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Next-Generation Engineering Design Software

Lightweighting

 

Achieve next-level weight reduction with additive manufacturing and advanced engineering design software. nTopology offers you the most comprehensive toolset for lightweighting.
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What is Lightweighting in Design?

Lightweight design in engineering is the process of reducing the weight of a part, assembly, or system to make it as light as possible while complying with the design constraints. Simply put, lightweighting means “doing more, with less” and goes beyond just substituting a material or manufacturing process for another. Additive manufacturing has opened opportunities to apply new lightweighting techniques that enable you to reap even greater mass reduction benefits in an economically viable way.

Benefits of Lightweighting

Lightweight components increase energy efficiency, improve performance, reduce manufacturing costs, reduce CO2 emissions, and enhance ergonomics.

  • Improve Energy Efficiency

Lighter vehicles and industrial products improve fuel efficiency and consume less energy.

  • Reduce Material Costs

Materials account for more than 40% of manufacturing costs. Reducing overall weight can cut production costs.

  • Improve Product Performance

From cars and trucks to sports equipment, lighter products can accelerate faster with the same amount of driving force.

  • Improve Ergonomics

Lighter handheld devices & wearables improve the usability of medical devices and other professional equipment.

Lightweighting in Action

You can apply lightweighting strategies to solve engineering problems across industries; from reducing vehicle weight to improving fuel economy and minimizing environmental impact.

Case Studies

The benefits of lightweighting go beyond technical specifications. Here is how companies are applying lightweighting techniques to create business value today.

Is your Software Ready for Additive Manufacturing?

You can only reap the full benefits of lightweighting if you have access to the right engineering tools.

Additive manufacturing processes give you a new pathway to production. However, in the same way traditional processes restrict your ability to manufacture complex structures, traditional design software limits your ability to design them.

Why use nTopology for Lightweighting?

nTopology is the only engineering design software that enables you to combine the widest range of lightweighting techniques—from latticing, ribbing & shelling to topology optimization & field-driven design—while also providing incredible depth for control and fine-tuning and saving you time with reusable design processes.

Video showing lightweighting in nTopology

Critical Tools for Lightweighting

Lattice Structures

Image showing lattice structures in nTopology

Generating lattice structures with full control is an incredibly important DfAM tool to reduce weight, use less material, and reduce cost.

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Topology Optimization

Image showing topology optimization in nTopology

Drastically reduce material cost and engineering design time with automated topology optimization and post-processing workflows.

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Variable Shelling

Image showing variable shelling in nTopology

Whether driven by simulation results or simple mathematic equations, shelling is an intuitive way to reduce weight while maintaining the same external shape.

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Conformal Ribbing

Image showing conformal ribbing in nTopology

Ribbing is an essential strategy for lightweighting parts with thin walls that can be applied to parts that are manufactured either additively or with traditional technologies.

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Turn nTopology’s Core Tech into your Competitive Advantage

Implicit Modeling

A fundamentally different and unbreakable modeling technology that delivers unprecedented speed, scalability, and reliability.

Why is it important?

  • Modeling operations never fail!
  • Lattices with 10.000+ unit cells are generated in seconds!

Field-Driven Design

A new design method that enables you to control geometry at every point in space directly from simulation results, test data, and engineering formulas.

Why is it important?

  • Drive wall thickness for simulation stress fields.
  • Control design parameters using simple expressions.

Blocks & Codeless Automation

A block-based approach to design automation that allows you to speed up design iterations and package engineering processes.

Why is it important?

  • Apply the same workflow on different input geometry.
  • Create algorithmic processes and share them with your team.

Lightweighting

Augment your Engineering Software Stack

nTopology integrates with industry-leading PLM, MDO, design, and manufacturing tools to support all aspects of your product development process. Through robust import and export capabilities, you can closely couple advanced geometry generation with design analysis, verification, and manufacturing.

Trusted by world-class teams

“Using the added benefits of lattices, we can design parts with even higher added value than the shape obtained by pure density-based topology optimization.”
Hiroyuki Nagamot
R&D Engineer, Yamaha Motor Co.

“I can do the things that are impossible with other design tools. I think this is like the renaissance of engineering.” Enrique Enriquez
President, KW Micro Power

“nTopology is enabling engineers to do what they’re good at—designing efficient structures; which is in a way the essence of Design for Additive Manufacturing.”
John Barnes
Managing Director, The Barnes Group Advisors

“With nTopology, we were able to create powerful and unique additive designs. It wouldn’t be possible to create such components with a traditional CAD system.”
Martin Blanke
Project Engineer, DMG MORI

Image showing evolution of a part in nTopology

Manufacturing has advanced. What about your software?

Get started with nTopology today. Experience the power of the world’s most innovative engineering design software for advanced manufacturing.

FAQs

What is the right lightweighting strategy?

Traditionally, ligthweighting was connected to replacing materials with alternatives that have a lower density; from steel to aluminum to carbon fiber. The idea is to accomplish the same function with the same amount of a lighter material. However, as new manufacturing technologies and computational tools become more widely available, new lightweighting strategies that involve component redesign and optimization become an option. This approach can yield more radical weight reduction gains.

Is nTopology used only for additive manufacturing?

No. nTopology’s advanced generative capabilities and computational tools can be applied to any complex part—3D printed or not. For example, conformal ribs are very common in CNC machined, cast, or injection molded parts. Moreover, 3D printed parts may be low in number, but they’re high in value, so using specialized software can quickly bring a return on your investment.

What data can be imported & exported in nTopology?

nTopology supports the import and export of CAD geometry, meshes, FEA and CAE data, lattices, point clouds, voxels, and tabulated data. You can also export slice data for additive manufacturing in vendor-specific and open formats. For an overview of the importing and exporting capabilities of the software, visit our Help Center.

Where can I learn more about Lightweighting?

nTopology is a company of engineers, designers, and innovators. Over the years our experts have developed content on cutting-edge engineering design. The technical articles in our blog cover technical topics and practical lightweighting techniques. Our nTop Lives show you how to apply these techniques in specific industrial use cases. Once you have access to our software, our Learning Center features self-paced tutorials that will guide you in your journey to becoming an nTop expert.

Lightweighting Resources for Engineers & Designers

The Engineering Guide to Lightweighting

Download nTopology’s Guide to Lightweighting to learn how to maximize the impact of your initiatives through smart design. A lighter design can improve product performance, reduce manufacturing costs, lessen energy consumption and emissions, or make a product more ergonomic and user-friendly.

Ready for the next step?

See for yourself why leaders in aerospace, automotive, medical, and consumer industries depend on nTopology to develop revolutionary products.

Lightweighting