3 Ways Real-Time Guidance Is Changing Product Design

Written by: Dave Martin

Read Time: 2 min.

For over a year now, product development teams have had additional design guidance at their fingertips: Creo Simulation Live. This tool provides engineers and designers with the ability to perform structural, thermal, and modal analysis in real-time as they work on parts and assemblies using the power of ANSYS.

Having observed teams adopt Creo Simulation Live, I’ve seen the three following changes to how companies perform product design:


1. Teams are re-evaluating roles and responsibilities.

When teams adopt new technology and tools, it’s important to re-evaluate how people get their work done. For example, computer-aided drafting changed the way we make drawings. Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) changed the way we calculate CNC (computer numerically controlled) toolpaths for mills and lathes, design molds and cavities, and make sheet metal parts. Real-time simulation is changing the way that parts and assemblies are designed.

To take advantage of these advances, design engineers are performing more simulation and analysis. Creo Simulation Live is eliminating the silos between engineering functions.

This trend will increase as Creo Simulation Live adds more capabilities like computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and other multiphysics simulation in Creo Parametric 7.0.


2. Teams are streamlining workflows.

Product design has typically followed a fairly linear workflow: concept to detailed design to analysis to manufacturing. At each stage you can loop back to any previous step, resulting in multiple iterations to get to the prototype and production stages. By having a design tool that simulates in real time, the concept, detailed design, and analysis stages are combined. This means fewer loops and iterations and quicker entry into prototype and production.


3. Teams focus on validation and optimization early.

Simulation and analysis are typically used for two major functions:

  • Validation is the process of using analysis and simulation to ensure components, assemblies, and products meet the requirements of their design environments.
  • Optimization takes a successful design and then finds the solution that maximizes or minimizes one or more desired quantifiable characteristics.

I’ve worked extensively in aerospace in my career, and optimization often means “as light as possible.” In spaceflight, we can calculate the cost per pound or even gram to achieve different orbits or mission profiles. (Interestingly enough, when I worked in consumer electronics, we were often optimizing for mass as well. No one wants to hold a heavy tablet, reader, or phone.) However, you can also optimize on factors like strength, DfM (design for manufacturing) factors, and cost.

Real-time simulation allows product development teams to front load their optimization into the design process instead of doing it just prior to or during manufacturing.


The Net Results

Here are some of the results I’ve seen from teams that adopt Creo Simulation Live:

  • Drawings and models are being released faster because designers have fewer rework iterations for new product introduction (NPI) and engineering change orders (ECOs).
  • Analysts have more time to focus on complicated simulation or validation and optimization at the major subsystem and product levels.
  • I’ve heard engineers express joy and enthusiasm with learning new skills, gaining professional development, and becoming better at their jobs.

How can real-time design guidance help you and your team? For more tips on iterating faster and creating designs you can be confident in, download Dave Martin’s new eBook, Reworking Your Workflow for Better Product Design.

Download the eBook: Reworking Your Workflow for Better Product Design.

Tags: CAD Retail and Consumer Products Connected Devices Simulation

About the Author

Dave Martin

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 dmartin@creowindchill.com.

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.