January 4

ANSYS Maxwell: Everything to Know

ANSYS Maxwell: Everything to Know

Sohaib Alam

Whether you are designing wind turbines, electric vehicles or a coupling motor, your product is as good as the field-solver technology that you choose. For engineers, designing and analyzing 3D and 2D electromagnetic and electromechanical devices is a crucial phase for any electronic equipment development. To cater to this need, ANSYS Maxwell is used globally by engineers to help them understand better how their electronics will behave under real-life situations.

Table of Contents (click to navigate)

What is ANSYS Maxwell?

ANSYS Maxwell is the industry-leading software that is used for the electromagnetic/electromechanical simulation of actuators, electric motors, transformers, and other related devices. ANSYS Maxwell aids the testing and design engineers in the analysis and designing of such devices. It allows you to precisely study and analyze the transient motion of the electromechanical component and see their effects over the control system design and drive circuit. Long before building an actual prototype for your electronic component, you can use Maxwell’s advanced solvers to study and understand the performance of your systems.


Features of ANSYS Maxwell

ANSYS Maxwell comes packed with many different features that are essential for the engineers to work on their electromagnetic or electromechanical devices with ease. Some of the prominent and latest features of ANSYS Maxwell are discussed below;

Automatic Adaptive Meshing

Maxwell has a built-in automatic adaptive meshing technique that allows you to only specify the geometry, properties of the material and the desired output. Doing so will automatically generate an accurate mesh for your object without the need to spend excessive time and effort over the mesh refinements. ANSYS Maxwell uses a highly-robust volumetric meshing technique which not only reduces the meshing time but also significantly reduces the memory used by the mesher.

Permanent Magnet temperature dependency

External heating and magnetic fields can adversely affect the magnetic properties or completely damage magnetic materials which result in demagnetization or lose their working abilities. The engineers at ANSYS are aware of this phenomenon. Therefore, ANSYS Maxwell has the capability to study permanent and temporary magnet demagnetization characteristics. They, in turn, helps the users understand their machine perform better.

Dynamic-link with ANSYS Simplorer

Along with other features of ANSYS Maxwell, it also can produce high-fidelity, reduced-order models to be used in the ANSYS Simplorer. Simplorer is a multi-domain system simulation software that allows the users to combine complex circuits with predictive component modeling for designing high-performance mechatronics, power electronic and electromechanical systems. ANSYS Maxwell, when linked with Simplorer, provides the users with more control and capabilities over their electromagnetic-based design flow than ever before.

Solving large projects faster

ANSYS Maxwell features 64-bit user interface and solvers which enables the users to carry out large-scale simulations without compromising the geometric details or the accuracy of the system. The technologies and code used by the ANSYS Maxwell solvers allow the users to have multiprocessing at each stage of their working process. This enables a result of an incomparable speed and high productivity.

Transient with motion

ANSYS Maxwell magnetic transient solver with complete circuit coupling, rigid body motion, and induced-eddy currents uses advanced algorithms along with state-of-the-art volumetric meshing techniques. These features allow the user to efficiently and accurately solve computationally intense time domain simulations such as of complex coupling motors. The ANSYS Maxwell transient motion can be coupled with ANSYS Simplorer where the users can examine in detail the physical interactions of electromagnetic and electromagnetic circuits including control loops, drive circuits and much more.

Noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH)

One of the new capabilities of ANSYS Maxwell is the NVH analysis of transformers and electrical machines. Noice, vibration, and harshness is an essential analysis that is done by product manufacturers in appliances, vehicles, transformers and other products and applications where quiet operation is an important design parameter.

The two-way transient magnetostriction coupling allows the magnetostrictive forces to be added and worked with the magnetic forces alongside being coupled to mechanical design to accurately predict and determine the acoustic noise levels long before the actual production of the product.

Expert Design interfaces

ANSYS Maxwell comes packed with two different specialized design interfaces that are essential for the study of power converters and electrical machines. The interfaces are discussed as follows;


PExprt is a template-based interface for industrial-grade inductors and transformers. PExprt has the capability to create a design for the voltage waveform automatically. PExprt auto-design process accounts for all combinations of different materials, gaps, sizes, gauges, and wire types. Along with these, the auto-design feature also accounts for different strategies to optimize the magnetic designs. PExprt efficiently creates ANSYS Maxwell designs and models to calculate the magnetic properties based over FEA. These features allow the users to accurately access the quantities such as electromagnetism and flux density in the current and core density distribution in the electrical windings of motors.

RMxprt – Rotating electric machines

RMxprt solver is a proven solver for the rotating electric machines, and when combined with ANSYS Maxwell, it has the capability to determine the performance of machines, make initial sizing decisions and perform different ‘what if’ analysis in few seconds. Besides providing classical motor performance calculations, RMxprt can automatically generate essential motion, geometry, material selection, and mechanical setups. The RMxprt also allows the users to work with different material properties, source setups, windings and core loss for a detailed and accurate FEA.

How to parameterize objects in ANSYS Maxwell

One of the efficient ways to get the values out of your simulations is by carrying out a parametric analysis of your object/product. With marginal work, a completed model can be easily parameterized to simulate the scenarios that are limited only because of your resources and computational time. With the latest version of ANSYS, the Maxwell solver has also rapidly improved its capacities to parameterize its objects. In ANSYS Maxwell the GUI is quite like the previous versions of Maxwell. When accessing the parameterizing tools in ANSYS Workbench, a DesignXplorer node is created under the optometrist’s portion of the working tress. The Optometrists in ANSYS is an EMAG (ElectroMAGnetic) specific optimization tool that works along the DesignXplorer. In most of the cases, HFSS and Maxwell need user inputs of an identifier instead of the number to automatically create a parameter. In the DesignXplorer node, the output variables can be created in the ‘calculate’ tab. Refer to the GIF below to better under the object parameterizing in ANSYS Maxwell.

How to convert older Maxwell files to the newer version?

Because of the changes to the Maxwell files in the newer versions of ANSYS Maxwell, opening older Maxwell documents might take more time to open as compared to before. However, once the older files are opened in the new version of Maxwell and saved, the subsequent opening time for the older files will return to normal.

Please note, to be on the safe side, you should create backup copies of your Maxwell projects created with previous versions of ANSYS Maxwell before opening them in the newer version.

To access the Maxwell projects of an earlier version;

  1. Select the menu item File> Open from the Maxwell main work window
  2. After the dialog opens, search for Ansoft Legacy EM projects (.cls)
  3. Browse the existing project file and select .cls file from your local drive
  4. Click the open button.

The common ANSYS Maxwell terms and meaning

Since Maxwell is a separate solver in the ANSYS ecosystem, it uses some terms that are different from the other solvers. The most common terms and their meanings are as follows;

  • A project manager is a window that contains the design tree which lists the structure of the project
  • A message manager allows the users to view any warnings or errors that can occur before the user can proceed with the simulation process
  • A property window displays and allows the users to change model attributes or parameters
  • A progress window displays the process of the simulation
  • A 3D modeler window has the model along with the model tree of the active design


ANSYS Maxwell is a premier electromagnetic field-simulation tool that delivers you the power to built reliability and efficiency into your electromechanical and electromagnetic designs. With its new design and features, the users can now build their electromechanical and electromagnetic products to the best standards possible. ANSYS Maxwell enables the user to have more simulations rather than multiple trial and error prototypes which are both time and cost-ineffective.


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About the Author

Sohaib Alam is an Undergraduate at the University of Sunderland specializing in Mechanical Engineering. Sohaib specializes in Physics among many other engineering subject matter. He focuses his writing on ANSYS and AutoCAD Inventor.

Sohaib Alam

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