Here's an excerpt from my Autodesk University MFG Keynote: "So before I end, I want to briefly talk about simulation and the tools that we are working on that are quite frankly amazing in their capabilities and the speed in which you can solve some of the most common engineering challenges. Now don’t confuse common with simple – common in that we all need to know – “Will it break?” “How does air move around my part”, “When will it fail?”, or “How light can I make this?”"
Those of you that use simulation tools can probably move onto the previous post and vote for Inventor of the Year. Unless of course you have awesome examples of why you use simulation to figure out if it will break, how air moves around it, etc... - please, share your experiences here. But I'm really writing this for the guys and gals that aren't using simulation for one reason or another.
Simple question really - "Will it break?" I'm not the best designer in the world - won't claim to be. But when I was designing safety equipment for a railroad here in the US, the general rule of thumb was make it bigger and heavier than you think it needs to be. At the time and in the industry I was designing for - it made sense. Everything was put in place with a jib crane, nobody carried anything by themselves always a two man lift no matter the weight.
You could describe my designs in two words - Big and Ugly. But they worked. So, now lets look at what I do today - I talk about all things Autodesk Manufacturing, with heavy emphasis on Digital Prototyping and the tools that we bring to market to support it. This includes our simulation tools. Keep with me here, the point is forthcoming...
The point - How does a guy like me make the transition from big and ugly to "...simulation and the tools that we are working on that are quite frankly amazing in their capabilities..."? Answer - I get it now. Simulation isn't JUST for the lab coats. Everyone that designs something - headphones, suspension systems, center of car cushioning device remover / installer with 8 axis of movement that installs and removes a 2,000 lb cylindrical shock absorber from underneath a box car yet can still be moved via a worm gear actuator with thumb and index finger... [grin] (it really is a kick ass design, wish I would have saved the model in AutoCAD R13)
Sorry, squirrel moment there. I was saying that everyone that designs can benefit from figuring out if its going to break before its real. So I'm starting to put together a series of videos trying to figure out just that - will it break? Here's the first one, check it out and let me know what you think.
Wednesday I'll be putting an assembly in motion, grabbing the peak load on a part, then taking that over to FEA to figure out what is the right size for a part.
Told you this stuff isn't just for the lab coats.