How to Use Lattice Optimization in ANSYS Mechanical and ANSYS SpaceClaim 19.2

One of the great new features in ANSYS Mechanical 19.2 is the ability to perform a lattice optimization.  Accomplished as an option within Topology Optimization, lattice optimization allows us to generate a lattice structure within our region of interest.  It includes varying thickness of the lattice members as part of the optimization.

Lattice structures can be very beneficial because weight can be substantially reduced compared to solid parts made using traditional manufacturing methods.  Further, recent advances in additive manufacturing enable the creation of lattice structures in ways that weren’t possible with traditional manufacturing.

Here I’ll explain how to perform a lattice optimization in ANSYS 19.2 step by step.

The procedure starts the same as a normal topology optimization in ANSYS Mechanical, with an initial static structural analysis on our original part or assembly.  If you’re not familiar with the process, this earlier PADT Focus blog should be helpful:  http://www.padtinc.com/blog/the-focus/topological-optimization-in-ansys-18-1-motorcycle-component-example

For the lattice optimization, I’m starting with a part I created that acts as a corner brace:

At this early point in the simulation, the Project Schematic looks like this:

I used the Multizone mesh method to get a hex mesh on the part:

Simple loads and constraints are recommended especially if you’ll be doing a downstream validation study.  That is because the downstream simulation on the resulting lattice geometry will most likely need to operate on the FE entities rather than geometric entities for load and constraint application. The boundary conditions in this simple model consisted of a fixed support on one side of the brace and a force load on the other side:

After solving, I reviewed the displacement as well as the stress results:

Satisfied with the results, the next step is to add a Topology Optimization block in the Project Schematic. The easiest way to do this is to right click on the Solution cell, then select Transfer Data to New > Topology Optimization:

You may need to re-solve the static structural simulation at this point.  You’ll know if you have yellow thunderbolts in the Project Schematic instead of green checkmarks for the Static Structural analysis.

At this point, the Project Schematic now looks like this:

The Mechanical window now has the Topology Optimization branch added:

The change to make to enable a lattice optimization is accomplished in the details view of the Optimization Region branch:

We then need to specify some settings for the lattice.  The first of these is the Lattice Type.  The various types are documented in the ANSYS 19.2 Help.  In my example I stick with the default Cubic option.

The other properties to define are:

  • Minimum Density (to avoid lattice structures that are too thin.  Allowed bounds are 0 and 1)
  • Maximum Density (elements are considered full/solid for densities higher than this value, allowed bounds are 0 and 1)
  • Lattice Cell Size (used in downstream geometry steps and additive manufacturing)

Values I used in my example are shown here:

Assuming no other options need to be set, we solve the lattice optimization and review the results.  The results are displayed as a contour plot with values between zero and one, with values corresponding to the density settings as specified above.

Note that at this stage we don’t actually visualize the lattice structure – just a contour plot of where the lattice can be in the structure.  Where density values are higher than the maximum density specified, the geometry will end up being solid.  The lattice structure can exist where the results are between the minimum and maximum density values specified, with a varying thickness of lattice members corresponding to higher and lower densities.

 

The next step is to bring the lattice density information into SpaceClaim and generate actual lattice geometry.  This is done by adding a free standing Geometry block in the Workbench Project Schematic.

 

The next step is to drag and drop the Results cell from the Topology Optimization block onto the Geometry cell of the new free standing Geometry block:

The Project Schematic will now look like this:

 

Notice the Results cell in the Topology Optimization branch now has a yellow lightning bolt.  The next step is to right click on that Results cell and Update.  The Project Schematic will now look like this:

Before we can open SpaceClaim, we next need to right click on the Geometry cell in the downstream Geometry block and Update that as well:

After both Updates, the Project Schematic will now look like this:

The next step is to double click or right click on the now-updated Geometry cell to open SpaceClaim.  Note that both the original geometry and a faceted version of the geometry will exist in SpaceClaim:

It may seem counter intuitive, but we actually suppress the faceted geometry and only work with the original, solid geometry for the faceted process.  The faceted geometry should be automatically suppressed, as shown by the null symbol, ø, in the SpaceClaim tree.  At this point it will be helpful to hide the faceted geometry by unchecking its box in the tree:

Next we’ll utilize some capability in the Facets menu in SpaceClaim to create the lattice geometry, using the lattice distribution calculated by the lattice optimization.  Click on the Facets tab, then click on the Shell button:

Set the Infill option to be Basic:

At this point there should be a check box for “Use Density Attributes” below the word Shape.  This check box doesn’t always appear.  If it’s not there, first try clicking on the actual geometry object in the tree:

In one instance I had to go to %appdata%\Ansys and rename the v192 folder to v192.old to reset Workbench preferences and launch Workbench again.  That may have been ‘pilot error’ on my part as I was learning the process.

The next step is to check the Use density attributes box.  The Shape dropdown should be set to Lattices.  Once the Use density attributes box is checked, we can then select one of the predefined lattice shapes, which will be used for downstream simulation and 3D printing.

In my case I selected the Cube Lattice with Center Supports.  Note that a planar preview of this is displayed inside the geometry:

The next step is to click the green checkmark to have SpaceClaim create the lattice geometry based on the lattice distribution calculated by the lattice optimization:

When SpaceClaim is done with the lattice geometry generation, you should be able to see a ghosted image showing the lattice structure in the part’s interior:

Note that if you change views, etc., in SpaceClaim, you may then see the exterior surfaces of the part, but rest assured the lattice structure remains in the interior.

Your next step may need to be a validation.  To do this, we create a standalone Static Structural analysis block on the Project Schematic:

Next we drag and drop the Geometry cell from the faceted geometry block we just created onto the Geometry cell of the newly created Static Structural block:

We can now open Mechanical for the new Static Structural analysis.  Note that the geometry that comes into Mechanical in this manner will have a single face for the exterior, and a single face for the exterior. To verify that the lattice structure is actually in the geometry, I recommend creating a section plane so we can view the interior of the geometry:

To mesh the lattice structure, I’ve found that inserting a Mesh Method and setting it to the Tetrahedrons/Patch Independent option has worked for getting a reasonable mesh.  Care must be taken with element sizes or a very large mesh will be created.  My example mesh has about 360,000 nodes.  This is a section view, showing the mesh of the interior lattice structure (relatively coarse for the example).

For boundary condition application, I used Direct FE loads.  I used a lasso pick after aligned the view properly to select the nodes needed for the displacement and then the force loads, and created Named Selections for each of those nodal selections for easy load application.

Here are a couple of results plots showing a section view with the lattice in the interior (deflection followed by max principal stress):

Here is a variant on the lattice specifications, in which the variance in the thickness of the lattice members (a result of the optimization) is more evident:

Clearly, a lot more could be done with the geometry in SpaceClaim before a validation step or 3D printing.  However, hopefully this step by step guide is helpful with the basic process for performing a lattice optimization in ANSYS Mechanical and SpaceClaim 19.2.

All Things ANSYS 026 – Eigenvalue Buckling & Post-buckling Analysis in ANSYS Mechanical

 

Published on: December 3rd, 2018
With: Eric Miller & Joe Woodward
Description:  

In this episode your host and Co-Founder of PADT, Eric Miller is joined by PADT’s Specialist Mechanical Engineer, Joe Woodward to discuss how eigenvalue buckling can effect the load factor of a structure, and what applications it has for a variety of different projects. All that, followed by an update on news and events in the respective worlds of ANSYS and PADT.

For more information on this topic and some visual representation of what is being discussed, check out the blog post that inspired this episode here:

If you have any questions, comments, or would like to suggest a topic for the next episode, shoot us an email at podcast@padtinc.com we would love to hear from you!

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All Things ANSYS 025 – Elevating Post Processing with ANSYS Ensight

 

Published on: November 19th, 2018
With: Eric Miller & Clinton Smith
Description:  

In this episode your host and Co-Founder of PADT, Eric Miller is joined by PADT’s CFD Team Lead Engineer and PhD, Clinton Smith to discuss what makes ANSYS Ensight so special, including the boost it gives to both post processing speed and visualization quality by implementing ANSYS Ensight. All that, followed by an update on news and events in the respective worlds of ANSYS and PADT.

If you have any questions, comments, or would like to suggest a topic for the next episode, shoot us an email at podcast@padtinc.com we would love to hear from you!

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Getting it Right the First Time: Streamlining Metal 3D Printing with ANSYS Additive Solutions

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Introducing TPU 92A – The latest FDM material from Stratasys

PADT is excited to announce the release of the latest FDM material from Stratasys: TPU 92A.
Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) is a type of elastomer material, known for its flexibility, resilience, tear resistance, and high elongation. It’s a highly process-able material which makes it ideal for additive manufacturing.
TPU 92A is an elastomeric material that is ideal for prototyping highly functional, large, durable, complex elastomer parts. 

This material brings the benefits of an elastomer to the accurate and easy-to-use F123 3D Printer. Combined with soluble support, it lets you create simple to complex elastomer parts, and through printing on the F123 Series gives product developers more tools to expand their prototyping capabilities with reliable accuracy.
Curious to learn more about the unique properties that make TPU 92A such a great option for prototyping?Schedule a meeting to see the material for yourself.Click the link below to start a conversation with PADT’s resident material experts, in order to discuss the capabilities of this Thermoplastic Polyurethane material, and how your company can benefit from using it.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity, schedule a meeting today!

All Things ANSYS 024 – An Interview with TriLumina on using ANSYS to help develop LiDAR components

 

Published on: November 5th, 2018
With: Eric Miller & Jeff Earls
Description:  

In this episode your host and Co-Founder of PADT, Eric Miller is joined by Jeff Earls of TriLumina for a discussion on how they use ANSYS simulation tools on their disruptive new design for laser arrays used in LiDAR applications, such as autonomous vehicles. All that, followed by an update on news and events in the respective worlds of ANSYS and PADT.

If you have any questions, comments, or would like to suggest a topic for the next episode, shoot us an email at podcast@padtinc.com we would love to hear from you!

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Discover What’s New in ANSYS Fluent 19.2 – Webinar

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All Things ANSYS 023 – Exploring the Latest & Greatest in ANSYS 19.2

 

Published on: October 22nd, 2018
With: Eric Miller, Joe Woodward, Ted Harris, & Tom Chadwick
Description:  

In this episode the technical support staff at PADT returns to join your host and Co-Founder of PADT, Eric Miller for a discussion on their favorite additions in ANSYS 19.2. This conversation includes PADT’s Specialist Mechanical Engineer Joe Woodward, Simulation Support Manager Ted Harris, & Senior CFD Engineer Tom Chadwick, and is followed by an update on news and events in the respective worlds of ANSYS and PADT.

If you have any questions, comments, or would like to suggest a topic for the next episode, shoot us an email at podcast@padtinc.com we would love to hear from you!

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Press Release: PADT’S Quality Management System Receives AS9100D(2016) + ISO 9001:2015 Certification

Additive Manufacturing has been making a transition from a prototyping tool to an accepted way to make tooling and end-use parts across industries, and specifically in the Aerospace industry. PADT has always been at the leading edge of this transformation and today we are pleased to announce the next step in this evolution: The Quality Management System PADT uses to manage our scanning and 3D printing services have been certified to be compliant to the AS9100D(2016) and ISO9001:2015 standards.

This certification will allow our Aerospace customers to come to PADT with the knowledge that an accredited quality organization, Orion Registrar, Inc., has audited our QMS and it meets the requirements of the latest aerospace manufacturing quality standards. Developing our QMS to meet these standards has been an ongoing effort in PADT’s Advanced Manufacturing Department that separates the scanning and 3D Printing services we offer from most service providers.  This investment in developing a robust and effective QMS and the certification it has received reaffirms our commitment to not just print or scan parts for people.  PADT takes quality, process, and customer satisfaction seriously.

Even if they are not printing or scanning Aerospace components, customers benefit from our certified QMS.  Every project is conducted under an established system that builds in quality, inspects for it, and continuously improves.

This milestone would not have been achieved without the dedication of our quality team along with the cooperation and enthusiasm of our Advanced Manufacturing staff.  From front-office to facilities to machine operators, everyone did their part to establish a high standard and then achieve certification.

The best way to understand the advantages of how PADT does Scanning and 3D Printing is to try us out.  You can also learn more by visiting our Aerospace Manufacturing page where we talk about our QMS and the services it covers.

Please find the official press release on this new partnership below and here in PDF and HTML

If you have any questions about our certification, additive manufacturing, or scanning & reverse engineering, reach out to info@padtinc.com or call 480.813.4884.

Press Release:

Confirming its Commitment to Customer Service, PADT’s Quality Management System for 3D Printing and Scanning Earns Aerospace Certification

AS9100D(2016) + ISO 9001:2015 Certification Ensure PADT Aerospace Customers
Receive Consistent and Excellent Quality Products and Services

TEMPE, Ariz., September xx, 2018 ─ In a development that confirms PADT’s aerospace customers receive products and services carried out under the most stringent quality assurance processes, PADT’s Quality Management System (QMS) has been certified compliant to AS9100D(2016) and ISO9001:2015 standards. The certified QMS is applicable to 3D scanning and the manufacture of 3D printed components for aerospace and commercial customers. PADT joins a short list of companies with a certified QMS that covers 3D scanning and manufacturing using 3D Printing. The company is also International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) registered.

“This certification represents strong, third-party validation of our long-standing commitment to quality, continuous improvement, and the delivery of efficient solutions with the upmost value,” said Rey Chu, principal and co-founder, PADT. “We are proud of the thoroughness and attention to detail of our team. Our aerospace customers can be confident that we meet the most stringent industry standards.”

To earn the QMS certification, PADT underwent a rigorous and thorough audit that qualifies the establishment and thorough review of systems and processes, continuous improvement practices, and customer satisfaction efforts. The services that PADT offers under its certified QMS include Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), Stereolithography (SLA), Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), PolyJet 3D printing, on-demand low volume manufacturing with Carbon digital light synthesis 3D printing technology, optical scanning, inspection, and reverse engineering.

PADT has a long history of prototyping for aerospace companies and has seen an increase in the industry’s use of 3D scanning and printing for end-use parts as the technology has advanced. The QMS certifications ensure PADT’s experience and excellence in carrying out these services.

To learn more about PADT and its QMS certification, please visit  www.padtinc.com/aeromfg

About Phoenix Analysis and Design Technologies

Phoenix Analysis and Design Technologies, Inc. (PADT) is an engineering product and services company that focuses on helping customers who develop physical products by providing Numerical Simulation, Product Development, and 3D Printing solutions. PADT’s worldwide reputation for technical excellence and experienced staff is based on its proven record of building long-term win-win partnerships with vendors and customers. Since its establishment in 1994, companies have relied on PADT because “We Make Innovation Work.” With over 80 employees, PADT services customers from its headquarters at the Arizona State University Research Park in Tempe, Arizona, and from offices in Torrance, California, Littleton, Colorado, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Austin, Texas, and Murray, Utah, as well as through staff members located around the country. More information on PADT can be found at www.PADTINC.com.

# # #

Media Contact
Alec Robertson
TechTHiNQ on behalf of PADT
585-281-6399
alec.robertson@techthinq.com
PADT Contact
Eric Miller
PADT, Inc.
Principal & Co-Owner
480.813.4884
eric.miller@padtinc.com

 

Meshing Enhancements in ANSYS 19.2 – Webinar

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All Things ANSYS 022 – Recap of the 2018 ANSYS Innovation Conference & Updates on ANSYS 19.2

 

Published on: October 8th, 2018
With: Eric Miller, Joseph Hanson, Maryam Khorshidi, & Dominic Kedelty
Description:  

In this episode your host and Co-Founder of PADT, Eric Miller is joined by Joseph Hanson of Intel, and Maryam Khorshidi & Dominic Kedelty of MTD Products for a discussion on the presentations they saw at last week’s ANSYS Innovation Conference, and how their companies are leveraging simulation tools today. All that, followed by an update on news and events in the respective worlds of ANSYS and PADT.

If you have any questions, comments, or would like to suggest a topic for the next episode, shoot us an email at podcast@padtinc.com we would love to hear from you!

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U.S. Patent on the Method and Apparatus for Removing 3D Printing Support Materials Awarded to PADT

This has been a busy year for PADT.  So busy in fact that we forgot an important announcement from January. PADT was granted US Patent 9,878,498 for some of the technology we use in our line of devices that remove soluble supports from 3D Printing parts.  The official title: METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR REMOVING SUPPORT MATERIAL is actually fairly accurate.  It covers the hardware configuration inside the device along with the methods that are used for the systems we make and sell for removing support material from 3D Printed parts.

PADT introduced our first Support Cleaning Apparatus (SCA) to the market in 2008.  We learned a lot from that first SCA-1200 and developed intellectual property around the equipment and methods we used in our second generation systems, the SCA-1200HT and SCA 3600.  With over 12,000 total units shipped, these machines take the work out of support removal making 3D Printing faster and easier.

Take a look at the press release below, or the patent itself, to learn more about what makes our systems unique and better.  Decades of experience in 3D Printing, product development, and simulation went into developing the ideas and concepts capture in the patent and realized in the reliable and easy-to-use SCA product family.

Please find the official press release on this new partnership below and here in PDF and HTML

If you have any questions about our support removal solutions in particular or 3D Printing in general, reach out to info@padtinc.com or call 480.813.4884.

Press Release:

U.S. Patent on the Method and Apparatus for Removing 3D Printing Support Materials Awarded to PADT

PADT’s Support Cleaning Apparatus (SCA) System is the Standard for Soluble Support Removal and is Bundled with Many Stratasys 3D Printers

TEMPE, Ariz., October 2, 2018 ─ To meet the need for improving the process of removing support material often required to hold up a part during 3D Printing, PADT, the Southwest’s largest provider of simulation, product development, and additive manufacturing services and products, developed its Support Cleaning Apparatus (SCA) systems. PADT today announced that it has been awarded a U.S. patent for its SCA system invented by Rey Chu, Solomon Pena and Mark C. Johnson.

PADT’s SCA systems are currently sold exclusively by Stratasys, Ltd. (SSYS) for use with any of the Stratasys printers that use the Soluble Support Technology (SST) material. Known for its innovation in the industry, this award marks PADT’s 4th patent to-date.

“When Stratasys first introduced its soluble support material that can be dissolved with chemicals to help remove supports in the 3D Printing process, we knew that existing support removal devices were not reliable or efficient enough to handle the innovation,” said Rey Chu, co-founder and principal, PADT. “We used computational fluid dynamics simulation, our extensive product development skills, and knowledge from over two decades of 3D Printing experience to design the industry’s most efficient and reliable support cleaning solution. We are proud that our SCA system has now been granted patent protection.”

The patent protects the intellectual property applied by PADT to achieve its industry-leading performance and reliability goals of soluble support removal. Critical information in the patent includes how the SCA system is laid out and has different sections, each with a purpose for achieving the intended results. It also identifies the geometry and orientation of the system that forces the water to move in a specific pattern that cleans the parts more efficiently.

   

About PADT Support Cleaning Apparatus Systems

PADT shipped its first SCA system in November 2008 and has since reached more than 12,000-unit sales worldwide. There are currently two units in the SCA family, the SCA-1200HT with a 10x10x12” part basket and the larger SCA 3600 with a 16x16x14” part basket. They offer temperature ranges suitable to remove support from all Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) and PolyJet materials including:  ABS, ASA, PC, Nylon, and PolyJet Resins.

The PADT SCA system has received impressive reviews from 3D printing practitioners. PADT is using its experience, the IP captured in this patent, and new concept to develop additional systems to satisfy a broader set of needs across the 3D Printing industry. For more information on the PADT SCA family of products, please visit http://www.padtinc.com/sca.

About Phoenix Analysis and Design Technologies

Phoenix Analysis and Design Technologies, Inc. (PADT) is an engineering product and services company that focuses on helping customers who develop physical products by providing Numerical Simulation, Product Development, and 3D Printing solutions. PADT’s worldwide reputation for technical excellence and experienced staff is based on its proven record of building long-term win-win partnerships with vendors and customers. Since its establishment in 1994, companies have relied on PADT because “We Make Innovation Work.” With over 80 employees, PADT services customers from its headquarters at the Arizona State University Research Park in Tempe, Arizona, and from offices in Torrance, California, Littleton, Colorado, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Austin, Texas, and Murray, Utah, as well as through staff members located around the country. More information on PADT can be found at www.PADTINC.com.

# # #

Media Contact
Alec Robertson
TechTHiNQ on behalf of PADT
585-281-6399
alec.robertson@techthinq.com
PADT Contact
Eric Miller
PADT, Inc.
Principal & Co-Owner
480.813.4884
eric.miller@padtinc.com

 

 

Explore the Latest Advancements in Design Engineering with ANSYS 19.2 – Webinar

Don’t miss this informative presentation – Secure your spot today!

If this is your first time registering for one of our Bright Talk webinars, simply click the link and fill out the attached form. We promise that the information you provide will only be shared with those promoting the event (PADT).

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Evaluating Stresses and Forces in Threaded Fasteners with ANSYS Mechanical

Fasteners are one of the most common and fundamental engineering components we encounter.
Proper design of fasteners is so fundamental, every Mechanical Engineer takes a University course in which the proper design of these components is covered (or at least a course in which the required textbook does so).

With recent increases in computational power and ease in creating and solving finite element models, engineers are increasingly tempted to simulate their fasteners or fastened joints in order to gain better insights into such concerns as thread stresses

In what follows, PADT’s Alex Grishin demonstrates a basic procedure for doing so, assess the cost/benefits of doing so, and to lay the groundwork for some further explorations in part 2.

PADT-ANSYS-Fastener_Simulation_Part1

All Things ANSYS 021 – Introducing the ANSYS Innovation Conference

 

Published on: September 24th, 2018
With: Eric Miller, Arkajyoti Chang, Chris Grieve, Aaron Edwards, and Andy Bauer
Description: In this episode your host and Co-Founder of PADT, Eric Miller is joined by Arkajyoti Chang of Benchmark Electronics, Chris Grieve of Optis World, and Aaron Edwards & Andy Bauer of ANSYS Inc., for a discussion on where their companies fit into the world of simulation, focusing on applications such as autonomous vehicles, chip packaging, antenna design, and more, as well as a brief synopsis of what they will be discussing at the upcoming Arizona ANSYS Innovaiton Conference on Wednesday, October 3rd. All that, followed by an update on news and events in the respective worlds of ANSYS and PADT.

For more information on the Arizona ANSYS Innovation Conference & a link to register visit: https://www.padtinc.com/AZInnovation18.html

If you have any questions, comments, or would like to suggest a topic for the next episode, shoot us an email at podcast@padtinc.com we would love to hear from you!

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