Tips & Tricks: Optimize Mass During Design with Creo Simulate

One of the great advantages of Creo Simulate is that it can help you optimize your models as you design in order to achieve a specified goal while respecting specified limits; for example, minimizing the mass of a part without compromising its strength.

Traditionally, you would adjust some variables (like a wall thickness), run an analysis, note the resulting stresses and deformations, then adjust the variables again, analyze again, and so on until you get the perfect result. Or you could let Creo Simulate find the ideal variables for you. Here’s how:

[Ed. New to Creo Simulate? Check out the introductory video below.]

Before you start optimizing a design, make sure you’ve already defined and successfully run a static analysis.  This analysis will be used as the basis for the optimization study.

In setting up the Optimization Study, consider what Goal you are trying to achieve (for example, minimizing the total mass) and your Design Limits (for example, Von Mises Stress less than 525 N/mm2). You should also know which key dimensions (Variables) you want the system to iterate (for example, the thickness of a particular feature).

To set up Creo Simulate to find the optimal value of your Variables, follow these steps:

  1. Define the optimization design study:
    1. Click Analyses and Studies. The Analysis and Design Studies dialog opens.
    2. Click File > New Optimization Study Definition to open the Optimization Study Definition dialog.
    3. In the Name field, type a new name.
    4. Verify that the Type pull-down is Optimization.
    5. In the Goal area, select Minimize.
    6. Verify that the measure is total_mass. Total mass instructs Creo Simulate to make the mass as small as possible. (You could also set a Design Limit Without design limits, Creo Simulate searches for the optimum value of your goal anywhere in the full range of the design variables you select.)
    7. Select at least one of the dimensions and ranges over which each variable can vary during optimization. In the Variables area, click Select Dimension and then, click the geometry and dimension you want to vary.
    8. To specify different options for the design study, click Options to open the Design Study Options dialogue box. Use this dialog to specify the number of Maximum Iterations the system will perform (thus saving run time) and to force Re-mesh after each shape
    9. Close the dialog box, and then close the Optimization Study Definition dialog.

Optimization Study Definition dialog completed.

  1. Click Start Run (green arrow) > Yes (to run interactive diagnostics). Note, the process may take a while even with the number of maximum iterations reduced.
  2. Review your results.
    1. Click Review Results.
    2. In the Results Window Definition dialog, keep all the defaults and click OK and Show.

Before, mass of part is 6.19 kg.

After optimization, mass is 6.17 kg.

To see a demonstration of the steps above and more, watch the video tutorial on the Creo University Learning Exchange (“Performing a Design Optimization”). Note that you may need to create an account if you don’t already have one. The good news is that it’s free, and after creating your new login, you’ll find more than 700 in-depth demonstrations and tutorials for Creo.

You can also find more discussion of optimizing designs with Simulation in this Community forum post and in PTC's Help pages too.