LaunchPoint Propels Simulation Capabilities to the Next Level with Startup Programs

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About LaunchPoint EPS

LaunchPoint™ is an aerospace propulsion company that designs and manufactures highly specific power electric machine and controller solutions. With a business centered on the future of electric aviation, the company focuses on three key markets:

  • Hybrid drones with generators
  • Power generators and electric actuators to build “more electric” aircraft for the private aerospace sector and Department of Defense
  • Working on motors and controllers for companies like Joby and Whisk that are inventing the future of consumer travel with UAM (Urban Air Mobility)
Industry: Aerospace
Location: Goleta, California

The Challenge

LaunchPoint is moving beyond just designing the future of transportation. The company is navigating the difficult transition of maturing from a research and development group to be a real manufacturing company, with operations, manufacturing, shipping and receiving, and more. They need to be efficient in design and simulation if they are going to succeed in the rest of the business.

Through experience, the LaunchPoint founders learned that progressing within their pioneering marketplace means designs must mature beyond the proof-of-concept to become a reality – and quickly. With projects like these requiring custom-fit designs, rather than off-the-shelf components, engineering and design takes a lot of time and deep attention to detail.

LaunchPoint needs to create, alter, and validate designs quickly. The company is innovating cutting-edge electric propulsion prototypes that will be in aircraft production in the coming years. The team is working to overcome challenges like bringing along a large, multi-kilowatt generator into a flying vehicle without adding too much weight. By employing a “Prius-like” design which allows energy conversation and generation between generator and motor, they are pushing the bounds of electric flight. Their designs can be the difference between a 20-minute flight or exceeding a four-hour flight.

The Solution

As a past user, Michael Ricci, CTO at LaunchPoint, knew that Ansys technology would be advanced enough to model their projects and take their simulation capabilities to the next level.

It’s no secret that startup money is tight and cashflow is key. When Michael reached out to KETIV, he was told about startup programs that LaunchPoint qualified for, which allows them to get more Ansys simulation functionality and licensing than they could otherwise afford.

LaunchPoint quickly deployed the Ansys Electromagnetics & Structural and Fluids Start-Up Bundles supported with a full week of best practices mentoring from KETIV. The software and training made a difference in their designs right from the very start.

The power of Ansys Simulation allows the team to validate concepts like never before. It helps them to play with environmental variables and physics to drive an iterative process that allows the team to test their designs to perfection.

“The startup package has just been great in terms of the additional seats, and it allows us to be more flexible with how we work to deal with the crazy demands of a startup.”

Business Outcomes

The inclusion of simulation software dramatically reduces LaunchPoint’s risk. The team appreciates the physics-based approach that puts math and equations first in the design. They benefit from going back and forth between analytical models, abstracted equations, and simulation tools to inform each other. They are uncovering design flaws early, that otherwise may not have been found, or only found with expensive and time-consuming physical testing.

LaunchPoint benefited greatly from KETIV introducing them to Ansys Start-Up Packages, which allows them to save money and reinvest in additional software. As a result, they are able to add Ansys Icepak, which allows them to perform deeper electronics cooling analysis in order to take their customers’ projects to the next level. The cost savings goes into additional seat licenses, avoiding bottlenecks in their workflows and allowing their team to maximize their time and efforts across applications.

“It’s been a great relationship and we plan on continuing to grow… we’re hoping to move in the next year… to a new facility that will make room for bigger, better manufacturing.”

Plans for the Future

The LaunchPoint team is planning to upgrade to a larger facility and expand manufacturing capabilities to support new prototypes, tools, and more. As they develop their next-level designs, they are seeking DoD (Department of Defense) certifications leveraging Ansys, which will allow their team to expand their footprint in the government space.

LaunchPoint continues to lean on KETIV for expert guidance, getting help building models, and project-level advice and is now planning for further growth of their business leveraging Ansys simulation software and KETIV as a foundation. Anytime Mike or the LaunchPoint team has a question, KETIV is there to answer and provide them with the right resources and to support their efforts.

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