Developing and designing products is becoming increasingly demanding. Not only are the quality, developer and designer requirements skyrocketing, criteria such as sustainability and energy efficiency must also be considered. The Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD in Darmstadt has developed a software tool to visualise numerous variants in product development based on different parameters. Such visualisation builds a transparent and reliable basis for all decision-making. As a result, the visualisation becomes an important part of the workflow and helps accelerate the overall development process.
Data visualisation has become a megatrend, and the institute says that it is about more than just using graphics to present numbers. The institute believes that it creates clarity, shows structures and reveals contextual links. And what’s more, the exponentially growing volumes of data in business, industry, trade and transport mean that the flood of data becomes uncontrollable without visualisation. Together with the Linz Center of Mechatronics (LCM) in Austria, the software was used during the development of an electric engine, incorporating all the relevant criteria for engine development such as size, weight, power, torque, current consumption, costs, efficiency and temperature development. The visualisation uses precise curve diagrams to show how the individual parameters interact and what happens when a value changes.
Such visualisations aim to help developers and engineers with their work as well as with presentations to clients or the management of their firms, since they make it plain to see what options are available and can simulate all the possible variants. “There is no such thing as the single best solution,” says Project Manager Lena Cibulski. There is only a series of design variations, each with different properties and performance characteristics, and decisions must be made about them. The visualisation software can be used with any desired simulation model, so it can be offered for almost any industry and application.
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