LimitState launch Form3.0 design optimisation software

LimitState launch Form3.0 design optimisation software
0 comments, 18/05/2017, by , in News

This updated program features major enhancements to the tool’s analysis and interactive editing capabilities.


LimitState, a UK-based engineering software provider, has launched the latest version of its Form 3.0 design optimisation software which can be leveraged by additive manufacturers.

This updated program features major enhancements to the tool’s analysis and interactive editing capabilities.

LimitState, located in Sheffield, believe the software platform to be a breakthrough in optimisation technology, citing its use of layout and geometry optimisation technology, rather than the widely used topology optimisation technology. This allows users to save a considerable amount of time when creating a viable, optimised design. The software can also produce component designs which are lighter than can be achieved with other optimisation approaches.

The company sees players in the additive manufacturing industry benefitting from the software such is the need for optimised lightweight forms. Yet, most AM optimisation tools produce a voxel mesh, which cannot be edited or analysed. Models have to be re-made using the mesh as a guide if changes want to be made. LimitState’s tool generates a normal CAD model which can be immediately edited and analysed, making quicker the path from finished design to manufactured part.

Additionally, FORM produces lighter, efficient designs and boasts fast processing, which amounts to seconds rather than hours. Professor Matthew Gilbert, LimitState’s Managing Director, believes the LimitState:FORM software will give engineers greater freedom.

“LimitState:FORM is the only optimisation tool which can rapidly generate a model that can be worked on immediately with standard CAD tools,” said Professor Gilbert, who is also a member of the University of Sheffield’s Centre for Advanced Additive Manufacturing. “LimitState has a track record of transferring cutting edge optimisation technology from academia into industry-leading engineering software. LimitState:FORM allows engineers to take full advantage of the design freedoms associated with additive manufacturing.”

Dr Chris Smith of the Mercury Centre adds: “With LimitState:FORM we are able to produce optimised truss designs in a fast workflow. As an advanced manufacturing research centre, this tool helps us deliver better technical solutions to meet the design challenges of our clients.”

Version 3.0 of FORM includes a series of new features, developed in response to feedback from engineers at large aerospace and automotive companies. Among these enhancements is an integration capability which allows the seamless bringing together of designs with ANSYS Mechanical, another engineering software. Just one click is needed to access the integrated software and changes in the FORM program will be translated to the ANSYS Mechanical program. Meanwhile, members and joints can be edited more easily, addressing a particular request from the feedback received.

LimitState:FORM 3.0 also brings a more powerful support modelling capability with an advanced support type which enables users to enforce user-specified limits on reaction forces, with a local coordinate system. The software can also now take account of member buckling during the optimisation itself, resizing members and moving joints to suppress buckling instability. Engineers now have the ability to perform frequency and bending stress analysis, retrieving information of the modes of vibration, particularly useful when optimising the components of a vibrating engine or machine. Finally, the software is also now ships a library of standard materials, making it quicker and easier to set up a model.

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