Space Satellites Power Enhanced Connectivity on Earth

My house has a 30 Mb/s internet connection that I use to stream entire movies. I talk to people on the other side of the world and participate in virtual meetings on my mobile phone, which fits in my pocket and works everywhere. I also use my mobile to drive through cities I’ve never seen before, following the best route as determined from satellites in space that track the location of my phone using GPS coordinates. You are probably thinking “so what?” because you, like billions of other people, have the same kind of connectivity. This is what should impress you most: We are so used to this easy connectivity that we have forgotten how incredible this technology is compared to what we had 20 years ago. Engineering simulation played a big role in getting us to this point, and it will play and even bigger role in the future. Continue reading

Indee Labs is Simulating Its Way to Scalable Gene-modified Cell Therapy

Gene-modified cell therapy (GMCT) represents the most effective platform for many patients with advanced disease. These therapies, however, are held back by inefficient development processes and manufacturing scales that are limited to a minute fraction of the relevant patient populations due to current gene delivery methods such as viral vectors. Simulation is helping to accelerate this development process and advance cell therapy.

Indee Labs is a Y Combinator company spun out of the Australian National Fabrication Facility. The team is developing novel gene delivery technology that uses ANSYS computational fluid dynamics solutions to gently and efficiently deliver genetic materials such as CRISPR to your immune cells. Indee Labs views gene delivery as the most problematic step in developing and manufacturing GMCTs since a global shortage in viral vectors has led Big Pharma to invest hundreds of millions of dollars into their own manufacturing facilities. Continue reading

Cloud Computing Speeds Antenna Design

In a previous blog, I noted that born in the cloud companies can be a boon to tech startups looking to optimize precious resources. In this post, I offer a spectacular case in point.

Optisys had big goals and big compute needs. Designing its next-gen antenna, the Utah-based startup sought order-of-magnitude reductions in size, weight and lead time, and a cost-effective solution for running large, concurrent RF electronics simulations. Establishing an in-house IT function wasn’t an option: Optisys (like many startups) had little appetite or budget for investing outside its core business. Instead, it adopted Rescale’s cloud-based platform to satisfy its simulation needs. Continue reading

Startups Bring Excitement to Established Industries

Startup companies are using ANSYS software in exciting and groundbreaking ways. It should come as no surprise then that some of my favorite articles in our ANSYS magazines (ANSYS Advantage and Dimensions) in 2017 were generated with the assistance of startups. I think the enthusiasm of these hardworking teams of entrepreneurs who participate in the ANSYS Startup Program is demonstrated in these articles about how their pioneering products are being developed.

Many startups literally begin in a garage. For example, Kyle Doerksen, Founder and CEO of Future Motion, inventor of the Onewheel motorized skateboard, prototyped his idea in his garage before launching a Kickstarter campaign. With the help of engineering simulation his team quickly moved from prototype to mass production. Future Motion has shipped more than 10,000 products, expediting many short commutes and creating a new form of transportation and recreation along the way.

startup develps onewheel Continue reading

Designing A Trimaran Fast Ferry with ANSYS Fluent

Multihull ships create engineering challenges that are “out of range” of conventional ship design techniques. They require complex, CFD analysis to optimize multiple performance variables like resistance, endurance, stability, seakeeping, etc. In this article, we take you behind the scenes at KUASAR MARIN Engineering Inc., where we leveraged ANSYS Fluent to explore design iterations for a three-hulled, high-speed passenger ferry that could compete with existing two-hull catamarans.

Baseline Design Encounters Problems Continue reading

ANSYS Fuels Nature-Inspired 3-D Printing

Nature is full of amazing materials. Wood and bone, for example, are natural composites with finely-tuned microstructures. They have optimized fiber alignment for enhanced strength. At Fortify — an additive manufacturing startup — we wondered if harnessing the power of natural composites in 3-D printing could help us to create high-performance end-use parts.

Our observations of the natural world led to the development of our fluxprint technology, which utilizes magnetic fields in a 3-D printer to align carbon fibers throughout a printed composite part. This process results in high-performance components with high-geometric complexity and incredible strength-to-weight ratios. Continue reading

Cloud is Leveling the Playing Field for Technology Startups

A technology startup faces a great deal of challenges: funding, hiring, office space, manufacturing, messaging, legal, software, and infrastructure, to name a few. CEOs can feel overwhelmed by the sheer size and complexity of the puzzle that is establishing a successful corporation. It only takes one of the pieces to fail to jeopardize the whole enterprise. The stakes are high.

One area of investment that is particularly expensive and difficult to get right for hardware startups is the engineering simulation software and high performance computing (HPC) infrastructure required for virtual prototyping and testing. Rescale and the ANSYS Startup Program offer solutions for startups with on-demand and fully scalable software and hardware that require zero in-house IT.

Rescale and the ANSYS Startup Program are partnering to offer a scalable,
zero-IT simulation solution to startups

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Improving Smoked Food with Simulation

Smoking meat (and other food) in a barbecue smoker doesn’t sound complicated, but there are more factors at work in producing delicious food than you would expect. Barbecue enthusiast Travis Jacobs, president of Jacobs Analytics, was aware that in windy conditions the air flow through the bottom inlets and the top outlet vents of a smoker can be variable, leading to internal temperature gradients and swirling air that removes smoke and makes a less savory product. He wanted to make a smoker that could smoke food to perfection in any conditions. Unlike most of us non-engineer weekend barbecuers, he turned to computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations to solve this problem.

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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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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