Three Tips to Decrease Solve time in Altair Inspire Cast
Altair Inspire Cast (formerly Click2Cast) software is a fast, easy, accurate and affordable casting simulation environment focused on creating high quality components with increased profitability through an intuitive user experience. The easy interface allows for both product designers as well as foundry engineers to execute and simulate casting scenarios. One of the most common questions I receive from customers, is how to reduce casting simulation solve time. In this blog, I am going to go over my top 3 tips to reduce solve times.
Tip 1: Adjust CPU Core Usage
Inspire cast simulation utilizes a mesh-based approach to solve all casting scenarios, thus additional computer core processors will ultimately reduce the solve time for a user. Inspire cast sets the default processor setting at 4 cores for analysis. However, if you have additional cores on your machine, you will manually have to change this setting to get full benefit of your additional cores, and I will lay out the steps below.
The first step is to go to the file menu in the top left-hand corner of Inspire Cast, and then click on the preferences icon in the lower right-hand box as shown below in Image 1.
Image 1: Preferences Location
After clicking on the preferences icon, it will bring up the preferences options, you will then need to click on Analysis, which falls under the Inspire Cast subheading (Image 2). Within this menu you can set the number of CPU cores Inspire Cast will utilize. By default, Inspire Cast sets this at 4 but if you click on the drop-down box you can change to whatever number of cores you wish to utilize. Once you change this setting, Inspire Cast will take full advantage of the designated cores and run the casting simulations faster. Note in Inspire Cast 2020, the max number of physical cores you can utilize is 16, so if you have more than 16 cores, it will not be able to take advantage of them.
Image 2: Number of CPU Cores Location
Tip 2: Apply Component Mesh Factor
The meshing interface in Inspire Cast is set up to be very easy for the user, but one of the most overlooked mesh features is local mesh refinement. Local mesh refinement is the process of applying a localized mesh to a certain location, without having to adjust other locations’ density. By default, when you set up a mesh, you set up an element size as shown below in the image.
Image 3: Element Size
As we can see in the Image 3, we are setting the global element size .25 inches. This means every element in the casting simulation will utilize an element size of .25 inches. If we wanted to adjust specific component mesh density, we would need to click on the Advanced tab of the Run Analysis settings.
Image 4: Component Mesh Factors
Upon clicking the advanced tab, you will see you have a variety of component mesh factors to apply to the system (Image 4). These mesh factors are multipliers to the element size, and thus we can locally refine some components to have a smaller element size than our global size, and other components which will have a larger element size. The ratio you can apply for all components except the mold is .2 to 3, where you multiply the component mesh factor by the element size to determine the component element size (i.e., Gate factor of .9 would mean that elements around the gate would be .225 inches).
The mold component mesh factor is the only mesh factor that is determined through the specified mold dimensions filled out in the mold component options (Image 5). Inspire Cast will take the specified component mold dimensions and automatically determine a component mesh factor to utilize for the system. In this case Inspire Cast determined the default mesh factor of 4.185 (this value will change depending on the specified component mold dimensions of differing casting simulations), and we can then adjust the mold component factor to make the elements for the mold finer or coarser accordingly.
Image 5: Mold Component Dimensions
Tip 3 Run Solidification
Inspire Cast gives users the ability to run a Filling analysis as well as a Solidification analysis. One of the great features of Inspire Cast, is that it gives users the ability to run a solidification analysis without having to run a filling analysis first. There is only one assumption the user should be aware of if they run a solidification analysis without running a fill analysis, and that is the starting temperature for Solidification. If a user runs a filling analysis, the starting temperature for the solidification analysis will be the temperature gradient at the end of filling analysis, whereas in a solidification-only analysis, the starting temperature will be the same throughout the entire part.
In order to run only a solidification analysis (Image 6), all the user has to do, is to go to the run options and only check solidification, and then hit run. Filling analyses are often the most computationally exhaustive simulation scenarios to run, and thus if you are ok with the assumption of the same starting temperature for solidification in the entire system, running only a solidification analysis can reduce your solve time significantly.
Image 6: Solidification Only Analysis
I hope that with these tips, you will be able to save substantial computational times in your future casting simulation scenarios! If you have any further questions about Altair Inspire Cast, please reach out to us to see how you can streamline your future casting processes.
Application Engineer, Simulation Specialist
Computer Aided Technology, Inc.