Setting up simulation jobs that accurately reproduce real-world phenomenons — how an engine heats up during operation or how fluid flows inside a catheter — takes skill and experience. So is interpreting the FEA (finite element analysis) results. The second phase is crucial in making intelligent deductions about how to improve the design.
About a month ago, with ANSYS‘ help, I put together a video covering the basic setup of a CFD job. For simplicity, ANSYS’ senior product manager Gilles Eggenspieler and I decided to focus on a very straightforward scenario: the water pressure inside a valve during close and open operations. The valve is installed at an angle, making it difficult to foresee the water’s behavior or pressure. Continue reading
Recent mergers and acquisitions in the simulation market reveal a growing appetite for composite expertise. The explanation is simple (and it’s going to sound like a pitch from a diet program): by gobbling up composite content, you can master the art of weight loss.
In aerospace and automotive, manufacturers aggressively pursue weight reduction because lighter products provide better fuel economy. The most recent discovery is that composite materials offer a serious advantage in weight reduction. Explaining its innovative approach to aircraft design, Airbus notes, “Composite materials maximize weight reduction — as they typically are 20% lighter than aluminum –- and are known to be more reliable than other traditional metallic materials, leading to reduced aircraft maintenance costs, and a lower number of inspections during service.”
Everyone in simulation wants a piece of the composite action. This has led to Autodesk’s acquisition of Firehole Technologies, Siemens PLM Software’s acquisition of Vistagy, MSC Software’s acquisition of E-Xtream, and more. This week, ANSYS joined the gold rush by gobbling up EVEN, based in Zurich, Switzerland. Continue reading
Most designers and engineers today don’t think twice about running basic stress analysis on their CAD models. Mainstream mechanical design software programs — Autodesk Inventor, SolidWorks, Solid Edge, and PTC Creo, to name but a few — offer integrated stress analysis, often at no additional cost. What was once considered specialists’ domain is now second nature to general CAD users.
Simulation software developers are hoping, with intuitive interfaces and simplified dialog boxes, they can make general design engineers feel more comfortable performing advanced simulation tasks earlier during the design cycle. The aim is to encourage simulation-driven design — the use of digital simulation to identify the best geometry for the product, be it a camera housing or a crane. Continue reading
On a bright sunny Friday, I ventured out to San Francisco’s South of Market District (SOMA), to locate the office of Rescale in the cluster of start-ups that dot the neighborhood. Somewhere between GreenCitizen Inc. and Kate O’Briens Irish pub, I found the buzzer to Rescale’s door.
Sunny Manivannan, Rescale’s VP of business development, popped his head out to identify the entrance. (I had already overshot the floor and was half way up another flight.) “The floor labeling system isn’t the best here,” he said. Continue reading
Soon after immigrating to the U.S., while taking my first driving exam to get a license, I crashed into a guardrail. But the memory of that nerve-wrecking incident was not the reason I haven’t driven a car for more than 5 miles in the past 23 years. I’m lucky enough to live in San Francisco, a city with a fairly reliable public transit system. I can get around by jumping on a bus, a street car (not named Desire), or a train. So usually I read, fidget with my iPhone, or daydream while I let someone else do the driving. Continue reading