March 2013 Newsletter

solidThinking March Newsletter

Hello again. Obviously 3D printing is in the media a lot these days, but we were happy to see that earlier this month, Design World posted an article about some software helps you design for 3D printing manufacturability.

The software featured was solidThinking Inspire. Inspire can sometimes suggest initial concepts that aren’t easy to replicate with conventional manufacturing methods, 3D printing allows new freedom. Another consideration noted in the article; creating a new lighter weight design for a part manufactured on a CNC mill might not actually save any materials or cost (a part machined from a billet will start off the same size). In the case of a 3D printing part a minimum mass solution will also be the cheapest.

Customer success - Key Safety Systems, Inc

Stefan Terebesi Sr. Engineer at Key Safety Systems, Inc., a Tier 1 manufacturer of automotive safety equipment, has been using the Inspire to help him and his team generate efficient structures for safety critical components in vehicle restraint systems. He explained, “We were interested in generating design concepts based on optimized performance requirements that would help design better performing parts in less time.”

The use of Inspire allowed the team to study quickly what effect changes to loading conditions or package space might have on their design direction. Stefan says, “solidThinking Inspire provides a tool that can quickly suggest ideal part geometries, giving an opportunity to reduce development cycle time and enhancing the knowledge of the engineer regarding structural requirements of the component.”

Here is a design space and a result from Stefan:

Evolve for Education

Recently Antonio Flores trained students and faculty at Ecole de Design de Nantes in Evolve. EdN is a prominent design university in France. The students and educators plan to use both Evolve and Inspire for an upcoming research project.

If you are want to learn more about solidThinking products in education and how to arrange training for you school please contact us. You can also find some great Evolve learning resources at the Academic Training Center hosted by our parent company, Altair.

An early look Inspire & Evolve 9.5

We’re excited that we will be at DEVELOP3D Live on 16 April showing both Inspire and Evolve 9.5. This event is at the Warwick Arts Centre, University of Warwick, in England and has been organized by the UK based magazine of the same name. We hope to see some of you there!

In the February newsletter we gave a brief overview of what to expect in Evolve 9.5, but what is coming in Inspire 9.5? Here are some highlights:

  • Optimization Objectives - When running an optimization, you can now choose between maximizing stiffness or minimizing mass.
  • Stress Constraints - During optimization, you can now apply stress constraints by defining a minimum safety factor to limit the global stress on the entire model.
  • Displacement Constraints - The new displacement constraints tool allows you to limit the deflection of an optimized part, either in one direction or all directions.
  • Extrude Draw Direction - The new extrude tool allows you to create a manufacturing constraint where the profile of the resulting shape is maintained along the draw direction.

Results of the BLOODHOUND SSC Steering Wheel Challenge

A couple of months ago we told you about the exciting opportunity to design the steering wheel for the ultimate performance car. Product Innovation Congress, BLOODHOUND SSC, Altair and GrabCAD supported this challenge, and the results of the BLOODHOUND SSC Steering Wheel Challenge are in. Congratulations to the top 5 and the honorable mention recognized by the judges.


More Information:

March Tip & Trick for Inspire


This month, Tony Gray will guide Inspire users with some best practices for setting up your models. This video sets out describe why all non-design regions should have a load or constraint applied, and all loads and constraints should be on non-design regions as well as other guidelines that will help you get the most from topology optimization.

Check out the full video on the solidThinking YouTube page to learn more.

If you have a tip or trick you'd like to share, or comments, questions or feedback, please email us at Our team is here to answer your questions and share best practices. Your feedback or tip/trick may make it to our next newsletter - we'll credit you, too!

Join our LinkedIn community

If you haven’t already joined, please join the solidThinking Community on LinkedIn. It is another way for us to keep you up to date with product releases and for you to discuss Inspire and Evolve topics with other designers.

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This newsletter is © 2013 solidThinking, Inc.
All Rights Reserved. solidThinking is a trademark of solidThinking, Inc.
solidThinking is an Altair Company.