PTC’s flagship simulation offering — PTC Creo Simulate — is optimized for more than just the Ph.Ds. and analysts working within your product design and engineering organization. It’s also a great tool for engineers and designers at all skill levels, according to Mark Fischer, the director of PTC’s simulation products & CAD partner strategy.
Creo.PTC.com sat down with Fischer recently to learn more about the benefits of PTC Creo Simulate. He said key features like automatic mesh creation and a strong focus on usability make the tool a great choice for engineering teams that don’t have a crew of Ph.D. educated analysts, but still want to bring products to market faster. He also had some sage advice for companies considering the purchase of a new simulation tool. Here are some excerpts from that conversation:
What is it that sets PTC Creo Simulate apart from the competition?
Mark Fischer: When you look at the traditional means of how our customers deal with managing or evaluating their products, it’s either done by an analyst or it’s done by building a prototype and testing them, and that is both time consuming, expensive, and it really limits their ability to solve design problems early. And so — to answer your question — I truly believe that what sets us apart is how we solve this problem of creating a simulation tool that can be integrated into the complete design process and can be used by engineers and designers all the way to analysts. That is truly what differentiates us from the competition.
How did PTC accomplish its goal of creating a simulation tool that can be easily integrated into the design process?
Fischer: We make PTC Creo Simulate a part of the design department in three ways. First of all, while it can be used as a standalone tool, we also make sure that PTC Creo Simulate is easy to use and fully integrated with other PTC tools such as PTC Creo Parametric and PTC Windchill. And we’re talking about more than just the appearance of integration; we focus on true integration of workflow steps, modeling concepts and data management. Secondly, we make sure that PTC Creo is scalable. We have a broad footprint and a robust ecosystem of capabilities as well as good relationships with many third party development partners. Finally, we make sure that the tool is highly accurate. That means that you’re not just going to get any answer, you’re going to get the right answer.
In what ways does PTC Creo Simulate help users respond more quickly to changing design needs?
Fischer: As you’re designing a part or an assembly, things are going to change hourly, minute by minute, and day by day. If you’re using some of the other simulation tools out there, that can be very challenging. It’s challenging because those products are based on the actual mesh that is created from the geometry, rather than the geometry of the design. As changes happen, users have to recreate a new mesh every time, or optimize it and improve the mesh to get better results. That takes a lot of time. The value of PTC Creo Simulate is that it is focused on the 3D design model and it offers an adaptive mesh technology, so you don’t need to create a mesh every time. The other thing is you don’t need to be a Ph.D. to use PTC Creo Simulate. This is a solution that can be used by every engineer or designer. And if the design does go to an analyst for verification, a lot of the core analysis and optimization has already been done, resulting in companies being able to use their analysts more effectively.
What is P-Element technology and why is it important?
Fischer: Different from the traditional H-Method, which is used by many CAE technology vendors and involves simple linear elements, our P-Element Method is based on higher order polynomial shape functions. The method refers to increasing the degree of the highest complete polynomial within an element without changing the number of elements uses. In other words, PTC Creo Simulate looks at the overall shape of the geometry and then based upon where the highest degrees of stresses are located, the polynomial order will change to correspond to the shape and stress definition of the model. But what does that really mean? It means that our P-Element technology really adapts to the changes that the engineers are making in their designs. They don’t need to re-setup and/or re-mesh their analysis model. They can use the P-Element technology that will automatically mesh according to the changed geometry. It will adaptively refine to those changes and then, more importantly, it will auto-converge on a solution where the users can have the reliability and the confidence that the answers produced in PTC Creo Simulate will meet the needs and be exact to the specific product being analyzed.
How can integrating PTC Creo Simulate help companies succeed in today’s competitive environments?
Fischer: When you think of what companies are facing in terms of competitive pressures and the goal of develop products faster, better, and cheaper — simulation is going to be that differentiator for them. It’s going to enable them to address those pressures and get products to market faster. It’s going to address the need to basically break the trends associated with traditional development (I would explain those traditional steps – physical prototyping, testing, etc.). Simulation early and throughout the design process will help them meet the pressures that they are facing. Simulation is that compelling that it can be a catalyst to creating great products.
Can you offer an example of how PTC simulation tools are being used to create interesting products today?
Fischer: One great example is College Park, a company that produces cutting edge prosthetic feet. College Park leveraged PTC Creo Simulate in the design of their prosthetic feet. In using the product, not only are they able to reduce traditional prototyping, but they were able to reduce the mass and improve the strength of one particular prosthetic through optimization within PTC Creo Simulate. They were able to make it 40% stronger and 40 grams lighter than previous versions of that particular prosthetic limb, and they were able to do it while reducing the number of prototypes used. The technology ultimately enabled customers using that prosthetic to have greater mobility.
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Original post by By Mark Brunelli | Published: Apr 23, 2014