What the ANSYS acquisition of Granta Design means for additive manufacturing customers

Engineering simulation software company ANSYS has signed a definitive agreement for the acquisition of materials intelligence company Granta Design. For additive manufacturing customers in particular, the deeper-integration of the companies’ expertise will help eradicate the “trial-and-error” approach to production, and improve materials knowledge, materials to part traceability, and design optimization.

Shane Emswiler, ANSYS vice president and general manager, comments, “Granta Design has pioneered the field of materials information technology,”

“With materials engineering becoming an increasingly important aspect of product development, our customers require high-quality and comprehensive materials information for accurate simulation results,”

“Integrating Granta’s solutions into the ANSYS portfolio will provide a seamless user experience – and enable our customers to innovate like never before.”

Additive manufacturing at ANSYS and Granta Design 

Founded in 1970, ANSYS products cover a comprehensive suite of Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) software. Included in this portfolio are the ANSYS Additive Suite and Additive Print programs, the first of which enables workflow simulation, and the latter a process and part simulation platform. Keen to expand its additive manufacturing portfolio, ANSYS acquired metal 3D printing software specialist 3DSIM for an unspecified sum in 2017.

Conversely, Granta Design was founded in 1994 as a spin-out of the University of Cambridge in the UK. Its range of products includes the GRANTA MI:Additive Manufacturing™ Package which offers material tractability, property and process analysis, and a module to help with certification. The company also produces the CES Selector platform, an encyclopedia of materials used to help customer identify and validate those ones fit-for-purpose. As of May 2016, both GRANTA MI and CES Selector have included data from the Senvol additive manufacturing database.

Overview of the GRANTA MI:Additive Manufacturing™ Package. Image via Granta Design
Overview of the GRANTA MI:Additive Manufacturing™ Package. Image via Granta Design

The collaboration between ANSYS and Granta Design has been ongoing for over a decade. Most recently though the two companies launched and additive manufacturing partnership, integrating ANSYS simulation with the GRANTA MI: Material Gateway. Speaking at the time of this agreement, in October 2018, David Cebon, managing director and co-founder at Granta Design, said, “Our collaboration with ANSYS will help organizations working towards AM parts get it right the first time,”

“By integrating physical and virtual methods and data relating to AM, we can help to dramatically reduce the time and number of builds required to produce parts with the required properties.”

Further terms of the acquisition

The acquisition deal between ANSYS and Granta Design is expected to close in Q1 2019. Understandably at present, full terms remain undisclosed.

Though a string of integration projects have been launched by the partners over the years, acquisition will mean full integration of Granta Design’s products within the ANSYS portfolio. As stated in the official press release, “With this acquisition, ANSYS customers can benefit from access to the world’s premier system for managing corporate material intelligence and the market-leading solution for materials sources, selection and management.”

Digital simulation of a motor pump overload using ANSYS/Thingworx integration. Image via
Digital simulation of a motor pump overload using ANSYS/Thingworx integration. Image via

In turn, “Granta customers can expect even easier access to ANSYS’ gold-standard simulation technology.” Granta Design however maintains that it will “continue its open ecosystem,” meaning further integration with third party PLM, CAD and CAE software.

Cebon of Granta Design, concludes, “For nearly 50 years, ANSYS has been the leader in engineering simulation. Combining that expertise with Granta’s decades of experience in material intelligence will help our customers make smarter decisions when developing their next-generation products.”

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Featured image shows ANSYS fluid dynamics simulation of a Formula 1 racecar. Image via Ansys.