The conversation began months ago when I posted a motion for discussion in the LinkedIn group called “New Trends in CAE Simulation.” I asked, “Do you agree or disagree? It’s dangerous to simplify FEA and make it accessible for the masses.”
There’s clearly a push among computer-aided design (CAE) software vendors to package their simulation programs for a broader audience. These programs have historically been the domain of Ph.D.-level experts. Some critics see the move to reinvent them for designers and engineers as “dumbing down” a complex process. Others believe greater accessibility to simulation through simpler interfaces would lead to better designs. Continue reading
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
DE‘s contributing editor Tony Abbey, a recognized finite element analysis (FEA) trainer in NAFEM‘s classrooms and online courses, is planning to field your questions in a webinar titled “FEA for Managers & Reviewers: Ask Tony” (March 7).
So I took advantage of our editorial affiliation to toss him a question that’s been on my mind: How would you distinguish the terms “simulation” and “analysis”? Are they synonymous? Continue reading
People who are involved in DARPA’s FANG (fast adaptable next-generation ground) vehicle design program may not realize they’re interacting with a component supplied by a start-up based in Palo Alto, California. Embedded inside META, the web-hosted software accessible to all FANG participants free of charge, is the technology from CyDesign, a company founded by Serdar Uckun. Formerly a principal scientist at Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) and technical area lead at NASA Ames Research Center, Uckun has extensive experience in system engineering and complex system design. About a year go, Uckun decided to create a commercial version of the software he developed. So he set up shop about five miles away from Stanford University and lunched CyDesign. The new company’s product, CyDesign Studio, is gearing up for public release in summer 2013. Continue reading
“It’s easier to move pixels than to move atoms around,” noted Michael Grieves, author of Virtually Perfect: Driving Innovative and Lean Products through Product Lifecycle Management. In other words, perfecting a product is easier done in the virtual world than the physical world.
“My ideal [design environment] is where I digitally design the product, digitally test it, digitally manufacture it, digitally figure out the support activities–and only when I get it right do I actually go out and bend some metal,” he said. Manufacturers didn’t have that option before because, he observed, “The ability to use computers to mirror the physical world and simulate physical things in the virtual world is a relatively new phenomena … 3D models became robust enough for simulation only in the last decade or so.” Continue reading