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Altair SimSolid: Accelerating Product Development with Fast and Accurate Structural Analysis

Introduction

In today's competitive market, engineers and designers face numerous challenges when developing new products. One of the most significant hurdles is the time-consuming process of performing finite element analysis (FEA) on complex assemblies. Traditional FEA software often requires extensive geometry simplification and meshing, leading to longer design iteration cycles and delayed time to market. Altair SimSolid, a revolutionary structural analysis software, addresses these pain points by providing fast and accurate simulations, enabling engineers to optimize designs efficiently and cost-effectively.

Streamlining FEA for Complex Assemblies

Fast FEA for Complex Assemblies with Altair SimSolid

Altair SimSolid's unique technology eliminates the need for geometry simplification and meshing, allowing users to run simulations directly on fully-featured CAD assemblies. This capability significantly reduces the time and effort required for analysis, enabling engineers to focus on design optimization rather than time-consuming preprocessing tasks. With SimSolid, engineers can import CAD models from various supported file formats, such as STEP, IGES, and Parasolid, and perform accurate simulations without the need for manual geometry cleanup or simplification.

Reducing Design Iteration Time Through Rapid FEA in Altair SimSolid

One of the most significant challenges engineers face during the product development process is the lengthy design iteration cycle. Traditional FEA software often requires hours or even days to set up and run simulations, limiting the number of design alternatives that can be explored. With SimSolid, engineers can perform multiple iterations of their most complex models and explore design alternatives at unprecedented speeds. According to a case study by Altair, a leading automotive manufacturer reduced their design iteration time by 75% using SimSolid, compared to traditional FEA methods. This rapid simulation capability allows users to make informed design decisions early in the development process, ultimately shortening the overall product development timeline.

Comprehensive Simulation Capabilities

Simulating Linear Static, Modal, and Thermal Properties with SimSolid

SimSolid offers a wide range of simulation capabilities, including linear static analysis, modal analysis, and thermal analysis. These functionalities enable engineers to calculate stresses, strains, and displacements, predict vibration behavior, and optimize thermal performance. By providing a comprehensive set of simulation tools, SimSolid empowers users to gain valuable insights into product performance and make data-driven design decisions.

For example, a consumer electronics company used SimSolid to optimize the design of a smartphone case. By performing linear static analysis, they identified areas of high stress concentration and redesigned the case to improve its structural integrity. Additionally, the company used SimSolid's thermal analysis capabilities to ensure that the device's internal components remained within acceptable temperature ranges, preventing potential overheating issues.

Simulating Bolted Connections for Robust Product Development with SimSolid

One of the key features of SimSolid is its ability to analyze various connection types, such as bolts, welds, rivets, and sliding contacts. This functionality is particularly important for industries like aerospace and automotive, where the integrity of bolted connections is critical for product safety and reliability. By accurately simulating the behavior of these connections, engineers can ensure that their designs meet the required performance standards and avoid potential failures.

In a recent project, an aerospace manufacturer used SimSolid to optimize the design of a wing assembly. By simulating the behavior of the bolted connections between the wing panels and the underlying structure, the company was able to identify areas where the bolts were experiencing excessive stress. Based on these insights, the engineers redesigned the connection points, resulting in a more robust and reliable wing assembly.

Design Optimization and Cost Reduction

Optimizing Designs for Weight Reduction and Performance Using SimSolid

SimSolid's integration with Altair Inspire enables users to perform topology optimization, which helps identify the optimal material distribution for a given set of design constraints. This material optimization capability leads to lighter, more efficient designs that reduce material costs and improve product performance. In a recent project, a leading aerospace company used SimSolid and Inspire to optimize a bracket design, resulting in a 35% weight reduction without compromising structural integrity.

Cost-Effective Design Optimization with Altair SimSolid and Material Usage Reduction

By leveraging SimSolid's rapid simulation capabilities and material optimization features, companies can significantly reduce their design costs. The software enables engineers to identify areas where material can be removed without affecting product performance, leading to reduced material usage and lower production costs. Additionally, the faster design iteration cycles achieved with SimSolid help companies bring products to market more quickly, providing a competitive edge and increasing profitability.

A real-world example of cost-effective design optimization using SimSolid can be seen in the case of a leading industrial equipment manufacturer. By using SimSolid to analyze and optimize the design of a heavy-duty gearbox housing, the company was able to reduce the overall weight of the component by 28% while maintaining its structural integrity. This weight reduction not only led to lower material costs but also improved the equipment's energy efficiency and performance.

Accessibility and Collaboration

Cloud-Based FEA for Collaborative Design Analysis: Altair SimSolid

Altair SimSolid offers a cloud-based solution that enables teams to collaborate seamlessly on design projects, regardless of their location. This feature is particularly beneficial for companies with distributed teams or those working with external partners. By leveraging the cloud, engineers can access and share simulation results in real-time, fostering better communication and faster decision-making.

Getting Started with Altair SimSolid: A Beginner's Guide to Structural Analysis

SimSolid's user-friendly interface and intuitive workflow make it accessible to users with varying levels of FEA expertise. The software provides comprehensive documentation, tutorials, and support resources to help beginners get started quickly. Whether you are a seasoned FEA expert or new to structural analysis, SimSolid's ease of use and powerful capabilities make it an ideal choice for streamlining your design process.

For those just getting started with SimSolid, the software offers a variety of resources to help users become proficient quickly. The Altair Learning Library provides a wealth of video tutorials, webinars, and hands-on exercises that cover topics ranging from basic software navigation to advanced simulation techniques. Additionally, SimSolid's online community forums provide a platform for users to ask questions, share best practices, and learn from experienced professionals in the field.

Comparing Altair SimSolid to Other FEA Software

When evaluating structural analysis software, it's essential to consider how Altair SimSolid compares to other FEA tools in the market. While SimSolid offers unique capabilities and benefits, it's important to acknowledge that other software packages may be better suited for specific applications or user preferences.

One of the key advantages of SimSolid is its ability to perform fast and accurate simulations on complex assemblies without the need for geometry simplification or meshing. This capability sets it apart from many traditional FEA tools that require extensive preprocessing before running simulations. However, some users may prefer the added control and customization options provided by more traditional FEA software, particularly for highly specialized or niche applications.

Another factor to consider is the learning curve associated with each software package. While SimSolid is designed to be user-friendly and accessible to beginners, some users may find the interface and workflow of other FEA tools more intuitive, particularly if they have prior experience with those software packages.

Ultimately, the choice between Altair SimSolid and other FEA software will depend on the specific needs and preferences of the user or organization. It's recommended to evaluate multiple options, consider factors such as ease of use, simulation capabilities, and integration with existing design workflows, and, if possible, take advantage of free trials or demonstrations to determine the best fit for your unique requirements.

Advanced Applications and Industry-Specific Solutions

Simulating Composite Materials in Aerospace Design with Altair SimSolid

The aerospace industry increasingly relies on composite materials to create lightweight, high-performance components. However, simulating the behavior of composite materials can be challenging due to their anisotropic properties and complex failure modes. Altair SimSolid's advanced capabilities enable engineers to accurately simulate the behavior of composite materials, taking into account factors such as ply orientation, layup sequence, and material properties.

In a recent case study, an aerospace manufacturer used SimSolid to optimize the design of a composite wing spar. By accurately simulating the stress distribution and failure modes within the composite structure, the company was able to reduce the weight of the spar by 20% while maintaining its structural integrity and meeting all performance requirements.

Analyzing Welded Structures for Heavy Equipment with Altair SimSolid

In the heavy equipment industry, welded structures play a critical role in the performance and durability of machines such as excavators, cranes, and mining equipment. Altair SimSolid's ability to accurately simulate the behavior of welded connections enables engineers to optimize the design of these structures for improved strength, fatigue resistance, and overall performance.

A leading manufacturer of construction equipment recently used SimSolid to analyze the welded frame of a large excavator. By simulating the stress distribution and identifying potential failure points, the company was able to redesign the frame, increasing its strength and durability while reducing overall weight. This optimization led to improved machine performance, reduced maintenance costs, and increased customer satisfaction.

Simulating Thermal Performance of Electronic Devices with Altair SimSolid

As electronic devices become more compact and powerful, managing thermal performance becomes increasingly critical. Overheating can lead to reduced performance, component failure, and even safety hazards. Altair SimSolid's thermal analysis capabilities enable engineers to accurately simulate heat transfer and temperature distributions within electronic devices, allowing them to optimize designs for improved thermal management.

In a recent project, a leading consumer electronics company used SimSolid to analyze the thermal performance of a new smartphone design. By simulating the heat generated by the device's components and identifying areas of high temperature concentration, the company was able to redesign the device's internal layout and implement more effective cooling solutions. This optimization resulted in improved device performance, increased battery life, and enhanced user experience.

Conclusion

Altair SimSolid is a game-changing structural analysis software that addresses the challenges faced by engineers and designers in today's fast-paced product development environment. By providing fast and accurate simulations, comprehensive simulation capabilities, and powerful design optimization features, SimSolid enables companies to streamline their design processes, reduce costs, and bring products to market faster. With its user-friendly interface, cloud-based collaboration, and advanced applications, SimSolid is an essential tool for any organization looking to stay competitive in the ever-evolving world of product development.

By investing in Altair SimSolid, companies can unlock the full potential of their design teams, reduce development costs, and improve overall profitability. With its proven track record of success across multiple industries, SimSolid is a smart choice for organizations seeking to optimize their structural analysis processes and stay ahead of the competition.