MSC Software Corporation has released MSC Apex Generative Design 2020, a tool that enables engineers to explore new approaches and optimise any part of their design in a single step. It will develop innovative products up to 80 per cent faster than conventional approaches.

MSC Apex Generative Design addresses product development pressures to meet shrinking budgets and rapid time-to-market by generating lightweight and smoothed preliminary component concepts based on just the engineering goals. It does away with the iterative process of eliminating unsuitable candidates, freeing up the engineer’s time to use their expertise to explore the design space and find more optimal and novel solutions by fine tuning pre-vetted, manufacturing-ready designs.

It’s uses span every imaginable industry, regardless of the application. It enables engineers to innovate more quickly, producing the perfect design in the same amount of time it would have taken them to create, test and discard a first prototype using conventional tools and workflows.

Saving design time for customers

“Designing an optimal product that fully exploits the available techniques is such a convoluted process today, that designers have to compromise,” Thomas Reiher, director of generative design, MSC Software, said. “Designers’ eyes light up when they use MSC Apex Generative Design because it thinks like them, improving parts with intelligent engineering decisions, only much faster.”

“Our users have reported slashing their design time by 80% by reducing the number of individual tools and interventions, automating the optimisation process, and streamlining their workflows. They start producing products that for the first time they have been able to optimise with design, performance and cost all tailored to their technical and commercial requirements.” Reiher also said.

Despite this power, MSC Apex Generative Design can run on a normal laptop to generate initial candidates within an hour and produce a final design within a matter of hours. Adding to its accessibility, the tool is also now equipped with an intuitive interface, opening its capabilities up to designers and engineers without specialised knowledge of computer aided engineering. Design goals can be set up directly or set against an existing design from Computer Aided Design (CAD) or directly from CAE models.

Anticipating issues

MSC Apex Generative Design’s ability to anticipate design issues that would otherwise require redesign much later in the process is particularly important for new manufacturing practices such as additive manufacturing. 3D printing teams can use the solution as a design for additive manufacturing (DfAM) tool. It performs topology optimisation and intelligent smoothing in a single step, producing parts with low distortion risk and ‘bionic’ printable geometries. The resulting parts are automatically designed for performance, balancing the material use with strength requirements and stress distribution.

Users can link MSC Apex Generative Design with industry-leading manufacturing simulation tools Simufact Additive for metals and Digimat AM for polymers to reduce build failures and make optimal use of materials at every step.