Automating the Design Optimization of Vehicle Structures

William Bruce McCormack (Clemson University)

In typical model-based design of structures, parametric design and finite element analysis are common tools for simulating structural behavior of systems under static and quasi-static loading. While these tools provide significant benefits over physical experimentation, cumbersome to set up and this time-consuming setup may need to be repeated many times while iterating on a design. The designers would therefore benefit from automating this design and analysis process so that they can explore the design space more efficiently or obtain higher performance design alternatives. To take full advantage of the benefits of this automation, it important to make the process as quick and easy as possible. Otherwise, the cost of setting up the automated analysis may exceed the benefits obtained during design exploration and iteration. This research introduces a template-based approach to the automation of structural design and analysis that simplifies the setup process for certain classes of design problems. The platform for this automation is the process integration and design optimization tool, modeFRONTIER. Through several case studies in the area of vehicle structure analysis and design, it will be demonstrated how templates can significantly reduce the time and effort needed to frame complex structural design problems.