# Simulation Based Design – A Step-by-Step Guide

...Published 2016-08-25

It’s a multi iterative process, but the videos below will provide you with all the steps required to complete the whole design cycle from concept design to final design with the steps in between to extract more accurate loads due to part flexibility and using those loads as critical input into topology optimization for mass reduction purposes.

After discussing Simulation Based Design in broad terms in Lecture 4, on this page you will find all the detailed steps to conduct the complete Simulation Based Design with an emphasis on the steps required to move from one stage to the next and back again.

Video steps:

1. Simulation based design overview

2. Tip: Watch the Full HD videos in Full Screen mode by accessing the option in the bottom right corner of each video (which appears when you play the video):

3. Adams – Working on the concept model

4. Adams – Turning rigid parts into flexible bodies

• Flexible parts
• Redundant constraints
• Kinematic vs Dynamic analysis
• Durability plugin
• Skip frames

Please note the notes below the video, listing all the important points covered in the video.

Tip: Access the video’s Table of Contents in the bottom right corner (which appears when you play the video).

Notes from video:

• Part must be connected before making it flexible
• To represent the correct stiffness, a low density mesh is sufficient (for more correct stresses, a higher density is require)
• Double the mesh density = 4 times longer creating the flexible part!
• Note the node count to stay within Student version limits
• Shift+S = toggle shaded/wireframe view
• Change connection types to include all joint forces with the flexible parts
• Kinematic analysis = no model degrees of freedom, i.e. motion is defined/specified, external forces have no effect
• Dynamic analysis = 1 or more model degrees of freedom and motion is affected by external forces
• Switch off “update graphics display” to speedup the solving process
• Use frame increment to skip frames and play animations faster
• Durability plugin must be activated to plot stresses

• Hotspots Table
• Reading values from the graphs
• Check exported loads in text file

Please note the notes below the video, listing all the important points covered in the video.

Notes from video:

• Export FEA loads from view window
• Note ID numbers of nodes at connection points
• Specify points in time to export results for (comma separated
• Specify time tolerance to find data close enough to requested times (in case your specified times do not align with the output time steps)
• Important times are not only force peaks, but also force direction and relative magnitude changes
• Stress hot spots table can also be used to identify important times during the event to export loads for
• Stress hot spots radius helps to remove nodes from the list near already listed nodes
• Use the curve cursor tool to read off values
• Exported files are saved in the Adams Current Directory (File > Select Directory)
• NB: Check that as many load cases exist as times you requested
• Note the node IDs and locations of connections

8. Adams – Export Geometry for Topology Optimization

9. MSC Apex – Topology Optimization Base Geometry and Mesh

• Topology Optimization
• MSC Apex
• Simplify Geometry
• Define Attachment points
• Meshing the body
• Mark Attachment points with temporary loads
• Apply properties
• Export the mesh (nodes and elements)
• Check the exported BDF
• Locate and check temporary force entries
• Identify new node IDs at attachment locations

11. Patran – Topology Optimization

• Patran
• Important setting
• Import BDF
• Match Node IDs
• Setup Topology Optimization Design Study
• Settings
• Optimization Parameters
• Objectives and constriants
• Optimization Control
• Design Domain
• Manufacturing Constraints
• Direct Text Input
• Subcases select
• Submit the analysis
• Monitor the analysis progress
• Confirm completion
• View Toplogy Optimization Results
• Load more %mass analyses results
• Preparing FE for CAD creation
• Create Smoothed FE mesh
• Prepare mesh for export

13. MSC Apex – Creating CAD from FEA

14. Adams – Replacing original geometry with new geometry

Don’t stop here!
You design process is not yet complete. Further iterations are now required, with the final step being to work with a more refined mesh and critically evaluating the stresses and deformations in the various parts to ensure your design is fit for purpose, whether it be to last for ever or only once. Your choice! Good luck.