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SmartDO eNews 2016/05/10 : SmartDO/CAD/CAE Tri-Directional Coupling for Smart Car Wheel Rim Design Optimization



Engineers and researchers have always been working on smart design automation and optimization methodology for creating digital prototypes. Due to the limitation in algorithms and integration between disciplines, it is usually difficult to build a seamless integration between all necessary process.

With the progress of software technology and the algorithms in SmartDO, it is now possible to couple CAD/CAE and design optimization technologies all together for certain product design. In this issue of SmartDO eNews, we will introduce how PTC Creo, ANSYS and SmartDO are coupled to automatically optimize the design of car wheel rims.

Integration Across Difference Disciplines

The creation of a digital prototype involves building up a CAD model with manufacturing consideration, verification of the product reliability according to code and specification with CAE, and optimizing the design with numerical algorithms. With today's advanced software technology like ANSYS Workbench (AWB), two-way integration between CAD and CAE is easier than ever. However, the parametric model built in CAD is not always suitable for CAE purpose. Certain issues need to be consider beforehand.

  • Behavior of the CAD and CAE packages.
  • Mechanics and manufacturability.
  • Special requirement of design optimization in mathematics and other aspects.
  • Existing design and analysis experience.

With all these properly considered, the parameters from CAD can be well-reserved and linked in AWB DesignModeler (DM). Figure 1 and Figure 2 show the original model in PTC Creo and after imported into AWB.

Figure 1. Original CAD in PTC Creo, and after Imported into AWB (1).

Figure 2. Original CAD in PTC Creo, and after Imported into AWB (2).

Automatic CAE Verification

A car wheel rim usually needs to go through at least three hardware test, namely impact,bending and rolling, as shown in Figure 3. In ANSYS Workbench, all the loading and boundary conditions can be applied on the imported CAD. If the model is properly defined and built, design change can be simplified done by changing the CAD parameters in AWB, and the modification will be propagated to the integrated CAD/CAE workflow without further revising the BC, loading and mesh manually. Figure 4 shows the expanded workflow in AWB, and Figure 5 shows some of the analysis result from AWB.

Figure 3. Basic Hardware Test Requirement for Car Wheel Rims.

Figure 4. The Expanded Analysis Workflow in ANSYS Workbench..

Figure 5. Some of the Analysis Result The Expanded Analysis Workflow from ANSYS Workbench..

SmartDO Design Optimization

With the integrate process and parametric model stated above, the design change in CAD can be smoothly coupled with CAE model, and the verification of the design can be automatically done with simple clicks. However the problems of searching for an optimal design still remains. With out a robust design optimization, it is unlikely to achieve satisfactory design in reasonable time. This is when SmartDO come into the play. With its Smart Global Design Optimization Technology, SmartDO searches for the optimal automatically in a fire-and-forget manner.

SmartDO also provide direct link to other CAE packages with convenient user interface, including ANSYS Workbench. With the parametric CAD/CAE model being properly built and testing in AWB, setting up the design optimization model in SmartDO usually only takes about 10 minutes or so. For the interface of linking SmartDO and ANSYS Workbench, see the movie in YouTube.

With the linking between SmartDO and AWB being set up, the tri-directional coupling of CAD/CAE/SmartDO is done. Figure 6 shows the schema of such workflow. Figure 7 shows how the design evolves from a simple conceptual design to the finally optimal design with the weight reduction of 31%, and the design optimization is done by one simple click.

For a more detailed demonstration, see the movie in Youtube "SmartDO/CAD/CAE tri-directional coupling for Smart Car Wheel Rim Design Optimization".

Figure 6. The Schema of CAD/CAE/SmartDO Tri-Directional Coupling for Design Optimization.

Figure 7. The Design Optimization History of the Car Wheel Rim by SmartDO.

More Information

FEA-Opt Technology Co. Ltd. is an international RD/Consultancy/CAE and Software firm. We provide superior RD/consultancy services to our customers, and customized solutions for each customer's special need.

SmartDO, our flagship product, is the leader of Smart Global Optimization Technology. Capable of Direct Global Search for both Gradient-Based and GA-Based methodology. For details about SmartDO, please visit our web site at