Interactive Tools for Digital CAE Shape Optimization of Class A Surfaces: A Bridge Between Styling and Engineering 2005-01-1902
A decade of industrial experience with Exa's CFD software, PowerFLOW, has matured the simulation software to the point where the geometric modeling process is now the bottleneck to efficiency and effectiveness. Simply put, the actual CAE simulation event is now fast enough and accurate enough to drive design intent; however, the geometric design process that supplies alternative models to the software is not fast enough to keep up with the critical path of the design cycle. If CAE tools in general are to play in important role in creating design intent rather than simply verifying completed design work, then the modeling process which drives them will have to improve.
In the context of this paper, geometric design involves both Class A exteriors and under-hood geometries. Two pieces of software have been developed to help in this area: PowerWRAP and PowerCLAY. These software tools aid in the process of generating initial meshes and modeling free-form geometric design intent respectively. This paper outlines a design process in which these tools are applied and illustrates how this allows electronic aerodynamic analysis to move rapidly enough to keep pace with vehicle styling during theme development.