Advanced Tools for Electric Motors Datem
Case Study

Design for Additive: Advanced Tools for Electric Motors (DATEM)

Project challenges

Design of components and assemblies can be a time-consuming process requiring many manual operations to generate geometry.

Business challenge

  • Process Innovation


  • Aerospace

Technology or capability

  • Product Design

  • Additive Manufacturing

Exploring Advanced Design Tools

The MTC explored and developed advanced capabilities for designing an electric motor through streamlining the design processes, increasing design ideation, and better meeting design objectives.

The Challenge

Design of components and assemblies can be a time-consuming process requiring many manual operations to generate geometry. It is reliant on the designer’s skills, capabilities and experience to develop suitable solutions and therefore, usually results in a sub-optimal design.

Utilising the additional design freedom of Additive Manufacturing (AM) the team set out to explore the potential of advanced design tools to improve the design methods and performance of an electric motor.

MTC's Solution

The MTC utilised a range of different advance design tools to increase design ideation, reduce design time and better meet design objectives.

  • Biomimicry design process – a structured workflow developed at the MTC to explore a broader range of solutions through taking inspiration from nature.
  • Field driven engineering – software uses a feedback look from simulation to modify geometry.
  • Algorithmic modelling – software to generate repeatable, automated workflows for complex geometry and repetitive tasks.

The use of advanced design tools like the ones explored in this project have the potential to dramatically reduce development cost and focus engineers time on value-add activities that lead to higher performance components.
Ollie Hartfield, Technical Lead, MTC

The Outcome
  • Biomimicry design process – non-conventional designs were explored taking inspiration from seal whiskers, dolphin fins and fish scales. CFD simulations compared the designs and identified a suitable solution for the cooling channels.
  • Field Driven Engineering – biomimetic structures were manipulated using field-based simulation data to further improve performance.
  • Algorithmic modelling – 1. Automated busbar routing with significant speed benefits from automating a highly repetitive process. 2. Casing design, with a highly complex design made simple through the additional design tools and repeatability of algorithmic modelling.
Benefits to the Client
  • Utilising these tools, a broader range of ideas can be explored to provide solutions that would never have been conceived using conventional design processes. Engineer productivity increases, allowing time to be dedicated to value-add activities that lead to higher performance design that better meet design objectives.
  • Although demonstrated using an electric motor, the tools can be used across all industries.
  • Customers can work with MTC to explore industry ready tools and develop in house tools for more specific applications. 

Design methods are evolving due to the increased capabilities and accessibility of digital design tools. The digital design workflow used within this programme clearly demonstrates cost, quality and delivery benefits and enabled designs which would not be possible using traditional design methods.
Alan Bennett, Technology Manager, MTC

CAD and Field Driven Image 1
Decrease in mass of design
Decrease in motor temperature
Decrease in design time using automated bustbar routing