Creating a FE model That Works With Your Solver

Meshing Control

Figure 1

Figure 2

Figure 3

In this example of a rectangular plate with a hole, you can see that the overall mesh density of the FE model has to be quite fine to reach a reasonably accurate result. The problem is that a file with that level of detail can become too large.

Femap allows you to control the mesh size and refine the model in areas where you need more accuracy. This provides minimized model sizes without compromising accuracy.

Interactive Meshing

Creating mesh using a linear workflow can be a headache. If it at any point you have to make edits to the geometry or change the meshing parameters, you have to restart the process.

The interactive workflow in Femap allows you to make edits to the geometry or meshing parameters, and the mesh automatically updates.

A typical, linear mesh creation workflow:
linear mesh creation workflow
Femap’s Interactive Workflow:
Femap interactive mesh creation workflow

Utilizing the Meshing Toolbox:

The Meshing Toolbox brings most of the geometry cleanup and meshing functionality in Femap to one powerful pane. Within the toolbox you will find:

  • Feature suppression and removal tools to get rid of overly small modeling details.
  • Geometry editing tools that combine surfaces and curves to simplify the geometry in preparation for meshing.
  • Mesh modification tools to refine the mesh as required.
  • A locator to assist in finding problematic geometry.
  • Mesh quality visualization controls that can plot mesh quality criteria as you interactively make changes to the mesh.

Learn more about the Meshing Toolbox and the individual tools:

Meshing Toolbox in Femap

Interactive Meshing Demonstration

This demonstration will cover:

– Mesh size adjustments prior to meshing
– Meshing of the model and a review of mesh quality
– Further mesh improvements using Femap’s Meshing Toolbox

Accurately Represent Loads and Boundary Conditions

Creating an accurate representation of loading and constraint definitions is a prominent challenge in finite element modeling.

Data Surface Editor

The Femap Data Surface Editor sets up and edits complex spatial load definitions.

A typical use of Data Surfaces is to take the pressure results from a flow analysis in a pipe system and apply them as input loading on a structural model of the pipes to determine the structural response due to the fluid flowing in the pipes.

Data Surface Demonstration

Want to learn more about data surfaces? View the recording of our webinar: Spreading Loads in Femap Using Data Surfaces

View the Webinar

Assemblies and Contact

With the import of an assembly model, Femap offers the ability to automatically determine contact between the assembly components, and beyond that, to easily define the nature of contact – whether it be linear or nonlinear, with or without friction, or glued.

Besides contact and gluing, Femap offers other methods of connecting components of an assembly together including weld, spot weld and fastener elements, and bolted connections which can be pre-loaded.


Edge Glue Contact Demonstration

Nonlinear Constraints

More advanced analysis types demand more complex boundary condition definitions.

For example with nonlinear analysis it’s possible to define nonlinear constraints. Similarly with a dynamic response analysis it’s possible to define constraints that are frequency dependent.

Nonlinear Constraints Demonstration

Working with Your Solver

Femap can access all major commercial solvers for analysis and results review allowing you to remain in one FE modeling environment.

In addition to the high level of functionality offered in the base module, the Femap product line also offers a great deal of scalability allowing advanced users to access powerful analysis capabilities. The analysis extensions are modular, so you only need to expand as and when you require them – additional modules include:

  • Dynamics: one of the main strengths of the Nastran solver
  • Design Optimization: that allows sizing optimization of property values to typically minimize the weight of a structure
  • Advanced nonlinear: that handles large deformations with highly nonlinear materials in implicit and explicit formulations
  • Rotor dynamics: for the analysis of rotating machinery
  • Additional advanced Nastran options including superelements, aeroelasticity, and DMAP for Nastran customization

Demonstration: Femap Analysis Manager

The Femap Analysis Manager defines and sets up the analysis, requests data recovery, sets the parameters for the solver, reviews and edits inputs, and submits the analysis.

Associated Webinar:
Creating a FE Model that is Actually Useful

In the second part of this series, we look at the difficulties that can occur when going from a geometry model to an analysis model.

This webinar will cover:

– Limited FE mesh creation and control
– Limited boundary condition support
– Insufficient solver integration and support

View the Webinar