Shape Controls

Shape Controls are used to make sure that Inspire does not create designs that can't be manufactured.

While optimization always requires the presence of loads and supports to generate a result, applying shape controls is optional and provides additional design goals that must be satisfied by the optimizer. Shape controls are valid for optimization but not analysis.

Shape controls are applied to a design space and are not included in load cases. Once applied to a design space, they remain in effect regardless of which load cases are used during an optimization run.

Shape Control Tools

The are two basic types of shape controls available, and only one of each type can be applied to a design space. Inspire prevents you from applying multiple constraints that would create conflicting design goals. Click on the section below to expand it and get more detailed information on each Shape Control tool.

Draw Directions

Use the Draw Direction tools to apply manufacturing constraints. These tools can be accessed from the Shape Controls icon on the Structure ribbon.

Draw directions are a type of shape control. If you intend for a part to be manufactured by casting it or stamping it, the optimized shape must allow the two halves of the mold or the stamping dies to separate after the part is formed. Negative draft angles must be avoided. You can generate shapes that can be molded or stamped by indicating a draw direction, which is the plane where the two halves of the mold are pulled apart.

Only one draw direction can be applied to a design space, and four types of draw directions are available: single draw, split draw, extrusion, and stamping. When applying a draw direction, you may also specify the No Hole option in the mini toolbar to eliminate internal voids. Draw directions are valid for optimization but not analysis.

Click the tools below to see more detailed information about each tool.


Single Draw

A single draw direction is a type of manufacturing constraint used when the parting plane between the halves of the mold lies outside the design space.


Split Draw

A split draw direction is a type of manufacturing constraint used when the parting plane between the halves of the mold lies inside the design space.


Extrusion

Extrusion is similar to a single draw constraint, but the profile of the resulting shape maintains a constant cross-section along the draw direction.

 

 

Symmetry and Cyclical Repetition

Use the Symmetry tools to apply constraints that generate symmetric or cyclically repeating shapes. These tools can be accessed from the Shape Controls icon on the Structure ribbon.

Symmetry and cyclic repetition are valid for optimization but not analysis. You can only apply one type of symmetry constraint to a design space. Click the links below to see more detailed information about each tool.


Symmetric

Use the symmetry constraint to generate symmetric shapes, even under asymmetric conditions, by defining symmetry planes in the design space.


Cyclic

Use the cyclic constraint to generate cyclically repeating shapes like starfish, propellers, or spoked wheels even if you use a design space or loads that are not cyclic themselves.


Cyclic Symmetry

Use the cyclic symmetric constraint to generate cyclically repeating shapes with symmetric sectors.