What does it mean to define a material as we move along the product lifecycle, from concept, through to engineering design, simulation, prototyping, manufacture, and distribution to the customer? A ‘material’ means one thing to a material engineer, something else to a CAD designer, and another to someone in manufacturing. Companies can spend weeks of wasted effort ensuring consistency or attempting to find or verify data.
The management of materials information is just one piece of the ‘materials intelligence’ puzzle. Discover how to reduce design cycles, minimize risk, improve product quality, aid compliance, and much more, by taking these five steps to increasing your Materials IQ.
The rate of adoption of additive manufacturing (AM) is incredible. AM brings a physicality to ideas, and offers ways for people to touch upon solutions that would have been impossible to otherwise imagine. Equally impressive is the scale of investment in machines for producing AM parts, which is of course supported by business cases highlighting reduced development times, fewer prototype costs, reduced part counts, and flexible manufacturing. But, I am seeing more and more evidence that the prescribed route to this ‘Nirvana’ is via a process of trial and error for settings, powders, and even machine capability.
As any simulation analyst can tell you, quality materials and property data is essential for modeling and simulation within product design. However, this information often exists in many different formats and locations throughout an organization. For authors of data, generating the right materials information for simulation (usually by analyzing populations of materials test data) can be time consuming, the process can be inefficient, and it’s certainly always complex. Moreover, the final data that’s produced out of this process is not always then traceable to its source.
Our very own Stephen Warde has been interviewed for the blog of one of the major providers of CAD/PLM software. Speaking to PTC, Steve highlights the difficulties faced by design engineers and the impact materials have on the ultimate cost and performance of a product.
I recently presented at a web seminar hosted by Granta’s partners at Dassault Systèmes, and it raised an interesting question about the materials property data needed by simulation analysts. We were looking, in particular, at the Abaqus/CAE® software. Its users want accurate material properties for use in their CAE software. But they also want confidence in that data – to know that it comes from a reliable source. And their companies want control: i.e., to ensure that all of their analysts are using data that is consistent, up-to-date, and traceable should simulation results ever need to be reviewed or updated. How can we meet these various requirements without disrupting well-established workflows and processes?