Product design and development commonly involves the iterative creation, testing and subsequent modification of a physical prototype. Since the production of the physical prototype can be costly and the testing, modification and re-testing of it extremely time consuming, through generating a numerical simulation of the product, virtual prototyping can significantly reduce the time and cost of creating the physical prototype. Through simulating the prototype is it then easier to make modifications and asses what the results of the modifications are.
Xi use finite element analysis to develop virtual prototype models of all scales of products, from handheld consumer products to critical equipment on aircraft carriers. The physical phenomena that Xi model include structural dynamics, multibody dynamics, acoustics, electrostatics, electromagnetism, fluid flow and heat transfer; and all their complex coupled interactions. Xi typically produce models that are fully parameterised, with these parameters including the geometric dimensions, material properties, starting conditions, loads, component-component interactions and their time dependence. From experience, Xi believe the prototype process works best when virtual and physical prototyping complement each other where a physical prototype can be created and tested with the results then used to validate the virtual prototype. Once the virtual prototype is validated it can be modified with confidence, rapidly leading to the optimal design of the product.