CAE Takes a Front Seat

As one of the leaders in highperformance office furniture, Herman Miller set its sights in 2000 on the longneglected and potentially lucrative mid-priced segment of the market, representing half of all office chairs sold worldwide. The goal was to develop the MirraTM chair as an entirely new reference point for mid-priced office seating offering ergonomic comfort for a wide range of body types and postures and easy adjustability for fit and feel. The cost also needed to be kept as low as possible through reduced part counts and effective use of structural materials, developed completely under Design for the Environment (DFE) protocols.

Given these many complex and potentially conflicting requirements, developing the chair through cycles of trial-and-error physical testing was considered impractical because the approach is expensive, timeconsuming, and limits the number of design alternatives to be evaluated. Engineers needed a way to the design early in the development by investigating a wide range of possibilities at that stage. These challenges were met through the use of virtual prototyping.

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