Evotech CAE Ltd are highly-experienced in Design Optimisation for product development through Additive Manufacture. A recent project in conjunction with United Launch Alliance (as part of a GrabCAD Challenge) looked to create a structural- and print-optimised design for the boat-tail support brackets, used during ground processing at the base of the Atlas V payload fairing. Manufacturing was focussed on Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) using the Stratasys Ultem 9085 polymer.

A sequential optimisation strategy was adopted;

  • Topology Optimisation for concept design using a minimised compliance solution and a targeted mass fraction.
  • Design interpretation of initial concept, and subsequent Direct Modeling Optimisation, using the advanced features within MSC Apex (Fossa Release), including ‘Computational Parts’ and version control in a single model environment.
  • Detailed design verification performed for optimised design using stress-converged output.
  • FDM build analysis to demonstrate optimised print performance.

The powerful, yet highly-intuitive features within MSC Apex (Fossa Release) allowed for a highly-optimised design, with a rapid development and design verification cycle. The overall outcome can be summarised;

  • Optimised structure, which exhibited a 90% mass reduction.
  • Minimum safety factor of 1.01.
  • Optimised print design, which required no additional support structure or subsequent post-processing.

A summary presentation of the work (as submitted for the GrabCAD Challenge) is available;

Evotech CAE ULA Rocket Hardware Design Optimisation

Further details of MSC Apex (Fossa Release) are available;

MSC Apex (Fossa Release)