The Simulation Revolution Gets Real
Roopinder Tara posted on July 21, 2020 |
Real-time simulation that arrived with ANSYS Discovery Live now in AIM
Structural analysis of a wheelchair with ANSYS Discovery.(Image courtesy of Onward Project LLC.)

Structural analysis of a wheelchair with ANSYS Discovery.(Image courtesy of Onward Project LLC.)

“We’ve got to get together sooner or later
         Because the revolution’s here, and you know it’s right.”

                                                  -Thunderclap Newton, 1969

ANSYS has launched Discovery, a new application that unites three of its products: Discovery Live, Discovery AIM and SpaceClaim.

By putting a real-time solver into AIM, ANSYS has revolutionized mechanical and fluid simulation. No longer will FEA and CFD users have to wait to see the effect of changing a design. Tying AIM together with SpaceClaim, the solid modeling application, lets analysts, engineers or designers easily change the design geometry based on instantaneous feedback.

Real-time simulation is a game changer. As a part is being designed, it will display stresses that it might encounter when it is being used. For example, a stress concentration that exceeds what the material will tolerate show up in red and a flag will be raised. The designer adjusts a parameter, thickening the part, and the stress goes down, causing the red to disappear. It happens in the amount of time it just took you to read about it. The problem scarcely drew attention to itself. It was a nonevent.

Contrast that to what you are going through. Hitting “solve,” and then taking a coffee break until the stress contour plots appear on your model. Or waiting for your complex, million-element modelreport from the analyst—hopefully tomorrow, and hopefully with no stress concentrations that you missed, circled in red, just like your teachers did on your exams.

Speed is the key to early simulation in a design cycle. Do it and you will reap benefits, we hear.

Real-time simulation of fluid flow in a valve with Discovery. (Image courtesy of ANSYS.)
Real-time simulation of fluid flow in a valve with Discovery. (Image courtesy of ANSYS.)

“According to an ROI study, we found that customers adopting upfront simulation see substantial improvements of engineering productivity, product innovation and quality,” said Mark Hindsbo, VP and general manager at ANSYS. “Engineering labor costs dropped 26% and there were 60% more design alternatives evaluated, a 19% drop in physical testing and safety costs.”

We know it is good for us and we should do it. We also know that flossing our teeth reduces our dental costs and eating our vegetables makes us live longer. Still, simulation that is too hard to use and takes too long to run is easy to explain away. When does it not feel like we are cramming in a part that just will not fit?

But now real-time simulation, like real-time rendering, has arrived. The delays, the stop-and-waits for the simulation have vanished. Thank you, GPU chip makers, and thank you, ANSYS. We will be quite excited to see no more of our designs circled in red.

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