Materials data, Additive Manufacturing, and magic at Siemens PLM event

MII attended the Siemens PLM Connection event in Berlin last week – a gathering of over 1,000 users of engineering and product lifecycle software applications such as Teamcenter, Simcenter, and NX. Aside from the very entertaining iPad magician at the gala dinner, two things struck me from the conference sessions and discussions with other delegates.

The first was the emphasis on Additive Manufacturing (AM), with Siemens PLM launching new capabilities such as topology optimization for additive applications. There was a strong sense from attendees that this is a technology coming into its own, and an interest in how it applies to them. Of course, data about materials, processing parameters, and the relationship between the two is vital to developing effective AM.

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Additive Manufacturing, the medical industry, and materials information

Additive ManufacturingI recently attended the Additive Manufacturing for MedTech, BioPrinting, Medicine and Dental Summit in Boston and it was interesting to review the latest trends in the industry and think about their materials information implications. The event concentrated on the main challenges in Additive Manufacturing (AM) for medical, bringing together both major device companies (Stryker, GE Healthcare, Medtronic) and smaller consulting firms. It explored the latest printing techniques, ground-breaking research, and innovative materials for improving AM strategies, implementation and processes.

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What is best practice in the preparation and use of materials data for simulation?

cad-thumbnailI recently presented at a web seminar hosted by Granta’s partners at Dassault Systèmes, and it raised an interesting question about the materials property data needed by simulation analysts. We were looking, in particular, at the Abaqus/CAE® software. Its users want accurate material properties for use in their CAE software. But they also want confidence in that data – to know that it comes from a reliable source. And their companies want control: i.e., to ensure that all of their analysts are using data that is consistent, up-to-date, and traceable should simulation results ever need to be reviewed or updated. How can we meet these various requirements without disrupting well-established workflows and processes?

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Keeping up to date with the gold standard of materials reference data

plane-thumbnailThe world of materials never stands still. New technological challenges constantly drive the need to explore new materials that offer properties that no existing material can deliver. It is vital to maintain a single, up-to-date source of materials property data, to keep abreast of all these new developments. How else can you ensure that your designers and engineers have the data they need for materials selection, product design, simulation,                                     qualification, and more?

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Integrating materials information in CAD and PLM

mi-gateway-thumbnail“I’ve been working in materials information technology since 1987 and the last year has been notable for greatly increased interest and engagement from companies who want to integrate managed materials information with their PLM and enterprise CAD process.”  So said Granta’s Dr Arthur Fairfull as he introduced his presentation to an impromptu crowd of around 200 on the show floor at this week’s PTC LiveWorx event in Boston.

A crowded Granta booth at the PTC event was further evidence of this interest, following on from similar interest at the recent Siemens PLM Connection in Orlando—an event which included a number of in-depth sessions on materials information management.

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Easing the process of composites qualification

displacement-chart-thumbnailWatching a recent Granta webinar*, it struck me that composites qualification is a huge, and often very expensive, undertaking.

Dr Donna Dykeman, Senior Project Manager for Collaborative R&D at Granta, told me just how huge this task can be: “The process sensitivity of the composite, and its directional property capabilities, mean that a single                                              material qualification program could result in more than 1,300 tests.”

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CES Selector – two decades of progress, with more to come

polymide-thumbnail“I was looking at every material possible, calling suppliers, trying to get hold of materials and price lists. With CES Selector, I could have saved months and months of work!”

That is what Dr Charlie Bream told me about several materials selection projects in his 14-year career prior to joining Granta in 2007, developing aerospace, automotive and consumer products – he had never used CES Selector until that point, now he is the Product Manager.

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Two views, one vision – designers and engineers making great products

abs-pellets-thumbnailIf two heads are better than one, imagine the benefits of two communities coming together to share each other’s views on materials and processes to make the best designed, best engineered products. That’s the premise behind a new educational project at Granta Design.

If we can inspire designers and engage engineers to learn about each other’s vital role in product development, and enable them to communicate in the common language of materials, we can arrive at a whole that is much greater than the sum of the parts. Two views, one vision. The new CES EduPack ‘Products, Materials and Processes’ Database offers university educators and their students two views of materials information, the Designer’s View and the Engineer’s View, so both can learn how to create successful products that are functional and aesthetically pleasing.

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Clearing the conceptual hurdle to collaboration

mi-data-thumbnailOriginating from a research environment at Cambridge University, it’s in Granta’s DNA to collaborate with researchers, academics and other companies, and to enable such collaboration between other organizations.

But when I spoke to Dr James Goddin, who leads Granta’s collaborative R&D team, he said partners in collaborative projects can be initially reluctant to share data: “Sharing potentially sensitive or valuable materials knowledge with partners, and even with competitors, represents, for many, a significant conceptual hurdle.” Continue reading

Engaging students in Eco Design through project-based teaching

bamboo-thumbnailMaterials educators at undergraduate level consistently raise the concern: how can we engage students in learning about materials?

Engaged students learn more and are more enjoyable to teach, and project-based teaching inspires students across engineering, design, and scientific degrees. It appeals to their sense of curiosity, integrates their knowledge and helps them to learn professional skills such as teamwork, communication, and project management.

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