Engineers and designers from Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin joined us on September 23rd for a car-themed simulation event + classic car show at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.
For those of you who weren’t there, here are the highlights!
Linear Analysis and Design Optimization
Presentation by Brian Zias - Territory Technical Manager at SolidWorks Corporation
“We have earned our place on the world’s fastest performance cars.” – Forgeline Motorsports
For those who hadn’t heard of Forgeline, Brian filled us in. Forgeline Motorsports manufactures the world's finest custom made-to-order lightweight forged aluminum street and racing performance wheels for the most demanding applications.
Brian’s session covered how they addressed various market forces with simulation to gain performance – addressing questions like: Will it break? What’s my Factor of Safety? Can we make it lighter?
With a goal in his demo of 2.0 FOS, Brian applied a force to the wheel rim using loading conditions from SAE data as an input. He applied a 5000 lb. standard bending load while fixing part of the 6061 T6 forged rim in his model. From there he was able to assess the resulting deflection and stress distribution, and saw there was no initial yielding.
We then saw the sizing of spokes change with SOLIDWORKS Simulation parametric optimization leading to less weight and material with the same strength. Checking for long-term durability, Brian ran a fatigue study as the last step in the complete analysis.
Staying Competitive with Virtual Testing vs. Traditional Testing Methods
Presentation by Evan Fader - Simulation Territory Sales Manager at SolidWorks
Evan explained a report by Aberdeen citing quick and effective design decisions as the reason best-in-class companies look to simulation. Evan shared a real-world example with Center Rock Inc. and their Chilean Mining Rescue mission.
During the mission, they used Linear and Non-linear simulation to see the impact of the piston on the bit and reaction into the rock, which allowed them to quickly assess the designs of their drilling bits for the rescue 2,070 feet underground at the San Jose mine in Copiapo, Chile.
Creating Structurally Efficient Concepts
Presentation by Shaun Kroeger – solidThinking
Shaun from solidThinking showed us a tool that works to complement the overall SOLIDWORKS design package. Using the loads as the main input geometry, you specify the design space and non-design space and this tool actually generates a structure to support the parameters.
It took just few minutes for solidThinking Inspire to generate an upper control arm for our Race to Design contest. The program is based on human bone-growth algorithms developed at the University of Michigan in the mid 80s. That technology was put together with FEA solvers which allowed Inspire to use human bone-growth algorithms to figure out what the best structure is – basically mimicking what nature would do.
We learned that a big strength of Inspire lies in its ability to create organic shapes to complete the design quickly and easily.
Optimizing Engine Performance and Efficiency with Flow Simulation
Presentation by Tim Spielman - Application Engineer at Alignex, Inc.
Tim showed us how to setup a study in Flow Simulation. The objective was to observe the flow rate and distribution of air to each of the six outlets on the manifold. In SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation, this means setting goals for each of the surfaces and running the study until they converge.
From the study we saw there was higher velocity on the right half than the left and an uneven distribution of air. The fix…? A chamber divider in a new configuration to which the setup settings were cloned.
Afternoon Agenda:Using Simulation Insights to Innovate and Increase Product Quality
Presentation by Ray Schoenfelder - CEO at Black Diamond Xtreme Engineering
A lighter more durable control arm and a throttle body that wouldn’t crack reeds – that was what Black Diamond Xtreme Engineering was after when they adopted a simulation strategy. With simulation they found the areas on the control arm design that exceeded acceptable stress levels and corrected them.
“We needed a process that was cost effective, weight reductive, and could be validated through our safety factors.” – Ray Schoenfelder
Ray and Dennis (Director of Engineering) explained how they used Flow Simulation as well to calculate the air speed through the throttle body and reduce it to avoid internal damage.
For Ray and Dennis it’s a business case. “Without a product that meets the cost requirements, we can’t build it.” SOLIDWORKS Simulation was the tool that enabled them to do that.
Analyzing Stress on a Plastic Injection Mold
Presentation by Dean Schley - Sr. Application Engineer at Alignex, Inc.
In this session we learned how a plastic intake manifold part could go from a model to production ready. “The old way to do plastic part design involves never knowing exactly how the part will perform during molding,” said Dean. For example, things like weld lines or gas traps that occur were always unknowns in the past.
Using SOLIDWORKS Plastics, we saw what might happen during the fill, pack, warp and cool stages, so as a result we could build features into the design upfront. Right away, you can also build in runner and cooling systems and even a virtual mold. As Dean pointed out: “The mesher is an excellent mesher. I’ve thrown a lot of shapes and sizes at it, and it’s rare if it doesn’t generate a mesh.”
Hot Rod Factory
We want to extend a special thanks to Rich Wait and the team from Hot Rod Factory. The Hot Rod Factory is Minnesota's premier muscle car restoration facility, with over 17,000 square feet. They do everything in house from beginning to end, including award-winning bodywork and paint, custom upholstery, chassis restoration, chassis fabrication, pro-touring, sheet metal repairs, airbags and big brakes.
During the event we hosted a collection of Hot Rod Factory cars from the 1200 HP 69’ Camaro to the 57’ Chevy. They made a heck of an entrance too. Thanks Rich!
Even More Great Cars!
Thanks are also in order for all the event attendees who brought their classic cars to the show. It’s not every day we get to hear our customers coming from 10 blocks away. Thank you!
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Written by Mike Strand
Mike Strand works with both the Marketing and the Application Engineering team at Alignex, Inc. During the week he attends engineering events, edits YouTube videos and writes posts for the Alignex Blog. On the weekend you’ll find Mike driving ATVs, snowmobiling and building tools like a cantilever lifting hoist.