About Richard Mitchell

Richard Mitchell is the Lead Product Marketing Manager for Structures. He joined ANSYS in 2006 working in pre-sales and support roles. Before this Richard was an ANSYS user working for a high tech company in the UK. He worked as an analyst on space and vacuum tube technologies.
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Hey You, What’s that Sound?

I’m one of those people who get wound up by the sound of a rattle of the smallest type. Noise and vibration are more than just a bug bear though — or pet peeve depending on your geography — and simulation of acoustics is something can have a big impact on more than just the easily agitated (like me).

Systems that generate (undesired) noise are not efficient, some of the energy they use goes into making the sound.

A prime example would be a motor-driven gear train. The whine that motors emit and the noise from the attached gearbox could be a major source of noise in an otherwise quiet system. It is also a sign that things aren’t as they should be. Continue reading

New Version of ANSYS Mechanical – New Capabilities

Engineering is a pretty exciting place to be right now. There seems to be amazing news about new products and technologies being tested and released nearly every day. ANSYS 18.2 just launched and it’s packed with cool stuff. ANSYS Mechanical has a raft of new capabilities to help engineers make new technologies a reality. 

I’m amazed at some of the commercial space industry achievements going on right now and of course, being a big car fan, the technology going into the automotive sector is just incredible. In order to bring these products to market, big changes are taking place in the companies designing these products.

More efforts are being put into every aspect of product design and the drive to build better products faster means increased pressure on engineers. Continue reading

Powering Devices with Vibration

Vibration in terms of simulation, for me at least, immediately makes me think of vehicles and larger structures: ride comfort in cars, the incredible forces caused by vibration that equipment on rockets see and rotating machinery. These are all obvious areas that our customers use simulation to help understand the effects of vibration. It seems that designers of much, much smaller devices are also very interested in vibration.

vibration power generation

Continue reading

Additive Manufacturing – Re-engineering Engineering

On the 11th of June I, along with quite a few of my colleagues and a number of our customers will be heading to Sweden to the NAFEMS conference. I’ll be there to talk about our work in the area of Additive Manufacturing.

Additive manufacturing is the poster child of the engineering world right now. There are other posts on the web and on the ANSYS blog talking about this and what the opportunities are that it brings. But I wanted to talk about the changes that must make to the whole product development process.

It’s pretty well understood that product development is pretty well down the path to shift away from a time when simulation was used to figure out why something broke. Now simulation is more routinely being used up front in the design process to develop products that are, more often, right first time. Continue reading

What do Paris, Composites Curing and Baking Have in Common?

composites curing JECA week from today we’re heading to Paris. Not to see the incredible sights or enjoy some of the museums but to attend JEC World. It’s one of, if not the, biggest composites event. ANSYS will be there to talk with customers and attendees about the simulation of composite and composites curing. There will be whole team of us there so please do drop by ANSYS booth S72 Hall 6 and say hello.

Composite technology has moved forward a great deal since it started making regular appearances in motorsports and aerospace. I’m sure there will be lots of discussions on the challenges people are facing next week. Continue reading

Take a Load Off! Lightweighting for Engineers

I was fortunate enough to own a Lotus Elise for a number of years. I loved that car but had to give it up when I moved to the U.S. One of the reasons I liked it so much was the design philosophy it followed: “performance through lightweight.” The reduced mass of the car meant the relatively small engine could shove it along at a fair old rate, which is pretty obvious. But it also meant that the suspension didn’t have to be as beefy, and the amount of work the brakes had to do was also significantly reduced. Lightweighting has big benefits.

It’s a very virtuous cycle. Removing weight has a compound impact on pretty much all aspects of the car. Probably one of the least mentioned benefits (considering that this was a sports car) was the fuel economy. When I was driving at a steady speed on the motorway I could easily get better economy than a family sized diesel car. Continue reading

Geomechanics: Rock Solid Simulation

Terra-firma, rock-solid and concrete are terms that all inspire images of stability. What could be more reassuring than the support of a good solid foundation? The truth of the stability of terra-firma, rock formations and geomechanics in general is not quite as clear cut as it seems.

As engineers everywhere push the limits of speed, power and capability of products we buy every day, there are also awe inspiring feats of engineering that go unseen to most eyes. Engineers working on civil, oil & gas and infrastructure projects that work on huge scales and push technology just as hard. Continue reading

3 P’s of Structural Analysis

I’ve been involved in engineering simulation for 20 years. Not quite sure exactly how that happened, but none-the-less here we are. Back in 1996, when I was studying engineering, a good part of my course looked at the fundamentals of FEA for structural analysis and CFD for flow simulation. We spent an inordinate amount of time manually calculating how a five-element beam would behave. I dread to think how many trees were sacrificed at the expense of my scruffy algebra.

I learned two key things from this exercise. FEA was incredibly useful —I could get an engineering answer to a reasonably realistic problem by using this approach — and that FEA software was a must if I wanted to do this on a more meaningful model. Continue reading

Dependable Composite Design

Determining the applicability and reliability of composite materials can be extremely complex. Engineering layered composites involves many definitions including numerous layers, materials, thicknesses and orientations to predict how well the finished product will perform under real-world working conditions. Simulation can assist you in predicting stresses and deformations as well as a range of failure criteria for composite design. ANSYS Composite PrepPost software provides all necessary functionalities for finite element analysis of layered composites. New capabilities released with ANSYS 17.0 can make to easier to effectively design composites. Continue reading

10X Faster Insight for Structural Analysis

ansys 17 10X engineering simulationIf you’ve heard anything about ANSYS 17.0, it’s that it is faster than ever. Faster solvers, faster processing, greater core counts — it all sounds great, doesn’t it? Everyone wants to get their work done faster, and faster is better than slower, isn’t it? But what exactly does “faster” mean to engineers performing structural analysis simulations today? Continue reading