If I had to choose a winner for the Best ACTor in 2012, It would be Oticon A/S in Denmark, a world-leading developer of hearing aids. I’ll tell you more about that company later. But first, let’s talk about ACTing and ACTors. ACT is ANSYS’ Application Customization Toolkit. It can help to capture analysts’ expertise and know-how as well as give non-expert users access to advanced models, among other things. But why is this tool so important?
I keep hearing people say that “there are no better codes than our in-house codes, as they are perfectly fitted for a given application.” But the reality is: The cost of developing and maintaining in-house codes — not to mention issues related to an integrated environment (CAD integration, meshing, post-processing, optimization and DoE) — simply makes the practice unsustainable. Continue reading
There are many fascinating medical evolutions that designers and engineers will discuss next week at the Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show in Anaheim, CA. Let me share one example, among many, for which engineering simulation plays a key role.
Advances in Implantable Medical Devices
With the world’s population aging, we can enjoy interacting with our parents and grandparents much longer than previous generations did. What is really even better is that their quality of life is improving. Today we can continuously monitor conditions that typically affect the elderly, such as heart malfunction, fluctuating blood glucose levels and hearing troubles. In fact, some implantable devices — like the implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) that corrects heart arrhythmia — connect to the web so they can immediately and transparently call for medical assistance if there is a sudden change in the patient’s health statistics. Continue reading
As the ski season gets into full swing, friends who recently suffered a sprain or had a total hip arthroplasty (THA) (implanted hip prosthesis) are wondering whether they will be able to hit the slopes this year. Did you know that 400,000 American had a THA this past year? How long after a THA must they wait before skiing? And beyond that sport, before they are jogging or biking again? Most doctors offer a conservative approach, allowing for full recovery before pursuing such rigorous sports. Their judgments are based on the average recovery of a large group of patients, throwing in a reasonable safety margin to try to avoid joint deterioration.
If you’ve had to endure the seemingly never-ending recovery period of THA, you’ve no doubt felt the frustration of feeling perfectly fit to go skiing, probably just before the season ended. Too soon, according to doctors’ recommendations. But let’s imagine imagine a more hopeful scenario: that your doctor could evaluate (for you as an individual patient, not an average) whether the risk of injury practicing your favorite sport is indeed real. Will the exercise induce too large a movement between bones and implant, thus preventing proper healing? Would the stress in your weakened ankle be too great, leading to a new injury? Could you at least start some light training again? If only we could estimate the exact stress induced by various movements in the different parts of the body, we would know for sure if we can get back in the game or need to rest further. Continue reading
Just like me, when you’re faced with a possibly serious surgery, you might feel uncomfortable — maybe even anxious. But unlike most other patients, we experts in modeling think it would be great if surgeons could have access to simulation to see what’s actually happening in our bodies before they cut into us. Through the use of computer-aided surgery, medical teams could even train on “virtual clones” of ourselves, so that on the big day they’d be more prepared and confident in reacting to any situation, planned or not.
A team at the University Hospital of Rennes, France, led by Dr. Antoine Lucas didn’t hesitate to embrace such an opportunity. This team performs endovascular surgery to treat abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA); a well-known solution involves implanting a stent graft. To minimize the risk of post-operative complications, the accuracy of stent graft positioning is crucial. The medical group scans the patient’s cardiovascular system at rest to gain insight about what they will encounter once the procedure starts. But during the surgery, the cardiovascular system gets deformed by the introduction of the wire guide and the stent — so releasing the stent based only on at-rest geometry could be less accurate. Continue reading
Are you ready for the Olympic Games to begin? Around the world, millions of eyes will be glued to the TV or Internet. NBC has 5,535 hours of coverage planned. Google has a dedicated website. For the next couple of weeks it will be a sports fans delight. At ANSYS, because of our work with Speedo, most of us will be particularly interested in the Swimming Events. Continue reading
It sounds fascinating, if not futuristic, that you might be able to virtually test a new product in any stage of design, under any extreme condition that it might experience during its lifecycle. If this were the case, product failures would soon be a thing of the past. But, on a serious note, can we really virtually fly an airplane, drive a virtual car or run a nuclear facility remotely to ensure performance under any circumstances?
Recently, I listened to an amazing presentation given by a German automotive supplier, discussing megatrends in the auto industry. The speaker concluded by describing a 2020 vision of simulating the complete car with modular simulation tools. Their 2020 target was a digital prototype for the entire car. Utopia or vision?
Whether you are an end user or a product designer, everyone is looking for robust designs. For some of us, robust design is often linked to a picture of heavy machinery. However, I prefer the definition provided by Harvard Business School. It equates a product’s robust design with integrity: “Products with integrity perform superbly, provide good value, and satisfy customers’ expectations in every respect (PDF available on their site for a minimal cost).”
A robust design doesn’t have to be huge in scope; it just needs to perform as expected no matter how its environment varies. Insensitivity to variations in external parameters (such as temperature, pressure, user behavior and impact) while maintaining performance expectations is central to the concept of robust design.