Expedite design process with cutting-edge optimization technology

Step-by-step guide into modeFRONTIER - the intuitive vendor agnostic software for process automation and design optimization.


Solve complex MDAO studies in a fraction of the time using a validated advanced panel method

ESTECO and Research in Flight showcase the optimization of a propeller geometry to meet stakeholders' goals in a complex, changing environment.

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modeFRONTIER Tutorial | Integration with STAR-CCM+
Discover how to integrate modeFRONTIER with STAR-CCM+.
White paper
Driving Change for Autonomous Vehicles
Automation is the next frontier for automotive companies, with a range of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and Autonomous Driving (AD) systems under development. For these ADAS/AD systems to reach the market, design teams need a robust validation strategy. The challenge lies in finding the right balance between minimizing the number of system failures while maximizing the comfort of travel in complex conditions. But existing physical test strategies are unfeasible, taking too long to complete and millions of hours of drive time. In this white paper, you'll read: how simulation can help validate next-generation vehicles using a scenario-based verification plan. how ESTECO technology was key to develop a white-box verification system, which takes advantage of statistical tools to post-process road testing and derive scenarios that are a combination of events identified during road testing.
White paper
Unlock the potential of generative design for Architecture and Construction
The architecture and construction industries are under pressure to improve building performance, reliability and comfort while reducing operational costs and project timescales. As traditional design processes fail to address these challenges, the simulation-based generative design concept is a viable solution. This white paper highlights how it allows engineers to: evaluate the impact of their design decisions, run multiple requirement-led simulations, optimize project-wide build parameters to expedite the best design solution. Find out how our software technologies have helped the world’s architects and structural engineers build a solid ROI and supported the profitability and growth of the construction industry.
Podcast | ESTECO Technology in the 36th America’s Cup
Martin Fischer, Co-Design Coordinator at Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli for the 36th America’s Cup, tell us about the role modeFRONTIER played in the hull and foil design of their AC75 yacht, but also in optimizing sailing techniques.
Success story
Optimizing a perfect race engine. ESTECO Academy Design Competition winner
modeFRONTIER enabled Michael Bambula of the University of Florida to run the workflow, integrate third-party software, automate the design exploration process and perform post-process analysis. The winner, Michael Bambula of the University of Florida, presented a top-notch design project, in which he achieved significant performance improvements (64.2 hp @16500 rpm) while developing a complete model for a Moto3 bike and realistic simulations that also considered the specifics of the race track. Organized in partnership with Aprilia Racing and Gamma Technologies, the competition was open to teams of undergraduate and graduate engineering students. The challenge was to improve the design of a 4 stroke single cylinder engine through multidisciplinary optimization (using modeFRONTIER) and 1-D simulation of the engine system with GT-SUITE. The competition award included an internship opportunity at the APRILIA Racing team, which counts several World Championship Awards. The goal of the project was to maximize engine power. Due to the constrained engine architecture, an optimization of the Intake/Exhaust system was performed. Gamma Technologies supplied a set of simulation tools (GT-Suite) to develop the 1-D model of the high-performance engine. Various aspects of the base engine architecture were constrained such as Bore, Stroke, Con Rod Length, Engine Speed, Max Valve Diameters, Max Valve Lift, Max Throttle Diameter, Max Compression Ratio, Non-variable Cam Timing, and Naturally Aspirated. Considering these constraints, the optimization of the cylinder filling (Wave Dynamics) was seen as the logical design direction. modeFRONTIER workflow was used to automate the design exploration process and integrate Excel and GT-Suite for computing lifts value intake and exhaust valve lift profiles and simulating the engine power output. During the development of the 1-D Engine Model there were inherently many unknowns, therefore Michael made assumptions supported by rigorous research. The design variables related to the intake/ exhaust system were automatically found by modeFRONTIER to optimize the output results: sum of engine power across engine speeds speeds from lowest to highest respectively (11500 rpm to 17500 rpm). “modeFRONTIER ran 1000 different designs that varied the input parameters. The Hybrid Algorithm did an amazing job at finding the optimum solutions based on the objective of maximizing the engine power” said Michael Bambula, University of Florida Racing Team. “The analysis went beyond just determining the most powerful engine”, continued Bambula, “in fact the final objective, aimed at determining whether a certain design is sufficient for motorsports, was to compare it to lap times. This is why it was decided that the final group of optimum results from modeFRONTIER would be simulated in OptimumLap software considering, among other assumptions, a Moto3 motorcycle model traversing the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit in Australia”.
Advanced design automation with modeFRONTIER & nTop platform
This webinar demonstrates the added value of integrating nTop platform with modeFRONTIER Multidisciplinary Design Optimization (MDO) software through nTopCL to act as an unbreakable generative geometry node. This opens up new and unique possibilities for advanced engineering design exploration. Gaurish Sharma of ESTECO and Evan Pilz of nTopology show how to set up, run, and evaluate the results of an automated Topology Optimization DoE to identify a truly optimal solution. Agenda: Automate DoE in modeFRONTIER and pass design parameters to nTop Platform Generate part geometry using topology optimization and automated post-processing Evaluate the results in ANSYS and select the best design using statistical methods
Success story
Takenaka Corporation: from Integration to Collaboration in the simulation process
Discover how designers, engineers and managers benefit from ESTECO Technology to simplify their DESIGN&BUILD process. Using VOLTA simulation process & data management, and design optimization capabilities, they collaboratively assessed the performance of structural elements of a new company building to maximize office space capacity. ## Why Design&Build and Simulation Process and Data Management Collaboration between design and construction has traditionally been playing an important role in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry. Takenaka Corporation, one of the top construction companies in Japan, ensures certified process and construction quality at the highest levels with its integral DESIGN&BUILD system. This methodology integrates architecture, building technology, and construction in a unified flow of work from concept through completion, replacing the traditional approach where the design and construction phases of a building project are carried out in a sequential manner. The DESIGN&BUILD system leads to many advantages: effective communication, unified quality, effective timing and cost overruns, and reduced completion time. In fact, architects and engineers collaborate with each other, share data, and are updated on various requirements to deliver innovative building solutions and meet clients’ expectations. When Takenaka Corporation embraced the DESIGN&BUILD system, it looked for a reliable Simulation Process and Data Management (SPDM) platform. That is why they partnered with ESTECO to simplify the whole simulation design process, manage a huge amount of data across teams, and shorten product development time. Designers, engineers and managers involved in the architectural projects access ESTECO VOLTA from a web browser and intuitively interact with the simulation process. From running 3D building simulations to applying design optimization techniques, analyze results and share data on the internal cloud for collaborative decision making. ## Expanding 3D building modeling and design optimization techniques across the enterprise Conducting manually parametric studies on 3D building models can become a time-consuming process leading to delays in project schedules. Overcoming these challenges for designers and engineers at Takenaka Corporation translate into an extensive use of ESTECO process automation, integration, and design optimization technology to significantly accelerate the architectural simulation design process. By combining modeling solvers as Rhino3D/Grasshopper, Abaqus, Midas iGen, or other in-house design software in modeFRONTIER powerful workflow, they can execute complex simulation chains and evaluate thousands of complex geometries in a short time. On top of that, applying ESTECO state-of-the-art design exploration and optimization algorithms to assess the correlation between several requirements (room size, thermal comfort, structural design to name a few) and maximize the building performance. At Takenaka, they had to make a step forward to expand the usage of 3D building modeling and design optimization techniques across teams with different expertise. Indeed, designers and engineers usually perform simple data analysis and are not necessarily confident in simulation and workflow set-up execution. Moreover, the DESIGN&BUILD methodology requires effective collaboration between the different actors involved in the simulation process to make changes and update their models for further analysis. This gap has been filled by scaling up modeFRONTIER desktop solution capabilities across the enterprise with the ESTECO VOLTA collaborative web platform. It enables simulation experts to create and make the simulation workflow ready to be executed via web. Then, designers and engineers can use these simulation models, apply design optimization techniques, and analyze results in the VOLTA platform. Since the simulation data are accessible in their internal cloud, it is easier for them to quickly interact with the simulation experts asking for updated CAD/CAE models when design changes are required. In the end, managers can log in to the VOLTA web platform, access product performance metrics, and monitor the whole simulation product development advancements. This scenario has been successfully applied in the early design phase of a new office building project. VOLTA made simulation usable by different teams to optimize structural elements in order to guarantee maximum office space capacity. Use case: rationalize the slab shape of an office building with VOLTA web collaborative platform Expanding the usage of simulation and optimization became a true fact when Takenaka’s designers and engineers had to collaborate in order to assess the performance of structural elements for a new office building. The subcontracted project required to drastically reduce the number of columns to make the most of the office space. However, the expected distance between the columns is about 17 meters, which is quite a lot according to the Japanese regulations. This has an unavoidable impact on the flat surface of a slab, a common structural element used to construct floors and ceilings. The slab needs a proper curve in order to guarantee the stiffness. Although, a side effect of the increased curvature may unbalance the floor forces and cause local additional bending moments. The solution is not just filling the curved slab shape, rather including massive amounts of ribs in some areas. To achieve this, the company’s designers and engineers combined the use of 3D building modeling techniques with ESTECO VOLTA collaborative web platform to explore reasonable volume amounts and coverage of the slab. First, they used Rhino3D/Grasshopper to create and model the shape of the office building and then converted it (in Grasshopper) to be meshed in Midas iGen to perform structural analysis. In the end, the several outputs from finite element analysis such as maximum displacement and the stress were extracted by using a python script. The interaction between the different simulation solvers was automated in the modeFRONTIER workflow coupled within the ESTECO VOLTA platform environment. This enabled simulation experts to upload the modeFRONTIER workflow and execute it through a web interface. Then, the structural engineers benefited from the VOLTA Advisor, a web environment for advanced post-processing and data visualization, to assess the simulation results from the finite element analysis model and validate the deformed shape of the all structure. For the same project, they also performed additional analysis through the VOLTA Planner dashboard, a modular interface to apply several optimization strategies in an intuitive way. This allowed them to easily create new simulation plans, change parameters bound, objectives and constraints with the aim of finding the best designs with minimized both the building weight and the maximum displacement of slab. “Thanks to the VOLTA HPC & Cloud capabilities, we were able to evaluate more than 700 designs in just four days. The VOLTA Player interface allowed to execute these computational heavy multi objective optimization analysis on the cloud without having to think how resources are used remotely”. Toru Inaba, Computational Design Group at Takenaka Corporation, also said that one of the key benefits of using VOLTA is to make simulation data accessible to a broader team of designers and engineers. “In particular,” concluded Toru Inaba, “our simulation experts could share the best practices on how to use the VOLTA Advisor, the web environment for advanced data analysis and visualization, with the structural engineers. The VOLTA web platform and its apps enabled us to truly democratize our DESIGN&BUILD simulation process. Designers and engineers can now access to the simulation results in one click and collaboratively take decisions without only relying on siloed reports of data”.
Success story
American Magic perfects AC75 design for the 36th America's Cup
The America’s Cup isn’t just the first sailing competition in history, it’s also the first when it comes to innovation. Learn how American Magic engineers partnered with ESTECO to prepare for their next challenge. Using modeFRONTIER in different phases of the design process, they integrated geometry changes, performed hydrodynamic CFD simulations and explored different optimization strategies. ## New design challenges: monohulls that fly The America’s Cup is the oldest and most important trophy in sailing. What makes it unique is that the reigning champion gets to decide the rules for the next edition, like the date and the location. More importantly, it defines boat class and design rules. The 33rd America’s cup in 2010 pushed the boundaries of boat design by introducing new technologies, design concepts and materials. When BMW Oracle pitted its 34-meter trimaran and 55-meter high rigid wing against Alinghi in the first regatta, it won by 15 minutes, sailing at more than 18 knots in 8 knots of wind. The 36th America’s Cup builds on changes to previous edition class rules with a new boat concept: a monohull racing boat that doesn’t sacrifice the concept of flying boats. Two t-shaped side foils guarantee that the boat flies above the water. Engineers can’t rely on previous experience and now find themselves having to design a completely new boat. Moreover, competition rules allow teams to design only certain parts of the boat, like foil wings, sails, hulls and systems, while others must be designed by third parties. Whereas the foil wing structure and profile can be designed by teams, the arm structure is determined, designed, and built by a supplier company. American Magic is using ESTECO technology in each phase of the design process, from concept to the refinement of foils and sails. Specifically it uses modeFRONTIER. Its process automation, intelligent algorithms and advanced post-processing capabilities enable engineers to deliver optimized solutions faster. ## Complex simulation studies on foil and mainsail geometries The AC75 has two t-shaped side foils. The arm is attached to the hull with a moving joint which allows the crew to move the foils in and out of the water according to the sailing mode. On the other end of the arm is the foil itself. The foil has a main airfoil profile section coupled with moving flaps. Internally, enough space must be guaranteed for the systems to operate the flaps. Foil design is challenging because it involves the simulation of myriad geometries in different configurations and under multiple operating conditions - all of which determine boat performance. Foils need to create low drag but generate enough force to enable the boat to lift at the start and fly during the race. Righting moment is required to balance the heeling moment of the sails. At higher speeds, cavitation can cause significant loss in performance. Stability is fundamental, especially during maneuvers. In the first stage, hydrodynamic performance is computed using a low-fidelity solver that takes into account the different operating conditions - namely speed, sailing mode and position in the water. In the second stage, the full 3D geometry is designed and evaluated using CFD simulations. High-fidelity simulations can’t be used directly in the first stage of development due to lengthy computational times. The sail plan is composed of the mainsail and a jib or code zero, which are interchangeable. All dimensions are restricted by rules, so engineers can optimize the shape within specific limits. The mainsail is a twin skin sail that acts like an airfoil. By adjusting mast rotation, twist and boom position, the 3D geometry of the mainsail can be tuned for different wind speeds and sailing modes foils, the aerodynamic forces are tuned to generate lift, maintaining momentum and low drag. ## Getting foil and sail design just right American Magic engineers are using several simulation software for the foil and sail design which consists of three steps: geometry definition, force computation and boat speed estimation. The entire process is automated in modeFRONTIER. Multiple workflows handle input modifications, the execution of different tools and file and data exchange. Mares, developed by Airbus, handles the geometry generation of the airfoil and the flap, considering different combinations. Hydrodynamic forces generated by the foil, lift, drag and momentum, as well as cavitation speed are obtained through CFD simulations. The designers use a low fidelity 1D potential-based code in the initial phases to evaluate multiple configurations in a small amount of time. American Magic uses a RANS-based tool to perform high fidelity 3D simulations in the final refinement and optimization phase. Both Mares and the CFD tools are coupled with modeFRONTIER using Easydriver nodes. This enables them to couple their in-house tools using input and output files and customize execution scripts. Geometry consistency is guaranteed by constraints that filter out weird shapes and meet requirements for internal cabling and mechanisms as well as cavitation limits. The main goal of the optimization is to minimize drag for specific lift values. It isn’t enough to understand the efficacy of a foil shape. It’s important to understand how the boat behaves. An in-house Velocity Prediction Program (VPP) software estimates the overall boat performance at different wind speeds and sailing modes. The software uses forces generated by foils and sails to find the overall boat equilibrium and predict boat velocity. A nested modeFRONTIER workflow handles different operating conditions. These are sequentially run, using internal loops to compute the global performance of the design. Multiple operations are handled in parallel to make the most of computational resources. Once the forces are solved, these are passed on to the VPP calculation. Foil and sail design share most of the process and simulation tools but defining the geometry is more complex. The mainsail is divided into several sections where each section can have a different shape based on input values. On top of this, optimal adjustments for every shape need to be calculated. This results in large numbers of configurations which are run to find the best design. It’s fundamental to formulate constraints based on maneuverability, considering adjustments that are feasible for the crew - optimal solutions have no meaning if they are too complex to be performed during the race. Each design phase requires a different optimization strategy. In early stages, genetic algorithms guarantee robustness to find the global optimum in a large design domain. In the last phase, it’s important to cut optimization time - conventional techniques aren’t feasible. Therefore, multi-strategy algorithms are used in combination with advanced initialization techniques to speed up the whole optimization process. ## American Magic and ESTECO - partners in innovation The American Magic design team relied on ESTECO technology in the design and optimization of the boat. Paolo Motta, Performance Prediction Engineer says, “The AC75 is a complex racing boat with interacting subsystems. This makes the design process a challenging and time-consuming task. Using modeFRONTIER process automation, intelligent algorithms and decision making capabilities enables us to decrease foil optimization time from 3 weeks to 4 days. This gives us time to discuss and think about present challenges and develop new solutions”. According to Arthur Rozand, Performance Prediction Engineer, “The key benefit of using modeFRONTIER is to have a suite of tools in one place. In this way it’s easy to manage design and optimization from the exploratory phase to post-processing and decision making. Time is a constraint in development. With modeFRONTIER, we have the flexibility to tailor the strategy. For example, in the early stages of development, DOE strategies and the sensitivity analysis tool help us understand which design variables are the most important. In the final stage of development we use multi-strategy algorithms and advanced charts to select the best design.” “Our partnership with ESTECO is bringing in great results.” says Giorgio Provinciali, Velocity Prediction Program (VPP) Lead, “Working side-by-side with ESTECO engineers enables us to pool our respective expertise to get the most out of modeFRONTIER”.
Ensuring product performance with Robust Optimization and Quality Engineering technology
This webinar presents how modeFRONTIER robust and reliability-based optimization capabilities can be applied to avoid opting for designs that perform well on paper, but under-perform in real life. Danilo Di Stefano (Product Manager) and Alberto Clarich (Technical Manager) introduce the Quality Engineering module available in modeFRONTIER. They present how robust and reliability-based optimization can be applied to leave out designs that perform well on paper, but under-perform in real life. Quality Engineering allows to perform a robust analysis in those cases where the variable is affected by a non-probabilistic deviation, or noise. Agenda: ROBUST DESIGN & RELIABILITY - Manage uncertainties with ESTECO technology QUALITY ENGINEERING - A new Robust Design method available in modeFRONTIER modeFRONTIER PLANNER - A modular interface to set-up design exploration, optimization and robust design campaigns easier
Optimizing kinematics and compliances of vehicle suspension using Adams Car and modeFRONTIER
This webinar presents a methodical way of optimization of Kinematics and Compliances (K&C) performance by linking the models developed in Adams Car with modeFRONTIER for end to end process automation and numerical optimization. Experts from ESTECO and MSC Software explain vehicle suspension systems which are made up of many components including springs, dampers, bushings, hardpoints, etc. Each of these components plays a critical role in Kinematics and Compliances (K&C) of suspension systems. Manually evaluating K&C of a system is also a tedious task considering multiple number of events that must be considered i.e. parallel wheel travel, roll, etc. Thanks to ESTECO's design optimization and simulation process integration and automation technologies, the coupling of Adams Car and modeFRONTIER accelerate and ease the process, leading to an optimal combination of these parameters which results in the desired K&C results for all events.