Great design attracts buyers to consider a piece of furniture, but it is comfort, cost and durability that will make the sale.

Creating successful furniture pieces includes incorporation of robust designs, bold configurations, outstanding performance including consideration of acceptable loads and advanced biomechanics, and well-functioning parts. Durability and design must go hand in hand when designing furniture for the consumer market.


Office chair automatically adjusts to each user; developed as single composite-plastic structure using analysis to determine coupled response of back and supporting spine

As materials have become more complex, so too has the design and manufacturing process. The use of innovative composite materials in conjunction with more-traditional ones, such as glass, aluminum and wood, challenge engineers as they create complex assemblies made from myriad parts. These components often interact in a complex way.

Modern technologies allow designers to exploit more of these design opportunities. However, incorporating new materials and innovative designs goes beyond mere aesthetics; it requires that engineers test numerous iterations of a product. Trial-and-error physical testing is impractical when checking for so many variables: It limits the number of design iterations that need to be evaluated.

Using modern technology, designers can perform virtual testing protocols to ensure that furniture will meet expected performance levels while reining in costs. Structural software from ANSYS aids designers in determining how a drawer assembly places stress on interlocking parts made from different materials. It tests how garden furniture holds up under the elements by running simulations for the turbulent flows of wind and rain as well as sun exposure. Designing an ergonomically correct chair adaptable to a wide range of body types, by nature, involves interactive physics. The use of virtual testing allows designers to take into account stress and deflection on every part of the chair as well as the performance of a variety of materials and components — and furthermore  considers the best way to manufacture the piece. It is only after many virtual tests that hardware testing might be performed as verification at the end of the design cycle.

Pinpointing potential weaknesses early in the design process gives designers the ability to improve a product well before it goes to market, where the reputation of the manufacturer is on the line. Virtual prototyping of new products can save manufacturers time and money while creating unique designs that will draw the attention of consumers. In every case, manufacturers can maintain high standards for function and form while testing durability of designs and materials efficiently and economically.

ANSYS technology is used by innovative furniture companies around the world to design a wide variety of products.

  • Cupboards
  • Doors
  • Drawers
  • Garden furniture
  • Seats
  • Stairs
  • Storage units
  • Tables