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4 AutoForm–OneStep

AutoForm–OneStep has been developed to recognize forming prob-

lems quickly and effectively at a very early stage of product devel-
opment and to modify the part geometry accordingly. The flexible
input in AutoForm–OneStep permits the creation of a binder sur-
face including the punch opening line. Thus AutoForm–OneStep is
suited for a simple feasibility analysis and additionally for a quick
verification of a tool design and the comparison of different tool
concepts. The simulation of completely designed tools can be made
in extremely short calculation times. The seamless integration of
AutoForm–OneStep with the AutoForm–Optimizer helps you find-
ing optimized geometry and process parameters.

The inverse formulation of AutoForm–OneStep allows for the sim-

ple and precise determination of the blank outline and thus the min-
imal material requirements. This opens new perspectives for
quotations/estimations as well as for tool design considering the
optimized blank and thus the minimal material consumption.

The integration with all other AutoForm products makes many

additional functions available such as AutoForm–DieDesigner or
AutoForm–Optimizer for the optimization of the part geometry,
binder surfaces, addenda or process parameters.

AutoForm–OneStep supports five different calculation types, which

require different forming knowledge of the user and are used for
different tasks:

Part only (1-step) The calculation is exclusively based on the part geometry; starting
from the part geometry the flat blank is calculated (inverse calcula-
tion method). The specification of the part boundary line allows for
the simple modification of the part boundary.

This simplest calculation type requires the least forming knowledge

of the user and is especially suited for forming analyses during part
design as well as for the estimation of the forming complexity of the
part and for the determination of the minimal material consump-
tion for quotation and estimation purposes. As the impact of the
addendum is only considered by restraining forces on the part

boundary, the accuracy of a Part only calculation is coarse, espe-
cially along the part boundary.

This calculation type does not directly determine the flat blank but Part only (2-step)
the curved blank, which in the real forming process conforms to the
shape of the sheet after binder closure. The binder surface has to be
defined. A two step process is simulated:

• Friction free binder closure involving no restraining force

• Deep drawing involving friction and restraining forces

The remarks of the preceding paragraph obtain – indeed this cal-

culation type provides more realistic results for parts with
extremely curved binder surfaces. Since there is no real addendum
involved in the calculation, it is important to have an especially
realistic binder as used in the real tool. Yet it is sufficient if the sur-
face tolerably conforms to the part contour to improve the quality of
the calculated results.

For this reason, this method is useful for the part designer who does
not necessarily have a deep understanding of the forming process.

Based on the defined binder surface and punch opening line, Auto- Part+Binder (2-
Form–OneStep automatically generates a simple addendum, run- step)
ning out of the part boundary tangentially and running into the
binder surface on the punch opening line tangentially. The calcula-
tion is based on the part and the addendum using the two step
method. If a realistic binder surface is available, this calculation
type improves the quality of the results considerably compared to
the Part only calculation, because a rough geometric addendum is
taken into account – the simulated process is thus closer to the real
forming process.

This calculation type is especially well–suited for rapid verification

and comparison of different tool concepts. Since the binder essen-
tially influences the addendum and hence the results, the user
should possess the essential forming knowledge about the genera-
tion of binder surfaces.

The calculation is based on the completely defined tool. The punch Full tool (1-step)
opening line and the flange boundary line at the end of the forming
process have to be defined. These two lines determine the flange
surface, on which binder pressure is applied to control material
flow. The Full tool calculation type gives the most precise results of
all OneStep calculation types.


This approach is well–suited for the verification of tool concepts,

developed e.g. in AutoForm–DieDesigner. As the blank outline
after forming (OS boundary) has to be defined due to the inverse
calculation method, precise minimal pre–cut parts can be deter-
mined, which can then be used as initial blank for an incremental
simulation. The 1-step option of the Full tool calculation is suited
for tool with plane binder surfaces.

Full tool (2-step) As for a Part only (2-step) calculation the binder surface is deter-
mined at first – binder closure is accomplished without friction and
retraining forces.

This calculation type is used for tools with a curved binder.

As for Full tool simulations the restraining forces in the binder sur-
faces are of essential importance for the results, the 2-step option
should be preferred – otherwise the simulation assumes that the
restraining forces in the binder surface already apply for binder clo-
sure. That does not correspond to the real forming process and may
lead to a significant overestimation of strains. Besides the remarks
on the Full tool (1-step) calculation type obtain.

The necessary geometric input data for the five simulation type are
summarized in the following table:

Part only Part only Part + Full tool Full tool

(1 - step) (2 - step) (2 - step) (1 - step) (2 - step)

Part/Tool part part part die die

Binder surface no yes yes no yes
OS boundary pb line pb line f line f line f line
OS punch no no yes yes yes


pb line = part boundary line

f line = flange line

AutoForm offers a geometry module named AutoForm–PartDe-
signer for the advanced use of AutoForm–OneStep in feasibility
analyses during part design. It makes possible the optimization of
forming parameters in the most important geometric modifications
of the part in AutoForm:

• Automatic generation of variable fillets on the product

• Rapid determination of the best fillet radius for forming
• Determination of the die tip (drawing direction)
• Automatic geometry creation to fill designed holes
• Boundary fill by filling concave inlets: The accuracy and
usability of the Part only results increase significantly in
the outer boundary area of the part.
• Modification of geometry regions by cutting and con-
trolled filling
• Overcrowning of entire part regions
• Automatic and interactive development of binder surfaces:
The accuracy of the simulation increases significantly for
the Part only (2-step) calculation type.
• Fully parametrized treatment of input data to facilitate the
optimization with AutoForm–Optimizer
• AutoForm–OneStep provides five different simulation

For certain functions described in this workshop the AutoForm–

PartDesigner must be available. The respective functions are

One of the most important features of AutoForm–OneStep Version.

3.1 is the greatly improved user–friendliness and the ease with
which the simulations are set up, run and evaluated. The Onestep
wizard has been developed for the Part only simulation. This wiz-
ard makes it possible to run feasibility studies quickly and reliably
considering different process parameters in a single simulation


Contents of the Workshop „AutoForm–OneStep“

Lesson 1 Part only Simulation with OneStep Wizard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

• Importing CAD data

• Determining the drawing direction
• Defining holding conditions
• Evaluating the OneStep simulation

Lesson 2 Part only (2-step) Simulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

• Variable Restraining Option

• Preparing the geometry
• Part boundary
• Binder surfaces

Lesson 3 Part + Binder (2-step) Simulation

Simulation.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

• Filling holes
• Boundary fill
• Automatic binder generation (Auto Binder)

Lesson 4 Full tool (1-step) Simulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

• Full tool
• Tailored blank
• Linear weld line
• Material mark
• Material lines

Lesson 5 Full tool (2-step) Simulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68

• Drawbead
• Symmetry
• Optimizing the blank
• Importing and exporting lines

Lesson 6 Optimization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78

• Numerical optimization
• Parameter study
• Optimization of the force factor
• Optimization of the force factor of a drawbead
• Evaluating the optimization

Lesson 1: Part only Simulation with OneStep Wizard

4. 1 Lesson 1: Part only Simulation with OneStep Wizard

This lesson presents a simple example for AutoForm–OneStep. Using AutoForm–

OneStep is it possible to run a feasibility analysis for the part geometry in a fast and
straightforward manner.

Fig. 1.1

Geometry for the OneStep simulation

Setting up the Simulation File

At the start of the OneStep simulation, you have to define the simu-
lation file (*.sim). This simulation file contains all the information
about the calculation (geometric input, process parameters, numeri-
cal values ...) and finally the results of the computation. Set up the
simulation file using the following command:

File > New onestep ...

The window OneStep wizard (for a OneStep–Part only simulation)

opens (Fig. 1.2):

6 Lesson 1: Part only Simulation with OneStep Wizard

Fig. 1.2

OneStep wizard

Importing the Part Geometry

The geometry import is carried out using the module afmesh, the
integrated IGES–/VDAFS interface, which automatically meshes the
part geometry. The part geometry needs to be available as surface
model containing the inner or outer side of the part geometry. The
following formats are supported for import: af, afb (binary Auto-
form–Format), Nastran, Dyna and Stl.

For this lesson a VDAFS file is available. Import this file:

OneStep wizard Import ... > VDAFS > OK > Files: os_lesson_01.vda > OK >
afmesh_3.1 > OK

Fig. 1.3

Import geometry

Lesson 1: Part only Simulation with OneStep Wizard

Fig. 1.4


Options for meshing the CAD data

• Error tolerance: Allowable chordal error tolerance for the Parameters

meshing. Value is taken from New file dialog (Default: 0.1)
(Fig 1.1), but it can be changed. For especially small radii
(equal or lesser than 2 mm) 0.05 should be used as error
• Max side length: Maximum element side length. Default
setting: 50.

• Treat only: Only specified faces will be meshed. Possible Faces

entries are e.g. 1, 2, 6-8.
• Exclude: The specified faces are not taken into account for
meshing. Possible entries are e.g. 1, 2, 7-9.

• Treat only (for IGES import only): Only specified layers Layers
will be meshed.
• Exclude (for IGES import only): The specified layers are
not taken into account for meshing.

The meshed part geometry is immediately displayed in the main


8 Lesson 1: Part only Simulation with OneStep Wizard

Fig. 1.5

OneStep wizard

Enter a project identifier into the field Title of the OneStep wizard.
This identifier will be always be indicated in the bottom of the user

Note A title is automatically suggested including the current file
name, the user name and the date of creation.

OneStep wizard Title: lesson_01

The following three areas of the OneStep wizard have to be speci-

fied to prepare the simulation:

• Geometry
• Blank
• Process

Lesson 1: Part only Simulation with OneStep Wizard

First, the part geometry has to be rotated such that the drawing
direction corresponds to the z–axis and no backdrafts occur in the
part. Use the buttons in the field Tip.

Checking for Undercuts

Click the Backdrafts button in field Display.

Geometry > Display > Backdrafts

Faces containing undercuts will be displayed red in the main dis-

play (Fig. 1.6)

The meaning of the colors:

• Safe (green): Backdraft angle greater than 3 degrees

• Marginal (yellow): Backdraft angle between 0 and 3
• Severe (red): Areas containing undercuts smaller than 0

The part contains undercuts, thus it has to be tipped into drawing

direction. To determine a proper drawing direction we recommend
using the automatic function Min backdraft:

Geometry > Tip > Min backdraft

This function calculates a drawing direction with minimum under-


Fig. 1.6

Backdrafts Representation of areas containing undercuts

10 Lesson 1: Part only Simulation with OneStep Wizard

The part contains no undercuts in the calculated drawing direction

(Fig. 1.7). In case the tipping direction calculated with the automatic
functions do not result in an acceptable drawing direction, use the
manual functions (Tip: x-axis/y-axis) to modify the drawing direc-

Fig. 1.7

Undercut free part geometry

Having tipped the part geometry, you can now apply filleting in the
areas containing sharp edges globally and fill the part boundary.

Adjust the representation in the main display as follows:

Geometry > Display > Faces

Global Filleting of all sharp edges in the part geometry

Use the following command to fillet sharp edges:

Geometry > Fillet > Radius: 3

Filling the Part boundary

Generate the boundary fill now. Fill areas are created automatically
along the part boundary. The outer boundary fill line is determined
by a roll cylinder moving around the part boundary and its roll

Geometry > Boundary fill > Roll radius: 100.00

Lesson 1: Part only Simulation with OneStep Wizard

To start the global filleting and the creation of the boundary fill and
the generation of the resulting part boundary, click


The resulting geometry containing the generated part boundary is

shown in Fig. 1.8. The part boundary has changed during the cre-
ation of the boundary fill (see also Fig. 1.9 and Fig. 1.10).

Fig. 1.8

The resulting geometry and the part boundary

Fig. 1.9

Detail Part boundary – before boundary fill

12 Lesson 1: Part only Simulation with OneStep Wizard

Fig. 1.10

Detail Part boundary – after boundary fill

The geometry has been completely prepared for the simulation.

Define the sheet thickness and select a material:

Defining Material Properties

Blank > Thickness: 1

Blank > Material > Import ... > Select material > zste180bhZ_1.mat
> OK

Define the restraining forces on the part boundary in the area Pro-
cess. Different holding conditions can be used. The holding condi-
tion Free corresponds to ideal deep drawing, e.g. for tools without a
binder. In contrast the holding condition Locked corresponds to
stretch forming, e.g. for tools with extremely high binder pressure.
Restraining forces, corresponding to a usual tool in which material
draw–in occurs, can be defined by means of weak, medium, strong
and User defined.

The current simulation will be calculated using standard settings

(Free, Medium and Locked).

The complete input for the simulation is shown in Fig. 1.11.

Lesson 1: Part only Simulation with OneStep Wizard

Fig. 1.11

OneStep wizard:
wizard Prepared OneStep–Part
Part only simulation

Store the prepared simulation and start the simulation:

File > Save as ... > os_lesson_01.sim > OK

Start ... > Program: afos_3.1 > Start

Note The OneStep wizard contains a number of selected functions
for the definition of the simulation. Use the Advanced ... button to
access additional functions in AutoForm–OneStep. These addi-
tional functions will be described in the following lessons.

14 Lesson 1: Part only Simulation with OneStep Wizard

Evaluating Simulation Results

The following section describes the most important result variables
of a OneStep simulation. Having completed the calculation of the
simulation, re–open the SIM file using the command:

User interface File > Reopen

The main display shows the calculated part geometry. In the lower
part of the user interface, three buttons are available: free, medium
and locked. Click one of the buttons to load the results for the
respective holding condition from the SIM file. Compare the results.

Fig. 1.12

The user interface after loading the calculated simulation

The result variable Formability gives you a general survey of the
feasibility of the part. Areas undergoing different stresses are col-
ored differently on the part:

• Cracks (red): Areas of cracks. These areas are above the

FLC of the specified material.
• Excess. Thinning (orange): In these areas, thinning is
greater than the acceptable value (default value for steel is

Lesson 1: Part only Simulation with OneStep Wizard

• Risk of cracks (yellow): These areas may crack or split. By

default, this area is in between the FLC and 20% below the
• Safe (green): All areas that have no formability problems.
• Insuff. Stretching (gray): Areas that have not enough
strain (default 2%)
• Wrinkling tendency (blue): Areas where wrinkles might
appear. In these areas, the material has compressive
stresses but no compressive strains
• Wrinkles (purple): Areas where wrinkles can be expected,
depending on geometry curvature, thickness and tool con-
tact. Material in these areas has compressive strains which
means the material becomes thicker during the forming

Select the result variable Formability. Compare the results for the
different restraining forces. The results for the holding condition

• free is shown in Fig. 1.13,

• medium is shown in Fig. 1.14 and
• locked is shown in Fig. 1.15.

Fig. 1.13

Formability with holding condition free

16 Lesson 1: Part only Simulation with OneStep Wizard

Fig. 1.14

Formability with holding condition medium

Fig. 1.15

Formability with holding condition locked

Lesson 1: Part only Simulation with OneStep Wizard

You can see from the figure that the part is insufficiently stretched,
using the holding conditions free and medium. There are several
areas containing wrinkles (purple), wrinkling tendencies (blue) and
insufficient stretching (gray). Using the holding condition locked,
the part is sufficiently stretched. A small area of insufficient stretch-
ing (gray) can be seen on the left end (Fig. 1.15).

Switch to the result variable Thinning (second row of icon panel in
main display, middle button). A scale is displayed in the lower part
of the main display with a range of 30% thinning to 3% thickening
(depending on the specified color settings) (Fig. 1.16).

Fig. 1.16

Thinning (in percentage) with the holding condition locked

The exact thinning value (in percentage) is displayed, when you

click with the right mouse button on the geometry. Hit the Esc key
to clear these labels from the display. To find the maximum thin-
ning and the maximum thickening of the part use the following

Results > Show max User interface

Results > Show min

18 Lesson 1: Part only Simulation with OneStep Wizard

Close AutoForm–User Interface

The user interface can be closed with following option:

File > Quit or hotkey Ctrl – Q.

The area Geometry (OneStep wizard)

Use the functions of this area to check if the meshed part geometry
is suitable for the simulation (undercuts and sharp edges) and to
prepare the geometry for the simulation. The following functions
are available:

• Symmetry: Define the symmetry plane for symmetrical

parts. This definition is possible for the values X = 0, Y = 0
or no symmetry.
• Tip: Determines the drawing direction of the part.
• Min backdraft: Calculates a drawing direction with mini-
mum undercuts.
• Screen axes: Uses the normal of the display as drawing
• Reset: Uses the original axis of CAD data (z–axis) as draw-
ing direction.
• X- and Y-axis: Allows for the manual rotation by a defined
angle about the x– or y–axis.
• Del picked: Removes selected faces from the meshed
• Del backdraft: Removes faces containing undercuts from
the geometry.
• Undel picked: Deleted faces are restored.
• Undel all: All deleted faces are restored.
• Display: Switch for the representation
• Faces: Each face is represented by another color.
• Objects: The geometry is represented by a single color.
• Backdraft: The geometry is automatically checked for faces
containing undercuts. The faces are colored green for safe
areas, yellow for areas with marginal undercuts and red
for areas containing severe undercuts.
• Deleted: Deleted faces are displayed again.
• Part boundary: The part boundary needed for the simula-
tion is generated.
• Error tolerance: Acceptable chordal error for the part
boundary. The value can be changed. For especially small
radii (equal or lesser than 2 mm) 0.05 should be used as
error tolerance.

Lesson 1: Part only Simulation with OneStep Wizard

• Fillet: The geometry is checked for sharp edges. The sharp

edges are filleted by the defined radius automatically
• Boundary fill: Holes are filled and the boundary fill is cre-
ated (Roll radius:).
• Apply: Use the Apply button to execute all functions

The area Blank

• Thickness: Sheet thickness
• Material: Material
• Import ...: Import a material from the material database
• View ...: Shows the current material properties
• Input ...: Defining material properties

The area Process

Use the functions of this area to define the restraining forces (Hold-
ing conditions). The following holding conditions are available:

• Free: No restraining forces (ideal deep drawing)

• Weak (0.15): Weak restraining forces
• Medium (0.35): Medium restraining forces
• Strong (0.9): Strong restraining forces
• Locked: Locked (stretch forming)

Besides the above conditions, it is also possible to enter freely

defined values (User def.). Decide which of the holding conditions
will be used for the simulation. Click All to use all holding condi-
tions, click None to use no holding condition. The simulation is cal-
culated separately for each of the defined holding conditions. By
default the three holding conditions (Free, Medium and Locked)
are set. In version 3.1, all OneStep results are stored in a single SIM
file thus eliminating the need for manual iterations with different
conditions being stored in separate files.

20 Lesson 2: Part only (2-step) Simulation

4. 2 Lesson 2: Part only (2-step) Simulation

The functions introduced in this lesson make possible the more precise definition of
restraining forces in AutoForm–OneStep. Besides the Part only (2-step) simulation calcu-
lates the developed blank more precisely. This simulation type requires the definition of
a binder surface in addition to the inputs required for a Part only (1-step) simulation.
This simulation proceeds in two steps:

• Simulation, in reverse, of the drawing process from binder-

wrap to the final product geometry. The reverse process
takes into account friction as well as the restraints applied
to the OS boundary, and establishes the outline of the
developed blank mapped on to the geometry of the curved
binder surface.
• Simulation, in reverse, of the binderwrap process. During
this process, no restraints are applied on the sheet, and the
developed blank outline is unfolded from the curved
binder surface on to the flat surface.

The above 2–step approach is more representative, particularly in

the case of curved and deep–drawn parts, of the actual stamping
process. Therefore, results of 2–step simulations are more accurate
for these parts, and are closer to those of an incremental process

Fig. 2.1

Cross member geometry including the binder surface

Setting up a new Onestep Simulation

User interface File > New onestep … to open the OneStep wizard.

Importing and Editing the CAD geometry

Use the following commands to import the CAD data:

OneStep wizard Import ... > VDAFS > OK > os_lesson_02.vda > OK > Program:
afmesh_3.1 > OK

Lesson 2: Part only (2-step) Simulation

The crossmember geometry is displayed in the main display, and

the OneStep wizard is filled with a few default values.

Editing Parts Faces

There is an upstanding flange around one of the holes of this part. If
this flange were to remain on the part geometry during simulation,
a prediction of cracks would result at the flange. However, since
these flanges would be formed in a secondary operation, they may
be ignored in the OneStep simulation without any errors, and may
therefore be eliminated as follows: Hold the Shift key down and
use the right mouse button to pick the flange faces. Click the Del
picked button to remove the faces from the geometry. The remain-
ing faces form the part, i.e. it is only these faces that are taken into
account during subsequent simulation.

Fig. 2.2

Selected flange faces for deletion

Del picked deletes selected faces.

22 Lesson 2: Part only (2-step) Simulation

Fig. 2.3

Representation of deleted faces

The deleted faces are represented as a mesh. Select the faces and
subsequently use the buttons Undel picked or Undel all to add the
faces back to the part again.

Establishing the Drawing Direction

In preparation for a simulation, the imported product geometry
needs to be rotated so that the drawing direction for the product is
parallel to the z–axis: There should be no backdraft faces on the
geometry relative to the z–direction. There are several manual or
automatic options that you may apply to establish the required die
tip. The ideal die tip may be established in the present case using
the Min Backdraft option:

Display: Backdrafts shows backdrafts on the geometry.

Tip: Min backdraft re–orients the product geometry such that the
product faces, on average, have the largest possible inclination to
the z–direction.

Lesson 2: Part only (2-step) Simulation

Fig. 2.4

Re–oriented geometry with representation of backdrafts

Generating the Part Boundary

(Outer boundary of the product geometry)

After editing the product geometry, the boundary of the current

geometry may be generated automatically by clicking the Apply

Display: Objects shows the geometry in colored and shaded mode.

Apply in the field Geometry generates the part boundary.

24 Lesson 2: Part only (2-step) Simulation

Fig. 2.5

Geometry with part boundary

Defining the Material Properties

The default material selection is FeP04; an alternate material file
may be selected from the extensive material library using the
Import ... button.

Blank: Import ... to open the dialog Select material.

Use the buttons View or Preview to display the properties of the

selected material: Hardening curve, forming limit curve and r–val-
Fig. 2.6

Select material / Preview

Lesson 2: Part only (2-step) Simulation

Files: zste220P_1.mat > OK

The Advanced Mode

All necessary information has been entered into the OneStep wiz-
ard. The settings in the area Process are left unchanged.

Fig. 2.7

OneStep wizard containing all information

Additional information is entered in the Advanced mode. Click

Advanced ... OneStep wizard

The dialog AutoForm - Question pops up:

Fig. 2.8

AutoForm - Question

Finish closes OneStep wizard and opens AFOS input generator.

26 Lesson 2: Part only (2-step) Simulation

Fig. 2.9

AFOS Input generator

The full function range of the AFOS input generator will be

described in one of the following lessons. For this example only the
pages Geometry and Process are used. For the following steps, we
require a license for AutoForm–PartDesigner.

Lesson 2: Part only (2-step) Simulation

Preparing a Binder Surface

Open the Geometry generator.

Model > Geometry generator ... User interface

Generate a binder on the Binder page. Binder

Fig. 2.10

Geometry generator: Binder page

Auto > Apply (Leave the default settings unchanged) Binder

28 Lesson 2: Part only (2-step) Simulation

A log window pops up containing information on the progress of

the binder surface calculation.

Fig. 2.11

Log window

The product geometry and a curved binder are shown in the main

Fig. 2.12

Product geometry with binder

Selecting the Geometry Type

Select the geometry type Part only (2-step) on the Geometry page
of the Input generator.

Part only (2-step)


Lesson 2: Part only (2-step) Simulation

Fig. 2.13

Geometry Type Part only (2-step)

In addition to the product geometry there is a binder surface now.

The OS boundary has been copied depending on the part boundary.

Variable Restraining Options

In a lot of cases, a constant magnitude of restraining force applied to
the OS boundary in a Part only simulation does not lead to optimal
predictions of product quality. For example, localized areas may be
insufficiently stretched, or may have very large strains close to or
exceeding the forming limit (leading to a prediction of cracks). In
such cases, it would be useful to vary the holding conditions
around the OS boundary to achieve optimal stretch conditions over
the entire product geometry without causing splits, cracks or exces-
sive thinning.

Medium > Restraining options > Variable Process

Enter the restr into the field Name:

30 Lesson 2: Part only (2-step) Simulation

Holding condition > Name: restr

Fig. 2.14

Restraining options Variable

Before selecting nodes along the part boundary using the function
Input points ..., we recommend to adjust the view from z–direction.

User interface View > From +Z (yx) and

View > Fit to window

This can also be done using the keyboard by pressing Ctrl – Z for
the view orientation followed by Ctrl – W to fit to window.

Input generator restr > Input points …

The dialog for the definition of nodes opens:

Lesson 2: Part only (2-step) Simulation

Fig. 2.15 a

Definition of restraining forces

Add/edit point

Fig. 2.15 b

Definition of the force factor

In the main display many nodes are shown along the part bound-
ary. Select any of these nodes using the right mouse button and
define a specific restraining force factor value at each of the selected

OK to finish the definition of nodes.

The actual restraining force variation over a segment is interpolated

linearly between values set at the nodes bounding this segment.

32 Lesson 2: Part only (2-step) Simulation

The figure below shows a total of 15 restraining point defined over

the OS boundary of the cross member geometry.

Fig. 2.16

15 nodes with different force–factors

Fig. 2.17

Variable restraining forces

Evaluation of the results

User interface File > Save as > os_lesson_03.sim to save the input data.

Job > Start simulation ... > Start to start the calculation.

File > Reopen reads the results.

To review the results for the variable restraining forces, click the
button restr at the bottom of the AutoForm–User Interface.


Lesson 2: Part only (2-step) Simulation

Click the button for the result variable Formability:

Fig. 2.18

Formability with variable restraining forces

Besides the representation of the part with the result variable and
the developed blank the representation of the binderwrap is avail-
able now.

Use the three buttons on the lower left side of the AutoForm–User
Interface to select the desired representation.

34 Lesson 2: Part only (2-step) Simulation

shows the binder-wrap.

Fig. 2.19


Lesson 2: Part only (2-step) Simulation

shows the developed blank.

Fig. 2.20

Developed blank

36 Lesson 3: Part + Binder (2-step) Simulation

4. 3 Lesson 3: Part + Binder (2-step) Simulation

This simulation type is useful in the initial phase of methods and process planning when
only the part geometry is available. By enabling quick and interactive generation of
binder surfaces based on product geometry, and by allowing the binder surface to be
used in the simulation, it becomes possible to assess the influence of these tool sur-
faces on feasibility, and possibly to optimize these and associated process parameters
in conjunction with product geometry in early stages itself.

Fig. 3.1

Part geometry

The procedure in creating and defining inputs and in running simu-

lations of this type is as follows:

User interface File > New > File name: lesson_os3

Units: mm and N
Geometric error tolerance: 0.1 > OK

Geometry gen- File > Import > VDAFS > OK > File: lesson_os3.vda > OK

Prepare Symmetry / double… > x-z-plane y: 0 > OK > Apply

Lesson 3: Part + Binder (2-step) Simulation

Fig. 3.2

Sharp Edges
Go to the Fillet page to determine the sharp edges of the geometry.

Check radius: 2.00 > Check > OK Fillet

The areas on the part containing sharp edges are displayed.

Fig. 3.3

Areas containing sharp edges

Areas in the part containing sharp edges are displayed. It is neces-

sary to fillet all sharp edged areas in the part. There are two ways to
fillet sharp edges: Globally with a global fillet radius or locally with

38 Lesson 3: Part + Binder (2-step) Simulation

a constant or variable radius or radius transition. We will describe

all these variants.

Global Filleting
Global fillet radius: 3.00 > Apply

All areas containing sharp edges will be filleted using a radius of 3


Local Filleting by a Constant Radius (requires AutoForm–PartDe-

signer license)
In order to generate variable radii at individual edges, the edges
need to be identified and the radii need to be specified. Click the
Add line ... button at the bottom of the Fillet page to identify sharp

Add line ... opens the window containing the message: Mark
radius control edge. Finish with double click.

Selecting an edge also involves identifying the length along the

edge that will be filleted. Edges have to selected one after the other,
each time clicking the Add line ... button to start a new selection.

Fig. 3.4

Local filleting

Lesson 3: Part + Binder (2-step) Simulation

Click once with the right mouse button to select the starting point at
an edge of interest, let go the mouse button and move your mouse
cursor along the curved outline of the edge. This progressively
highlights (in yellow) the length of the edge. Double click the right
mouse button to end the edge selection.

Note If the run of the curve representing the edge is ambiguous
(long, extremely curved edge or branchings along the curve), set
intermediate points to define the run of the curve precisely. Click
the right mouse button repeatedly along the curve representing
the edge.

Add line ... Fillet

Mark the entire curve, as shown in Fig. 3.4.

line1: > Constant > Constant fillet radius: 5.00 > Apply

Local Filleting by a Variable Radius (requires AutoForm–PartDe-

signer license)
To generate variable fillets, the edges to be filleted need to be
selected as described above. Subsequently, „radius control“ points
are selected on each of these edges, and radius values are specified
at each of these points.

Add line ... > line2: > Variable > Selecting 4 radius control points > Fillet

40 Lesson 3: Part + Binder (2-step) Simulation

Fig. 3.5

Locally filleted edges

Fillet Assign a radius to each of the control points.

Finally click the button


Lesson 3: Part + Binder (2-step) Simulation

The Fillet page is as shown in Fig. 3.6:

Fig. 3.6

Fillet page

Definition of Drawing Direction

It is necessary to rotate the imported geometry from vehicle to draw Tip
position in order to eliminate backdraft conditions.

42 Lesson 3: Part + Binder (2-step) Simulation

Fig. 3.7

Backdraft faces on the part geometry

Incremental tipping > Y-axis > by degrees: 45 > rotate: -

The part is now free of undercuts.

Modify P page (requires AutoForm–PartDesigner license)

Use the functions of the Modify P page to fill holes contained
within the part geometry.

Modify P All holes > Define holes > Min size: 1.50 > Max size: 300.00 >

Use the functions of the Bndry page to fill of areas on the part

Bndry Add Bndr fill ... > Curve 1 > OK > Fill parameters: Bndry fill roll
radius: 300 > Apply

Note Smoothening the part boundary increases the accuracy of
the simulation results on the part boundary, especially for concave

Lesson 3: Part + Binder (2-step) Simulation

Fig. 3.8

Filling holes and boundary fill

Generate the binder surface on the Binder page using the Auto-
Binder function (requires AutoForm–PartDesigner).

Auto Binder

For the binder a minimum drawing depth is required.

Drawing depth: Minimum

The main curvature direction of the binder is defined in y–direction,

i.e. by an angle of 90°.

Profile orientation > Angle: 90 deg

44 Lesson 3: Part + Binder (2-step) Simulation

Fig. 3.9

Auto Binder page

Binder Apply

A curved binder surface has been generated. Analyze the distance

between the binder and the part in the AutoForm–User Interface.

Adjust the value range of the result scale for the current example:

Geometry generator > Display > Ranges > Min/Max Simulation

Lesson 3: Part + Binder (2-step) Simulation

Fig. 3.10

Plot of the drawing depth distribution on the part geometry

Fig. 3.11

Adjusting display range

Click any area of the part with the right mouse button to display the
actual drawing depth value. Change the distance between binder
and part using the function Binder position Shift.

The preparation of the part geometry has been finished for the sim-
ulation. Define the process parameters in the Input generator:

Model > Input generator > Simulation type: OneStep > OK User interface

AFOS input generator

Enter the title of the simulation. Enter further information on the Title
current simulation into the field Comment.

46 Lesson 3: Part + Binder (2-step) Simulation

Geometry Type: Part+binder (2-step) > Delete the current OS boundary line?
> Delete

Fig. 3.12

Geometry type: Part + Binder (2-step)

The definitions of part and binder geometries have been automati-

cally accomplished by transferring data of the imported part geom-
etry and generated binder surface from the Geometry generator.
The sheet thickness for the part is 1.2 mm. By specifying an offset of
0.6 mm (Upwards), the simulation may be carried out on the mid-
surface of the product geometry – an Upwards offset is used since
the imported surface represents the lower surface of the product.

Geometry Part > Offset: 0.6

Definition of the Punch Opening Line

The punch opening line is used to define areas in which the gener-
ated mesh for the addendum has a tangential transition to the

Lesson 3: Part + Binder (2-step) Simulation

OS punch opening line

Dependent ... > Bndry (Bndry) > OK

The Bndry (Bndry) line defines the part boundary including the
outer boundary fill areas. It has to be adapted using the functions
Expand and Smooth of the Curve editor. The adapted line will be
used as punch opening line.

Fig. 3.13

Select Curve dialog

OS punch opening > Edit ... > Expand: 15 > Smooth: 0.05 > OK

Fig. 3.14

Curve editor:
editor OS–PO line

The same approach – using the geometry of the Bndry (Bndry) line
as the starting point for defining another line may be employed to
accomplish the definition of the OS boundary line. This line repre-
sents the outer edge of the formed sheet at the end of the forming/
drawing process. Starting from the geometry of the Bndry (Bndry)
line, Expand and Smooth options may be used to define the OS

48 Lesson 3: Part + Binder (2-step) Simulation

boundary line, making sure to differentiate it from the previously

defined OS punch opening line.

OS boundary > Dependent ... > Bndry (Bndry) > OK

Edit ... > Expand: 90 > OK > Smooth: 0.1 > OK

Fig. 3.15

OS PO–line and OS boundary

Blank Thickness: 1.2 > Material: zste340_3

Fig. 3.16

Blank page

Definition of Friction
Lube Lubrication > Constant > Standard 0.15

Lesson 3: Part + Binder (2-step) Simulation

Fig. 3.17

Process page

Definition of the Process Parameters

Holding Conditions > Type: Binder pressure Process

Pressure options > Pressure: 6 (default)

Note The binder pressure is defined relative to the final flange
area. Thus a higher pressure has to be defined than for an incre-
mental simulation, for which the pressure is defined with respect to
the initial flange area.

Accuracy > Mesh: Standard Control

Starting the Simulation

Job > Start simulation ... > Save > Start AFOS input gen-
Evaluating the simulation
File > Reopen User interface

As a result of the simulation you can evaluate three different


Developed blank
The outline of the developed blank is computed during the simula-
tion. The edge of this blank may be exported in af, IGES or VDAFS
format, and may be used to define the blank in an AutoForm–Incre-
mental simulation. Blank outline may be exported as follows:

File > Export boundaries > ... User interface

50 Lesson 3: Part + Binder (2-step) Simulation

Fig. 3.18

Developed blank

The result of the OneStep calculation is iterated in the binder sur-
face considering friction. Particular high strains are thus avoided for
highly curved binders.

Lesson 3: Part + Binder (2-step) Simulation

Fig. 3.19

Binder wrap

Formed sheet
AutoForm–OneStep offers among others the following results:

• Distribution of strain and all dependent variables such as

sheet thickness, failure, wrinkling, hardening, forming
limit analysis and stress
• Binder pressure distribution in the flange area
• Distribution of sheet reaction stress
• Friction shear stress
• Formability etc.

52 Lesson 3: Part + Binder (2-step) Simulation

Fig. 3.20

Formed sheet: Formability

In the example a review of the so–called Formability map of the

simulation geometry reveals a large region to be insufficiently

Do as follows to improve the predictions of uniform stretching:

Modify the binder pressure value to 10 N/mm², a value suitable for
the higher thickness (1.2 mm) and higher strength sheet material.
After modifying the simulation input data, save these to a new sim-
ulation file, run the simulation and review the results.

Lesson 4: Full tool (1-Step) Simulation

4. 4 Lesson 4: Full tool (1-Step) Simulation

This lesson describes a OneStep simulation based on a tool geometry with a tailored
blank. In addition, that the weld line position is optimized in such a way that the original
blank contains a linear weld line – thus reducing costs for the blank.

Fig. 4.1

Tool geometry

Setting up a new Simulation

File > New … > File name: os_lesson_4 > Length: mm > Force: N > User interface
Geometric error tolerance: 0.1

File > Import... > VDAFS > OK > Files: os_lesson_4.vda > OK Geometry gen-

Error tolerance: 0.1 > Max side length: 50 > OK AF–Mesh window

54 Lesson 4: Full tool (1-Step) Simulation

Definition of the Binder

The meshed tool geometry is shown in the main display. Use the
right mouse button to click on the binder surface of the tool geome-
try. The selected surface is highlighted in yellow. Click on the
Binder button on the Prepare page of the Geometry generator to
save these faces in the Binder register.

Fig. 4.2

Selecting the binder surface

Lesson 4: Full tool (1-Step) Simulation

Calculation of the Part boundary

Part boundary generation > Error tolerance: 0.1 > Concatenation Prepare
distance: 30.00

To confirm the above selection, click on the button


Fig. 4.3

Geometry generator: Prepare page

56 Lesson 4: Full tool (1-Step) Simulation

The part boundary of the remaining tool geometry (without binder)

is shown as a blue line in the main display.

Fig. 4.4

Representation of the part boundary

User interface Model > Input generator ... > Simulation type: OneStep > OK

AFOS Input generator

Geometry > Type > Full tool (1-Step)

The pre–defined OS boundary has to be deleted.

Delete > Autoform - Question: Delete the current OS boundary

line? > Delete

The surfaces saved in the Part and the Binder registers are used to
automatically define the tool geometry.

Definition of the OS boundary

This line represents the outer edge of the stamped part. Again, this
may be defined as dependent upon the punch opening line.

Dependent ... > Bndry (Pre) 1 > OK > Edit … > Curve editor > Glo-
bal mod > Expand: 40 > OK

Lesson 4: Full tool (1-Step) Simulation

Definition of the OS punch opening

The punch opening line may be defined as dependent upon as part

Dependent ... > Bndry (Pre) 1 > OK

Fig. 4.5

AFOS Input generator: Geometry page

58 Lesson 4: Full tool (1-Step) Simulation

Fig. 4.6

OS boundary and OS punch opening

Blank Define the sheet thickness:

Thickness: 1.0

Select the following material:

Material: Import... > Steel_General+Europe: if18_1.mat > OK

Define the weld line now:

Add weld... > Weld line > Input ...

Lesson 4: Full tool (1-Step) Simulation

Fig. 4.7

Weld dialog

The Curve editor is opened. Define the weld line by entering two
points (x = 0/0, y = 200/-200). The start and end point of the weld line
are positioned on the OS boundary.

Note To create a vertical line, press the Shift key when setting the
end point of the weld line.

Fig. 4.8

Definition of the weld line position

Following the definition of the weld line, specify a new sheet thick-
ness value, and then select the side of the defined weld line where
the new thickness value applies (Weld dialog):

Thickness: 1.5

Properties apply at > Click

60 Lesson 4: Full tool (1-Step) Simulation

Fig. 4.9

Definition of area in the sheet with changed material properties

Using the right mouse button, click at the right side of the weld line
to which the new thickness will apply.

Finalize the weld line definition in the Weld dialog by clicking on


Lube Lubrication > Constant > Constant > Standard: 0.15

Process As you are preparing a Full tool OneStep simulation, it makes sense
to define a binder pressure or binder force.

Holding condition > Type: > Binder pressure > Pressure: 6 >
Binder stiffness: 50

Lesson 4: Full tool (1-Step) Simulation

Fig. 4.10

Process page

Leave the default settings on the Control page unchanged and start
the simulation in the AFOS input generator.

Job > Start simulation ... > Save > Start job: Start

After simulation is completed, the results may be viewed and eval-

uated in the AutoForm–User Interface by reopening the simulation

File > Reopen User interface

62 Lesson 4: Full tool (1-Step) Simulation

Select the result variable Thickness.

Fig. 4.11

Distribution of thickness

Lesson 4: Full tool (1-Step) Simulation

Click on the button for the developed blank :

Fig. 4.12

Developed blank

You realize that the original linear weld line has moved during the
forming process. It is the objective now to keep the weld line posi-
tion as it is and to optimize the weld line position in such a way that
the original blank can be formed with a linear weld line.

To achieve the objective, define material marks at both ends of the

weld line on the developed blank.

Results > Material marks ... > Set marks User interface

64 Lesson 4: Full tool (1-Step) Simulation

Fig. 4.13

Coordinates of the material marks

Define the two material marks as material line. Internally additional

material marks are added along the material line.

AutoForm - Material marks > Define > Material line

Click on the button Formed Sheet in the lower left area of the Auto-
Form–User Interface and display the originally defined weld line.

Display > Lines ... > Weld 1 > Dismiss

You can judge from the material lines if the warped position within
the part is still acceptable and if the weld line is still in the correct

Lesson 4: Full tool (1-Step) Simulation

Fig. 4.14

Different weld line positions

Use the material line on the formed part as weld line for another
simulation. For this purpose export the material line:

Results > Material lines ... > Material line 1 > File > Write selected User interface
to file … > AF Poly3D > CLOSED polylines: No > >
OK > Material lines > File > Dismiss

Save the simulation under another name:

File > Save as > os_lesson_4b.sim > OK User interface

Open the AFOS Input generator again.

Model > Input generator ...

Edit the weld line position on the Blank page by importing the
stored material line as new weld line.

Symmetry-planes/welds/holes > Edit ... > Import ... > Delete > For-
mat: af > OK > > OK > curve 1 > OK > OK

66 Lesson 4: Full tool (1-Step) Simulation

Start the simulation and check whether a linear weld line is avail-
able in the developed blank.

Fig. 4.15

Optimized weld line on the developed blank

Lesson 5: Full tool (2-step) Simulation

4. 5 Lesson 5: Full tool (2-step) Simulation

This lesson is based on a prepared simulation file. The tool contained in this file has
been generated with AutoForm–DieDesigner. Objective of this lesson is the definition of
symmetry conditions and drawbeads. In addition, we will also show how to optimize
the initial blank.

Fig. 5.1

Tool geometry

Opening the prepared Simulation File

Open the prepared simulation file in the AutoForm–User Interface:

File > Open ... > Select a file: os_lesson_05.sim > OK

The AFOS input generator is opened automatically. Because the

Geometry page is shown in red, you have to enter more informa-
tion on the Geometry page. The following settings have already
been defined: Full tool (2-step) simulation with tools and binder
surface. Define the OS boundary by importing an existing line in
AutoForm format (.af).

68 Lesson 5: Full tool (2-step) Simulation

Fig. 5.2

AFOS Input generator: Geometry page

Import OS boundary
Geometry OS boundary > Import ... > Format: af > Vertices: use all rotate >
OK > Select a file: > OK > Select curve: Curve 1 >

Define the OS punch opening line now. This line is defined as

dependent on the punch opening line as specified in the DieDe-
signer tool geometry.

OS punch opening
Geometry OS punch opening > Dependent ... > Select curve: Punch opening
1 > OK

Define the symmetry–plane on the Blank page. The sheet thickness
and the material properties have already been specified.

Lesson 5: Full tool (2-step) Simulation

Symmetry-planes/welds/holes: Add symmetry ... > Symmetry- Blank

plane: Click segment > User interface: Click the OS boundary at
the symmetry-plane > Symmetry-plane: OK

Fig. 5.3

Symmetry plane

Defining Drawbeads
Drawbeads may be modeled in AutoForm using a force factor to
control metal flow, without having to build the detailed drawbead
geometry into the CAD model of the tool. This gives the user flexi-
bility in using AutoForm as a tryout tool – using it to quickly com-
pare the performance of different drawbeads vis–a–vis feasibility
requirements, and to identify the best bead configuration, based on
comparisons, without having to modify tool geometry to accom-
plish the same.

AFOS input generator

Add > Drawbead > Add drawbead: Use default settings > Add

A Drawbead (Drwbds) page is added to the AFOS input generator.

Define the position of the drawbead:

70 Lesson 5: Full tool (2-step) Simulation

Fig. 5.4

AFOS Input generator: Drawbead page

Drwbds Drawbead line > Input ... > Curve editor

Move the mouse cursor into the main display. Using the right
mouse button, click three points on the geometry to create the
drawbead (see Fig. 5.5). End input of the drawbead by double click
and finally close the Curve editor by clicking

Curve editor > OK

Lesson 5: Full tool (2-step) Simulation

Fig. 5.5

Position of the drawbead

Functions for generating a drawbead:

• Name: Name of a drawbead can be specified.

• Input ...: Position of drawbead line can be specified (Curve
• Import ...: Drawbead line is imported from CAD.
• Copy from ...: Drawbead line is copied from an existing
line. Base line and drawbead line are treated as different
• Dependent ...: Drawbead line is created from an existing
line. Drawbead line is a reference to the base line. This
means only the base line can be changed and the depen-
dent drawbead line will also change correspondingly.
• Position: Displacement of drawbead line in x–y plane
• Width: Width of a drawbead
• Forcefactor: Force factor of a drawbead

Usage tip – Curve editor

A curve – closed or open – may be created using the Curve editor by
adding control points (or nodes). Each new control point creates a
new curve segment running from the last point to the new one.
Curve segments may be linear or curved. It is possible to toggle
between two types of segments using the Ctrl key. Holding the Ctrl
key down while creating a point with the right mouse button cre-
ates a linear segment.

72 Lesson 5: Full tool (2-step) Simulation

Using just the right mouse button would create a curved segment. It
is possible to switch the mode of an existing segment between
curved and linear modes by holding the Ctrl key down while click-
ing (anywhere) on the segment with the right mouse button.

Starting the Simulation

Job > Start simulation ... > Start job: Start

After simulation is completed, the results may be viewed and eval-

uated in the AutoForm–User Interface by re–opening the simulation

User interface File > Reopen

The simulation results are shown by the result variable Formability

in Fig. 5.6.

Fig. 5.6

Simulation results

Lesson 5: Full tool (2-step) Simulation

The initial blank will be optimized now, i.e. as a result a rectangular

or trapezoidal blank will be determined. Click the button Devel-
oped blank.

Process > Process stage: Developed blank User interface

The initial blank as calculated on the basis of the OS boundary is

shown. Generate a trapezoidal blank on the initial blank using
material marks. These material marks are completely connected to
the blank and will be defined as a material line.

Results > Material marks ... > AutoForm - Material marks: Set

Fig. 5.7

Position of the material marks

Having defined four points on the blank, define these points as

material line.

74 Lesson 5: Full tool (2-step) Simulation

Fig. 5.8

Coordinates of the material marks

AutoForm - Material marks > Define > Material line

Activate the process stage containing the actual results of the

OneStep simulation.

Process > Process stage: Formed sheet

Lesson 5: Full tool (2-step) Simulation

Fig. 5.9

Material line at process stage Formed sheet

The material line defined above is now shown on the decklid geom-
etry. Use this line as OS boundary for another Full tool (2-step) sim-
ulation. For this export the material line in the process stage Formed

Results > Material lines ... > AutoForm - Material lines: Material
line 1 > File > Write selected to file ... > AF Poly3D > Should the
data written as CLOSED polylines: Yes > Select a file: Selection: > OK

Save the simulation under another name. A new simulation file is

set up, containing the input data of the existing simulation file.

File > Save as ... > Save as: Selection: os_lesson_05b.sim > OK User interface

Open the Input generator and go to the Geometry page:

Model > Input generator ... > Geometry

76 Lesson 5: Full tool (2-step) Simulation

Import the new OS boundary now:

OS boundary: Import ... > AutoForm - Question: Delete the cur-

rent os boundary? Delete > AutoForm - Question: Delete currently
defined symmetry plane(s)? Delete > Import line(s): Format: af >

Select a file: > OK > Select curve: Pick or select

from list: Curve 1 > OK

Attention The existing symmetry–plane has been deleted by the
import of the new OS boundary. Go to the Blank page of the Input
generator and redefine the symmetry–plane.

Start the new simulation and check both the forming results and the
shape of the initial blank.

Fig. 5.10

Optimized trapezoid blank

Lesson 6: Optimization

4. 6 Lesson 6: Optimization

This lesson describes in a simple example how process parameters can be automati-
cally optimized using the optimization algorithm of AutoForm. Process parameters in
OneStep can be the restraining forces at the part boundary.

Fig. 6.1

Geometry of optimization example

AutoForm offers an optimization algorithm that is fully integrated

into the user interface. It allows the user to optimize various input
parameters, so that a robust and high–quality part can be produced
consistently. Optimization criteria can be defined by the user by
using the different FLD zones. In most cases, the criteria will be
used to produce a part without any cracks/splits and wrinkles, and
having a uniform thickness strain (e.g. 2%) in all areas. Input
parameters, which are available for an optimization can be binder
forces, drawbead force factors, blank size or tool geometry (using
AutoForm–DieDesigner). For all these optimization parameters, the
user defines (a) the parameters and (b) the allowable minimum and
maximum values of these parameters. Selected optimization param-
eters are marked in the Input and Geometry generator in yellow

Parameter studies are also possible with AutoForm–Optimizer.

Input parameters can be automatically varied and the result varia-
tions can be analyzed to determine the process sensitivity and
dependence on the parameters. The goal is to find the dependency
of the results of the drawing process on the parameters and to
determine a process window.

In the following example an optimization of restraining forces at the

part boundary is defined which is based on a completed OneStep

78 Lesson 6: Optimization

Open the simulation file os_lesson_06_basis.sim:

File > Open > os_lesson_06_basis.sim > OK

Create an optimization:

Model > Input generator … > Create > Optimization

First the design variables have to be defined, which will automati-
cally be varied by the optimization algorithm, to achieve better part
quality. The restraining forces on the part boundary (Restraining
Constant) will be optimized. Proceed as follows:

Process Restraining > Constant

Click with the right mouse button the yellow framed input field of
the restraining force. A menu titled Add/edit design variable will
open (Fig. 6.2).

Fig. 6.2

Menu to define design variable

• Name: Name of the design variable

• Dependent: Name of a previously defined design variable:
This defines a dependent design variable, which means the
value of this parameter depends on the previous one.
• Independent: Definition of a fully independent design
• Start: Starting value of design variable to use
• Min: Minimum allowable value of design variable
• Max: Maximum allowable value of design variable

The optimization range of restraining force is between a free part

boundary (Forcefactor = 0.0) and a fixed or fully locked part bound-

Lesson 6: Optimization

ary (Forcefactor = 2.0). The start value for the restraining force is a
free part boundary (Forcefactor = 0.0).

Complete the input for force factor of the first restraining force
(design variable) by using the sub–menu titled Design variable
definition of the menu Add/edit design variable as follows:

Name: rest > Dependent: Independent > Start: 0 > Min: 0 > Max: 2
(Fig. 6.2) > OK

Now the background color of input field has changed to yellow.

This means the parameter is to be used as a design variable. The
name of this variable is displayed in the input field (Fig. 6.3).

Fig. 6.3

Menu to define restraining forces

Restraining > Constant > The design variable rest (force factor) is Process

All design variables have been defined now. Complete the input on
Optimize page of Input generator. Switch to this page (Fig. 6.4).

80 Lesson 6: Optimization

Fig. 6.4

Optimize – Design v. page of Input generator

Design variables • Optimization/Parameter study: Definition of optimization

or parameter study
• Optimization: Optimization will be performed.
• Normal random: Parameter study; variables will have a
Gaussian distribution around a defined center in parame-
ter range.
• Uniform random: Parameter study; variables will have an
arbitrary distribution in parameter range.
• Regular grid: Parameter study; variables will have a regu-
lar distribution in parameter range with a specified num-
ber of calculations.
• Name: Name of design variable
• Current: Current value of design variable for the opened
simulation file
• Start: Start value of design variable
• Min: Minimum value of design variable
• Max: Maximum value of design variable

Switch to subpage Optimize – Control (Fig. 6.5)

Lesson 6: Optimization

Fig. 6.5

Optimize – Control page of the Input generator

• Maximum number of simulations: Maximum number of Iteration control

simulations for an optimization or parameter study. The
study will be stopped if the maximum number of iterations
is reached
• Accuracy: If variation of target function is smaller than the
Accuracy value. Optimization/parameter study will be
stopped (convergence has been reached).

• All: All simulations are stored on disk (Warning: This Keep simulations
requires a large amount of disk space).
• Series of best: The next best simulation is always stored on
• Only best: Only the best simulation is stored on disk.
• None: No simulation is stored on disk.

User can specify a list of computers which can be used for optimiza- Hosts
tion/parameter study:

• Name: Name of computer

82 Lesson 6: Optimization

• Directory: Directory in which simulations can be stored

• #Lic: Number of AutoForm licenses on computer
• #Jobs: Number of jobs, which can run in parallel
• Use: Use or do not use this computer for this optimization/
parameter study.
• Add host …: Specify a new computer for optimization/
parameter study.
• Edit host …: Edit computer parameters for optimization/
parameter study.
• Save hosts: Save specified parameters of computers.

No inputs are necessary on Control page for this example. By

default, the local computer is selected and activated for usage for
optimization/parameter study. The directory in which simulations
are stored is the directory from which the AutoForm–User Interface
was launched or from which the simulation file was opened. Click
on the host name on Control page. Now open the menu named
Add/edit hosts by clicking the button Edit host ... (Fig. 6.6)

Fig. 6.6

Add/edit host menu on Control page of optimizer

Host definition • Hostname: Name of computers

• Get possible executables from host: Search for available
AutoForm solvers. Solvers are displayed in the Incremen-
tal and Onestep fields.
• Working directory: Directory in which the simulation file
is stored
• Remote shell: Type of shell

Lesson 6: Optimization

• Remote copy: Remote copy command

• Names of executables: Names of AutoForm solvers
• Incremental: AutoForm–Incremental solver
• # Incremental licenses: Number of AutoForm–Incremental
solver licenses
• Onestep: AutoForm–Onestep solver
• # Onestep licenses: Number of AutoForm–Onestep solver
• OK: OK
• Cancel: Cancel

Close this menu using Cancel. Switch to the Target page (Fig. 6.7).

The target function is defined as follows: Optimize

• For the whole part including the fill areas, the major strain
must be 20% below the Forming Limit Curve (FLC).
• Thinning is limited to 30% and thickening is limited to 2%.

All other target values Wrinkles and Desired strain should be

deactivated (Fig. 6.7).

84 Lesson 6: Optimization

Fig. 6.7

Target page of Optimizer

• Cracks – Limit % FLC: Target area – Percentage above (+)

or below (-) the FLD
• Excessive thinning – Acceptable thinning: Maximum
acceptable thinning
• Wrinkles – Acceptable thickening: Maximum acceptable
thickening for wrinkles
• Insuff. Stretching – Required thinning: Required thinning
• Desired strain – Desired major=minor strain: Desired
plastic strain

Save the optimization input in file os_lesson_06.opt using the fol-

lowing options:

File > Save as … > os_lesson_06.opt > OK

Start the optimization using:

Run > Start Optimization … > Program: afopt_3.1 > Start (Fig. 6.8)

Lesson 6: Optimization

Fig. 6.8

Optimization manager page

• Save as plain simulation …: Save as simulation without File

• Fork to new optimization ...: Save as a base simulation file
for new optimization.
• Delete simulations …: Delete the stored simulation files
• Strip optimization: Delete all simulation files except base
simulation file.

• Program: Choice of optimizer version Buttons

• Start: Start optimization
• Open sim.: Opens a stored simulation file from an optimi-
zation run.
• Base: Choice of stored simulation files from an optimiza-
tion run
• Convergence …: Display of convergence of the optimiza-
tion run.
• Delete sim …: Delete stored simulation files (user–
• Dismiss: Close the Optimization manager menu.

86 Lesson 6: Optimization

Analyze optimization results

When all simulations of the optimization run have been success-
fully completed, open the simulation file using:

File > Open optimization > os_lesson_06.opt > OK

First open the menu titled Start/manage optimization ... using:

Run > Start/manage optimization ... (Fig. 6.9)

Fig. 6.9

Optimization manager page is opened when optimization run is


Use the Convergence ... menu to get a first overview about the
number of simulations, behavior of convergence, and the best simu-
lation result. Open the Convergence ... menu using:

Run > Start/manage optimization ... > Convergence ...

The target function value is displayed over the number of simula-

tions (Fig. 6.10).

Lesson 6: Optimization

Fig. 6.10

Menu Convergence with activated option Target

Stored simulations are marked with a bullet, and the best simula-
tion (55th) with a rectangle. Switch to option All criteria (Fig. 6.11).
The target function is now divided into single criteria, displayed
over the number of simulations in the optimization run. The differ-
ent criteria of the target function are:

• Wrinkles/Insufficient stretching
• Desired strain
• Cracks/Excessive thinning

It can be seen that cracks are the reason for peaks in the target func-
tion (Fig. 6.11).

88 Lesson 6: Optimization

Fig. 6.11

Menu Convergence with activated option All criteria

Switch to the option Log(Target) (Fig. 6.12). The target function

value is now displayed in logarithmic form over the number of sim-
ulations in the optimization run. The logarithmic representation
makes sense because the representation is more concise

Fig. 6.12

Menu Convergence with activated option Log(target)

Open the first simulation of optimization using:

Run > Start/manage optimization ... > Open sim.: 1 > Yes (Fig. 6.13)

Lesson 6: Optimization

Fig. 6.13

Optimization manager page with simulation 1 open

Use Ctrl – E to go to the simulation end and switch on the Form-

ability result variable. It can be seen that insufficient stretching
occurs in large areas of the part.

Fig. 6.14

Simulation 1 of optimization run with result variable Formability

Get the current value of the restraining force (Fig. 6.15).

Model > Input generator > Optimize > Design v.

90 Lesson 6: Optimization

Fig. 6.15

Input generator – Optimize – Design v. page with current value of

design variable rest from simulation 1

Now open the best (# 55) simulation of optimization run using:

Run > Start/manage optimization ... > Open sim.: 55 > Yes (Fig.

Lesson 6: Optimization

Fig. 6.16

Optimization manager page with simulation number 55 open

Use Ctrl – E to go to simulation end and switch on result variable

Formability. It can be seen that the part is much more uniformly

Fig. 6.17

Simulation 55 of optimization run with result variable Formability

Get the current value of restraining force (Fig. 6.18).

Model > Input generator > Optimize > Design v.

92 Lesson 6: Optimization

Fig. 6.18

Input generator – Optimize – Design v. page with current value of

design variable rest of simulation 55

Quit User Interface

Quit the user interface using

File > Quit or use hotkey Ctrl – Q.

Lesson 6: Optimization