SimScale’s goal is to democratize the computer-aided engineering (CAE) world. Access to our cloud-based platform is free with our community plan, anytime, anywhere in the world. Don’t believe us? A cohort of TAFE students working on their Diploma of Engineering in regional Australia recently had their first introduction to CAE software with SimScale, working through a range of simulations as part of their studies.
TAFE is the vocational middle-level training college system in Australia’s nationalized and uniform education system. It has a vital role to play in preparing the next generation of Australians for life in the workforce or for further studies. For the team at Federation University TAFE, the educational goals of the experience were primarily to learn about the fundamentals of cloud-based CAE technology: pre-processing, simulation and post-processing. The challenge, however, was to put CAE tools to use within a national education system that has no idea what it is.
How Did They Do This with SimScale?
The first step was to integrate SimScale into the general curriculum for computer technology. Since the primary focus of this unit is Microsoft Word and Excel, to meet obligations the students learned how to populate a spreadsheet with results from a SimScale simulation and construct a report in Word. The students were able to run through our SimScale tutorials and used ParaView to visualize the results.
Going further into the realm of computer-aided engineering, as part of the unit “Participate in environmentally sustainable work practices”, the students were taken through a simulation of the air in a domestic space on a cold morning with a wood heater running. The aim of this simulation was to visualize the movement of the air due to convection.
Using a simple CAD model of a house interior, the students then ran through one of the hundreds of public projects available on SimScale. By stepping through a previous project and going through the settings one by one, the students maximized their learning and were able to reproduce similar results on their own. The simulation was successfully run, producing a visualization of air flow results with particles and tracers, along with a color map indicating temperatures.
What Are the Next Steps?
With the educational goals of the program met, students gained a much greater appreciation and understanding not only of computer-aided engineering in general, but also the benefits of cloud-based simulation.
As the students and faculty become more familiar with SimScale and ParaView, the next step is to integrate a greater variety of simulation subjects in FEA and CFD suitable for the beginner level. A further aim is to implement the simulation of real-world residential models and more specific scenarios that may build an understanding of how design changes can influence the thermal performance of buildings.
Arnold Rowntree, a lecturer involved in the program had this to say:
“I am persuaded that people need to understand simulation at an early stage, it’s a bit hard to throw them in the deep end quite late in a degree program and expect them to do world-class post-graduate research the very next year. Some years of development will help the skill levels in those later years and our team’s project demonstrates that the fundamentals can be learned even at Diploma level.”
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