Simulation: a key technology

Simulation, now more than ever, has become a key technology for addressing complex problems in today’s dynamic and challenging business environment. FlexSim is the most powerful and effective simulation tool on the market.

As students, you are the future face of tomorrow’s ever changing and dynamic business environment. You will make the decisions that affect your company’s growth, development, and success. We want to prepare you to make those decisions.

We’ve created an education program with you, the student, in mind.

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Educational store

Please visit our educational store to obtain your own copy of Applied Simulation: Modeling and Analysis using FlexSim or to request a student license.

Visit the education store now!


Textbook materials downloads

IMPORTANT! Be sure to get the BookDownloads file for whatever version of FlexSim you’re using. This is especially important if you’re using a version of the software that differs from the version the textbook was written for. So if you’re using a version of FlexSim 7, get the, read the README file inside the .zip archive and follow the instructions.

The BookDownloads file contains models, libraries, and other graphic objects that are referred to in the textbook Applied Simulation: Modeling and Analysis using FlexSim.

Download the Latest Textbook Materials

Materials are for the 5th Edition of “Applied Simulation: Modeling and Analysis using FlexSim.”

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Have you downloaded the free trial but want to dive a little deeper? Bumping up against the free trial limitations? Well then, its time to get yourself licensed!

Visit the education store to learn more about requesting your own student license.

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Simulation Insight video series

A series of short videos that expand upon simulation concepts and their FlexSim application. They are synchronized with and support the textbook material. These can be used to better understand an area of FlexSim, or by your professor to supplement the textbook. Subjects range anywhere from a simple “opening a model” to a more complex “triggers” video that teaches you how to customize model behavior.

Check out the Simulation Insight video series


Simulation Knowledge Base

We call it FlexSim Answers, and it’s a Q&A site that is constantly monitored by FlexSim support team members and our worldwide simulation community. You’re cordially invited to ask questions and help others. Come collaborate with us!

Go to FlexSim Answers


Online courses

Are you new to simulation modeling and don’t know where to start? Do you want to brush up on your modeling skills? Online course recordings are now available! Check out the online courses to download class recordings or contact us at [email protected] to sign up for a live session.

This free course is a four-part series that teaches the fundamentals of FlexSim. Each individual session lasts 45-90 minutes and is given once a week over a month long period.

The month long course is primarily intended for students who are planning on using FlexSim for a project or thesis. They are also great for individuals interested in learning FlexSim.

A timed student license is available for use during the course and recordings of the courses are available for viewing. Contact us at [email protected] for more information.

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Frequently Asked questions

  • The FlexSim textbook is based on the premise that simulation adds value when it’s applied to solve a problem. Consequently, the book is entirely focused on applying simulation. Every exercise describes an operational problem that students must analyze, decide how best to use simulation, and then develop an answer to the problem. Answers to the exercises often involve students recognizing operational trade-offs. Review questions at the end of each chapter serve as reminders of the application techniques in the chapter. Statistics and other theoretical topics are presented as they pertain to applying simulation.

  • Experience has shown that less class time is spent having to teach the software. FlexSim’s ease of use and extensive pre-built logic selections mean that students are ready to handle significantly more complex applications without having to write software code. The advanced functionality of FlexSim allows the course to cover topics not included in other books.

    Additionally, since all work is carried out in a 3D environment, students show more interest in expanding their work and experimenting with simulation. They add realism to their models by using FlexSim’s 3D objects or by importing existing objects from drawing packages, including AutoCAD, ProE, Solid Works, Catia, 3D Studio, AC3D, Rivit, and Google Sketch-Up to name a few. Also, students can import thousands of 3D objects into their FlexSim models from Google’s 3D Warehouse.

  • There are two topics in particular that are covered extensively in this book that are not normally covered in any depth by other simulation textbooks. The first involves simulating fluid or continuous-state change models. Since many manufacturing, and other systems, contain fluid as well as discrete elements, this book dedicates a chapter to simulating hybrid fluid-discrete systems. FlexSim has a standard library of objects for simulating fluids that can represent a liquid or high-speed solid material flow such as grain or sugar. Students build simulations of a mixing and batching system and a grain loading facility.

    The second new topic involves scheduling in simulated systems. In the chapter on production scheduling, students simulate the control of production lines that are scheduled by a central controller. Students are faced with decisions concerning where to appropriately measure production and how to handle material that remains on the line once the requisite number of units has been produced. Exercises in both of these chapters do not require programming because of standard FlexSim functionality.

  • There are chapters dedicated to both input and output analysis. Statistical theory is reviewed as it pertains to the analysis. The chapter on input modeling or modeling randomness includes a discussion of the analysis software ExpertFit, which is included in the student edition. The chapter on output analysis discusses constructing experimental designs and carrying out the analysis of the simulated data. It includes a discussion of how to determine the length of the simulation run and how to statistically compare results.

  • Correctly simulating reliability is becoming a very important application topic. FlexSim’s standard software allows students to model and understand basic reliability issues without any programming. FlexSim’s reliability capability is much easier to use and more powerful than many other applications. A chapter is dedicated to modeling equipment reliability; it has the students building simulations with multiple types of downtimes and where breakdowns are based on their state.

  • The consistent structure of FlexSim’s objects make building models easy. Of course, a quickly built model doesn’t mean it will be a good one, especially if the building process is carried out without understanding the system being modeled, modeling and operational assumptions, and how the simulator works, at least at a basic level. Consequently, the book dedicates two chapters to the “professional practice of simulation”. In these chapters students learn to describe, represent, and analyze an operations system, understand the importance of interfacing with all the people involved with a simulation, determine the basic problem to be analyzed or solved, identify the objectives and measurement metrics, decide on where to focus the simulation, describe the assumptions that are needed, and then specify the simulation work. Students learn to relate to commonly used tools such as value stream maps and to add dynamic details needed for the simulation. A simulation project template, based on extensive industrial experience, is used as a guide for the process.

  • The textbook has already been used successfully for undergraduate, graduate, and short courses in simulation. The book is organized according to the three typical levels of user: Occasional, Intermediate, and Advanced. By selectively choosing material, courses can be easily customized.

  • An educator community site (Password protected) is available and contains lecture, quiz, test, and project material. The authors are available and can be directly contacted for questions and support. Also, FlexSim has an Educator Coordinator and is scheduling educator workshops.

  • FlexSim is object-oriented and more. Object-oriented simulation software offers more consistency in the application structure, thus making it much easier to use. However, many competitors push their object-oriented software but don’t have the software architecture behind the scenes to take full advantage of it. FlexSim’s unique hierarchical structure with its visualization capability is state of the art and takes object-orientation to a new level to benefit users.

  • FlexSim Software Products, Inc. has been developing, supporting and selling 3D simulation and optimization software since 1993. Bill Nordgren, President of FlexSim, is a simulation pioneer who co-founded ProModel in 1988 and helped it to become a worldwide leader in the field. Along with Cliff King and Roger Hullinger, Bill also introduced Taylor II and Taylor ED to the North American simulation market. They understood that changing simulation technology, user base, and customer needs were driving the marketplace toward easier to use tools. In time, the trio added Dr. Eamonn Lavery and Anthony Johnson to their development team.

    FlexSim was the first of its kind and is still the leader in functionality and 3D visualization that others now try to follow. Based on its state-of-the-art simulation engine and software architecture, FlexSim has created world-class applications in the fields of healthcare, container terminal operations, distributed simulation over multiple computers, agent-based simulation, 3D software presentations, etc. FlexSim has also created in-house simulators using the FlexSim engine for several Fortune 500 companies.

  • Support for the textbook and software is available via FlexSim’s normal support system, as well by contacting the authors directly or FlexSim’s Education Coordinator.

  • Students can purchase the software individually and download it directly to their own computer or they can use it via their university’s network. FlexSim has worked with colleges and universities to provide customized methods for obtaining the software.

  • The student version of FlexSim is fully functional – all modeling objects (discrete and fluid, as well as custom library objects), hierarchical tree access, multi-scenario experimenter, spreadsheet and database accessibility, ability to modify objects via custom code, and the use of ExpertFit – data analysis software developed by Averill Law. While models of any size can be run on the software, new models are limited to 100 objects – a limit that doesn’t even come close to the most advanced models used in the textbook and most simulation courses.

  • Certain large or complex models can reach beyond the 100 object limitation of the Student license. If you reach the limit during a class exercise or project, your classmates may be having a similar issue — notify your instructor, who will contact FlexSim’s educational department or their local FlexSim representative to request a license upgrade for the course. If you reach the object limitation during a capstone, thesis, dissertation, or other similar project, email us at [email protected] and we’ll help you get the right license for your project.

  • The whole concept of using FlexSim for education is that the book and student software will be fully integrated with the standard, commercial version of FlexSim. There will be no waiting for a new version of the textbook to be published when a new version of FlexSim is released. The textbook will be continually updated via FlexSim’s educator website in order to keep pace with changing simulation technology.

  • After class or graduation, students can still open their models to review their work using an evaluation copy of FlexSim or any standard FlexSim license.

  • For many years FlexSim has supported, and continues to support, students worldwide with fully functional licenses of its latest version for use with special projects and research efforts. FlexSim is the software of choice for education in China. The textbook is only the latest chapter in this commitment. In addition to the book, FlexSim is committed to an extensive support structure for educators who use the text.

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