MultiMechanics Research & Development
MultiMechanics Research & Development LLC founders Leandro Castro and Flavio Souza say the Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC) and its consultants provided “essential help with market research and initial business development” for their engineering software products.
The Omaha company, which develops best-in-class software for the realistic modeling and micromechanical analysis of composites materials, received startup assistance through the NBDC Technology Commercialization division and market research for various grant applications.
“The NBDC consultants were probably the first people we talked to about starting our business,” Castro says. “The market research they provided on different industries helped us validate our options.”
Most recently, MultiMechanics received market research, including information about industry regulations in various markets, through the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP), funded in part by a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). STEP funds are awarded by the SBA and, in Nebraska, applied for and administered by the state’s Department of Economic Development.
Souza says NBDC consultants assisted with Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) proposals and guidance regarding exporting. “They also supplied information about an organization in Europe that was looking for companies in the United States to partner with,” he says.
Originally from Brazil, Castro and Souza earned their doctorates in engineering mechanics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Founded in August 2010, MultiMechanics’ state-of-the-art two-way coupled multiscale technology was developed in response to the increasing use of advanced fiber-reinforced composites mainly in automotive, aerospace and military applications.
The company’s proprietary technologies create virtual replicas of a physical prototype. Because premature failure can often be traced to defects found at the microstructural level, their flagship product, the MultiMech software, provides an unparalleled level of precision in the modeling of a material’s microstructure.
MultiMech uses accurate models of specific material microstructures to allow engineers to perform a TRUE Multiscale analysis to see how the behavior of that microstructure affects a part’s overall performance. With the MultiMech software package, engineers can accurately and cost-efficiently relate microstructural design and manufacturing parameters to overall structural performance and service-life of their part. Engineers can see how loads applied at the part level can affect their microstructures, particularly any damage initiation and propagation.
Initially a standalone tool, Souza says MultiMech can now be easily embedded into a multitude of Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) software platforms so engineers can perform concurrent multiscale analyses within their preferred workflow. “This is the first integration of its kind,” he says. “It’s a very exciting development for the composite engineering community.”
He says the NBDC consultants have played many roles in the company’s success over the past six years, especially as it evolves with new products and expands its global footprint. “The market research has been very valuable investigating what would happen if we change strategies,” he says. “They have helped validate, and sometimes invalidate, those moves. They’ve definitely been there when we need help.”