HyperWorks 14.0 Simulates Bigger Models Faster
Shawn Wasserman posted on March 08, 2016 |
Altair improves assembly management, graphics engine and expanded optimization and nonlinear solver ...
(All images courtesy of Altair.)

(All images courtesy of Altair.)

The latest release of Altair’s flagship simulation platform HyperWorks 14.0 is now available. The computer-aided engineering (CAE) platform offers users a variety of tools to simulate and optimize their designs. The latest release of the software offers assembly management tools and a new graphics engine to allow engineers to work with bigger models faster. 

How to Manage Large CAE Model Assemblies 

Build multiple meshes from one model using variant part options.

Build multiple meshes from one model using variant part options.

Many of the modeling and visualization tool enhancements in HyperWorks 14.0 aim to give engineers the ability to leverage larger models and assemblies.

For example, users can now work with variants of parts within assembly and subassembly models. This will be quite useful from a product development management (PDM) standpoint.  

“Model assemblies nowadays have many variants that should be managed at the same time,” said Simone Bonino, VP of marketing at Altair. “Users were traditionally forced to create separate models for each variant. With HyperWorks 14.0, you can manage all the variants in the same model.” 

These assemblies can then be passed back and forth between the most popular CAD systems and HyperMesh, which can build different meshes based on the variant parts and the simulation type. This reduces the necessary time to optimize a mesh to a particular assessment and prevents the creation of a PDM file nightmare.

To support all of these larger models and assemblies, Altair has also released a new graphics engine. The company has reported that it has seen significant improvements in photorealistic rendering speeds with less RAM usage compared to the previous release of the software. 

Table shows HyperWorks’ reported rendering comparing the graphics engine of version 13.0 and 14.0. 

Model Rendered  HyperWorks 13.0  HyperWorks 14.0 
Geometry Model 
Surfs: 340,000 
Solids: 1,500 
Lines: 28,000 
13.5 GB of RAM  10 GB of RAM
60x Faster 
Finite Element Model
Nodes: 8.5 million
Elements: 17 million 
9.8 GB of RAM  5.7 GB of RAM
15x Faster 

Another handy set of geometry and meshing tools added to HyperWorks 14.0 are its undo and redo functions. These functions will be compatible for most geometry and meshing operations. This will be particularly useful for users creating and editing larger geometry and meshes, which are prone to mistakes.

To help simplify and facilitate the meshing experience, engineers can now use the Connector Entity Editor (CEE) to see and edit all the attributes of all selected connections simultaneously. Additionally, engineers can save mesh time by using reusable meshing scenarios.

New User Interface for SimLab Users

HyperMesh looks a lot like Inspire these days.

HyperMesh looks a lot like Inspire these days.

Inspire users will notice that SimLab now has a very familiar browser-based workflow

“We are investing a lot in the user experience,” said Bonino. “The entire user experience has been redesigned into an Inspire-like user interface and framework to make the workflow easier. We kept all the automation working behind the scenes.” 

It appears that HyperXtrude, HyperWorks Virtual Wind Tunnel and other products have also had this Inspire facelift. Therefore, it would seem that users should be on the lookout for a new common UI to take over all of HyperWorks, including mainstream products like HyperMesh.

Though performing this upgrade piece-by-piece will allow users to get used to the new UI gradually, transferring between them might bring some workflow confusion as users work with different looking tools.

This in turn could backfire and extend the annoyance core users express when facing a UI shift. Additionally, maintaining two UIs can create other issues such as doubling up user training sessions, development teams and unforeseen bugs.  

However, Altair has done a lot to limit these UI transition issues by making the new UI customizable and basing it off the original core technology. Users can therefore bring much of the old apps and look back into the new.

“There are no panels that are required, but you can bring the panels up. So, if you want to work in the old way, we haven’t taken anything away,” James Dagg, chief technical officer at Altair assured users in this video. “This new user interface is built on top of the existing HyperMesh core architecture. All the old macros and menu systems and automations people have developed over the years will work with no modification.”

Altair Releases New Tools for Multiphysics Simulations 

Physics and solver technology available in HyperWorks 14.0.

Physics and solver technology available in HyperWorks 14.0.

HyperWorks has quite a number of physics solvers in its portfolio. All of the solvers are optimization-ready and are capable of working together on multiphysics problems.  

This list of solvers includes: 

  • OptiStruct for linear and nonlinear finite-element analysis (FEA) or optimization of structures 
  • RADIOSS for FEA simulations that are highly nonlinear and are under dynamic loading 
  • AcuSolve for thermal and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations 
  • MotionSolve for multibody simulations 

In addition, this year Altair has expanded the solver list with FEKO for computational electromagnetics simulations. Altair has been busy updating FEKO since it was acquired in June 2014. Some of these improvements include script recording and extensions for higher order-based functions (HOBF) curvilinear segments and automating the electromagnetic geometry creation tool CADFEKO. 

Altair has also been investing in another set of solvers from FluiDyna, which includes nanoFluidX for particle-based fluid flows and ultraFluidX for aerodynamics simulations. “By using GPU technology to run these computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations, you can get accurate results much faster,” said Bonino. “Both of these GPU-based CFD solvers are now available to our users.” 

Some other physics-based improvements for HyperWorks 14.0 include: 

  • New sliding contact available for OptiStruct speeds up the simulation of gears
  • RADIOSS can generate automatic finite volume meshes for internal airbag topology applications 
  • RADIOSS scalable to 8192 cores with over 15 million elements in the model 
  • Material and failure models expanded for RADIOSS (thermal expansion and damage output) 
  • Transient temperatures at multiple time steps in thermal-structural simulations 
  • Expanded Automotive multi-body simulation library for MotionSolve (full vehicle simulations) 

Lattices and Composites Optimize Designs for Light-Weight Results 

Lattice optimizations will ensure very lightweight designs.

Lattice optimizations will ensure very lightweight designs.

An interesting addition to Altair’s topology optimization technology is the capability to use lattices when building a concept design.

OptiStruct is also able to merge the lattice-and-solid structures in the design as it creates the concept design. These hybrid lattice structures are great for light-weight 3D-printed designs.

“We are performing an interesting study with Materialize and Renishaw,” said Bonino. “We optimized a spider bracket to have a unique characteristic, an optimized hybrid lattice. The bracket has solid and lattice elements to really optimize the structure, just like you’d see in nature. It uses a lighter lattice elements where needed and solid shape where required.” 

Another optimization technology coming to HyperWorks 14.0 in the next few weeks will also work to light-weight designs by optimizing the composite materials. The Multiscale Designer will digitally model, simulate, test and optimize composite materials in multiple spatial and temporal scenarios. 

The tool will determine the material properties of the composite based on a unit cell of the material and statistical analysis. The material properties are then placed into the structural solver for material testing. Engineers can even loop the process to find the right composite fiber-to-plastic ratio for the design. 

Other optimization-based improvements in HyperWorks 14.0 include: 

  • OptiStruct optimization algorithm for 3D topology optimization using RADIOSS 
  • Easier HyperStudy setup:  
    • Quick selection of HyperMesh parameters 
    • Streamlined response definitions 
    • Use of existing run information in inclusion matrix 

How Licensing is Changing for Altair

With all of the focus of HyperWorks 14.0 on larger models with multiphysics optimizations, users might worry about the licensing getting a little pricey. This might be true if you are using your pool of HyperWorks Units (HWU) to license your simulations on a per-solver job basis. 

To combat this, Altair has released a set-up where you can now use your HWU on a compute-per-node basis. This means that you will be charged based on the number of compute nodes you use at the same time for all solver jobs. 

The licensing model needs to adapt to new HPC resources available,” explained Bonino. “Evolving the license towards solver node licensing compared to job-based licensing means you can run a lot more jobs.”

To find out more about HyperWorks 14.0 follow this link.

Altair has sponsored this post. They have no editorial input to this post. All opinions are mine. —Shawn Wasserman

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