Nature: The Greatest Force on Earth Driving the Design Process

Last week, the North American International Auto Show kicked off in Detroit’s newly renovated COBO Center with press and industry preview days before opening the show to the public last weekend. For me, it’s easy to see how simulation technology played a role in the impressive end results for the vehicles exhibited across the show floor. However, that might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re staring face-to-face with a stunning concept car.

Lightweight design, performance, fuel efficiency standards, carbon emissions and vehicle safety all will continue to be topics discussed among the many engineers, analysts, automotive enthusiasts and other show attendees. Simulation technology will be inherently present within some of the most impressive products on the show floor.

Last month, Executive Vice President of Global Markets Jeff Brennan met with the New York Times to discuss how engineers are working to adapt the processes of nature to lightweight design. Jeff explained how Altair’s bone-growth, evolutionary technology can contribute to lighter, stronger parts in automotive, aviation, architectural and other industrial products from the beginning of the design stage.

This technology encourages industrial designers and engineers to take a new approach to their work by using the principles of nature and biomimicry, allowing nature’s greatest characteristics—such as efficiency, strength and purpose in form—to drive their designs. This technique is one way to meet tough new corporate average fuel economy rules. “Like carbon fiber for steel, smarter software can cut weight,” Jeff said.

 

Altair designed a lightweight bus to demonstrate how smarter software can improve efficiencies and cut weight at the early design stage of product development.

Altair designed a lightweight bus to demonstrate how smarter software can improve efficiencies and cut weight at the early design stage of product

development.

As fuel economy and carbon emission standards continue to tighten it will be interesting to see which OEMs and their partners further leverage simulation technology in their design process.

Royston Jones

Royston Jones

Executive VP of European Operations & Global CTO at Altair Product Design
My name is Royston Jones and I have been at Altair sixteen years. I was born in the green valleys of North Wales and eventually left my village for the bright lights of South Wales; Swansea University. It was there I was eventually persuaded to help the English with their engineering and left the principality. It’s been a great thrill seeing my passion, engineering simulation, gradually increase its impact on the design process. However, a bigger thrill has been seeing Manchester United dominate English football for two decades. I enjoy seeing my boys grow up and I am excited about how engineering simulation has become a key technology in creating highly engineered; Green products.
Royston Jones
Royston Jones

About Royston Jones

My name is Royston Jones and I have been at Altair sixteen years. I was born in the green valleys of North Wales and eventually left my village for the bright lights of South Wales; Swansea University. It was there I was eventually persuaded to help the English with their engineering and left the principality. It’s been a great thrill seeing my passion, engineering simulation, gradually increase its impact on the design process. However, a bigger thrill has been seeing Manchester United dominate English football for two decades. I enjoy seeing my boys grow up and I am excited about how engineering simulation has become a key technology in creating highly engineered; Green products.