By using 3D computer aided design software, TTI are able to create a single digital assembly model that gives engineers and clients the ability to design, visualise and simulate their products. This helps reduce costly reliance on expensive prototype models and brings more innovative designs, into production faster.
Through Autodesk software a digital design prototype, brings together the design data from all the concept development phases into one, single, digital model created within Inventor. The model serves as a digital prototype that is refined and used to validate the design functions, without the need for a physical prototype and therefore minimising manufacturing costs.
A new product will begin life as a concept sketch with basic parameters for size and weight. These parameters are then entered onto a spreadsheet and linked through to a CAD model, of the parts and assemblies. By assembling the model within the Inventor software, form fit and function can be established before raw material is purchased and machining begins. By applying dynamic loads to the model and simulating the interaction of parts under loading, stress and fatigue, so the model can be interrogated for areas of high stresses that may cause concern whilst the product is in service. By modifying the component parts and re-analysing the assembly model, so an iterative approach can establish the best use of material properties and component sizing, to meet the design requirement. All these steps happen before any cost is put into product manufacture.
Consultation between both the client and engineers helps establish a visual representation of how the product will look and perform, in the environment it has been designed for. Once the design has been verified and accepted so production of the components can begin through creation of the traditional 2D drawing or straight to CNC machine, by industry standard data exchange formats such as STEP, SAT or IGES to name a few.
Static Stress Analysis can be performed on the digital model to test the designs for structural integrity, avoiding over- or under-designing. Stress, strain, displacement, shear and axial forces can be studied by applying known static loads for linear and non-linear stress analyses whilst large deformations, permanent deformations and residual stresses can be predicted.
Visualization takes large amounts of analysis data and lets you properly interpret those results by depicting them as near-reality. In the process, product visualization speeds design and analysis time, enables more design alternatives to be viewed, and leads to higher quality products and processes. And it reduces design development costs—an expensive proposition where, for example, a prototype of a mooring connector can cost up to £20,000.
Depicting reality is why engineers are now turning to product visualization, also known as computer-aided industrial design (CAID) throughout the product development cycle. By doing so, engineers are taking advantage of the confluence of several fields, including art; image processing, vision research, computer graphics, and mathematics.
3D and 2D CAD design and draughting can be undertaken in most common CAD formats providing an ideal solution to outsourcing legacy design data and conversion of historic designs into three-dimensional models, for visualisation and simulation. TTI advises and works with all aspects of CAD data and management from 2D applications like AutoCAD through to 3D CAD data like Inventor or SolidWorks and onto finite element analysis with ANSYS WorkBench and Algor.