Automated Preparation of Geometry Models for Computational Applications

Army Phase 1 SBIR A09-132-1055

Problem Description

One of the major hurdles facing CFD practitioners is simplifying highly detailed models that were constructed for manufacturing. Features that are below the length scale of interest to a simulation, such as CFD, must be removed prior to meshing. Importing neutral files such as IGES can be particularly time consuming due to the fact that often times there are numerous disconnected sheets when using the IGES file type.

Research Goals

The overall objective of CADNexus’ effort is to reduce the time required to prepare models for CFD analysis. In some cases taking the analysis time that often takes weeks to complete, to under one days effort. The reduction of model preparation time comes from the new ability to automatically remove features from a mode and assist the analyst in resolving geometry import problems.

Expected Impact

The expected impact of streamlining geometry preparation is that potential designs can be identified much more quickly resulting in drastically reduced design cycle time. In the government sector this translates to the ability to field better and more efficient hardware in a more timely fashion. In the commercial sector this effort translates to faster time-to-market thereby increasing the competitiveness of companies using the Geometry Pre-processing Workbench.

The specific market need that CADNexus sees; to relieve the pain of manually doing pre-processing on geometry prior to performing analysis on models. Analysts spend a tremendous amount of time and effort on manual healing and repair of CAD models and assemblies. It can take weeks to generate a sophisticated model to be prepared for analysis. CAPRI users have, in some cases, reduced this time down to a few hours. The time gained can be better spent on product design and improving the target product. The identified pain is widespread throughout the aerospace and automotive  industries. This pain is also felt by firms in product design where analysis is utilized during the product development process.

Model Clean-up is a pervasive problem throughout the product design industry. Analysts consider it a critical or at least important issue in over 50% of product development organizations. In a recently published study on Model Clean Up, 34% of analysts interviewed said that over half of the analysis tasks they perform require model clean up. The study also found that 50% of respondents were required to remove details from their models for 50% of the tasks they perform. There is without question a pent-up demand for tools that help analysts and designers de-feature models.

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