The first step in any design exploration study is to define the way in which the virtual prototype simulation model is to be constructed and modified. This typically involves identifying the various modeling and simulation tools that are involved, specifying where they are executed, choosing the simulation models that are being modified, selecting the parameters being driven and monitored, and documenting what outputs are being stored for each design point.
While the actual simulation models may change from project to project, the workflow and the way the models are tested often remains the same. For example, the workflow for finding the best lower control arm configuration for a vehicle front suspension is identical (or very similar) across vehicle platforms. The input for geometry ranges, loads and required performance change.
Figure 1. Example HEEDS workflow
Highlighting a Few New Features that Help You Discover Better Designs, Faster
Often, improvements to the simplest things can have a big impact on your daily tasks. There are many tasks we perform repeatedly when working with HEEDS, and streamlining those saves time and reduces effort. HEEDS 2015.11 contains many enhancements focused on simplifying workflows and I want to highlight a few that help in exploring design performance relationships.
To explore relationships between variables and responses in detail, you typically require multiple plots of the same type, but with different variables to gain a clearer understanding of dependency or influence. However, there are many plot features that are tailored to suit the particular way you want to view the results such as axis scales, data symbols, curves styles, title fonts, and so on.
To avoid having to create a new plot from scratch and redefine all these settings, you can now right click and select the Copy Plot option. This makes an exact copy of the existing plot, with all the customization. You then just need to alter the variables or responses being displayed saving a lot of setup time.
Figure 1. Make a copy of an existing plot with a single right click option
There are a lot of great tools in HEEDS to help you gain insight into finding the best design. One area of enhancements in HEEDS 2015.11 focused on parallel plots. In this article, we’ll highlight some ways to use new features of parallel plots in HEEDS to discover better designs, faster.
Parallel plot background
To help show the new capabilities in the context of an engineering problem, let’s look at exploring shape options for a human powered vehicle. There are obviously many dimensions that can be adjusted to improve the design.
Figure 1. Possible parameters to change for a Human Powered Vehicle