Optimization Leaders News
December 1, 2014
Verify and Optimize Your Designs
In order to achieve the best design, it is imperative that a product—and its interactions with its environment—be accurately modeled. While the multiphysics approach provides designers with numerical methods to account for coupled physics phenomena and achieve a real-world simulation, the job doesn’t end there.
After creating a model of your product or process, you always want to further optimize your design. Different approaches exist, but all rely on defining an objective function that is used to optimize the model. Examples include minimizing weight, changing a set of design variables, optimizing within a set of constraints to keep an eye on feasibility and other requirements, or altering operating conditions that will define the scope of the application.
Shape optimization may imply predicting the shape of curves or surfaces to minimize or maximize a derived quantity. For example, it could be used to construct a wing profile that minimizes the drag coefficient but maximizes the lift coefficient. It can mean changing “simpler” parameters, such as the radius or position of screw holes, in order to minimize weight but maximize structural integrity.
The topology optimization method works by distributing a limited amount of material through a given space to maximize performance. In electronics cooling, for example, the shape of the channels in a heat sink can be optimized for maximum cooling power for a heat sink of a given size.
Optimizations must sometimes be carried out using multiple analyses. For example, a static or dynamic analysis can be combined with an eigenfrequency analysis to constrain the allowed eigenfrequencies in a device or process.
High-fidelity multiphysics modeling in combination with optimization methods can efficiently predict the best possible design. The future looks bright for companies that have realized this potential!
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