Recommended reading: Can Simulation Help Advance Additive Manufacturing Technology? by Subham Sett
Design space exploration and design optimization are rapidly becoming strategic competencies that engineering organizations must master to remain competitive. To have strategic and not just tactical impact, design exploration and optimization need to be adopted and deployed within the framework of a collaborative, enterprise-wide vision.
To date, however, the tools and methods are too often implemented at only the department or workgroup level, keeping their impact limited and localized. This deployment pattern is rooted in the early history of design optimization, when the discipline consisted mainly of abstruse mathematical methods that could only be applied manually by small numbers of PhD-level specialists. But today the picture is different, thanks to the burgeoning number of software tools that make these powerful methods more broadly available to the engineering community. Continue reading
With the unprecedented demands on today’s vehicle engineering organizations, auto makers face a daunting challenge to reach their next targets for aerodynamics drag using traditional tools and methods. Trial-and-error development using wind tunnel testing achieved a coefficient of drag of 0.3. Introducing digital simulation to sequentially improve designs brought CD down to 0.24 for today’s best performing cars. But most companies have the next target set to 0.2. Without either a radical increase in time and resources—not a realistic solution for most—or else a radically more efficient and effective approach to aerodynamics engineering, this target will remain all but out of reach. Continue reading
Executive summary—Passenger-vehicle structural performance is extremely sensitive to welds and adhesive bonds. Traditionally, multidisciplinary optimization (MDO) has been performed largely using thickness, shape and material grade as variables. This project’s objective was to optimize the spot weld count and linear length of adhesives in the body while balancing vehicle structural performance and weight. Various optimization scenarios were carried out: maintain current structural performance but minimize weld count, adhesive length and body weight; maintain current weld count and adhesive length but maximize structural performance and minimize weight; and others. Including welds and adhesives as variables in the MDO process provided additional design space to improve structural performance and reduce cost through spot weld and adhesive minimization. Continue reading
EVENT NOTICE—If you’re in the Detroit area, join Noesis Solutions’ free seminar April 9 on Innovations in Process Integration & Design Optimization. You’ll hear three perspectives on how this technology can help you streamline your simulation processes and identify benchmark product designs in less time, including a presentation by me on Innovative Uses of Optimization for Engineering Design Problems. Event and registration information here.
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Achieving institutional adoption of design space exploration, design optimization and process integration is a crucial goal for engineering organizations working to establish these as strategic competencies, not just tactical. Too often implemented at only the department or workgroup level, the technologies and their attendant work processes need to be recognized and given backing as enterprise capabilities to have their greatest impact on engineering’s ability to advance corporate strategic objectives. [See also Design space exploration: Justifying the investment.] Continue reading
A timeline of company formations, product launches and M&A activity among design exploration and optimization software vendors maps the pace and direction of the industry’s development.
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Discussions of how to simulate early in product development fixate too often on FEA, overlooking the power of systems modeling and 0D/1D simulation for studying, exploring and optimizing designs at the beginning of projects, when product geometry is seldom available for 3D CAE but engineering decision-making can have its greatest impact and leverage on project success. Continue reading
If you use design space exploration software, we invite you to take our five-minute survey of satisfaction with your software and vendor, and the benefits you’re realizing, via one of the links below. In return you’ll receive a report of the findings that will let you benchmark your experiences against those of your peers and competitors. Your participation and responses are strictly confidential. Findings will be discussed in aggregate only; no information about individual responses will be released. This survey is our own undertaking and is not commissioned by, nor executed in cooperation with, any software vendor or other party.
To take the survey, click the link for the software you use. If you use more than one brand, take the survey for each brand you use. If you don’t see your software here, click the Other brand link and write in your brand where the survey asks for it. We value your input and look forward to sharing the findings with you.
- Altair HyperStudy
- ANSYS DesignXplorer
- DS SIMULIA Isight
- ESTECO modeFRONTIER
- LMS Virtual.Lab Optimization
- MSC Nastran Multi-run & Design Space Exploration
- Noesis Solutions Optimus
- Phoenix Integration ModelCenter
- PTC Creo Behavioral Modeling Extension
- Red Cedar Technology HEEDS MDO
- VR&D VisualDOC
- Other brand
Automating the search for solutions to engineering problems can take either of two broad approaches: design exploration or design optimization. Practitioners making technology choices need to understand which tools do one, which do the other, and which approach best fits their needs. A global roster of commercially available design exploration and optimization software appears at the end of this post. Continue reading