Fraunhofer IGD is revolutionizing the design process for mechanical components. Faster, intuitive work and direct feedback. First presentation of the new technology at “ISC High Performance 2018”.
(Darmstadt) The Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD is presenting a new interactive simulation solution at the ISC High Performance 2018 conference. The new computing technology makes it possible to carry out the computer-aided design of a component and the simulation of its stability in parallel in a single operation. Until now, designers have needed different computer-aided tools for this iterative process comprised of geometric modeling, simulation, and analysis of results, often on different machines. Doing so required the data models to be manually converted between the tools. Even the simulation itself is very time consuming. Testing and optimizing different forms in a single operation has only a been dream until now.
Dr.-Ing. Daniel Weber, leader of the “Interactive Simulation” group at Fraunhofer IGD, speaks of a trend-setting evolution of construction work towards a more direct, intuitive working style. This naturally leads to better results, not only in terms of the required development time but also the quality of the design. The core of the new technology is an efficient equation solver for structural mechanics. The software uses the massively parallel calculation potential of commercially available, cost-effective graphics cards. Since the computational time is vastly faster than standard simulations, the designer sees the results on his screen in near real time. He can immediately identify room for improvement and optimize the construction in the same breath.
“A comparison of our interactive simulation solution with a fast commercial software showed that the standard software needed 36 seconds to generate a model with more than 300,000 finite elements. Our solution provided a result after about 0.5 seconds of pure computation time for a total time of 3.5 seconds with initialization. Depending on how we look at it, our simulation solution is 10 to 70 times faster than the comparison software,” explains Weber. As a potential licensee, Fraunhofer IGD has an eye on the design engineers of large companies and the manufacturers of relevant software.
The new software was developed for commercially available graphics cards with CUDA architectures. The Fraunhofer IGD also uses the enormous resources of these modules by shifting the simulation calculation from the CPU to the graphics processor. Weber explains: “While a CPU has only four to eight cores, up to 5,000 cores are available on the graphics card.”
The Fraunhofer IGD solution supports the following structural mechanics concepts: geometric linear elasticity, linear isotropic and anisotropic materials, as well as linear, quadratic, and cubic lobes on tetrahedra. But this is just the beginning. Fraunhofer IGD is already working on accelerating calculation times even more and expanding the solution to geometrically nonlinear elasticity and nonlinear materials.