Chad Jackson

What is Simulation-Driven Design?

March 10, 2019

What is Simulation-Driven Design (SDD)? We provide a concise overview of this type of engineering initiative in this post and video.

What is Simulation-Driven Design?

Let’s talk about simulation-driven design. First, what is it?

With this technology, you use simulation and analysis tools. These tools can predict the performance of products, either structural or with regards to fluids, but usually some type of engineering physics. Then you run those simulations in the detailed design phase of development, or maybe even the concept design phase.

So what’s the benefit here? Well, you’re getting feedback on the status of the design. Is it really fulfilling the functional requirements that you need for a mechanical design?

You can also run these simulations to get guidance on the design decisions that you’re making. This might be what shape it should take, or the size of it regarding dimensions. It could also be sizing purchase components like motors, hydraulics, and things like that.

The benefits that you get here are twofold. Number one, if you are verifying performance along the way, you’ll probably have a lot more confidence by the time you get to prototyping and testing, and you’re gonna get past it with just one round. If you go to multiple rounds, we have research that shows how catastrophic that can be in trying to hit design release on time.

Second, you’ll have better designs. So if you’re being guided by the functional performance of your design, you can auto-correct along the way. You can decide, “Well, it’s better to add material here as opposed to in another place.”

That’s the overall concept behind simulation-driven design. It’s used in concept design and detailed design to make better decisions, to verify performance, decrease rounds of prototyping, and come up with better designs. And I’m all out of fingers.

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