Students and young engineers are well-versed in the physics behind their chosen field, but they are not always taught how to model them using 3D simulation software.
With the pervasive simulation trend, more products are simulated throughout their development and lifecycle. Therefore, those who fail to learn 3D physics modeling risk falling behind.
So, when Samyak Jain joined Vellore Institute of Technology’s remote control (RC) Racing Team, named Team RC Corsa, he turned to the free engineering course on Edx: A Hands-on Introduction to Engineering Simulations. This course from Cornell University taught Jain how to simulate his team’s designs.
“This turned out to be one of the best learning experiences of my life,” said Jain. “This course has helped me learn the very basics of engineering simulation.”
“The course is for anyone who wants to understand how commercial simulation software, like ANSYS, functions. It highlights how a certain simulation is executed inside the software while providing simulation insights.”
What Students Learn in the Free Engineering Course on Simulation
The course focuses on the fundamentals of physics modeling and how to create them in ANSYS’ pervasive simulation software.
For instance, Jain explains that one of the biggest takeaway he had from the course was that any simulation has two fundamental components, a governing equation and a set of boundary conditions.
“The governing equation is a differential or partial differential equation that is dependent on the type of analysis — say thermal or fluid. The boundary conditions define the known initial and/or final conditions of the system,” said Jain.
The course also taught Jain the difference between the finite element method (FEM), used for structural analysis, and the finite volume method (FVM), used for computational fluid dynamics (CFD).
These methods are used by simulation software, like ANSYS, to break the geometry up into a mesh of smaller elements. Through the course Jain learned how properly sizing and controlling the mesh elements are key to accurate results.
How Students Can Apply the Simulation Knowledge
As a designer on Team RC Corsa, Jain models and simulates various parts of the RC car.
“I use ANSYS daily to make all these designs,” he said. “ANSYS has a user-friendly interface which makes it reliable and efficient.”
The most common simulations Jain performs are static structural and steady-state thermal simulations of the RC car. Thanks to the course on simulation, he has learned how to properly perform these analyses and how to interpret the results.
He said, “my motive from the beginning was not just to learn the steps and get the desired results, but to understand the basics of simulation.”
For students looking to gain a free version of ANSYS’ simulation software, click here.