The CAD is out of the Bag!

10 May, 2018


Due to the exponential growth of power densities in modern electronics, the complexity of thermal management has become a daunting challenge for electronics engineers. Over the years, the electronics industry has implemented some ingenious solutions to these challenges, despite strict physical constraints and faster design cycles.  

Today, the complex shapes of electronics make it especially difficult to design efficient heat transfer paths. To come up with viable designs quickly, engineers must be equipped with cutting-edge tools and technology. Thermal simulation tools can be used to create virtual prototypes of designs and test possible cooling scenarios. By using thermal simulation early in the design process, engineers can accurately analyze design schemes to optimize thermal management. Modern thermal simulation can save huge amounts of time in the design and production processes.  

Complex electronics elements such as heat sinks, ducts, and PCB heat-spreaders create challenges as they can be time intensive, both from a modeling and computational standpoint. This is where 6SigmaET works seamlessly, allowing users to incorporate their CAD designs effectively to save time. 

 

Figure 1: In high-power consumer electronics, every aspect of the design is important - it is critical to model all the details.

 

Often, the biggest bottleneck that arises from working with complex CAD shapes is the need to simplify and prepare them for a CFD simulation.  While many tools in the market require models to be resolved into elementary blocks, 6SigmaET allows users to import the complete assembly and then simplify the model using native features in the software. The screws, nuts and bolts in the enclosure shown below can be simplified using 6SigmaET’s 'Approximate' feature, which reduces the grid around thermally insignificant objects. 

 

Figure 2: The 'approximate' feature enables easy simplification of CAD objects for thermal simulation

 

In addition to reducing the amount of effort required to create an accurate model, 6SigmaET has the fastest solver on the market. While incorporating complex CAD shapes usually makes solve times impractical, 6SigmaET’s multi-level unstructured grid solver intelligently varies the grid size based on the distribution of objects in the white space. This removes unnecessary cells from the grid, resulting in faster solve times and a reduced memory requirement.  

With increasing power densities, thermal engineers are forced to consider advanced liquid cooling solutions for efficient and resilient designs. 6SigmaET can efficiently model complex CAD shapes in liquid cooling applications. Using 6SigmaET, engineers can easily add and remove grid, even for CAD objects, thus eliminating the complex methodology of other tools.

 

Figure 3: 'Apply to fluid' enables engineers to add grid where necessary for complex applications

 

In an era of instant gratification, it can get frustrating if your thermal simulation tool is unable to handle complex CAD shapes efficiently.  With increased time and space constraints, having a fast solver and reliable gridding tool in an engineer’s arsenal is essential. For thermal engineers, 6SigmaET not only makes life easier, but it gives them something that no other tool can offer: more time!

Figure 4: 6SigmaET's versatility can be leveraged across various industries!


Blog written by: Ananth Sridhar, Applications Engineer