This blog debates how simulation technology is becoming a dominant technology within the product development process. This initial entry presents a historical personal perspective of this evolution. (Apologies for the entry length, but please stick with it!)
It seems a long time ago (showing my age – the early 80s) when people at my university (Swansea) carried around their finite element programs in computer punch cards stacked so high you couldn’t see their faces. Professor Zienkiewicz, a pioneer of the finite element method, announced the arrival of a ‘real’ virtual reality where complex physical events would be simulated in real time. As one of his disciples released into industry in 1984, my first assignment was the impact simulation of a nuclear flask, where I needed to design my mesh on graph paper because I could only afford 2,000 solid elements. Consequently, the ‘actual’ reality was still a long way from achieving his vision.
Early Impact Simulation Containing Just 2,000 Elements