Simulation is more than Software

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Release highlights at a glance

We have worked our way into the latest Ansys update for you. We present our impressions and experiences to you here compactly.

Ansys Release 2021 R1 is here!

Ansys, Inc. released the Ansys 2021 R1 on January 26, 2021. As usual, it contains a multitude of innovations and further developments across the entire application spectrum of the Ansys program family.

Engineering What’s Ahead - some highlights at a glance

Across the entire breadth of the Ansys family of programs, many features have been added in Ansys 2021 R1 to help engineers optimally develop the products of tomorrow. Here is a short excerpt of highlights from the areas of structural mechanics, fluid dynamics and electromagnetics.

In Ansys Mechanical, the new script recording and debug possibilities make customization and automation accessible to anyone. The piezoelectric field coupling of modal and harmonic analyses are a great additional step towards more accessible coupled field analyses, and the so called "bottom-up substructuring", i.e. the efficient import and export of substructures, is also a very valuable new function.  With many other useful innovations in Ansys Mechanical, but also in the LS-Dyna, Motion, SpaceClaim, Additive Solution and Sherlock packages, Ansys 2021 R1 puts another exclamation mark in the field of structural mechanics.

With Ansys CFD Release 2021R1 , Ansys Fluent offers enhancements of the user interface, like automatically generated reports, improvements in handling and other new features such as automatic planes, extended video and image export as well as a new window management paradigm. Among these functions, the revised Battery AddOn with new source term inputs,  virtual connectors and battery-related standard UDF are certainly among the highlights.

In the area of electromagnetics, the integration of the Ansys Elektronic Desktop (AEDT) into the Minerva platform has taken place, furthermore FE-based thermal and modal analyses can now be performed within the AEDT environment. In Ansys Maxwell, the A-Phi solver is now available for transient calculations, and sector models can now be easier meshed and created from 3D rotational models (e.g. motors). In addition, the Machine Toolkit has been expanded. Since Ansys Motor-CAD has also received some new features, a unique infrastructure is available especially for the development of efficient electric drives. Ansys HFSS delivers a new mesh assembly functionality for linking different meshing methods in one design which is a breakthrough in FEM solver technology – currently still in beta version.

Please note: This is only a small insight into the many novelties of Ansys 2021 R1, which certainly include the VRXperience Sound Composer for the auralization of simulations or the fluid-structure-temperature coupling in Discovery. Last but not least; you can get a more detailed insight in the following feature overview and, of course, in the CADFEM Ansys 2021 update webinars on structural mechanics, CFD and electromagnetics (low-frequency and high-frequency).

Ansys product updates in detail

Notes on installation and licensing for Ansys product updates

Installation instructions


Since Microsoft has officially terminated the maintenance of Windows 7 as of 14 January 2020, Windows 7 is also no longer supported by Ansys. For security reasons alone, an update to Windows 10 is recommended.

The software can be downloaded as usual via the Ansys Customer Portal:
Software Download

For new customers, a user login is required before downloading. For this registration the current customer number is required.

To download the Ansys software, we recommend downloading the ISO images. With this download option, you will receive all data and do not have to assemble single modules to an installation archive. It is not necessary to burn a DVD, because the downloaded ISO images can also be unpacked with appropriate tools like 7-Zip (please use the latest version!) or WinRAR. Please do NOT use the Windows own Zip Utility or WinZip, because they might not unpack the images without errors. The individual ISO images must always be unpacked into their own folders to avoid overwriting files with the same name.

Further information about the current Ansys Release 2021 R1 is available in the download menu under the item "Getting Started". These notes contain information about the topics: Highlights of Release, Platform Support Documents, Important Notices, Downloads & Prerequisites, Installation;

With Ansys 2021 R1 only 64bit operating systems are supported. This applies to the licensing as well as to the client / server installation of the Ansys software. Further information about platform support is available under the following link:

The Ansys Inc. release notes contain the following important messages:

Compatibility with Previous Releases

Backwards Compatibility: Ansys 2021 R1 was tested to read and resume databases from the following previous versions: 2019 R1, 2019 R2, and 2019 R3, 2020 R1, 2020 R2. Note that some products are able to read and resume databases from releases prior to 2019 R1. See the specific product sections below for more information. For those products that cannot directly read a 17.x, 18.x, or 19.x database in 2021 R1, first resume it in a supported version and then resume that database in 2021 R1.

Upward/Forward Compatibility: No previous release has the ability to read and resume a database from a more recent release.


In addition to the incompatibilities noted within the release notes, known non-operational behavior, errors and/or limitations at the time of release are documented in the Known Issues and Limitations document. See the Ansys customer site or online Help for information about the Ansys service packs and any additional items not included in the Known Issues and Limitations document. First-time users of the customer site must register to create a password.

For a list of issues and limitations in previous releases that have been resolved in Release 2021 R1, refer to the Resolved Issues and Limitations document on the Ansys Help site.

For the most recent version of the current release's Release Notes document, see the Ansys, Inc. Release Notes section of the Ansys Help internet documentation website.

Licensing information


Before updating the license server, please check if your license key is suitable for this use. The release date of the new version 2021 R1 must be before the maintenance expiration date of the corresponding license increment.

More information about Platform Support at Ansys

For all license keys issued after January 7, 2021 the installation of the new license manager of 2021 R1 is required.

When ordering a maintenance extension, the ASC (Ansys Support Coordinator) automatically receives a current license file. If required please contact our contract department: After each maintenance extension the received license files must be imported to ensure availability of the current licenses and compatibility to newer Ansys versions.

  • "Ansys Common Licensing" (ansyscl.exe) replaces the "licensing interconnect"
  • New Licensing Client Settings Utility ("elastic licensing" supported as failover, reduced license manager upgrades, industry standard "FlexNet Publisher" (FNP) implementation)

If you want to change the license server, you can apply for the new license in the Ansys Customer Portal under "License Management" -> "License Server Change". Please note that the Online Server Change can only be done by the Ansys Support Coordinator (ASC).

The file setupLM.exe was replaced by the -LM command option. This command can be used in connection with setup.exe for both command line and silent installation (example: setup.exe -LM or setup.exe -silent -LM).

Questions about licensing?

Please send us an e-mail and we will answer your request as soon as possible.

CADFEM Ansys Extensions updates in detail

CADFEM Ansys Extension Release 2021 R1: The new CADFEM Ansys Extensions will be available approx. 4 weeks after the Ansys release.

Notes on installation and licensing for CADFEM Ansys Extensions


A simplification of licensing can be reached through central license management.

Is the current Ansys version supported?

Yes, the CADFEM Ansys Extension is available approx. 4 weeks after the Ansys release.

How can I download the latest extension?

Download will be provided via CADFEM customer portal. The license coordinator in your company has all access information.

Are there any tutorials and application examples available?

Yes, these are provided with the installation of the CADFEM Ansys Extension.

Do you have questions about the new Ansys release?

Our experts are there for you and will be happy to explain to you what new opportunities are opening up for your industry.