MSC Apex Generative Design
Not all generative design software is equal
MSC Apex Generative Design provides a truly end to end solution for designers making high-precision, industrial components. It takes you from screen to machine faster and with less human intervention than any other software.
Change is upon us. For the first time you can innovate, improve and validate parts and products in one simple end to end solution. Designers unite, join the MSC ApexGD revolution today.
Designers love MSC Apex Generative Design. Their eyes light up when they use it because it thinks like them, improving parts using subtractive, formed and assembled designs - only faster. Users have experienced 80% reductions in initial design and setup time by combining multiple steps, from a starting geometry through preparation to optimisation.
Set the specifications, sit back, relax and then enjoy targeted design suggestions delivered at the speed of light.
MSC Apex Generative Design at a glance
- Simplicity - No expert knowledge required for conducting optimisations through a high user-focused software design.
- Automated Design - Almost automatically generate multiple smoothed design candidates that all satisfy the design criteria while minimizing the weight.
- Import and Validation - Import existing geometries or mesh, find optimized design candidates, and perform design validation - all inside a single CAE environment.
- Direct Output - Export geometry that can be directly manufactured and used immediately without manual re-work.
- One Process - Import the resulting geometries in Simufact Additive or Digimat AM to achieve cost-efficient first-time-right result for every part.
Benefits of MSC Apex Generative Design
Significant time reduction MSC Apex Generative Design makes design for manufacturing smarter because it combines speed with high levels of automation to significantly reduce the time required for optimisation. The result is a fast, cost-efficient and integrated process.
Stress constraint based optimisation Stresses are usually the most important layout criterion for a part design. MSC Apex Generative Design technology makes it possible to optimize in a stress-oriented manner. This approach enables a true bionic-shaped design, with a very homogenous stress distribution to ensure high part reliability.
Optimization for Additive Manufacturing Every manufacturing technology requires design rules to avoid quality issues manufacturing a part. This is especially important to get Additive Manufacturing right first time. In contrast to most common optimization solutions, MSC Apex Generative Design has integrated fully integrated these and applies them functionally to optimization.
Automated retransition to CAD Conventional optimization software requires the use of additional retransition software to transition computer-generated structures to CAD, and the know-how and experience to use it. MSC Apex Generative Design incorporates this core functionality in a single environment and automatically transfers the design for optimal CAD/CAM linkage.
Intelligent smoothing The efficient transition into fine and smooth surfaces is automatically conducted by an intelligent algorithm. A defect-free surface is inevitable , ensuring the high quality of every single part.
Automatic mesh generation The mesh for the optimization model is automatically generated and error-free compared to a manual, time-consuming process using conventional optimization software.
Robust, automatic adjustment of resolution MSC Apex Generative Design makes it possible to automatically adjust the resolution or geometry. Once a rough geometry has been generated, the software increasingly refines the resolution until a finer, more detailed structure is achieved.
Highest resolution MSC Apex Generative Design is designed specifically to generate the detailed and highly complex structures that only additive processes can manufacture. It is impossible to realize the necessary extent of calculation effort with conventional optimization software.
Lattice Structure Optimization Lattice structures have a high potential for lightweighting. Yet, the transition from solid material to lattice structures is usually critical and prone to a defect. With MSC Apex Generative Design, the complete structure can be automatically optimised to generate a smooth stress-optimised transition so that the structures optimally grow together.
At the heart of MSC Apex Generative Design works our "Generative Design Engine"
MSC Apex Generative Design's innovative approach has been proven in practice.
It is based on Finite Element Analysis but, unlike traditional methods, does not use a density field, rather utilizes a very fine mesh with well-defined elements. This enables the algorithm to directly evaluate the occurring stresses, as well as reliably derive distinct geometries that are truly unimaginable by human mind.
Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) without Expert Knowledge
MSC Apex Generative Design is designed specifically to generate the detailed and highly complex structures that only additive processes can manufacture. The optimised designs exhibit perfect transitions between structure elements such as struts and shells as well as they contain usually self-supporting structures that ensure the results can be sent straight to print.
MSC Apex in action - Case Studies
Lightweight construction is particularly important in satellite design because every extra kilogram generates high costs for transportation into space. If weight can be saved, the valuable payload of the launch vehicle or satellite can be used for further applications and added value can be created.
This was exactly the aim of the project between the space company Tesat-Spacecom GmbH & Co. KG, the machine manufacturer Trumpf and MSC Software / Simufact Generative Design specialists. The pictured mountings of drives for regulating microwave filters are to be used in the German communications satellite Heinrich Hertz, which is to test the space capability of new communications technologies. For this application, the weight of the mount needed to be reduced.
MSC Apex Generative Design was used to achieve this.
Lightweight Design on a new Level
A new, highly complex design was created by applying generative design, which enables maximum lightweight construction and is perfectly adapted and designed to the operational requirements. The result for the TESAT mount is impressive: 55% weight saving for a component designed for space technology. Instead of 164 grams, the mounting weighs only 75 grams. In addition, the innovative, stress-oriented optimization has further increased the stiffness of the component. The homogeneous stress distribution generated by MSC Apex Generative Design enables excellent stiffness and robustness with maximum weight reduction at the same time.
A perfect fit: Generative Design and 3D printing
"Today, additive manufacturing enables us to produce digitally generated and optimized geometries cost-efficiently. This offers enormous potential for lightweight construction, especially in space technology, but also in many other areas. In the future, generative design will play a key role in the uncomplicated and efficient use of this potential," commented Dr. Thomas Reiher, Director Generative Design at Simufact Engineering.
This new type of complex geometry can now only be produced with additive manufacturing. Trumpf took on this task with the TruPrint 3000 3D printer. The Heinrich Hertz satellite mission is carried out by DLR Space Management on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy and with the participation of the Federal Ministry of Defense.
Every year a team of young students from the UPBracing Team develops a FormulaStudent racing car to compete in international competitions. Two factors are essential for a successful racing car: light weight and strong components. In addition to the races in which drivers and racing cars prove their performance, there is also an extra rating for the lightweight construction of the racing car. Due to its fourfold use, the wheel carrier is ideal for saving weight while meeting high load-bearing requirements.
Smart Generative Design for tailored 3D Printing Structures
In previous years, the teams had tried to design light weight wheel carriers with complex milling designs. The wheel carrier in 2012 with a traditional, already complex, milling design weighed 515g. It was milled from a 16 kg block of material thus producing 15.5 kg of aluminum waste. For the 2018 season, MSC Apex Generative Design technology was applied to create an optimal lightweight design. Design and non-design areas were defined in the model design and the complex load cases were added. The mesh was then automatically generated and optimized. The algorithm generated the finished smoothed result on a workstation with the high-end NVIDIA Tesla P100 graphic card in 6 hours (which would take approximately 14 hours with a solid workstation GPU NVIDIA QUADRO P5000). The result was single wheel carrier of with a weigh of 266g - a reduction of 48% compared to the 2012 equivalent. There was also no significant waste of material because the part was produced by additive manufacturing. This contributed considerably to the overall weight reduction of the race car and gained a lot of attention and a very good rating within the design report, a special category in the overall competition.
A popular example for testing the optimization quality of different algorithms is the "GE Jet Engine Bracket". This bracket of an aircraft turbine was published on the GrabCAD website by General Electric in 2013 as a design challenge for additive manufacturing. The challenge was to redesign the very simple component design using any method, and to develop a component that was as light as possible while taking the given boundary conditions into account. The Challenge attracted a great deal of attention and is still frequently used today to demonstrate the strengths of new algorithms.
Three different designs for the Jet Engine Bracket Optimization by MSC Apex Generative Design created in very short time
Choosing the most promising Design from various Variants
The same component with the same loads was calculated by MSC Apex Generative Design, with the results shown above. They were each calculated on a CAD workstation with two Nvidia P5000 graphics cards in less than an hour. The result reaches from an optimally-shaped, thin, multi-curved shell with thin additional struts for the transmission of the highest loads to a strut only design. Especially the shell design is very stable, particularly light and easy to produce with additive processes because hardly any support structure is required. It can only be achieved with a particularly high calculation resolution as MSC Apex Generative Design is capable of calculating while still being super fast. The automated generative design from MSC Apex Generative Design shown here is even lighter and has lower stress than other solutions. A weight of only about 140g could be achieved with a maximum stress of 680 MPa (target stress 700MPa).
Designers unite join the
generative revolution today