XCARAT – "Best Suited for your Workflow"

XCARAT offers the application of structural optimization methods in multiple workflows. Ansys users can directly use the XCARAT plug-in for Ansys Workbench. Nastran or Abaqus users can integrate XCARAT in their respective tool chain via powerful input and output interfaces.

The calculation software is characterized in particular by the fact that components can be improved very effectively by parameter-free shape optimization. This is made possible by the implemented method for mesh regularization, which regularizes the FE-mesh quality both in the plane and orthogonally to the surface. Additionally, to the common objective functions mass, stiffness, stresses etc. which are included in XCARAT, the open Python interface allows a unique possibility to develop new objective functions and to integrate them directly into the optimization software. Hence, this software package offers the perfect basis to develop customer-specific solutions, which require unconventional optimization approaches.

All Optimization Methods in One Application

Shape optimization is a very efficient tool to compute the optimal geometry of structural components. The so called free shape approach uses a FE-based parametrization characterized by fast modeling and a very flexible solution space. The shape optimization is applicable to a large variety of structural components e.g., shell structures, solid structure or beam structures. Consideration of shape constraints ensure design space limits or curvature limits. An automatic mesh regularization approach guarantees robust FE-models and accurate simulation results.

Image: Pressure bulkhead A350 – courtesy of AIRBUS S.A.S.

The development of optimal bead patterns is a very complex task especially for multiple loading conditions. The bead patterns computed by the bead optimization method of the XCARAT optimization plug-in show the highest possible performance. These designs are usually better than common standard designs. Many different objectives can be used for the bead optimization e.g., maximum stiffness, minimum stresses, improved dynamic response etc. Manufacturing constraints ensure robust designs and simplify interpretation and CAD remodeling.

Image: Car rear shelf – courtesy of Adam Opel AG

Topology optimization is an efficient tool to compute optimal structural designs especially in the early phase of product development. These designs reflect the optimal material distribution in the design space and ensure high stiffness combined with a minimal weight. Manufacturing constraints ensure a smooth transition of the optimization results into final CAD models. In many cases these designs can be optimized further by shape optimization.

Image: Machine carrier – courtesy of Senvion GmbH

Sizing optimization is applied for the computation of optimal cross section parameters e.g., shell thickness, or beam cross sections. This method can be applied to compute the optimal blank thicknesses of welded steel structures with respect to mass, stiffness, maximum stress or buckling loads. Another application field is the optimal design of framework structures. The optimization can be defined on element level as well as on the level of structural components, e.g. metal sheets.

Image: Welding structure – courtesy of TAKRAF GmbH

XCARAT Workbench

XCARAT Workbench offers a standalone application for the definition and solution of different optimization problems. The application is shipped for the platforms Windows and Linux and contains a fully integrated optimization solver. The included data management system allows processing of different projects and parameter variations at the same time.

All types of optimization methods are included:

  • Shape optimization
  • Topology optimization
  • Sizing optimization
  • Topography (Bead) optimization

You can integrate XCARAT in many different workflows via the existing input and output interfaces. The following interfaces are actually integrated:

  • Ansys
  • MSC Nastran
  • NX Nastran
  • MSC Patran
  • GiD
  • STL
XCARAT Workbench on Windows

By supporting common formats for importing and exporting FE- and geometry data, XCARAT Workbench can be integrated into diverse in-house workflows.


XCARAT is available for 64bit Windows and Linux. The list of supported Linux distributions is available on request.

XCARAT Workbench on Windows XCARAT Workbench unter Windows XCARAT Workbench on LinuxXCARAT Workbench unter Linux


Smart Project Data Management

XCARAT is able to handle multiple optimization projects simultaneously, depending on the license model and computer hardware. The workbench data management allows for project imports, exports, file linking, archive generation, parallel views, group management, etc.


Headless Solver

The XCARAT headless solver can be used to perform batch solver runs on the local machine as well as on high performance clusters.

XCARAT Plug-in for Ansys Workbench

The XCARAT plug-in for Ansys Workbench offers a seamless integration of optimization problems into the surface and the workflow of Ansys Workbench. Only with a few steps you are able to setup the optimization solver and start defining and solving an optimization problem within Ansys Mechanical.

The user can specify the whole optimization model with the well-known Ansys usability. The graphical interface offers a seamless interaction to geometric data and analysis data. The results of the optimization problem are also visualized with the Ansys tools. The optimization data are directly stored in the Ansys project database.

All types of optimization methods are included:

  • Shape optimization
  • Topology optimization
  • Sizing optimization
  • Topography (Bead) optimization
XCARAT Workbench unter Windows

Direct integration of XCARAT into Ansys Workbench will not only simplify and improve the development process of components, but also enable the optimization of existing models.

Simple Integration of Project Data

Project data can be directly imported in XCARAT Workbench and processed in alternative workflows.


One Project, All Optimization Methods

The XCARAT plug-in for Ansys Workbench offers the possibility to combine all optimization strategies with different types of structural analysis methods.

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We hope that we have been able to arouse your interest in our optimization software XCARAT. Please feel free to contact us for an evaluation of the software and its capabilities.