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

Topology Optimization in ANSYS 18.1 – Motorcycle Component Example

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

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

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3 Ways to Boost ANSYS Performance with Intel Technologies

Intel Supercomputing 2017

ISC 2017 in Frankfurt, Germany (copyright Philip Loeper)

My visit to ISC High Performance last month in Frankfurt, Germany re-affirmed my belief that computing innovation shows no signs of slowing down. I participated in an industrial HPC user panel at the event, which has traditionally focused on big supercomputing solutions for government and research institutions. The fact that this year’s ISC broke attendance records and dedicated so much time to industry sessions shows how much HPC has become entrenched in other industries.

We have been working with Intel on a few innovations that I wasn’t at liberty to discuss at ISC, but can now share with you that Intel announced its new processors and improvements to their accompanying technologies yesterday. We have been working with Intel to benchmark ANSYS software on the new technologies before their release, so that our mutual customers can immediately see what benefits they’ll receive. Here’s a sneak peek at the results. Continue reading

In Search of a Better Design with Topology Optimization

When reducing the mass of your models, are you also optimizing for other important design elements such as thermal performance, fabrication constraints or if the casting needs to be water-tight?

Thermal problems are very common in engineering design such as automotive powertrain, electronic cooling system, etc. Topology optimization can also be applied for thermal analysis to improve the cooling performance or for coupled thermal-mechanical analysis to improve the thermal and structural performance simultaneously. Continue reading

Interactive Script-defined Tools Change the Game in Modeling

If you turn on the TV or browse the internet these days, automation is a familiar topic. From smart homes to learning thermostats, the drive to save time and effort by automating repeated tasks is everywhere. We use words like ‘smart’ to indicate that our devices are no longer one-size-fits-all but instead adapt and can be programmed to better suit our needs and behaviors. So, too, should be the case with our engineering software! That is why we have spent over a year to add scripting, a broadly applicable interface for automation and customization of modeling, to the ANSYS SpaceClaim geometry modeling environment.

In a previous blog post, we introduced SpaceClaim scripting and how it can automate repetitive or tedious tasks. With ANSYS 18.1, we’ve taken it a step further and made it easier to share and use SpaceClaim scripts outside of the editing environment. By publishing scripts to dedicated buttons in the user interface or calling them from within a Workbench script, you can now use the power of scripting in more places than ever before. Furthermore, we have extended the interaction with scripts to allow for user input of selections and values during execution. Let’s take a closer look at these improvements. Continue reading

Digital Prototyping for More Powerful Pumps

Routine maintenance of sewer pipes is necessary to prevent clogging, cracking and failure in the long run, saving sewage companies considerable time and money. FMC Technologies, which makes reciprocating pumps used to force water at high pressure through sewage pipes to clean them, turned to engineering simulation to design their latest product when customers began demanding smaller, lighter pumps with a higher output pressure. These pumps would be easier for the operator to move and place for optimal operations in the field. Also, reducing size and weight would make the pumps less expensive to purchase, easier to maintain and more energy efficient.

sewer pipe

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Lightening the Load with Composites and Digital Prototyping

Airlines and aircraft manufacturers are doing everything they can to lower their costs, including lightweighting every component possible, which can improve fuel efficiency. The industry spends more than a hundred billion dollars on fuel every year. While the price of oil is relatively low today, manufacturers and airlines must look ahead to the more than 25-year life span of the average airplane, assuming someday prices will rise again. Cost is a major driver, but the industry is also committed to reducing emissions during flight, and reducing fuel burn from the engine helps achieve this goal. Lightweighting, then, is one of the most important trends in the aerospace industry, and using composites, that can offer the required strength but at lower weight than metals, in manufacturing is a key strategy.

aircraft cargo area

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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