Development of a new lightweight aluminum profile for a glass balustrade with increased stiffness, shorter design time and reduced production costs
The design of architectural components such as a balustrade can be challenging, since the design does not only have to look good, it also has to meet several safety requirements and standards. In addition, all designs have to be developed within the shortest time possible. To meet these challenges the engineers, architects and designers at Faraone are always looking for solutions that can reduce their design and testing cycles.
After an evaluation of the design sketches, the engineering development of the part has to focus on aspects such as thicknesses, material, keeping the original shape as close as possible to the original sketch.
For the first time the engineering team started the design from zero and used simulation and optimization to drive the design. They first created a simple profile and used it to perform a topology optimization of the profile in solidThinking Inspire®. The optimization results inspired the final design, which was refined by the design team, and lastly validated in solidThinking Inspire®.
A typical optimization process follows these steps: Creation of the design space and application of loads and boundary conditions. The optimization tool uses the input to propose an optimal structure. The design proposal offers the best possible combination of lightweight and structural efficiency. Subsequently, the part is quickly refined to define the final shape, which is then again analyzed with Inspire to verify its structural performance.