• Put the right people in place to use the tools. “Honestly, I don’t know much about FEA software,” admits Montague. “So it goes back to hiring smart people and letting them do their thing.” Bosworth was the “smart hire” for Guerrilla Gravity. And, as an experienced user, he agrees it takes some know-how to work with simulation tools. “I think it would be hard for someone who doesn’t have basic material knowledge and a fundamental understanding of stress and strain and boundary conditions to utilize the tools no matter how basic the FEA software is,” he says. For now, simulation is typically handled by engineers, though that may change.
Perhaps the largest barrier to implementation is ignorance – not of individuals, but industry-wide, says Pipes. “People don’t know what simulation can do for them – even many top level senior managers in aerospace,” he says. “They still think of simulation in terms of geometry and performance, not manufacturing. And manufacturing is where the big payoff is going to be because that’s where all the economics lie.”
Pipes wants to “stretch people into believing what you can and will be able to do with simulation.” As the technology advances, that includes more and more each day – not just for mega corporations, but for small and mid-sized companies, too.
“As the simulation industry gets democratized, prices are going to come down due to competition, while the amount you can do will go through the roof,” says Wollschlager. “It’s a great time to get involved in simulation.”