Posts Tagged "Cadalyst"

Optimizing Design for 3D Printing (CADSpeed Interview)

February 1, 2015
3D Innovations

Recently Collin Kobayashi, President & Chief 3D Officer of 3D Innovations, was interviewed by CADSpeed. The CADSpeed blog is the brainchild of Cadalyst magazine and is “devoted to helping CAD users, CAD managers, and IT personnel optimize hardware for 3D CAD applications”. In the interview Collin discusses the emergence of 3D printing and the challenges facing a CAD designer when they design for 3D prints and production. Below are a few excerpts from the interview but we encourage you to read the interview in its entirety on the CADSpeed blog.

3D Printing Services | Rapid Prototyping Services | 3D-innovationsIn what ways do you predict that 3D printing will revolutionize industry?

Initial 3D printers and processes were limited to various types of plastic such as ABS, nylon, and other polymers. With the introduction of metal 3D printing several years ago, it has opened up other industries and applications to adopt 3D printing as a standard, not an option. Large aerospace companies are beginning to integrate 3D printed parts into their products. Development of new materials and technology to build parts is evolving and a fast pace. These new, revolutionary developments will drive the 3D printing/additive manufacturing industry into areas that will change the market. Such industries are medical, food, and biotechnology, to name a few. By using 3D printing over conventional manufacturing methods, designs can be more complex while increasing their functionality.

You talk about rapid prototyping being one of the advantages of 3D printing. Can you give a couple of real-world examples of this, and why it’s helpful?

In most applications, having the ability to 3D print a prototype for testing form, fit, and function is extremely critical. When tolerances are not crucial, 3D printing is a far more cost-effective and efficient option than having the parts CNC machined. For one particular project, we needed to build a prototype of a miniature cooler design. This product was unique and had multiple parts with some complex features and details. It was designed to be injection molded and to have a set or several sets of these prototypes made would have cost well over $10,000 to produce. By using 3D printing to build the parts, the cost and lead time was reduced significantly, allowing the customer to receive the parts in a shorter amount of time. Because the project only required several prototypes, it wasn’t cost effective to even make “soft tooling” to produce the low amount of prototypes needed, so 3D printing really made the most sense.

To take advantage of 3D printing, you have to start with 3D models. Can you talk about some other ways that 3D CAD differs from traditional CAD drawing?

Traditional drawings, sometimes referred to in our industry as “shop drawings,” have been mostly superseded by 3D design solutions. CAD/CAM was the first set of methods to adopt this practice, translating 3D digital design data directly into the manufacturing machine’s software more efficiently than manual translation. By using a 3D digital design process, we are able to create designs and validate them with up to 95% certainty that they will work before even building a prototype. Integrating other processes such as FEA (finite-element analysis) and CFD (computational fluid dynamics) tools with the digital design process will help to predict the functionality. This would not be achievable from 2D drawings, as no computational data exists. In addition to these design tools, having a 3D digital design will enable us and the client to see the product fully assembled, view it from all angles and visualize the entire design digitally.

…Read more from this interview on CADSpeed.


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Could Crash Modeling Have Saved the Costa Concordia?

March 8, 2012

Event simulation helps automobile manufacturers design safer vehicles — and it can do the same for shipbuilders.

The Costa Concordia cruise ship disaster has generated many questions, but one in particular haunts survivors and onlookers alike: Could this disaster have been prevented?

The Costa Concordia tragedy has been a major headline on newsstands in recent months, and today Cadalyst posted a viewpoint article, by Mr. Robert Yancey, discussing ways in which shipbuilders should start modeling their event simulation programs after that of the automotive industry, to help prevent future accidents. Advancements in simulation modeling has allowed the automotive industry to build safer and more reliant vehicles, and the shipbuilding industry should adopt the same design and testing processes to keep passengers safe.

In simulation modeling, engineers use a digital design of a vehicle to generate a simulation model that represents all of the key elements of the design, including material properties, mass properties, occupant models, and the impact event (e.g., side impact, frontal offset, etc.). The accuracy of these models is now so high that most automotive companies do extensive virtual testing of their vehicle designs before ever building prototypes, and the physical testing is really just a final verification of the crashworthiness of the design. In most cases, there are no surprises during the physical test. 

Land to Sea

Could ship designers follow the automotive industry’s example? Could we employ simulation modeling to create more advanced designs that can better respond to the type of event that destroyed the Concordia? The answer is yes.

Engineers could use much of the technology developed for automotive crash modeling to model a ship’s impact on rocks, icebergs, sandbars, and other hazards. We cannot always prevent these events from happening, but if we can develop ship designs that more effectively respond to these impacts — especially to provide sufficient time to safely evacuate the passengers — we could improve passenger safety and confidence.

In the case of the Concordia, the ship’s hull was divided into several watertight compartments; one or two sections of the hull could flood without sinking the entire ship. The ship had longitudinal bulkheads, intended to keep it from listing when flooded. During the recent disaster, however, the ship came to rest on a rock ledge; this caused the vessel to become unstable on the uneven bottom and roll on its side. This position complicated the rescue operation, because many of the lifeboats could not be deployed with the ship listing to one side.

Collision of Costa Concordia 5
Disaster simulations could help ship designers prepare for uncommon scenarios, such as having a ship run aground and roll onto its side. Image courtesy of Roberto Vongher, via Wikimedia Commons.

This occurrence, and many other unusual situations, could be simulated on a computer. Just as a car-crash simulation varies according to speed, direction, impact zone, and other elements, a good simulation model of a ship could replicate many of the conditions that the vessel might encounter. Armed with the results of these simulations, engineers can adapt the ship design to better respond to each of these situations.

Can simulation modeling help with the design of cruise ships?

To read the full Cadalyst article, please click here.