LimitState:FORM v3.0 released

We are delighted to announce the release of LimitState:FORM version 3.0

The new version maintains the same industry leading rapid design workflow and superior optimization capability as before. However, following many months spent working with engineers from some of the largest organisations in the aerospace, automotive and defence industries, we have incorporated a range of powerful new features - see the Release History for full details.

LimitState:FORM still delivers excellent optimization productivity... 

 LimitState:FORM v3.0 incorporates features requested by leading industry organizations

LimitState:FORM v3.0 incorporates features requested by leading industry organizations

LimitState:FORM uses layout optimization technology, instead of topology optimization. This brings three key benefits. Firstly, LimitState:FORM usually saves more weight than other approaches, especially for problems where there is significant design freedom. Secondly, the optimization process is fast, usually taking seconds or at most minutes. In contrast, topology optimization often takes tens of minutes or even hours or days to obtain a solution. These are significant benefits, but a perhaps even more significant benefit is overall workflow speed. 

LimitState:FORM creates a high level CAD model, not a mesh. As a result, engineers can immediately edit and analyse an optimized model, so the path to a finished design that passes design review and can be manufactured is much quicker. This can save many man days of design time. This represents a breakthrough in optimization productivity compared with topology optimisation, which generates meshes that are often very time-consuming to edit and/or manually remodel. 

LimitState:FORM now includes a raft of enhancements that speed up optimization and analysis processes

The design engineers we have talked to recognise the rapid workflow and superior optimization capability of LimitState:FORM, but have asked us to make it quicker and easier to work with and validate the designs generated. To achieve this the following functionality has been added:

 LimitState:FORM v3.0 is compatible with ANSYS Mechanical

LimitState:FORM v3.0 is compatible with ANSYS Mechanical

Integration with ANSYS Mechanical: In-depth analysis and validation of optimized designs using ANSYS Mechanical is now seamless. One click of a button opens the model in ANSYS Workbench, for analysis in ANSYS Mechanical - there is no need to export the model, nor to perform any remodelling in advance. Any changes or edits to the model in LimitState:FORM are reflected in ANSYS Mechanical as you work. 

Enhanced solution editing: Members and joints can be edited more easily, addressing a key request by aerospace and automotive users. Also, the software now shows where edits have been made, colour-coding members and joints which have been edited.

Analysis of member buckling: LimitState:FORM can now take account of member buckling in the optimization itself, resizing members and/or moving joints to prevent buckling. Engineers can also perform further checks on the stability of a component design after an optimization more quickly than before (10x quicker); in this case both individual member and global buckling modes can be identified - without having to use an external analysis package.

 Advanced Supports allow limiting forces to be specified

Advanced Supports allow limiting forces to be specified

More powerful support modeling capability: LimitState:FORM v3.0 now includes a new advanced support type. This uses a local coordinate system and allows users to enforce user-specified limits on reaction forces. This is very useful in real-world optimization tasks such as when designing brackets for aircraft or satellite applications where the interaction between a component and adjoining elements is crucial.

New elastic frame validation tools for frequency and bending stress: Engineers can now perform frequency and bending stress analyses. The frequency tool provides information on the modes of vibration, which is useful when e.g. optimizing the components of a vibrating engine or machine. The bending stress tool displays peak stresses graphically and provides a convenient means of ensuring stresses do not exceed the material strength.

Library of materials: The tool now ships with a large library of materials, making it even quicker and easier to set up a model. 

Overall, LimitState:FORM v3.0 represents an important step forward for engineers involved in designing structurally efficient components, especially for aerospace and automotive applications. Please contact 3d@limitstate.com to arrange a trial or a bespoke webinar.