Design methods

The efficient development and design of a complex technical product or system strongly influences a company’s ability to compete and innovate. To meet steadily-rising requirements for technical products, an increasing number of today’s structures need to be designed with a multi-material approach, taking lightweight principles into account. Particularly in the field of lightweight engineering, it makes sense to use Nature as a source of inspiration (bionics). Extremely resilient lightweight structures can often be found in Nature which can be used as a basis for designs. Due to the broad spectrum of possible materials, material combinations and solution approaches available, a methodical approach from the idea through to the finished product is absolutely essential.

In order to develop a broader range of solutions efficiently, the Department of Lightweight Construction Technologies at Fraunhofer IPA consistently applies a needs-based approach in the various phases of development and design. We also implement simulative aids during the design process. These enable us to further optimize and evaluate partial and complete solutions iteratively within a short space of time.

To ensure that your products are designed methodically, we provide our customers with support at a very early stage in the development process. We implement a systematic approach to select suitable materials and lightweight structures from the concept right through to the finished product. Depending on the product concerned as well as on requirements and objectives, aspects such as manufacturing and joining processes, ergonomics and recycling are taken into account during the development phases (Design for X). This enables us to find the best possible lightweight solution to suit your needs.