VMAP – Interoperability of Engineering Data within
Integrated CAE Workflows

The ITEA VMAP project aims to produce

    • a defined international standard
    • integrated import/export and translation tools

supported by leading CAE software vendors and users.

The VMAP standard and import/export interface tools will provide users with a vendor-neutral methodology of transferring material and engineering data between different CAE software along the whole simulation process chain.


The lack of software standards in virtual engineering workflows and incompatible interfaces for the transfer of virtual material information 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 standardisation of material interfaces in CAE is therefore vital for all industry segments where material behaviour is central to product and process design.

Industrial Use Cases will show the need and benefits of a standardised Material Exchange Interface.



The ITEA VMAP project aims to gain a common understanding of, and interoperable definitions for, virtual material models in CAE.

Using industrial use cases from major material domains and with representative manufacturing processes, new concepts will be created for a universal material exchange interface for virtual engineering workflows.



The concepts generated within the VMAP project will be concretised in an open software interface standard and implemented in a number of software tools. The advantages of integrated material handling will be demonstrated by six industrial use cases from different material categories, manufacturing domains and industry segments. In brief, VMAP will generate universal concepts and open software interface specifications for the exchange of material information in CAE workflows. Implementation will be realised for extended CAE tool interfaces and, where necessary, translation tools that follow the open interface specification. VMAP will also implement virtual industrial demonstrators for relevant material domains and manufacturing processes as well as provide best-practice guidelines for the community. The establishment of an open and vendor-neutral ‘Material Data Exchange Interface Standard’ community will ensure that standardisation efforts continue into the future.



Interoperable virtual material models and a seamless transfer of material data history in a CAE workflow enables industry users to develop and produce better products in a shorter time and in more efficient manufacturing processes. Interface standards will also help CAE software developers and vendors to realise further virtual material models that can be easily integrated in holistic design, simulation and optimisation workflows. In Europe’s growing and future manufacturing market whereby materials technology is a key factor, especially in the rapidly emerging market of additive manufacturing for metal and plastics, an open software interface standard for virtual material modelling can have significant benefits.