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I am a degree'd mechanical designer with a decade of experience: AMA

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OMDA

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Those of you doing product development may need some help. Especially when it comes to:
  • Design - What are good ideas/practices?
  • Analysis - What do I have to calculate to know my idea works?
  • General questions - Things I've always wondered?

Industry background:
Aerospace - Aircraft design/analysis including spacecraft and airplanes
Other - Engine design (very specialized type but leaving that unspecified for now)
Current slow lane career - Not specifying at the moment
Design tool familiarity - Solidworks, Fusion360, Nastran/Patran, Ansys, Abaqus, Blender
Strong general programming experience with applications to product R&D.

If you don't want to tell people what you are doing, you can PM me if you are comfortable doing that and just want to ask a specific question.
Usually I can find a simplified way to calculate or solve something without resorting to a piece of software that costs $$$$.
 
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ZF Lee

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What kind of plans or drawings do manufacturers need? CAD? Something as simple as a sketch?

I'm hearing all kind of mixed answers all over the net on this. Maybe they are all right, as long as the other side understands how to make the product?
 

David Goliath

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Ansys vs Abaqus in terms of FEA analysis? In your opinion, is one more accurate than the other or is it simply preference?
 

OMDA

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What kind of plans or drawings do manufacturers need? CAD? Something as simple as a sketch?

I'm hearing all kind of mixed answers all over the net on this. Maybe they are all right, as long as the other side understands how to make the product?

A quick answer before I get to work. I'll need to postpone answering the following questions until later to keep from causing conflicts.

But, it depends on the manufacturer and if you or someone else you trust is reviewing the part before manufacture.

A lot of suppliers can now do what is called Model Based Definition. This means the part can be drawn in 3d on the computer, without drawings, and have things specified like tolerances, dimensions, surface finishes, paint, coatings, etc without resorting to 2d.

You can just ask them if they support Model Based Definition.

However, how will you review this? If your guy makes MBD solid parts in CAD, do you have the software? If not, you may not be able to review it.

If you make drawings, it's easier to have a paper record and review, without software.
If your parts are being designed by someone you trust, and you don't need a thorough review yourself, then this may be a non issue. But, personally, I'd want to thoroughly review the drawings to make sure it will work, fit up, and that nobody has missed important statements in the notes.

Money is made or lost on good drawing notes. Anything special in manufacture other than just material removal is hard to capture on the part figures. Are there special coating processes or directions? If so, notes need to be scrutinized on the drawing or the MBD.
 
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OMDA

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Ansys vs Abaqus in terms of FEA analysis? In your opinion, is one more accurate than the other or is it simply preference?

For the basic things, Ansys workbench is more user friendly. Abaqus has parametric modeling as well, but it can be buggy. Abaqus also gives you significantly more control.

Ansys has cool workflows that can make life easier. But, I've seen lots of people get too fancy with complex analyses that aren't worth the time.

Both should give you the same answer. Is there a particular need you are addressing or is it just in general?
 

David Goliath

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For the basic things, Ansys workbench is more user friendly. Abaqus has parametric modeling as well, but it can be buggy. Abaqus also gives you significantly more control.

Ansys has cool workflows that can make life easier. But, I've seen lots of people get too fancy with complex analyses that aren't worth the time.

Both should give you the same answer. Is there a particular need you are addressing or is it just in general?

I've never worked with Abaqus but have heard a lot about it. I'm used to Ansys so that's kind of the route I've always taken. Just curious to see your opinion as to whether or not it'd be worth dabbing into. Thank you!
 

OMDA

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I've never worked with Abaqus but have heard a lot about it. I'm used to Ansys so that's kind of the route I've always taken. Just curious to see your opinion as to whether or not it'd be worth dabbing into. Thank you!

Since you're already familiar with Ansys, you may get more bang for your buck by trying Ansys mechanical APDL.

That will give you a lot more power. However, it's sufficiently more complicated. I believe there are more options there but you have to know what you are doing.

Or I'd play around with automating tasks in Ansys. It uses a python variant.

Abaqus is better, in some cases, for nonlinear things. But, Ansys + Fluent, used properly, can solve some very hard problems easily if you know what you are doing. I have yet to combine CFD and Abaqus like I have with Ansys. But I have done some complicated nonlinear geometry and material in Abaqus.
 
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Johnny Bravo

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I don't suppose you'd have any recommendations as to how to source engineering contractors?

I'm developing an electronic device and have no idea what sorts of skills or background my contractors will need, let alone choose the best among them.
 

OMDA

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I don't suppose you'd have any recommendations as to how to source engineering contractors?

I'm developing an electronic device and have no idea what sorts of skills or background my contractors will need, let alone choose the best among them.

It is fairly difficult to vet people unless they come with strong recommendations.

What are you able to share?

Electronics isn't my forte, but what you need depends on the complexity of the project. You may need something like a breadboard or other prototype before you bother getting something like a custom PCB manufactured that fits within the packaging. Probably someone who has taken a project from proof of concept, prototyping, through production. But other than that, I cannot say much.

What are you planning on testing with the prototype is the big question. I don't know how complex it is, but based on your own thread it seems it needs to also have app connectivity, which probably means wifi/bluetooth chips, or maybe something like a small system on a chip. Until you're able to spec out in the rough order what you want, it's hard to say. I could do a lot with a system on a chip as long as I'm not displaying full screen graphics and doing things on the web, or otherwise have to do a lot of processing.

Compact devices may have a heat and temperature problem depending on how much power you're using. Phones, laptops, and other hardware like that use a slew of different materials so that they don't overheat and burn out the components. If it's low power, then that may not be a driving issue.

Sounds like a big project to me.

At the least I'd figure out how to get a proof of concept or at least a 3d model, schematics, or something to test market demand before embarking on something like that given the money and time needed.
 

Johnny Bravo

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What are you able to share?

What are you planning on testing with the prototype is the big question. I don't know how complex it is, but based on your own thread it seems it needs to also have app connectivity...

Sounds like a big project to me.

Something like this.

Definitely a big project and I have been quoted upwards of $250k just for a prototype. The PM idea definitely seems like a good direction to go. The website angel.co has a pretty good marketplace for contractors like this, but I'm a bit overwhelmed by the sheer number of them.

But as MJ would say, if it were easy everyone would do it! (Or did I hear that somewhere else?)
 
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OMDA

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Something like this.

Ahh, gotcha.

That's simple enough that your biggest problem may not be the hardware at all, but getting people to trust your device as a competitor. The customer stands a lot to lose if the device is insecure, so the trust issue is probably going to run the show.
 

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