Archive for the ‘Femap’ Category
The goal of Solar Impulse is to circumnavigate the world in a fixed wing aircraft that only uses solar power. The aircraft recently landed in Hawaii, the first port of call in the United States, after a challenging flight that lasted 5 days and nights across the North Pacific Ocean from Nagoya in Japan – the furthest a solar plane has ever flown, and the longest lasting solo flight in aviation history.
The Solar Impulse plane that is currently undertaking this feat is the second aircraft, known as Solar Impulse 2, and is an improved version of the original prototype aircraft. The aircraft certainly is an exercise in efficient design and minimizing weight, with a wingspan roughly equivalent to that of an Airbus A380, the whole plane weighs about as much as a large family car.
The engineering team at Solar Impulse has made extensive use of composite materials in the design, to maximize stiffness and minimize weight. The team used Femap with NX Nastran, to help design the composite wing structure as well as the plane’s metal components. Clearly a high degree of structural optimization was required to produce such an efficient design. Use of simulation in conjunction with experience drawn from the first aircraft design led to significant weight reduction through improved material performance, going from a material weighing 100 grams per square meter to one weighing 25 grams per square meter. The Solar Impulse engineers also made good use of the Femap application programming interface (API), writing many scripts to automate a lot of the analysis work.
You can read the full case study to find out more about how Solar Impulse used simulation to optimize the aircraft’s design, making it possible to attempt to circumnavigate the globe without using a drop of fuel.
Congratulations to the Solar Impulse team!
We’re very pleased to announce that version 11.2 has now been released to manufacture, which means it’s also available for download from the GTAC support site accessible with your webkey. Femap 11.2 includes something that should appeal to all Femap users whether it’s new capabilities, performance improvements or simply better ways of getting the job done.
Some of the new capabilities are mentioned below.
Analysis studies help to organize output into more orderly and understandable data sets. You can group output sets from different analysis types into analysis studies then operate on them collectively – this makes it easier to envelope data to get maxima and minima, or create animations for example.
Free body section cut
You can gain a faster understanding of load paths through the model with the free body section cut capability – a cutting plane where the free body summation is calculated and displayed. You can interactively move this plane through the model and see the load summation update live.
New geometry tools are available that allow you to edit geometry entities interactively. You can move geometry entities in the model, close gaps following a mid-surfacing operation or repair problematic or incorrectly defined geometry – all interactively.
A new contact manager data surface function makes the process of setting up contact between components much quicker and easier to visualize. There are also various enhancements to element / property relations that allow a more efficient FE model definition.
New controls over the number of through-thickness elements enhance the accuracy of solid tetrahedral models. Also, you can now define the number of splits for the edge split command to split an element into a number of elements. There are enhancements too that allow you to create an accurate mesh around potential stress raisers like slots with the enhanced pad and washer commands.
Graphics performance improvements
Femap’s performance graphics continues to expand support of graphics entities, taking advantage of more efficient graphics storage and access right on the graphics card.
NX Nastran integration
Femap 11.2 ships with NX Nastran 10 and extends support of NX Nastran (and other solvers) to provide closer integration between the pre- and postprocessor and solver.
We’re taking a new approach with the Femap Symposium this year and instead of a single event, we’re planning multiple events – the Femap Symposium Series 2015 – across the country over the next few months in conjunction with our channel partners.
This isn’t the whole list though, we’ll be adding a couple of new dates and venues in the near future.
We hope to reach more of the Femap user base in this way, and give more people a chance to learn about the latest capabilities, see what’s coming in future product development as well as learn some more advanced applications. So choose a venue near you and register now to secure your place.
Reasons to attend these exciting events:
- Find out what’s in the latest release of the software, and what’s coming in the future
- Increase your productivity and extend your knowledge of Femap – there are a lot of advanced topics being covered
- See how other customers use Femap and solve complex engineering problems
- Meet some of the the Femap developers
- Network with other Femap users
We look forward to seeing you at one of these events.
Founded twenty-five years ago, Octatube is a Dutch engineering and manufacturing company that works closely with architects to help them realize their ideas. The challenges in developing new structures and retrofitting older buildings are increased with the need to maintain compliancy with building codes and observe restrictions on historic buildings.
With Octatube buildings, the constructions are shipped as prefabricated elements and assembled on-site to avoid the need for welding, so design for prefabrication and the use of new types of building materials are important. Creating prefabricated elements for on-site construction requires robust, quality designs with tight tolerances to ensure trouble-free construction.
Octatube starts to use Femap with NX Nastran in the bidding phase of a project to carry out detailed design calculations. Calculations are geared towards optimizing design construction and material usage to minimize costs but without compromising creativity or customer design requirements. With project approval, engineering begins in earnest.
A big part of any construction is the need to minimize risk. Femap helps the Octatube engineers gain a realistic impression of how the materials will behave and minimize any potential on-site construction risks.
You can read the full case study to find out more about how Octatube takes advantage of engineering technology to realize architectural designs.
As 2014 comes to a close, take a moment to reflect on all the decisions you’ve made this year. The vast majority of them are small but some are undoubtedly “bigger” and more impactful. For example, maybe you decided to change jobs or buy a new car or perhaps you took on a new assignment at work or decided to invest in a particular stock. Try to isolate one impactful decision in particular. As soon as you have one in mind; ask yourself “was this a smart (good) decision?”
If you answered “yes,” my hunch is that it is a decision that resulted in a favorable outcome… and if you answered “no” it’s because it had a poor outcome. The characterization of a decision as either “good” or “bad” based on the outcome is human nature. However common it is, I contend that it’s not a good measure because it categorizes the decision based on what is possibly a random outcome. In other words, the outcome sometimes has nothing to do with the decision due to circumstances that are out of our control.
I propose we think about decisions and outcomes separately; that is, we make a distinction between the decision process and the decision outcome. Why? Because by making this distinction, it makes us aware that good decisions can sometimes have bad outcomes and conversely, bad decisions can have good outcomes on occasion. In other words, a “smart” process can be guaranteed, but a favorable outcome cannot. When we focus on always using a good decision process (which is something that we can control) we can stack the odds in our favor. The result will be better decision outcomes over time, which is, after all, what we want; to make decisions with favorable outcomes.
In my next blog, I’ll outline the characteristics of a good (aka “smart”) decision process and how we can use it to always (yes, always!) make smart decisions with high probabilities of favorable outcomes.
Founded in 1828, Bureau Veritas is a global leader in testing, inspection and certification. In the marine industry, where the company provides statutory certification of ships (among other services), 140 national administrations recognize Bureau Veritas as an official certification body.
Olivier Degrand, project manager in the development department at Bureau Veritas , states that designing ships today is nothing like it was ten years ago. Back then you could design a ship using basic calculations, but over time the rules have become more and more complex. This means that ship designers now have to employ powerful software to help apply them, which means a lot of extra work.
Bureau Veritas began developing its own solution, VeriSTAR Hull, in 2004.that would be based on finite element analysis (FEA) of 3D hull geometry. The VeriSTAR Hull developers chose Femap on the strength of the application programming interface (API) that allowed specialized functionality to be added to the existing modeling and analysis capabilities of Femap.
You can read the full case study to find out more about how Bureau Veritas integrated their technology within Femap and how VeriSTAR Hull can help yards to meet regulatory compliance.
Cometal Engineering engineers and manufactures extrusion plants and foundries for aluminum billets and the re-melting of extrusion scraps, serving markets throughout the world. Cometal develops the entire production chain, including extrusion presses.
The extrusion business is characterized by pricing sensitivity, which is where Femap helps Cometal achieve success by optimizing use of expensive materials and enabling maximum operating safety. Design is vital at Cometal, where design engineers work closely with customers to define the plant layout. Until recently, designers performed manual stress calculations, but with designs becoming more complex and unusual, more advanced analysis and simulation capabilities were needed.
Also, in the past, designs allowed for wider margins and oversizing. These days it’s necessary to calculate all weights and materials accurately to cut costs, driving the need to implement advanced tools like Femap for more accurate and sophisticated designs.
You can read the full case study and see how Cometal Engineering has adopted simulation software to help with more elaborate designs and minimize the need for physical testing.
ADS International, based in Valmadrera, Lecco, Italy, has been designing and building telescope, radio telescope and astronomic instruments for nearly 30 years. The company’s two main product lines are adaptive optics and optics alignment systems. The nature of this business is such that each product is one of a kind, and ADS’ customers include large international observatories such as the European Southern Observatory (ESO).
The main challenge in the design of astronomic instruments is responding to the unique demands of this industry within a reasonable time frame. The ADS team needs to move rapidly from a CAD geometry model to a structural analysis model and employ digital simulation to prove the design virtually.
To that end, ADS accesses geometry from a variety of 3D formats and imports the model data into Femap, helping to expedite finite element model generation. Also, NX Nastran has helped ADS to cut processing time by 30% through the use of parallel computing in the solution stage.
You can read the full case study and see how ADS has adopted simulation software and expanded its application to include more advanced analysis types helping to prove designs and optimize the design process.
Biotec Srl, established in 1998 in Povolaro di Dueville near Vicenza in Italy, manufactures and sells advanced dental implants. The company performs research, innovation and clinical studies, managing the entire process for the design and production of certified and safe medical devices. Biotec uses Solid Edge for the CAD and design requirements, while Femap is used to check the accuracy of stress and load distributions.
NASA is using Femap to help develop a time machine. Scheduled for launch in 2018, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will operate 1.5 million kilometers above the Earth. It’s ambitious mission is to examine every phase of cosmic history and look back into the past, “from the first luminous glows after the Big Bang to the formation of galaxies, stars and planets to the evolution of our own solar system”, according to the JWST website. The JWST is considered to be the next-generation space telescope and is much larger than the Hubble Space Telescope. At 22 by 12 meters, the JWST will be almost as large as a Boeing 737.