HyperWorks 2017 CAE Release Focuses on Electromagnetic and MBD Portfolio
Shawn Wasserman posted on March 09, 2017 | 1931 views

HyperWorks users will now have access to Altair’s 2017 release of the computer-aided engineering (CAE) software. This new release focused on a laundry list of improvements including model-based design (MBD), modeling and meshing.

HyperWorks 2017 also focuses on adding to the physics that engineers can simulate within the platform. This includes electromagnetism, nonlinear structural analysis, multiphysics and light weighting optimizations.

Summary of Altair’s portfolio of CAE technology. (Image courtesy of Altair.)
Summary of Altair’s portfolio of CAE technology. (Image courtesy of Altair.)

“With the HyperWorks 2017 release, we followed our vision to continue focusing on simulation-driven innovation. We are now able to simulate more physics with improved high performance computing (HPC) performance,” said Uwe Schramm, chief technical officer of solvers and optimization at Altair. “In particular, with the addition of flux for low-frequency EM simulation, we’re offering a complete multiphysics portfolio, all linked through optimization.”

MBD Suite Brings solidThinking to HyperWorks

Altair is attempting to break into the early phase of the product development with solidThinking tools. MBD and 1D simulations are the core to the system design section of the engineering “Vee.” (Image courtesy of Altair.)

Altair is attempting to break into the early phase of the product development with solidThinking tools. MBD and 1D simulations are the core to the system design section of the engineering “Vee.” (Image courtesy of Altair.)

The functions from Altair’s newest solidThinkingMBD suite will now be a part of the HyperWorks platform. Users can access them using the token-based HyperWorks Units (HWU) licensing.

“We extended our reach from the traditional 3D simulation to 1D physical, 1D signal and math-based simulation,” said Simone Bonino, vice president of marketing at Altair’s HyperWorks.“The beauty of the solution is that these four CAE tools are all well integrated into one solution.”

This will open up the capabilities of solidThinking’s Activate, Compost and Embed to more engineers. This is ideal for teams working onsystem concept studies, control design, system performance optimization, controller implementation and testing.

The aim of these tools is to expand Altair’s influence through the entire product development cycle. With the use of MBD and 1D simulations, engineers can start to find and correct flaws in the system design before the geometry of the parts have even hit the drawing board.

So, what can you expect from the new solidThinking products?

  • Compose is a comprehensive math engine capable of understanding multiple computer languages. It is also capable of 2D and 3D visualization.
  • Activate enables users to model and simulate multidisciplinary systems using MBD and block diagrams. Engineers can then generate code to control the system.
  • Embedis a graphical environment that helps engineers work on an embedded development. The generated code can be optimized here based on the target microprocessors.

To learn more about Altair’s MBD products, read “solidThinking Joins Model-Based System Development Space.”

Physics Improvements for HyperWorks 2017 Simulations

HyperWorks solvers have all had a speed and scalability boost in the 2017 release. Also, all of Altair’s solvers are included within a desktop in HyperWorks and on the cloud via the HyperWorks Unlimited platform.

Altair has been very busy acquiring and releasing new products recently. (Image courtesy of Altair.)
Altair has been very busy acquiring and releasing new products recently. (Image courtesy of Altair.)

In particular, FEKO, OptiStruct and RADIOS have all been updated to maximize current HPC technology. With their improved parallelization, engineers are sure to see solutions pop out of the machine faster.

One solver that has seen a lot of love this time around is OptiStruct, which can now handle nonlinear contact and material models.

“For OptiStruct, one of our focus areas is nonlinear large deformation analysis,” said Schramm. “In 2017, we added nonlinear transient analysis. The purpose is to couple AcuSolve to do fluid structure interaction.”

“With OptiStruct, we spend a lot of time continuing the development of topology optimization,” added Schramm. “We kept working on the manufacturing solution for the lattice optimization. Multimodel optimization is also maturing. We are finding more and more applications for it. Our goal is to include all the physics into optimization.”

In terms of fluid simulations, the release has also seen some computational fluid dynamics improvements. AcuSolve users in the automotive and aerospace industries will be happy to see new models for turbulent and transitional flows.

As for Altair’s electromagnetic tool FEKO, it has received a boost thanks to Flux’s static and low-frequency simulations and WinProp’s radio network planning. These added tools will help engineers expand the high-frequency electromagnetic simulations they were performing with FEKO.

Use the right EM tool for the right job based on frequency. With Flux, FEKO and WinProp, engineers have options. (Image courtesy of Altair.)
Use the right EM tool for the right job based on frequency. With Flux, FEKO and WinProp, engineers have options. (Image courtesy of Altair.)

So, when would an engineer choose one EM tool over the other?

  • FEKO Is best suited for simulating high-frequency situations like antenna, radiation hazards, radomes and bioelectromagnetics.
  • Flux designs low-frequency equipment like electrical machines, actuators, sensor, high-power equipment and heat treatment.
  • WinProp simulates wave propagation best suited for communication like the design of Internet of Things (IoT) products.

Much of this release’s focus on electromagnetism isn’t surprising since Altair has been expanding its portfolio through various acquisitions that have a focus on EM physics capabilities. Given the push that product developers are experiencing to create IoT products, this EM suite from Altair is a good business move.

Multiscale Material Modeling for Composites

Multiscale Designer workflow allows engineers to add composites to the material database and use them in structural simulations. (Image courtesy of Altair.)

Multiscale Designer workflow allows engineers to add composites to the material database and use them in structural simulations. (Image courtesy of Altair.)

HyperWorks 2017 has also improved its composite modeling and simulations with the Multiscale Designer.

Using this tool, engineers can work with various heterogeneous materials, including laminates, honeycomb cores, reinforced concrete, soil, bones and more.

“Heterogeneous materials can be assessed at multiple scales,” said Bonino.

“For example,” he added,“the ply scale in a laminated composite isn’t sufficient to predict the material behavior. You really need to look at the microlevel to be accurate. That is what Multiscale Designer does. It allows you to create these elements at a micro level and apply it to the macro level through a structural solver.”

To learn more about the Multiscale Designer, read “Altair’s Multiscale Designer Simplifies the Simulation of Composite Materials.”

Engineers will also now be able to access functionality from solidThinking’s Click2Cast and its new product manufacturing simulation software Click2Form and Click2Extrude within the HyperWorks framework. This will help engineers to further define how the materials will perform for a given part.

Preprocessing in HyperWorks 2017

HyperWorks part library updates for assemblies, configurations and model variant management. (Image courtesy of Altair.)

HyperWorks part library updates for assemblies, configurations and model variant management. (Image courtesy of Altair.)

Much of the preprocessing improvements in HyperWorks 2017 is connected to HyperMesh. The solution can now perform assembly, configuration and model-variant management. Engineers will also benefit from the expanded part library.

“The part library is a great tool for storing and loading a work in progress,” clarified James P. Dagg, chief technical officer of user experience at Altair. “You can store a catalog of all the common parts that a work group needs to use. They can download their models from a PLM system and store them locally in the part library. It keeps revision controls on them so they can backup to different versions and reload.”

“They can also build different configuration of their models,” added Dagg.“With the configuration modeler, they can import parts from the part library and group them into part sets that are convenient groupings of parts. They can then drag them into assemblies and configure them for different load cases or variations of the model. We also do part instancing now. You don’t have to create multiple copies—we can do the instancing, which is very efficient.”

Engineers in the transportation industry will also notice that HyperWorks has new features dedicated to crash and safety. The tool has a new dummy positioner that has a kinematic solver and graphics manipulator built into the tool. This graphic manipulator can also be used in a seat-positioning tool to better understand and place the seat’s articulated parts.

Finally, HyperWorks has also launched a new tool named ConnectMe. The tool will help engineering managers manage, launch and update products within Altair’s platform. “Through ConnectMe, you can manage all of your HyperWorks products and updates,” said Bonino. “You can also be in touch with the latest news of Altair.”

Much of HyperWorks 2017 focuses on tools and products already announced by Altair and covered by ENGINEERING.com. What sets the release apart is that it appears that Altair is now trying to unify its brand and technology more into a single platform. For users, this will be a big win, as they will be able to access this technology using HWU whenever they need it and then move onto the next tool they need for their workflow without worrying about their licensing.

For more on what’s new in HyperWorks 2017, check out its website.


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