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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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

PowerCone™ Wind Turbine Development Accelerated with Simulation

Artist rendering of the PowerCone

The journey of BiomeRenewables’ PowerConeTM wind turbine started with witnessing a falling maple seed. I was sitting on my deck when I was struck by how slowly the seed was able to fall. As it turns out, maple seeds — for their size — exhibit maximum aerodynamic efficiency; they are able to hit what is known as the Betz Limit — 59.3 percent aerodynamic efficiency. Careful analysis revealed that there is something about the seed’s shape and the way it interacts with the air that allows it to achieve such high efficiency numbers — namely, that it interacts with the oncoming flow at an angle greater than 90 degrees. This is not the case with modern wind turbines, which interact with the wind at perpendicular angles of 90 degrees. Continue reading

Wireless Charging Design in Wearables Using Simulation

Working for ANSYS gives me incredible opportunities to work with innovative companies and learn about the latest technologies that are being developed to improve our lives. One of the intriguing companies I have had the pleasure to work with is RF2ANTENNA. RF2ANTENNA works on developing innovative and easy-to-integrate products for specific applications in wireless communications and wireless charging, with the goal of improving the efficiency of IoT devices with affordable solutions. Their core competency is in providing solutions to radiation problems in mobile products. The ANSYS Startup Program has given them the opportunity to take their work to the next level. Continue reading

Onewheel: A Turbocharged Skateboard Powered by ANSYS

Most people occasionally have dreams of flying — without the aid of an airplane or other mechanical device — just soaring through the air on their own power. The thrill ends with dream, unfortunately. Closer down to earth, many of us enjoy the feeling of gliding effortlessly across the snow on skis or a snowboard, over the ice on skates, or on a surfboard cutting through the water. There is something about the effortless gliding sensation that can’t be approached by the more mundane act of walking — though walking has its pleasures too.

Onewheel skateboard

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Why Startups and New Players are Driving Innovation in the Space 2.0 Arena

With a clear mission in mind, huge government funding and thousands of talented scientists, the early pioneers of space exploration were disrupting innovators, able to achieve what many thought impossible. Then organizations grew in size, and projects and goals multiplied while public funding was often in doubt. Despite other significant success, this led to a slowdown in the innovation pace. Now, another wave of innovators has come: Space 2.0 players.

With no history, no legacy of tools and processes and no constraints in workflow design, they were able in a few years to attract huge private funds and challenge the leadership of the big established players.

Both the old players and the newcomers rely on simulation, but I see a big difference in the results they get in terms of efficiency, costs and innovation pace. The secret is in how they implement it. Continue reading

Hang Gliding Takes Quantum Leap with Simulation

hang gliding simulation side viewSince its creation, hang gliding has progressed solely — and often painfully — through experimentation. But engineering simulation is starting to change that.

The German inventor and flight pioneer Otto Lilienthal made over 2,000 flights as long as 820 feet in gliders he designed and flew in the 1890s. He died in 1896 from injuries sustained in a glider crash, but his well-documented accounts of theories and experiences with flight influenced many of the early aviation pioneers, including the Wright Brothers. Continue reading

General Fusion Developing World’s First Commercially Viable Fusion Power Plant for Clean Energy

Energy supply is one of the world’s biggest challenges. Fusion technology has the potential to solve this challenge by providing on-demand, safe and clean energy that will combat climate change while driving economic growth. Drawing on decades of advancements in plasma physics, materials engineering and computer simulation, General Fusion is working to develop the world’s first commercially viable fusion power plant.

What Makes the General Fusion System Different?
Developing a completely new form of energy comes with plenty of challenges and unknowns, so General Fusion utilizes milestone-driven R&D campaigns and ANSYS simulation solutions to reduce the risk in its development process. One such campaign focused on testing the liquid metal compression technology that forms the core of General Fusion’s power plant. Continue reading

Earth-to-Space Delivery Services℠ Faster and Affordable with ANSYS Simulation

earth to space delivery systemsThe rapid surge in consumer demand for mobility, connectivity and content has fundamentally changed the space industry. Space, as the ultimate vantage point, is a necessary destination to connect 55 percent of the world that does not have access to the internet. With miniaturization of technologies, capabilities that until now required large satellites the size of a bus with a billion-dollar price tag are being challenged by small satellites that are 12 inches long and weigh only 9 pounds. When constellations of 24 to 800 of these small satellites are established in low Earth orbit, the world will enjoy global WiFi, maritime connectivity, real-time navigation maps, precise weather forecasts, virtual reality in space and more. Continue reading