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Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.

Unlocking the Future of Additive Manufacturing: An In-Depth Conversation with Chris Robinson of Ansys

September 26th, 2023 by Sanjay Gangal

As technological innovation continues to redefine industries, additive manufacturing stands out as a transformative force, particularly in product development and manufacturing. Recognizing the crucial role that simulation software plays in mitigating design challenges and expediting development cycles, we reached out to Chris Robinson, Senior Product Manager at Ansys. Robinson provides an insider’s view into how Ansys is revolutionizing engineering simulation in the additive manufacturing landscape, its diverse toolset for tackling complex manufacturing issues, and what the future holds for this burgeoning sector.

Ansys is not just another tech company; it’s a pioneer in engineering simulation. With a global footprint, the company offers an extensive suite of simulation software that enables businesses to design and test their products digitally. “Think about things like mobile devices to cars to airplanes, and frankly, everything in between,” Robinson elaborated. This approach not only minimizes costs but also significantly reduces the time needed for physical prototyping, a benefit Robinson has personally experienced in his career.

Ansys’ commitment to additive manufacturing is evident in its exhaustive range of solutions designed to meet diverse industry needs. These include discovery tools for rapid design iterations, structural analysis capabilities, and even Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) solutions. “Our customers will utilize our simulation software to design their products in a digital domain on the computer,” Robinson explained.

But Ansys goes beyond general-purpose tools. Recognizing the unique challenges posed by additive manufacturing processes, such as metal laser powder bed fusion, the company has developed specialized software solutions. These tools help engineers navigate the myriad problems that arise due to the heating and cooling cycles involved in additive manufacturing, including deformation, cracking, and heat management.

There’s a burgeoning interest in the role of simulation in additive manufacturing, and for good reasons. Robinson believes that the growing enthusiasm stems from the ability of simulation tools to surmount the obstacles that traditionally plagued new additive manufacturing processes. “Simulation now is providing an opportunity to be able to bypass a lot of those barriers or overcome them,” he commented.

When it comes to differentiating factors, Robinson points to Ansys’ singular focus on simulation as its unique strength. This specialization allows the company to delve deep into specific areas of additive manufacturing, offering high-fidelity analyses that are unparalleled in the industry. “You can combine those, you can merge them together and do just about anything you want with simulation because that is our sole focus,” he proudly stated.

Robinson’s outlook on the future of the additive manufacturing market is overwhelmingly positive. Drawing on his nearly two-decade-long experience in the field, he is optimistic about the sector’s growth prospects over the next 5-10 years. Notably, Robinson emphasized the significant advancements that have occurred in simulation tools for additive manufacturing, particularly over the past five years, as a harbinger of even greater innovations to come.

Moving beyond his professional persona, Robinson is an individual of diverse interests. An outdoor enthusiast residing in Utah, he relishes the opportunity to explore nature, often accompanied by his family. A former rugby player, Robinson also enjoys the adrenaline rush of high-octane physical activities. And for the animal lovers out there—Robinson is a dog person, sharing his home with a young Great Dane that promises to be a gentle giant.

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