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Diary Dates 18 October

FEA & CFD Simulation Open Day Croydon, UK

6 November

Matlab Expo 2012 Birmingham, UK

20 November NIDays 2012 London, UK

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The LMP2 Lotus T128 racing car is being structurally designed using the HyperWorks platform. Structural engineering software has revealed the architecture of a dragonfly wing.

Model-based design has reduced the development time of a hybrid control unit by 25 per cent.


n the Animal Simulation Laboratory at the University of Manchester in the UK, data from 3D scans of the skeletons of both pre-historic and modern-day animals is being used to create accurate 3D digital models. Dr Bill Sellers, programme director in zoology at the University, then uses the 3D models in the simulation of their gait using a specialised software program developed in-house at Manchester University called GaitSym. Critical to the process of turning 3D scans into final computer simulations is Geomagic Studio, a 3D imaging and reverse engineering software that is used around the world to convert data captured in 3D scans of physical objects into accurate 3D digital models for use in a wide range of applications. ‘There are many instances when the only way to discover how or why some part of our physiology does what it does is to create a 3D virtual model and then simulate its movement,’ said Dr Sellers. ‘For

New products

Autodesk Simulation 360 Autodesk has launched a cloud-based, pay-as-you-go simulation offering. Autodesk Simulation 360 provides designers, engineers and analysts with a comprehensive set of tools, delivered securely in the cloud, which includes direct geometry exchange, robust meshing tools, extensive material libraries and proven solver technology to increase simulation accuracy in the areas of greatest concern. The software portfolio also

includes a wide range of cloud-based mechanical, fluid flow, thermal and plastic injection moulding tools. ‘The ability to run multiple simulation studies in the cloud, at the same time as a typical singular simulation study with single variables... helps us understand much more of the system in a shorter amount of time,’ said Matt Nowicki, senior product engineer at BioLite.

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University of Manchester uses 3D modelling to study pre-historic animals

example,’ he explained, ‘in biology the standard practice when you want to find out what something does tends to be to remove it and see what the effects are. But you can’t do that in reality. So by using the digital models and simulations that we produce, biological and physiological experiments can be performed without using live animals – or people.’ The data from a 3D scan of the skeleton, taken with a laser scanner, a CT (computed tomography) scanner or a LiDAR (light distance and ranging) scanner, is read into Geomagic Studio to produce an accurate 3D digital polygon surface model. This data is in the form of a point cloud or polygons, depending on the scanner. Within Geomagic Studio, the multiple scans required to capture the complete skeleton are registered with each other and merged to create a single 3D scan data model. Once the unified scan data model has been created

and cleaned-up as necessary, a one-button process in the software wraps a polygon surface around it to automatically convert it to a polygon surface model, which can be further edited.

This editing might include filling in holes in the model caused by the scanner not being able to access parts of the skeleton that were obscured by other parts, or repairing the mesh where necessary to improve the model’s accuracy. The software’s Mesh Doctor tool automatically detects and corrects errors in the polygon mesh to yield higher-quality, surface-ready polygon models. Once the final 3D polygon model of a complete skeleton has been created it is decimated to reduce the polygon count so that it can be imported successfully into Autodesk 3ds Max software for the next step in the process; the reposing of the model. This is then imported into Manchester University’s own software for simulating gait, GaitSym.

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MapleSim 6

The latest version of Maplesoft’s Modelica-based physical modelling and simulation platform, MapleSim, has been released. Version 6 includes a view that instantly shows the corresponding Modelica code for any subsystem or component. Further features include the ability to open and immediately use Modelica files inside MapleSim, and

the ability to save any MapleSim model as a Modelica file. Through the new MapleSim Connector for FMI, MapleSim models can be exported in a standard format that was established with the help of the Modelica Association, which is easily understood by other FMI-compliant tools.


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