VMAP CAE Interface Standard

Services and Solutions Supporting the Standard

The lack of standards in virtual engineering workflows and incompatible interfaces for the transfer of virtual data not only cause additional costs and complex manual adaptation but also lead to inflexible IT solutions, loss of information and significant delays in the overall design process. The standardization of data interfaces in CAE is, therefore, vital for all industry segments where simulation processes are central to the product and process design.

In 2016 Fraunhofer SCAI initiated the proposal for the ITEA project VMAP. The ITEA VMAP project 16010 was started in September 2017, and coordinated by Fraunhofer SCAI. 29 partners from industry, software vendors, and academia jointly worked on the new CAE interface standard, which was released in its first public version in early 2020. Various industry partners have already adopted their own CAE-workflows to the VMAP standard and could gain significant benefits in saving time and implementation efforts.

In autumn 2021 the legal follow-up entity will be established – the VMAP Standards Community e.V. (VMAP SC). Fraunhofer SCAI actively supports the VMAP SC – major contributions will be further development of the standard in related multiphysics domains, maintenance of the VMAP IO Library and support services for end-users and code-owners, who want to use and implement the VMAP interface standard in their own environments and software-tools.

The initial ITEA VMAP project highlights some typical engineering cases from different material and manufacturing domains.

© Fraunhofer SCAI
VMAP CAE Interface

The VMAP Standards Community e.V.

15 founding members – partially coming from the initial ITEA project – plan to establish the VMAP Standards Community e.V. (VMAP SC) as a registered not-for-profit association in early 2022. VMAP SC will be open to all, who intend to contribute to the VMAP Standard and its extension, thereof.

The VMAP-SC makes the software parts of the standard available to the general public as open source software free of charge. Especially, companies in the manufacturing industry, software companies and research institutes can profit from the use of the software.

Through the technical maintenance of the standard and the supervision of its further development, the VMAP association will offer the possibility to make the developed standard accessible to a broad interested public, to explain its application and to further develop the technology according to the requirements of the users. This makes the standard available to a much wider audience than just those who participated in the initial ITEA VMAP project. The VMAP SC thus, will ensure equal opportunity for all potential users. Read more

Founding Members of the VMAP Standards Community e.V.

Contributions to the VMAP Standards Community

Primarily, Fraunhofer SCAI coordinates standardization activities and performs further maintenance of the related VMAP IO Library software.

  • VMAP Library: During the initial ITEA VMAP project, SCAI coordinated the software development of the reference VMAP IO Library. We continue this further and alongside work on the integration of extensions and improvements suggested by the VMAP SC members. In addition, we will focus on compliance checks with respect to the recent VMAP specifications. All the updates will be made available regularly, initially to the VMAP SC members through the internal database, followed by a public version release after approval by the VMAP SC.

  • VMAP Documents: Alike the VMAP IO Library, SCAI coordinates the activities around standard specifications and documentation. SCAI provides a server for joint documentation development and manages updates after release approval by the VMAP SC.

  • VMAP Web-Representation: SCAI is host for the VMAP web-domain and content management system. SCAI’s PR department supports setup, design and layout of web-pages and other marketing materials.

  • Aligning VMAP to other Standards: Within various planned and running R&D projects, SCAI is involved in evaluation of related engineering standards (e.g. STEP, Diconde, OPCUA) – and how VMAP can be linked to these standards in a unique way.

VMAP Software Solutions

SCAI’s mission is to adapt advanced algorithms and widely used standards and implement them in software solutions for the industry:

  • Visualiser: SCAI is working on a VMAP extension for the open-source CAE data viewer ParaView. ParaView is an open-source, multi-platform data analysis and visualization application. ParaView users can quickly build visualizations to analyze their data using qualitative and quantitative techniques. The data exploration can be done interactively in 3D or programmatically using ParaView’s batch processing capabilities. ParaView-VMAP extensions will be made available on a cost-free and open-source basis to the VMAP community. Planned release is in spring 2022.

  • MpCCI Mapper: Since many years, SCAI offers a dedicated tool for data and simulation result transfer in CAE workflows. The MpCCI Mapper already supports a wide range of native file formats – and the most recent version of the VMAP standard. MpCCI Mapper allows to check the geometric compliance of two models by calculating the local distances between them. The (automatic) mesh alignment helps to adjust the positions of two models if they are not in a non-conformal coordinate system. A robust mapping algorithm enables the transfer of various physical quantities (with nodal-, element- or shell-layer based locations) for all standard shell element and mesh types. The mapping works for different integration types as well as for different number of integration points in thickness direction for source and target model. Being able to store the mapped results in the VMAP format will allow the users to view these results directly using the HDF5 viewer or import them more flexibly in any format in addition to the one intended for mapping.

VMAP Training and Technical Support

These services will be set up and executed in close cooperation with the VMAP Standards Community eV. That close cooperation will guarantee best performance and a solution, which is fully compliant with the latest VMAP standards version.

  • VMAP Implementation Training: In 2022 SCAI will offer extended technical trainings for software owners, who want to support and integrate the VMAP standard in their own codes. Training will be online, 2x ½ day. Training will cover technical details of the VMAP standards and VMPA IO library implementation, the programming interface API, link and build process, and checking performance issues.
© Fraunhofer SCAI
VMAP Software Architecture

VMAP Implementation Support

  • Training, Wrapper solution
  • Support to setup integrated CAE workflows

VMAP Wrapper & Adapter Solutions

  • Joint evaluation of native file format and/or code APIs
  • Joint specification of the links between native and VMAP format
  • Wrapper implementation

VMAP Compliance Checks

  • Running basic functional tests and application level benchmarks

VMAP Certification

  • Process of Certification/Compliance check will be done by SCAI
  • Certification will be provided by VMAP SC
  • Certification can have limited validity (e.g. 2 years)