At this year’s formnext 2016 in Frankfurt, Germany Altair presented the latest versions of its simulation software suite HyperWorks® 14.0, concept design and optimisation tools solidThinking Evolve® as well as Inspire® 2016, highlighting new design processes for the development and manufacturing of innovative products.
Highlights were Altair’s Simulation-driven Innovation™ approach, the development process chain of the Airbus APWorks’ Light Rider, the world’s first prototype of a 3D printed electric motorcycle, the 3D printed antenna bracket by Ruag Space and the entire development and manufacturing processes of a cast aluminium component, developed jointly with Altair’s partners HBM nCode and voxeljet.
The example of the Light Rider shows when topology optimisation and additive manufacturing are combined, it is possible to produce a structure that is lighter and stiffer than a traditionally manufactured part
The frame design of the Airbus APWorks’ Light Rider that was displayed at the event is an excellent example of the symbiosis of topology optimisation and additive manufacturing. Its structure is based on optimisation results generated with Altair’s OptiStruct® technology, supported by HyperMesh® for pre-processing tasks such as meshing, and HyperView® for post-processing the analysis results. All products are part of the HyperWorks CAE simulation suite. Applying a typical topology optimisation OptiStruct run, the APWorks engineers first defined the design space (areas where the optimisation technology can and cannot remove material, such as fixing points or access holes) and applied general loads and boundary conditions. The optimisation software then created a design proposal that fulfilled the frame’s structural requirements, by generating highly innovative geometries.
The cast aluminium component displayed was designed and optimised with Inspire, then nCode DesignLife was applied to conduct a fatigue analysis and finally solidThinking’s Click2Cast® software was used for a casting simulation. The created design resulted in a casting mould, 3D-printed by voxeljet. This process ensured that the component benefited from all of the positive characteristics 3D printing and casting offer.
A collaboration of cutting edge technology and companies, anthropometry, and years of experience has led to the unveiling of the new Robot Bike Co. R160 mountain bike frame – designed and manufactured in the UK with partner companies Altair, HiETA Technologies and Renishaw using metal additive manufacturing (3D printing)
“Additive manufacturing (AM) is making headlines across industry as companies discover and take advantage of the inherent flexibility as well as the potential weight advantages the method offers, when combined with design optimisation techniques. The example of the Light Rider shows when topology optimisation and additive manufacturing are combined, it is possible to produce a structure that is lighter and stiffer than a traditionally manufactured part,” said Mirko Bromberger, Director Marketing and Additive Manufacturing Strategies at Altair Engineering.