Rob Stupplebeen’s company name, Optimal Device, reflects his enthusiasm for the power of optimization. A longtime Abaqus user whose consulting and training team focuses on medical devices, he has employed SIMULIA’s Isight, Tosca and Simpoe-Mold to help design everything from ballistic face shields for the military to precision optics for space telescopes. He also likes to showcase the occasional “goofy” design just for fun.
“Tosca is as close to magic as you can get with simulation” – Rob Stupplebeen, Optimal Device
A former high-school lacrosse player, and now a coach for his eight-year-old son, Rob recently began a use-case blog about lacrosse-stick head design, which he turned into a paper for the 2016 Science in the Age of Experience event in Boston. Stupplebeen began by comparing the equipment he played with in the past to the sticks in use today. “When looking at my old lacrosse head, I saw noticeable differences between it and the more modern ones,” he says. “It had clearly evolved from my time, as an injection-molded industrial-design with manufacturing constraints, to the current engineering-driven design with a truss structure of varying angles and sizes. This kind of organic truss structure is essentially what topology optimization evolves towards.”
Starting from the NCAA rules regarding stick dimensions, Stupplebeen created a CATIA model of the head component with the largest permissible amount of material. Then he brought the drawing into Abaqus. “Once you have that working FEA model it can include nonlinearities because of Tosca’s unique abilities to handle nonlinear topology optimization,” he says.
Work went quickly, Stupplebeen reports. “From opening up the rule book to having a viable design on-screen only took a couple days and I produced something remarkably similar to recent commercially available injection-molded designs,” he says. “I also was able to do it all on my own. Topology optimization provides a huge amount of power and intuition into a design without a lot of labor at your end.”
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Discover how Optimal Device leverages simulation to optimize the design of the lacrosse stick head!