Femap Tips and Tricks

Insider Information on the Use of Femap from the Experts

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1. Memory Management

How do you overcome performance problems that can arise through memory shortage, particularly when you are building large models?

2. Results Enveloping

How can you easily envelope results from several load cases into one single output set that contains a collection of all the highest stresses?

3. Set Random Property Colors

To aid model visualization it is sometimes useful to be able to clearly distinguish the various properties of the model. How can you assign individual colors for each property randomly in Femap?

4. Model Box

The Femap Model Bounding Box is a hexahedral cuboid constructed from planes that bound the model in the x, y, and z axes. The longest diagonal of the model bounding box is used to determine certain default values in Femap.

5. Extend Merge Mesh

Sometimes you might be faced with a situation where your model contains surfaces that don’t quite meet or match up, so how do you go about generating a contiguous mesh quickly?

6. Non-Manifold Add

What do you do when you encounter a situation in your model when the geometry appears to connect and meet up, but is actually discontinuous?

7. Element Visual Inspection

When Femap finishes meshing a model a brief report of the mesh quality is written to the Messages pane. However, often it’s desirable to visually inspect the worst elements of the mesh, and review their shape, and location in the model, an action which is not necessarily that easy to do with a solid model.

8. Graphical Output

In Femap you can generate a picture of the graphics screen at a resolution that is higher than the actual screen resolution, which means that you can create images with a greatly improved picture quality.

9. Clipping Plane

The model clipping plane is an invaluable visualization tool that allows you to slice through the FEA or geometry model and view the interior with part of the model removed.

10. Equation Based Loading

See how you can define equation based loads in Femap and apply a hydrostatic loading to a water tank.

11. Element Selection by Face

Femap includes many capabilities that can aid element selection, and in this example we’ll see how to create a group by selecting a number of elements that have adjacent faces.

12. Reference Groups

One method of organizing and arranging groups to help display the desired entities in a model is the Reference Groups capability. Using Reference Groups you can manipulate existing groups and essentially define groups of groups.

13. Layout and View

Once you have the Femap user interface set the way you like it, with the desired arrangement of windows, panes and view attributes, you can save both the layout and the view so that you can easily reset them should the need arise.

14. Extrude Element Edge

In Femap it’s possible to extrude element edges to create new shell elements. This is useful when there is no geometry or other edge surfaces available. Let’s see how you can do this.

15. Assign Shortcut Key to Custom Program

In Femap it’s possible to assign a shortcut key to a particular command and assign a shortcut key to a custom program, allowing the key to potentially perform repeated sequences of commands.

16. Create Elements between Coincident Nodes

The task of creating elements such as springs or gaps between coincident node points can present some challenges. For example, how do you pick the coincident node points individually?

17. Temperature Loading Import from Excel

Sometimes element or nodal temperature distributions that are created by thermal solvers are only available in the form of a spreadsheet. We would like to take these values and turn them into a load case for subsequent analysis.

18. Geometry and Mesh Associativity

With Femap you can import CAD and FEA models from a wide variety of sources. Corresponding CAD and FEA models can be imported into Femap, from just about any source, and associativity between them restored.

19. Coincident Node Move Only

Sometimes you may need to set up a model to have a set of coincident nodes which can be connected together using spring or gap elements. To help prepare such a model, Femap includes a method of moving nodes to be coincident within a tolerance.

20. Entity ID Contouring for Model Checking

Femap has a lot of visualization tools that can be used to verify the model. For example it’s possible to assign colors to entity IDs allowing a quick visual check of the numbering scheme of the model.

21. Solid Mesh Internal Beams

When setting up a model, like reinforced concrete where steel rebar in encased in solid concrete, you have to take care to ensure that the mesh is contiguous and that the 1-D elements connect with the 3-D elements correctly.

22. Model Info Tree Shortcuts

Long lists of entities like Materials or Properties are easier to navigate using the Model Info entity scrolling capability.

23. Reverse Entity Visibility

In Femap you can reverse the displayed and hidden entities in a single mouse click, and then switch them back again.

24. Toggle Entity Visibility using the Select Toolbar

For large models with tens, hundreds or even thousands of solids, materials and or properties, the selection of a subset of those entities for display is made easy using the Select toolbar.