ARTIST STUDIO release 2022: New FE-module and further extensions
The backbone of Fiber Patch Placement (FPP) technology is our CAD-CAM Software ARTIST STUDIO. It is the perfect tool for digital product development for an optimized patch laminate design (PATCH ARTIST) and automated robot offline programming (MOTION ARTIST). Since we want to offer our customers the best functionalities for engineering tasks, we continuously optimize our software based on our users feedback. We regularly provide updates and new features so that our customers can benefit as soon as possible. Our big 2022 release features several new functions that we worked on in the past year and which we would like to summarize for you in the following article.
Our software team added a two 6-axis robot support for our SAMBA systems to the CAM-module MOTION ARTIST. This functionality increases the flexibility of the systems and enables the production of even more complex parts. The optimized process ensures collision-free movements of the robots with up to 6 degrees of freedom. Furthermore, additional points for collision avoidance with complex parts are now available and the speed of robot collision detection was improved significantly.
One big advantage of our software is that patches are generated automatically following defined curves which cover the whole laminate surface. Some parts, e.g. dome areas of pressure vessels, are characterized by small closed curves which can be challenging for the even distribution of the patches. Out team improved the functionality of closed curves and enabled extensions of the start and end point by extrapolation of the curves. Based on user-defined strategies, optimal overlaps and gaps between the patches will be calculated. Our team further improved the visualization of the curve start and end as well as of curve extensions. In the new introduced scripting interface, users additionally have the option to manually adjust parameters of the closed curves functionality.
With the option to use variable patch length within a laminate, we added a new degree of freedom to our software that laminate designers can advantage of. The length of patches can be varied throughout the laminate within a specified length range. By minimizing material overstands at part boundaries, the design-induced material scrap can be reduced significantly. On the other hand, geometrically simple surface sections can be designed with maximum length patches. For manufacturers, this new feature results in faster cycle times, less material scrap, and better structural properties.
The new FE-module is our latest development. Many different tools and methods for designing composite laminates exist, but most of them support only low-complexity parts. Within ARTIST STUDIO, it is possible to generate the patches and subsequently the whole laminate automatically. Properties like fiber orientation, thickness and patch overlaps are modeled automatically and don’t need to be defined manually. To analyze and optimize the design by FEA, the laminate model for the simulation can be generated automatically in ARTIST STUDIO. Compared to a manual modelling of such a high-quality laminate, this feature saves significant time and effort, and for laminates with a large number of patches, modeling would not be feasible without this feature.
We offer two options for generating the simulation model. Currently, we are already providing a plug-in for HyperMesh, a common FEA pre-processor, for customers who are already using this software and would like to benefit of the seamless integration with ARTIST STUDIO.
Furthermore, we’ve also developed a dedicated FE-module integrated in ARTIST STUDIO, which means that our customers can use their preferred FE-software. The patch contour, order and other details like patch thickness and fiber orientation can be determined in ARTIST STUDIO. Afterwards, the laminate and the mesh model, as defined by the user, are merged to one simulation model. This process needs less time than the model creation in common FE-software like e.g. HyperMesh. The simulation model can now be exported to the preferred FE solver. Currently supported solvers are OptiStruct (PCOMPP/G) and Nastran (POMPG) and additional ones upon request. After exporting the model, the simulation and analysis with common FE-software can be executed.
This new FE-module ensures an easy and fast creation of the FE-simulation model with all necessary details of the laminate as created in PATCH ARTIST. The feature is available for all our customers from now on. If you are interested in our FPP software or already using ARTIST STUDIO with the HyperMesh plug-in but would like to switch to our new FE-module, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Munich-based automation specialist Cevotec offers one of the world’s most advanced production systems for complex fiber composites. At the intersection of composites, mechanical engineering and software, Cevotec develops production systems and software based on Fiber Patch Placement (FPP) technology: SAMBA and ARTIST STUDIO. The production systems enable the automated lay-up of carbon fiber, glass fibers, adhesive films and other technical fibers on complex 3D geometries. Manufacturers use FPP technology to produce e.g. multi-material aerostructures, composite pressure vessel reinforcements, and other high-performance components in a quality-controlled, fully automated process, which enables them to realize cost & cycle time savings of 20%-60% when switching from conventional processes to Fiber Patch Placement.