Comet Solutions Tightens Its Grip on the Future

The vendor of an innovative product for concept modeling and early stage design simulation has new venture capital funding, a new sales office, and a new release of the flagship product.

Comet Solutions, the maker of software for concept modeling and early-stage design simulation, has tightened its grip on the future with a recent round of  venture capital funding, a corporate office expansion, and a new release of its flagship product.comet solutions logo

In January 2010 the company announced the closing of a $2 million series B round of investment. Athenian Venture Partners was the lead investor, with Tri-State Growth Capital Fund and Kentucky Co-Investment Partners also participating. The new investors join series A investors, which include Flywheel Ventures, ITU Ventures and New Mexico Co-Investment Partners.

This series B funding came with strings attached—a corporate presence in Ohio. In June 2009, Comet Solutions announced a $1.4 million dollar loan from The Innovation Ohio Loan Fund. That money was specifically directed to expand and improve the company’s product line, while the new series B equity capital will accelerate sales and support. The Ohio fund also worked with regional VC firms to put together the series B funding.

Comet Solutions now operates a sales and marketing office in Cincinnati, Ohio and R&D in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Comet Demo screen
“Comet Structural Dynamics allows us to work with a single model from the initial design clear through the end of analysis. It helps us keep track of design information and data files, which prevents errors and saves time.” —Scott Anderson, principal engineer for commercial vehicle systems, Dana Corporation.

Happy Users at Dana Corporation
“Comet Structural Dynamics allows us to work with a single model from the initial design clear through the end of analysis. It helps us keep track of design information and data files, which prevents errors and saves time,” says Scott Anderson, the principal engineer for commercial vehicle systems at Dana Corporation. “Our design process uses three models one for Pro/ENGINEER, one for ANSYS, and one for ADAMS. When we go from one system to another, we have to recreate geometry, which is not only time-consuming, but also introduces the potential for errors. As a beta user of Comet we use Pro/ENGINEER as the starting point. We can then generate the ADAMS model through Comet, and it also creates the flex bodies for analysis in ANSYS, all with associativity to the Pro/ENGINEER model.”

New Version
Comet Solutions has just released the v2010 version of its Performance Engineering Workspace. The new release extends capabilities previously only  available to Pro/ENGINEER users to other MCAD platforms, and offers new features for moving product performance simulation earlier in the design process.

New features and enhancements include:

  • The graphical user interface has been enhanced, and a new Process Schematic introduces enhanced data access capabilities, which allow users to pre-define a much larger list of specific result types expected from analysis applications.
  • Full bi-directional support for SolidWorks 2009 CAD geometry utilizing the Comet ActiveTag plug-in application which enables users to quickly and easily apply and manage functional “tags” to their design geometry for use in downstream design simulation processes. Comet also continues to support Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire in this same manner.
  • The ability to import native design geometry from CATIA v4, CATIA v5, NX, Autodesk Inventor, IGES, and STEP.
  • Copy and Paste within the Comet project, making it possible to move data from one project or stage to another by copying an existing abstract model and templates and reusing this generic functional model in totally new projects or new stages within an existing project.
  • The formal introduction of Abstract Constructors, a modeling tool used to automatically create new objects in Comet, based on functional “tags” attached to the CAD model. The Comet Abstract Engineering Model (AEM) finds them and automatically constructs these generic “building block” objects including assignment of any pre-defined properties. The type of objects that can be automatically created include meshing rules (for points and spider meshing),  mechanical contact interactions (tied contact and regular contact, thermal contactors) and low fidelity objects such as joints, springs, and bushings.
  • Comet now runs in 64-bit emulation mode interacting with codes such as Pro/ENGINEER, Thermal Desktop, MSC.ADAMS, MATLAB, and FEA codes such as ABAQUS, ANSYS and NASTRAN running in native 64-bit mode.
  • Expanded integration with Thermal Desktop enables users to work simultaneously within both environments to leverage the Comet abstract modeling capabilities in the up-front thermal model definition and execution of complex thermal analysis processes.
  • V2010 has more robust bi-directional adaptors with SigFit and CodeV—analysis tools used in the design of advanced electrooptical instruments.
  • A variety of FEA meshing enhancements based on the Simmetrix v7 toolkit.
  • Fully integrated and automated, static and dynamic structural analysis process going from CAD to Multi-Body Dynamics (MBD) to FEA. The MBD model (with joints, low fidelity parts such as springs and bushings, and mass/inertia properties) is automatically generated from the tagged CAD model.

    Comet function screen
    Comet Systems enables and manages the combined use of design and simulation early in the product development process.

The Final Analysis
Comet Solutions offers unique technology to break down barriers between a wide range of advanced engineering solutions. Their approach to abstract modeling allows the user to make radical changes to the geometry and configuration of a model and to reanalyze the changed model automatically. We think the ability to quickly iterate early-stage design simulation can be a strategic workflow asset.

The technology capital markets are starting to wake up, but that doesn’t necessarily mean good times for technical graphics, including design/engineering. Comet is enjoying early success, which gave the second round investors the confidence to join it. The state of Ohio’s generous loan also had  quite a bit to do with it. The loan was more about moving to Ohio than the quality of Comet’s product, but the series B funding was not given so blindly. Recent sales success in the aerospace/defense and off-highway transportation sectors were key to the new money. §