Part consolidation is a very frequent optimisation goal. To set up such optimisations as easy as possible and provide a guideline, the Generative Design Configuration Tool was created. The Tool works hand in hand with the previously released Geometry Tools (Design Space Tool, Access & Clearance Region Tool & Machining Allowance Tool). They are laying the Configuration Tool's geometrical foundations to create a Design Space easily.
Especially in Part Consolidation Optimisations, there are parts of the assembly that experience forces but are not to be optimised. The parts' forces could be recalculated and applied to the connection point of the to be optimised parts, or these parts can be considered in the optimisation. These parts are called Retained Volumes. They can have their own material definition as well as loads and boundaries applied to them. Once selected in the Generative Design Configuration Tool, they are considered during the optimisation but of course, are not changed. The influence of these volumes on the Design is considered.
The Optimisation Achievement Index is a newly introduced Post Processing Quantity to show the optimisation's potential moving forwards. This value is an experimental function and therefore might be subject to change for the next release. In the future, this index will be very valuable once complex materials are considered to indicate the progress of the optimisation.
The optimisation algorithm was newly structured in this release. This action will make the development of new functions easier.
We focused on two enhancements for the continuing workflow steps to make the following steps of the overall workflow easier and work towards one solution. First, the robust meshing of shell and volume meshes in MSC Apex was enhanced. With these improvements, MSC Apex Generative Design results can be exported and directly remeshed and validated in MSC Apex/Nastran. The transition to a CAD geometry is unnecessary but can nonetheless be included and even carried out simultaneously to receive the result’s full data set. Moreover, we improved the automatic partitioning of NURBS patches in the Facet-to-NURBS Tool. The tool was first introduced in 2020 FP1 and has since been steadily improved. In this release we only introduce a minor small enhancement which results in about 20%-time reduction. Further enhancements are planned for the next release.
In this release we have worked on some very nice usability enhancements. They make working with MSC Apex Generative Design more intuitively and shortens the workload during the model set up. The Advanced User Settings input is easier because “enter” can be used to switch to the next row and add commands more quickly. Furthermore, the lighting settings were adjusted to better view the resulting geometry, especially in post-processing. And finally, the release information is integrated into the config file of the optimisation to sort results to specific releases.
You can find a list of our fixed bugs as well as the current known limitations here.