Is there really anything different about the new version of Ansys Discovery? Let’s talk about that next.
Ansys came out with a new version of their offering called Discovery, which is meant to support an engineer’s exploration of new designs while looking at performance. A lot of products had incremental capabilities and enhancements added to them over time. Is this really any different? To answer that question, it really makes sense to step back for a second and look at how do engineers explore those designs. What do they want to track in terms of performance?
What Design Process Do Engineers Typically Follow?
Let’s take a second to look at the process engineers typically follow to get to a design. I think we all know the traditional story. You’re going to iterate some and you’re going to try and find a first feasible design. And maybe, depending on the amount of time that you have, you stop there. You might also be able to explore a little bit further and find a much better design.
What actually also happens along the way? There’s lots of work in process experimentation that doesn’t necessarily get documented. It doesn’t show up as part of the official record. With file-based approaches, it lives on your desktop. It never gets explored or exposed to the broader organization. Now the engineer does track a number of measures such as cost, weight, peak stress, and displacement. There are all sorts of things to look at. To date, they’ve really tracked this informally through spreadsheets or their heads. They know what the limits are that they need to hit with those measures. Traditionally, this has been done in a very ad hoc manner and it’s been done with no formal record.
How Does Ansys Discovery Impact the Design Process?
How does this change when you look at the new version of Ansys Discovery? It’s interesting because they’ve formalized this process. There are different modes you can go through. You have different capabilities. It supports the exploration, analyze, and finalize efforts. So when you’re exploring, you want quick answers. When you want to finalize and verify a design, you want something that’s going to be more accurate. With this offering, you can track measures. You actually have a graph of how the displacement changes over iterations and you can track multiple things with that. It’s more formally supporting what to date has been this very ad hoc, impromptu, and manual type of effort for engineers.
One comment is that today, they keep track of the design iterations within your current session. If you work for a while, you can go back and look at the prior iterations. You can see how they performed and you can assess what direction you want to go. If you close that session down and bring it back up, you’re not going to have those geometric iterations. And that would be a great thing to enhance in the future. But overall, it’s interesting because this has been a very informal process. I see this as adding structure to it. A structure that is really needed.
So that’s it. It’s got some really interesting new capabilities. I advise that you check it out. They’ve done a lot of work on usability. You should keep an eye out for that as well.