PTC and ANSYS partnered this year to enable structural, thermal, and modal simulation capability right inside Creo Parametric’s modeling environment. With Creo Simulation Live there’s no more switching to a different mode and no exporting of files. By running off your graphics processor it generates results practically instantaneously. Even more amazing, the results update as you make changes to your parts and assemblies.
I performed finite element analysis (FEA) in the aerospace industry and later in my career, taught Creo Simulate, so I had to take it for a test drive as soon as it came out. Here’s what I found.
It’s easy to get started. I updated to the latest build code and launched Creo Parametric. I clicked on the new Creo Simulation Live tab and the icon for the free trial. The embedded browser opens to a page where you fill in your personal information. That installs your new license file. Restart Creo and select the new license configuration, and away you go! Total elapsed time: under five minutes to get set up.
It’s easy to learn. PTC provides a two-hour training class that shows you how to operate Creo Simulation Live, but I couldn’t wait. I wanted to start playing now! Besides, I had watched Mark Fischer’s introductory webcast; that’s all the confidence I needed to start producing results. The interface is simple and intuitive that you can figure out how to drive without the formal training.
To use it, apply materials to your model. Click on the Simulation Live tab and define constraints and loads. Specify whether you want to run a structural, thermal, or modal analysis, and run.
When I was a structural analyst, I spent the majority of my time meshing models, applying idealizations and simplifications, and tweaking the meshes for different load cases or to get better results. Creo Simulation Live eliminates all of that; it brings FEA to the masses.
It’s unbelievably fast. When I watched Mark’s webcast with coworkers, we all remarked that there’s no way it could be as fast as it is. I decided to test it on a really complicated model: a transmission housing with a lot of small surfaces, fillets and material volume, meaning the mesh would be huge.
I ran a modal analysis, and it solved in about the time it takes to take a sip of coffee.* Colors advance across the model as it’s solving like a progress bar.
(For comparison, I ran the same model in Creo Simulate with various settings, and generally it took about 18 minutes. Creo Simulation Live was about 200 times faster than my normal method.)
In industry I set up analyses to run overnight so I could get answers the next day. Imagine getting results without having to wait at all. Actually, you don’t have to imagine because that technology exists now.
It’s powerful. I strongly recommend designers perform their own analysis while they design. It takes too long to wait until the design is complete to hand off to analysis, only to find that your concept doesn’t meet requirements. Simulation during the design process allows you to try out different alternatives, resulting in better products optimized for their environments.
As soon as you change dimensions or edit definition of features, Creo Simulation Live updates the results in real time. There’s no need to re-run a previous analysis or set up a new one like I used to have to do. You make a change, and you see the effect immediately.
It’s fun. We’re engineers; we like our tools and we like our toys. When I’m designing, I also want to analyze, optimize, and plan manufacturing. I want as many capabilities as possible.
Creo Simulation Live unites the worlds of design and analysis, changing them from sequential to simultaneous activities with real-time feedback. How much time can you shave off your design cycles by eliminating the bottlenecks and silos?
There’s no other way to put it: Creo Simulation Live is a game-changer.
Ed. Want to see how Creo Simulation Live will work with your designs? Visit the Creo Simulation Live web page for demos, research, free trial information, and who to contact.
* For reference, I have a Dell Mobile Precision 7720, purchased in 2017, i7-7700HQ (Quad Core 2.80GHz, 3.80GHz Turbo, 6MB 35W) processor, 32 Gb RAM, and an Nvidia Quadro M1200 graphics card with 4Gb GDDR5 SDRAM.
Dave Martin is a Creo, Windchill, and PTC Mathcad instructor and consultant. He is the author of the books “Top Down Design in Creo Parametric,” “Design Intent in Creo Parametric,” and “Configuring Creo Parametric,” all available at amazon.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dave currently works as the configuration manager for Elroy Air, which develops autonomous aerial vehicles for middle-mile delivery. Previous employers include Blue Origin, Amazon Prime Air, Amazon Lab126, and PTC. He holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and is a former armor officer in the United States Army Reserves.