Digital exploration has never been more vital to long-term business success than it is today. The product design space is exploding, driven by increasingly smarter devices, advanced materials, and next-generation manufacturing technologies like 3-D printing and mass customization. At the same time sustainability and cost put pressure on identifying and eliminating unnecessary safety margins, while still ensuring long-term product strength and durability. Design engineers have an unprecedented opportunity to innovate and explore product designs, but also orders of magnitude more complexity to manage.
Engineering simulation gives product developers the necessary insight to understand the impact of design choices, evaluate what-if questions, and tame the growing complexity. And when used upfront in the process to digitally explore larger design spaces than ever before. However, for all engineers to benefit from simulation we must continue to make it easier to use.
The powerful combination of ANSYS SpaceClaim and ANSYS AIM in ANSYS 18.1 highlights the ability for entire design teams, not just simulation specialists, to explore new design opportunities enabled by the latest manufacturing techniques. Through upfront simulation they can confidently understand the impact on product performance. Let me give just two examples in this blog.
One example of this is exploring the opportunities opened up by additive manufacturing, that enables the creation of highly stable lightweight structures that cannot be produced using conventional production processes. ANSYS SpaceClaim 18.1 significantly simplifies the creation of such parts, and complex light-weighting can be achieved in a single operation using one of over a dozen pre-defined infill patterns. Designers can now also quickly verify that parts are suitable for manufacture, and SpaceClaim’s pre-print checks will highlight areas of insufficient thickness, cavities that can trap print materials, and overhangs that may be in need of additional support during the print process.
In the example below, 50% material reduction is achieved using hexagonal infill in a support bracket. Subsequent analysis in ANSYS AIM took a matter of minutes and verified acceptable stresses and comparable deformation under a 1-ton load (deformation visually exaggerated for effect), validating that the light-weighted part would perform as required.
As previously highlighted, customization is a powerful enabler to realizing upfront simulation, by providing tools focused on specific design goals, while embedding expert, simulation-based knowledge in a streamlined process. ANSYS 18.1 makes these customization possibilities pervasive from initial geometry modeling down to final results evaluation, through powerful new scripting capabilities in SpaceClaim and the new ‘Guide Me’ custom applications in AIM.
In the example below, a few lines of script and SpaceClaim’s script publishing tool allow any user to extend the user interface to automate any set of tasks that is common in their workflow — in this case automatically removing all holes and bodies below a certain tolerance. (Stay tuned for our upcoming blog that takes an even more in depth look at the power of scripting in ANSYS 18.1.)
SpaceClaim and AIM customization allows easy exposure of new tools and automation, without the need for complex programming.
These two examples only scratch the surface of how ANSYS 18.1 continues to make engineering simulation accessible to a much broader audience and enables massive upfront digital exploration. With growing product complexity and around 80% of the costs locked in at the early design stage, the potential of enabling every design engineer to use simulation is one of the largest opportunities for innovation today.
And since ANSYS SpaceClaim and ANSYS AIM build on the same foundation as the flagship ANSYS products used by experts across the world, there is no longer a compromise between easy to use and accurate simulation. I encourage you to check out the complete coverage available on the ANSYS 18.1 launch page.