Learn How You Can Achieve Design Excellence with SIMULIA Performance Trade-Off

Product designers and engineers are often constrained with multiple performance requirements when designing a new product or improving an existing one. For example, limiting deflection due to external loads while also minimizing the overall weight of the part. Many design variables can contribute to meeting such criteria.

Greater thickness of the part would help minimize deflection but add to the overall weight. A lighter-weight material would help limit the weight but could increase deflection. Designers need to compare alternatives against the product requirements and brainstorm on the alternatives with project team members.

Comparison and Collaboration

The Performance Trade-Off application, which is part of the Simulation Collaborator role on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, enables comparison of and collaboration on design alternatives by comparing the simulation results against product performance objectives. Because this app is delivered within the 3D Dashboard, you have streamlined access and unique engineering collaboration capability from any web browser without installing a client application.

Performance Trade-Off works with the simulation data generated from the SIMULIA brand simulation roles available as part of the 3DEXPERIENCE Works offering. SIMULIA provides scalable simulation capabilities from basic linear structural scenarios to more advanced non-linear structure and even fluids simulations, with more physics (plastics, emag, etc.) planned for future releases.

Design Alternatives

Simulations can be set up for the initial stage of product design. A design can then be updated (new revision) with any design modification, and the simulation can be updated (new revision), and the new design incorporated.

The simulation setup remains intact (unless major design changes invalidated the setup), and the simulation can be updated to reflect the results of design changes. This ability allows for a quick setup of design alternatives for a particular design.

Given the ease of setting up simulations for design alternatives, an outcome could be many simulation results that need to be efficiently compared to determine the best solution. This is where the power of Performance Trade-Off comes in. As seen in Figure 1, the Performance Trade-Off app lists each simulation result and the values of the defined performance indicators. This tabular view enables a quick review of each alternative.

Figure 1 Performance Trade-Off app


Selecting the Best Results

It is easy to compare a handful of results in this fashion. However, to support the comparison of an even greater number of results, the Performance Trade-Off app allows you to define the design criteria used to highlight which alternatives best meet the requirements. In Figure 2, the product performance criteria were set up to ensure the maximum displacement was acceptable while also trying to minimize the part’s overall mass.

The Performance Trade-Off app uses these requirements to determine which design alternative best meets each criterion and highlights it in green. Additionally, it tags each design alternative that violates the criteria with a warning triangle. These graphics help the user quickly focus on which design alternatives should and should not be considered.

Figure 2 Highlighting based on design requirements


Performance Trade-Off also enables side-by-side visual comparison of simulation results plots of design variations (see Figure 3). The visualization windows are synchronized, and the windows’ orientation remains consistent, allowing for visual inspection of the results among multiple design variations.

Figure 3 Results plots comparison


Work as a Team

Because product design is a team effort, Performance Trade-Off has built-in collaboration tools to help everyone identify the best alternative. Each team member can review the results in a standard browser, instead of gathering a group around a desktop where the application is installed. Additionally, team collaboration tools in the app enable key people to provide feedback on the design alternatives by submitting votes for which alternative best meets the criteria, along with comments as to why the choice was made (see Figure 4).

Figure 4 Built-in team collaboration


More Informed Design Decisions

The Performance Trade-Off app, part of the Simulation Collaborator role on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, facilitates an informed design decision-making process by enabling the simultaneous review of simulation results for multiple design alternatives for informed design decisions.

The tabular representation of the data with highlights regarding acceptable and out-of-bounds items enables quick identification of which alternatives to consider. Complementing this is the ability to visualize simulation results plots side-by-side, without opening the full simulation, which offers a quickly produced, useful overview of how the design alternatives will behave in real-world loading conditions.

Finally, the collaboration tools enable effective communication among the team members when deciding on the optimal variation.

Contact your local reseller for more information.






Steve Grace

is an Operations Excellence Expert, Mainstream Portfolio for SIMULIA focused on providing simulation capabilities to the mainstream user.