All Things ANSYS 038 – Simulating Multibody Dynamics More Accurately with ANSYS Motion

 

Published on: June 3rd, 2019
With: Eric Miller & Jim Peters
Description:  

In this episode your host and Co-Founder of PADT, Eric Miller is joined by PADT’s Senior Staff Technologist, Jim Peters for a discussion on the benefits of using ANSYS Motion to enable fast and accurate analysis of rigid and flexible bodies, and give accurate evaluation of physical events through the analysis of the mechanical system as a whole. ANSYS Motion uses four tightly integrated solving schemes: rigid body, flexible body, modal and mesh-free EasyFlex. This gives the user unparalleled capabilities to analyze systems and mechanisms in any desired combination.

If you would like to learn more about this update and see the tools in action, check out PADT’s webinar covering ANSYS Motion here: https://bit.ly/2MsRATh

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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Meshing Updates in ANSYS 2019 R2 – Webinar

An intelligent, high-quality mesh is at the core of any effective simulation based model; creating the basis for what will help to drive valuable results for even the most complex engineering problems.

Among a variety of tools in ANSYS 2019 R2 are enhanced meshing capabilities that can help reduce pre-processing time and provide a more streamlined solution.

Join PADT’s Specialist Mechanical Engineer, Joe Woodward for a look at what new meshing capabilities are available in the latest release of ANSYS. This presentation will focus predominately on updates regarding:

ANSYS Mechanical Meshing
Batch Connections
Axisymmetric Sweep
Layered Tetrahedron Enhancements
Local Sizing Enhancements
SpaceClaim Meshing
Parameter Management
Direct Modeling/Meshing
Hex Meshing
Block Decomposition

And much more!

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“Equation Based Surface” for Conformal and Non-Planar Antenna Design

ANYSY HFSS provides many options for creating non-planar and conformal shapes. In MCAD you may use shapes such as cylinders or spheres, and with some steps, you can design you antennas on various surfaces. In some applications, it is necessary to study the effect of curvatures and shapes on the antenna performance. For example for wearable antennas it is important to study the effect of bending, crumpling and air-gap between antenna and human body.

Equation Based Surface

One of the tools that HFSS offers and can be used to do parametric sweep or optimization, is “Draw equation based surface”. This can be accessed under “Draw” “Equation Based Surface” or by using “Draw” tab and choosing it from the banner (Fig. 1)

Fig. 1. (a) Select Draw -> Equation Based Surface
Fig. 1. (b) click on the icon that is highlighted

Once this is selected the Equation Based Surface window that opens gives you options to enter the equation with the two variables (_u, _v_) to define a surface. Each point of the surface can be a function of (_u,_v). The range of (_u, _v) will also be determined in this window. The types of functions that are available can be seen in “Edit Equation” window, by clicking on “…” next to X, Y or Z (Fig. 2). Alternatively, the equation can be typed inside this window. Project or Design Variables can also be used or introduced here.

Fig. 2. (a) Equation Based Surface window
Fig. 2. (b) Clikc on the “…” next to X and see the “Edit Equation: window to build the equation for X

For example an elliptical cylinder along y axis can be represented by:

This equation can be entered as shown in Fig. 3.

Fig. 3. Elliptical surface equation

Variation of this equation can be obtained by changing variables R1, R2, L and beta. Two examples are shown in Fig. 4.

Fig. 4. Elliptical surface equation

Application of Equation Based Surface in Conformal and Non-Planar Antennas

To make use of this function to transfer a planar design to a non-planar design of interest, the following steps can be taken:

  • Start with a planar design. Keep in mind that changing the surface shape can change the characteristics of the antenna. It is a good idea to use a parameterized model, to be able to change and optimize the dimensions after transferring the design on a non-planar surface. As an example we started with a planar meandered line antenna that works around 700MHz, as shown in Fig. 5. The model is excited by a wave port. Since the cylindrical surface will be built around y-axis, the model is transferred to a height to allow the substrate surface to be made (Fig 5. b)
Fig. 5. Planar meandered antenna (a) on xy plane, (b) moved to a height of 5cm
  • Next, using equation based surface, create the desired shape and with the same length as the planar substrate. Make sure that the original deisgn is at a higher location. Select the non-planar surface. Use Modeler->Surface->Thicken Sheet … and thicken the surface with the substrate thickenss. Alternatively, by choosing “Draw” tab, one can expand the Sheet dropdown menu and choose Thicken Sheet. Now select the sheet, change the material to the substrate material.
Fig. 6. Thicken the equation based surface to generate the substrate
  • At this point you are ready to transfer the antenna design to the curved surface. Select both traces of the antenna and the curved substrate (as shown in Fig. 7). Then use Modeler->Surface->Project Sheet…, this will transfer the traces to the curved surface. Please note that the original substrate is still remaining. You need not delete it.
Fig. 7. Steps for transferring the design to the curved surface (a)

Fig. 7. Steps for transferring the design to the curved surface (b)

Fig. 7. Steps for transferring the design to the curved surface (c)
  • Next step is to generate the ground plane and move the wave port. In our example design we have a partial ground plane. For ground plane surface we use the same method to generate an equation based surface. Please keep in mind that the Z coordinate of this surface should be the same as substrate minus the thickness of the substrate. (If you thickened the substrate surface to both sides, this should be the height of substrate minus half of the substrate thickness). Once this sheet is generate assign a Perfect E or Finite Conductivity Boundary (by selecting the surface, right click and Assign Boundary). Delete the old planar ground plane.
Fig. 8. Non-planar meandered antenna with non-planar ground

Wave Port Placement using Equation Based Curve

A new wave port can be defined by the following steps:

  • Delete the old port.
  • Use Draw->Equation Based Curve. Mimicking the equation used for ground plane (Fig. 9).
Fig. 9. Use Equation Based Curve to start a new wave port (a) Equation Based Curve definition window (b) wave pot terminal created using equation based curve and sweep along vector
  • Select the line from the Model tree, select Draw->Sweep->Along Vector. Draw a vector in the direction of port height. Then by selecting the SweepAlongVector from Model tree and double clicking, the window allows you to set the correct size of port height and vector start point (Fig. 10).
  • Assign wave port to this new surface.
Fig. 10. Sweep along vector to create the new wave port location

Similar method can be used to generate (sin)^n or (cos)^n surfaces. Some examples are shown in Fig. 11. Fig. 11 (a) shows how the surface was defined.

Fig. 11. (a) Equation based surface definition using “cos” function, (b), (c), & (d) three different surfaces generated by this equation based surface.

Effect of Curvature on Antenna Matching

Bending a substrate can change the transmission line and antenna impedance. By using equation based port the change in transmission line impedance effect is removed. However, the overall radiation surface is also changed that will have effects on S11. The results of S11 for the planar design, cylindrical design (Fig. 8), cos (Fig. 11 b), and cos^3 (Fig. 11 c) designs are shown in Fig. 12. If it is of interest to include the change in the transmission line impedance, the port should be kept in a rectangular shape.

Fig. 12. Effect of curvature on the resonance frequency.

Equation based curves and surfaces can take a bit of time to get used to but with a little practice these methods can really open the door to some sophisticated geometry. It is also interesting to see how much the geometry can impact a simple antenna design, especially with today’s growing popularity in flex circuitry. Be sure to check out this related webinar  that touches on the impact of packaging antennas as well. If you would like more information on how these tools may be able to help you and your design, please let us know at info@padtinc.com.

You can also click here to download a copy of this example.

All Things ANSYS 037 – Optimizing the Industrial Internet of Things with ANSYS Digital Twins

 

Published on: May 20th, 2019
With: Eric Miller & Matt Sutton
Description:  

In this episode your host and Co-Founder of PADT, Eric Miller is joined by PADT’s Senior Analyst and Lead Software Developer, Matt Sutton for a discussion on the industrial internet of things, and how ANSYS Digital twins helps companies make confident predictions about future product performance, reduce the cost and risk of unplanned downtime, and improve future product development processes.

If you would like to learn more about this update and see the tools in action, check out PADT’s webinar covering ANSYS Twin Builder here: http://alturl.com/ccjjq

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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Optimize Product Performance with ANSYS Digital Twins – Webinar

Engineering simulation has traditionally been used for new product design and virtual testing, eliminating the need to build multiple prototypes prior to product launch.

Now, with the emergence of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), simulation is expanding into operations. The IIoT enables engineers to communicate with sensors and actuators on an operating product to capture data and monitor operating parameters. The result is a digital twin of the physical product or process that can be used to monitor real-time prescriptive analytics and test predictive maintenance to optimize asset performance.

Join PADT’s Senior Analyst & Lead Software Developer Matt Sutton for an in depth look at how digital twins created using ANSYS simulation tools optimize the operation of devices or systems, save money by reducing unplanned downtime and enable engineers to test solutions virtually before doing physical repairs.

This webinar will include an overview of technical capabilities, packaging for licensing, and updates made with the release of ANSYS 2019 R1.

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All Things ANSYS 036 – Updates for Design Engineers in ANSYS 2019 R1 – Discovery Live, AIM, & SpaceClaim

 

Published on: May 6th, 2019
With: Eric Miller, Ted Harris, & Clinton Smith
Description:  

In this episode your host and Co-Founder of PADT, Eric Miller is joined by PADT’s Simulation Support Manager Ted Harris, and CFD Team Lead Engineer Clinton Smith for a round-table discussion regarding new capabilities for Design Engineers in the latest release of the ANSYS Discovery family of products (Live, AIM, & SpaceClaim). Listen as they express their thoughts on exciting new capabilities, long anticipated technical improvements, and speculate at what has yet to come for this disruptive set of tools.

If you would like to learn more about this update and see the tools in action, check out PADT’s webinar covering ANSYS Discovery AIM & Live in 2019 R1 here: shorturl.at/gyKLM

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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Discovery Updates in ANSYS 2019 R1 – Webinar

The ANSYS 3D Design family of products enables CAD modeling and simulation for all design engineers. Since the demands on today’s design engineer to build optimized, lighter and smarter products are greater than ever, using the appropriate design tools is more important than ever.

Two key tools helping design engineers meet such demands are ANSYS Discovery AIM and ANSYS Discovery Live. ANSYS Discovery AIM seamlessly integrates design and simulation for all engineers, helping them to explore ideas and concepts in greater depth, while Discovery Live operates as an environment providing instantaneous simulation, tightly coupled with direct geometry modeling, to enable interactive design exploration.

Both tools help to accelerate product development and bring innovations to market faster and more affordably.

Join PADT’s Simulation Support Manager, Ted Harris for a look at what exciting new features are available for design engineers in both Discovery Live and AIM, in ANSYS 2019 R1. This webinar will include discussions on updates regarding: 

  • Suppression of loads, constraints, & contacts
  • Topology Optimization
  • Improving simulation speed
  • Transferring data from AIM to Discovery Live

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All Things ANSYS 035 – The History of ANSYS: An Interview with Dr. John Swanson, author of the original program & founder of ANSYS Inc.

 

Published on: April 22nd, 2019
With: Eric Miller, Ted Harris, & Dr. John Swanson
Description:  

In this episode your host and Co-Founder of PADT, Eric Miller is joined by PADT’s Ted Harris for a very special interview for users of ANSYS software, Dr. John Swanson. Dr. Swanson is known as the founder of “Swanson’s Analysis Systems” in 1970; the company that would later be known to the public as ANSYS Inc. He also wrote the original ANSYS program in his home, and since leaving the company has gone on the work in philanthropy and alternative energy.

A John Fritz Medal winner, and member of the National Academy of Engineering, John is considered an authority and pioneer in the application of Finite Element methods to engineering.

We are incredibly thankful that John was able to join us for this interview, and we hope you enjoy learning a little bit about the history of ANSYS from the founder himself.

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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Analyze, Visualize, and Communicate – What’s New With EnSight In ANSYS 2019 R1 – Webinar

Effective prototyping in today’s day and age requires not only an understanding of your product’s capabilities but also those of the environment it operates in, and how said environment impacts its use.

Engineers are finding that it is no longer possible to ignore the interactions between fluids and the structures that surround them, as they strive to optimize their product’s performance. 

EnSight helps you visualize coupled fluid-structure interaction data to gain the insights you need; providing a highly effective environment regardless of the complexity of the situation and the simulation being run. After exploring your data, EnSight can also be used to create a high quality visual representation to effectively communicate your results, thanks to the ability to place your model in immersive environments, add realistic lighting conditions, and so much more. 

Join PADT’s CFD Team Lead Engineer, Clinton Smith as we explore the capabilities of this tool, and take a look at what’s new in ANSYS 2019 R1, including updates on:

  • Parallel Fluent to Parallel Ensight capabilities
  • Transnational visual symmetry
  • EnVision handling of multi-panel display
  • And much more

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All Things ANSYS 034 – Celebrating 25 Years of ANSYS Simulation: Changes In The Last Quarter Century & Where The Future Will Take Us

 

Published on: April 8th, 2019
With: Eric Miller, Ted Harris, Tom Chadwick, Sina Ghods, & Alex Grishin
Description:  

In this episode your host and Co-Founder of PADT, Eric Miller is joined by PADT’s Ted Harris, Tom Chadwick, Sina Ghods, and Alex Grishin, for a round-table discussion on their experience and history with simulation, including what has changed since they started using it and what they’re most impressed and excited by, followed by some prediction and discussion on what the future may hold for the world of numerical simulation.

Thank you again for those of you who have made the past 25 years something to remember, and to those of you who have come to know PADT more recently, we look forward to what the next 25 will bring.

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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Simulate Multibody Dynamics More Accurately with ANSYS Motion – Webinar

As mechanical systems continue to get more advanced and interconnected, there is an ever growing need for tools that can accurately analyze the impacts of various forces on the entirety of the system. Mechanical systems often contain complex assemblies of interconnected parts undergoing large overall motion, and thus require engineering simulation for optimal design.

Tools that produce multibody dynamics solutions are better able to account for these components and thus provide more accurate results quicker than running simulations of each component individually. 

One of the latest offerings from ANSYS Inc. is designed to do just that.

ANSYS Motion is a third generation engineering solution based on an advanced multibody dynamics solver. It enables fast and accurate analysis of rigid and flexible bodies and gives accurate evaluation of physical events through the analysis of the mechanical system as a whole. ANSYS Motion uses four tightly integrated solving schemes: rigid body, flexible body, modal and mesh-free EasyFlex. This gives the user unparalleled capabilities to analyze systems and mechanisms in any desired combination.

Join PADT’s Senior Staff Technologist, Jim Peters for a look at how this tool works, along with a deeper dive into its benefits and capabilities, including:

  • Multiple Advanced Toolkits
  • Various Application Areas
  • Accurate Boundary Conditions
  • Easy Interface with Other Software
  • Tightly Integrated Multi-body & Structural Analysis Solvers
  • And Much More

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All Things ANSYS 033 – Using ANSYS Simulation to Disrupt the World of Capacitor Technology

 

Published on: March 25th, 2019
With: Eric Miller & Sean Katsarelis
Description:  

In this episode your host and Co-Founder of PADT, Eric Miller is joined by Sean Katsarelis form Polycharge for a discussion on how they leverage the ANSYS Startup Program and simulation tools to disrupt the world of capacitor technology.

Listen as they discuss the various capabilities and applications best suited for this market, along with updates on the worlds of PADT and ANSYS.

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 032 – What’s New in ANSYS Mechanical: Updates Made in 2019 R1

 

Published on: March 11th, 2019
With: Eric Miller & Ted Harris
Description:  

PADT’s Simulation Support Manager, Ted Harris for a discussion on what updates have been made available in the 2019 R1 version on ANSYS Mechanical. Listen as they discuss the various capabilities and applications for this new release, along with what makes these updates so significant.

Want to learn more about what to expect in ANSYS Mechanical 2019 R1? Check out PADT’s webinar covering everything you need to know about the tool’s latest update.

Watch here: https://bit.ly/2SSntmd

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 030 – Updates Available in ANSYS Fluent 2019 R1

 

Published on: February 13th, 2019
With: Eric Miller, Tom Chadwick, & Sina Ghods
Description:  

In this episode your host and Co-Founder of PADT, Eric Miller is joined by Sina Ghods, and Tom Chadwick from the Simulation Support Team for a discussion on their favorite updates available in the latest release of ANSYS Fluent so far, followed by an update on news and upcoming events pertaining to PADT and ANSYS Simulation.

Want to learn more about what to expect in ANSYS Fluent 2019 R1? Check out PADT’s webinar covering everything you need to know about the tool’s latest update.

Watch here: https://bit.ly/2SJBFC4

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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Gone Skiing: Aerodynamics – Does It Matter Which Way Your Skis Are Pointing On Your Roof Rack?

I was on the gondola up at Keystone for night-skiing a week ago, after a long day at Beaver Creek, because the last thing I am going to do at 3:00 pm is try to make it back to Denver, as everyone knows it’s hardly more than a parking lot at that point. As it gets later, there’s nothing like a solo gondola ride, however, a solo ride would stop this story right about now.

On the gondola, I overheard a conversation where one gentleman was discussing how he was unable to open the hatch of his vehicle when his skis are in his roof rack. That’s fair, I know older WRX wagons with the spoiler would not be able to open with skis on the roof no matter what, so I figured that was the case. It turns out, that was NOT the case. The reason his hatch would not open was that he orients the skis with the tails forward because it is ‘more aerodynamic’ that way… I was skeptical, but held my tongue, knowing that I had the tools at my disposal to investigate!

I decided to make a model that would allow me to simulate various conditions to get to the bottom of this. My initial hypothesis is that the addition of the ski rack and crossbars is what has the largest effect on aerodynamics, and orientation of the skis probably has a negligible effect after that. As a side note, I am solely concerned with aerodynamics in this case, and am not worrying about the amount of the ski’s base material that is exposed for a given orientation. I am of the mindset that tree trunks and hidden rocks on the mountain are more of a danger to your bases than small rocks on the highway anyway. If you are waiting to comment, “Just get a roof box!”, I understand as I own both a box and a rack at this point, and they both have their advantages, and I will not be exploring the aerodynamics of a box…

…yet…

I was able to start by finding some faceted geometry of a Subaru Forester online (I’m from Colorado, can you tell?) and was able to import that into ANSYS Spaceclaim. Once in Spaceclaim, I was able to edit the faceted geometry to get nice exterior panel surfaces, which I then combined to get a single clean faceted exterior for the car.


Faceted Forester Geometry (Equipped with factory side rails)

After that, I used Spaceclaim to generate the remainder of the rack and skis, including crossbars, a ski rack, and a pair of skis (Complete with the most detailed bindings you have ever seen!). I made a combined part of the crossbars, rack, and skis for each one of my orientations, as this allows me to report the forces on each combined part during the simulation.


Added CAD geometry for the crossbars, ski rack, and a pair of skis

For the simulation, I used ANSYS Discovery Live, the newest tool from ANSYS that allows for instant and interactive design exploration. This tool lets me actively add my CAD geometry and shows results in realtime. I was able to start with just the car and then add and swap my ski/rack geometry with simple button clicks. With traditional simulation tools, I would have needed to create a mesh for each one of these cases, analyze them one at a time, and the post-process and compare results after the fact. After launching Discover Live, it’s as easy as selecting the type on analysis I want to run.

The various types of solutions that can be done in ANSYS Discovery Live. For the purpose of this blog, I am using ‘Wind Tunnel’

Once I have selected ‘Wind Tunnel’ for my solution, I can select my geometry, and then am prompted for the direction of flow, as well as selecting the ‘floor’ of my domain. Once that is done, results show up on the screen instantly. I only needed to modify the flow velocity to ~65 mph. I am most interested in the force on the faces of the combined crossbars, rack, and skis in each orientation, so I created Calculations for each one, which is done by simply selecting the part and using the popup toolbar to create the graph.

Popup toolbar allows for the quick creation of solution calculations

I was already off and running. I ran each one of the cases until the force plot had become steady.

Car Only
Skis Tips Forward Orientation

Skis Tails Forward Orientation

Seeing that the force results for the Tips Forward vs. Tails Forward cases were very similar, I decided I should also run a ‘Bases Up’ Orientation, even though I STRONGLY advise against this, as UV wrecks the base material of your skis/snowboard.

Ski Bases Up and Tips Forward Orientation

In addition to the contour plot shown in the images above, you can also use emitters to show streamlines and particle flow, which also give some pretty neat visualizations.

Streamlines shown on the Tips Forward orientation

Particle Emitter shown on the Tips Forward orientation

The graph plots show values for the Total Y Force for Tips Foward, Tails Forward, and Bases Up orientations to be 37.7 N, 39.1 N, and 37.1 N, respectively. Using Discovery Live, I was able to quickly run all 3 of these simulations, showing that there is not a major difference in the forces on the ski rack between the three orientations. So, put the skis on the roof in the direction that makes life easiest for you, and keep those bad boys paired to protect your bases from the sun, because splitting them isn’t going to help with aerodynamics anyway!

Next steps would be taking a specific case and running in 2D, then 3D, in ANSYS Fluent.