UPFRONT technology in the design process is now a new trend in the design world. The CAE system is developing in parallel with CAD systems. Based on digital prototypes, advanced strength and kinematic analyzes, flow analysis, temperature transfer and others can be performed. Until recently, designers based the construction of structures based on empirical formulas, and advanced analyzes were recommended to be performed by engineering teams using the finite or discrete element method. The analysis process was costly and lengthy. Today, thanks to the use of “upfront” technology in MES systems, strength analyzes can be performed by design engineers, building more and more advanced and better devices.
Fig. 1. From concept to product in the traditional and preferred (DP) design process versus the costs of engineering changes
In the classic design process, known for years, the structures were subject to various types of analysis. Physical models were built, which were then subjected to endurance tests, and analyzes were carried out in wind tunnels and laboratories. This type of analysis is a costly and lengthy process.
The next step in the development of design technology was the introduction of digital analyzes based on the finite, boundary, or discrete element method into the design process. Specialized teams responsible for researching designed structures have been established in large companies. Smaller companies commissioned this type of analysis from external companies. The software used during the analysis is complicated and requires high qualifications and computers with high computing power. The analyzes are carried out based on a digital 3D model of the designed structure.
A team of designers builds such a model using CAD software. Engineers optimize structures based on engineering experience and classic empirical formulas. The built model is then transferred to the analysis department or an external company. The analytical team rebuilds the obtained model for its own needs and then analyzes it. The whole process can be briefly characterized in such a way that engineers design based on their experience, and a team of analysts checks their assumptions. This way of working is much faster than the model based on physical models, but it is not exactly the optimal solution.
Therefore, structural analysis software using UPFRONT technology was developed. It is a software aimed at designers building a physical model who, at the initial stage of design, based on a user-friendly interface, with a relatively small amount of additional work, can optimize the resulting structure. UPFRONT software is characterized by a very good integration with CAD systems, the 3D model is automatically adapted in the analysis program. The software has automatic systems for the control of the geometry, its simplification and repair. Material databases from CAD systems are automatically taken over by FEM systems. Imposing physical constraints on bonds, and generating loads are simple and fast.
The process of meshing and preparation of the structure is quick, simple and efficient. Designers can analyze individual components already at the stage of simple solid models, so the analysis time is short and does not require powerful computing power. The software has a results analysis module that allows for an efficient and quick assessment of the adopted solution.
The software developed in the UPFRONT technology influences the quality of the constructed structures and their innovation as it combines engineering knowledge and experience with the possibility of its control.
Fig. 2. Module analysis of the results in Autodesk Simulation CFD
The software also influences the acquisition of engineering knowledge by less experienced designers who can quickly verify the applied solutions.
The use of UPFRONT technology directly reduces the design time and increases its quality.
A classic example of software developed in UPFRONT technology is Autodesk Simulation CFD and Inventor Nastran.
Inventor Nastran is a software based on which we can analyze linear and nonlinear strength of the structure, we can conduct fatigue analysis and drop tests, and analyze the influence of temperature on the strength of the structure. The program enables the analysis of natural vibrations and the analysis of composites and superelastic materials. The software interacts interactively with various CAD systems from different vendors.
AUTODESK SIMULATION CFD
Autodesk Simulation CFD is a computational Fluid Mechanics software package. Based on this software, we can analyze fluid flows, temperature transfer, and the movement of bodies in liquids and gases. Software is defined as upfront because it is easy to use, easy to learn and easy to implement. The software interacts interactively with various CAD systems from different vendors.