Quantify the Quality of Products with Ansys DesignXplorer

In-depth design analysis and simulation are typically used as a means to assess the performance of a part or a system for one given set of CAD dimensions, loads and material properties.

However, simulation can also be used as a way to answer “what if” questions: What happens if my load changes by 10%? Which parameters are really influencing the behavior of my system? These types of questions can be answered by an appropriate parametric study of the model.

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Response surface plot showing variations of the performance of a product versus design parameters

A parametric analysis can be either deterministic or probabilistic. In the former case, all parameters are supposed to vary continuously within a given range (defining the design space) and the expected result is the continuous response of the various performances. The deterministic analysis is a first step to take to understand the product and find a feasible design within the design space. Once a feasible design has been found, the next question is: how robust is it?

The probabilistic parametric analysis will help answer that question. Loads, dimensions and material properties are not deterministic parameters; a dimension has a certain tolerance and material properties depend on the manufacturing process. How does the scattering of these parameters influence the performance of the product? How much is the product likely to fail?


Design Exploration for All Physics

Ansys offers an unparalleled breadth of solutions across a broad range of disciplines that can accurately address the fluid, structural, electromagnetic and thermal modeling of any product. Through the combined use of Ansys DesignXplorer and the comprehensive multiphysics solutions from Ansys, parametric analyses are available for virtually every simulation. Ansys DesignXplorer supports all physics available from the Ansys Workbench schematics: structural (both implicit and explicit), fluid flow and multiphysics. Combined analyses in which multiple physics are analyzed independently or in a coupled manner are also supported.

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Project schematics for a parametric analysis and parameter definitions


Design of Experiments and Response Surfaces

Achieving a good design point often means making trade-offs between various objectives, and the exploration of a given design cannot be performed exclusively by using direct optimization algorithms that lead to a single design point. It is important to gather enough information about the current design to be able to answer so-called “what-if” questions and quantify the influence of design variables on the performance of the product in an exhaustive manner. In doing so, the right decisions can be made based on accurate information, even in the event of an unexpected change in the design constraints.

Ansys DesignXplorer provides a description of the relationship between the design variables and the performance of the product by using Design of Experiments (DOE) combined with Response Surfaces. DOE and Response Surfaces provide all the information required to take advantage of Simulation Driven Product Development. When performance variations due to design variables are known, it is easy to understand and identify all changes required to meet the product requirements. Once the Response Surfaces are created, information about curves, surfaces, sensitivities and other variables can be shared in terms that are easy to understand and can be used any time in the product- development cycle without requiring additional simulations to test a new configuration.

Ansys DesignXplorer Capabilities

Available DOE schemes

  • Central Composite Design (CCD)
  • Optimal Space-Filling.
  • Custom defined (allows import of your own DOE scheme)

Fitting schemes

  • Full Second-Order Polynomial
  • Kriging (with manual or automated refinement)
  • Non-Parametric Regression
  • Neural Network.


  • Screening (shifted Hammersley)
  • Multi-Objective Genetic Algorithm (MOGA)
  • Nonlinear Programming (NLPQL).

Graphical tools

  • Sensitivity plots
  • Correlation matrices
  • Curves and surface
  • Trade-off plots
  • Parallel charts with Pareto Front display
  • Spider charts.