Groundforce – Electronic Prototyping and 3D Modelling
05 February 2018
There is much in the press about BIM and digital engineering, specifically electronic prototyping and 3D modelling.
More and more engineers are turning these days towards computer numeric modelling and FEA. Although these are powerful tools capable of modelling complex scenarios and achieve incredibly accurate results in rapid timescale, there are also potential issues whereby a slight change in the settings, support and restraints or simple misinterpretation of results can utterly alter the outcome of an FEA simulation. Interpreting the results of course is vital in understanding what is actually happening and how the structure is behaving.
In the end and vitally importantly it still comes down to applying that indefinable quality of engineering judgement. No matter how clever and complex or user-friendly the software is, there is simply no substitute for having a well-rounded, competent engineer at the steering wheel. With this in mind, the Technical Department in Groundforce is able to share with you a relatively simple example of their electronic prototyping and FEA modelling experiences.
Above is a simulation of a simple “gallows bracket” welded to sheet piles, supporting a horizontal beam represented by the yellow arrows. This simulation shows how the stresses are distributed throughout the bracket and can give an insight into the potential modes of failure. Again, this is all reliant on having the expertise to interpret this data.
It is visible from the “rainbow” of stress that the areas that require the most attention (shown red), are the welded connection at the top rear of the fabrication, the gusset plate and lower part of the web of the UC section. This type of analysis proves itself time and again to be a useful tool, not perhaps so much to directly verify the final design, but more perhaps to highlight areas of the structure that need further investigation and possible strengthening and also to help Groundforce’s engineers develop the design into the optimum format by taking material out.
Groundforce has started using this 3D prototyping process to increase the strength and reduce the weight of their new developments. Of course, the final design is always backed up by good old fashioned manual or at best software assisted calculations. This process is perhaps a modern variation of what used to be termed “design assisted by testing”.
Visit the Groundforce website to find out more.http://www.engineersjournal.ie/2018/02/05/groundforce-electronic-prototyping-3d-modelling/http://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/arrows-bracket.pnghttp://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/arrows-bracket-300x300.pngSponsoredBIM