follow developments and report on solutions the company develops.

Related Reading:

SIMULIA is modeling humans for head to toe, literally! 

Hovering Through the Human Heart

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