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Tuesday, 04 December 2018 00:00

Moore’s Law – Another Perspective

Raspberry Pi Those who know me will know that I like to speak about the remarkable impact of Moore’s Law. In the words of Don Tappan at Intel, computing has become infinitely fast and vanishingly cheap.

What Gordon Moore said, over 50 years ago, was that as you put more transistors on an integrated circuit, the cost per transistor went down. But, so did the manufacturing yield. So, there is a sweet spot that minimizes the manufactured cost per transistor. Moore expected that...

Rubix Cube Having just arrived in Cleveland, Ohio for CAASE18 (Conference on Advancing Analysis & Simulation in Engineering), I was reminded of the recent COFES meeting where I was struck by the similar propositions of two people I greatly respect.

Ken Welch of SIMSOLID talked about how rapid simulation response enables better designs.

Andreas Vlahinos proposed that instant simulation feedback (as in ANSYS Discovery Live) is a critical enabler.

Really? For years we have talked about how simulation should be faster, and easier to use....

Car ClockPart of the advantage of my job is I have this blog, and I am allowed to complain. My Andy Rooney moments.

I was recently in South Africa, and rented a new Mercedes C-180. Nice car, except, the user interface is a nightmare. The clock was set 18 minutes slow, and in three weeks I could not figure out how to re-set it.

I have now found a 5-minute video on how to set the clock: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fE87pscWR4

Except, this is...

The game of GOIt's an audacious thing to say, that human knowledge is a constraint on our imagination and innovation.

I was reminded of this last week in a conversation with Dr. Pedro Marcal. Pedro is the author of MARC, the first nonlinear finite-element code, long since acquired by MSC. Now, at age 80, Dr. Marcal continues to write Python scripts to apply optimization techniques to his own nonlinear FE solvers for composite materials.

Go is an Oriental game that has been...

Wednesday, 10 January 2018 00:00

Simulation: Past the Tipping Point?

SimGov Blog  Jan18 F1It strikes me, that without us really recognizing it, simulation has become more relevant for product development than physical testing.

(Please note, I said product development, not product validation.)

As innovation in product design and manufacturing methods increase, it has become much more difficult to procure representative and statistically relevant tests of proposed designs in sufficient time. Increasingly, new designs are based on experience (past designs) and simulation. Physical testing is much less of a factor.

Why? Well, given...

Wednesday, 13 December 2017 09:53

Spreadsheets: How Much of a Problem Are They?

BlogIt is often said that MS Excel is by far the most widely used engineering tool on the planet, and I suspect that is true. But, there are many concerns over proper management and governance of spreadsheets.

In CIMdata’s engagements with clients, usually in product engineering, we find that spreadsheets are pervasive and entirely unmanaged. They belong to individual users, and are freely shared. There is no way to track changes, and no metadata information to describe the provenance or suitability.

Some companies have...

testLet’s start with a pop quiz: Ask a half-dozen of your colleagues, including your managers, “What is the biggest benefit of doing simulation?"

It is highly likely that the answer you will get, particularly in the USA, is, “To reduce testing.” It is also true that, the higher you go up the management ladder, the more pervasive the mantra of “simulation replaces test” becomes.

As you might guess, I think this particular, restricted view of the role of simulation is wrong. Not only that,...

light weightingThe term “generative design” has been used in architecture and civil engineering for more than a decade. It is now gaining currency in the mechanical design (MCAD) world. See for example, https://www.autodesk.com/solutions/generative-design.

Generative Design is a term for a class of tools that create or modify design geometry based on non-geometric requirements or constraints on product performance. In this regard, Topology Optimization (TopOpt) is the poster child. In 2005, Dr. Kristina Shea, who is now a professor at...

light weighting

In Thursday's Detroit Free Press there is a review of the new Chevy Equinox SUV: read review here

“Chevrolet has been performing magic lately, making hundreds of pounds of vehicles’ weight disappear without reducing their comfort or features. The ★★★★ 2018 Equinox compact SUV may be its best trick yet. The new Equinox shed 400 pounds and 4.7 inches versus its predecessor, but it remains one of the most accommodating and best-equipped vehicles in the red-hot compact SUV class.”

This story is...

3D Car A recent article in The Economist leads me to reflect on the manufacturing revolution that has occurred, not in my lifetime, but only in the last 25 years. Economies, industries, and companies have been transformed by digital technology.

When I went to work in 1980 for GM in the Detroit area, within 50 miles of my home there were dozens of factories producing automobiles: With an annual volume approaching perhaps 8 million vehicles. Now, most of those factories (and...

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