Why engineers are increasingly self-testing their 3d models (virtually) – IT Pro – .Plans

Just as the advent of 3D CAD applications in the 1990s revolutionized the design and engineering process in many companies, these companies are now discovering the value of virtual simulations. “Many processes can no longer do without,” says Mattias Robertson, simulation expert for Solidworks, which develops these solutions within the 3DExperience Works portfolio.

With a background in mechanical engineering and mechanical design, Robertson became fascinated with 3D CAD in the 1990s when it hit the market. Since he joined the Nordic team of Solidworks – part of Dassault Systèmes – as a solution consultant a few years ago, he has been involved in simulation tools. 3D CAD and simulations are difficult to separate from each other. “They are integrated into the ecosystem of our solutions,” he says. “You run a simulation directly on your model and you immediately see the results.”

Speed ​​boost through instant testing

The focus of Solidworks with 3DExperience is to increase user-friendliness. “Traditionally, simulations are expensive and complex and are the domain of specialists. Engineers know this and are often hesitant to run simulations themselves, for fear of getting the wrong results. But that fear is now unwarranted. Once you get used to it, if you’ve been moved to do it yourself, you don’t want to go back.” Speed ​​is one of the biggest advantages of running virtual simulations directly on the model. “Unlike in the past, it no longer takes weeks for the results of a simulation to be received, after which you also have to interpret them. You now do it yourself and can immediately move to the next iteration of your design.”

also read: The smarter collaboration accelerates the emergence of electric mobility

The 3DExperience Works portfolio consists of several components. One is desktop 3D CAD software for 3d modeling. In the Netherlands, all universities and almost all universities of applied sciences work with this software. This means that students are introduced to the package at an early stage. Integrated with the software is Solidworks Simulation, a module that enables simulations with 3D models and design improvement. With Simulia, Solidworks also offers cloud-based simulation software with more computing power for very complex calculations. This section contains the xFlow module, which focuses on simulations for liquids and gases.

Tools are becoming more and more powerful

There are several reasons why simulation is one of the fastest growing markets in the world of industrial design, where Mattias operates. Solidworks offers its software solutions within this through a partner network. “Companies are discovering that they can test much more and better virtually, with more options at a lower price. That you can also do it in the cloud is a trend that I expect a lot from in the coming years, because it maintain expensive hardware with lots of memory and computing power. These tools are becoming more powerful, but also easier to use.”

Is there nothing to be critical of? “There is still a need for specialists. In the end, it’s also about calculations that you have to set up correctly. If you do something wrong, you get the wrong results. Some companies therefore state that letting engineers carry out simulations is something like to provide firearms to But engineers are not children, and with a little training and understanding of how it works, they can really get started with Solidworks Simulation and Simulia themselves,” said Mattias. “Our challenge is to help companies overcome their fears. come and learn to trust the results of virtual simulations entrepreneur program where we introduce start-ups to the possibilities of our ecosystem. The young generation of engineers in particular expect to be able to work entirely in the cloud. Among this group, the adoption of new technology is much faster.”

Companies more critical of material costs

An example of a company that uses virtual simulations in the design process is VEAP Shield. This Dutch company designs aerodynamic truck parts and runs simulations directly on the 3D models. Another example is Xeamos, which does something similar, but for exhaust systems. This eliminates the need for physical prototyping and effectively leverages endless insights through virtual testing, enabling them to continually improve their product.

“More and more companies are forced to look critically at their material and production costs. This is one reason to choose virtual simulations.” One group Mattias specifically mentions are companies that believe they don’t need simulations because they don’t design new products. “It is a misunderstanding, because you can also improve existing products. Engineers generally strive to optimize the use of materials. Many products are designed excessively, too strict, without reason. Or also contain the weak points that you want to remove it to, for example, reduce the number of product recalls.”

More insight into complex models

Mattias distinguishes four domains for which engineers run simulations within the 3DExperience ecosystem: structures, fluids and gases, electromagnetism, and casting. Some of these areas are ideal for virtual testing. “Traditionally, for example, a lot of experience is required to design molds well, but now you can quickly recognize errors in a model. When it comes to liquids and gases, you need accurate simulations to understand how flows behave in a product.” will quickly adjust the simulations to see what happens when you change a design. In mechanical engineering, manufacturers have to deal with machines where certain parts are exposed to more stress and can therefore break. You want to visualize the weak points to get. “

A flow test in SOLIDWORKS to optimize a truck’s air resistance.

Many companies focus on benchmarking their designs. These activities can also take place in the virtual world, and you can be sure that there is a good solution. “No harm in physical prototypes; there will still be a need for that. However, the number of prototypes can be drastically reduced.” Mattias sees more and more examples of companies successfully simulating virtual reality. “It is already common in the aerospace sector as well as in the automotive industry. But it also applies to machines, furniture, plastic components, etc. Also in the healthcare sector, our organizations increasingly use our solutions, or take mechatronics and designs. for iot systems. More and more products are being connected to each other, and this places new demands on very compact products. simulations.”

Want to know more about how companies use Solidworks for integrated product development? Then watch Mattias’ webinar on the possibilities of virtual testing.

This article is not an editorial, but sponsored and created thanks to Dassault Systèmes and Tweakers Partners. This is the department within Tweakers responsible for commercial collaborations, giveaways and Tweakers events such as meet-ups, Developers Summit, Testfest and more. See here for an overview of all campaigns and events. If you’d like to share ideas with us about this type of advertising, we’d love to hear from you. You can talk to us about this via [Discussie] Advertising in general].

Leave a Comment