“Simulation is absolutely critical because of two things. Number one is we want to understand how the orthosis is going to work, but the second thing we want to know is how the body is going to react to the orthosis,” said Naveed. “There is a dance between the device and the human body and simulation allows us to test assumptions and go away from guess work to a place of very, very deep understanding. This allows us to develop whole new ways to treat a condition and improving that child’s life.”
To accurately design devices that were comfortable to wear on a daily basis, the design team wanted to explore the use of simulation technologies to predict and eliminate pressure points before the devices were manufactured, turning to Altair for support.
“We’re dealing with remarkable children. With all of their disabilities, the way they handle pain is quite incredible,” said Samiya. “These children would be in a lot of pain but you wouldn’t know about it until it’s too late because they can just take it and take it. Simulation beforehand would shortcut all that bad experience for the kids.”
Altair‘s own engineering consultancy worked with Andiamo and helped the team to develop a process that incorporated the latest design and manufacturing simulation technologies. The 3D scan data is now used as an input for Altair HyperWorks’ solvers, OptiStruct and Radioss, to analyze and optimize the orthoses. The challenge came from accurately representing the highly complex interaction of the human body and the device, along with the child’s movements, and the multiple contacts between the orthosis and the body in conjunction with the nonlinear material behavior of the polymer device.
“With the help of the Altair solutions, we are able to simulate the dance between the orthosis and the human body,” said Naveed. “The software revealed the contact and pressure points and could predict where problems such as bruising would occur. This has helped us to go from guesswork to a place of deep understanding, allowing us to develop whole new ways to treat a condition & improve that child‘s life.”
Using Altair’s simulation solutions within HyperWorks for dynamic and static analysis, the design team are able to simulate and predict the behavior of the orthosis, and optimize the geometry by morphing the model until the problem is solved. Altair’s simulation solutions allow Andiamo engineers to quickly identify pressure points that would lead pain and discomfort, providing design guidance to help solve the problem at the development stage and produce lightweight devices that are like a second skin to wear.
Once the design is complete, the product is 3D printed to the exact specification of each child and at a fraction of the time and cost compared to the traditional handmade alternative. The result is a lighter, better fitting, more comfortable support that makes a huge difference to their users’ lives and that of their families.