Bridging the gap between CAD/CAE and VR and incorporating semantics into the analysis process
The numerous engineers, technicians and supportive staff taking part in the design process have an impact on the structure and the content of Computer Aided Design (CAD), Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) and other CAx tools. Bringing in different levels of knowledge within different areas they contribute to a diversity of data. Currently available software is capable of fast manipulation of an ever increasing amount of information. The representation of objects within an engineering design environment uses extensively geometric aspects, whereas physical attributes assigned to geometric parts are more important to the analysts. However, during the design and analysis process, various representations of the same objects are generated and used, i.e. geometric, technological, mechanical representations, representation for manufacture, etc. involving multiple downstream applications which have to make use of similar object representations of the same design. Especially in the CAE domain current workflow lacks of significant deficiencies resulting from data exchange or adequate model representations fit for analysis. A repair/healing of the CAD model, the removal of features which are irrelevant for the analysis or even design idealisations lead to significant manual overhead during the preparation stage of the CAE process. Thus, the process of an appropriate preparation of a data model to an adequate result is time consuming and error-prone. Estimates in classical simulation (FEA/CFD) environments assume that according to the problem more than 50% of the workload is needed for data acquisition. As soon as the model is available 90% of the time needed for an appropriate digital analysis is modeling and results evaluation. Only 10% of the workload is estimated for the execution of the simulation run. These estimates do not take into account interactive modifications of the simulation. In order to enhance the integration of CAD/CAE and VR different tools emerged in the past decade allow a semi-automated way of domain decomposition, feature based modelling, fast and efficient post processing. However, still significant work has to be done in order to achieve an efficient analysis turn around.