Using ANSYS Super-element with GENESIS for Efficient Topology Optimization

Anil Kumar (Senior Engineer – ANSYS) and I thought it would be interesting to share information about integrating ANSYS super-element with the GENESIS structural optimization extension for ANSYS. With ever-increasing computational power, engineers can solve larger FE models in less time. However, optimization is still a serious concern because it is an iterative process and the FE analysis usually needs to be performed multiple times.

Typically, the parts that engineers choose to optimize are only a subset of large assemblies. For example, when optimizing the chassis, the engines and other components attached to it are not designed at the same time. It is not necessary to model all the details of those components not participating in the optimization.

Continue reading

A Very Different Kind of Startup

In the Pacific Northwest there is a very different kind of startup emerging in the shadows of Microsoft, Amazon and Boeing. Hardware is being built, software is being written, and deadlines are being made (and sometimes missed). But this startup in Tacoma, Washington is not fixed on competing with their friendly giant neighbors to the north. To the contrary, its “employees” aspire to work for them one day. That’s because this startup is no company at all. Rather it’s a high school that just completed its first year.

The School of Industrial Design, Engineering and the Arts, better known as iDEA, runs on an innovative concept that invites local businesses into the school as a partnership. Working as mentors or adjunct instructors, these “community partners” work directly with the students in a project-based learning framework. The projects may range from developing software apps, to wooden boats, to bicycles, to guitar pedals. One look around the reconfigured gymnasium packed with CNC machines, lathes, and countless other tooling equipment and it’s easy to see how serious they are. They are going to build stuff — lots of it! Continue reading

Leading the Electric Vehicle Charge

For every product powered by batteries — cellphones, hybrid and electric vehicles, implantable medical devices, drones, industrial equipment — there is an end user who is concerned about a battery’s longevity. Whether you are trying to find an outlet to check your emails before your cellphone dies, wondering how many miles your drone can fly before it falls from the sky, or hoping to delay the surgical procedure needed to change the battery in your implanted defibrillator, battery longevity affects us all at one time or another.

NEVS electric vehicle Continue reading

Brighter, Energy-efficient LED Headlights through CFD

LEDs are increasingly used in automobile headlights because of their small size and reduced energy consumption. But, though they are much more energy efficient than traditional headlights, most of the energy required is converted to heat rather than light — 70 percent, in fact. This presents a challenge to engineers and designers because, since they are semiconductor-based, the diode junction of LEDs must be kept below 120 C. Maintaining temperature below this limit typically involves cooling airflow from an electric fan combined with heat sink fins.

Continue reading

Simulation Used to Spur Design Development for Nuclear Power

Nuclear power is a key player in the future of clean energy, and multiple companies are pursuing new technologies to maximize nuclear’s contribution to the clean energy space. Founded in 2011 and based in Cambridge, MA, Transatomic Power is an advanced nuclear technology startup developing and commercializing a molten salt reactor (MSR), or a nuclear reactor whose fuel is in liquid, rather than solid, form. This technology, originally developed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in the 1960’s, offers multiple safety and cost benefits over traditional nuclear reactors, in which the fuel is in the form of solid pellets cooled by water.

Tranatomic’s MSR design builds on the original work at ORNL and adds a few innovative new features that reduce the reactor’s size and, as a result, it’s cost – a huge factor in building new nuclear power plants. Though the development process is a long one, the world needs a larger capacity for clean energy generation, and it’s this ultimate goal that drives the Transatomic team forward. Continue reading

ANSYS Simulation Proves Invaluable to University of Central Florida’s Formula SAE Team

Knights Racing is a Formula SAE team from the University of Central Florida. Formula SAE is an international competition in which students design and build a race car as well as manufacture the car’s components. During the competition, teams are not only assessed based on vehicle performance but in static events like a business case presentation and engineering design review. This year, our team participated in the Formula SAE Michigan competition located at Michigan International Speedway.

university central florida formula sae team Continue reading

Designing an Environmentally Friendly Luxury Electric Vehicle with Multiphysics Simulation

Luxury Electric Vehicle

Developing a luxury electric vehicle (EV) from scratch with a short deadline demands organization and access to the right technology to get the job done. Lucid Motors of Menlo Park, California, met the first challenge by putting all the engineers in one room so the structural and aerodynamics engineers would know what the battery, motor and power electronics engineers were doing, right from the start. This collaborative environment has helped them to design a unique automobile with more passenger space by reshaping the battery stack, while optimizing the electric motor, the cooling system, the aerodynamics and the battery life.

Continue reading

What We Can Learn from the Wright Brothers on National Aviation Day

Tomorrow is Orville Wright’s birthday and we celebrate National Aviation Day and the incredible progress made in aviation in just over 100 years. It was December 1903 when Orville became the first pilot of an engine powered aircraft, staying aloft for 12 seconds and covering a distance of 120 ft. at 20 ft AGL. Five years later he was able to stay aloft for an entire hour, reaching an altitude of 350 ft.

Indeed, the Wright brothers are a great example for all those who want to innovate. Many pioneers lost their lives or were badly injured in their attempt to demonstrate their ideas, test new concepts and to tame phenomena they were still not able, sometimes very far, to understand and master. Continue reading

The Engineering Behind Why It’s Too Hot to Fly

I’ve read a lot of articles talking about an interesting fact: this summer was so hot that in some cities like Phoenix aircraft could not fly. If you are an engineer or a pilot, it should not be a surprise that in hot weather an aircraft’s performance can deteriorate until the point it is unsafe to attempt take off. But maybe you have not considered all the possible causes of why it’s too hot to fly. I will try to explain things in a very basic and simplified way, for the benefit of those who are not familiar with these phenomena.

American Airlines canceled dozens of flights out of Phoenix on June 19 due to extreme heat. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Continue reading

How ANSYS Simulation is Helping Virginia Tech Team to Optimize Hyperloop Pod

After placing fourth at the SpaceX Hyperloop Design Weekend in January 2016, as well as the first ever Hyperloop Pod competition in Los Angeles, California, Hyperloop at Virginia Tech is working tirelessly toward improving every aspect of their pod. The Virginia Tech design team comprises over 60 people, branching out to all majors within the university, from business to aerospace engineering. We currently follow a tick-tock engineering cycle, innovating for one competition, then optimizing for the next using ANSYS Simulation. Continue reading