Easy creation and validation of beads using OptiStruct® and CATIA V5®

The dimensioning of thin walled parts within automotive construction is highly influenced by Finite Element Analysis and Optimization. The common targets are to improve stiffness or eigenfrequencies by changing the Finite Element Mesh with a Topography optimization. The results are non-parametric CAD-surfaces which have to be rebuilt in CAD by hand to create parametric geometry. This so called “reverse engineering” is very time consuming for the designer. Within the research project “Automation of optimization tasks inside the construction process of thin walled parts” (funded by BMBF), at the University of Applied Sciences Zwickau (Germany) we have developed a new solution. In association with Volkswagen AG and FES GmbH Zwickau, we created a new workflow which allows easy reverse engineering. Therefore a step by step process is used to create parametric CAD geometry out of distorted Finite Element shapes by using a CATIA User-Feature. The method focus on producibility where the designer themselves can define what the bead looked with respect to optimization results. Validation of the beads effectiveness can be done by using a so called “Hybrid FE-Model”. This consists of two parts, a non-geometry associative FE-Mesh created with HyperMesh® and a geometry associative Mesh created in CAD. Therefore the design cycle is much more efficient what is very beneficial. Nevertheless, our aim is not to create a one-click solution but to support the designer in his daily workflow and to reduce time consuming steps.


The Author

Alexander Krauss
Westsächsische Hochschule Zwickau