Content Background Top
Category Archives: Lightweight Design

JUN

10

2013

0 Comments

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

31

2013

0 Comments

This post was taken from Altair Enlighten and contributed by my colleague, Lars Fredriksson, Director at Altair ProductDesign, Germany.

When it comes to reducing the weight of products using advanced materials or design optimisation, there are two industries which make the majority of headlines. The automotive and aerospace industries are motivated by the increasing cost of fuel and need to deliver energy efficient products to market to meet tougher regulatory requirements and customer demand. However, it would be wrong to think that it is these two industries are alone in pushing for lighter design solutions.

A recent example which we were contributed to in Germany was with Britax-Römer, a leading manufacturer of child safety equipment. Weight in this industry is less motivated by fuel efficiency and more by consumer preference. Anyone who’s ever picked up a child seat will know that they can a be surprisingly heavy pieces of equipment due to the need for outstanding levels of safety performance during a vehicle crash. When faced with a selection of often very similar looking seats in a retail environment, ease of use and ease of transport becomes an important considerations during the decision making process.

STI Britax-trifix-seat-crash2 Read More


MAY

10

2013

0 Comments

This post was taken from Altair Enlighten and contributed by my colleague, Lars Fredriksson, Director at Altair ProductDesign, Germany.

As engineers in an ideal world, we would use design optimization techniques on every single component in a product in order to ensure the entire structure is as lightweight as possible. In reality however, this is rarely a practical exercise as we all need to meet development schedules with a limited amount of resources.So when faced with an existing design and often hundreds of components that could potentially be optimized, how do you know which ones could yield the biggest weight savings? Read More


APR

26

2013

0 Comments

In previous posts on Simulate to Innovate, we’ve shared news on the progress of Edison2, the winners of the 2010 Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize. “From Kindred Spirits Back to the Drawing Board” covered the momentum and development of the Edison2 Very Light Car (VLC) and “Kindred Spirit- Altair Meets Edison2” discussed some of shared views of optimization and inspired design between the founder of Edison2 and Altair.

Earlier this month, Edison2 unveiled their latest VLC inside Henry Ford Museum’s Driving America exhibit and it will be on display through the end of next month. Below is an article that originally appeared on the Enlighten weight news page sharing insights into the latest unveiling.

After an introduction by Patricia Mooradian, The Henry Ford’s president, Oliver Kuttner spoke about Edison2′s achievements over the last five years and their mission to provide affordable, efficient and sustainable transportation solutions. Illustrating the expected automotive landscape in the near future, Oliver showed how the virtues of the VLC architecture could have huge implications on vehicle markets domestic and worldwide.

During the speech, a 10′x12′ banner depicting the new Edison VLC 4.0 vehicle in complete form was uncovered just before Kuttner and Mooradian unveiled the new Edison2 VLC rolling chassis staged in front of the banner.

The Edison2 Very Light Car new architecture

The Edison2 Very Light Car new architecture

“This is disruptive technology,” Kuttner said, “This can change the entire industry. This can change the economies of nations, and my task today is to explain this to you.” Kuttner provided background on Edison2 and highlighted the challenges automakers face with new CO2 laws. “The industry is being asked to double its fuel efficiency – in one full development cycle. This is very difficult to do.” Kuttner emphasized what was required to win the Automotive X Prize: “Get the weight out – reduce aerodynamic drag,” a philosophy that automakers are now weaving into vehicle advertisements and specifications.

After the unveiling, Kuttner gave an overview of the vehicle, explaining the advantages of their new architecture and highlighting Edison2′s design focus on consumer needs – aesthetics, additional room, ease of entry/exit and more before moving onto its enabling technology: the suspension.

Kuttner’s primary focus was the Edison2 in-wheel suspension. “It starts from the suspension,” he said. He described how their patented suspension significantly reduces mass, complexity, parts count, and enables a long list of advantages, which include the opportunity to design safer, better handling, more aerodynamic vehicles with unprecedented efficiency. “We believe we can replace the twist beam suspension, even in existing cars…but it will take time.”

“In the end it’s all about efficiency,” Kuttner said, “and efficiency is all about cost.” He went into detail about economic advantages of the VLC architecture to global automakers and their consumers. He also described how reducing vehicle energy requirement is an important objective in meeting global reductions in GHG vehicle emissions, and managing energy challenges and costs worldwide. “This car opens up the possibility for a whole new type of car…in a much more responsible, sustainable way to the future.”


APR

10

2013

0 Comments

This post was taken from Altair Enlighten and was contributed by  , President, Chairman & CEO and Director at Center for Automotive Research (CAR)

 

CAFE standards for model year 2017 have automakers looking towards lightweight materials to help meet automotive fuel economy benchmarks.

Prior to model year 2011, all manufacturer vehicle fleets needed to meet the same basic fuel economy targets: 27.5 mpg for passenger cars and 23.5 mpg for light trucks.  To meet fuel economy CAFE standards for a particular model year, manufacturers would often offset the sales of less fuel efficient vehicles with smaller fuel efficient vehicles. This has led to the belief that any increase in CAFE requirements would result in the demise of larger vehicles.

Image courtesy of AOL Autos: http://autos.aol.com/article/fuel-economy-standards-survey/ Read More

Content Background Top

© Copyright 2012 Altair Engineering, Inc. All Rights Reserved.