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Author Archives: Bob Yancey

JUN

10

2013

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This post was taken from Altair Enlighten.

Additive Layer Manufacturing (ALM) has been around for some time.  I got involved with this industry almost 20 years ago when it was called Rapid Prototyping and then 3D Printing and now ALM.  ALM builds structures layer by layer which is different than traditional manufacturing methods which either starts with a shape and machines away the excess or uses tooling to form a part to net shape. Some ALM processes rely on lasers to cure or solidify the material and others deposit the material through tiny nozzles but all methods build up a part in thin layers.

It has been a great technology for creating prototypes but has had little application in making production parts.  New methods and new materials have emerged more recently that may be able to make ALM more relevant to production applications. A good article appeared recently in Technology Review that discusses some of the current and future applications of the technology.   Altair recently had an ALM panel at our European Altair Technology Conference where leaders from the industry discussed the technology and its applications.

 

Jannis Kranz, from TUHH shows a bracket designed with OptiStruct and produced with ALM Read More


MAY

17

2013

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Category: Tech Trends in Simulation

The 3D Printing Wave

, Executive Director - Global Aerospace

There has been a lot of buzz around 3D printing lately.  Actually, I got involved in this industry in the early days when it was called rapid prototyping and stereolithography was the only technique.  It is great to see the development of this industry and the wide variety of materials now available.

Altair’s OptiStruct technology and 3D printing are becoming great partners.  OptiStruct’s topology optimization creates the most efficient structure for the given loads as recently described in a Forbes article.  It produces organic-like structures that can sometimes be difficult to manufacture.  3D Printing gives us the opportunity to directly print any structure we can imagine so we can now truly manufacture the most optimal design.

At our recent Altair Technology Conference in Turin, Italy, we brought together industry leaders and experts in the use of 3D printing technology to discuss this technology and where it is going.  It was a great session and shows how 3D printing and topology optimization can revolutionize the way we design and build in the future.  You can read more about this session and review the presentations here


FEB

06

2013

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Category: Aerospace

Improving Aircraft Seating

, Executive Director - Global Aerospace

In September I spoke in Seattle, Wash., at the High Performance Composites in Aircraft Interiors Conference, sponsored by CompositesWorld.  It was an excellent conference, with representatives from the OEMs and suppliers from the interiors, seating, component and materials industries.  My presentation focused on Altair’s efforts in the design of aircraft seating to reduce weight and insure safety.  You can read a short summary of my talk in High Performance Composites.  You can also view my presentation on the Altair HyperWorks website.

 

Driving Design towards a lighter solution Read More


AUG

15

2012

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Category: Aerospace

Curiosity Rover: Excitement and Inspiration

, Executive Director - Global Aerospace

It was great to see the excitement in the room at JPL when the Curiosity Rover sent  its first signal that it was safely on the surface of Mars.  A lot of hard work from NASA engineers and many contractors had finally paid off.  When I was a senior at MIT in 1986 in the AeroAstro Department, my class was given an assignment by NASA to design a manned mission to Mars.  We discussed the general outline of the program and decided on a three-phase mission.  Phase I would be to send a vessel to Mars that would orbit the red planet and map the entire surface.  Phase II would be to send a rover to Mars that would move around the surface and collect samples that would be returned to earth for further study.  Phase III would be to send a crew to the planet.  The class then split into teams to take on various parts of the mission, and I was selected to lead the “Rover” team.  We designed a rover that looks very similar to Curiosity and addressed the issues regarding maneuverability, control, sensors, and instruments.  It was a great project, and we all learned a lot.  NASA got the benefit of seeing what the next generation of engineers could produce.  I was excited to see the first successful Mars rover mission, Pathfinder, in 1997.  We all hope Curiosity will continue to provide useful information to our scientists and engineers. Read More


JUL

19

2012

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Category: Aerospace

Farnborough and Japan

, Executive Director - Global Aerospace

I intently watched the news coming out of the Farnborough Air Show held recently, and I was happy to see the positive reviews of the Qatar Airlines 787.  People were raving about the comfortable cabin layout, the seating, the unique lighting, and the large windows.

This event comes on the heels of my recent visit to Japan.  The Japanese are very proud of their involvement on the 787 program.  At our HyperWorks Technology Conference in Japan, Altair COO Brett Chouinard recounted his recent experience flying on the 787 from Tokyo to Hiroshima.  Like those at Farnborough, he also raved about the plane’s features, including the quiet ride.  I also discovered that Eiichi Kasono, one of our managers in Japan, has flown on both the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787.  He happened to be on the inaugural commercial flight of the A380 and has flown on the 787 several times.

Altair had significant involvement with both the A380 and 787 programs, helping to reduce the weight of both aircrafts.  We are proud of our involvement and the positive contributions of our engineers and our technology.

I’m still waiting on my first 787 flight, so I might need to head back to Japan!

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