New Altair OptiStruct Release Focuses on 3D Printing
Kyle Maxey posted on April 08, 2015 |
Altair’s latest release of its OptiStruct software adds plenty of new simulation capabilities, but the real story is the inclusion of 3D printing optimization tools.

One of the greatest benefits of 3D printing is its ability to produce designs that were once thought to be too expensive or impossible to create. However, as often is the case with such revolutionary technologies, it hasn’t quite lived up to all of the hype.

What do I mean?

When designing a part for additive manufacturing (AM), do you think engineering teams consider every possible iteration or weight optimization? Of course not. In fact, it’s improbable, if not impossible, for human beings to generate the type of radical designs possible with a powerful computer and the right parameters.

One might ask then, if you’re going to 3D print why not let a computer do the heavy lifting? That’s where OptiStruct’s new release comes in.

When it comes to building lattice structures, Altair’s new release is chock full of optimization tools that can help determine material distribution requirements for a design. In practice, that means the OptiStruct’s tools can make a designer’s job easier by determining where material is needed and where it isn’t. With those types of tools in place, designers can quickly build structurally sound and materially optimized components.

What’s more, 13.0 also offers simulation tools that allow teams to view how designs will react under tension and compression loads while also offering the option of investigating complex issues like buckling mechanics and thermal performance.

While OptiStruct’s tools are pretty powerful, they’re still a far cry from a generative modelling tool that could be fed a design and several parameters and asked to build an optimized structure. While such powerful algorithms have yet to be developed beyond case-by-case use, there’s always hope that simulation and analysis software like OptiStruct may one day come equipped with that type of technology.

Aside from its new 3D printing optimization tools, OptiStruct 13.0 also contains the following important features:

Nonlinear Analysis

·         Large Displacement Nonlinear Static Analysis

·         Hyperelastic materials

·         Parallelization using Domain Decomposition Method for reduced solution times

Heat Transfer Analysis

Nonlinear Heat Transfer Analysis[DA1] 

NVH Analysis

·         BIOT and Frequency-dependent material properties for frequency response analyses

·         Rotor dynamics for modal frequency response and complex Eigenvalue analyses


·         Parts and Instances – build models from individual parts and multiple instances of a single part

·         Subcase Specific Modeling – analyzes multiple structures in a single solver run

·         Global-Local Analysis – improved solution accuracy of model substructures

·         Periodic Boundary Conditions – results from one side of the model can be matched with the other side


·         Grid point force response for weld life optimization

·         External responses can be defined using Microsoft Excel workbooks

·         Multi-Model Optimization - run multiple optimization models with common design variables in a single run

·         Fatigue Optimization with Dang Van factor of safety constraints

Source: Altair

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