How nTop Platform Automates Engineering Workflows

Learn how nTopology's generative design software, nTop Platform, allows engineers to automate workflows, optimize designs, and go right to manufacturing.

Samantha Kratky
August 22, 2019 • 4 min read

In the world of advanced manufacturing, a project’s path from beginning to end never follows a straight line. Parts need to be designed, tested, and redesigned, often requiring multiple iterations before they can finally hit the manufacturing floor. As a result, the process can slow innovation and require extensive low-value work.

As a design engineer myself, I am no stranger to the many frustrating obstacles that typically emerge when attempting to resolve more complex designs.  Though some pose as more of a showstopper than others, the biggest frustrations can include:

  • Having to redesign an entire model after one small parameter has been modified
  • Needing to utilize multiple software suites in order to complete a single idea-to-manufacture process
  • Manually iterating input parameters for a desired output, such as changing the density of a lattice until a target volume reduction is achieved 

nTopology recognizes that issues like these are quite commonplace when leveraging the power of advanced manufacturing.  By implementing nTop Platform, engineers can start eliminating the losses induced by these redundant and low-value tasks by replacing them with intelligent and repeatable workflows. The value of the reusability of workflows like this becomes even more paramount with the increase in throughput of higher performing parts.

nTop Platform enables engineers to leverage complex geometries, quickly iterate on designs, and automate common modeling operations. Our platform integrates with data from any CAD, simulation, or manufacturing software package, allowing engineers to efficiently streamline their workflows in a repeatable and reliable manner.

Engineers have long been in need of a way to capture and share knowledge that allows them to innovate more quickly and automate trivial modeling tasks. Design operations such as filleting the interface between a lattice and its adjacent shell often demand the full attention of the engineer to manually select every edge.  With the repeatability and customization of nTop Platform’s workflows, the process of blending these lattice beams to a structural solid can be developed once and leveraged endlessly. 

 

A constant fillet radius of 0.5mm applied to each connection between the lattice and exterior 

 

nTop Platform utilizes a unique and easy-to-use block-based tree to perform complex modeling operations. These blocks interact to create connected workflows with broad design parameters that can be defined as controllable inputs. Not only does this nested system allow for configuration and packagability, it is automatically responsive to changes in upstream design parameters and external inputs.

The level of configurability the software provides enables the designer to create and distribute robust algorithms that are capable of automatically running numerous design iterations to converge on an objective-oriented result. Design exercises such as lightweighting through topology optimization or lattice propagation allows a user to define their solution up front.

 

 

Topology Optimization workflow running through design iterations for a bracket and an updated model

 

The resultant complex geometry seen above can be exported as a classic surface mesh (STL) or sliced directly in nTop Platform, avoiding the need for additional software before manufacturing. This too is an example of a type of common workflow that today is not streamlined in the stack of traditional engineering design tools. nTop Platform was architected to receive upstream changes, and propagate them through the block system to produce a manufacture-ready model every time.

 

Optimized model sliced directly in nTop Platform ready to be 3D printed

 

nTop Platform’s workflow’s offer step-change advancements in the way engineers can collaborate across teams and organizations to design better parts faster. The ability to lightweight components and generate complex geometries through rapid design iterations allows engineers to optimize part design faster than ever before. Through collaboration, automation, and innovation, we are able to provide engineers with the platform they need in order to produce the highest performing parts in the shortest amount of time.

Interested in learning more? Watch a recent webinar where a senior application engineer Chris Cho will illustrate the power of several workflows in nTop Platform. He’ll provide an in-depth look at how Platform enables automation, improves collaboration, and reduces the time for performing design iterations.

 

Written by
Application Engineer
Samantha is a mechanical engineer with a focus in product design from Lehigh University. She has worked with nTopology in the past and has now joined the team as an Application Engineer.

Up Next

nTopology and Betatype: A Partnership Story

Discover how the partnership between nTopology and Betatype provides an additive design and slicing workflow that allows engineers to iterate faster and reduce build time.

Sam Lindsay • 3 min read
Eliminate STL Files from Your Additive Manufacturing Process with nTopology + EOS

Learn about how you can eliminate the need for STL files and go direct from design to manufacturing with nTopology software and EOSPRINT.

Sam Lindsay • 5 min read