Winners in the second annual LEAP Awards, celebrating the best components and services across the mechanical and electrical engineering design space, were unveiled on November 5, 2019. Across 13 categories, the judging panel awarded Gold, Silver, and Bronze recognitions, as well as Honorable Mentions for certain submissions. The awards program is supported by three leading publications in the design engineering space: Design World, Fluid Power World, and EE World.
Paul J. Heney, Vice President, Editorial Director, Design World, said that the judging went smoothly this year. “Our judges, all of whom are independent engineering industry professionals, did a remarkable job in quickly turning around the scoring this year. We had a combination of judges from last year and some new blood in there, but luckily, we had the process down quite well after learning from the inaugural LEAP Awards in 2018.”
This year, the program changed from having a single declared winner in each category, to a medalist concept, with the potentials for a Gold, Silver and Bronze winner in any category, as well as Honorable Mentions. Depending on the scoring ranges, not all categories will necessarily have all medals awarded, and Honorable Mentions are also optional — and tied to how close an entry came to the medalist scores.
The winners will be recognized at a ceremony in Santa Clara, California, in conjunction with the Healthcare Robotics Engineering Forum and DeviceTalks West events, on December 9th. Information on how to register for the ceremony will be posted shortly.
The medalists in the Software category are as follows:
GOLD • Desktop Metal • Live Parts from Desktop Metal: First Growth-Based Generative Design Software for 3D Printing
Live Parts is the first and only growth-based generative design software for 3D printing. The tool enables users to “grow” functional, 3D printable parts with complex, efficient geometries. While Live Parts captures traditional design and manufacturing rules, it’s unique in that designs start from “seed cells” and grow on the screen as living organisms in real-time in one continuous process. The parts seek regions with forces, similar to how plants grow toward sun and water. The designer sets up basic constraints for the part, starts the growth process, and can change forces, material properties, and objectives such as safety factor while the part grows.
The software applies principles of morphogenesis and reaction diffusion, simulating how cells produce chemicals in reaction to stimuli, then using these chemicals to communicate with other cells in the organism. Live Parts produces emergent behavior with its growth processes, creating shapes based on relationships of cells with one another. Unlike topology design software, traditionally used for optimizing parts, no pre-existing design is needed. The parts start from seed cells, growing, adapting, and changing shape to fit their environment and function. Live Parts is faster and more memory efficient than traditional design approaches because 1) a part begins as seed cells and 2) the software grows and analyzes structures only where cellular growth takes place. This approach allows the designer to essentially let the design produce itself, resulting in lighter, stronger parts.
Live Parts has the potential to change the way that CAD design is done in the future. Instead of spending their time sketching part features, users define fixed and forced regions and other factors, and the machine does the rest.
Live Parts, which was in beta for a year after it debuted in February 2018, is currently commercially available.
Silver • Altair • Altair SimSolid
When it comes to designing products, Altair SimSolid is one of the most game-changing, paradigm-shifting tools to be released in many years. In fact, people have called it the most dramatic new solver technology in 50 years. By performing structural analyses on fully- featured CAD assemblies within minutes, SimSolid changes the simulation game for designers, engineers, and analysts. It eliminates geometry preparation and meshing: the two most time-consuming, expertise-extensive and error-prone tasks performed in a conventional structural simulation. When SimSolid is used up front in the design process, the time it takes to get a product designed and to market can be sped up by multiple magnitudes.
Using SimSolid, numerous design scenarios can quickly be simulated under real-life conditions. SimSolid user, Atanas Zhelev of Digital Architects sums it up best, “Using SimSolid was phenomenal. We cut the traditional design cycle time by 50%, and we’re running full cad assemblies in seconds to minutes. SimSolid was a key enabler to evaluate multiple design alternatives on the fly. We significantly reduced the engineering hours needed for full assemblies, allowing us to meet the deadline with a robust and feasible design.”
SimSolid’s mesh-free simulation and analysis is fast, real fast. Solution times are typically measured in seconds to minutes on a standard PC. No high-powered GPUs are necessary. With SimSolid, multiple design scenarios can be quickly analyzed and compared.
The incredible speed and accuracy of SimSolid enables its users to design faster, explore more, and boost product performance.
Bronze • Siemens Digital Industries Software • Simcenter 3D Motion Drivetrain
The Siemens Digital Industries Software Simcenter 3D Motion Drivetrain module groups several tools and features to facilitate creating detailed models for dynamically simulating drivetrain elements. Simcenter 3D Motion Drivetrain can help reduce transmission simulation efforts by 80% and is a vertical application that enables engineers to easily define and simulate complex transmission systems based on industry standards. Engineers can simply enter basic transmission parameters that define the overall configuration of a transmission system, and then Simcenter 3D automatically creates the full 3D transmission model, including geometry, based on these parameters. Once the base model is created, engineers can then set gear contact parameters and operating conditions for the transmission, and the entire model is ready to solve in just minutes instead of hours or days.
With an accurate solver method for gear contact, gear-force variations can be captured with great confidence since all relevant effects can be considered. This advanced method has been validated with experimental test results measured using physical gear systems mounted on a test rig. Additionally, transmission simulation with Simcenter 3D Drivetrain can be mated with Simcenter™ 3D Acoustics software to perform a noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) assessment. This can help engineers achieve reliable and fast gear multibody simulations using validated advanced solver methodologies that can account for issues such as gear rattle and gear whine.