If you’re not familiar with topological or topology optimization, a simple description is that we are using the physics of the problem combined with the finite element computational method to decide what the optimal shape is for a given design space and set of loads and constraints. Typically our goal is to maximize stiffness while reducing weight. We may also be trying to keep maximum stress below a certain value. Frequencies can come into play as well by linking a modal analysis to a topology optimization.
Why is topology optimization important? First, it produces shapes which may be more optimal than we could determine by engineering intuition coupled with trial and error. Second, with the rise of additive manufacturing, it is now much easier and more practical to produce the often complex and organic looking shapes which come out of a topological optimization. Continue reading →
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.
When preparing for a business or personal trip, most of us want to check our travel routes in advance. There are many route-planning tools on the web today, and they help us to anticipate route difficulties such as heavy traffic, changes in street names, road sizes, accident locations, and many more. Some of these map applications even tell us what time we need to leave our starting location to reach our destination on time. Many of us end up “virtually” driving the route several times before we take the actual drive. Those virtual drives help us get from point A to point B in the shortest time possible, without unpleasant surprises.
Antenna system developers often face a similar challenge: We may have a great antenna design to get an RF signal from point A to point B in isolation, but the scattering environment around the antenna directly impacts the antenna’s ability to get the job done. So how do we anticipate the different routes that the signal might be forced to take to reach its destination? You guessed it—modeling and simulation of the antenna’s interaction with that environment. Continue reading →
ANSYS has long held the vision that every engineer would be able to benefit from the insight of engineering simulation. It seems intuitive that you would want to build a digital model of your product and instantly see stresses, flows, temperature, etc. to gain insights into the design, as well as make changes in in real-time and see how they affect the performance.
Speed and Ease of Use Changes Everything
Simulation is ranked as one of the most critical engineering technologies in this age of the Internet of Things and additive manufacturing. However, half a century after its introduction it is still the domain of specialists and used predominantly for the most complex of engineering projects. Why? The learning curve is steep, sometimes requiring decades of experience, and it is after all rocket-science and can be both complex and time consuming to do simulations. All of this is about to change! Continue reading →
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.
EnSight, the leading post-processor for Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) data is now part of ANSYS. In the two decades since its launch, EnSight has taken off like a multistage rocket. Here is the story.
I grew up in that magical era when NASA used multi-stage rockets to carry Apollo astronauts to the moon and back. As a toddler I learned to count backwards from 10, 9, 8, 7, 6 … because that’s what I heard Mission Control say. I dreamt of being an astronaut, studied aerospace engineering and started my career at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. I met my lovely wife there, blocks from the NASA gates. Her parents still live next door to Buzz Aldrin’s Apollo era house. I used to store my lunch in the Mission Control fridge while working on my space shuttle aerodynamic simulations in the support room next door. So maybe it’s natural for me to think in rocket terms. Continue reading →
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 →
Every new, smaller technology node developed in the semiconductor field has its own challenges, and the 7nm node is no exception. Usually a smaller technology node decreases price per transistor, but the cost benefits usually obtained from the smaller geometry are not as significant as in previous node changes. In fact, the increased complexity of lithography masks has made the unit cost per transistor slightly higher for 7nm devices. To offset these higher costs, products using 7nm semiconductors need higher margins, larger sales volumes and significantly higher performance than previous nodes. Achieving these goals requires designers to overcome a number of technical challenges, making upfront engineering simulation even more important than ever.
We continue to expand upon our best-in-class products and platform, and deliver on the Pervasive Engineering Simulation vision, with this week’s release of ANSYS 18.2. This latest release brings increased levels of accuracy, speed and ease-of-use — spurring more engineers to use simulation across every stage of the product lifecycle to design cutting-edge products more efficiently and economically.
More companies are turning to simulation to drive increasingly rapid and innovative product development and gain deeper insight into product design.
“Our customers rely on ANSYS engineering simulation technology to cut costs, limit late-stage design changes, and tame the toughest engineering challenges. This latest release continues to build upon the industry’s most accurate simulation portfolio, offering enhanced speed and accuracy – enabling more users, no matter their level of experience, to reduce development time and increase product quality.” said Mark Hindsbo, ANSYS vice president and general manager.
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.