As the year winds down and the holidays approach, new product introductions and corporate news grinds to a halt, leaving editors like myself on a somewhat desperate search for news to cover and share with readers.
So it was with great delight that I came across a blog post, written by Gilles Eggenspieler, a senior product line manager at ANSYS. It appears that Santa has been having some sleigh problems. His legendary mode of transportation–used to distribute toys and gifts globally–had broken down during delivery.
Designing a better sleigh
Fortunately he had to look no further than employees at ANSYS who decided to put their simulation and 3D modeling software to work to build Santa a better sleigh.
Santa had two key requests:
* The sleigh needs to be more deer-energy efficient
* The sleigh needs to protect Santa from harsh environments
Eggenspieler recruited three of his colleagues–Brian Bueno, Simon Pereira and Robin Steed–to assist with the redesign. Their first task was to study the current design. “One thing that was obviously clear to us was that Santa did not have any protection from the wind,” says Eggenspieler, “but using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation results also showed that the sleigh drag was very high.”
After studying Santa’s existing sleigh design, the team set up the task of designing a new one. Brian Bueno took the lead using ANSYS SpaceClaim software to design the new sleigh. Then Eggenspieler conducted the CFD simulation, and Robin Steed used his visualization skills to prepare the post-processed results, which were very promising.
Apparently Santa was thrilled with the result, especially when he was told that if he gets delayed, he can safely switch the sleigh to supersonic speed. The team even added a stealth mode so Santa could be incognito, if necessary.
The sleigh was built, and tests showed that CFD simulation predicted the sleigh performance pretty well. As of today, the sleigh successfully passed (hyper secret) FAA certification and Rudolph was just certified on this new equipment. You can read the blog post, Santa Puts ANSYS to the Test for New Sleigh Design here.
Happy Holidays everyone!