Structural Optimization: The composite part is automatically divided into small zones and the optimal stiffness distribution (thickness and maximum modulus direction) is obtained for the given optimization target. This allows understanding of the mechanical behavior of the part, and indicate the minimum achievable weight for the chosen material.
Shaping Analysis: A clustering algorithm is used to group neighboring zones by similarities. Process simulation is done to build the flat sheet corresponding to the formed part. A process-oriented analysis allows for finding the right zone division for a tailored preform. With a new structural optimization, the weight performance achievable for the chosen division can be checked.
Lay-up Identification: Using a user library of available composite plies (UD or fabrics of variable angle and thickness), the lay-up that fit at best the optimum found at the structural optimization step is to identify for each zone of the tailored preform.
Design to Cost Analysis: The lay-up of each zone are combined to build the ply-book of the part while minimizing material scrap and facilitating the process. Performance/Cost ratio may be compared for the various combination. The completed finite element model of the part is exported if design calculation outside of Altair OptiStruct software is needed.