Because the design of mechanical structures is driven by many competing criteria such as cost and weight reduction, contrasted by enhanced multi-disciplinary performance and manufacturability, new technology is required to solve these challenges. Also, the introduction of new manufacturing processes and materials significantly increases the available design space. A broader design space expands the set of all possible designs for mechanical systems, making the possibility to achieve the optimal design within reach. ACP OpDesign was created to help engineers to reveal the optimal balance of structure and strength for the most optimal design from within the entire design space. It allows engineers to reduce mass and cost, while improving overall product performance.
ACP OpDesign is holistic, optimization-lead design software. To explore all possible options, while trying to reduce design cycle times, engineers at Engineering Technology Associates, Inc. (ETA) developed an automated way to use optimization to drive the design process. They use design optimization as a virtual search engine resulting in hundreds of design concept possibilities, which meet design criteria/constraints at varying degrees. Like plots on a diagram, the optimal design concept can be found when the most ideal balance is met.
The ACP OpDesign methodology combines design, material and manufacturing expertise with CAD, CAE and CAO tools. It provides two major functions for product design and development. First, it acts as an Optimization Suite that allows the engineer to perform any type of design optimization. It offers an easy and effective gateway to commercial optimization and solvers. Second, led by design optimization, it provides tools to design structural products, from concept to production.