Watch video of ANSYS Discovery Live being used to rapidly simulate structure forces and aerodynamics at high speeds.


CAD designers and analysts were constantly sending models back and forth between them. Analysts would prepare a model for simulation, establish boundary conditions, mesh the model, and then endure a potentially lengthy solve time. This process took even longer when a model needed further mesh refinement. If the analysts identified a potential problem, they would hand the model back to the CAD designer and request a change. The cycle would then repeat. In some cases, analysts could make a CAD change themselves, but all simulation setup procedures would still need to be completed. Designers and analysts in the HyperXite team were looking for a way to compress the iteration time.

Use of ANSYS Discovery Live:

Using Discovery Live, the static structures team of CAD designers found that it could quickly find weak points in various structures. The team worked with its CAD models in Discovery Live to create extrusions, cut material and perform basic modifications to eliminate potential flaws in its designs. Using Discovery Live, the designers working on the fairing (outer shell), could quickly understand how their designs would perform at high speeds inside the SpaceX tube. Each simulation took roughly 15 minutes to set up and analyze. After collecting the data, the team would send a completed design to the simulation team for a more thorough investigation of the fairing’s behavior at high speeds. Using Discovery Live, the HyperXite simulations team estimated that it saved at least 10 hours for the optimization of the fairing design. The dynamics structures team used Discovery Live to gather feedback on how the structure would withstand 1500 N of vertical force exerted by the pneumatic muscles attached to a drive wheel. Normally, a simulation of this sort would take 30 to 60 minutes, including the setup and run time, but the team’s designers got results within 15 minutes.