Biodesign, or the bionic design method, involves the use of effective solutions in developed designs that are borrowed from nature. In general, it consists of smooth lines, allocation of thin solid or tubular structures. Biodesign is a special case of topological optimization, achieving the optimal combination of mechanical strength and lightness, by a well-calculated allocation of the material in the part, usually with a complication of its structure. In the article, we are reviewing software that can deal with these tasks.
Modern design tools allow to predict the degree of deformation and also it optimizes it, in accordance with the specified weight and strength limits. In general, a workpiece model is prepared, from which further material would be removed. This process is called topological optimization. Another term often used in this context is a “generative design”, it means a design, partially created by software algorithms. The result of the topological optimization is a complex structure, which is a basis for a model that is going to be created. Such part has the strength and minimum mass but it is difficult to manufacture it using traditional methods. The additive production will be optimal.
Best Topological Optimization – Examples of implementation
Products made with the help of generative design, have an unusual futuristic appearance and often serve to demonstrate the possibilities of additive technologies.
For example, BMW, that demonstrates the outlooks of technology. This a concept bike based on the S1000RR, but with a light 3D-printed metal frame. Speaking of more utilitarian applications, BMW already uses 3D printing in the production of Rolls-Royces and i8 roadsters.
There is a significant number of software products on the market. Such software creates topological optimization calculations. As a rule, this functionality is provided by packages that produce deformation modeling and strength calculations. Let’s start with the “large” complexes used for design and calculations in engineering.
The 3DEXPERIENCE platform consists of 104 modules, which are called roles. These are solutions for various design tasks, development process management, simulation, visualization. One of these roles is the Function Driven Generative Designer. This role not only allows to optimize the topology of the part in accordance with the specified requirements but also to refine the received object – to simplify, remove the irregularities.
Solid Edge – CAD-system’s specialty is solid and surface modeling, primarily designed for working with parts and assemblies, but with a built-in engineering analysis module. A solid Edge is a tool for rapid design and prototyping, “sharpened” for additive production.
Topology optimization has been added to SOLIDWORKS 2018. It is available in the SOLIDWORKS Simulation module in Professional and Premium editions. Engineer indicates loads, optimization conditions and triggers a topology study. At the end of the process, the grid of the optimized part is smoothed and it is ready for production.
The main functions of this software product:
- static calculations
- dynamic analysis
- thermal calculations
- acoustic calculations
ANSYS Mechanical allows you to model the deformation of structures underweight. It calculates the effect of vibrations and the occurrence of resonances. To perform automated topological optimization, you need to import the workpiece model, specify attachment points and load applications, and specify boundary conditions, such as minimum thickness. It is possible to model both traditional materials and anisotropic ones – composites, 3D-printed parts.
There is a lot more interesting software to look at but these are the most powerful. If you are creating different models using software listed before or some other programs you can visit Flatpyramid where you can sell your work or you can find many interesting inspirational works.