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True Simulation Driven Design with solidThinking Inspire (Part 3)

In Part 2 of this blog series we looked at what goes into creating an optimization run by:

  • Starting with a motion study of our convertible top.
  • Automatically transferring loads data from the motion to the structural optimizations.
  • Applying shape controls and optimization variables to generate shapes based on our specific needs.

We learned in Part 1 that the greatest value from analysis comes when we use it at phase 0 of our design … just as we have that napkin sketch idea.

Inspire , via the "magic" of the OptiStruct solver ( , will then help us develop a structure that meets our performance criteria.

True Simulation Driven Design with solidThinking Inspire
Verification Run on "PolyNURBed" Brackets and Links in Convertible Top Assembly.  worst case loading, top locked full cylinder forces applied.

And now for part 3, “What do I do with the shape results?”

One of the more common questions about the shape outputs is “What can I do with them?” We have multiple options to use them immediately for printing or analysis and to use them as guides to further generate geometry in Inspire or other design tools.

True Simulation Driven Design with solidThinking InspireFrom Left to Right:  Optimization Output Analyzed, STL Mesh Output, Fit and Smoothed Parasolid, 2 Options Drawn in Inspire (sketch-based , PolyNURB-based)

Options for Most Every Workflow:

  1. Adjust the shape with the shape explorer and then evaluate stress and deflection on the optimized geometry to get the "warm and fuzzies" on our actual deflection and stress levels of the optimized design.
  2. Export stl mesh representation of the optimization as a template to "draw over" in CAD or to further manipulate with your favorite stl editor.
  3. Fit and smooth the shape which can then be exported as a parasolid.
  4. Remaster with Inspire using geometry tools such as PolyNURBs or converting cross sections of the shape to sketches.

In this video we quickly look at these different methods for working with optimized shapes:

In addition, here is a more detailed video showing the tools used to generate PolyNURB shapes. Beware, modeling with PolyNURBS is both powerful and addictive!


If this looks inspiring, go ahead and download a trial and give Inspire and PolyNURBs a try. Thanks for reading.

Check out our Manufacturing Video & Resource Library for other related content. 

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