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Product Design Challenge Winners Announced

Product Design Challenge Winners Announced

The Cradle to Cradle Product Innovation Institute has selected its winners for its annual design challenge. The contest was run in partnership with Autodesk and Alcoa. Entrants could submit to one of four categories: Best Student Project, Best Professional Project, Best Use of Aluminum and Best Use of Autodesk Fusion 360.

? Best Student Project: Gabriella Jacobsen, a student at Virginia Tech, designed the Onward Bag to address the issue of plastic bags being a major pollutant in oceans and waterways. It is made from 60-70 recycled plastic bags, a yard of organic cotton canvas, canvas thread, and biodegradable dye. The product is designed to be capable of reducing overall plastic waste and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by taking advantage of the embodied energy in the already processed plastic bags.

? Best Professional Project: Barent Roth, a designer and educator, is recognized for his BikeShare Helmet, a simple unisex style bike helmet designed specifically to integrate with the growing bike share community. The BikeShare Helmet uses a recycled aluminum foam shell and a sustainably grown cork liner to provide maximum protection with minimal bulk and weight while ensuring all materials are either recycled or composted.

? Best Use of Autodesk Fusion 360: The Engineers for a Sustainable World Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Chapter developed a recyclable broom with a bristle head made of highly biodegradable material that can be replaced independently of the broom’s other components. With the functionality of three brooms, but with the material and monetary costs of one, the broom they named “Sweeping the Nation with Change” provides significant environmental and economic benefits.

? Best Use of Aluminum: Michiel Meurs and his team designed the AtoB Seat, a seat for public transport made from recycled aluminum, recycled PET, and formaldehyde free bamboo plywood. At end of use, the AtoB Seat can be reclaimed by the manufacturer to determine which parts will be reused or recycled. It offers a sustainable solution for seating in public transportation infrastructure by allowing for easy cleaning, maintenance, disassembly, and recyclability.

“The Design Challenge is a powerful demonstration of designing with intention to ensure materials in manufactured products retain their value and can be perpetually upcycled,” said Institute Interim President Lewis Perkins. “This year’s winners each exemplify the quest for material health and reuse, and they have brought us one step closer to the goal of a circular market standard.”

For more information, visit the Cradle to Cradle Product Innovation Institute.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

ZWSoft, Autodesk Enter Lawsuit Settlement

ZWSoft, Autodesk Enter Lawsuit Settlement

ZWSoft and Autodesk have entered a settlement regarding lawsuits pending in the Hague and the U.S. District Court of California. In 2014, Autodesk had filed a suit alleging that the AutoCAD source code had been misappropriated and improperly used when developing ZWCAD+, the company states.

Subsequent investigation revealed that a ZWSoft employee, had in fact, improperly used AutoCAD intellectual property (IP) when developing ZWCAD+ and did not inform the company’s management team. Upon conclusion, ZWSoft has stopped selling ZWCAD+ in all markets.

End users of ZWCAD+ may contact ZWSoft for a replacement version of ZWCAD Classic.

“We respect every company’s IP very much, and we do not condone these behaviors at ZWSoft. We have stopped selling ZWCAD+ in all markets, and we retract all prior statements suggesting that Autodesk’s lawsuits lack merit and were brought for anti-competitive purposes. We sincerely apologize to Autodesk for the inconvenience that our actions have caused. We appreciate very much Autodesk’s professionalism and understanding during the investigation, as well as its encouragement of fair competition. We will enhance our internal management to prevent any intellectual property infringement in the future by instituting additional development safeguards,” said Truman Du, CEO at ZWSoft.

For more information, visit Virtual Desktop and Autodesk.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

Razorleaf Releases Autodesk 360 Integrator

Razorleaf Releases Autodesk 360 Integrator

Razorleaf, a provider of PLM (product lifecycle management) integration software, has released Clover connectors for Autodesk PLM 360 to include Salesforce, Oracle EBS (eBusiness Suite), Autodesk Vault and more. Clover, powered by Jitterbit, will exchange data with these systems to facilitate a seamless integration experience for users and administrators alike.

“The connectors for Salesforce, Oracle EBS and Autodesk Vault enable Autodesk PLM 360 users to enhance and improve the way they use their PLM system with more control,” said Eric Doubell, CEO of Razorleaf Corporation. “What’s great about Clover is it provides customers with a valuable framework leveraging our years of experience doing integration with options when it comes to the middleware software used in their solution. Jitterbit is a proven middleware option that gives our clients the ability to create very complex integrations much quicker than creating a custom point-to-point solution. When you put Clover on top of Jitterbit you get all of the strengths of Jitterbit along with Clover tools and accelerators to make integration development and roll out processes even faster. This approach ensures that customers needing either simple or complex integrations are setup for success.”

For more information, visit Razorleaf.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

Granta Designs Extends GRANTA MI Capabilities

Granta Designs Extends GRANTA MI Capabilities

Granta Design has added new capabilities to its GRANTA MI materials information management system. With a new Web application, users can figure out where certain materials are used.

With the app, designers can select a material from their GRANTA MI database and search their PLM (product lifecycle management) system to find out what existing products or parts already contain that material.

In addition to the new material usage app, Granta has extended support for Siemens PLM Software Teamcenter users. Now, designers can bulk author materials information from GRANTA MI into the Teamcenter Integrated Materials Management (IMM) data model.

“We’re pleased to provide new tools and, in partnership with Siemens PLM, a new option to author materials data into PLM,” says Arthur Fairfull, director of Materials Strategy and PLM at Granta. “Enterprises have varying strategies for materials knowledge provision to CAD, PLM and their product development process. These features help to support all customers in this area, whatever approach they choose.”

For more information, visit Granta Design.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

Lightweighting Congress to Run in Detroit

Lightweighting Congress to Run in Detroit

In the automotive industry, lightweighting presents all sorts of design challenges from material selection to simulation to cost. To address some of the latest issues in the industry, American Business Conferences is hosting the Modeling, Simulation & Crash Safety Congress in Detroit this month on January 26th and 27th. The organization states that it is the only congress led by OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) that encompasses cost-effective modeling, crash simulation and lifecycle prediction for lightweight materials and composites. Attendees will be able to discuss topics focused on composite modeling and multi-material joining simulation.

As a media sponsor, DE will be running coverage of the event for the latest news. Recently, the event organizers interviewed two presenters about their presentation topics and what their thoughts on the upcoming congress.

Steven Shang, formability engineer at General Motors

Q: Your presentation at the Crash Simulation Summit will look at the question of predicting fracture in warm forming magnesium alloys. Could you briefly outline the concept for readers and what new knowledge they will be able to take away with them?

A method to represent forming limit for warm forming Mg alloy sheet material will be presented. In the method, the strain rate and temperature effect is presented concisely by a single parameter of the Zener-Hollomon parameter. Thus, the forming limit can be represented as a Forming Limit Surface.

Traditionally, Forming Limit Curves (FLCs) are used to identify fracture/necking failure in sheet metal forming. At elevated temperatures, the Mg alloys exhibit strong rate sensitivity and thus many FLCs are needed to represent different forming conditions. Those FLCs are not only costly to be obtained but also inconvenient to be used in FEM (finite element model) simulations. In this presentation, a new method to represent forming limit for warm forming Mg alloy sheet material will be introduced.

Since only one surface is needed, the method could reduce the efforts of laboratory testing and provide a convenient tool in the development of thermal forming processes. The usefulness of the Forming Limit Surface is demonstrated by predicting fracture in warm forming magnesium alloy AZ31B in isothermal conical cup test and non-isothermal round cup draw test.

Q: What do you see as the most important hurdles to overcome in implementing CAE and FEA technologies for safety testing of lightweight materials? What optimizations need to be implemented?

One hurdle is the accuracy of simulation result, which is affected by many factors, such as material modeling, mesh quality, accuracy of algorithm, etc. The product development can be regarded as a multi-objective optimization problem. Thus, a multi-objective optimization solver, which can be adapted with different CAE solvers, is needed.

Q: What are some of the potential applications and implications of improved material models and more accurate safety simulations to the manufacture of lightweight vehicles?

The accuracy of CAE prediction depends on material modeling. Accurate material models are critical for any CAE analysis.

Prof. Xinran Xiao, professor of Mechanical Engineering, Michigan State University

Q: Your presentation at the Crash Simulation Summit will look at the question of modeling thin-walled composites for crash simulation. Could you briefly outline the concept for readers and what new knowledge they will be able to take away with them?

Thin-walled tubes represent the front rails, which are the primary energy absorbing structures in vehicles. In frontal impact, the front rails are subjected to axial crash load. Axial crash of tubes is the benchmark problem to gauge the capability of crash simulations.

The axial crash simulation of composite tubes is a very challenging problem. Composite tubes can absorb twice or more energy than steel rails of the same weight. The superior energy absorption of composites is attributed to the extensive damage and failure of the materials. To simulate the behavior of composites with damage and failure, however, is difficult. Normally, the constitutive models are valid to the point where material reaches its peak load carrying ability. They are not adequate to describe the behavior of materials with significant damage. In early days, to match the simulations with experimental results, the analysts had to adjust a number of parameters. The problem is that a set of parameters which is suitable for one geometry would not work for others. There was no prediction. After having tested these material models myself, I realized that the lack of consideration of irreversible strains in continue damage mechanics based model is a major problem in axial crash simulations. On the other hand, with the exception of few, most vehicle structures will not be subjected to axial loading. The inability of predicting axial crash should not prevent the use of composites in these applications.

In my presentation, I will discuss the requirements for composite material models for different types of vehicle structures. I will also present the key developments in axial crash simulation of composite tubes. We are working on coupled damage-plasticity models for composites. The improved material models together with a new shell-beam method for thin-walled structures have resulted in promising improvement in axial crash simulations of composite tubes.

Q: What do you see as the most important hurdles to overcome in implementing CAE and FEA technologies for safety testing of lightweight materials? What optimizations need to be implemented?

With high fidelity FEA simulations, different design options can be evaluated through virtual testing before they are built. Virtual design and validation is critical to carmakers. If the simulation technology is not ready for a material, extra tests will have to be conducted. This is a hurdle for the use of composites in crash critical components. For crash simulations, we still have some gaps comparing to metallic materials. As mentioned in the response to the 1st question, we need to differentiate the types of vehicle structures. In many cases, we can bridge the gaps with the existing technology.

I am not sure about “What optimizations need to be implemented?” Do you talk about optimization as a topic or optimization within the context of material modeling? (Editor’s Note: Indeed it was referring to optimization within the context of material modeling.)

Parameter optimization is a powerful tool. The constitutive models for crash simulations inevitably have many parameters. Some of them are difficult to measure. If we have experimental results covering enough load cases, parameter optimization may help us to get the set of parameters that provide best correlations for the load cases tested. I have done some work several years ago. It is effective. On the other hand, one must know that these values are not necessarily valid for a new load case.

Q: What are some of the potential applications and implications of improved material models and more accurate safety simulations to the manufacture of lightweight vehicles?

FEA simulations have changed the landscape of automotive design. The car manufacturer will not turn back the wheel to a testing intensive design procedure as it was before the computer age. To increase the use of composites in crash critical structures, we have to be able to predict the crashworthiness of the structure as we do for metal parts. Good material models, robust and accurate safety simulations are critical to vehicle lightweighting.

As I mentioned early, the technology for crash simulation of composite structures has improved a lot. Ideally, these new developments need to be examined carefully through some coordinated effort. Individual teams can only carry the research to a certain extent. It ups to the users – automotive industry to continue. I think this conference provides a good forum for such discussions.

Q: Which presentation/panel discussion are you especially excited about during the Lightweight Vehicle Interiors summit 2016?

All panels are very interesting. In addition to composite modeling, I am also interested in modeling of multi-material joining. Modeling joints is another challenging topic. I worked on modeling of adhesively bonded automotive structures in the past. In recent years, we worked on simulations of metal cutting using constitutive models developed in-house and we developed a new test to obtain the critical model parameters. We were able to show that metal cutting is predictable with these efforts. If there is an opportunity, I would like to participate the modeling of multi-material joining.

For more information, visit the Modeling, Simulation & Crash Safety Congress.

IronCAD 2016 Now Available

IronCAD 2016 Now Available

IronCAD, a provider of design productivity solution, has released version 2016 of its software. This iteration has major enhancements for the fabrication and assembly sector. According to the company, noticeable developments are available for sheet metal, smart design capabilities and a new Mechanical add-in.

New sheet metal capabilities offer speed, ease of use and in-place design behaviors to create more complex bending operations with a new sketched bend command. Users can also import and use sheet metal data from customers or suppliers.

The new Mechanical add-in has intelligent tools for fabricators, bill of material generation and more. IronCAD 2016 also has smart design tools known as Smart eBehavior, which works with how product are configured at the assembly level to allow users to work with content and let customers and stakeholders access data, the company states.

“This release marks a huge step forward for fabrication and mechanical design customers. We specifically targeted improvements in the overall productivity of the design process as well as allowing customers to make use of 3D product data. This inclusion of people outside of design group dramatically improves productivity and communication for all stakeholders,” says Cary O’Connor, vice president of Marketing at IronCAD.

A complete list of the new capabilities for IronCAD can be found here.

For more information, visit IronCAD.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

Optimizing Simulation and PLM Data

Optimizing Simulation and PLM Data

Product complexity is driving engineers to find software that can process lots of data within the same environment. To address trends in data management and optimization, ESTECO hosted its modeFRONTIER user meeting from Nov. 4-5. The two-day event in Novi, MI, focused on how ESTECO helps engineers integrate design, simulation and lifecycle data into an available framework. In addition to a day of training, attendees also saw examples of multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO) throughout industries such as automotive and aerospace.

Simulation Optimization at Ford

This year’s event featured Mario J. Felice of Ford Motor Company as the keynote speaker. The organization has been a large proponent of ESTECO’s software since its adoption of an Enterprise MDO framework last year. His talk, titled “Multiphysics Simulation as Applied to the NVH Refinement of Ford Motor Company’s Powertrains,” focused on some of the main challenges generated by CAE data and HIL (hardware in the loop) integration. With MDO and modeFRONTIER, Felice stated these tools help find the optimized seat track idle vibration, and a design that addresses NVH as well as fuel economy standards. Going forward, his goal “is to have variations incorporated into CAE processes and MDO applied to all projects of my global team,” Felice said.

@Ford ‘s Mario Felice kicking off the #mFUM15 now > #simulation modeFRONTIER

— ESTECO (@esteco_mF) November 4, 2015

Conference goers were able to listen to other applications from Ford, BorgWarner Turbo Systems, Modelon and academic institutions. Optimization use cases included system models, commuter motorbikes, restraint systems, steady-state CAM processes and positive displacement pumps. (Editor’s Note: Visit ESTECO for a resource library of presentations.)

Hands-on Experience

To have attendees see modeFRONTIER’s capabilties for themselves, the event also included a one-day course of basic or advanced training. Topics covered included and introduction to modeFRONTIER, building workflows, running DOE, RSM-based optimization, as well as data analysis.

Advanced users were able to learn about problem formulation, optimization strategies, workflow patterns and multivariate analysis.

Expanding Product Capabilities

This year’s user meeting also gave attendees a larger picture on the newest advances for ESTECO’s SOMO and modeFRONTIER softwares. Overall, the company is adding larger integration capabilities for outside PLM systems and the Adaptive Space Filler for space exploration functionality.

“Technology innovations [should] take effect at both the functional and architectural level,” said Danilo Di Stefano, product manager in his modeFRONTIER presentation. To support these innovations, ESTECO is working to refurbish the design space GUI, improve workflow actions and add code refactoring to support modular packaging of modeFRONTIER.

New to modeFRONTIER 2014 are updates for integration and process automation, self-adapting one-click optimization algorithms, stepwise regression capabilities and Adaptive Space Filler. “It is a new modeFRONTIER scheduler which combines a space-filling algorithm with responsive space models,” explains Di Stefano. Once the optimized model is generated, it is saved automatically in modeFRONTIER for design usage. This is a step for providing more automated optimization practices through generative algorithms.

For modeFRONTIER, the company is expanding how users can design optimization strategies. Image courtesy of ESTECO.

For SOMO, ESTECO has currently added more direct integrations with Siemens PLM Teamcenter and PTC Windchill. To complement this, advanced search capabilities as well as a data store node have been added so users can find data to implement quicker. A SOMO node is also available for composing MDO processes from PLM systems.

Future updates, such as the upcoming SOMO 2.0, “will focus on better managing and versioning all the simulation required for the simulation process and generated by the simulation,” noted Matteo Nicolich, product manager. This means having a folder tree structure file system, a standalone version control system and permissions based on users for each simulation project.

The discussion on multidisciplinary optimization will continue in 2016 in Trieste, Italy, under the focus of “The Speed of Innovation.” Interested persons are encouraged to submit an abstract detailing how ESTECO is helping design decision-making within the age of rapid data aggregation.

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