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Patran 2010

Reference Manual
Part 1: Basic Functions
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P3:V2010:Z:BASC:Z:DC-REF-PDF
Contents
Patran Reference Manual

1 Introduction to Patran
Introducing Patran 2
Engineering Modeling Functionalities 2
Direct Geometry Access 2
Analysis Modules 2
Analysis Preferences 2
Result Visualization and Reporting 2
PATRAN Command Language (PCL) 2
MSC.Mvision 2
Online Help/Documentation 2

Patran Framework 3
How Patran Imports Data 3
Managing Large Models in Patran 3
Groups 3
Viewports 4
How Patran Exports Models 4
Patran Command Language 4
User Customization 4

Using Patran for Engineering Analysis 6


Geometry 6
Finite Element Modeling 6
Functional Assignments 6
Analysis 6
Postprocessing 6

HTML Based Online Help 7


Context-Sensitive Help 7

2 Patran Workspace
Modeling Window 10
Patran Main Form 10
Graphics Viewport 11
2 Patran Reference Manual

The Menu Bar 12


Menu Bar Keywords 12
File 12
Group 12
Viewport 12
Viewing 12
Display 12
Preferences 12
Tools 13
Help 13

The Tool Bar 14


System Tool Palette 14
During a plot: 15
During meshing: 15
During geometry construction: 15
During session file playback: 15
Mouse Function Tool Palette 16
Viewing Tool Palette 17
Display Tool Palette 18
Model Orientation Tool Palette 19
Labeling and Sizing Tool Palettes 20

The Applications Bar 21


Application Buttons 21

History Window and Command Line 22


Command Line Comments 22

3 Entering and Retrieving Data


Forms, Widgets, and Buttons 24
Commonly Used Widgets 26
Apply Button 26
Auto Execute 26
Cancel Button 26
Coordinate Frame 27
Databox 27
Default Values 27
Filter 28
OK Button 28
Output ID List 28
Reset Button 29
Scroll Bar 29
CONTENTS 3

Switch Button 29
Toggle Button 29
Spreadsheets 30
Tabular Data Input Spreadsheets 30
To enter or modify data: 30
Multiple Data Input Spreadsheets 31
To create new entries: 32
To modify or delete entries: 32

Selecting Entities 33
Screen Picking 33
Picking Single Entities 33
Picking Multiple Entities 33
Rectangle Picking (default) 34
Polygon Picking 34
Cycle Picking 34
Selecting non-existent geometry 35
Right Mouse Button Select 35
Select Menu 35
Common Select Icons 36
Visible Entity Picking 36
Polygon Pick Icon 37
Picking Icons 37
“Any” Icon 38
“Go to” Icons 38
38
38
Entity Filter Icons 38
Axis and Vector Select Icons 38
Principal Axis Icons 39
Geometry Select Icons 39
Selecting Points 39
Selecting Curves 40
Selecting Solids 40
Selecting Surfaces 41
Selecting Vertices for Decomposed Surfaces 41
FEM Select Icons 41
Selecting Nodes 41
Selecting Elements 42

The List Processor 43


4 Patran Reference Manual

4 Working with Files


File Types and Formats 46
Patran Database 46
Session File 46
Journal File 46
Hardcopy File 46
Patran Neutral File 46
IGES File 46
Patran 2.5 Results Files 46
Startup Files 47
The settings.pcl file 47
Preference Environment Variables for Hardcopy 54
Other Preference Environment Variables 54
The p3prolog.pcl and p3epilog.pcl Files 54
Startup Session Files 54
Startup using system files 55
Recording session file initialization 55
Playing session file initialization 55
Startup from command line 55
The Template Database File (md_template.db) 56

The File Menu 57


Menu Conventions 57

File Commands 66
Look In 66
File Name 66
Naming Conventions 66
Files of Type 66
Changing a Template 68
Modifying Preferences 69
Common Items in Import Dialog Boxes 77
Importing a Patran Database 78
Patran DB Import Options 79
Spreadsheet Headings 80
Numbered Entity Offset Defaults 80
Default Offset 80
Increment 80
Submodel 80
Named Entity Prefix Defaults 80
Default Prefix 80
Prefix 81
Submodel 81
CONTENTS 5

Duplicate Entity Merge Options 81


Spreadsheet Cells 82
Import Column 83
Import Filter Options 83
Minimum ID and Maximum ID Columns 84
ID Offset Column 85
Offset Options 86
Name Prefix Column 87
Equivalence Options 88
ID Numbers 88
Loads and Boundary Conditions 88
Discrete FEM Fields 88
Analysis Coordinate Frame Merge Rule 89
Equivalence Options Dialog Box 90
Patran Database Preview 91
Importing PATRAN 2.5 Neutral Files 92
Neutral File Import Options 94
Entity Label Offset Definition 95
Options for Entity Selection 95
Options for Offset Definition 95
Assigning Offsets 95
Importing MD Nastran Input Files 96
MD Nastran Input File Options 97
MD Nastran Entity Label Offset Definition 98
Options for Entity Selection 99
Options for Offset Definition 99
Assigning Offsets 99
Importing Express Neutral Files 100
Express Neutral File Import Options 101
Express Import Preferences 103
Preview Express File 104
Express Neutral Group Classification 105
Importing IGES Files 107
IGES Entities Supported for Import 107
IGES Import Options 109
IGES Entity Color Filter 111
IGES Entity Level Filter 112
IGES Group Classification 113
Show IGES Groups 114
Delete IGES Groups 114
Exporting IGES Surface Data to a Patran 2 Neutral File 115
Create Groups from Layers 115
Importing CATIA Files 115
Importing a CATIA Model 116
6 Patran Reference Manual

Import Options for CATIA V4 Parasolid Format 117


Import Options for CATIA V5 Parasolid Format 121
Example Scenario 1: 124
Example Scenario 2: 125
Importing the CATIA V5 Tree 128
Import Options for CATIA V4 131
Import Options for CATXPRES 132
Group Classification for CATIA V4 Parasolid Format 134
Group Classification for CATIA V5 Parasolid Format 135
Group Classification for CATIA V4/V5/CATXPRES Files 136
Import Preferences 137
Importing Pro/ENGINEER Files 138
Importing a Pro/ENGINEER Model 138
Import Options for Pro/ENGINEER Parasolid Format 139
Import Options for Pro/ENGINEER 141
Patran ProENGINEER Intermediate .geo File (Primitive Geometry) 146
Pro/ENGINEER File Types and Model Access Options 147
Executing Patran ProENGINEER From Pro/ENGINEER (p3_proe) 147
Importing Direct Mesh Meshes from a Pro/ENGINEER Model 148
Direct Mesh Import Options 149
Importing Unigraphics Files 149
Unigraphics Import Options for Direct Parasolid 151
Attribute Import 153
Preview Attributes 153
Preview Components 153
Unigraphics Group Classification 154
Unigraphics Import Options for Express Translation 156
Unigraphics Group Classification for Express Translation 158
Importing Parasolid (xmt) Files 159
Import Options for Parasolid 160
Parasolid Model Units 162
Importing ACIS (sat) Files 162
Converting ACIS Entities to Parasolid Entities 164
Import Options for ACIS 165
ACIS Group Classification 168
Importing STEP Files 169
Benefits 169
Accessing STEP Libraries 170
Downloading and Installing 170
Licensing 170
STEP Entities Supported for Import 171
Supported AP203 Import Entities 172
Supported AP209 Import Entities 176
Import Options for STEP AP203 or AP214 Parasolid Format 179
CONTENTS 7

Import Options for STEP AP203/214 181


Import Options for STEP AP209 183
STEP AP209 Import Preferences 185
STEP AP203/AP209 Group Classification 186
Importing STL Files 187
STL Import Options 188
Entity Label Offset Definition 189
Options for Entity Selection 189
Options for Offset Definition 189
Assigning Offsets 189
Importing VDA Files 190
VDA Import Options 191
Model Units 192
Importing Results 194
Template for PATRAN 2.5 Import Results 195
Exporting to a PATRAN 2.5 Neutral File 196
Neutral Export Options 197
Neutral File Title 198
Exporting IGES Surface Data as Parametric BiCubic Surfaces 198
Exporting to ACIS Files 199
ACIS save file (SAT) 199
ACIS Version 199
Scaling Factor 199
Supported ACIS Export Entities 200
ACIS Export Options 201
Exporting a Parasolid Transmit File 202
Parasolid xmt Export Options 203
Exporting to CATIA V4 Files 204
CATIA V4 .model file creation 204
CATIA Version 204
Supported CATIA V4 Export Entities 204
CATIA V4 Export Options 205
Exporting to IGES Files 206
Geometric Entity Types and their Supported IGES Equivalents 206
IGES Export Options 209
IGES Export Parasolid Options 210
IGES File Start Section 211
IGES File Global Section Parameters 211
Exporting to STEP Files 212
Supported AP203 Export Entities 212
Supported AP209 Export Entities 213
Supported AP214 Export Entities 215
STEP AP214 Export Options 216
Exporting to VDA Files 217
8 Patran Reference Manual

VDA Version 217


Supported VDA Export Entities 217
VDA Export Options 218
Effect of “Undo” in Session Files 222
Recording a Session File 222
Printing on Windows 224
Postscript Files 225
Encapsulated Postscript (EPS) Files 226
Printing on UNIX 228
Page Setup 229
Postscript Options 229
How to Use EPS Files 232
PatranHard File Options 233
CGM Options 234
HP-GL Options 237
HP-GL/2 Options 240
Printer Configuration File 242
BMP Images Output 248
JPEG Images Output 248
MPEG Images Output 249
PNG Images Output 251
TIFF Images Output 252
VRML Images Output 252
To generate a Report File: 255
Report Format Preferences 256
Report File Output 257

5 All About Groups


Group Concepts and Definitions 260
Group Names 260
Group Membership 261
Group Status 261
Current Group 261
Posted Group 261
Target Group 261
Group Attributes 261
Creating and Managing Groups 262
Creating Groups 262
Adding Group Members 262
Removing Group Members 262
Transforming Groups 262
Deleting Groups 262
CONTENTS 9

Group Transformations 262


Translation 263
Rotation 263
Scaling 264
Mirroring 264
Modifying Orientation 265
Pivoting 266
Repositioning 267
Transforming Loads, Boundary Conditions, and Properties 268
Loads and Boundary Conditions 268
Properties 268
Set Names 269

The Group Menu 270


Menu Conventions 270
Changing Actions 273
Adding Orphan Entities to Groups 278
Changing the Target Group 279
Renaming a Group 280
Select Entities 282
Rotating Groups 288
Scaling Groups 290
Mirroring Groups 292
Modifying Group Orientation 293
Pivoting Groups 295
Repositioning Groups 296

Hierarchical Groups (Hgroups) 300


Hierarchical Groups 300
Creating an Hgroup 303
Adding Hierarchical Groups 304
Creating the geom Hgroup 305
Adding Sub Hgroups to an Hgroup 305
Creating the sub Hgroups 307
Posting an Hgroup 309
Modifying Group Hierarchies 309
Deleting Hgroups 311
Changing the Current Hgroup 312
Exporting and Importing Hgroup Trees 312
Importing and Using CATIA Files with Group Hierarchy Structures 313
10 Patran Reference Manual

6 Viewports
Viewport Concepts and Definitions 316
Viewport Names 317
Viewport Status 317
Current Viewport 317
Posted Viewport 317
Target Viewport 317
Viewport Display Attributes 317
Viewports and Groups 318
Named Views in Viewports 318
Common Viewport Features 318
Tiling Viewports 319

The Viewport Menu 320


Menu Conventions 320

Viewport Commands 321


Changing the Target Viewport 329
Posting and Unposting Groups in a Viewport 331
Defining the Current Group in a Viewport 332
Applying a Named View to a Viewport 333
Renaming a Viewport 334
Changing the Background Effects 335
Changing the Spectrum Range Designation 337

7 Viewing a Model
View Concepts and Definitions 342
Current View 342
Named Views 342
Model Space 342
Screen Space 342
Viewing Coordinate System Parameters 343
Viewing Plane 343
Window Center 343
Model Center 343
Automatic Centering 343
Fitting a View 344
View Transformations 344
View Clipping 344
Perspective Views 345
View Parameters 345
CONTENTS 11

Focal Point 345


Window Center 345
Viewing Plane Distance 345
Observer Position Distance 345
Front and Back Clipping Plane Distances 345

The Viewing Menu 346


Menu Conventions 346

Viewing Commands 348


Transformation Options 349
Fit View 350
Select Center 350
Select Corners 350
Rotation Terminology 354
list2+ 355
Managing the Parameters of Perspective Viewing 364

8 Display Control
Display Concepts and Definitions 370
Global and Local Display Features 370
Display Modes 370
Rendering Styles 370
Wireframe 371
Wireframe/Accurate 371
Hidden Line 371
Hidden Line/Accurate 372
Shaded/Flat 372
Chordal Tolerance 372
Shaded/Smooth 373
Finite Element Display 373
Erasing and Plotting Entities 374
Shrinking Entities 374
Titles 374
Coordinate Frames 375
Named Attributes 375
Spectrums 375
Ranges 375
Color Palette 376
Light Sources 376

The Display Menu 377


12 Patran Reference Manual

Menu Conventions 377

Display Commands 378


Displaying Element Connectivity of Connectors 392
Vector Attributes 396
Label Style 398
Beam Display 399

9 Preferences
Preferences Concepts and Definitions 434
Analysis Codes 434
Analysis Types 434
Changing Analysis Codes 434
Preference Mapping 435
Model Tolerance 435
Warning Messages 435
Hardware Rendering 436
Representing Geometry 436
Model Units 436

The Preferences Menu 437


Menu Conventions 437

Preferences Commands 439


Changing the Analysis Preference 441
Mapping Functions 442
Property Set Spreadsheets 442
Material Property Mapping Tables 444
Element Property Mapping Tables 446
Invoking the PCL Function for Preference Switching 451
Using the General Function 452

10 Tools
Tools Concepts and Definitions 478
Lists 478
Entity Types 478
Classification Methods 478
Attribute 478
Association 478
Group Assignment 479
CONTENTS 13

Boolean Operations 479


Using Lists 479
Mass Properties 479
Output Options 480
Report Files 481
Units 481
Mass Properties of Finite Element Models 481
Mass Properties and Elements 481
Weight Factors 482
Mass Properties and Fields 482
Mass Properties and Materials 482
Analysis Model Types and Mass Properties 482
Three-dimensional Models 482
Two-dimensional Plane Stress and Plane Strain Models 482
Two-dimensional Axisymmetric Models 483
Beam Library 483
Standard Shapes 483
Arbitrary Shapes 484
Using a Surface 484
Reading a File 484
Stress Recovery Points 484
Named Application Regions 484
Design Studies and Design Optimization 485
Design Studies 485
Variables 485
Results Templates 486
Rebar Definitions 486
MSC.Fatigue 486
Random Analysis 486
MSC.Laminate Modeler 486
Analysis Manager 486

The Tools Menu 487


Menu Conventions 487

Tools Commands 489


Creating Lists 489
Lists by Attributes 489
Geometric Entities 490
Attributes of FEM Entities 491
Coordinate Value/Coordinate Frames 492
Range Specifications and Tolerances 492
Specifying the Range 492
Tolerance 493
14 Patran Reference Manual

Properties 493
Lists by Association 494
Target List 495
Defining the Region for Mass Properties Calculation 501
Displaying Mass Property Results 502
Summary Display Method 503
Group Display Method 503
Entity Display Method 504
Reporting Mass Properties Results 506
Active Report Files 507
Report File Comments 508
Center of Gravity 508
Principal Inertia Quantities 508
Inertia Tensor in Coordinate Frame 508
Inertia Tensor at CG 508
Principal Direction Vectors 508
Rotation Angles 509
Rejected Entity List 509
Using Calculated Beam Properties 510
Creating Standard Beam Cross Sections 511
Cross Section Display 512
Variable Cross Sections 513
Creating Arbitrary Beam Cross Sections Using Boundary Loops 514
Using the Input Points option: 516
Using the Select Surface Option: 516
Using the Read File Option 518
Stress Recovery Points 518
Creating Arbitrary Beam Cross Sections Using Centerlines 519
Centerline Method Examples. 521
Reporting Beam Section Data 524
Modifying Beam Cross Sections 526
Deleting Beam Cross Sections 527
Creating Named Application Regions 529
Selecting Entites for Named Regions 530
Selecting Groups for Named Regions 531
Modify a Named Application Regions 531
Show Named Application Regions 532
Deleting Named Application Regions 532
Creating Model Variables 533
Values as Variables 534
Element Properties as Variables 536
Beam Dimensions as Variables 538
Material Properties as Variables 540
Displaying Model Variables 541
CONTENTS 15

Modifying Model Variables 543


Deleting Model Variables 543
Creating Design Studies 546
Design Variables 547
Design Cycle Select 550
Design Responses 550
Design Objectives 551
Design Constraints 552
Displacements / Eigenvectors, Velocity, Acceleration, SPC Force 552
Stress, Strain, Strain Energy & Force 552
Grid Point Force 552
Composite Stress, Strain, and Failure 553
Frequency & Buckling Mode 553
Global Constraints 553
Constraint Sets 553
Maximum/Minimum Definitions 553
Applying Results Templates 555
Creating and Managing Results Templates 556
Exporting and Importing Results Templates 562
Loading Results Templates in a Patran Database 563
Editing a Plot Set Using the Plot Set Spread Sheet 569
Displaying the Contents of the Plot Set Spread Sheet 578
Discussion of a Few Specific Plot Set Capabilities 583
Creating Rebar Definitions 587
Geomtric based 589
Vector based 589
Element based 589
Creation of a Property 597
Modification of a Property 598
Example Creation of a 2D shell 598
Example Modification of a Property 599
Modifying the Element properties of one element 599
Properties Import Code Examples 599
Example 1 600
Example 2 600
Example 3 600
Example 4 600
Import Raw Data 602
Select Test Data 602
Calculate Properties 603
16 Patran Reference Manual

11 Random Analysis
Introduction 606
Purpose 606
Features of MSC Random 606
Advantage over Utility version of MSC Random 607
Architecture of MSC Random 607
Limitations 608

Basic Random Analysis Theory 609


Introduction 609
Theory 610
Cross-Power Spectral Density and Cross-Correlation Functions 612
Cumulative Root Mean Square (CRMS) 614
Coherence Function or Schwarz's Inequality 614
Numerical Integration Using Log-Log Approximation 614
Von Mises Stress in Random Analysis 615

Random Analysis Process 616


Process Overview 616
Frequency Response Analysis Cycle 616
Frequency Response Analysis Setup 618
Random Analysis Cycle 618

Using MSC Random 620


Output Files: 620
Example Problems: 622

Example 1: Cylinder subjected to base PSDF input. 623


Problem Definition: 623
Required Steps to Perform Random Analysis 624
FEM Model 625
Create New Database 625
Create Cylindrical Coordinate System 626
Create Curve 627
Create Surface 629
Create Mesh Seed 630
Repeat Mesh Seed along length of Cylinder 631
Create Mesh 632
Perform Node Equivalence 633
Create Material 634
Create Physical Properties 635
Create Boundary Conditions 636
Frequency Response Analysis 637
Frequency Response Analysis Setup 638
CONTENTS 17

Frequency Response Analysis Setup (cont) 639


Frequency Response Analysis Setup (cont) 641
Frequency Response Analysis Setup (cont) 643
Frequency Response Analysis Setup (cont) 644
Random Analysis – XY Plot 645
Random Analysis – XY Plot 646
Random Analysis – XY Plot (contd) 647
Random Analysis – XY Plot (contd) 648
Random Analysis – XY Plot (contd) 649
Random Analysis – XY Plot (contd) 650
Random Analysis – XY Plot (contd) 651
Random Analysis – XY Plot (contd) 652
Random Analysis – XY Plot (contd) 654
Random Analysis – XY Plot (contd). 655
Some other features available on XYPlot Form 657
Random Analysis – XY Plot (contd) 658
Random Analysis – XY Plot (contd) 660
Relative Displacement 660
Random Analysis – XY Plot (contd) 662
Random Analysis – RMS Stress Fringe Plot 664
Random Analysis - RMS Stress Fringe Plot (Contd.) 665
Random Analysis - RMS Acceleration Fringe Plot using RMS scale factor of
3.0 666

Example 2: Table - Subjected to Simultaneous Random Excitation in


Three Directions 668
Random Input Profile 670
Frequency Response Analysis Setup 670
Random Analysis 673
Verify Random Input using MSC Random XY Plot 675
Cross Spectral Density Plots 677
Cross Spectral Density Plot 678
Random Analysis – RMS Analysis 679
Repeat Procedure for RMS acceleration 681

Example 3: Plate - Subjected to Pressure and Point Load with Cross


Spectrum Input 683
Frequency Response Analysis Setup 685
Random Analysis 686
Create PSD Input Profile 688
Cross PSD Input 689
Continue processing PSDF XY Plot 691
Create XY Plot for Cross-Correlation FunctionBbetween Node 10 and 54 in
Z Direction 693
18 Patran Reference Manual

Create RMS Fringe Plot of Acceleration in Z Direction 695


Following Similar Procedure, Create Fringe Plots for RMS Von-Mises
Stresses 696
References 697

Appendix A 698
Frequency Response Setup Using MSC Random Interface 698
Frequency Response Analysis Set Up - MSC Random Interface(Contd.)
699
Frequency Response Analysis Set Up - MSC Random Interface(Contd.)
701
Frequency Response Analysis Set Up - MSC Random Interface(Contd.)
701
Frequency Response Analysis Set Up - MSC Random Interface(Contd.)
704
Frequency Response Analysis Set Up - MSC Random Interface(Contd.)
705

Frequency Response Setup Using Patran Interface 706


Frequency Response Setup - Patran Interface(Contd) 707
Frequency Response Setup - Patran Interface(Contd) 711
Frequency Response Setup - Patran Interface(Contd) 712
Frequency Response Setup - Patran Interface(Contd) 714
Frequency Response Setup - Patran Interface(Contd) 714
Frequency Response Setup - Patran Interface (Contd) 715
Frequency Response Setup - Patran Interface(Contd) 717
Frequency Response Setup - Patran Interface(Contd) 717
Partial Input List of “freq-plate.bdf” 719

A File Formats
The Neutral System Concept 722

The Neutral File 723


Neutral File Applications 723
Neutral File Format 725
Neutral File Types 725
Neutral File Packet Types Supported in Patran 725
Finite Element Model Packets 725
Geometry Model Packets 726
GFEG/CFEG Table Packets 726
Trimmed Surface Solid Model Packets 727
PATRAN 2.5 Neutral File Packet Header 727
PATRAN 2.5 Neutral File Contents and Format 727
CONTENTS 19

Packet Type 25: Title Card 727


Packet Type 26: Summary Data 728
Packet Type 01: Node Data 728
Packet Type 02: Element Data 729
Packet Type 03: Material Properties 730
Packet Type 04: Element Properties 731
Packet Type 05: Coordinate Frames 732
Packet Type 06: Distributed Loads 732
Packet Type 07: Node Forces 733
Packet Type 08: Node Displacements 734
Packet Type 10: Node Temperatures 734
Packet Type 11: Element Temperatures 735
Packet Type 14: MPC Data 735
Packet Type 15: Nodal Heat Source 736
Packet Type 16: Distributed Heat Source 737
Packet Type 17: Convection Coefficients 738
Packet Type 18: Radiation Emissivity Values 738
Packet Type 19: Viewfactor Data 739
Packet Type 21: Named Components 740
Packet Type 31: Grid Data 741
Packet Type 32: Line Data 741
Packet Type 33: Patch Data 741
Packet Type 34: Hyperpatch Data 742
Packet Types 42, 43 or 44: GFEG Table for Line, Patch or Hyperpatch
(when created from a GFEG command) 743
Packet Type 42, 43 or 44: GFEG Table for Line, Patch or Hyperpatch
(when created from a MESH command) 745
Packet Type 45: CFEG Table 746
Packet Type 99: End of Neutral File 748

Session File/Journal File 749

IGES File 751


Concepts of Product Definition 751
Concepts of the File Structure 752

PATRAN 2.5 Results Files 754


Displacement or Force Results Files 754
Sample Displacement/Force Results Data File 755
Binary Version 755
Text Version 756
Nodal Results Files 756
Binary Version 757
Text Version 757
Sample Nodal Results Data File 757
20 Patran Reference Manual

Element Results Files 758


Binary Version 758
Text Version 759
Sample Element Results File 759
Beam Results Files 759
Sample Beam Results File 760
Binary Version 760
PATRAN 2.5 Results Template Files 760

B Printing Options
Introduction 764

Device-dependent Hardcopy File 765

Additional Information for Printers/Plotters 766

If Your Plot Does Not Turn Out as Expected 767

Hardware Setup 768

Supported Hardware for Patran Hardcopy 769

C Mass Properties
Summary of Mass Properties 772
Overview 772
Mass Properties for 3D Models 774
Mass Properties for 2D Axisymmetric Models 774
Mass Properties for 2D Plane Stress and 2D Plane Strain Models 774

D List Processor
Understanding the List Processor 776
Introduction 776
Geometry 777
Points 777
Referring to points which already exist in the database 777
Referring to points by referring to finite element nodes which exist where a
point is to be located 778
Referring to points by selection mechanism screen position picks 779
Referring to points by defining their 3 coordinates 780
CONTENTS 21

Referring to points defined by the intersection of two curves 781


Referring to points defined by the intersection of a curve and a surface
783
Referring to points defined by the closest approach of a point to a curve
785
Referring to points defined by the closest approach of a point to a surface
788
Curves 791
Referring to curves which already exist in the database 791
Referring to curves which exist as the edges of other entities which exist in
the database 792
Referring to curves defined by a straight line between two points 793
Referring to curves defined by the intersection of two surfaces 795
Referring to a curve and a parametric location along the curve 797
Surfaces 798
Referring to surfaces which already exist in the database 798
Referring to surfaces which exist as the faces of other entities which exist in
the database 799
Referring to surfaces defined by two curves 799
Referring to a surface and a parametric location on the surface 801
Solids 803
Referring to solids which already exist in the database 803
Referring to solids defined by two surfaces 803
Finite Elements 805
Referring to nodes in the database 805
Referring to elements in the database by their labels 806
Referring to elements in the database by their attributes 806
Referring to multi-point constraints (MPCs) in the database 809
Miscellaneous 810
Referring to a coordinate frame 810
Defining an axis by referring to a coordinate frame 811
Defining an axis by referring to two points 811
Defining a vector by referring to a coordinate frame 813
Defining a vector by referencing two points 814
Defining a vector by referring to three displacements 817

INDEX
22 Patran Reference Manual
Ch. 1: Introduction to Patran Patran Reference Manual

1 Introduction to Patran

 HTML Based Online Help 7



Patran Framework 3

Using Patran for Engineering Analysis 6
2 Patran Reference Manual
Introducing Patran

1.1 Introducing Patran


Patran is an open software system, used primarily in mechanical engineering analysis. It is comprised of
the following components:

Engineering Modeling Functionalities


Extensive engineering capabilities, including:
• Full set of geometric tools for creating, modifying, and parameterizing model geometry.
• Extensive finite element modeling tools for creating and modifying analysis models. Automatic
meshing techniques for one-, two-, and three-dimensional (solid) geometries.
• Loads, boundary conditions (LBCs), and material properties associated directly with geometry
models as well as FEM models.

Direct Geometry Access


CAD geometry access without transformation, associativity with corresponding Patran FEM entities,
inclusion of standard data exchange formats (e.g., IGES).

Analysis Modules
Integrated analysis capabilities for structural, thermal, fatigue, and other types of mechanical analysis.

Analysis Preferences
Linkage to commercial analysis solvers and proprietary in-house codes, all functions, definitions,
properties, and code forms adapted to solvers.

Result Visualization and Reporting


Deformed shape, fringe plot, and X-Y plot displays, ability to filter output data by selected properties
(e.g., material), facility of combining, scaling, or sorting result information by time step, frequency,
temperature or spatial location, sophisticated reporting capabilities in user-defined format and sorting
sequence.

PATRAN Command Language (PCL)


Scripting language for customization, task automation, and variance and design sensitivity studies.

MSC.Mvision
Integrated materials database.

Online Help/Documentation
Topical and context-sensitive help for all interactive features, functions, and applications, hypertext links
throughout the online system for instant information retrieval.
Ch. 1: Introduction to Patran 3
Patran Framework

1.2 Patran Framework


The open architecture of Patran calls for a number of special features to help you acquire input data,
manage models, and export analysis models and results. Among the most significant of these are:
• CAD interfaces
• File and group definitions
• Viewport and display options
• Patran Command Language (PCL) development
• User Customization capabilities

Some of these features are activated through menu keywords, icons, and application windows. Others,
such as PCL development, utilize some more advanced programming know-how.

How Patran Imports Data


Patran accepts data from CAD system user files, Patran neutral files, and IGES files. Using one of
Patran’s CAD Access Modules, you can import CAD geometry and topology directly into your database.
Once in your database, you can build upon or modify CAD geometry.

Managing Large Models in Patran


All project-related information is stored in files of various types and formats. The major file types that
are created or accessed during Patran operations are:
• Database file (.db extension). Contains a complete record of all geometric entities, finite
element entities, properties, and analysis results associated with an Patran model.
• Session file (.ses extension). Contains all database related commands and corresponding
comments executed during a work session.
• Journal file ( .jou extension). Contains all database related commands executed to create a
specific database.
• Miscellaneous files. Hardcopy files, Patran neutral files, IGES files, and others.

File management options include creating new databases, opening, saving, and closing existing
databases, and accessing external files.

Groups
A group is a collection of selected geometric or finite element entities brought together to simplify
working with a number of entities simultaneously. Groups can be created and dissolved, displayed or
hidden, transformed (e.g., rotated, mirrored), and have entities added or removed.
A special benefit of groups is evident in the design of symmetrical parts or assemblies. As an example,
if in the design of the front suspension system of an automobile the entities of the left front suspension
assembly are identified as a group, then the identical right front suspension assembly can be modeled by
4 Patran Reference Manual
Patran Framework

a simple mirror transformation. Both groups can then be used in a complete vibration analysis to predict
dynamic response, stress, and fatigue life of the suspension components.

Viewports
A viewport is a named graphics window through which you look at a model.You may utilize a number
of viewports to visualize different phases of the project. For example, in one viewport you can show the
entire geometric model, in another you can magnify a small detail. Additional viewports may contain a
finite element model or annotated result displays.
Viewports are especially useful for presenting “before” and “after” pictures simultaneously. For
example, following a thermoelastic stress analysis you may choose to post three viewports to the screen,
the first to show the geometric model, the second the meshed model with applied thermal loads, and the
third to display a plot of the resulting stresses.
You can control how the model appears in a view, its orientation, scale, rendering style, the presence of
labels, the position and intensity of the light source, and other display features.

How Patran Exports Models


Patran can prepare input data in specific formats that comply with the requirements of a number of finite
element analysis codes. In addition to
MSC-provided codes (including the default, MD Nastran), you can pick among several others
commercial codes as well as in-house proprietary analysis programs. While different analysis codes may
define components of a finite element model differently, Patran is capable to simply change the database
definitions of these components to suit the code you opt for.
Selectable analysis types include structural, thermal, and fluid dynamics.

Patran Command Language


Patran provides an environment into which proprietary in-house developed codes can be easily integrated
with the PCL.

User Customization
PCL enables you to automate repetitive tasks, establish individualized startup configurations, and create
new menus, icons, and forms. With PCL, you can readily integrate proprietary analysis codes developed
at your site into the Patran environment with the following results:
• New analysis code names, as well as code-specific properties and functional assignments, will
appear on appropriate forms.
• Finite element models created in an Patran database can be extracted and transferred to a
proprietary program for analysis. Conversely, finite element models and analysis results created
with an in-house program can be loaded directly into the Patran database.
• Database templates can be customized to suit individual requirements.
Ch. 1: Introduction to Patran 5
Patran Framework

• Mouse communication. Click on menu keywords, icons, and buttons to identify selections. Pick
and manipulate objects in viewports; resize, reposition, and iconify (make into an icon)
viewports; copy and paste text.
• Keyboard communication. Use shortcuts to open menus and to accelerate keyword selections,
edit history list commands, enter special comments and commands on the command line.
6 Patran Reference Manual
Using Patran for Engineering Analysis

1.3 Using Patran for Engineering Analysis


The major steps of modeling and analysis involve the following Patran application processes:

Geometry
Patran provides a complete set of tools to build, modify, and parameterize geometric entities of a model.
In addition, Patran can operate directly on geometry you created in various CAD systems or imported via
IGES geometry files.

Finite Element Modeling


Patran’s mapped or automatic meshing algorithms generate both uniform and non-uniform finite element
meshes. Mesh control parameters are applied to edges of surfaces, solids, or curves, as well as to interior
points and curves.

Functional Assignments
Functional assignments is a collective term for applied loads, boundary conditions, element properties,
and material properties. These can be applied either to the finite element model or directly to the
geometric model. The advantage of being able to associate functional assignments, for example loads,
with a geometric model is that you can experiment with any number of meshing configurations without
the need to reapply loads each time you change the mesh.

Analysis
Patran provides flexibility and tight integration with a number of finite element analysis codes.

Postprocessing
Postprocessing capabilities include visualization of the deformed model, various color plot displays, X-
Y curve outputs, and results animation. Numerical results data can be combined, scaled, and sorted by
time step, frequency, temperature or spatial location. For example, you can request the display of the
resulting von Mises stresses between 15,000 psi and 30,000 psi at 154 Hz in the second mode of
vibration. The Insight application condenses raw numerical data into extensive sophisticated graphical
tools and displays for complete accurate interpretation of results.
Help>... 7
HTML Based Online Help

1.4 HTML Based Online Help


Patran employs a HTML based system in which Help topics are displayed through your web browser.

Help>...

Use the Help>... command to acquire the following help.

Contents and Index Opens a new Browser window and displays the entire contents of the
Help system.
PCL Accesses all PCL Help with a separate contents list and index.
On Help Provides additional details on using Patran Help and navigating the
contents.
Technical Support Directs you in obtaining the technical support you might need.
What’s New in Patran Reports the key highlights and describes all the new features for
Patran.
About Patran Contains the version and legal notices for the Patran product software.
via WWW Links you to the MSC Software website for information on key topics.

Context-Sensitive Help
To quickly access Help on any topic (form) from within Patran, simply press the F1 key. The appropriate
Help topic will appear in a new Browser window on your screen.
8 Help>...
Ch. 2: Patran Workspace Patran Reference Manual

2 Patran Workspace

 Modeling Window 10

The Menu Bar 12

The Tool Bar 14
 The Applications Bar 21

History Window and Command Line 22
10 Patran Reference Manual
Modeling Window

2.1 Modeling Window


The Patran workspace, or modeling window, is the area of the screen where you interactively perform all

Patran operations. The modeling window consists of two major sections, the Patran Main Form and the
graphics viewport.

Patran Main Form


The components of the Main Form are the Menu Bar, Tool Bar, Application Bar, History List, and
Command Line. The movable History List and Command Line windows are typically positioned below
the Graphics Viewport. The following is a partial display of the Main Form:

Applications Bar Tool Palettes


Menu Bar

History List

Command Line
Ch. 2: Patran Workspace 11
Modeling Window

Graphics Viewport
The graphics viewport is a window where the geometric model, finite element model, and finite element
analysis results are displayed.

box_beam.db - default_viewport- default_group - Entity

Origin Marker

Y Global Coordinate Frame

Z X
12 Patran Reference Manual
The Menu Bar

2.2 The Menu Bar


The items in the menu bar control the parameters of various system tasks. Each menu keyword activates
a drop-down menu that displays additional commands and actions. The menu bar keywords are shown
below:

File Group Viewport Viewing Display Preferences Tools Help

Menu Bar Keywords


The following is a brief explanation of the keywords that appear in the Menu Bar. The functionalities
covered in each drop-down menu are detailed in later chapters.

File
The File menu provides access to the many different files used in Patran. File manipulation
functionalities include database management, import and export processes, session file handling,
hardcopy creation, and session exiting.

Group
The Group menu enables you to create named groups of selected geometric or finite element entities with
common characteristics. Grouping makes it possible to visually differentiate sets of entities from one
another, as well as to perform various tasks on a number of like entities at the same time. With the Group
menu you can also modify, transform, or dissolve groups.

Viewport
A viewport is a named graphics window through which you look at a model. You may define any number
of independent views of different extent and location and each may contain the model, or a portion of the
model, in a specific position and display size. The Viewport menu serves to create, modify, and delete
viewports.

Viewing
The Viewing menu manages the position, orientation, and sizing of the view of a model in selected
viewports.

Display
The Display menu commands control visualization features such as colors, labels, and highlights of
model entities in viewports.

Preferences
The Preferences menu sets the global parameters for a model’s definition and appearance.
Ch. 2: Patran Workspace 13
The Menu Bar

Tools
The Tools menu provides access to Patran’s special functions (e.g. Mass Properties) as well as to optional
analysis modules that are available on your system.

Help
The Help menu retrieves online documentation for all Patran features and provides various operational
tips, such as keyboard shortcuts, mouse functions, as well as tutorial assistance.
14 Patran Reference Manual
The Tool Bar

2.3 The Tool Bar


The tool bar consists of a series of movable tool palettes. Each tool palette is a set of related icons that
represent often-used functions in a particular application area. Based on their roles, you can identify the
following tool palettes:
• System Tool Palette
• Mouse Function Tool Palette
• Viewing Tool Palette
• Display Tool Palette
• Model Orientation Tool Palette
• Labeling and Sizing Tool Palette

To move a tool palette, click on its outer boundary and drag to any other part of the window.
You can create new icons and function definitions to add to the tool bar. Copy the tool bar definition file
p3toolbar.def from the installation directory into your home directory where you can make your
modifications. The new file will then be used whenever you start up Patran.

System Tool Palette


The icons in the System Tool palette represent the functions that have system-wide application regardless
of where you are in a project.

File>New Brings up the New Database form where you can define a new
model.

File>Open Brings up the Open Database form where you pick an existing
database.

File>Save Saves the database with its current name and location.

Print Creates a hardcopy file to print or plot.


Ch. 2: Patran Workspace 15
The Tool Bar

Copy to Copies the image in the current viewport onto the clipboard
Clipboard

Undo Reverses the last command that added, modified, or deleted entities.

You cannot reverse an undone operation by depressing the Undo


icon a second time.

Abort Stops the operation in progress. Depending on the operation, the


following will happen:

During a plot:
The graphic imaging process will suspend immediately, leaving a
partially displayed image. To restart the plot operation, press the
“Refresh Graphics” icon.

During meshing:
All completely meshed regions will remain intact. The last
geometric region whose meshing was interrupted will not be
meshed.

During geometry construction:


The operation will terminate after the current entity is constructed.

During session file playback:


When a playback is in progress, the interrupt icon is available. If an
interrupt is confirmed, session file playback will pause and the
session file play form will appear. A command interrupted message
will be written to the currently recording session file.
Reset Removes fringe plots, titles, highlighting, and deformed shape
Graphics plots.

This button acts on all posted viewports if the Display mode is set
to Entity Type. However, if the display is in Group mode, only the
groups posted in the current window will be affected.
Refresh Redisplays the contents of the screen.
Graphics
16 Patran Reference Manual
The Tool Bar

Heart Beat Color-coded indicator that shows the current status of Patran.

• White--waiting for user input


• Blue--performing an operation that can be stopped with the
Interrupt button
• Red--performing an operation that cannot be interrupted.

Mouse Function Tool Palette


With the icons in this palette you can set the middle mouse button (MMB) to perform incremental
rotation, translation, and zoom actions of a view of the model.

Mouse Rotate XYZ--rotate around the X and Y axes. (MMB - Default)

Mouse Rotate Z--rotate around the Z axis. (MMB+Control Key - Default)

Mouse Translate X--translate in the X and Y directions. (MMB+Shift Key -


Default)

Mouse Zoom--zoom in and out of the screen. (MMB+Control+Shift Key - Default)


Ch. 2: Patran Workspace 17
The Tool Bar

Viewing Tool Palette


The icons in this palette provide shortcuts to controlling the orientation, sizing, position, and
visualization methods of a model’s view in a viewport.

View Corners--zooms in on a cursor-defined rectangular area.

Fit View--resizes the view so that all model entities fit inside the viewport window.

View Center--moves the window’s center to a cursor picked location.

Rotation Center--selects a view’s rotation center (point, node or screen position).

Model Center-- sets the rotation center to the centroid of entities in the view.

Zoom Out--incrementally zooms out from the model by a factor of two.

Zoom In--incrementally zooms in on the model by a factor of two.


18 Patran Reference Manual
The Tool Bar

Display Tool Palette


The icons in this palette provide easy access to visualization tools that enable you to improve the
appearance of models.

Wireframe--renders the model in wireframe style.

Hidden Line--renders the model in hidden line style.

Smooth Shaded--renders the model in smooth shaded style.

Show Labels--plots all entity labels.

Hide Labels--erases all entity labels.


Ch. 2: Patran Workspace 19
The Tool Bar

Model Orientation Tool Palette


Each icon in this palette enables you to quickly display a standard engineering view of the model.

Front View--Rotations: X = 0, Y = 0, Z = 0

Rear View--Rotations: X = -180, Y = 0, Z = -180

Top View--Rotations: X = 90, Y = 0, Z = 0

Bottom View--Rotations: X = -90, Y = 0, Z = 0

Left Side View--Rotations: X = 0, Y = 90, Z = 0

Right Side View--Rotations: X = 0, Y = -90, Z = 0

Isometric View 1--Rotations: X = 23, Y = -34, Z = 0

Isometric View 2--Rotations: X = 23, Y = 56, Z = 0

Isometric View 3--Rotations: X = -67, Y = 0 Z =-34

Isometric View 4--Rotations: X = -157, Y = 34, Z = 180


20 Patran Reference Manual
The Tool Bar

Labeling and Sizing Tool Palettes


These icons activate functions that help enhance the display of your model. Two of the icons (Plot/Erase
and Label Control) call up additional icons and application forms.

Plot/Erase--displays the Plot/Erase form and a sub-palette for picking entities

Label Control--displays the Label Control sub-palette for picking entities

Point Size--toggles the display size of geometric points to 1 or 9 (pixels)

Node Size--toggles the display size of nodes to 0 or 9 (pixels)

Display Lines--toggles the number of display lines to 2 or 0 (no lines)


Ch. 2: Patran Workspace 21
The Applications Bar

2.4 The Applications Bar


The movable Applications bar consists of application buttons that activate specific forms for data input.
For your convenience, the buttons are arranged left-to-right in the same order that you would use them
to build and analyze a model. However, once the database is created, you can access these buttons in any
order.

Application Buttons

Geometry Creates and manipulates geometric entities.


Elements Creates and manipulates nodes, elements, and meshes.
Loads/BCs Creates and manipulates loads and boundary conditions.
Materials Defines and modifies material properties, associates materials with a model.
Properties Specifies element properties for a finite element model.
Load Cases Creates and modifies load cases for a model.
Fields Defines and modifies variations in element and material properties and
LBCs.
Analysis Sets analysis parameters, submits the analysis, and reads the output files.
Results Processes result files and specifies result data display characteristics.
XY Plot Manages the appearance of XY windows and the XY plot displays of
analysis results.
22 Patran Reference Manual
History Window and Command Line

2.5 History Window and Command Line


The History Window displays the history list, a sequential recording of commands used while building
the model. It may also contain error messages and comments.
The Command Line allows you to enter command text manually. Additionally, the command line
displays system messages and accommodates history commands for editing.

Command Line Comments


Comments in the history list begin with the “$” sign. Types of comments that may appear are:

$? System generated responses and questions.


$# Informational messages that provide feedback about a previously executed command.
$ PCL comments.
Ch. 3: Entering and Retrieving Data Patran Reference Manual

3 Entering and Retrieving Data

 Forms, Widgets, and Buttons 24



Selecting Entities 33

The List Processor 43
24 Patran Reference Manual
Forms, Widgets, and Buttons

3.1 Forms, Widgets, and Buttons


In Patran, you enter geometric and finite element data in a number of designated standard input forms.
Similarly, analysis result output information is retrieved via selecting various options in specific output
forms. Whenever you select a menu keyword or application button, the appropriate menu action form or
application form will be activated. In some applications a secondary subordinate form may be displayed
for entering aditional input.
All forms contain certain simple elements, such as data boxes, buttons, switches, scroll bars, lists, and
other widgets, making it easy to input information by selecting items with the cursor and minimizing the
need for manual data entry.

The term widget is a programmers’ jargon; it refers to all buttons, switches, listboxes, spreadsheets,
etc. displayed in forms, as well as to the forms themselves. Patran is so designed that the term widget
should not appear except where it is unavoidable, such as when custom interfaces or environments are
created.
Ch. 3: Entering and Retrieving Data 25
Forms, Widgets, and Buttons

A typical application form is shown below:


26 Patran Reference Manual
Forms, Widgets, and Buttons

Commonly Used Widgets


The following is a summary of some of the most often used widgets and their functionalities:

• Apply Button • Auto Execute


• Cancel Button • Coordinate Frame Input Box
• Data Box • Default Values
• Filter • OK Button
• Output ID List • Reset Button
• Scroll Bar • Spreadsheet
• Switch Button • Toggle Button

Apply Button

Apply or -Apply-

Implements all inputs and selections you specified in a form. The slight difference between the text of
the two buttons-- in the second one the word is offset by dashes--indicates a difference in their functions.
When you see the “-Apply-” button used in a form it means that:
• This action is reversible--you can use Undo (System Tool Palette, 14) to reverse the operation.
• this action activates a commit--saves the results of all actions performed (including the current
one) since the last time the database was saved.
Conversely, if a form contains an “Apply” button without the dashes, the action of that application cannot
be undone and it does not commit previous actions to the database. After either Apply action, the form
stays open for further inputs.

Auto Execute

Auto Execute

When the Auto Execute switch is ON, the Apply button is executed automatically when all required
parameters are entered on the input form.
Auto Execute is useful if immediate results are desirable. However, if you want to be more cautious and
double check all inputs before executing a command, turn this function OFF by clicking in the box.

Cancel Button

Cancel
Ch. 3: Entering and Retrieving Data 27
Forms, Widgets, and Buttons

Closes a form and voids all inputs and changes you made just before canceling.

Coordinate Frame

Refer. Coordinate Frame


Coord 0

Allows you to enter the name of the coordinate frame in which the coordinate input is interpreted (for
more information on coordinate frames see Coordinate Frame (p. 27) in the Patran Reference Manual).

Databox

Databox label Curve List

Blinking insertion bar

Many forms contain databoxes that accomodate a list of input data. The label identifies the type of data
that will be accepted in a particular databox. A blinking insertion bar in the data field indicates that the
focus is in the databox and it is ready to receive input. If the input involves entities on the screen, you can
pick the appropriate entities and the system will enter their name and ID number. Alternatively, you may
type or paste the required input data into the data field.

Default Values
Application forms often contain default values and settings. The types of defaults are:
• fixed (global)-- automatically set for a new database
• variable-- created during model construction

When you access a form for the first time, it will show the global default values. If you enter new defaults
or create new settings and invoke Apply, these will appear as defaults the next time you open the form.
Steps to modify a fixed default environment:
1. Open a new database.
2. Change all default settings as desired: colors, viewports, groups, analysis preference, named
views, etc.
3. Save the database under some name (e.g., “my_template”). Make note of the path of this new
file so that you can find it next time.
To apply the new default environment in a new database:
1. In the New Database form, select Change Template...
28 Patran Reference Manual
Forms, Widgets, and Buttons

2. In the Change Template form, change the default path, if necessary, to wherever
“my_template.db” resides. Use the filter to locate it and select it from the database list.
3. Enter a new database name and pick OK. The new database will open in the
“my_template.db” environment.

Filter

* Filter

A filter is used in applications where a list of selectable components may be longer than the number of
items that can be displayed in a listbox. With the filter you can isolate a single item or a group of several
items that comprise a subset of the list. For example, you may have defined a number of load cases, one
of them named Heavy. To access this load case (for example, to modify it), you don’t need to scroll
through a long list to find its name in the listbox, instead, type heavy (entries are not case sensitive), press
the Filter button, and this load case will be selected.
You can use the following wildcard symbols:
* (any character string)
? (a single character)
If, in the above example three of the load cases are named Heavy100, heavy300, and heavy500, you can
enter h* and now the displayed list will be the subset that consists of the load cases whose name begins
with the letter h.

OK Button

OK or - OK -

The OK button performs almost exactly as the Apply button, except that it also closes the form.

Output ID List

Surface ID List Output IDs


21 Node ID List
73

Element ID List
51
Ch. 3: Entering and Retrieving Data 29
Forms, Widgets, and Buttons

Output ID lists display the default ID number that will be assigned to the next entity of a given type.
However, you may enter any other number if you wish. If the number you specify is higher than the
default, numbering will begin at this new number. If you enter a lower number, you will be warned that
these entities exist and will be asked for permission to overwrite. You can specify any numbering
sequence, for example you can choose 44 68 77 and 92 for the next four entities. Spaces are used as
delimiters.

Reset Button

Reset Reset

When you press this button, anything you changed in a form will return to its previous value.

Scroll Bar

End arrows scroll in the selected direction

Center scroll bar for large moves

Scroll bars appear below or at the right side of listboxes. They are used when the contents of the box are
too long or too wide to appear in their entirety.

Switch Button

 Option 1

Option 2

Option 3

With the switch buttons you can select one option in a short list of options. The options are mutually
exclusive.

Toggle Button

Lights

A Toggle button is a switch that allows you to turn a particular option or selection ON or OFF. The label
identifies the option (e.g., Lights). The toggle switch operates in a press on/press off manner.
30 Patran Reference Manual
Forms, Widgets, and Buttons

Spreadsheets
Tabular Data Input Spreadsheets
This type of spreadsheet is used to input data into a one-, two-, or three-dimensional table.

1D Scalar Table Data

Input Data

Data
X Value
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9

OK

To enter or modify data:


1. Select an independent (X) or dependent variable (Value) cell in the Data field. The selected cell
will be highlighted.
2. Enter the desired value in the Input Data box.
Ch. 3: Entering and Retrieving Data 31
Forms, Widgets, and Buttons

3. Press the Enter key. The input data will appear in the selected cell and the selection box will move
down one level.

Note: Spreadsheets display at a default maximum size. If a larger size is required, look for a local
Options... menu to increase the setting.

Multiple Data Input Spreadsheets


Some spreadsheets are more complex. The spreadsheet below is actually a combination of two
spreadsheets and allows multiple data item inputs.

Dependent Terms (1)


Nodes (1) DOFs (1)
74 UX

Independent Terms (No Max)


Coefficient Nodes (1) DOFs (1)

1. 6 UX
1. 44 UZ

uu Create Dependent u Modify


uu Create Independentuu Delete

Coefficient = 1
Auto Execute
Node List
Node 1

DOFs
UX
UY
UZ

Apply Reset Cancel


32 Patran Reference Manual
Forms, Widgets, and Buttons

To create new entries:


1. Pick one of the Create toggles to specify which spreadsheet will receive the input.
2. Enter the desired values in the data boxes.
3. Press Apply.

To modify or delete entries:


1. Click in the cell whose content you want to modify or delete.
2. Select Modify or Delete.
3. The contents of the entire row in which the cell is located will be displayed in the list box and data
input box.
4. Select the item you want to modify (or delete).
5. Click Apply.
Ch. 3: Entering and Retrieving Data 33
Selecting Entities

3.2 Selecting Entities


Most Geometry and Finite Element applications require that you select one or more entities displayed on
the screen. For example, if you want to create a mesh seed, the required selection is one or more curves,
or edges of a solid or a surface. Accordingly, the Select databox in the Elements Application form will
indicate that a list of curves must be the input to complete this action.

Curve List

If the insertion bar is not already blinking, you must click inside the blank form field before you can select
the entities.

Screen Picking
When you pick entities with the cursor, you can select them individually or pick several entities at the
same time. After selection has been completed, the system will write the names and ID numbers of the
selected entities into the databox that initiated the picking.
Some of the settings of screen picking, such as highlighting, criteria of entity inclusion in picked areas,
and the format of a Select Menu, are established in the Preferences >Picking menu (see
Preferences>Picking, 463).

Picking Single Entities


Depending on what you chose in Picking Preferences, an entity will be selected either when you click
anywhere on it or when you pick it near its centroid. With another preference you can ensure that entities
are highlighted as the cursor sweeps across them in order to make it easier to select the correct entity.

Picking Multiple Entities


To select a number of entities at the same time, you must surround them either with a rectangle or an
arbitrary polygon. The Preferences menu provides three options for delimiting entity selection:
• all of the entity must lie within the enclosure
• any portion of the entity may lie within the enclosure
• only the centroid of the entity need to lie within the enclosure
34 Patran Reference Manual
Selecting Entities

Rectangle Picking (default)


The enclosure is rectangular in shape. Click and hold down the left mouse button at a screen point
corresponding to one corner of the rectangle (A), drag the mouse to the opposite corner (B), then release
the button.

B
Polygon Picking
The enclosure is in the shape of a polygon. Click the polygon icon in the Select Menu (see
Preferences>Picking, 463) pick the start point of the polygon (A), then drag the cursor and pick the next
point to set a new vertex of the polygon (B). As the lines of the polygon are formed, continue clicking
new vertices (C,D,E...) until you consider the polygon complete. Double-click at the last vertex (or return
to the starting point) to complete the polygon.
Another way of initiating the polygon pick is using the Ctrl key instead of picking the polygon icon. Press
and hold down this key while you click the left mouse button at a start point and all consecutive points
of the polygon. Double click to close the polygon.

A B

E D

Cycle Picking
Entity picks, whether single or multiple, may inadvertently catch entities you did not intend to select,
especially if several entities are close to one another. The system will make it easier to pick the correct
entity from a number of possible choices, provided that the auto execute feature is turned off. A form will
Ch. 3: Entering and Retrieving Data 35
Selecting Entities

be displayed with the names of all possible selections. You can cycle through all choices until you pick
the desired entity.

Selection
Surface 3
Surface 2

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Selecting non-existent geometry


You can pick geometry that does not actually exist in the database but is recognized nevertheless. An
example would be a curve defined by the intersection of two surfaces.

Right Mouse Button Select


By using the right mouse button (RMB) on a selected entity, a contextual menu appears giving access to
a number of commonly used utilities or functions related to the selected entity or entities. To deselect
picked entities, Ctrl+Shift+RMB is required. See the table below for the key combinations you can use
with the left and right mouse button.

Action Control Sequence


Polygon Picking Ctrl+LMB
Add Shift+LMB
Reject Ctrl+Shift+RMB
Replace LMB

Select Menu
When you invoke a command that requires entity selection (e.g. Delete), the system will display a Select
Menu. A Select Menu consists of two sets of icons, the first set is common to all select operations, the
36 Patran Reference Manual
Selecting Entities

second set consists of icons specific to either geometry or FEM entity selections. A typical Select Menu
is shown below; the explanation of the Select icons will follow.

Polygon pick Picking icons

Entity filter icons


Go-to icons
Visible entity ON/OFF toggle

Common Select Icons


Whenever a command invokes the Select menu, the following icons will always be displayed:

• Visible Entity Toggle • Select icons


• Polygon Pick icon • “Any” Icon

Visible Entity Picking

In certain applications you may want to restrict entity selection to only those parts of the model that
would be visible in a hidden or shaded mode. In that case, you can specify visible entity picking with the
icon at the beginning of the select menu. This icon toggles the visible entity picking function ON or OFF.
It is not required that the model be rendered in hidden or shaded style, and all the other entity picking
processes remain unchanged when the visible entity toggle is turned ON.
Ch. 3: Entering and Retrieving Data 37
Selecting Entities

The following entities are supported in the visible entity selection mode:

Geometry FEM
• Curves • Nodes
• Points and vertices of geometry • Elements
• Solids • Edges of shell and solid elements
• Surfaces • Faces of solid elements
• Faces of solids
• Edges of surfaces and solids

Note: When Visible Entity Picking is selected, the Rectangle/Polygon Picking (Multiple), 464
mode will pick any portion of the entity enclosed by the rectangle. The Enclose entire
entity and Enclose centroid modes are ignored.

Polygon Pick Icon


To select a number of entities at the same time, you must surround them either with a rectangle or an
arbitrary polygon. The default is a rectangle; you must pick the polygon icon to opt for a polygon
enclosure.

Picking Icons
When you pick an entity, its name is entered in the select databox. By default, if you follow with another
entity pick, the previous selection will be canceled and the second selection will replace the first. This is
called Replace Pick. However, with the Add Pick icon option, further selections do not replace existing
ones but are added to the selection list. Lastly, the Reject Pick option allows you to remove a previously
selected entity from the entity list in the Select databox.

Replace Pick--replaces a selected entity with the next entity you picked (default)

Add Pick--adds a selected entity to the list of entities already picked

Reject Pick--removes a selected entity from the list of entities already picked
38 Patran Reference Manual
Selecting Entities

“Any” Icon
This icon helps you control the entity picks in all select menus. If the action is associated with several
unlike entities, the icon will indicate that any geometric or finite element entity (but not both) is
selectable. For example to delete a solid, a curve, and two points, in the Geometry application you select
Delete>Any and the “Any” icon will consider all geometric entities relative to the enclosure you create.
If, however, you want to restrict the action to entities of a certain type only, you can specify the entity
type for your selection (for example Delete>Solid) and the “Any” selection will refer only to the selected
entity type (in this example to any solid). Assuming that the same four entities (solid, a curve, and two
points) are in the enclosure, just as before, this time only the solid will be deleted and the others will
remain untouched.

“Go to” Icons


When an action requires several levels of definition, secondary Select menus may be activated. For
example, when you rotate entities, you must define an axis of rotation. One of the ways of defining the
axis is by selecting its two endpoints (Axis and Vector Select Icons, 38). Therefore, when you select that
method of axis definition, the Point select icons will be displayed so that you can pick the appropriate
points. At the completion of this action you may want to return to the previous Select menu or to the
original Select menu that started all selections (for example, to select a geometric entity).

Go to Root Menu Icon This icon will return you to the Select menu where you
started the action.

Go to Previous Menu The role of this icon is similar to the Go to Root Menu icon,
Icon except that it returns you to a previously selected menu in a
multi-level definition. (the previously selected Select Menu
may or may not be the root menu).

Entity Filter Icons


The icons in this category help you identify coordinate systems frames, specify vectors and axes, and
define or restrict the selection of geometric and finite element entities.

Axis and Vector Select Icons


These select icons are displayed whenever you need to define an axis of rotation or a vector of translation.
The numbers on the three Principal Axis Icons icons refer to principal axes 1, 2 and 3. Depending on your
selection of a coordinate frame, these are:
• X, Y, and Z axes in a cartesian coordinate frame
• Radius, Theta, and Z definitions in a cylindrical coordinate frame
Ch. 3: Entering and Retrieving Data 39
Selecting Entities

• Radius, Phi,and Theta definitions in a spherical coordinate frame

Principal Axis Icons

Selects principal axis “1” of a predefined coordinate frame.

Selects principal axis “2” of a predefined coordinate frame.

Selects principal axis “3” of a predefined coordinate frame


In a cylindrical coordinate system: In a spherical coordinate system:
AXIS 1  Positive X direction (= 0) AXIS 1  r = 1.0,  = 0,  = 90
AXIS 2  r = 1.0,  = 90, Z = 0 AXIS 2  r = 1.0,  = 90,  = 90
AXIS 3  Positive Z direction AXIS 3  r = 1.0,  = 90,  = 0

Selects the default coordinate frame and enters it in the Select databox.

Specifies a vector whose base is at the global origin and tip at an arbitrary point. Displays the
Point select icons to select this point.

Specifies a vector whose base and tip are both arbitrary points. Displays the Point select icons
to select both points.

Geometry Select Icons


Whenever geometric entities must be selected, several geometry icons will be displayed.

Selecting Points
The following icons enable you to select a point whether it is an existing entity or just a position in space.

Selects a point. Selects a node.


40 Patran Reference Manual
Selecting Entities

Selects a vertex of a curve, Selects the intersection of a curve and a


surface, or solid. surface.

Selects the intersection of two curves. Selects a position on a surface.

Selects a point on a curve closest to an Selects any X, Y screen position. The Z-


off-curve point. value will be zero.

Selecting Curves
You will see these icons when you create new curves or when you need to select existing ones.

Selects a curve. Defines a straight curve between two


end-points.

Selects an edge of a surface or solid. Creates a curve using an existing curve


and two points on the curve.

Creates a curve where two surfaces


intersect.

Selecting Solids
With these icons you can select solid geometry.

Selects any solid. Selects a solid that is interpolated


between two surfaces.
Ch. 3: Entering and Retrieving Data 41
Selecting Entities

Selecting Surfaces
These icons are displayed for creating a surface or for selecting an existing surface.

Selects any surface. Selects a trimmed surface

Creates a surface interpolated between Selects the face of a solid.


two curves (ruled surface.

Selecting Vertices for Decomposed Surfaces


These icons are displayed to help you pick vertices that define a new surface when a trimmed surface is
decomposed into three- and four-sided surfaces. (See Decomposing Trimmed Surfaces (p. 255) in the
MSC Patran Reference Manual, Part 2: Geometry Modeling).

Selects an edge-point on a
surface.

Selects an interior point on a


surface.

Selects a vertex of a surface.

FEM Select Icons


Whenever FEM entities must be selected, one or more of these icons will be displayed.

Selecting Nodes
This icon appears whenever you need to pick a node.

Selects nodes
42 Patran Reference Manual
Selecting Entities

Selecting Elements
These icons are displayed whenever you are selecting elements or parts of elements.

Selects a point element. Selects a triangular element.

Selects a beam element. Selects a quad element.

Selects any 2D element. Selects any solid element.

Selects a tetrahedral element. Selects a hex element.

Selects a wedge element. Selects an element edge.

Selects an element face. Selects an element with free edges

Selects an element with free faces. Restricts selection to elements only.


Ch. 3: Entering and Retrieving Data 43
The List Processor

3.3 The List Processor


The names and ID numbers of the entities you picked are entered into the databox of the application form
that initiated the selection. The resulting character string, or pick list, is then translated into the
appropriate format and processed according to the active command.
The part of the software that is in charge of interpreting the contents of select databoxes so that they could
be converted to actions is called the list processor. Whether the character strings are supplied by the
graphics system (when you select entities), or typed or pasted in the databox, the list processor puts them
into the correct syntax so that all of the Patran application programs will understand their meaning.
Examples of pick list syntax are:
Node 9 18
Elm 1 4 5 8
Quad 4
hpat 10
Surface 1.2
If you intend to do your own programming for Patran applications, you need to familiarize yourself with
the requirements of the list processor. For further information please refer to Creating Lists, 489.
44 Patran Reference Manual
The List Processor
Ch. 4: Working with Files Patran Reference Manual

4 Working with Files

 File Types and Formats 46



The File Menu 57

File Commands 66
46 Patran Reference Manual
File Types and Formats

4.1 File Types and Formats


In Patran, all project-related information is stored in files of various types and formats. The following is
a brief description of the major file types that are created or accessed during Patran operations:

Patran Database
This file contains the data that define your geometric and finite element model, as well as all analysis
results. Databases are binary files that are automatically assigned a .db file name extension (e.g.,
test.db). This extension must remain with the file name.

Session File
A session file is a log of all database related commands and corresponding comments executed during a
work session. A single session file may contain commands that were used for more than one database.
Session files are given a .ses.xx filename extension, where xx is a number that shows the position of
this session file in the sequential order of session files (e.g., test.ses.01= the first session
file). MSC recommends that you maintain the.ses extension, although this is not a strict
requirement.

Journal File
A journal file contains all database related commands executed while creating a specific model. A journal
file spans all sessions required to complete a model. Journal files are assigned a .jou extension (e.g.,
test.db.jou).

Hardcopy File
A hardcopy file is a generic file named patran.hrd that is used as an intermediate step to creating an
output file for specific print drivers, such as HP-GL and CGM.

Patran Neutral File


The Patran Neutral file is a specially formatted file that contains Patran 2.5 model information. The
neutral file provides a means of importing and exporting model data.

IGES File
IGES (Initial Graphics Exchange Specification) files are ANSI standard formatted files that make it
possible to exchange data among most commercial CAD systems.
Patran supports a fixed line length ASCII file format, where the entire file is partitioned into lines of 80
characters in length, beginning with the first character in the file.

Patran 2.5 Results Files


The three formats of Patran 2.5 results files that can be imported into Patran are:
• Element results file (.els)
Ch. 4: Working with Files 47
File Types and Formats

• Nodal results file (.nod)


• Displacement results file (.dis)

For more about importing Patran 2.5 Results Files, see Patran 2.5 Results Files, 46.

Startup Files
Patran relies on a set of required and optional external text files during the startup of a new session, as
follows:
The settings.pcl file, 47 is used to define a default environment for the Patran session. The environment
includes hardcopy parameter settings and operation of Patran’s 3D driver.
The p3prolog.pcl and p3epilog.pcl Files, 54 are used to customize and automate PCL capabilities within
Patran, and to provide a way for customized forms and widgets to be created.
Startup Session Files, 54. There are a number of ways to customize automatic execution of user defined
session files, or to specify the file name of a new session file to be written to by Patran with its startup
session file feature.
For more information on these user defined customization files for Patran, continue onto the following
sections.

The settings.pcl file


Patran searches for and reads a file called settings.pcl at the beginning of each session. The
settings.pcl file contains parameter values which define the environment in which the session will
be run.
The search for this file begins in the default directory first, then moves to the home directory, then finally
to the delivery directory. If this file cannot be found, a new settings.pcl file will be created in the
default directory with a set of default parameter values.
If an existing settings.pcl file is found which contains a missing parameter value, a default value
will be assigned.
Many of the parameters may be changed during the Patran session using the available widgets and forms.
To ensure the Patran environment defined during the session is maintained, the values in the
settings.pcl file that were used at the start of the session will be added to or overwritten (unless the
found settings.pcl file was write protected).
48 Patran Reference Manual
File Types and Formats

All of the entries in settings.pcl are written in PCL and most have calls to the PCL’s built-in
functions. The parameters of interest to most users are presented below. The default values are in
parentheses. For more information, please refer to File>Print (p. 223) in the Patran Reference Manual.

Integer variables set using pref_env_set_integer()


create_dup_geometry (3) Controls the creation of duplicate geometry:

• 1 creates duplicate geometry automatically.


• 2 never creates duplicate geometry.
• 3 asks user for permission before creation.
graphics_colors (150) Number of colors allocated in the colormap.
message_warning (3) Warning message options include:

• 1 indicates that the message should be written to the


history window.
• 2 indicates that a warning bell should also be rung.
• 3 indicates that a modal form should be displayed as
well as writing the message to the history window.

Real variables set using pref_env_set_real()


hc_letter_ht (0.8) (HPGL & HPGL/2 only)
VisibleHistoryItems (3) Number of history lines to be displayed in the main form. Also
can be controlled by dragging the main form border.

Logical variables set using pref_env_set_logical()


SmallScreen1Layout (False) True causes Patran initial menu/viewport
configuration to be automatically sized for small
monitor screens. Avoids truncation of certain Patran
forms.
ApplSwitchIsPopup (False) True causes the application switches to be removed
from the main form and displayed as a popup menu.
This is also controlled by the Preferences Forms...
pulldown form.
Show_cycle_picking_form (True) True causes the cycle picking form to be displayed.
This is also controlled from the Preferences
Forms...form.
Ch. 4: Working with Files 49
File Types and Formats

Show_Icon_Help (True) True causes the popup help to be displayed when the
cursor is placed on an icon.
Save_Vis_History_Item_ True causes the number of displayed history lines to
Count (True) be saved between sessions.
50 Patran Reference Manual
File Types and Formats

String variables set using pref_env_set_string()


graphics_fullcolor Full color mode or lookup mode. Options include “YES” and
(“NO”) NO”. “YES” will use full-color color processing techniques.
“NO” will use lookup or color table color processing
techniques.
graphics_hardware (“NO”) Hardware graphics device or software graphics device. Options
include “YES” and “NO.” “YES” will use the local graphics
system of the host. “NO” will use the software graphics device,
X Windows.
graphics_refresh (“NO”) Automatically refresh exposed areas of the viewport on
machines without backing store.
p3team_graphics_ Graphics device for the Patran TEAM application. Options
hardware (“NO”) include “YES” and “NO.” “YES” will use the local graphics
system of the host. “NO” will use the software graphics device,
X Windows.
entity_picking_ Selects the shape of the cursor when in entity picking mode.
cursor (holeangle) Controlled by the Preferences Picking... form. Options include
“holeangle”, “+hole”, “xhole”, “+” and “x”.
select_menu_layout Selects the orientation of the select menu from either vertical or
(vertical) horizontal. Horizontal selection is ignored if select menu is used
as a popup, below. Options include “vertical” and “horizontal.”
select_menu_type (form) Selects whether the select menu automatically appears as a form
or is controlled as a popup by assigning to a key (Key must be
selected using the Preferences Key Map form). Options include
“form” and “popup”.

String variables set using pref_env_set_string()


"ResTmplAutoLoadDirOrder","1,3,2, This parameter alters the top directory search
4" order when looking for Results Templates to
Auto load in a database. The default order is
“1,2,3,4.” Permutations of the integers permute
the directory hierachical search order. The
default order is none, ., $HOME, and
$P3_HOME. Thus, the above example will
cause $HOME to be searched before the current
directory (.).
"result_capture_filename","patran This settings parameter sets the default report
.prt" filename used in the Results application when
writing reports
Ch. 4: Working with Files 51
File Types and Formats

"result_quick_avg_domain", "All" All is the default that is used if nothing is set, or


if invalid values are given. Valid values are: All,
Material, Property, EType, Target, Element
"result_quick_extrap_method", ShapeFunc is the default that is used if nothing is
"ShapeFunc" set, or if invalid values are given. ShapeFunc,
Average, Centroid, Max, Min, AsIs.
"result_quick_transform", This settings parameter sets the default
"Default" coordinate transformation method for Quick
Plots in the Results application. Valid values
are: Default, Global, CID, ProjectedCID, None,
Material, ElementIJK
"result_quick_avg_method","Derive This settings parameter sets the default
Average" averaging method for Quick Plots in the Results
application. Valid values are: DeriveAverage,
AverageDerive, Difference, Sum
“NastranResultsOutput”,”XDB Only” This parameter sets the default results output
type for the MD Nastran preference. The default
is “XDB and Print” if this parameter is not
specified. Valid values are:

XDB Only
XDB and Print
OP2 Only
OP2 and Print
Print Only
None
52 Patran Reference Manual
File Types and Formats

Logical variables set using pref_env_set_logical()


"ResTmplAutoLoadNewDb", TRUE Enables the automatic loading of Results Templates
for new databases. Setting this parameter to FALSE
disables the automatic loading and is the default.
"ResTmplAutoLoadOpenDb", TRUE Enables the automatic loading of Results Templates
when opening existing databases. Setting this
parameter to FALSE disables the automatic loading
and is the default.
"ResTmplAutoLoadAllFiles", Finds all matches when searching for the Results
TRUE Template initialization session file. Setting this
parameter to FALSE causes the usual pattern of
behavior of stopping when the first matching file is
found in the directory search hierarchy. FALSE is the
default.
"result_dbopen_display", TRUE Any posted result plots displayed when a database is
closed are redisplayed when reopened. This is the
default. If plots are not to be displayed run a database
is opened, then set this parameter to FALSE.
“Use_Pref_Elem_Test", Logical variable designed for utilizing MD Nastran
def_value element checks from within Patran.

If this variable is set to TRUE, some of the Finite


Element Verification functions will be the exact check
that is run by MD Nastran. This will be indicated by
the different icon.
Ch. 4: Working with Files 53
File Types and Formats

Integer variables set using pref_env_set_integer()


"result_loadcase_abbrev Result Case names, when multiple subcases (time steps, load
iate", 10 steps, etc.) exist, are displayed in an abbreviated form if there are
more than the specified number of subcases. This condenses the
number of Result Case items displayed in listboxes in the Results
application.
"prop_form_full_refresh If the number of properties in the database exceeds n_prop_limit,
_limit", n_prop_limit the following form behavior changes will occur:

• Newly created properties will be added to the bottom of the


listbox. The listbox position will not change.
• Renamed properties will replace the old property at the same
position in the listbox regardless of the sort and filter settings.
• To force a refresh of the listbox, the filter button may be
used.
• Properties are not re-read from the database and the property
listbox is not refreshed each time the Property/Create or
Property/Modify form is opened. All of the standard methods
( elementprops_create(), elementprops_modify(),
elementprops_delete(), elementprops_expand(),
elementprops_compress() ) for modifying properties on the
database will cause a signal to re-read the database and
refresh the listbox if they are performed while the properties
form is closed. However, any direct db calls to modify
properties will not. Therefore, if direct db type of operations
are performed, the property form will become out of sync
with the database. To re-sync, the database must be closed
and reopened. Also, switching the Property form Action to
Delete, Compress or Expand and then back to Create or
Modify triggers a database re-read. This same behavior
occurs in V2001.
• Opening the Property/Delete or Compress forms causes a
listbox refresh the next time the Property/Create or Modify
form is opened. Otherwise switching between
Property/Create or Property/Modify forms is fast.
• Creating or Modifying properties from a session file
(command line) will cause a listbox refresh the next time the
Property/Create or Property/Modify form is opened.
54 Patran Reference Manual
File Types and Formats

Preference Environment Variables for Hardcopy


The following is a table of preference environment variables displayed in settings.pcl. The
environment variables are used with the Patran hardcopy drivers: PostScript, HPGL and HPGL/2. These
variables can be modified in a number of ways in Patran:
• They are displayed as widgets on the hardcopy forms. Please refer to File>Print, 223 for
information on how to access these forms in Patran.
• They are displayed in the settings.pcl file, which can be modified with any text editor.
• They are also read as environment variables. These hardcopy environment variables may be
modified using the UNIX setenv command or the Windows NT set command.
The following is a table of all hardcopy variables defined in Patran. Further explanation of the variable
values can be found in File>Print, 223:

Other Preference Environment Variables

Description Preference Name Environment Variable Name Default Possible Values


Duplicate create_dup_bord P3_CREATE_DUP_GEOMETRY 3 1
geometry creation ered 2
control
3

The p3prolog.pcl and p3epilog.pcl Files


The files p3prolog.pcl and p3epilog.pcl are read during the initialization of Patran. The
p3prolog.pcl file allows the user to predefine PCL variables and to pre-compile PCL files or
functions. The p3epilog.pcl file is used to create user defined or customized widgets.
The p3prolog.pcl and p3epilog.pcl files may be added to the default directory (where Patran
will be executed from), or to the home or login directory.
The p3prolog.pcl file is one of the first PCL files to be read by the Patran system during startup.
While it is a standard PCL file, the PCL entries contained in this file should not reference any of the
standard built-in PCL functions since Patran has not yet been initialized when this file is read.
The p3epilog.pcl file is one of the last PCL files to be read by the Patran system during startup.
Since most PCL applications have been initialized by the time this file is read, PCL calls may, in general,
include PCL application calls. The p3epilog.pcl file would contain PCL calls that create user
defined forms and widgets.
For an example of how p3epilog.pcl is used to create customized widgets, please refer to Example:
Creating a Simple Customized Menu and Form (p. 293) in the PCL and Customization.

Startup Session Files


During the startup of Patran, you may define a default play and record session file. The session file user
interface consists of three different levels of interfaces where each level can supersede the previous one.
Ch. 4: Working with Files 55
File Types and Formats

These interfaces are made up of the system start-up file interface, the command line interface (both of
which are described here) and the session file forms. See File>Session, 221 interface.

Startup using system files


Patran allows start-up files to control its initialization. In addition to other start-up and PCL commands,
the following two lines may be included:
sf_record_default( STRING init_rec_file, LOGICAL
record_rotations)
sf_play_default( STRING init_play_file, LOGICAL single_step)
These commands should only be placed in p3epilog.pcl. These commands select the initial files and
option modes. If these lines are not present, there is no default play file, “md_patran.ses” will be the
default record file (unless overridden later) and both options default to FALSE.

Recording session file initialization


The first line (sf_record_default) initializes the recording session file and form. The default
recording file (<init_record_file>) can either indicate no file to suppress the default file (e.g.,
specify an empty string: “ ”), specify the file from its base name only (e.g., “md_patran” will use
“md_patran.ses.xx”) or specify a base name and an extension (e.g., “new.ext” will use
“new.ext.xx”). The <record_rotations> flag must be set to TRUE if rotation events are to be
written to the session file.

Playing session file initialization


The second line (sf_play_default) initializes the playing session file and form. The default playing
file (<init_play_file>) can either indicate no file, specify a file name as above or specify a file
with extension and version (e.g. “temp.ses.01”). It is highly recommended that either the no file or
file.extension.version form be used. Using one of the other forms may conflict with the
current recording session file name--usually resulting in an empty file being erroneously played. The
<single-step> flag must be set to TRUE if the user desires to view and/or modify each played line.

Startup from command line


Patran also allows you to specify a playback file and/or a record file on the command line. The UNIX
command line options are “-sfp <filename>” (session file play) and “-sfr <file name>”
(session file record). The use of these options supersedes their previous values as specified in the system
files (see above). Specifying either of these options with no file name cancels any default files called out
by the system files.
The example below would suppress the recording session file and play test.ses.03.
p3 -sfr -sfp test.ses.03
56 Patran Reference Manual
File Types and Formats

The Template Database File (md_template.db)


As documented in Basic Functions, new Patran databases are not empty. When a new database is created,
a md_template.db file is copied from the Patran delivery directory into the default directory, and is used
as the new database file.
The md_template.db file contains specific analysis code definitions for all Patran Application
Preferences and Modules (e.g., MD Nastran, MSC.Marc, etc.). Thus, when constructing a model, users
have available the choices of accessing a specific set of any supported analysis code definitions within
the md_template.db.
However, the md_template.db file may be customized for specific material and element definitions,
as well as customizing for only those Patran Application Preferences or Modules that you are licensed to
run.
For example, if your site has a set of materials that is more extensive than the standard set of materials,
you can add the specific material information to the template database. This would ensure that all
subsequent Patran databases created would reference the customized md_template.db file, and it
would contain the additional material definitions.
Similarly, specific element types can be removed from the standard Patran element library in the template
database, and the removed element types would not appear for users that reference the modified
md_template.db file during the creation of the new database.
Refer to the Patran Reference Manual for more information on configuring the md_template.db file.
Ch. 4: Working with Files 57
The File Menu

4.2 The File Menu


The File menu displays the commands that create and manage Patran files.

Menu Conventions
A menu key word with ellipses (...) attached to it will call up an additional form in which you enter further
data.
If a menu key word is followed by an expression containing the abbreviation Ctrl, this item can also be
accessed by an accelerated keyboard shortcut. For example, for File>New, the menu shows Ctrl N. This
means that, if desired, you can activate this command by pressing the Ctrl (Control) key and the
designated letter key (N) simultaneously instead of clicking File and then the New keyword.
58 Patran Reference Manual
The File Menu

The File menu functionalities are described below in the order in which they appear in the menu.
Ch. 4: Working with Files 59
The File Menu
60 Patran Reference Manual
The File Menu

New... Displays the New Database dialog box in which you enter the name of
a new model. The form presents the default md_template.db
template file; if desired, you can specify another previously defined
and saved template file.

When a new database is created, a md_template.db file is copied from


the Patran delivery directory into the default directory. This file
contains specific analysis code definitions for all Patran application
preferences and modules (e.g., MD Nastran, MSC.Marc, etc.). Thus,
when you create a model, you are accessing an explicit set of the
available analysis code definitions within the template file.

You may customize the md_template.db file to ensure that all


databases will reference certain specific definitions in the following
areas:

• Materials--if your site has a set of materials that is more extensive


than the standard set, you can add this material information to the
new template database.
• Elements--if you don’t want certain element types appearing when
a new database is created, you can exclude those from the standard
Patran element library in the new template database.
• Application preferences--you can eliminate from the new template
database those applications and modules that your site is not
licensed to run.
• Set Working Directory to Database Location
If this toggle is ON, the working directory will be changed to be the
same directory where the opened database exists. All files
subsequently written, such as analysis input decks, are written to
the working directory. If this toggle is OFF, then the possibility
exists that the working directory could be different than the
directory where the open database exists. Thus analysis input decks
will not be written to the directory where the database exists, but to
the currently set working directory.
For more information on configuring the md_template.db file,
please refer to the Patran Installation and Operations Guide.
Ch. 4: Working with Files 61
The File Menu

Open... Displays the Open Database dialog box in which you can select the
name of an existing Patran database.

• Set Working Directory to Database Location


If this toggle is ON, the working directory will be changed to be the
same directory where the opened database exists. All files
subsequently written, such as analysis input decks, are written to
the working directory. If this toggle is OFF, then the possibility
exists that the working directory could be different than the
directory where the open database exists. Thus analysis input decks
will not be written to the directory where the database exists, but to
the currently set working directory.
62 Patran Reference Manual
The File Menu

Open Recent... Allows you to select from a list of recently accessed database files. The
number of files visible is controlled by settings.pcl file environment
variable:

pref_env_set_integer("max_num_recent_files",num_files)

The list of recent files is found in a file called .Patran.RecentFiles


located in the users’ home directory. On Windows, this is determined
by the HOMEDRIVE and HOMEPATH variables, e.g., “C:” and “\” =
C:\.Patran.RecentFiles. On UNIX, the environement variable HOME
must be set, e.g., /home/user.

• Set Working Directory to Database Location


If this toggle is ON, the working directory will be changed to be the
same directory where the opened database exists. All files
subsequently written, such as analysis input decks, are written to
the working directory. If this toggle is OFF, then the possibility
exists that the working directory could be different than the
directory where the open database exists. Thus analysis input decks
will not be written to the directory where the database exists, but to
the currently set working directory.
• Automatically Open Database on Selection
If this toggle is ON, selecting a file from the Recent Files listbox
will cause that database to be opened automatically with no need to
press the OK button. The form is then closed.
• Maximum Recent Files
Change this value to view more or less files in the Recent Files
listbox.
• The settings of these toggles and databox are written to the
settings.pcl file with the following variables:
pref_env_set_integer( "max_num_recent_files", num_files )

pref_env_set_logical( "set_cur_dir_recent_files", TRUE/FALSE )

pref_env_set_logical( "auto_open_recent_files", TRUE/FALSE )

pref_env_set_logical( "set_cur_dir_file_new", TRUE/FALSE )

pref_env_set_logical( "set_cur_dir_file_open", TRUE/FALSE )

If present in the settings.pcl file, the toggles and/or databox will be set
to the values found. When the File/Open, File/New or File/Open
Recent forms are closed, the values of these toggles and databox are
written to settings.pcl if this file is present and can be written to (not
read only).
Ch. 4: Working with Files 63
The File Menu

Close Closes an open database without exiting Patran. Saves all changes
made to the database during the current session.
Save Although Patran updates an open database after each operation, the last
update step is not saved to disk, it remains in memory only. The Save
command ensures that the most recent update is included when the
current state of the database is committed to disk.
Save a Copy... Opens the Save a Copy form that enables you to save a copy of your
database under a new name.
Utilities
• Reclaim... Reclaims unused space allocated to the current database. Note that
when you reclaim database space the file’s Undo history will be
deleted.
• Revert... Returns a database to the state in which it existed when it was first
opened (provided that the Revert Operation has been enabled; see
Preferences>Global, 455). Changes made during the current session
will be lost.
• Rebuild... Executes a selected journal file (see Journal File, 46) to re-create an
Patran database. The rebuilt database remains open and allows you to
continue to work on the model. This command is useful when the
original database is either lost or not accessible (e.g., the database is
archived or resides on a different computer platform).
64 Patran Reference Manual
The File Menu

Import... Enables you to bring in model or results data created outside of the
current database. Model data may be in Patran database format, Patran
2.5 neutral file format, MD Nastran input file format, CAD format, or
Standard Data Exchange format. Import recognizes the following
CAD formats:

• CATIA
• Pro/ENGINEER
• Unigraphics
• Parasolid
• ACIS
Import results from a PATRAN 2.5 Results file (Element, Nodal or
Displacement Results file).

• Importing Results
Import recognizes the following Standard Data Exchange formats:

• STEP AP203 and AP209


• Express Neutral STL
• IGES
• VDA
Export... Translates an open Patran database into an IGES file, STEP AP203 and
AP209, Parasolid xmt, or a Patran neutral file, based on the entire
model, specific entity types, or Patran groups.
SimXpert This menu item appears if you have a valid installation of SimXpert on
your local system and the environment variable MSC_SX_HOME is
set pointing to the installation directory of SimXpert. Selecting this
option will launch SimXpert. If you wish to export a current model to
SimXpert, this can be done in the Analysis application with the
Action/Object/Method set to Analyze/Entire Model/Load SimXpert in
the MSC or MD Nastran preference.
Ch. 4: Working with Files 65
The File Menu

SimManager Publishes and retrieves Patran databases and other related analysis files
directly from within Patran with the SimManager client. Once logged
on, the user may publish, retrieve, and browse as well view connection
properties and access the Web Client. The server connection properties
and settings need to be set in order for the SimManager client to
communicate with the server. The following variables need to be set.

SM_RICH_CLIENT_CONFIG_FILE <location of
SmRichClt.properties file>

SM_RICH_CLIENT_IC_HOST <host_name>

SM_RICH_CLIENT_IC_PORT <port number>

SM_RICH_CLIENT_IC_PROTOCOL http

SM_RICH_CLIENT_IC_WEBCONTEXT SimManager_R3

SM_RICH_CLIENT_ROOT <path>

For more information on using SimManager please see the


SimManager documentation. Client access to a SimManager server via
Patran is only supported on Windows machines.
Session >
• Play... Executes a specified Patran session file (see Session File, 46) either in
its entirety or one command at a time for debugging or editing
purposes.
• Record... Creates a new file with a user-defined file name and records all
database related commands executed during the current Patran session
from the time this file was opened. The default md_patran.ses
session file will be generated as well.
Print... Sends the image of one or all viewports and/or XY plot windows to a
designated printer or creates a hardcopy file in order to print or plot at
a later time. Certain printing options are functions of the available
printers and print drivers.
Images... Creates graphical outputs of model displays in a variety of popular
graphics file formats, including interactive Internet-ready animations.
Report... Creates a printable text file that contains Patran model summary
information, node and element attributes, properties and results.
Quit Closes an open database, saves any changes made, and ends the active
session.
66 Patran Reference Manual
File Commands

4.3 File Commands


The File Menu commands activate dialog boxes in which you interact with Patran. Although the
commands are specific to the file-related action you want to perform, dialog box entries that deal with
file names and types are common to several commands.

Look In
This text field displays the location where Patran starts looking for the various folders in which it can
create and manipulate databases, session files, and reports. The subordinate folders and existing database
names are also listed. If you don’t remember where your files are located, move up and down the
hierarchy of all folders with the Windows icons, the Windows Explorer, or use Start>Find>Files or
Folders on your Desktop to select the correct path for your database search.

File Name
Enter a new name or select a name from the displayed list. This text field, as well as the Files of Type
field, also shows the default extension automatically assigned to different kinds of files (e.g., *.db, for
database file). If you enter a name that already exists, you will be asked whether you would like to delete
the existing database and create a new one.

Naming Conventions
Although Patran does not impose any limitations on file names, certain restrictions do exist, mainly due
to the naming requirements of various CAD systems and translators, as well as analysis codes. Therefore,
it is best to avoid spaces and other special characters from file names. Also, be aware, that some analysis
programs limit the number of characters allowed in a file name and may truncate a longer name to the
allowable length.

Files of Type
This text field shows the file type appropriate for the selected action, as well as the automatically assigned
file name extension.
File>New 67
Creating a New File

File>New Creating a New File

The File>New command sequence activates the New Database dialog box.

In addition to the file name inputs that are required, two optional data entries are:
• Change Template Button/Template Database Name
68 File>New
Creating a New File

• Modify Preferences checkbox

Change Template If you press this button the Database Template dialog box will display
all saved template database names. Select the template you want to
use. For more about templates, see New..., 60.
Modify Preferences Turn this toggle on (4) and the New Model Preferences form will be
presented right after the new database is created. In this form you can
specify a tolerance value (see Global Model Tolerance, 457), the
analysis code you intend to use, and the type of analysis you want to
perform on the model.

Changing a Template
The Database Template allows you to select a a previously defined and saved template file that will be
used as the source when a new database is created.
File>New 69
Creating a New File

Modifying Preferences
The New Model Preference form allows you to select those preferences that must be set at the beginning
of the modeling process to avoid invalid input and irreversible results.
70 File>New
Creating a New File

Tolerance Tolerance specifies the maximum distance within which two like
entities (e.g., points), are said to be coincident. Tolerance is a global
parameter, that is, it affects the entire modeling process.
Entity coincidences and congruences:

• coincident points--two points separated by a distance less than or


equal to the tolerance
• coincident curves--distance between all points of two curves is
less than or equal to the tolerance
• connected curves--two curves share the same endpoints
• coincident surfaces--distance between all points of two surfaces is
less than or equal to the tolerance
• topologically congruent surfaces--two surfaces that share the same
edge
• topologically congruent solids--two solids that share the same
surface.
If you attempt to create an entity that would be coincident with
existing geometry, a system message will notify you that this entity
already exists and will ask you if you wish to create a duplicate.

When two surfaces appear to be topologically congruent but meshes


created on them do not match at their boundary, it is probably because
the global model tolerance was set too low at the time the surfaces
were created. If the geometry does connect but there are gaps greater
than the tolerance, it may be necessary to relax the tolerance. On the
other hand, too large tolerance may cause inaccuracies in the model.

The topology, or connectivity, of a model is determined when


geometry is created, imported, or accessed from a CAD system. Once
connectivity is set, you cannot modify it unless you delete the
geometry, change the tolerance, then re-create the geometry.
Global Model Tolerance can also be specified in the Patran Main
Form’s Preferences menu.
• Based on Model Calculates the tolerance based on the expected maximum model size.
Recommended tolerance is .05% of the expected maximum model
size, however, you may specify a different tolerance depending on the
accuracy of the geometry construction.
• Default Uses the current setting of the global model tolerance defined in the
template database, normally .005.
File>New 71
Creating a New File

Maximum Model Enter the approximate maximum model size if you selected the Based
Dimension on Model tolerance definition.
Analysis Code Select the program you intend to use for the finite element analysis.
Analysis Type Select the type of analysis you will perform on the model.
Your selection of an analysis code, as well as the analysis type, will
affect all aspects of the finite element modeling process, since
analysis codes have their own unique definitions for element types,
MPC types, and all other FEM entities and properties.

If you decide to change the analysis code or the analysis type


preference during the modeling process, you may lose the data that
apply only to the previous preference settings. Therefore, to keep
analysis-specific data from being lost, it is best to specify the analysis
code and the analysis type at the beginning of the modeling session.

Analysis Code and Analysis Type can also be defined in the Patran
Main Form’s Preferences menu.
72 File>Open
Opening an Existing File

File>Open Opening an Existing File

The File>Open command sequence activates the Open Database dialog box. Make sure you are
displaying the appropriate folder in which the database resides, then select the name of the database you
want to open.
File>Save a Copy 73
Saving a Copy of a Database

File>Save a Copy Saving a Copy of a Database

Use this command to save a copy of your database under a different name.

Save Journal File Copy If you turn this toggle on (4), the journal file associated with the
Also database will also copy to the new database. Note that the copied
journal file will still refer to the name of the original database; you
must edit the name to refer to the copied database.
Look in: If you want to save the copy to a different folder, select the new folder.
File Name Enter a new name for the copied database.
74 File>Reclaim
Freeing up Unused Disk Space

File>Reclaim Freeing up Unused Disk Space

The Reclaim utility frees unused disk space allocated to the currently open database. Normally you may
not need to use this feature, since the Reclaim process is executed automatically when you save or close
a database that contains a significant amount of free space, provided that the following two conditions
are met:
• The database can be reduced by an estimated one megabyte or more.
• The current database fragmentation is more than 5% of the size of the total database.

Important: When you reclaim database space, the file’s Undo history is deleted. However, once the
reclaim process is complete, the Undo capability will be reestablished after the next
committed action and the database will again maintain Undo states.

When you request to reclaim database space, you will receive the following a message:

Whether you proceed with the reclaim utility or not will depend on what is more valuable, the amount of
database space you can recover or retaining the Undo history of your file.
File>Revert 75
Reverting to the Original Database

File>Revert Reverting to the Original Database

This utility erases all changes made during the current session and returns a database to the state in which
it existed when it was first opened.
The Revert utility is not automatically active. To make it available, you must do the following:
1. Select the Preferences menu in the Main Form.
2. Pick the keyword Global.
3. Click on the toggle in the selection box (4) Enable Revert Operation. This action will take effect
when you next open this database.
4. Close the database.
5. Open the file; revert will be available in the database. Proceed creating entities.
6. If you want to return to the original state of the database, click File>Utilities>Revert.
7. The following message will appear:

8. Select Yes or No to complete the action.


76 File>Rebuild
Rebuilding a Model from a Journal File

File>Rebuild Rebuilding a Model from a Journal File

With this utility, you can rebuild a model created in Patran using a journal file. The journal file contains
a history of all user activity required to create the database, even if it spanned several separate modeling
sessions. Because it is a sequential text file of PCL instructions, it can be edited using a text editor.
This utility is available only if there is no open Patran file. When you invoke File>Utilities>Rebuild, the
Rebuild Database dialog box will display the list of journal files contained in the last-used folder (you
can search through other folders as well).

Select the journal file to run. Once a journal file is read and executed, the database will be completely
restored.
File>Import 77
Importing Models and Results

File>Import Importing Models and Results

With the File>Import command you can bring in model or results data created outside of the current
database. If the imported object is specified as Model, the Import dialog box buttons and text boxes are
related to model import choices. Imported model files may come from a number of different sources,
therefore model data may be in Patran database format, Patran 2.5 neutral file format, MD Nastran input
file format, or in one of several CAD formats.

Common Items in Import Dialog Boxes


A number of items in the Import dialog box are common to all model import functions regardless of the
imported file’s origin and will appear in all model import dialog boxes.

Look in: Shows the drive or folder where the search starts for the incoming
database. The text field below displays the folders and files where you
may locate this database.
File name Select the name of the file you want to import.
Files of type Indicates the valid file type and assigned file name extension, unique
to the selected source of the imported file.
Source Identifies the software application used to create the imported model.
78 File>Import
Importing Models and Results

Current Group Displays the current group into which the imported entities will be
placed. If you enter a group name that does not yet exist, a new group
with this name will be created and made current.
Options Although this item is dependent on the source file origin, it generally
leads to a spreadsheet or a form that displays application-specific
information about imported entities.

Importing a Patran Database


When you import an Patran database, the Import form contains the common import functions and two
additional options, specific to Patran:

Equivalence Options Allows you to select methods and conditions for merging coincident
nodes.
Preview Patran Database Displays a list of the number of entities and their ID specifications in
the database targeted for import.
File>Import 79
Importing Models and Results

Patran DB Import Options


This selection presents a multipurpose spreadsheet that provides extensive information about how to
manage incoming database entities.
80 File>Import
Importing Models and Results

Spreadsheet Headings

Numbered Entity Offset Defaults


This frame provides building blocks for resolving conflicts between duplicate entity identification
numbers during the import process. The basis of the these building blocks is a count of successful
database imports called the Submodel.

Numbered Entity Offset Defaults


Increment * Submodel = Default Offset
10000 1 10000

Default Offset
Indicates the amount by which the ID numbers of the incoming entities of the corresponding type will be
incremented in the current database. A large offset makes it easier to group IDs for imported submodels
and organize the database. The Default Offset is the product of the Increment and the Submodel number.

Increment
An arbitrary offset increment you assign.

Submodel
The number of successful imports; this number is incremented after each subsequent import. If desired,
it can also be overridden by any arbitrary number.

Named Entity Prefix Defaults


This frame provides building blocks for resolving conflicts between duplicate entity names during the
import process.

Named Entity Prefix Defaults


Prefix // Submodel = Default Prefix
SM_ 001_ SM_001_

Default Prefix
Indicates an alphanumeric prefix applied to incoming entity names. It may be used to organize the
database based on each imported submodel. The Default Prefix is a concatenation of the Prefix and the
Submodel number.
File>Import 81
Importing Models and Results

Prefix
An arbitrary prefix that must start with a letter. The default, SM_, stands for submodel.

Submodel
The Submodel number, incremented after each successful import.

Duplicate Entity Merge Options


When entities in an incoming (secondary) database are of the same type and name as those that already
exist in the receiving (primary) database, you can resolve the duplication as follows:
• Insert a prefix in front of the incoming entity’s name and import it with that name.
• Try to combine the two entities into one. If the two cannot be combined because of conflicting
properties, issue a warning and resort to the option above.
In some cases, the merge operation is not actually merging incoming and existing data. For example, if
a material is already present in the receiving database and a material with the same name and properties
exists in the imported database, the material definition in the primary database is retained, and that from
the secondary database is discarded.
Groups, however, are not likely to have identical properties. If the incoming database contains a group
with the same name as one that exists in the receiving database, the entities from the imported database
82 File>Import
Importing Models and Results

will be added to the group in the primary database. A new group is created to contain all entities from the
imported database. This group is given the name specified by the entity prefix.

Duplicate Entity Merge Options:


Entities to Merge Upon Duplication Real Number Equality Criteria
Material Load/BC Field 3
Compare Names 0.XXXE+-YY
Load Case Group Significant Digits
Element Property DOF List
Compare Names

Entities to Merge Upon In these cells you specify the entities you want to merge if a duplicate
Duplication name is encountered. If you do not click the merge toggle (or if the
merge attempt fails), a prefix will be inserted in front of the name and
a new entity will be created to hold the data.

For those entities with a “Compare Names” toggle, click the ones that
must have duplicate names to merge. If this toggle is ON, the entities
in the primary and secondary databases must have the same name and
the same data to merge.

If the toggle is OFF, the entities in the receiving and imported


databases need only have duplicate data to merge. If a duplicate name
does exist in the primary database, the imported entity will merge with
it. If a duplicate name does not exist, the imported entity will merge
with the first alphanumeric entity found with duplicate data.
Real Number Equality This criteria is used to determine whether two real properties (scalar
Criteria or vector components) are close enough in value to be assumed equal.
Significant Digits To determine near-equality, compare digits of the two numbers in
normalized exponential form, from left to right (discarding leading
zeroes) up to the specified number of significant digits. For example,
for Significant Digits = 3, the following are considered equal:

0.234516E+08 0.234925E+08
But, the following are not:

0.233925E+08 0.234925E+08

Spreadsheet Cells
The cells in the spreadsheet identify the imported entities and specify certain characteristics.
File>Import 83
Importing Models and Results

Import Column

Current Database Ranges


Import? MinimumID MaximumID ID Offset Name P
Point All 1 250 10000 Not Us

In the Import column you select which entities of a given type are to be imported from the external
database (All, None or a List). Group membership provides additional control of entities. For entities that
can be placed in groups, if All or a List of groups is specified only those entities that are in the selected
groups will be imported. If None is specified for groups, group membership is not a consideration.
For example, if you select All for Elements, and All for groups, and if Element 100 is not in any group,
Element 100 will not be imported. However, if you pick All for Elements, and None for groups, Element
100, which is not in any group, will be imported.

Import Filter Options


If multiple cells from the column are selected at one time, the values for those cells are simply toggled
from All to None, or vice-versa.
84 File>Import
Importing Models and Results

If you select a single cell, a second dialog box will provide a set of options.

Entities to Import With each listed entity type, you can choose to import all entities of a
give type, none of them, or those specified in an input list. If you set
the switch to Input, you enable the List databox and may input a list
manually.
<entity> List Enter the desired list of entities. This label will vary according to the
entity type you selected (e.g., Curve List).
Preview Database. . . Displays the Patran Database Preview form that shows the entities,
and their corresponding ID numbers, as contained in the import
database.

Minimum ID and Maximum ID Columns

Current Database Ranges


Import? MinimumID MaximumID ID Offset Name P
Point All 1 250 10000 Not Us

These columns show the range of identification numbers for the corresponding entity type in the current
(receiving) database. Seeing these numbers may help you decide what ID offset values are most
appropriate for that entity type.
File>Import 85
Importing Models and Results

ID Offset Column

Current Database Ranges


Import? MinimumID MaximumID ID Offset Name P
Material All 1 250 10000 Not Use

This column indicates the number by which the IDs of the incoming entities are to be incremented
relative to the entities of the corresponding type that exist in the current database.
86 File>Import
Importing Models and Results

Offset Options
If you select an ID Offset cell, a second dialog box will provide a set of options.

Offset Option Pick one of the following:

• Default--from the Default Offset databox (see Numbered Entity


Offset Defaults, 80).
• Auto--if the offset value is set to Auto, the IDs are offset starting at
the current maximum ID plus 1. (Patran sets the default to Auto,
unless the db_import_auto_offset environment parameter
is changed).
• Input--allows you to enter any offset value in the databox.
Offset Value Enter the desired offset value.
File>Import 87
Importing Models and Results

Name Prefix Column

Current Database Ranges


Import? MinimumID MaximumID ID Offset Name Prefix
erial All Not Used Not Used Not Used SM_001_

This column shows the prefix that is to be applied to incoming entity names. If the merge toggle for the
corresponding entity type is ON, a prefix is applied only if the name duplicates the name of another entity
in the current database and the merge operation failed due to conflicting data. See Duplicate Entity Merge
Options, 81 for more details.

Prefix Option Pick one of the following:

• Default--from the Default Prefix databox (see Named Entity Prefix


Defaults, 80).
• Input--allows you to enter any prefix value in the databox.
Prefix Value Enter the desired prefix value, starting with a letter.
88 File>Import
Importing Models and Results

Equivalence Options
Equivalencing is a process in finite element modeling whereby all coincident nodes are reduced to a
single node. Two nodes are coincident if they are within a predetermined tolerance distance from each
other (the number of significant digits for the equivalence tolerance is set in the Import Options form, see
Significant Digits, 82). The change brought about when nodes are equivalenced is propagated throughout
all other FEM definitions, (element connectivity definitions, MPC equations, loads and boundary
conditions), geometry definitions, and groups.

ID Numbers
By default, the highest coincident node ID at a location in the secondary model will equivalence to the
highest coincident node ID in the primary model.

Loads and Boundary Conditions


If the LBC toggle in the Patran DB Import Options spreadsheet is OFF, secondary LBCs will not be
merged with primary LBCs. If this toggle is ON, there are two possibilities in merging loads and
boundary conditions, depending on whether identical LBCs exist in the current database and the import
database (two LBCs are considered identical if their types, set names, scale factors, LBC data, and
coordinate frames are all equal):
• If a secondary LBC is identical to a primary LBC--the secondary LBC will be equivalenced to
the primary LBC and will no longer exist in the merged model. The application region of the
resultant LBC in the merged model will cover both the primary and secondary application
regions.
• If a secondary LBC is not identical to any primary LBC--the secondary LBC will be embedded
into the merged model, its name will be prefixed if the same name is found among the primary
LBCs, and its application region and coordinate frame will be updated to the new IDs.

Discrete FEM Fields


Discrete FEM fields from different models are never considered to be equal, therefore, LBCs with data
referencing discrete FEM fields can be equivalenced with a special option in the Equivalence Options
dialog box that allows you to perform inter-model equivalencing of LBCs that reference discrete FEM
fields. Accordingly, two discrete FEM fields (not necessarily with the same name) must be combined into
one. Referenced by the resultant LBC, the combined discrete FEM field will contain all data from both
the primary and secondary FEM fields.
LBCs are categorized into vector loads (e.g., force), or scalar loads (e.g., pressure), and boundary
conditions (displacement). You can choose one of several equivalence options available for each
category to produce the data at the surviving nodes after nodal equivalencing. Note that these equivalence
options are only applied to the pairs of nodes being equivalenced. To be affected by the equivalence
options, both nodes in a pair must be listed respectively in the two discrete FEM fields being combined.
Other nodes in the two DFEM fields will be copied with updated IDs and their associated values will be
copied to the combined DFEM field, which inherits the name of the DFEM field from the primary model.
File>Import 89
Importing Models and Results

Analysis Coordinate Frame Merge Rule


During nodal equivalencing the analysis coordinate frame at a surviving node is determined by a rule that
takes into account the analysis coordinate frames and the boundary conditions at both the primary and
secondary node being equivalenced. The following table shows this rule for various coordinate frames
(CF) and boundary condition definitions (BC).

Analysis CF at Analysis CF at Analysis CF at Message


Primary Node Secondary Node Equivalenced Node Level
Global Global Global No
Local-1 Local-1 Local-1 No

Global without BCs Local without BCs Global Warning


Global without BCs Local with BCs Local No
Global with BCs Local without BCs Global Warning
Global with BCs Local with BCs Fatal

Local without BCs Global without BCs Global Warning


Local without BCs Global with BCs Global Warning
Local with BCs Global without BCs Local No
Local with BCs Global with BCs Fatal

Local-1 without BCs Local-2 without BCs Local-1 Warning


Local-1 without BCs Local-2 with BCs Local-2 Warning
Local-1 with BCs Local-2 without BCs Local-1 Warning
Local-1 with BCs Local-2 with BCs Fatal
90 File>Import
Importing Models and Results

Equivalence Options Dialog Box


File>Import 91
Importing Models and Results

Equivalence Specify whether nodes and/or geometry are to be equivalenced as they


Nodes/Geometry are imported (both are ON by default). Only items that are common
between the current database (primary model) and the import database
(secondary model) are considered for equivalencing. If duplicate
items are found within either model but none of those are duplicated
in the other model, no action will be taken. In other words, only inter-
model equivalencing is performed, as opposed to inner-model
equivalencing.
Tolerance Method Tolerance method applies to nodal equivalencing only.
Tolerance Source You can accept the tolerance value defined either in the current
database or in the import database, or you may choose to specify a new
value.
Equivalence DFEM This toggle controls whether discrete FEM fields are combined when
Loads/BCs/Props loads and boundary conditions or properties are merged. Two discrete
FEM fields referenced by duplicate LBCs or Properties (one in the
• Combine DFEM Fields
current model and another in the import) will be combined into one
discrete FEM field. If this toggle is ON (default), further items
pertaining to LBC equivalencing options are enabled.
• DFEM Boundary Specify how boundary conditions are merged within a DFEM field.
Conditions By default, the boundary conditions in the primary model override the
incoming secondary model values. Optionally, the secondary values
can be added to the existing primary values.
• DFEM Vector Loads Specify how vector loads are merged within a DFEM field. By default,
the loads in the primary model override the incoming secondary model
values. Optionally, the secondary values can be added to the existing
primary values.
• DFEM Scalar Loads Specify how scalar loads are merged within a DFEM Field. By default,
the loads in the primary model override the incoming secondary model
values. Optionally, the secondary values can be either added to the
existing primary values or merged with them.

Patran Database Preview


In the Patran Database Preview form you can view the number of entities of each type contained in the
import file database and the ID range (minimum & maximum) for each entity type. This form may be
92 File>Import
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invoked either from the Import dialog box or from the Import Filter Options form. If desired, you can
generate a named report file from the information displayed in the spreadsheet.

Importing PATRAN 2.5 Neutral Files


Neutral files provide a means for importing and exporting model data. You can import one or more
neutral files into an Patran database. If more than one neutral file is read into a database, the entity IDs
of each consecutive imported model must be offset to avoid conflict. The offsets may be defined either
manually or automatically (see Entity Label Offset Definition, 95).
File>Import 93
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File Formats, 721 provides more information about the neutral file system.

Current Group Displays the current group into which the imported entities will be
placed. If you enter a group name that does not yet exist, a new group
with this name will be created and made current.
Neutral Options Brings up the Neutral Import Options form that enables you to select
the types of entities targeted for import.
94 File>Import
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Neutral File Import Options


In this form you can select the entity types (packets) you want to import.

Define Offsets... Select this button if the likelihood of entity ID duplication exists (e.g.,
when several neutral files are imported). It will activate the Entity
Label Offset Definition form in which you can specify offsets to
avoid conflicting IDs.
File>Import 95
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Entity Label Offset Definition


In this form you can specify entity ID offsets in order to avoid conflicts arising from duplicate ID
numbers.

Options for Entity Selection


• All entity packets offset the same way
• Each entity packet offsets differently

Options for Offset Definition


• Automatic--system obtains the next available ID in the database
• Manual--you specify the offset value

Assigning Offsets
Same for all entity types:
• click on Offset, type the offset in the Input Offset Value data, press Enter, or
• pick Automatic Offset to let the system assign offset automatically.
Unique value to each entity type:
96 File>Import
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• click on an entity, type the offset in the Input Offset Value data field, press Enter, or
• select Automatic Offset.

Importing MD Nastran Input Files


While MD Nastran input files are used primarily to pass information into the MD Nastran solver, they
can also be imported into Patran. You can import several files, however if duplicate entity IDs exist, the
IDs of each consecutive model must be offset to avoid a conflict (see MD Nastran Entity Label Offset
Definition, 98).

Current Group Displays the current group into which the imported entities will be
placed. If you enter a group name that does not yet exist, a new group
with this name will be created and made current.
MD Nastran Options Brings up the Entity Selection form that enables you to select the types
of entities targeted for import.
File>Import 97
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MD Nastran Input File Options


In this form you can select the entity types (packets) that will be included in the imported database.
98 File>Import
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Define Offsets... Select this button if the likelihood of entity ID


duplication exists (e.g., when several MD Nastran files
are imported). It will activate the Entity Label Offset
Definition form in which you can specify offsets to
avoid conflicting IDs.
Create Prop. & Matl. Groups Select this button to create groups based on property sets
and materials.
Retrieve Names From Comments By selecting this button, Patran to attempt to figure out
the names of properties and materials from the comments
in the input deck. The only comments that Patran
recognizes at this time are those comments made by
Patran.

MD Nastran Entity Label Offset Definition


In this form you can specify entity ID offsets in order to avoid conflicts arising from duplicate ID
numbers.
File>Import 99
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Options for Entity Selection


• All entity packets offset the same way
• Each entity packet offsets differently

Options for Offset Definition


• Automatic--system obtains the next available ID in the database
• Manual--you specify the offset value

Assigning Offsets
Same for all entity types:
• click on Offset, type the offset in the Input Offset Value data, press Enter, or
• pick Automatic Offset to let the system assign offset automatically

Unique value to each entity type:


• click on an entity, type the offset in the Input Offset Value data field, press Enter, or
• select Automatic Offset.
100 File>Import
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Importing Express Neutral Files


Express neutral files are intermediate files created during a Unigraphics or CV CAD Model Access
process. You can obtain these files at any time and on any platform enabling you to access CAD geometry
on systems where otherwise this may not be possible.

Current Group Displays the current group into which the imported entities will be
placed. If you enter a group name that does not yet exist, a new group
with this name will be created and made current.
Express Options Brings up the Express Import Options form where you can select the
type and attributes of entities targeted for import.
File>Import 101
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Express Neutral File Import Options


In this form you can select the types and attributes of entities included in the imported database.
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Import Preferences Activates the Import Preferences dialog box in which you can specify
how certain geometric entities will be represented in the Patran
database.
Entity Types Identifies the classes of geometric entities from which you can select.
Geometry Types Specifies the various kinds of entities available within the entity class
you selected (for example, if the Entity Type you selected was Solid,
the Geometry Type may be Solid of Revolution)
Entity Colors Provides a color filter to further differentiate entities selected for
import.
Entity Layers
All Layers If ON, all entities are import candidates, regardless of layer
assignment.
Layer Numbers Turn All Layers OFF and identify the layers on which the imported
entities reside.
Group Classification... Brings up a dialog box in which you specify group assignments for
imported entities.
Preview Express File... Allows you to display the contents of the import file to inspect prior to
actually bringing it into your database.
Create Groups from Layers Select the “Create Groups from Layers” button. A sub-menu appears.
If the “Create Groups from Layers” toggle is ON (Default), a Patran
Group is created for each Layer and all geometry on a layer is added
to a Patran Group. The group name(s) will be defined by the “Group
Name Prefix” provided by the user or if the user did not provide a
“Group Name Prefix” the group name(s) will be the prefix of the
EXPRESS file with _Ln appended. For example, if the EXPRESS file
name is test.model and there are two layers 1,2, then the two groups
will be named: test_L1 and test_L2. See Create Groups from Layers,
115 for additional information.
File>Import 103
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Express Import Preferences


In this dialog box you can specify your preferences on how to treat surfaces and solids, as well as
tolerances, when importing entities in the Patran database.

Trimmed Surface Type Specifies how four-edged faces of trimmed surfaces will be
represented in the database (simply trimmed or general trimmed).
Solid Representation Solids may appear in boundary representation (B-rep Solids) or as a
collection of constituent surfaces. The Parameterized Solid option
allows B-rep solids, whose faces are biparametric surfaces, to be
automatically converted to triparametric solids.
Enable Tolerance Prompt If OFF (default), global model tolerance is calculated based on the
expected maximum model size (see Global Model Tolerance, 457),
without prompting for a response.
Enable Geometry Tracking If ON, a geometry tracking log file will be created to describe
geometric attributes of imported geometry.
Import Action
• Import Geometry Executes geometry import.
• Calculate Model Processes the file to help determine the best tolerance for geometry
Tolerance import.
104 File>Import
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Preview Express File


You may get an advanced look at the type and number of entities contained in the file you want to import.
Select the appropriate folder and file name to display this file.
File>Import 105
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Express Neutral Group Classification


Creates new Patran groups and enters imported entities into these groups based on entity attributes.
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Group Name Enter a group name.


Group Entity Types Select the class of the imported geometric entities (e.g., Curve) whose
members will be added to the group.
Group Geometry Types Highlights the entities that belong the class selected above. Pick one,
several, or all to add to the group.
Group Entity Color Filter imported entities by color. For example, having selected Curve
before, click Red and only red-colored curves will be imported.
Group Entity Layers • All--select all entities regardless of layer assignments
• Layer numbers--Toggle All Layers OFF and enter the layer
number(s) where the imported entities reside in the CAD database
Show Express Groups Display the Patran groups that have been defined for imported
entities.
Delete Express Groups Delete Patran groups defined for imported geometry.
File>Import 107
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Importing IGES Files


IGES (Initial Graphics Exchange Specification) files are ANSI standard formatted files that make it
possible to exchange data among most commercial CAD systems.

Current Group Displays the current group into which the imported entities will be
placed. If you enter a group name that does not yet exist, a new group
with this name will be created and made current.
IGES Options Brings up the IGES Import Options form that enables you to specify
the types and attributes of entities targeted for import.

IGES Entities Supported for Import


The following table lists the name and number of IGES entities that you can import into Patran.

IGES Entity IGES Entity


Number IGES Entity Type Number IGES Entity Type
100 Circular Arc 122 Tabulated Cylinder
102 Composite Curve 124 Transformation Matrix
104 Conic Arc All Forms
106 Copious Data 126 Rational B-Spline Curve
All Forms 128 Rational B-Spline Surface
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IGES Entity IGES Entity


Number IGES Entity Type Number IGES Entity Type
108 Plane 130 Offset Curve
Form 1 Positive Bounded Plane 134 Node
Form 0 Unbounded Plane 136 Finite Element
110 Line 140 Offset Surface
112 Parametric Spline Curve 141 Boundary
142 Curve on Surface
114 Parametric Spline Surface 143 Bounded Surface
116 Point 144 Trimmed Surface
118 Ruled Surface 186 Manifold Solid-Prep
120 Surface of Revolution 190 Plane Surface
File>Import 109
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IGES Import Options


In this form you can select the types and attributes of IGES entities targeted for import.
110 File>Import
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Entity Types Identifies the geometric or finite element entities you can import.
Entity Attributes
• Curve on Surface Stipulate your preference as to how trimming curves should be
Preferences represented on trimmed surfaces:

• Per IGES File--as defined by IGES file preference.


• 2D Curve--use parametric space representation (if exists in the
IGES file).
• 3D Curve--use real space representation (if exists in the IGES
file).
If trimmed surfaces import inaccurately, try alternating between 2D and
3D curve representation, provided that they both exist in the IGES file.
• Invisible, Subordinate, Pick any or all three to include the listed entity types in the import
and Annotation Entities process.
• Color Filter... Displays the Color Filter dialog box in which you can restrict entity
import based on color designations.
• Layer Filter... Displays the Layer Filter dialog box in which you can restrict entity
import based on layer designations.
Group Classification... Activates a dialog box in which you can create new Patran groups for
placing imported entities.
Preview IGES File... Select an IGES file to preview.
Create Groups from Select the “Create Groups from Layers” button. A sub-menu appears. If
Layers the “Create Groups from Layers” toggle is ON (Default), a Patran Group
is created for each Layer and all geometry on a layer is added to a Patran
Group. The group name(s) will be defined by the “Group Name Prefix”
provided by the user or if the user did not provide a “Group Name Prefix”
the group name(s) will be the prefix of the IGES file with _Ln appended.
For example, if the IGES file name is test.model and there are two layers
1,2, then the two groups will be named: test.igs_L1 and test.igs_L2. See
Create Groups from Layers, 115 for additional information.
Select Spatial Version Using the Select Spatial Version form you can select available InterOp
versions supported by Patran.
Alternatively, the default InterOp version for Patran can be changed by
setting the environment variable P3_SPATIAL_VERSION to the
recommended version by MSC, which will work in both batch mode and
GUI mode. For more information on using environment variables please
see, Environment Variables (p. 50) in the Patran Installation and
Operations Guide.
File>Import 111
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IGES Entity Color Filter


In this form you can select entities for import based on their color designation.

Color Definition Entity IGES entities may refer to an IGES Color Definition Entity (Type 314)
that defines the color of entities.

• All--import all entities that refer to the Color Definition Entity


• None--exclude all entities that refer to the Color Definition Entity
• Specify--enter the Color Definition Entities to import
112 File>Import
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IGES Entity Level Filter


In this form you can identify the layer(s) that contain the entities you want to import via IGES.
Optionally, you can specify that entities on all layers should be imported.
File>Import 113
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IGES Group Classification


This dialog box enables you to create new Patran groups and enter imported entities into these groups
based on entity attributes.

Group Name Enter a group name.


Group Entity Types Select the class of the imported geometric entities (e.g., Composite
Curve) whose members will be added to the group.
Group Entity Color Filter entities by color. For example, having selected Composite
Curve, click Red to import only red-colored composite curves.
114 File>Import
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Group Entity Layers • All--select all entities regardless of layer assignments


• Layer numbers--Toggle All Layers off and enter layer numbers
where the entities targeted for import reside in the CAD database.
Show IGES Groups View all groups defined for imported IGES entities.
Delete IGES Groups Delete groups defined for imported IGES entities.

Show IGES Groups


This form shows the names of all groups defined for entities imported from an IGES, or Unigraphics
database. When you pick a group name, the Group Classification form will display the list of entity types,
colors, and levels that have been assigned to this group.

Delete IGES Groups


In this form you can selectively delete groups that contain entities imported from IGES, or Unigraphics
databases.
File>Import 115
Importing Models and Results

Exporting IGES Surface Data to a Patran 2 Neutral File


Through the Patran 2 Neutral File Translator, you can export IGES type 114 and 128 surfaces as
“Parametric BiCubic” surfaces. For information on converting IGES surface data into Parametric
BiCubic Patches, see Exporting IGES Surface Data as Parametric BiCubic Surfaces, 198.

Create Groups from Layers


With this form you can select the types and attributes of IGES entities targeted for import.

Importing CATIA Files


In the Import dialog box, select CATIA as the source of the imported database.You may directly import
a CATIA model into an Patran database.
116 File>Import
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Importing a CATIA Model


To import CATIA V4, CATIA V5, or CATXPRES geometry, select the block icon on the CATIA Import
form.

Geometry Import Icons Select the block icon (UNIX only) to import CATIA geometry.
Current Group Displays the current group into which the imported entities will be
placed. If you enter a group name that does not yet exist, a new group
with this name will be created and made current.
CATIA Options Brings up the CATIA Import Options form that enables you to select
the type and attributes of entities targeted for import.
Import to Parasolid If ON, CATIA V4 models are imported in a Parasolid geometry
format. CATIA V5 models will always be imported in Parasolid
format and CATXPRES models will not be imported in Parasolid
format.
File Type Specifies the type of the imported input file. This may be a CATIA V4
model file (.Model extension), a CATIA V5 part file (.CATPart
extension), a CATIA V5 product file (.CATProduct extension), or a
CATXPRES output file (.cat extension).
File>Import 117
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Import Options for CATIA V4 Parasolid Format


If you are importing a CATIA V4 model with the Import to Parasolid option turned ON, the resulting
geometry format will be Parasolid. Use the Import Options form to select the types and attributes of
entities included in the imported database.
118 File>Import
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File>Import 119
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Import Geometry The default, Import Geometry will import the geometry after the
Apply button is selected on the import form. The secondary toggle,
Import Preview will run the translator and provide a summary of
geometry and layer information without importing the geometry.
Entity Types Identifies the type of geometric entities from which you can select.
Geometry Preference Identifies the surface type (solid or trimmed surface) to be created
during the import operation.
• Solid Type Specifies how solids will be represented in the database -- either as B-
rep or Parameterized Solids. The default is B-rep Solid. If you change
to Parameterized Solid, all 5 or 6 sided B-rep solids will be converted
into parameterized solids during import.
• Trimmed Surface Type Specifies how four-edged faces of trimmed surfaces will be
represented in the database. The default is general trimmed. You can
change the trimmed surface type to simply trimmed.
Import NoShow Entities If on, CATIA V4 entities that are classified as “NoShow” will be
imported.
Import Attributes If ON, attributes attached to the geometry will be imported. Turning
Import Attributes OFF will improve import performance.
Entity Layers
• All Layers If on, all geometry will be imported regardless of whether or not the
geometry is on layers.
• Layer numbers Specify which layers in CATIA V4 to import geometry from.
Create Groups from Layers Select the “Create Groups from Layers” button. A sub-menu appears.
If the “Create Groups from Layers” toggle is ON (Default), a Patran
Group is created for each Layer and all geometry on a layer is added
to a Patran Group. The group name(s) will be defined by the “Group
Name Prefix” provided by the user or if the user did not provide a
“Group Name Prefix” the group name(s) will be the prefix of the
CATIA file with _Ln appended. For example, if the CATIA file name
is test.model and there are two layers 1,2, then the two groups will be
named: test_L1 and test_L2. See Create Groups from Layers, 115 for
additional information.
Group Classification... Brings up a dialog box in which you specify group assignments for
imported entities.
120 File>Import
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Model Units Brings up a dialog box in which you can override the model units
during import. The settings now include: inches, meters, millimeters
or custom value units.
The default model units override value is the Patran geometry
preference value for "Geometry Scale Factor" which is 39.370079
(Inches).

If a different default value is desired when opening a new Patran


database, create a new template database by opening the default
template database delivered by Patran, change the Geometry Scale
Factor to the desired value, then save as the new template database.

Then when opening a new database to import geometry into from a


CAD System, it will use this value as the default model units for the
imported geometry.
Select Spatial Version Using the Select Spatial Version form you can select available InterOp
versions supported by Patran.
Alternatively, the default InterOp version for Patran can be changed
by setting the environment variable P3_SPATIAL_VERSION to the
recommended version by MSC, which will work in both batch mode
and GUI mode. For more information on using environment variables
please see, Environment Variables (p. 50) in the Patran Installation
and Operations Guide.
Sew Sheet Bodies
• Patran Sew Instructs Patran to sew together sheet bodies using Patran Sewing
software.
• Verify Boundary The Verify Boundary command is similar to the
Verify/Surface/Boundary command in Patran.
Equivalence Edge Vertices If this toggle is ON, topological vertices will be equivalenced during
import.
Save Transmit File If this toggle is ON, the parasolid transmit file will be saved when a
CATIA file is imported. This file will be assigned a.xmt_txt file name
extension.
Load Database File This toggle is ON and dimmed (unavailable) unless the “Save
Transmit File” toggle is ON. In that case, you can uncheck “Load
Database File” if you simply wish to create a transmit file and do not
want to import a database.
File>Import 121
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Import Options for CATIA V5 Parasolid Format


If you are importing a CATIA V5 model with the Import to Parasolid option turned ON, the resulting
geometry format will be Parasolid. Use the Import Options form to select the types and attributes of
entities included in the imported database.
122 File>Import
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To retrieve the CATIA V5 attributes,


please see, ps_get_body_string_attribute,
66 and ps_get_string_attribute (p. 67) in
the PCL Reference Manual.
For examples of how these functions are
utilized please see,
ps_get_body_string_attribute, 17 and
ps_get_string_attribute (p. 18) in the PCL
Reference Manual Examples.
File>Import 123
Importing Models and Results

Import Geometry The default, Import Geometry will import the geometry after the
Apply button is selected on the import form. The secondary toggle,
Import Preview will run the translator and provide a summary of
geometry and layer information without importing the geometry.
Entity Types Identifies the type of geometric entities from which you can select.
Geometry Preference Identifies the surface type (solid or trimmed surface) to be created
during the import operation.
• Solid Type Specifies how solids will be represented in the database -- either as B-
rep or Parameterized Solids. The default is B-rep Solid. If you change
to Parameterized Solid, all 5 or 6 sided B-rep solids will be converted
into parameterized solids during import.
• Trimmed Surface Type Specifies how four-edged faces of trimmed surfaces will be
represented in the database. The default is general trimmed. You can
change the trimmed surface type to simply trimmed.
Import Attributes If this toggle is ON (the default), attributes attached to the geometry,
including layer attributes, will be imported. Turning Import Attributes
OFF improves import performance.
Attribute Name Types Patran will create a string attribute and attach it to geometry associated
with a CATIA V5 publication, feature name, or publication and
Feature Name by selecting "Publication", "Feature Name", or both.
If you unselect both "Publication" and "Feature Name", no attributes
will be created. If you select both, the CATIA V5 Tree structure will
be imported as Hierarchical groups. An example is shown below.
124 File>Import
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Example Scenario 1:
P1.CATPart with a Part ID of P1 containing two entities;
• A feature named Loft.1 with a published name PUB_EDGE,
• A feature named SURFACE_FEATURE.

Selecting “Feature Name” option will result in:


attribute syntax: Part_ID;feature_name
The geometry associated with the feature “Loft.1” will have an attribute with the string "P1;Loft.1"
and the geometry associated with the feature “SURFACE_FEATURE” will have an attribute with the
string:
"P1;SURFACE_FEATURE".
Selecting “Publication” option will result in:
attribute syntax: Part_ID;publication_name
The geometry associated with the publication “PUB_EDGE” will have an attribute with the string
"P1;PUB_EDGE".
Selecting both “Feature Name” and “Publication” will result in:
attribute syntax: Part_ID;publication_name;feature_name
The geometry associated with the feature “Loft.1” will have an attribute with the string
"P1;PUB_EDGE;Loft.1" and the geometry associated with the feature “SURFACE_FEATURE” will
have an attribute with the string "P1;SURFACE_FEATURE".
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Example Scenario 2:
A CATProduct file with a product id of BLISKPROD contains a subproduct file with an instance name
of BLISKSUBPROD.1 and a CATPart file with an instance name of DAM3.1 that contains two
entities,
• A feature named Blisk.1 with a published name BLISK_ONE,
• A feature named Blisk.2 with a published name BLISK_TWO.

Selecting “Feature Name” option will result in:


attribute syntax:
Product_ID\SubProduct_Instance_Name\Part_Instance_Name;feature
_name
The geometry associated with the features “Blisk.1” and “Blisk.2” respectively will have an attribute
with the string:
"BLISKPROD\BLISKSUBPROD.1\DAM3.1;Blisk.1"
"BLISKPROD\BLISKSUBPROD.1\DAM3.1;Blisk.2"
Selecting “Publication” option will result in:
attribute syntax:
Product_ID\SubProduct_Instance_Name\Part_Instance_Name;publica
tion_name
The geometry associated with the publications “BLISK_ONE” and “BLISK_TWO” respectively will
have an attribute with the string:
"BLISKPROD\BLISKSUBPROD.1\DAM3.1;BLISK_ONE"
"BLISKPROD\BLISKSUBPROD.1\DAM3.1;BLISK_TWO"
Selecting both “Feature Name” and “Publication” will result in:
attribute syntax:
Product_ID\SubProduct_Instance_Name\Part_Instance_Name;publica
tion_name;feature_name
The geometry associated with the features “Blisk.1” and “Blisk.2” and publications “BLISK_ONE”
and “BLISK_TWO” respectively will have an attribute with the string:
"BLISKPROD\BLISKSUBPROD.1\DAM3.1;BLISK_ONE;Blisk.1"
"BLISKPROD\BLISKSUBPROD.1\DAM3.1;BLISK_TWO;Blisk.2"
Entity Layers
• All Layers If on, all geometry will be imported regardless of whether or not the
geometry is on layers.
• Layer numbers Specify which layers in CATIA V5 CATPart or CATProduct to
import geometry from.
126 File>Import
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Create Groups from Layers Select the “Create Groups from Layers” button. A sub-menu appears.
If the “Create Groups from Layers” toggle is ON (Default), a Patran
Group is created for each Layer and all geometry on a layer is added
to a Patran Group. The group name(s) will be defined by the “Group
Name Prefix” provided by the user or if the user did not provide a
“Group Name Prefix” the group name(s) will be the prefix of the
CATIA file with _Ln appended. For example, if the CATIA file name
is test.CATPart and there are two layers 1,2, then the two groups will
be named: test_L1 and test_L2. See Create Groups from Layers, 115
for additional information.
Group Classification... Brings up a dialog box in which you specify group assignments for
imported entities. The Import to Group Hierarchy toggle needs to
be on if CATIA V5 tree structures are to be imported. This is ON by
default. See the next section.
Model Units Brings up a dialog box in which you can override the model units
during import. The settings now include: inches, meters, millimeters
or custom value units.
The default model units override value is the Patran geometry
preference value for "Geometry Scale Factor" which is 39.370079
(Inches).

If a different default value is desired when opening a new Patran


database, create a new template database by opening the default
template database delivered by Patran, change the Geometry Scale
Factor to the desired value, then save as the new template database.

Then when opening a new database to import geometry into from a


CAD System, it will use this value as the default model units for the
imported geometry.
Select Spatial Version Using the Select Spatial Version form you can select available InterOp
versions supported by Patran.
Alternatively, the default InterOp version for Patran can be changed
by setting the environment variable P3_SPATIAL_VERSION to the
recommended version by MSC, which will work in both batch mode
and GUI mode. For more information on using environment variables
please see, Environment Variables (p. 50) in the Patran Installation
and Operations Guide.
Sew Sheet Bodies
• Patran Sew Instructs Patran to sew together sheet bodies using Patran Sewing
software.
• Verify Boundary The Verify Boundary command is similar to the
Verify/Surface/Boundary command in Patran.
File>Import 127
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Equivalence Edge Vertices If this toggle is ON, topological vertices will be equivalenced during
import.
Save Transmit File If this toggle is ON, the parasolid transmit file will be saved when a
CATIA file is imported. This file will be assigned a.xmt_txt file name
extension.

In order to retrieve these attributes from the Patran database, there are two functions that may be used:
ps_get_body_string_attribute, 66 and ps_get_string_attribute (p. 67) in the PCL Reference Manual. For
examples of how these functions are utilized please see, ps_get_body_string_attribute, 17 and
ps_get_string_attribute (p. 18) in the PCL Reference Manual Examples.
128 File>Import
Importing Models and Results

Importing the CATIA V5 Tree


Below is an example of importing the tree structure of a CATIA V5 part or assembly file.

1. Select File Import

3. Select both Feature Name


and Publication as the
2. Select CATIA and then CATIA V5 Attribute Name Types to
CATPart or CATProduct and the file to import. Then press OK and
be imported. Then open the CATIA then Apply.
Options form by clicking on the button.
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Once the CATIA V5 file is imported the tree is accessible as Patran heirarchical groups. For display
purposes, these groups can be turned on and off (posted and unposted).
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2. Select or expand the tree to


1. Select Groups / Extras / Heirarchical. The form display the entities. The higher
to the right appears. the level, the more displayed.
For more information on how Groups function in general, please see Group Concepts and Definitions,
260.
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Import Options for CATIA V4


If you are importing a CATIA V4 model with the Import to Parasolid option turned OFF, the resulting
geometry format will not be Parasolid. Use the Import Options form to select the types, layers, and
attributes of entities included in the imported database.

Import Preferences Activates a dialog box in which you can specify how certain geometric
entities will be represented in the Patran database.
Entity Types Identifies the type of geometric entities from which you can select.
All Layers If ON, all entities are import candidates, regardless of layer
assignment.
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Layer Numbers Turns All Layers off. Enter the layers where the entities you want to
import reside.
Group Classification... Brings up a dialog box in which you specify group assignments for
imported entities.
Create Groups from Layers Select the “Create Groups from Layers” button. A sub-menu appears.
If the “Create Groups from Layers” toggle is ON (Default), a Patran
Group is created for each Layer and all geometry on a layer is added
to a Patran Group. The group name(s) will be defined by the “Group
Name Prefix” provided by the user or if the user did not provide a
“Group Name Prefix” the group name(s) will be the prefix of the
CATIA file with _Ln appended. For example, if the CATIA file name
is test.model and there are two layers 1,2, then the two groups will be
named: test_L1 and test_L2. See Create Groups from Layers, 115 for
additional information.
Select Spatial Version Using the Select Spatial Version form you can select available InterOp
versions supported by Patran.
Alternatively, the default InterOp version for Patran can be changed by
setting the environment variable P3_SPATIAL_VERSION to the
recommended version by MSC, which will work in both batch mode
and GUI mode. For more information on using environment variables
please see, Environment Variables (p. 50) in the Patran Installation
and Operations Guide.

Import Options for CATXPRES


If you are importing a CATXPRES model, the resulting geometry format will not be Parasolid. Use the
Import Options form to select the types and attributes of entities included in the imported database.
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Trimmed Surface Type Specifies how four-edged faces of trimmed surfaces will be
represented in the database (simply trimmed or general trimmed).
Solid Representation Solids may appear in boundary representation (B-rep Solids) or as a
collection of constituent surfaces. The Parameterized Solid option
allows B-rep solids, whose faces are biparametric surfaces, to be
automatically converted to triparametric solids.
Enable Tolerance Prompt If OFF (default), global model tolerance is calculated based on the
expected maximum model size (see Global Model Tolerance, 457),
without prompting for a response.
Enable Geometry Tracking If ON, a geometry tracking log file will be created to describe
geometric attributes of imported geometry.
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Group Classification for CATIA V4 Parasolid Format


One or several Patran groups may be created to accommodate imported CATIA model entities. When
using a Parasolid format, groups are defined by entity type.

Group Name Enter a group name.


Group Entity Types Select the type of imported geometric entities that will be added to the
group.
Entity Layers
• All Layers If on, all geometry will be imported regardless of whether or not the
geometry is on layers.
• Layer numbers Specify which layers in CATIA V4 to import geometry from.
Show Groups View all groups defined for imported CATIA entities.
Delete Groups Delete groups defined for imported CATIA geometry.
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Group Classification for CATIA V5 Parasolid Format


One or several Patran groups may be created to accommodate imported CATIA model entities. When
using a Parasolid format, groups are defined by entity type.

Group Name Enter a group name.


Group Entity Types Select the type of imported geometric entities that will be added to the
group.
Entity Layers
• All Layers If on, all geometry will be imported regardless of whether or not the
geometry is on layers.
• Layer numbers Specify which layers in CATIA V5 to import geometry from.
Show Groups View all groups defined for imported CATIA entities.
Delete Groups Delete groups defined for imported CATIA geometry.
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Group Classification for CATIA V4/V5/CATXPRES Files


One or several Patran groups may be created to accommodate imported CATIA model entities. Group
membership may be based on both entity type and layer assignment.

Group Name Enter a group name.


Group Entity Types Select the type of imported geometric entities that will be added to the
group.
Group Entity Layers • All--select all entities regardless of layer assignments
• Layer numbers--toggle All Layers off and enter the layer(s) where
the imported entities reside in the CAD database
Import to Group Hierarchy ON by default. Necessary when importing the CATIA tree structure.
Only valid for CATIA V5.
Show Groups View all groups defined for imported CATIA entities.
Delete Groups Delete groups defined for imported CATIA geometry.
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Import Preferences
In this dialog box you can specify your preferences on how to treat surfaces and solids, as well as
tolerances, when importing entities in the Patran database.

Trimmed Surface Type Specifies how four-edged faces of trimmed surfaces will be
represented in the database (simply trimmed or general trimmed).
Solid Representation Solids may appear in boundary representation (B-rep Solids) or as a
collection of constituent surfaces. The Parameterized Solid option
allows B-rep solids, whose faces are biparametric surfaces, to be
automatically converted to triparametric solids.
Enable Tolerance Prompt If OFF (default), global model tolerance is calculated based on the
expected maximum model size (see Global Model Tolerance, 457),
without prompting for a response.
Enable Geometry Tracking If ON, a geometry tracking log file will be created to describe
geometric attributes of imported geometry.
Import Action
• Import Geometry Executes geometry import.
• Calculate Model Processes the file to help determine the best tolerance for geometry
Tolerance import.
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Importing Pro/ENGINEER Files


In the Import dialog box, select Pro/ENGINEER as the source of the imported database.You may directly
import a Pro/ENGINEER model.

Importing a Pro/ENGINEER Model


To import a Pro/ENGINEER Model, select the block icon on the Pro/ENGINEER Import form.

Geometry Import Icons Select the block icon to import Pro/ENGINEER geometry. To import
a mesh, see Importing Direct Mesh Meshes from a Pro/ENGINEER
Model, 148.
Current Group Displays the current group into which the imported entities will be
placed. If you enter a group name that does not yet exist, a new group
with this name will be created and made current.
Pro/ENGINEER Options Activates the Pro/ENGINEER Import Options form that enables you
to select the type and attributes of entities targeted for import.
Import to Parasolid If ON, Pro/ENGINEER models are imported in a Parasolid geometry
format.
File Type Select the type of Pro/ENGINEER file you are importing.
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Import Options for Pro/ENGINEER Parasolid Format


If you are importing a Pro/ENGINEER model with the Import to Parasolid option turned ON, the
resulting geometry format will be Parasolid. Use this form to select the types of entities included in the
imported database and to direct the handling of the imported entities.

Entity Types Identifies the type of geometric entities from which you can select.
Geometry Preference Identifies the surface type (solid or trimmed surface) to be created
during the import operation.
• Solid Type Specifies how solids will be represented in the database -- either as B-
rep or Parameterized Solids. The default is B-rep Solid. If you change
to Parameterized Solid, all 5 or 6 sided B-rep solids will be converted
into parameterized solids during import.
• Trimmed Surface Type Specifies how four-edged faces of trimmed surfaces will be
represented in the database. The default is general trimmed. You can
change the trimmed surface type to simply trimmed.
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Group Classification... Brings up a dialog box in which you specify group assignments for
imported entities.
Model Units Brings up a dialog box in which you can override the model units
during import. The settings now include: inches, meters, millimeters
or custom value units.
The default model units override value is the Patran geometry
preference value for "Geometry Scale Factor" which is 39.370079
(Inches).

If a different default value is desired when opening a new Patran


database, create a new template database by opening the default
template database delivered by Patran, change the Geometry Scale
Factor to the desired value, then save as the new template database.

Then when opening a new database to import geometry into from a


CAD System, it will use this value as the default model units for the
imported geometry.
Select Spatial Version Using the Select Spatial Version form you can select available InterOp
versions supported by Patran.
Alternatively, the default InterOp version for Patran can be changed by
setting the environment variable P3_SPATIAL_VERSION to the
recommended version by MSC, which will work in both batch mode
and GUI mode. For more information on using environment variables
please see, Environment Variables (p. 50) in the Patran Installation
and Operations Guide.
Sew Sheet Bodies
• Patran Sew Instructs Patran to sew together sheet bodies using Patran Sewing
software.
• Verify Boundary The Verify Boundary command is similar to the
Verify/Surface/Boundary command in Patran.
Equivalence Edge Vertices If this toggle is ON, topological vertices will be equivalenced during
import.
Save Transmit File If this toggle is ON, the parasolid transmit file will be saved when a
Pro/ENGINEER file is imported. This file will be assigned a .xmt_txt
file name extension.
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Import Options for Pro/ENGINEER


If you are importing a Pro/ENGINEER model with the Import to Parasolid toggle turned OFF, use this
form to select the types of entities included in the imported database, as well as set an option for accessing
and loading the model.
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Import Preferences Activates a dialog box in which you can specify how certain geometric
entities will be represented in the Patran database.
Entity Types Identifies the classes of geometric entities from which you can select.
Material Import details:
Two values will be extracted from each part (if a material reference is
available):

• Material name (a standard PTC part parameter) of type string


• Material reference based on a user parameter named:
”PART_SPECIFICATION_NO” of type string.
These parameters will be written to the .geo file as a record
“PTC_Material” with these values:
PTC_MATERIAL
3
Part Name
Material Name
PART_SPECIFICATION_NO value
If the material reference is not available, the following material
properties will be extracted from each part Material name.
Material property data:
• young_modulus (a standard PTC material parameter of type
double)
• poisson_ratio (a standard PTC material parameter of type double)
• mass_density (a standard PTC material parameter of type double)
• therm_exp_coef (a standard PTC material parameter of type
double)
• therm_exp_ref_temp (a standard PTC material parameter of type
double)
• therm_conductivity (a standard PTC material parameter of type
double)
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These parameters will be written to the .geo file as a record


“PTC_Material” with these values:
PTC_MATERIAL
4
Part Name
Material Name
Elastic Modulus
Poisson Ratio
Mass Density
Thermal Expansion Coeff
Reference Temperature
Thermal Conductivity
When a part is assigned a material name, but there is no material data
or user parameter (“PART_SPECIFICATION_NO”) assigned, the
resulting record in the .geo file would be:
PTC_MATERIAL
2
Part Name
Material Name
In addition, each solid will be associated with the proper material
property via the creation of an element property record.
This will result in the creation of two Patran entities:
• Material property - w/ name, and associated data (see below)
• Element property - referencing material and associated solids(s)

The material property will be created with two different options:


1. If a non-null value is found for the user defined parameter
"PART_SPECIFICATION_NO", an "Externally Defined"
material will be created, with the following attributes:
• Name=material name associated with the Pro/E part
• Description="Material info extracted from Pro/Engineer on
date-time-stamp – [MATERIAL=material-name-here] and
[PART_SPECIFICATION_NO=part-spec-here]."
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2. In all other situations (the user defined parameter


"PART_SPECIFICATION_NO" is not found, or is a null
value), an isotropic material will be created, with the following
attributes:
• Name=material name associated with the Pro/E part
Description="Material info extracted from Pro/Engineer on
date/timestamp [MATERIAL=material-name-here]."
• Elastic Modulus (material word_id=2)=- young_modulus;
• Poisson's Ratio (material word_id=5)=- poisson_ratio;
• Density (material word_id=16)= - mass_density;
• Thermal Expansion Coeff (material word_id=24)= -
therm_exp_coef;
• Reference Temperature (material word_id=1)=-
therm_exp_ref_temp;
• Thermal Conductivity (material word_id=17) =-
therm_conductivity;
No modification or extension to the Patran database is required to
support this implementation.
Note: the Description will be created “on-the-fly” by the
sgm_ptc_access_v5 PCL function when the GEO file is read into
Patran.
The element property will be created with the following options:
• Property Name = derived from Pro/E part name (similar to group
naming convention)
• Material Name = material name associated with the Pro/E part
• Application Region: Solid ID for corresponding Pro/E solid as
created in Patran
• Element type and property option IDs are preference dependent.
Default values for MSC’s standard preferences are summarized in
the following table:
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Preference Nastran Marc Abaqus Ansys Dytran Patran Thermal


Element 71 71 71 71 12504 73
Type ID 25 1 1 25 25 25
Geometry Option ID 30 30 30 30 30 677
Condensation Option 1 1 1 1 12540 1
ID
Formulation Option 1 1 1 1 1 1
ID
Laminate Option ID 20 15 15 15 20 7
DOF N N N N N N

Preference Patran 2 NF LS-DYNA 3D Pamcrash SAMCEF DEFAULT


Element 90 71 71 71 71
Type ID 25 25 25 1 25
Geometry Option ID 20 20 30 30 30
Condensation Option ID 1 11027 13402 1 1
Formulation Option ID 1 1 13451 1 1
Laminate Option ID 20 20 20 15 15
DOF Y N N N N
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Surface Types: Lists the kinds of surfaces available for selection if the Entity Type
you picked is Solid or Surface.
Model Access Options These options are coupled with the File Type selection (in the Import
dialog box), to determine whether an intermediate file (.geo) will be
created and saved, and whether or not the Pro/ENGINEER database
will be loaded directly into the Patran database.
Save Geometry File (.geo)--create an intermediate (.geo) file
Load Database-- import data into Patran
Create Groups from Parts--if ON, a group will be created for:
• each part in an assembly
• each part that is not a component of an assembly
• each .geo file created from an assembly--one group is created for
each component part
• each .geo file created from a single part--one group is created for
the part.
Surface Types Lists the kinds of surfaces available for selection if the Entity Type
you picked is Solid or Surface.
Model Access Options These options are coupled with the File Type selection (in the Import
dialog box), to determine whether an intermediate file (.geo) will be
created and saved, and whether or not the Pro/ENGINEER database
will be loaded directly into the Patran database.
• Save Geometry File (.geo)--create an intermediate (.geo) file
• Load Database-- import data into Patran
• Create Groups from Parts--if ON, a group will be created for:
• each part in an assembly
• each part that is not a component of an assembly
• each .geo file created from an assembly--one group is created
for each component part
• each .geo file created from a single part--one group is created
for the part.

Patran ProENGINEER Intermediate .geo File (Primitive Geometry)


Patran ProENGINEER creates and uses an intermediate ASCII (text) formatted file (with the assigned
extension of .geo) to temporarily store Pro/ENGINEER geometric data of a part or assembly file.
Patran ProENGINEER uses the .geo file to load the accessed geometry into an open Patran database.
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The format of this file is used only by Patran ProENGINEER and it is not compatible with any other
Patran product or process.

Pro/ENGINEER File Types and Model Access Options

Pro/ENGINEER File Model Access


Type Option Result of Setting Combination
Part Load Database Apply these two selections together to:

• run Pro/ENGINEER
• create the intermediate .geo file
• load the geometry into the Patran database
• delete the .geo file.
Part Save Geometry File Apply these two selections together to:
(.geo)
• run Pro/ENGINEER
Load Database • create the intermediate .geo file
• load the geometry into the Patran database
• save the .geo file.
Part Save Geometry File Apply these two selections together to:
(.geo)
• run Pro/ENGINEER
• create the intermediate .geo file
• save the .geo file.
• not load the geometry
Primitive Geometry Save Geometry File Apply these two selections together to:
(.geo)
• not run Pro/ENGINEER (the .geo file
Load Database has already been created)
• load the geometry from the .geo file into
Create Groups from
the Patran database
Parts
• if an Assembly, create groups from parts
• save the .geo file.

Executing Patran ProENGINEER From Pro/ENGINEER (p3_proe)


MSC.Software Corporation provides a script file called p3_proe that allows you to start up
Pro/ENGINEER and access Patran ProENGINEER through Pro/ENGINEER’s internal menus (for more
information, see Accessing Geometry Using Patran ProENGINEER (p. 54) in the Geometry Modeling -
Reference Manual Part 2).
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Importing Direct Mesh Meshes from a Pro/ENGINEER Model


Selecting the mesh icon on the Pro/ENGINEER Import form runs Direct Mesh for Pro/ENGINEER to
create a mesh that can be imported into Patran.
To utilize this option, you must have the following software products installed on the machine where
Patran is installed: Pro/ENGINEER - Wildfire.

Geometry Import Icons Selecting the mesh icon runs Direct Mesh on a Pro/ENGINEER model
to create and import a mesh.
Current Group Displays the current group into which the imported entities will be
placed. If you enter a group name that does not yet exist, a new group
with this name will be created and made current.
Direct Mesh Options Brings up the Direct Mesh Options form that enables you to select the
type and topology of the mesh.
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Direct Mesh Import Options


Use the Direct Mesh Import Options form to define the parameters of the imported mesh.

Mesh Type Specifies the type of mesh that Direct Mesh creates; Tri, Tet, or Tri and
Tet.
Element Size Specifies the element size either by instructing Patran to calculate the
element size or by defining the Maximum/Minimum element size. If
you define a Maximum, the minimum will be calculated as 10% of the
maximum. This value may be overridden.
Element Topology Defines the topology of the elements created during the meshing
process.
Mesh Offsets Enables you to define offset values if multiple meshes are being
imported.

Importing Unigraphics Files


In the Import dialog box, select Unigraphics as the source of the imported model database.
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Unigraphics uses Parasolid to define geometry, however, Parasolid is also part of the geometric kernel of
Patran. Consequently, there is no need for translation when Unigraphics files are transmitted into Patran.
This is reflected in the File>Import menu that provides two different transfer methods for Unigraphics
files. The default import method is Direct Parasolid, where you select a Unigraphics part, Unigraphics
creates a Parasolid transmit file (with the extension .xmt_txt), and that file is imported. The second
method of import is Express Translation, where you select a Unigraphics part and an Express Neutral
file is created for import.

Current Group Displays the current group into which the imported entities will be
placed. If a non-existent group name is entered, a new group with this
name will be created and made current.
Unigraphics Options Activates the Unigraphics Import Options form that enables you to
select the type and attributes of entities targeted for import.
Import Format • Parasolid--Unigraphics creates a parasolid transmit file (with the
extension .xmt_txt), then that file is imported into the Patran
database.
• Express File --an express neutral file is created and imported.
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Unigraphics Import Options for Direct Parasolid


In this dialog box you can select the types and attributes of entities included in the imported database.
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Entity Types Identifies the type of geometric entities from which you can select.
Geometry Preference Identifies the surface type (solid or trimmed surface) to be created
during the import operation.
• Solid Type Specifies how solids will be represented in the database -- either as B-
rep or Parameterized Solids. The default is B-rep Solid. If you change
to Parameterized Solid, all 5 or 6 sided B-rep solids will be converted
into parameterized solids during import.
• Trimmed Surface Type Specifies how four-edged faces of trimmed surfaces will be
represented in the database. The default is general trimmed. You can
change the trimmed surface type to simply trimmed.
Entity Layers
• All Layers If ON, all entities are import candidates, regardless of layer
assignment.
• Layer Numbers Turn All Layers OFF and enter the layers on which the entities reside.
Group Classification... Brings up a dialog box in which you specify group assignments for
imported entities.
Attribute Import Displays the Attribute Import dialog box with options for importing
Unigraphics attributes.
Create Groups from Layers Select the “Create Groups from Layers” button. A sub-menu appears.
If the “Create Groups from Layers” toggle is ON (Default), a Patran
Group is created for each Layer and all geometry on a layer is added
to a Patran Group. The group name(s) will be defined by the “Group
Name Prefix” provided by the user or if the user did not provide a
“Group Name Prefix” the group name(s) will be the prefix of the
Unigraphics file with _Ln appended. For example, if the Unigraphics
file name is test.prt and there are two layers 1,2, then the two groups
will be named: test_L1 and test_L2. See Create Groups from Layers,
115 for additional information.
Assembly Import If Preview Components is ON, a dialog box will display the names
of the components in a Unigraphics assembly model. This list can be
used to selectively import assembly components.
Sew Sheet Bodies
Unigraphics Sew If Unigraphics Sew is ON, Unigraphics Sheet Bodies will be modified
on import to enable Unigraphics Sewing software to equivalence or
sew together adjacent edges of the sheets. This is to avoid “cracks”
along adjacent surface edges.
Verify Boundary The Verify Boundary command is similar to the
Verify/Surface/Boundary command in Patran.
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Equivalence Edge Vertices If this toggle is ON, topological vertices will be equivalenced during
import.
Save Transmit File If this toggle is ON, the parasolid transmit file will be saved when a
Unigraphics part file is imported. This file will be assigned a .xmt_txt
file name extension.

Attribute Import
The attribute import form is used to filter the attributes that will be imported into Patran.

Preview Attributes
You can inspect the entities and their attributes contained in a Unigraphics part targeted for import and
decide if any entities should be excluded from the import process.

Preview Components
You can inspect the component parts contained in a Unigraphics assembly targeted for import, in order
to selectively include parts in the import process.
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Unigraphics Group Classification


One or several Patran groups may be created to accommodate imported Unigraphics model entities.
Group membership may be based on both layer assignment and entity type.

Group Name Enter a group name.


Group Entity Types Select the type of imported geometric entities that will be added to the
group.
Group Entity Layers • All--selects all entities regardless of layer assignments.
• Work Layer--selects entities from the currently active layer.
• Layer numbers--turn All Layers OFF and identify layer(s) where
the imported entities reside in the Unigraphics database.
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Show Ug Groups... Display all groups defined for imported Unigraphics entities.
Delete Ug Groups... Delete groups defined for imported Unigraphics entities.
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Unigraphics Import Options for Express Translation


In this dialog box you can select the types and attributes of entities included in the database imported via
the Unigraphics express translation method.
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Import Preferences Activates a dialog box in which you can specify how certain geometric
entities will be represented in the Patran database.
Entity Types Identifies the types of geometric entities from which you can select.
Entity Layers • All--selects all entities regardless of layer assignments
• Work Layer--selects entities from the currently active layer
• Layer numbers--enter layer(s) where the imported entities reside
Create Groups from Layers Select the “Create Groups from Layers” button. A sub-menu appears.
If the “Create Groups from Layers” toggle is ON (Default), a Patran
Group is created for each Layer and all geometry on a layer is added
to a Patran Group. The group name(s) will be defined by the “Group
Name Prefix” provided by the user or if the user did not provide a
“Group Name Prefix” the group name(s) will be the prefix of the
Unigraphics file with _Ln appended. For example, if the Unigraphics
file name is test.prt and there are two layers 1,2, then the two groups
will be named: test_L1 and test_L2. See Create Groups from Layers,
115 for additional information.
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Unigraphics Group Classification for Express Translation


One or several Patran groups may be created based on both entity type attributes.

Group Name Enter a group name.


Group Entity Types Select the type of imported geometric entities that will be added to the
group.
Group Entity Layers • All--selects all entities regardless of layer assignments
• Work Layer--selects entities from the currently active layer
• Layer numbers--Toggle All Layers OFF and enter the layer(s)
where the imported entities reside in the Unigraphics database
Show Ug Groups... Display all groups defined for imported Unigraphics entities.
Delete Ug Groups... Delete groups defined for imported Unigraphics entities.
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Importing Parasolid (xmt) Files


Another way of importing a Unigraphics model is to use Parasolid xmt as the source of direct import.
This file can also originate from any system using Parasolid as its geometry kernel.

File Name The name of the Parasolid transmit file to import. In order to avoid
the transmit file from being deleted after import, do not use “-ps0001”
as part of the file name. For example, test-ps0001.x_t will be deleted
after it is imported. (-ps0001 is a string concatenated onto the input
file name for internal purposes.)
Current Group Displays the current group into which the imported entities will be
placed. If you enter a group name that does not yet exist, a new group
with this name will be created and made current.
Parasolid xmt Options Activates the Parasolid xmt Import Options form that enables you to
select the type and attributes of entities targeted for import.
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Import Options for Parasolid


In this dialog box you can select the types and attributes of entities included in the database.
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Import Geometry The default, Import Geometry will import the geometry after the
Apply button is selected on the import form. The secondary toggle,
Import Preview will run the translator and provide a summary of
geometry and layer information without importing the geometry.
Entity Types Identifies the type of geometric entities from which you can select.
Geometry Preference Identifies the surface type (solid or trimmed surface) to be created
during the import operation.
• Solid Type Specifies how solids will be represented in the database -- either as B-
rep or Parameterized Solids. The default is B-rep Solid. If you change
to Parameterized Solid, all 5 or 6 sided B-rep solids will be converted
into parameterized solids during import.
• Trimmed Surface Type Specifies how four-edged faces of trimmed surfaces will be
represented in the database. The default is general trimmed. You can
change the trimmed surface type to simply trimmed.
Entity Layers
• All Layers If ON, all entities are import candidates, regardless of layer
assignment.
• Layer Numbers Turn All Layers OFF and enter the layers on which the entities reside.
Group Classification... Brings up a dialog box in which you specify group assignments for
imported entities.
Model Units Brings up a dialog box in which you can override the model units
during import. The settings now include: inches, meters, millimeters
or custom value units.
The default model units override value is the Patran geometry
preference value for "Geometry Scale Factor" which is 39.370079
(Inches).

If a different default value is desired when opening a new Patran


database, create a new template database by opening the default
template database delivered by Patran, change the Geometry Scale
Factor to the desired value, then save as the new template database.

Then when opening a new database to import geometry into from a


CAD System, it will use this value as the default model units for the
imported geometry.
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Create Groups from Layers Select the “Create Groups from Layers” button. A sub-menu appears.
If the “Create Groups from Layers” toggle is ON (Default), a Patran
Group is created for each Layer and all geometry on a layer is added
to a Patran Group. The group name(s) will be defined by the “Group
Name Prefix” provided by the user or if the user did not provide a
“Group Name Prefix” the group name(s) will be the prefix of the
Parasolid file with _Ln appended. For example, if the Parasolid file
name is test.x_t and there are two layers 1,2, then the two groups will
be named: test_L1 and test_L2. See Create Groups from Layers, 115
for additional information.
Sew Sheet Bodies
• Patran Sew If Patran Sew is ON, Unigraphics Sheet Bodies will be equivalenced
or sewn together using Patran Sewing software.
• Verify Boundary The Verify Boundary command is similar to the
Verify/Surface/Boundary command in Patran.
Equivalence Edge Vertices If this toggle is ON, topological vertices will be equivalenced during
import.

Parasolid Model Units


Parasolid assumes model units in meters, and has an overall model size limit of a 1000 meter cube. In the
Model Units form you can override the default units in the transmit file to either inches, millimeters, or
a custom unit (default is None, meaning no override). If a custom value is desired, a scale factor entered
into the databox will be used to calculate the appropriate unit value.

Importing ACIS (sat) Files


Geometry models from ACIS-based CAD systems can be imported directly into Patran.
File>Import 163
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CAD geometry is first exported in “sat” format. Next, Patran creates a Parasolid transmit (.xmt_txt)
file from that, finally the transmit file is imported through the Parasolid import function.

Current Group Displays the current group into which the imported entities will be
placed. If you enter a group name that does not yet exist, a new group
with this name will be created and made current.
ACIS Options Activates the ACIS Import Options form that enables you to select the
type and attributes of entities targeted for import.

See the current Patran Release Guide for currently supported version of the ACIS® Geometric Modeler
and Parasolid®. A summary of features and limitations follows.
164 File>Import
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Converting ACIS Entities to Parasolid Entities

ACIS Parasolid Entity


Entity Classes (PK entity types) Remarks
body PK_BODY_T
SHELL PK_SHELL_T
FACE PK_FACE_T
LOOP PK_LOOP_T
COEDGE PK_FIN_T
EDGE PK_EDGE_T
VERTEX PK_VERTEX_T
STRAIGHT PK_LINE_t
ELLIPSE PK_CIRCLE_t If ellipse is circular
ELLIPSE PK_ELLIPSE_t If ellipse is not circular
PLANE PK_PLANE_t
CONE PK_CYL_t If cone is cylindrical
CONE PK_CONE_t If cone is not cylindrical
CONE PK_BCURVE_t If cone is elliptical
SPHERE PK_SPHERE_t
TORUS PK_TORUS_t
Spline Curves
exact_int_cur PK_BCURVE_t Exact bspline curve
All other kinds PK_BCURVE_t The corresponding edges may be
tolerant in Parasolid.
(e.g. surf_int_cur, int_int_cur, ...)
Spline surfaces
exact_spl_sur PK_BSURF_t Exact bspline surface
offset_spl_sur PK_OFFSET_t Offset surface
All other kinds PK_BSURF_t The corresponding edges may be
tolerant in Parasolid
(e.g. pipe_spl_sur, skin_spl_sur ...)
File>Import 165
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Import Options for ACIS


In this dialog box you can select the types and attributes of entities included in the database.
166 File>Import
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Import Geometry The default, Import Geometry will import the geometry after the Apply
button is selected on the import form. The secondary toggle, Import
Preview will run the translator and provide a summary of geometry and
layer information without importing the geometry.
Entity Types Identifies the type of geometric entities from which you can select.
Geometry Preference Identifies the surface type (solid or trimmed surface) to be created
during the import operation.
• Solid Type Specifies how solids will be represented in the database -- either as B-
rep or Parameterized Solids. The default is B-rep Solid. If you change
to Parameterized Solid, all 5 or 6 sided B-rep solids will be converted
into parameterized solids during import.
• Trimmed Surface Type Specifies how four-edged faces of trimmed surfaces will be
represented in the database. The default is general trimmed. You can
change the trimmed surface type to simply trimmed.
All Layers If ON, all entities are import candidates, regardless of layer
assignment.
Group Classification Displays a dialog box in which you specify group assignments for
imported entities.
Model Units Brings up a dialog box in which you can override the model units
during import. The settings now include: inches, meters, millimeters or
custom value units.
The default model units override value is the Patran geometry
preference value for "Geometry Scale Factor" which is 39.370079
(Inches).

If a different default value is desired when opening a new Patran


database, create a new template database by opening the default
template database delivered by Patran, change the Geometry Scale
Factor to the desired value, then save as the new template database.

Then when opening a new database to import geometry into from a


CAD System, it will use this value as the default model units for the
imported geometry.
File>Import 167
Importing Models and Results

Create Groups from Layers Select the “Create Groups from Layers” button. A sub-menu appears.
If the “Create Groups from Layers” toggle is ON (Default), a Patran
Group is created for each Layer and all geometry on a layer is added to
a Patran Group. The group name(s) will be defined by the “Group
Name Prefix” provided by the user or if the user did not provide a
“Group Name Prefix” the group name(s) will be the prefix of the ACIS
file with _Ln appended. For example, if the ACIS file name is test.sat
and there are two layers 1,2, then the two groups will be named:
test_L1 and test_L2. See Create Groups from Layers, 115 for
additional information.
Select Spatial Version Using the Select Spatial Version form you can select available InterOp
versions supported by Patran.
Alternatively, the default InterOp version for Patran can be changed by
setting the environment variable P3_SPATIAL_VERSION to the
recommended version by MSC, which will work in both batch mode
and GUI mode. For more information on using environment variables
please see, Environment Variables (p. 50) in the Patran Installation
and Operations Guide.
Sew Sheet Bodies
• Patran Sew If Patran Sew is ON, Sheet Bodies will be equivalenced or sewn
together using Patran Sewing software.
• Verify Boundary The Verify Boundary command is similar to the
Verify/Surface/Boundary command in Patran.
Parasolid Healing Healing routines of Parasolid are used if this is selected.
Equivalence Edge Vertices If this toggle is ON, topological vertices will be equivalenced during
import.
Save Transmit File If this toggle is ON, the parasolid transmit file will be saved when the
ACIS file is imported. This file will be assigned an .xmt_txt file name
extension.
168 File>Import
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ACIS Group Classification


One or several Patran groups may be created to accommodate imported ACIS model entities. Group
membership is based on entity type.

Group Name Enter a group name.


Group Entity Types Select the type of imported geometric entities to add to the group.
Group EntityLayers • All--selects all entities regardless of layer assignments·
• Layer numbers--Toggle All Layers OFF and enter the layer(s)
where the imported entities reside in the ACIS file.
Show Groups Display all groups defined for imported ACIS entities.
Delete Groups Delete groups defined for imported ACIS entities.
File>Import 169
Importing Models and Results

Importing STEP Files


ISO 10303 STEP (Standard for the Exchange of Product Model Data) is the standard that provides a
complete, unambiguous definition of the physical and functional characteristics of a product throughout
its life cycle. The standard has been created by a team of international experts from disciplines such as
aerospace, automotive, shipping, process plants, CAD/CAE/CAM, academia, and government.
STEP Application Protocols (AP) AP203, AP209 and AP214 are used to support the design/analysis
integration problem, typified by a requirement to share and exchange version controlled geometric shape
and associated analysis information in an iterative environment. AP203 provides geometry and
configuration controlled designs of mechanical parts and assemblies, AP209 extends this to include
analysis (FEM/FEA) and composites, and AP214 provides core data for automotive mechanical design
processes.
A variety of existing standards have been widely used as a means to exchange geometry data and FEM
data between various companies and commercial software products (both CAD and CAE), including
IGES for geometry (curves and surfaces only). However, today’s product designs and procedures require
far more information than can be captured individually and independently. Fully associated and version
controlled configuration management, product structure, geometry (including both nominal and
idealized shapes, as well as solids), finite element model (FEM) and finite element analysis (FEA) results
data must now be shared and exchanged between CAD/CAE products and environments. STEP AP203
and AP209 standards are capable of capturing this expanded data coverage requirement.
For additional information about STEP AP203 and AP214 on the World Wide Web, see
http://pdesinc.aticorp.org. For additional information about STEP AP209 on the World Wide Web,
see http://pdesinc.aticorp.org/pilots/engineering.html.

Benefits
The ability to design, simulate and collaborate on a product model in an extended enterprise of many
companies and engineering disciplines requires a standard for describing both geometry data (AP203,
AP209, ???and AP214???). The STEP standards supported by Patran provide the following extended
import/export/archiving benefits:
• Support for Solids (B-rep) export. Previously, only IGES export of geometry was available,
which does not support solids
• Support for SDRC geometry import (including solids) via STEP. Previously, only IGES import
of geometry was available.
• Provides a standard-based mechanism to exchange CAD/CAE data between engineering
companies with different CAD/CAE processes/tools.
• Provides a standard for long term CAD/CAE data archiving.
• Provides for the import/export of CAD generated configuration management and product
structure information (STEP defined minimum subset) associated with the geometry imported
into Patran. Additionally, AP209 provides for analysis version control, which is fully associated
with design version control.
170 File>Import
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Accessing STEP Libraries


STEP import and export is developed as an independent shared library, and is not included on the Version
9 CD. Future major releases of Patran will have STEP included on the CD.

Downloading and Installing


The STEP libraries are available from the MSC.Mechanical Solutions Web site. The following support
URL will contain the link to download instructions:
http://www.mechsolutions.com/support/software_updates/
For more information on STEP support availability, visit the MSC.Mechanical Solutions Web site at:
www.mechsolutions.com.

Licensing
STEP AP203 requires an Patran STEP AP203 Access license. STEP AP209 requires an Patran STEP
AP209 Access license. STEP AP214 requires an Patran STEP AP214 Access license. For more
information, contact your MSC.Software account representative.
File>Import 171
Importing Models and Results

In the Import dialog box, select STEP as the source of the imported database.

Current Group Displays the current group into which the imported entities will be
placed. If you enter a group name that does not yet exist, a new group
with this name will be created and made current.
STEP Options Brings up the STEP AP203/AP214 or AP209 Import Options form
that enables you to select the type and attributes of entities targeted for
import. Note that the same form is used to specify either STEP AP203
or AP214 options but that a different form is used to specify AP209
options.
Import to Parasolid Converts STEP geometry into Parasolid geometry format.
File Type Specifies the type of the imported input file. This may be a STEP 203
or 214 file or a STEP 209 file.

STEP Entities Supported for Import


Presently, only the MD Nastran Preference in Patran is supported for the FEM/FEA data imported from
or exported to AP209 files.
Imported STEP Conformance Class 1 data (minimum subset of configuration management, product
structure, approvals, etc.) associated with imported geometry, is maintained and replicated for STEP file
172 File>Import
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export. However, no user interface is provided to view this data and review its content or associativity to
the imported geometry entities. Prototypes of this functionality are being tested.

Important: STEP composite surface entity has no suitable entity in Patran, so it is not supported.
STEP currently does not support Patran Composite Trimmed Surfaces.

Not all AP203 and AP209 data model entities are supported. The following sections define the scope of
both AP data schemas’ coverage provided in this release.

Supported AP203 Import Entities


• All AP203 Conformance Class representations (1-6) are supported.
• Only the agreed upon minimum subset of Conformance Class 1 entities are supported.
• Group-based geometry import is supported.
• AP203 assembly is supported.
• Assembly is imported in Patran and all the assembly instances are duplicated.
• Group based Assembly import is supported.
File>Import 173
Importing Models and Results

• Names of Geometric Entities are preserved using CATIA CAD association.

Class 1: Configuration Management Entities (Minimum Subset)


APPLICATION_CONTEXT
APPLICATION_CONTEXT_ELEMENT
APPLICATION_PROTOCOL_DEFINITION
APPROVAL
APPROVAL_DATE_TIME
APPROVAL_PERSON_ORGANIZATION
APPROVAL_ROLE
APPROVAL_STATUS
CALENDAR_DATE
ORDINAL_DATE
WEEK_OF_YEAR_AND_DAY_DATE
APPLIED_CC_DESIGN_APPROVAL
APPLIED_CC_DESIGN_DATE_AND_TIME_ASSIGNMENT
APPLIED_CC_DESIGN_PERSON_AND_ORGANIZATION_ASSIGNMENT
APPLIED_CC_DESIGN_SECURITY_CLASSIFICATION
COORDINATED_UNIVERSAL_TIME_OFFSET
DATE_AND_TIME
DATE_TIME_ROLE
LOCAL_TIME
PRODUCT_CONTEXT( or MECHANICAL_CONTEXT )
ORGANIZATION
PERSON
PERSON_AND_ORGANIZATION
PERSON_AND_ORGANIZATION_ROLE
PRODUCT
PRODUCT_CATEGORY
PRODUCT_DEFINITION
PRODUCT_DEFINITION_CONTEXT (or DESIGN_CONTEXT)
PRODUCT_DEFINITION_FORMATION_WITH_SPECIFIED_SOURCE
PRODUCT_DEFINITION_RELATIONSHIP
PRODUCT_DEFINITION_SHAPE
PRODUCT_RELATED_PRODUCT_CATEGORY
PROPERTY_DEFINITION
SECURITY_CLASSIFICATION
SECURITY_CLASSIFICATION_LEVEL
NEXT_ASSEMBLY_USAGE_OCCURRENCE
SHAPE_REPRESENTATION
SHAPE_DEFINITION_REPRESENTATION
SHAPE_ASPECT
174 File>Import
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Class2: Geometrically Bounded Surface Shape Representation


Mapped Item
Axis2_Placement_3d
B_spline surface
Rectangular Trimmed Surface
Curve Bounded Surface
Spherical, Toroidal Surface
Swept Surface
Circle, Ellipse
Trimmed Curve
Composite Curve
Curve Replica, Offset Curve 3d, Offset Curve 2d, SeamCurve
Surface Curve
Boundary Curve, Outer Boundary Curve, Composite Curve Segment

Class 2: Geometrically Bounded Wireframe Shape Representation


Geometric Curve Set
Axis2_Placement_3d
Points
Circle
Ellipse
Polyline
Trimmed curve

Class 3: Edge Based Wireframe Shape Representation


Edge Based Wireframe Model
Axis2_Placement_3d
Edge Curve
Vertex Point
Line, Circle, Ellipse, B_Spline_Curve
Parabola, Hyperbola
Vertex Geometry (only cartesian point supported)
File>Import 175
Importing Models and Results

Class 3: Shell Based Wireframe Shape Representation


Shell Based Wireframe Model
Axis2_Placement_3d
Edge Loop
Edge Curve
Line, Circle, Ellipse, B_Spline_Curves
Vertex Geometry (only cartesian point supported)

Class 4: Manifold Surface Shape Representation


Shell Based Surface Model
Axis2_Placement_3d
Open shell, Closed Shell
Connected Face Set, Face Surface, Oriented Face
Elementary Surfaces
Spherical, Conical, Toroidal, Plane, Cylindrical
Bounded Surfaces
B_Spline_Surfaces
Swept Surface
Surface of Linear Extrusion
Edge loop
Edge Curve
Parabola, Hyperbola, SeamCurve

Class 5: Faceted B-Rep Shape Representation


Faceted Brep
Axis2_Placement_3d
Face_Surface
Planar Surfaces
Edge Loop
Edge Curves
Parabola, Hyperbola, SeamCurve
176 File>Import
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Class 6: Advanced B-Rep Shape Representation


Manifold Solid Brep
Next Assembly Usage Occurrence
Mapped Item
Axis2_Placement_3d
Brep with voids
Advanced Face
Swept Surface
Surface of Linear Extrusion
Surface of Revolution
Edge Loop
Edge Curve
Oriented Edges
B_spline_surface_with_knots
Rational_bspline_surface
Cylindrical surface
Conical Surface
Toroidal Surface
Plane
Quasi uniform surface
Line
Circle
Uniform Surface
Uniform Curve
Ellipse
B spline curve with knots
Quasi uniform curve
Rational bspline curve
Bezier Surface and Curve
Spherical Surface
Parabola, Hyperbola
Seam Curve

Supported AP209 Import Entities


AP209 is a major Application Protocol of STEP (ISO 10303) for composite and metallic structural
analysis and related design. The Patran AP209 translators (both import and export) support three major
CAD/CAE data types:
• Geometry (nominal shape and idealized shape)
• FEM/FEA (linear static and modes/eigenvectors)
• Configuration Management data
File>Import 177
Importing Models and Results

Currently, AP209 support is for the MD Nastran Preference only. Specific coverage provided in this
release is listed below.

Entities Features
Geometry Geometry data comprising Curves, Surfaces and Solids are exported,
imported, from geometrically bounded surface shape representations
and/or advanced-Brep shape representations. Assemblies are also
supported. Association of Geometry data to Configuration Management
data is maintained when exported. AP209 translation supports all of the
AP203 geometry types.
Configuration Control Support for Configuration Management data conforming to agreed upon
Data STEP minimum subset.
FEM/FEA Data Nodes Support for import and export of nodes in the global coordinate system.
Elements Support for the following Element types:
Volume Elements:
Hexahedral elements:
HEX8, HEX9, HEX20, HEX21, HEX26, HEX27, HEX32&HEX64
Pentahedral elements:
WEDGE6, WEDGE15 & WEDGE24

Tetrahedral elements:
TET4,TET10&TET16

Surface Elements:
Quadrilateral elements:
QUAD4,QUAD5,QUAD8, QUAD9,QUAD12&QUAD16
Triangular elements:
TRI3,TRI4,TRI6&TRI9

Curve Elements:
BAR2,BAR3&BAR4
Materials Support for Isotropic, Orthotropic and Anisotropic Materials with linear
constituent model.
178 File>Import
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Entities Features
Regions Support for the element properties:

Surface Elements:
Membrane Stiffness, Bending Stiffness, Coupling Stiffness, Shear
Stiffness and Thickness.

Curve Elements:
Cross sectional area, Second Moment of Inertia, Torsional and Warping
Constant and Non-structural Mass.

Beam Cross Section Geometry and Beam Property Association.

Properties related only to MD Nastran Preference are currently supported.


Loads and Boundary Point Loads: At Nodal positions.
Conditions (LBCs) and Pressure Loads: Element Uniform and Element Varying Pressure Loads
MPCs are supported for loads applied on faces of Volume Elements and Surface
Elements.
Distributed Loads: Element Uniform and Element Varying Distributed
Loads are supported for loads applied on Curve Elements.
Single Point Constraints: Nodal Displacements.
Multi Point Constraints: Only Explicit MPCs are supported.

Support for constant value LBCs.

LBCs: Associated with at least one Load Case are only exported.
Load Cases Load Cases which have at least one of the supported LBCs are exported.
Output Requests Support for Multiple Jobs.

Support for association of Analysis reports and Jobs.

Output Requests are supported only for MD Nastran Jobs.


Results Static analysis:

Results are supported for Elemental Stresses, Strains, and Nodal


Displacements.

Normal Modes Analysis:

Modes/Eigenvectors of normal modes and frequencies analysis results.

Support is available for only those Load Cases associated with a single
result Subcase.

Support for Analysis Report.


File>Import 179
Importing Models and Results

Import Options for STEP AP203 or AP214 Parasolid Format


If you are importing a STEP AP203 or AP214 model with the Import to Parasolid option turned ON, the
resulting geometry format will be Parasolid. Use the Import Options form to select the types and
attributes of entities included in the imported database.

Entity Types Identifies the type of geometric entities from which you can select.
Geometry Preference Identifies the surface type (solid or trimmed surface) to be created
during the import operation.
180 File>Import
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• Solid Type Specifies how solids will be represented in the database -- either as B-
rep or Parameterized Solids. The default is B-rep Solid. If you change
to Parameterized Solid, all 5 or 6 sided B-rep solids will be converted
into parameterized solids during import.
• Trimmed Surface Type Specifies how four-edged faces of trimmed surfaces will be
represented in the database. The default is general trimmed. You can
change the trimmed surface type to simply trimmed.
Group Classification... Brings up a dialog box in which you specify group assignments for
imported entities.
Model Units
Select Spatial Version Using the Select Spatial Version form you can select available InterOp
versions supported by Patran.
Alternatively, the default InterOp version for Patran can be changed by
setting the environment variable P3_SPATIAL_VERSION to the
recommended version by MSC, which will work in both batch mode
and GUI mode. For more information on using environment variables
please see, Environment Variables (p. 50) in the Patran Installation
and Operations Guide.
Sew Sheet Bodies
• Patran Sew Instructs Patran to sew together sheet bodies using Patran Sewing
software.
• Verify Boundary The Verify Boundary command is similar to the
Verify/Surface/Boundary command in Patran.
Equivalence Edge Vertices If this toggle is ON, topological vertices will be equivalenced during
import.
Save Transmit File If this toggle is ON, the parasolid transmit file will be saved when a
STEP file is imported. This file will be assigned a .xmt_txt file name
extension.
Load CC1 Data If ON, loads Configuration Control Data (Class 1).
File>Import 181
Importing Models and Results

Import Options for STEP AP203/214


The STEP AP203 Access Filter appears when importing a STEP AP203 model with the Import to
Parasolid toggle turned OFF. Use this form to access entities based on a combination of entity type and
the layer on which entities reside.

Entity Types Identifies the type of geometric entities from which you can select.
All Layers If ON, all entities are import candidates, regardless of layer
assignment.
182 File>Import
Importing Models and Results

Layer Numbers Turns All Layers off. Enter the layers where the entities you want to
import reside.
Group Classification... Brings up a dialog box in which you specify group assignments for
imported entities.
Select Spatial Version Using the Select Spatial Version form you can select available InterOp
versions supported by Patran.
Alternatively, the default InterOp version for Patran can be changed by
setting the environment variable P3_SPATIAL_VERSION to the
recommended version by MSC, which will work in both batch mode
and GUI mode. For more information on using environment variables
please see, Environment Variables (p. 50) in the Patran Installation
and Operations Guide.
Load CCI Data If ON, loads Configuration Control Data (Class 1).
Scale Factor Brings up a dialog box in which you can override the model units
during import. The settings now include: inches, millimeters or custom
value units.
Sew Sheet Bodies Instructs Patran to sew together sheet bodies using Patran software.
Load CCI Data If ON, loads Configuration Control Data (Class 1).
File>Import 183
Importing Models and Results

Import Options for STEP AP209


The STEP AP209 Access Filter allows the access of entities based on a combination of entity type and
the layer on which entities reside.

Import Preferences Activates a dialog box in which you can specify how certain geometric
entities will be represented in the Patran database.
Entity Types Identifies the type of geometric entities from which you can select.
All Layers If ON, all entities are import candidates, regardless of layer
assignment.
184 File>Import
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Layer Numbers Turns All Layers off. Enter the layers where the entities you want to
import reside.
Group Classification... Brings up a dialog box in which you specify group assignments for
imported entities.
Imported Data Use this pull-down list to select the types of data you wish to import.
File>Import 185
Importing Models and Results

STEP AP209 Import Preferences


In this dialog box you can specify your preferences on how to treat surfaces and solids, as well as
tolerances, when importing entities in the Patran database.

Trimmed Surface Type Specifies how four-edged faces of trimmed surfaces will be
represented in the database (simply trimmed or general trimmed).
Solid Representation Solids may appear in boundary representation (B-rep Solids) or as a
collection of constituent surfaces. The Parameterized Solid option
allows B-rep solids, whose faces are biparametric surfaces, to be
automatically converted to triparametric solids.
Enable Tolerance Prompt If OFF (default), global model tolerance is calculated based on the
expected maximum model size (see Global Model Tolerance, 457),
without prompting for a response.
Enable Geometry Tracking If ON, a geometry tracking log file will be created to describe
geometric attributes of imported geometry.
186 File>Import
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Import Action
• Import Geometry Executes geometry import.
• Calculate Model Processes the file to help determine the best tolerance for geometry
Tolerance import.

STEP AP203/AP209 Group Classification


One or several Patran groups may be created to accommodate imported STEP model entities. Group
membership may be based on both entity type and layer assignment.

Group Name Enter a group name.


Group Entity Types Select the type of imported geometric entities that will be added to the
group.
File>Import 187
Importing Models and Results

Group Entity Layers • All--selects all entities regardless of layer assignments


• Layer numbers--Toggle All Layers OFF and enter the layer(s)
where the imported entities reside in the Unigraphics database
Show Groups... Display all groups defined for imported STEP entities.
Delete Groups... Delete groups defined for imported STEP entities.

Importing STL Files


In the import dialog box, select STL as the source of the imported databas e.

Current Group Displays the current group into which the imported entities will be
placed. If you enter a group name that does not yet exist, a new group
with this name will be created and made current.
STL Options Brings up the STL Import Options form that enables you to specify the
types and attributes of entities targeted for import.
188 File>Import
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STL Import Options


In this form you can select the entity types (packets) you want to import.

Define Offsets... Select this button if the likelihood of entity ID duplication exists (e.g.,
when several neutral files are imported). It will activate the Entity
Label Offset Definition form in which you can specify offsets to
avoid conflicting IDs.
File>Import 189
Importing Models and Results

Entity Label Offset Definition


In this form you can specify entity ID offsets in order to avoid conflicts arising from duplicate ID
numbers.

Options for Entity Selection


• All entity packets offset the same way
• Each entity packet offsets differently

Options for Offset Definition


• Automatic--system obtains the next available ID in the database
• Manual--you specify the offset value

Assigning Offsets
Same for all entity types:
• click on Offset, type the offset in the Input Offset Value data, press Enter, or
• pick Automatic Offset to let the system assign offset automatically.

Unique value to each entity type:


• click on an entity, type the offset in the Input Offset Value data field, press Enter, or
190 File>Import
Importing Models and Results

• select Automatic Offset.

Importing VDA Files


In the import dialog box, select VDA as the source of the imported database.

Current Group Displays the current group into which the imported entities will be
placed. If you enter a group name that does not yet exist, a new group
with this name will be created and made current.
VDA Options Brings up the VDA Import Options form that enables you to specify
the types and attributes of entities targeted for import.
File>Import 191
Importing Models and Results

VDA Import Options


The filter for VDA allows the access of entities based on a combination of entity type and the layer on
which entities reside.

Entity Types Identifies the type of geometric entities from which you can select.
Trimmed Surface Type Specifies how four-edged faces of trimmed surfaces will be
represented in the database (default is general trimmed, optionally you
can change to simply trimmed).
Group Classification... Brings up a dialog box in which you specify group assignments for
imported entities.
192 File>Import
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Model Units Brings up a dialog box in which you can override the model units
during import. The settings now include: inches, meters, millimeters
or custom value units.
The default model units override value is the Patran geometry
preference value for "Geometry Scale Factor" which is 39.370079
(Inches).

If a different default value is desired when opening a new Patran


database, create a new template database by opening the default
template database delivered by Patran, change the Geometry Scale
Factor to the desired value, then save as the new template database.

Then when opening a new database to import geometry into from a


CAD System, it will use this value as the default model units for the
imported geometry.
Select Spatial Version Using the Select Spatial Version form you can select available InterOp
versions supported by Patran.
Alternatively, the default InterOp version for Patran can be changed
by setting the environment variable P3_SPATIAL_VERSION to the
recommended version by MSC, which will work in both batch mode
and GUI mode. For more information on using environment variables
please see, Environment Variables (p. 50) in the Patran Installation
and Operations Guide.
Sew Sheet Bodies
• Patran Sew If Patran Sew is ON, Unigraphics Sheet Bodies will be equivalenced
or sewn together using Patran Sewing software.
• Verify Boundary The Verify Boundary command is similar to the
Verify/Surface/Boundary command in Patran.
Equivalence Edge Vertices If this toggle is ON, topological vertices will be equivalenced during
import.
Save Transmit File If this toggle is ON, the parasolid transmit file will be saved when a
STEP file is imported. This file will be assigned a .xmt_txt file name
extension.

Model Units
Parasolid assumes model units in meters, and has an overall model size limit of a 1000 meter cube. In the
Model Units form you can override the default units in the transmit file to either inches, millimeters, or
File>Import 193
Importing Models and Results

a custom unit. If a custom value is desired, a scale factor entered into the databox will be used to calculate
the appropriate unit value.

The default Model Unit Override value is None for:


• Unigraphics
• Parasolid xmt

The default Model Unit Override value is the Patran Preference value for “Geometry Scale factor for:
• “Import to Parasolid”
CATIA
Pro/ENGINEER
STEP AP203
• ACIS
• VDA
The default model units override value is the Patran geometry preference value for "Geometry Scale
Factor" which is 39.370079 (Inches).

If a different default value is desired when opening a new Patran database, create a new template database
by opening the default template database delivered by Patran, change the Geometry Scale Factor to the
desired value, then save as the new template database.

Then when opening a new database to import geometry into from a CAD System, it will use this value
as the default model units for the imported geometry.
194 File>Import
Importing Models and Results

Importing Results
The File>Import command can also bring in results data created outside of the current database. If the
imported object is specified as Results, the Import dialog box buttons and text boxes are related to result
import choices. Imported result files may be in a variety of Patran formats.

Format Select the format of the imported results file.


Current Analysis Code Indicate the current analysis code preference.
Zero Tolerance Specify a tolerance value; a result with the absolute value less than this
value will be considered equal to zero.
File>Import 195
Importing Models and Results

Template for PATRAN 2.5 Import Results


This window appears if the selected format is one of the PATRAN 2 files (see Patran 2.5 Results Files,
46 for more information about result files).
196 File>Export
Exporting Files

File>Export Exporting Files

With the File>Export command sequence you can transfer model data to use outside the current
database. Exported output may be in the form of Patran neutral files, or formatted as ACIS, Parasolid
xmt, CATIA V4, IGES, STEP, or VDA files.

Exporting to a PATRAN 2.5 Neutral File

File Name/Type Enter a new file name. The default file name extension is .out.
Format The output file may be a PATRAN 2.5 neutral file, IGES format,
Parasolid xmt file, or STEP file.
Neutral Options Activates the Neutral Export Options dialog box in which you select
exported entities and groups.
File>Export 197
Exporting Files

Neutral Export Options


In this dialog box you can select the entity types (packets) and groups that are to be output via the
PATRAN 2.5 neutral file.

Neutral File Title Activates the Neutral File Title form to enter a title for your file.
198 File>Export
Exporting Files

Entity Packets Displays the names of all entity types that are candidates for export.
Select the packet(s) to send to the output file.
Existing Groups Select the groups to transmit to the output file. Only those entities that
belong to a group will be exported, therefore this is a required
selection.

Neutral File Title


Accept the default or enter a new title; this will become a Neutral File Title Card (Packet Type 25).

Exporting IGES Surface Data as Parametric BiCubic Surfaces


The “Patran 2 Neutral File Translator” can export IGES type 114 and 128 surfaces as “Parametric
BiCubic” surfaces. For example, the “Patran 2 Neutral File Translator” automatically converts an IGES
128 surface entity into a “BiCubic Patch Network”, and then exports a Patran Neutral File that contains
the individual patches (Parametric BiCubic Surfaces) that make up the Patch Network.
To convert existing IGES surface data into Parametric BiCubic Patches, you need to first import an IGES
file into Patran, and then either:
• Turn ON the “Exportable to Neutral File” Geometry Preference and interactively refit the IGES
type 114 and 128 surfaces into Parametric BiCubic surfaces using the Edit,Surface,Refit
Geometry form to visualize the results. Then export a Patran 2 Neutral File by selecting
File>Export and setting the Format option to “Neutral.”
or
• Turn ON the “Exportable to Neutral File” Geometry Preference and export a Patran 2 Neutral
File by selecting File>Export and setting the Format option to “Neutral”.
File>Export 199
Exporting Files

Exporting to ACIS Files


To export database entities to an ACIS file, select ACIS format in the Export dialog box.

ACIS Options Brings up the ACIS Export Options form that enables you to select the
type of entities targeted for export.
File Name/Type Enter a new file name. The default file name extension is .sat.
Format Select ACIS to create an output file.

ACIS save file (SAT)


• ACIS saves or stores, model information to ACIS save files (also known as part save files or part
files). ACIS also restores model information from these files. These files have an open format so
that applications not based on ACIS can have access to the ACIS model. There are two types of
ACIS save files: text (file extension .sat, which stands for Standard ACIS Text) and binary (file
extension .sab, which stands for Standard ACIS Binary). The only difference between these files
is that the data is stored as ASCII text in a .sat file and in binary form in a .sab file. The
organization of a .sat file and a ..sab file is identical. The term SAT file is generally used to refer
to both.
• Patran exports the .sat save file.

ACIS Version
• The resulting ACIS file is ACIS version 13.0.

Scaling Factor
• The scaling factor used during the translation is 1000. ACIS assumes this underlying unit to be
millimeters and Parasolid units are meters, therefore, 1000 indicates the number of millimeters
(the default unit) represented by each unit in the save file data.
200 File>Export
Exporting Files

Supported ACIS Export Entities


• Curves, Surfaces, and Solids.
• Attribute Transfer: Parasolid to ACIS:

The following table shows attribute transfer from Parasolid to ACIS:

Parasolid Attribute ACIS Attribute Remarks


SDL/TYSA_COLOUR ATTRIB_RGB Color attribute
SDL/TYSA_NAME ATTRIB_XACIS_NAME Name attribute
ATTRIB_XPARASOLID_LAYER ATTRIB_XACIS_LAYER Layer attribute
File>Export 201
Exporting Files

ACIS Export Options


In this dialog box you can select the entity types (packets) and groups that are to be output via the ACIS
file.

Entity Types Displays the names of all entity types that are candidates for export.
Select the packet(s) to send to the output file.
Select Spatial Version Using the Select Spatial Version form you can select available InterOp
versions supported by Patran.
Alternatively, the default InterOp version for Patran can be changed by
setting the environment variable P3_SPATIAL_VERSION to the
recommended version by MSC, which will work in both batch mode
and GUI mode. For more information on using environment variables
please see, Environment Variables (p. 50) in the Patran Installation
and Operations Guide.
202 File>Export
Exporting Files

Exporting a Parasolid Transmit File


To export database entities to an Parasolid Transmit file, select Parasolid xmt format in the Export dialog
boxes.

File Name/Type Enter a new file name. The default file name extension is .xmt.
Format Select Parasolid xmt to create an output file.
Parasolid xmt Options Activates the Parasolid xmt Options dialog box in which you select
exported entities and groups.
File>Export 203
Exporting Files

Parasolid xmt Export Options


In this dialog box you can select the entity types (packets) and groups that are to be output via the
Parasolid xmt file.

Entity Types Displays the names of all entity types that are candidates for export.
Select the packet(s) to send to the output file.
Parasolid Version for Select the version for export.
Export
204 File>Export
Exporting Files

Exporting to CATIA V4 Files


To export database entities to a CATIA V4 model file, select CATIA V4 format in the Export dialog box.

CATIA V4 Options Brings up the CATIA V4 Export Options form that enables you to
select the type of entities targeted for export.
File Name/Type Enter a new file name. The default file name extension is .model.
Format Select CATIA V4 to create an output file.

CATIA V4 .model file creation


• The CATIA V4 Export translator does not interact with either CATIA or CATIA API and
therefore, does not require CATIA installation in order to create the .model file.

CATIA Version
• The resulting .model file is CATIA version 4.1.9

Supported CATIA V4 Export Entities


• Curves, Surfaces, and Solids.
• Attribute Transfer: Parasolid to CATIA V4:
File>Export 205
Exporting Files

The following table shows attribute transfer from Parasolid to CATIA V4:

Parasolid Attribute CATIA Attribute Remarks


SDL/TYSA_COLOUR Colour value from Element Directory Color attribute
Section
SDL/TYSA_NAME String from Data Section Name attribute
ATTRIB_XPARASOLID_LAYER Layer value from Element Directory Layer attribute
Section

CATIA V4 Export Options


In this dialog box you can select the entity types (packets) and groups that are to be output via the CATIA
V4 file.
206 File>Export
Exporting Files

Exporting to IGES Files


To export database entities to an IGES file, select IGES format in the Export dialog box.

File Name/Type Enter a new file name. The default file name extension is .igs. For
multiple files, version numbers will be appended to the file name.
Format Select IGES to create an output file in IGES format.
IGES Options Activates the IGES Export Options dialog box in which you define
the IGES file sections and select exported entities and groups.

Geometric Entity Types and their Supported IGES Equivalents

Geometric Entity Type IGES Entity Type( #)


Arc Circular Arc (100)
Parametric Cubic Circular Arc (100)
Composite Curve Composite Curve (102)
Conic Conic Arc (104)
Piecewise Linear Copious Data (106)
Point Copious Data (106)
Plane Unbounded Plane (108)
Line Line (110)
Parametric cubic Line (110)
Parametric cubic Parametric Spline Curve (112)
Piecewise cubic polynomial curve Parametric Spline Curve (112)
File>Export 207
Exporting Files

Geometric Entity Type IGES Entity Type( #)


Cubic spline Parametric Spline Curve (112)
Rational Bezier Parametric Spline Curve (112)
MDC curve Parametric Spline Curve (112)
CATIA curve Parametric Spline Curve (112)
Piecewise rational polynomial curve Parametric Spline Curve (112)
Bicubic patch network Parametric Spline Surface (114)
Parametric Parametric Spline Surface (114)
Point Point (116)
Ruled Surface Ruled Surface (118)
Cylinder Surface of Revolution (120)
Cone Surface of Revolution (120)
Torus Surface of Revolution (120)
Surface of revolution Surface of Revolution (120)
Tabulated cylinder Tabulated Cylinder (122)
Bounded plane Tabulated Cylinder (122)
Coordinate system 124
Type 1 - Rectangular Form 10 - Cartesian
Type 2 - Cylindrical Form 11 - Cylindrical
Type 3 - Spherical Form 12 - Spherical
Nurb curve Rational B-Spline Curve (126)
Nurb surface Rational B-Spline Surface (128)
Rational Bezier network Rational B-Spline Surface (128)
MDC surface Rational B-Spline Surface (128)
MDC parent surface Rational B-Spline Surface (128)
Fillet surface Rational B-Spline Surface (128)
Generalized Coons surface Rational B-Spline Surface (128)
Cylindrical Spline surface Rational B-Spline Surface (128)
CATIA surface Rational B-Spline Surface (128)
Piecewise rational polynomial surface Rational B-Spline Surface (128)
Curve interpolating surface Rational B-Spline Surface (128)
Extruded surface Rational B-Spline Surface (128)
Glide surface Rational B-Spline Surface (128)
Sweep normal surface Rational B-Spline Surface (128)
208 File>Export
Exporting Files

Geometric Entity Type IGES Entity Type( #)


Sphere Rational B-Spline Surface (128)
MDC sculptured surface Rational B-Spline Surface (128)
Parametric tricubic Rational B-Spline Surface (128); 1 per face
Ordinary body Rational B-Spline Surface (128); 1 per face
Surface interpolating solid Rational B-Spline Surface (128); 1 per face
Solid of revolution Rational B-Spline Surface (128); 1 per face
Solid 6face Rational B-Spline Surface (128); 1 per face
Extruded solid Rational B-Spline Surface (128); 1 per face
Glide solid Rational B-Spline Surface (128); 1 per face
Sweep normal solid Rational B-Spline Surface (128); 1 per face
Extruded body Rational B-Spline Surface (128); 1 per face
Tricubic net Rational B-Spline Surface (128); 1 per face
Offset curve Offset Curve (130)
Node Node (134)
Finite Element Finite Element (136)
Offset surface Offset Surface (140)
Trimmed surface Trimmed Surface (144)
Ordinary trimmed surface Trimmed Surface (144)
File>Export 209
Exporting Files

IGES Export Options

Start Section Displays the IGES File Start Section form.


Global Section Displays the IGES File Global Section dialog box.
Entity Types Displays the names of all entity types that are candidates for export.
Select the entities to send to the output file.
210 File>Export
Exporting Files

Entity Groups Select the groups to transmit to the output file. Only those entities that
belong to a group will be exported, therefore this is a required
selection.
IGES Point Type Specify what IGES point type will be created from Patran points.

IGES Export Parasolid Options

Start Section Displays the IGES File Start Section form.


Global Section Displays the IGES File Global Section dialog box.
Entity Types Displays the names of all entity types that are candidates for export.
Select the entities to send to the output file.
Select Spatial Version Using the Select Spatial Version form you can select available InterOp
versions supported by Patran.
Alternatively, the default InterOp version for Patran can be changed
by setting the environment variable P3_SPATIAL_VERSION to the
recommended version by MSC, which will work in both batch mode
and GUI mode. For more information on using environment variables
please see, Environment Variables (p. 50) in the Patran Installation
and Operations Guide.
File>Export 211
Exporting Files

IGES File Start Section


In this form you can enter any text to serve as an introduction to the IGES export file. Optionally, you
may accept the default text.

IGES File Global Section Parameters


In this dialog box you enter certain file parameters. All default values may be modified.
212 File>Export
Exporting Files

Exporting to STEP Files


To export database entities to an STEP file, select STEP format in the Export dialog box.

STEP 203/209/214 Options Brings up the STEP 203/209/214 Export Options form that enables
you to select the type and attributes of entities targeted for export.
Export Through Parasolid Uses Parasolid format as the starting format for exporting the
File Type geometry. STEP 203 and STEP 214 files can be created when this
toggle is ON.
File Type Select STEP AP203/209/214 to create a STEP AP203/209/214
output file.
File Name/Type Enter a new file name. The default file name extension is .st.
Format Select STEP to create an output file.
Select Spatial Version Using the Select Spatial Version form you can select available
InterOp versions suppdtruittorted by Patran.
Alternatively, the default InterOp version for Patran can be changed
by setting the environment variable P3_SPATIAL_VERSION to the
recommended version by MSC, which will work in both batch mode
and GUI mode. For more information on using environment
variables please see, Environment Variables (p. 50) in the Patran
Installation and Operations Guide.

Supported AP203 Export Entities


• Curves, Surfaces, and Solids.
• Name of imported Geometric entities preserved using CATIA CAD association.
File>Export 213
Exporting Files

• Exports Patran Geometry entities as either Class 2: Geometrically bounded surface shape
representation, or Class 6: Advanced B-Rep shape representation.
• All imported Class 1: Configuration Management data and its associations to geometry.

Supported AP209 Export Entities


AP209 is a major Application Protocol of STEP (ISO 10303) for composite and metallic structural
analysis and related design. The Patran AP209 translators (both import and export) support three major
CAD/CAE data types:
• Geometry (nominal shape and idealized shape)
• FEM/FEA (linear static and modes/eigenvectors)
• Configuration Management data

Currently, AP209 support is for the MD Nastran Preference only. Specific coverage provided in this
release is listed below.

Entities Features
Geometry Geometry data comprising Curves, Surfaces and Solids are exported,
imported, from geometrically bounded surface shape representations
and/or advanced-Brep shape representations. Assemblies are also
supported. Association of Geometry data to Configuration Management
data is maintained when exported. AP209 translation supports all of the
AP203 geometry types.
Configuration Control Support for Configuration Management data conforming to agreed upon
Data STEP minimum subset.
FEM/FEA Data Nodes Support for import and export of nodes in the global coordinate system.
214 File>Export
Exporting Files

Entities Features
Elements Support for the following Element types:
Volume Elements:
Hexahedral elements:
HEX8, HEX9, HEX20, HEX21, HEX26, HEX27, HEX32&HEX64
Pentahedral elements:
WEDGE6, WEDGE15 & WEDGE24

Tetrahedral elements:
TET4,TET10&TET16

Surface Elements:
Quadrilateral elements:
QUAD4,QUAD5,QUAD8, QUAD9,QUAD12&QUAD16
Triangular elements:
TRI3,TRI4,TRI6&TRI9

Curve Elements:
BAR2,BAR3&BAR4
Materials Support for Isotropic, Orthotropic and Anisotropic Materials with linear
constituent model.
Regions Support for the element properties:

Surface Elements:
Membrane Stiffness, Bending Stiffness, Coupling Stiffness, Shear
Stiffness and Thickness.

Curve Elements:
Cross sectional area, Second Moment of Inertia, Torsional and Warping
Constant and Non-structural Mass.

Beam Cross Section Geometry and Beam Property Association.

Properties related only to MD Nastran Preference are currently supported.


File>Export 215
Exporting Files

Entities Features
Loads and Boundary Point Loads: At Nodal positions.
Conditions (LBCs) and Pressure Loads: Element Uniform and Element Varying Pressure Loads
MPCs are supported for loads applied on faces of Volume Elements and Surface
Elements.
Distributed Loads: Element Uniform and Element Varying Distributed
Loads are supported for loads applied on Curve Elements.
Single Point Constraints: Nodal Displacements.
Multi Point Constraints: Only Explicit MPCs are supported.

Support for constant value LBCs.

LBCs: Associated with at least one Load Case are only exported.
Load Cases Load Cases which have at least one of the supported LBCs are exported.
Output Requests Support for Multiple Jobs.

Support for association of Analysis reports and Jobs.

Output Requests are supported only for NASTRAN Jobs.


Results Static analysis:

Results are supported for Elemental Stresses, Strains, and Nodal


Displacements.

Normal Modes Analysis:

Modes/Eigenvectors of normal modes and frequencies analysis results.

Support is available for only those Load Cases associated with a single
result Subcase.

Support for Analysis Report.

Supported AP214 Export Entities


• Curves, Surfaces, and Solids.
• Exports Patran Geometry entities as either Class II: Wires, Geometrically bounded surface shape
representation, or Class VI: Advanced B-Rep shape representation.
• Attribute Transfer: Parasolid to STEP AP214:
216 File>Export
Exporting Files

The following table shows attribute transfer from Parasolid to STEP AP214:

Parasolid Attribute STEP AP214 Attribute Remarks


SDL/TYSA_COLOUR As colour_rgb entities stored in Color attribute
styled_items
SDL/TYSA_NAME In label field of representation_items Name attribute

STEP AP214 Export Options


In this dialog box you can select the entity types (packets) and groups that are to be output via the STEP
AP214 file.

Entity Types Displays the names of all entity types that are candidates for export.
Select the packet(s) to send to the output file.
File>Export 217
Exporting Files

Exporting to VDA Files


To export database entities to an VDA file, select VDA format in the Export dialog box.

VDA Options Brings up the VDA Export Options form that enables you to select the
type of entities targeted for export.
File Name/Type Enter a new file name. The default file name extension is .vda.
Format Select VDA to create an output file.

VDA Version
• The resulting .model file is VDA version 2.0.

Supported VDA Export Entities


• Curves, Surfaces and Solids
218 File>Export
Exporting Files

VDA Export Options


In this dialog box you can select the entity types (packets) and groups that are to be output via the VDA
file.

Entity Types Displays the names of all entity types that are candidates for export.
Select the packet(s) to send to the output file.
Select Spatial Version Using the Select Spatial Version form you can select available InterOp
versions suppdtruittorted by Patran.
Alternatively, the default InterOp version for Patran can be changed
by setting the environment variable P3_SPATIAL_VERSION to the
recommended version by MSC, which will work in both batch mode
and GUI mode. For more information on using environment variables
please see, Environment Variables (p. 50) in the Patran Installation
and Operations Guide.
File>SimXpert 219
Session Files

File>SimXpert Session Files

SimXpert This menu item appears if you have a valid installation of SimXpert on your local
system and the environment variable MSC_SX_HOME is set pointing to the
installation directory of SimXpert. Selecting this option will launch SimXpert. If
you wish to export a current model to SimXpert, this can be done in the Analysis
application with the Action/Object/Method set to Analyze/Entire Model/Load
SimXpert in the MSC or MD Nastran preference.
220 File>SimManager
Session Files

File>SimManager Session Files

SimManager Publishes and retrieves Patran databases and other related analysis files directly
from within Patran with the SimManager client. Once logged on, the user may
publish, retrieve, and browse as well view connection properties and access the
Web Client. The server connection properties and settings need to be set in order
for the SimManager client to communicate with the server. The following
variables need to be set.:
SM_RICH_CLIENT_CONFIG_FILE
SM_RICH_CLIENT_IC_HOST
SM_RICH_CLIENT_IC_PORT
SM_RICH_CLIENT_IC_PROTOCOL http
SM_RICH_CLIENT_IC_WEBCONTEXT SimManager_R3
SM_RICH_CLIENT_ROOT
For more information on this, please see the Patran Environment Variables (p. 52)
in the Patran Installation and Operations Guide or the SimManager
documentation for more details. Client access to a SimManager server via Patran
is only supported on Windows machines.
File>Session 221
Session Files

File>Session Session Files

A session file is a log of all database related commands and corresponding comments executed during a
work session. A single session file may contain commands that were used for more than one database.
The File>Session>Play command sequence executes a specified session file either in its entirety or one
command at a time for debugging or editing purposes.

File Name/Type Select or type a file name. Session files are given a.ses.xx filename
extension, where xx is a number that shows where this session file is
in the sequential order of session files.
Single Step Plays back the session file one line at a time.
Commit Commands Commits (saves) the database before each command is executed. This
prevents an Undo from canceling an entire session file.
Stop Stops playing the session file. After stopping, this button changes to
Resume. Press Resume to continue playing the session file.
222 File>Session
Session Files

Effect of “Undo” in Session Files


When commands are canceled by Undo, the corresponding lines in the session file are deleted and an
undo message is recorded. The built-in commit (LOGICAL) determines if each command played from a
session file is committed. If FALSE (default), an entire session file playback may be undone. If TRUE,
only the last session file command may be undone.

Recording a Session File


When you invoke the File>Session>Record command sequence, a new file will be created that records
all database related commands executed during the current Patran session from the time this file was
opened. The default patran.ses session file will be generated as well.

File Name/Type Enter a new file name. The extension .ses will be added
automatically.
Record Rotations Records each incremental rotation of your model in the session and
journal files.
Stop Stops recording the session file. After stopping, this button changes to
Resume. Press Resume to continue recording the session file.
File>Print 223
Printing Patran Images

File>Print Printing Patran Images

The File>Print command sequence will send Patran images to a designated printer or to a specified print
file. Print setups and properties are unique to the operating system and to each printer, but several Patran
options exist that allow you certain control over the printed output.
224 File>Print
Printing Patran Images

Printing on Windows

Print From Select Viewport(s) and/or XY Window(s) to print. You can print one
or several viewports and windows on the same page. Invalid options
are disabled (e.g., if there are no XY Windows posted, the Current XY
Window option will be disabled).
One Viewport per page If this toggle is ON, only a single viewport will be printed on a page.
Print to File Toggle this ON if you do not wish to print immediately but want to
save the output to a file for later use. The following form will be
superimposed on the Print dialog box, listing the available print file
options.
File>Print 225
Printing Patran Images

Postscript Files
Although different Postscript printers can have different setups and defaults, the Postscript Driver
generally supports the options listed below. Defaults are shown in bold. If desired, defaults may be
overridden in the Printer Configuration File, p3_printers.def.

Option Choices Description


Format Black to White Converts spectrum colors to a black-to-white range. The
range starts at 90% black and decreases to 5% black.
Shaded colors are converted from RGB (Red-Green-
Blue) to gray.
White to Black Converts spectrum colors to a white-to-black range.
Shaded colors are converted from RGB to gray.
Color Color output is created with either an RGB or CMYK
color model.
Background White Background is white.
Black Background is black.
Actual Background is printed with the actual color. Color is
controlled by the Format option.
Lines & Text White Lines and Text are white.
Black Lines and Text are black.
Actual Lines and Text are printed with the actual color. Color is
controlled by the Format option.
Line Weight 0.5 pts The Line Weight correlates a one-pixel line width on the
screen to the line width on output. Most lines are one
pixel wide. XY plot curves, however, can be of varying
line thickness. Markers are drawn with half of the Line
Weight.

Unit may be inch, cm, mm, pica, or point. If no unit is


supplied, inches are assumed
(1 inch = 6 picas; 1 inch = 72 points).
226 File>Print
Printing Patran Images

Option Choices Description


Text Scale 100% Text scale and image scale may be independent of one
another. Both “%” and “percent” are supported. If
“None” is entered instead of a percentage, all text will be
deleted.
Image Size Fit on Page The image is scaled so that it fits inside the margins of
the selected Paper Size. Scaling is proportional and the
image is optionally centered.
As Is The image is printed at the same size as shown on the
screen. It is optionally centered.
Center Yes The image is centered on the page. The centering area is
(page size) - (margins). Centering is performed after
scaling, if any.
No The image is placed in the upper left corner of the page.
Left is relative to a rotation generated by the Orientation
selection.
Draw Borders Yes Draw a border around the image that represents the edge
of the viewport or the XY window.
No Do not draw the border.

Encapsulated Postscript (EPS) Files


The purpose of creating Encapsulated Postscript Files is to place them in a document that you want to
print at a later time. In the document, EPS files can be scaled, rotated, or clipped. Typical applications
that utilize these files are word processors and page layout programs. Unlike postscript files, EPS files
cannot be sent to a printer directly.
EPS files created by Patran are text files, therefore they can be transferred easily between various
operating systems. There are file naming conventions, however, that must be followed.
PC programs will recognize files with the suffix .eps as Encapsulated Postscript Files and will display
them in file selection menus presented when graphic images are placed. Note that the suffix is not case
sensitive.
Macintosh programs will also recognize files with the suffix .EPS as Encapsulated Postscript Files,
provided that the Macintosh File Type is “TEXT.” This usually happens as a byproduct of transferring
files to a Macintosh. The EPS file can be arbitrarily named if the File Type is “EPSF.” The File Type can
be changed with a Resource Editor or certain Disk Utilities. Note that the File Type is case sensitive. The
suffix is not.
Patran EPS files do not contain a “preview.” Therefore, a gray box will appear when the EPS file is placed
in a document. On systems running Display Postscript, the application may interpret the EPS file and
build a preview on the fly. Although these previews are not always precise, the file will print as expected.
File>Print 227
Printing Patran Images

Color EPS files will separate into the four process colors (CMYK) provided that the application can
produce separations. Non-color EPS files will separate onto the process black plate. There are no line
screen directives in the EPS file. Color EPS files placed in a document and sent to a non-color printer
will print in grayscale.
228 File>Print
Printing Patran Images

Printing on UNIX
For running Patran in a UNIX environment, use the Print form to generate output of your Patran images.

Select the Viewport(s) and/or XY Window(s) to print. You can print multiple viewports
and windows on the same page or on separate pages. Invalid options are disabled
(e.g., Current XY Window is disabled if there are no XY Windows posted).

Print

Current Viewport
Select the Current Printer. The list of
Available Printers is defined by the Printer
Configuration File, 242. This file can be
Available Printers system wide but is usually user specific. You
Postscript Default can set a default printer specifying the
Patran environment variable primary_printer
PatranHard Default in the settings.pcl file. Example:
CGM Default pref_env_set_string (“primary _printer”,
HPGL Default “printer_name”), where printer_name
HPGL2 Default corresponds to the right hand side of the
Patran Hard to Postcript Default Printer variable defined by the Printer
Configuration File, 242.

Device HP Laserjet 4Si These items reflect the definition of the


current printer. You cannot change the
Driver Postscript Device or Driver on the form, but you can
change the printer’s destination.
Destination lw11

Subordinate form appears when this button is


pressed. Options on this form will change with
Page Setup... the current printer.

Options... Subordinate form with the Driver specific


options will appear when this button is
pressed. Selections will change with the
current printer.

Apply Cancel
More Help:
(Available Printers)
• Postscript Options, 229
Will generate an output file and either
spool it to the printer or save it in the • PatranHard File Options, 233
current directory.
• CGM Options, 234
• HP-GL Options, 237
• HP-GL/2 Options, 240
File>Print 229
Printing Patran Images

Page Setup
The Page Setup subform defines the paper size, margins, print orientation and number of copies to print.
The defaults on the form are a function of the Current Printer. This form reverts to the printer’s default
settings every time the printer is selected from the listbox on the Print form.

Print Control
Choices change with the current
printer. For possible paper sizes
Paper Size Letter see the Printer Configuration File,
242.
Margins
Left 0.5 Right 0.5
Margins can be specified in the
Top 0.5 Bottom 0.5 following units: inches, cm, mm,
picas and points. If no units are
specified, inches are assumed.
Default Units Inches The default margins are a function
of the current printer.
Print Orientation

Print Orientation options and the


default orientation are set for each
printer. Note that the margins are
relative to the orientation. That is,
Number of Copies 1 the Left Margin is on the left
following the rotation (if any) of the
image.

OK Cancel

The OK button saves the choices. The Cancel


button resets the choices to those which existed
before the form was opened. Pressing the Apply
button in the main form causes an OK in this
form (if it is open).

Postscript Options
The Options subform defines Driver specific options. Shown below is a typical setting for a PostScript
laser printer. The options and defaults are unique to the current printer. They are defined in the Printer
230 File>Print
Printing Patran Images

Configuration File, 242. The form reverts to the printer’s default settings every time the printer is selected
from the listbox on the Print form.

Determines if the image is printed in color or black and white. In the latter case,
the spectrum colors can be optionally converted to a “black to white” or “white to
black” range.

Print Control
You can control the color of the
Background and the Lines & Text
Format Black to White independently of the Format.
Valid options are White, Black
and Actual.
Background White
Correlates the one pixel line width
Lines & Text Black on the screen to a line width on
output. Valid units are inches, cm,
mm, picas and points. Note that
Line Weight 0.25 pts there are 6 picas per inch and
72 points per inch.
Text Scale 250%
You can scale the text
Image Size Fit on Page independently of the image. Enter
a percentage. Text can be
Draw Borders Yes deleted from the output by
entering “None” in this databox.

If Draw Borders is “Yes,” a box


u Print to File will be drawn around the image
indicating the edge of the
uu Create EPS File viewport or XY window.

If the Print to File and Create EPS


OK File toggles are OFF, the output is
Preview
Quality Cancel spooled to the destination shown
on the main form. Otherwise,
either a postscript file or an
The OK button saves the choices. The Cancel button encapsulated postscript file is
resets the choices to those which existed before the form saved in the local directory. See
was opened. Pressing the Apply button in the main form How to Use EPS Files, 232.
causes an OK in this form (if it is open).
More Help:
“Fit on Page” scales the image so that it fits on the (Available Printers)
Paper Size defined on the Page Setup form (less
margins). Or the image can be left unscaled (same as • PatranHard File Options, 233
the size on the screen) with the “As Is” option.
• CGM Options, 234
• HP-GL Options, 237
• HP-GL/2 Options, 240
File>Print 231
Printing Patran Images

The Postscript Driver supports the following options. The default choice is shown in bold. Note that this
default can be overridden in the Printer Configuration File, 242.

Option Choices Description


Format Black to White Converts spectrum colors to a black to white
range. The range starts at 90% black and
decreases to 5% black. Shaded colors are
converted from rgb to gray.
White to Black Converts spectrum colors to a white to black
range. Shaded colors are converted from rgb to
gray.
Color Color output is created with either an RGB or
CMYK color model.
Background White Background is white.
Black Background is black.
Actual Background is printed with the actual color. The
color will be controlled by the Format option.
Lines & Text White Lines and Text are white.
Black Lines and Text are black.
Actual Lines and Text are printed with the actual color.
The color will be controlled by the Format option.
Line Weight 0.5 pts The Line Weight correlates a one pixel line width
on the screen to a line width on output. Most lines
are one pixel wide. XY plot curves, however, can
have varying line thicknesses. Markers are drawn
with half of the Line Weight.

Units can be inches, cm, mm, picas or points. If


no units are supplied, inches are assumed. Note
that there are 6 picas per inch and 72 points per
inch.
Text Scale 100% Text can be scaled independently of image
scaling. Both “%” and “percent” are supported.
All text will be deleted if “None” is entered,
instead of a percentage.
Image Size Fit on Page The image is scaled so that it fits inside the
margins of the selected Paper Size. Scaling is
proportional and the image is optionally centered.
As Is The image is printed at the same size as shown on
the screen. It is optionally centered.
232 File>Print
Printing Patran Images

Option Choices Description


Center Yes The image is centered on the page. The centering
area is the page size less the margins. Centering
is performed after scaling, if any.
No The image is placed in the upper left corner of the
page. Remember that the left is relative to the
rotation caused by the Orientation selection.
Draw Borders Yes Draw a border around the image that represents
the edge of the viewport or XY window.
No Do not draw the border.

How to Use EPS Files


Encapsulated Postscript Files are intended to be placed in a document which will later be printed. These
files cannot be directly sent to a printer. Once placed, the EPS files can be scaled, rotated, and clipped.
Typical applications that support these files are word processors and page layout programs.
Since the EPS files created by Patran are text files, they can be easily transferred between various
operating systems. There are file naming conventions that must be followed.
PC programs will recognize files with the suffix .EPS as Encapsulated Postscript Files. That is, they will
be visible in the file selection menus presented when graphic images are placed. Note that the suffix is
not case sensitive.
Macintosh programs will recognize files with the suffix .EPS as Encapsulated Postscript Files. When
transferring files to the Mac, the Macintosh file type must be “TEXT.” The EPS file can be arbitrarily
named if the File Type is “EPSF.” The File Type can be changed with a Resource Editor or certain Disk
Utilities. Note that the File Type is case sensitive. The suffix is not.
Patran EPS files do not contain a “preview.” Therefore, a gray box appears when the EPS file is placed
in a document. On systems running Display Postscript, the application may interpret the EPS file and
build a preview. These previews are not always precise, however, they will print as expected.
Color EPS files will separate into the four process colors (CMYK) provided that the application can
produce separations. Non-color EPS files will separate onto the process black plate. There are no line
screen directives in the EPS file. Note that color EPS files placed in a document and sent to a non-color
printer will print in grayscale.
File>Print 233
Printing Patran Images

PatranHard File Options

Determines if the image is printed in color or black and white. In the


latter case, the spectrum colors can be optionally converted to a “black
to white” or “white to black” range.

Print Control

Format Color
You can control the color of the
Image resolution (dots per inch). Background and the Lines &
Background White Text independently of the
Format. Valid options are White,
Black and Actual.
Lines & Text Actual

Text Scale 250% You can scale the text


independently of the image. Enter
a percentage. Text can be
Image Size Fit on Page deleted from the output by
entering “None” in this databox.
Draw Borders Yes
If Draw Borders is “Yes,” a box
will be drawn around the image
Resolution(dpi) 72 indicating the edge of the
viewport or XY window.
u Create new .hrd file
Image resolution (dots per
uu Append to existing .hrd. file inch).

File Name: patran.hrd.01


Print to File

Filename patran.hrd

OK Cancel

“Fit on Page” scales the image so that it fits on the Paper


Size defined on the Page Setup form (less margins). Or
the image can be left unscaled (same as the size on the
screen) with the As Is option.
234 File>Print
Printing Patran Images

CGM Options
Determines if the image is printed in color or black and white. In the latter case, the
spectrum colors can be optionally converted to a “black to white” or “white to black”
range.

Print Control

Format Black to White You can control the color of the


Background and the Lines & Text
independently of the Format. Valid
Background White options are White, Black and
Actual.

Lines & Text Black


You can scale the text
Text Scale 100 % independently of the image. Enter
a percentage. Text can be deleted
from the output by entering “None”
Image Size Fit on Page in this databox.

If Draw Borders is “Yes,” a box


Draw Borders Yes will be drawn around the image
indicating the edge of the
viewport or XY window.
Resolution(dpi) 72

Image resolution (dots per inch).


Print to File

More Help:
OK Cancel (Available Printers)
• Postscript Options, 229
• PatranHard File Options, 233
“Fit on Page” scales the image so that it fits on the
Paper Size defined on the Page Setup form (less • HP-GL Options, 237
margins). Or the image can be left unscaled • HP-GL/2 Options, 240
(same as the size on the screen) with the As Is
option.
File>Print 235
Printing Patran Images

Option Choices Description


Format Black to White Converts spectrum colors to a black to white
range. The range starts at 90% black and
decreases to 5% black. Shaded colors are
converted from rgb to gray.
White to Black Converts spectrum colors to a white to black
range. Shaded colors are converted from rgb to
gray.
Color Color output is created with an RGB color
model.
Background White Background is white.
Black Background is black.
Actual Background is printed with the actual color. The
color will be controlled by the Format option.
Lines & Text White Lines and Text are white.
Black Lines and Text are black.
Actual Lines and Text are printed with the actual color.
The color will be controlled by the Format
option.
Text Scale 100% Text can be scaled independently of image
scaling. Both “%” and “percent” are supported.
All text will be deleted if “None” is entered,
instead of a percentage.
Image Size Fit on Page The image is scaled so that it fits inside the
margins of the selected Paper Size. Scaling is
proportional and the image is optionally
centered.
As Is The image is printed at the same size as shown on
the screen. It is optionally centered.
Use Scale Factor Use the Scale Factor setting. The image is
optionally centered.
Scale Factor 1.0 The Scale Factor is only used if Image Size is set
to “Use Scale Factor”. The value “1.0” means
that the output is the same size as that shown on
the screen.
236 File>Print
Printing Patran Images

Option Choices Description


Center Yes The image is centered on the page. The centering
area is the page size less the margins. Centering
is performed after scaling, if any.
No The image is placed in the upper left corner of the
page. Remember that the left is relative to the
rotation caused by the Orientation selection.
Draw Borders Yes Draw a border around the image that represents
the edge of the viewport or XY window.
No Do not draw the border.
Resolution 72 Choose the resolution for imaging the graphics
for hardcopy.
File>Print 237
Printing Patran Images

HP-GL Options

Determines if the image is printed in color or black and white. In the latter case, the
spectrum colors can be optionally converted to a “black to white” or “white to black”
range.

Print Control

Format Black to White You can control the color of the


Background and the Lines & Text
independently of the Format. Valid
Background White options are White, Black and
Actual.

Lines & Text Black You can scale the text


independently of the image. Enter
a percentage. Text can be deleted
Text Scale 100% from the output by entering “None”
in this databox.
Image Size Fit on Page
If Draw Borders is “Yes,” a box
Draw Borders Yes will be drawn around the image
indicating the edge of the
viewport or XY window.
Resolution(dpi) 72
Image resolution (dots per inch).
Pen Mapping

Allows specification of HP pens to


Model No. & Version 7550A be used to represent Patran
colors. For example:
0111225433333333 indicates that
HP pen 0 will be used for the
Print to File background; pen 1 will be used for
Patran colors 1 through 3; HP pen
2 for Patran colors 4 and 5; HP
pen 5 for Patran color 6; HP pen 4
for Patran color 7; and HP pen 3
OK Cancel for Patran colors 8 through 15.
(Note that for this example, 16
colors are being mapped.)

“Fit on Page” scales the image so that it fits on the


Paper Size defined on the Page Setup form (less + More Help:
margins). Or the image can be left unscaled (same (Available Printers)
as the size on the screen) with the “As Is” option. • Postscript Options, 229
• PatranHard File Options, 233
Note: Refer to Printing on UNIX, 228 for a list of
supported HP-GL plotter model numbers, model • CGM Options, 234
versions and paper size. • HP-GL/2 Options, 240
238 File>Print
Printing Patran Images

Option Choices Description


Format Black to White Converts spectrum colors to a black to white
range. The range starts at 90% black and
decreases to 5% black. Shaded colors are
converted from rgb to gray.
White to Black Converts spectrum colors to a white to black
range. Shaded colors are converted from rgb to
gray.
Color Color output is created with an RGB color
model.
Background White Background is white.
Black Background is black.
Actual Background is printed with the actual color. The
color will be controlled by the Format option.
Lines & Text White Lines and Text are white.
Black Lines and Text are black.
Actual Lines and Text are printed with the actual color.
The color will be controlled by the Format
option.
Text Scale 100% Text can be scaled independently of image
scaling. Both “%” and “percent” are supported.
All text will be deleted if “None” is entered,
instead of a percentage.
Image Size Fit on Page The image is scaled so that it fits inside the
margins of the selected Paper Size. Scaling is
proportional and the image is optionally
centered.
As Is The image is printed at the same size as shown on
the screen. It is optionally centered.
Use Scale Factor Use the Scale Factor setting. The image is
optionally centered.
Scale Factor 1.0 The Scale Factor is only used if Image Size is set
to “Use Scale Factor”. The value “1.0” means
that the output is the same size as that shown on
the screen.
File>Print 239
Printing Patran Images

Option Choices Description


Center Yes The image is centered on the page. The centering
area is the page size less the margins. Centering
is performed after scaling, if any.
No The image is placed in the upper left corner of the
page. Remember that the left is relative to the
rotation caused by the Orientation selection.
Draw Borders Yes Draw a border around the image that represents
the edge of the viewport or XY window.
No Do not draw the border.
Resolution 72 Choose the resolution for imaging the graphics
for hardcopy.
Pen Mapping The default mapping is color 1 to pen 1, color 2
to pen 2, and so on up to 16 pens. For example,
0111.223344447777 will map color 1 to pen 0
(no drawing), colors 2, 3 and 4 to pen 1. Colors 5
and 6 to pen 3, etc.
240 File>Print
Printing Patran Images

HP-GL/2 Options

Determines if the image is printed in color or black and white. In the latter
case, the spectrum colors can be optionally converted to a “black to white” or
“white to black” range.

Print Control You can control the color of the


Background and the Lines &
Text independently of the
Format Black to White Format. Valid options are
White, Black and Actual.

Background White You can scale the text


independently of the image.
Enter a percentage. Text can
Lines & Text Black be deleted from the output by
entering “None” in this
databox.
Text Scale 100%
If Draw Borders is “Yes,” a box
Image Size Fit on Page will be drawn around the image
indicating the edge of the
viewport or XY window.
Draw Borders Yes

Resolution (dpi) 72 Image resolution (dots per


inch).

Pen Mapping Creates a 7-bit format file for


communication channels that
cannot support 8-bit data.
Output Format 7 Bit
This option must be enabled
when a HP-GL/2 Laserjet III
LaserJet III No plotter has been specified as the
destination plotter (requires
special initialization).
Opaque Mode No If this option is enabled, the
hardcopy images will be plotted
with underlying images
Cutter Default obscured by images in front.

Rotation(deg) 0 Controls the paper cutter found


on some HP-GL/2 plotters. The
Cutter Default option allows the
panel setting on the plotter to
Print to File determine if the cutter is to be
used.

The plot may be rotated by


specifying the number of
OK Cancel degrees: 0 (default), 90, 180 or
270 degrees.
File>Print 241
Printing Patran Images

Option Choices Description


Format Black to White Converts spectrum colors to a black to white
range. The range starts at 90% black and
decreases to 5% black. Shaded colors are
converted from rgb to gray.
White to Black Converts spectrum colors to a white to black
range. Shaded colors are converted from rgb to
gray.
Color Color output is created with an RGB color model.
Background White Background is white.
Black Background is black.
Actual Background is printed with the actual color. The
color will be controlled by the Format option.
Lines & Text White Lines and Text are white.
Black Lines and Text are black.
Actual Lines and Text are printed with the actual color.
The color will be controlled by the Format option.
Text Scale 100% Text can be scaled independently of image
scaling. Both “%” and “percent” are supported.
All text will be deleted if “None” is entered,
instead of a percentage.
Image Size Fit on Page The image is scaled so that it fits inside the
margins of the selected Paper Size. Scaling is
proportional and the image is optionally centered.
As Is The image is printed at the same size as shown on
the screen. It is optionally centered.
Use Scale Factor Use the Scale Factor setting. The image is
optionally centered.
Scale Factor 1.0 The Scale Factor is only used if Image Size is set
to “Use Scale Factor”. The value “1.0” means that
the output is the same size as that shown on the
screen.
Center Yes The image is centered on the page. The centering
area is the page size less the margins. Centering is
performed after scaling, if any.
No The image is placed in the upper left corner of the
page. Remember that the left is relative to the
rotation caused by the Orientation selection.
242 File>Print
Printing Patran Images

Option Choices Description


Draw Borders Yes Draw a border around the image that represents
the edge of the viewport or XY window.
No Do not draw the border.
Resolution 72 Choose the resolution for imaging the graphics
for hardcopy.
Pen Mapping The default mapping is color 1 to pen 1, color 2 to
pen 2, and so on up to 16 pens. For example,
0111.223344447777 will map color 1 to pen 0
(no drawing), colors 2, 3 and 4 to pen 1. Colors 5
and 6 to pen 3, etc.
Output Format 7 bit Creates ASCII output file.
8 bit Creates binary output file.
Laserjet III Yes The destination device is a HP-GL/2 LaserJet III.
No The destination device is not a HP-GL/2 LaserJet
III.
Opaque Mode Yes Images will be plotted with underlying images
obscured by images in front.
No Images will be plotted with underlying images
showing through transparently.
Cutter Default Uses plotter’s cutter default setting.
Yes Enables plotter’s cutter function.
No Disables plotter’s cutter function.
Rotation 0, 90, 180, 270 Rotates the plotter’s coordinate system
counterclockwise by the amount chosen about the
plotter-unit coordinate region.

Printer Configuration File


Printers are configured with the p3_printers.def file, which is found in the pcl search path. Each
printer must be assigned a valid “driver”. Driver Specific options need not be displayed in the Options
form, yet they can still have a user defined default. For options with a set of choices, the choices can be
limited to a subset. Note that this file is read only when Patran is started up.
For example, the following lines will define a postscript printer.
Printer = Engineering
Device = HP LaserJet 4M
Driver = Postscript
Destination = lw9
Paper Size = Letter
Left Margin = 0.5
Right Margin = 0.5
Top Margin = 0.5
File>Print 243
Printing Patran Images

Bottom Margin = 0.5


Format = No Show; Black to White
Background = No Show; White
Lines & Text = No Show; Black
Line Weight = 0.5 pts
Text Scale = 100%
Image Size = Fit on Page, As Is
Draw Borders = No Show; Yes

The printer is named Engineering. It appears with this name in the Available Printers listbox in the Print
form. The Destination is lw9. The only Paper Size assigned is Letter. The default margins are 0.5 inch.
The output will be generated in a “Black to White” Format with a White Background. Lines & Text will
be Black. Note that these last three options will not appear on the form. The default Line Weight is 0.5 pts
and the default Text Scale is 100%. Two Image Size options (Fit on Page and As Is) will be available.
Borders will always be drawn. The remaining options will be assigned the system default values.
Rules for defining a printer are as follows:
1. Each Printer must have a unique name (duplicate printers are ignored). This option must be first.
The remaining options can be defined in any order.
2. Each printer must be assigned a valid Driver. Printers with invalid drivers are ignored.
3. The syntax to use is “Option = ( Choice 1, Choice 2; Default )”. Options are to be separated by
commas. Undefined options are ignored.
4. Choices must be contained within parentheses and be separated by commas. An optional default
can be declared at the end separated from the choices by a semicolon. Undefined choices are
ignored.
5. If the first choice is “No Show”, then this option will not appear on the form. Its value can be
preset with a default; otherwise, the system default will be used. This feature only applies to
Driver Specific options. The Printer Definition and Page Setup options are always displayed. If
all Driver Specific options are hidden, then the Options button on the main form will be disabled
(for the subject printer only).
6. The @ sign continues the printer definition on the next line.
7. Options not assigned will be given the system default.
The following table lists each option and its possible choices. The first section refers to the Printer
Definition options and the second to the Page Setup options. These are used by all drivers. Following this
244 File>Print
Printing Patran Images

are Driver Specific options. System defaults for unspecified choices are shown in bold. Those options
that accommodate multiple choices (Option menu instead of a Databox) are also shown in bold.

Section 1 Option Choices


Printer Definition Printer User assigned name
Device Device description
Driver CGM
HPGL
HPGL2
PatranHard File
Postscript
Destination Valid UNIX printer
File>Print 245
Printing Patran Images

Section 1 Option Choices


Page Setup Page Size Letter ( 8.5” x 11.0” )
Legal ( 8.5” x 14.0”)
Tabloid ( 11.0” x 17.0” )
A ( 8.5” x 11.0” )
B ( 11.0” x 17.0” )
C ( 15.82” x 19.87” )
D ( 20.82” x 31.87” )
E ( 32.82” x 41.87” )
A0 ( 31.89” x 44.65” )
A1 ( 22.20” x 30.94” )
A2 ( 15,35” x 21.25” )
A3 ( 11.6929” x 16.5354” )
A4 ( 8.2677” x 11.6929” )
Roll 11 inch
Roll 24 inch
Roll 36 inch
Roll 44 inch
Left Margin 0.5 inch
Right Margin 0.5 inch
Top Margin 0.5 inch
Bottom Margin 0.5 inch
Orientation Portrait
Landscape
Portraitflipped
Landscapeflipped
Number of Copies 1
246 File>Print
Printing Patran Images

Section 1 Option Choices


Postscript Driver Format Black to White
White to Black
Grayscale
Color
Background White
Black
Actual
Lines & Text White
Black
Actual
Line Weight 0.5 pts
Text Scale 100%
Image Size Fit on Page
As Is
Use Scale Factor
Scale Factor 1.0
Center Yes
No
Draw Borders Yes
No
Quality Low
Normal
High
Color Model RGB
CMYK
GCR 75%
File>Images 247
Create Graphic Images

File>Images Create Graphic Images

Images are graphic outputs of Patran models generated in a number of popular graphics file formats that
can be accessed on various computer platforms. Image files utilize specific compression techniques.
Outputs may be static images, animations, or 3D virtual models. The supported standard Internet
graphics formats are BMP, JPEG, MPEG, PNG, TIFF and VRML.
The playback of generated images is highly dependent on the hardware and software used for viewing.
Limitations, such as window size, color maps, file size, and the number of animation frames can affect
the quality of the display.
When you select File>Images, the Output dialog box allows you to pick the output format type.
248 File>Images
Create Graphic Images

BMP Images Output


This option will produce an image file of the current viewport in Windows BMP bitmap format. BMP is
a commonly used file format on IBM PC-compatible computers. BMP files can also refer to the OS/2
bitmap format, which is a strict superset of the Windows format.

File Select Use this option to navigate to the desired folder and file.
Filename Default name is the current database name with the .bmp extension.
Optionally, you can supply a new file name complete with the
extension.
Overwrite If you selected an existing bitmap file name, the new image will
overwrite the image that is currently in the file.
Increment If you selected an existing bitmap file name, the new image will be
added to the image that is currently in the file.
Apply Save the image file in the specified destination folder.

JPEG Images Output


JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) identifies and discards “extra” data, meaning information
beyond what the human eye can see. This compression also economizes the way data is stored. Because
JPEG discards data, the algorithm is considered “lossy”, that is, when an image has been compressed and
decompressed it will have lost some data and may not be identical to the original image.
File>Images 249
Create Graphic Images

However, with the Quality slide bar in the dialog box, you do have some control over the image
compression. If you set Quality to a higher value, the image file will be larger but the final appearance
of the image will be closer to the original.

File Select Use this option to navigate to the desired folder or file.
Filename Default name is the current database name with the .jpg extension.
You can enter a new name but keep the .jpg extension.
Overwrite If you selected an existing file name, the new image will overwrite the
image that is currently in the file.
Increment If you selected an existing file name, the new image will be added to
the image that is currently in the file.
Quality Sets the relative quality of the image output. A value of 1.0 is the
highest quality (least compressed, largest file), and a value of 0
produces the lowest quality (most compressed, smallest file) output.
Apply Save the image file in the specified destination folder.

MPEG Images Output


MPEG (Moving Picture Experts Group) is a family of international standards used for coding audio-
visual information in a digital compressed format. Using the Start/Pause/Stop capabilities enables you to
250 File>Images
Create Graphic Images

record complex animation sequences, for example animate model translations and rotations, or analysis
results.

File Select Use this option to navigate to the desired folder or file.
Filename Default name is the current database name with the .mpg extension.
Optionally, you can supply a new file name complete with the
extension.
Overwrite If you selected an existing file name, the new image will overwrite the
image that is currently in the file.
Increment If you selected an existing file name, the new image will be added to
the image that is currently in the file.
Max. Frames Set the maximum number of animation frames generated.
Start (1), Pause (2), and Stop (3) buttons to control animation file
recording.
Apply Save the image file in the specified destination folder.
File>Images 251
Create Graphic Images

PNG Images Output


The PNG (Portable Network Graphics) format is useful for image editing and for storing intermediate
stages of an image file. PNG's advantage is that its compression is fully lossless, furthermore, it supports
up to 48-bit truecolor or 16-bit grayscale, therefore, quality will not be degraded after the image is
restored and saved again.

File Select Use this option to navigate to the desired folder or file.
Filename Default name is the current database name with the .png extension.
Optionally, you can supply a new file name complete with the
extension.
Overwrite If you selected an existing file name, the new image will overwrite the
image that is currently in the file.
Increment If you selected an existing file name, the new image will be added to
the image that is currently in the file.
Apply Save the image file in the specified destination folder.
252 File>Images
Create Graphic Images

TIFF Images Output


TIFF (Tagged-Image File Format) is used to exchange image files between different applications and
different computer platforms. TIFF is a lossless image format.

File Select Use this option to navigate to the desired folder or file.
Filename Default name is the current database name with the .tif extension.
Optionally, you can supply a new file name complete with the
extension.
Overwrite If you selected an existing file name, the new image will overwrite the
image that is currently in the file.
Increment If you selected an existing file name, the new image will be added to
the image that is currently in the file.
Apply Save the image file in the specified destination folder.

VRML Images Output


With VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language) images you can capture 3D objects and create
interactive simulations that incorporate animation, motion physics, and real-time, multi-user
participation. VRML images and scenes can be displayed on another user's computer screen, or
File>Images 253
Create Graphic Images

distributed using the World Wide Web and explored interactively by remote users. The current
specification, VRML 2.0, supports JAVA, sound, animation, and Javascript.

File Select Use this option to navigate to the desired folder or file.
Filename Default name is the current database name with the .wrl extension.
Optionally, you can supply a new file name complete with the
extension.
Overwrite If you selected an existing file name, the new image will overwrite the
image that is currently in the file.
Increment If you selected an existing file name, the new image will be added to
the image that is currently in the file.
Apply Save the image file in the specified destination folder.
254 File>Report
Creating Report Files

File>Report Creating Report Files

The File>Report command enables you to write and print a report file that contains a summary of a
model, its node and element attributes, properties and results. You can control the format of the report
with options you select in the Report File Preferences form, and read the completed report file using any
word processor program (e.g. Notepad).

Open FIle • New--create a new report file


• Append--open an existing report file to add new data.
File Name Enter a new file name (keep the .rpt extension), or select an existing
name if Append was selected.
Output Format Activates the Report Format Preference dialog box in which you can
provide format specifications.
File>Report 255
Creating Report Files

Report File Name The name of the report file is automatically entered from the File
Name input field.
Report Contents Select the data you want to include in the report file.

To generate a Report File:


• First, you have to point the report writer to the Elements or Geometry application in order to
collect the content information. Therefore, in the Menu Bar, click the Elements or Geometry
icon.
• In the Finite Element or Geometry application box, for Action select Show.
• For Object you can pick either nodes or elements for Elements and Point for the Geometry
application (Info will be Location, Distance or Attributes, respectively). The report will contain
all information you request, regardless of which object you pick.
• Press the Write Report toggle--this will activate the Report File dialog box.
• For creating a new report, enter a name in the File Name data box, complete with the .rpt
extension. To append information to an existing report, select its name in the folder/file field.
• Click Apply in the left side of the dialog box and the right side entries will become available for
selection.
• Modify the output format, if desired, then pick the type of data options you want to include in the
report.
• Click Apply in the right side of the dialog box. The report will be generated.
• To read the report, right click on its name in the file field and open it with a word processor
program.
256 File>Report
Creating Report Files

Report Format Preferences

Real Numbers Select the format of displayed numerical data.


Field Width/Number of Select the appropriate number with slide bar. The width of the field
Decimals must accommodate the total number of digits and the decimal point
contained in each field of the tabular report.
Integers Select the number of integers expected in the numbers contained in the
tabular report.
Spacing Select the number of spaces between columns in the tabular report.
File>Report 257
Creating Report Files

Report File Output


The following is the beginning portion of a simple report file:
258 File>Report
Creating Report Files
Ch. 5: All About Groups Patran Reference Manual

5 All About Groups

 Group Concepts and Definitions 260



The Group Menu 270

Hierarchical Groups (Hgroups) 300
260 Patran Reference Manual
Group Concepts and Definitions

5.1 Group Concepts and Definitions


A group is a named collection of selected geometric or finite element entities. The primary purpose of
grouping entities within a larger model is to create easily manageable subsets that can be visually isolated
for various modeling and post-processing tasks.
A model may contain any number of groups, and any entity may be associated with more than one group.
When an entity is added to or removed from a group, other groups will not be affected.
Groups become permanent members of a model’s database. A group, named default_group, exists in any
new database; until you define and activate new groups, all new entities automatically become members
of this group.
The defining features of a group are:
• Name
• Member entities
• Status
• Attributes

Group Names
Groups, as well as several other database objects (e.g. viewports), are assigned names to differentiate
them from one another. In naming groups, you must conform to the following set of rules:
• Uniqueness--each name must be unique.
• Number of characters--name may not contain more than 31 characters.
• “Legal” characters--the following characters are acceptable in names:
a through z
A through Z
0 through 9
-, _ , and .
• Case sensitivity--upper and lower case letters are differentiated. For example, group_1 and
Group_1 are regarded as two distinct groups.
• Optional prefixes and suffixes--a prefix and/or suffix added to a stem name can make it easier to
manage named objects. For example:

asm.wheel.left

Prefix Stem Suffix


(geometry type) (generic name) (modifier to generic name)
(modifiers to generic name)
(geom.type) tip-top)
Ch. 5: All About Groups 261
Group Concepts and Definitions

Group Membership
A group may consist of any combination of geometric and finite element entities. Other design features,
such as coordinate frames, materials, element properties, loads and boundary conditions, fields, and
analysis results cannot be categorized as group members even though they are associated with group
members.

Group Status
The status of a group may be:
• current or not current
• posted or unposted
• target group

Current Group
The current group is the active and visible group that receives all newly created entities. Any group may
be selected as current, however only one group may be current at any given time. The name of the current
group is displayed as part of the Viewport Banner.
Each viewport has its own current group but the only active current group is that of the current viewport
(see also Current Viewport, 317).

Posted Group
Posted groups are the groups that are visible in a viewport. A current group is automatically posted, but
any number of additional groups may also be posted to the same viewport. A group may be posted to
more than one viewport.
Posting gives you the power of selectively displaying entities, since only those entities that are contained
in posted groups are visible in a viewport.
You can unpost any posted group but do not unpost the current group, or else you will not be able to see
the geometric and finite element entities as they are created.

Target Group
A group selected for action in certain commands (e.g., Group Translate).

Group Attributes
For each group you may specify a unique color and rendering style (e.g., smooth shaded), and display
entity labels. Although attributes can be assigned to groups in the Group Menu, for attribute definitions
you must look in the Display Menu (see The Display Menu, 377).
262 Patran Reference Manual
Group Concepts and Definitions

Creating and Managing Groups


Creating Groups
A group, named default_group, automatically exists in any new model. Initially, all new entities become
members of this group as they are added to the database.
After you make a new group with the Create option in the Group menu, new entities will become
members of this group. You can also move any existing entity into a newly defined group.

Adding Group Members


The Group menu affords several different ways of assigning additional members to a group (Modify,
Move/Copy, Transform).
Entities contained in imported CAD files may be sent to existing groups or you may create new groups
to receive them.

Removing Group Members


The same Group menu actions can also be used to terminate membership in a group. Note that even if an
entity is removed from its group it will still remain in the Patran database, unless you specify otherwise.
A removed entity that is not assigned membership in another group becomes an orphan and cannot be
displayed until it becomes a member of another group.

Transforming Groups
Group transformations allow you to translate, rotate, and otherwise modify the position of a large number
of entities in a single step. Several transformations, e.g., rotation, allow repeated iterations as well.

Deleting Groups
When a group is deleted, or dissolved, its former members remain in the model database unless you
specifically request to delete them.
Note that the current group of a viewport cannot be deleted.

Important: If a deleted group contains nodes associated with elements or multipoint constraints
not in the group, these nodes will be retained in the database even if you choose to
delete the rest of the group members.

Group Transformations
Transformations are rigid body movements that treat a group as a single unit. These operations can
translate, rotate, mirror, scale, pivot, or reorient a large number of entities at the same time.
Ch. 5: All About Groups 263
Group Concepts and Definitions

Implicit in a transformation process is the copy action. By default, in a transformation process the original
(target) group is copied and the resulting copy is transformed leaving the target group in its initial
position. As a result, a number of new entities are created while the originals are retained, unless you
specifically request that the original entities be deleted.
The operations of translation, rotation, and scaling allow you to iterate the transformation process by
entering a repeat count (n). In all of these actions, if the repeat count is greater than 1, the copies of the
target group are placed in the current group (new entities are always placed in the current group!).
However, you may choose the current group to be the same as the target group.
In these transformations you can either save the original group members or delete them, optionally
reusing the entity IDs of the deleted entities for the new members. Similarly, you may retain the original
target group or delete it, except when the target group and the current group are the same, in which case
the delete option is not selectable.

Translation
Translation is a linear transformation along an XYZ translation vector. The formula for translation is:

P n = P n – 1 + T xyz
where:

Pn = the location of a point ( P 0 ) in the current group after the nth iteration.
Pn – 1 = the location of the same point before the nth iteration.
T xyz = the translation vector.

Rotation
Rotation is an angular transformation around an axis. The formula for rotation is:

Pn = Pn – 1 +  o + r 
264 Patran Reference Manual
Group Concepts and Definitions

where:

Pn = the location of a point ( P 0 ) in the current group after the nth iteration.
Pn – 1 = the location of the same point before the nth iteration.
o = an optional offset angle. The offset is valid only for the first rotation, for the second
iteration and beyond,  o = 0 .
r = the rotation angle.

P2
P1
Repeat Count = 2

r
r
Axis
o
P0

Radius

The plane of rotation is established by the Axis and the Radius. The axis is a vector that is normal to, and
intersects, the plane of rotation. The radius of rotation, a straight line in the plane of rotation, extends
from the location of point P0 to the point where the axis intersects the plane. See Rotating Points, Curves,
Surfaces, Solids, Planes and Vectors (p. 705) in the Geometry Modeling - Reference Manual Part 2 for
further information on entity rotation.

Scaling
This transformation proportionately scales the target group relative to a scaling origin ( S 0 ). The formula
for scaling is:

P n = P n – 1  S xyz
where:

Pn = the location of a point ( P 0 ) in the current group, relative to the scaling origin,
after the nth iteration.
Pn – 1 = the location of the same point before the nth iteration.
S xyz = the scaling factors in the X, Y, and Z directions.

Mirroring
Mirror transformation is a 180-degree rigid-body rotation of a group around a mirror plane. The formula
for mirroring is:
Ch. 5: All About Groups 265
Group Concepts and Definitions

Pm = –Pb
where:

Pm = the distance, before transformation, of any point ( P 0 ) from the final mirror
plane, measured along an axis, normal to the final mirror plane.

Pb = the distance, after transformation, of the same point from the final mirror
plane, measured along an axis, normal to the final mirror plane.

Selected Mirror Plane--is any arbitrary plane in model space.


Final Mirror Plane--is a plane offset from the selected mirror plane by a specified distance along an axis,
normal to the selected mirror plane.

Radius of Rotation--is a straight line of length P b that is normal to the final mirror plane, and extends
from the selected point ( P 0 ) to the point of intersection with the final mirror plane.

In the example illustrated below, the selected mirror plane is the Y-Z plane of the global cartesian
coordinate system. Thus, the offset, radius, and distances P b and P m are measured along the X-axis,
which is normal to the Y-Z plane.

Selected Mirror Plane (Y-Z)


Final Mirror Plane
Y

P’ P

Pm Radius = Pb
X
Offset

Modifying Orientation
This transformation moves a group from its original coordinate frame to a new coordinate frame. The
local position of the group with respect to the new coordinate frame will be the same as its local position
266 Patran Reference Manual
Group Concepts and Definitions

with respect to the original coordinate frame. This method provides a simple way to re-orient a group of
entities with respect to existing geometry.

X
X
Z
(1) (2)
Coordinate Frame 0 Coordinate Frame 2

Pivoting
This transformation performs the rigid-body rotation of a group through a plane defined by a pivot point
( P p ), a starting point ( P s ), and an ending point ( P e ).

The angle of rotation,  , is the angle between the P p P s and P p P e vectors. The center of rotation is
the pivot point, P p .

In the diagram below, any point P a in a group is rotated around point P p through angle  to produce the
corresponding point, P b in the pivoted group.

Ps
Pa

Radius
 Pe

Pb

Pp
Ch. 5: All About Groups 267
Group Concepts and Definitions

Repositioning
Modifying the position of a group involves simultaneous rigid-body translation and rotation. The
transformation is defined by mapping a set of three points in an original position to a set of three points
in a destination position. The transformation cannot be performed if either set of points lies in a straight
line.
Each three-point set defines a temporary coordinate frame. The positional and angular differences
between the two frames establish a translation vector and planar rotation angles, respectively. These are
then applied to all geometry.

P1o
P2d Vt
P1d
P3d P2o

P3o

(1)
P2d
P1d P3d
P1o P2o
P2d P3o P2o
P3d P2d P3o
P1d P1d
P2o P1o P1o
P3o P3d

(2a) (2b) (2c)

Repositioning is performed as follows:


1. Translation: The translation vector, V  is defined between the original position of Point 1 ( P 1o )
and the destination position of Point 1 ( P 1d ).
2. Rotation:

Two vectors are drawn; one between the original position points P 1o and P 2o ( P 1o P 2o ) and

one between P 1o and P3o ( P 1o P 3o ).

Two additional vectors, P 1d P 2d and P 1d P 3d , are drawn between the three destination
position points ( P 1d to P 2d ) and ( P 1d to P 3d ).

The two angles, one between P 1o P 2o and P 1d P 2d and the second between P 1o P 3o and

P 1d P 3d , establish planar rotation angles for the transformation.

Vector P 1o P 2o is rotated into vector P 1d P 2d .


268 Patran Reference Manual
Group Concepts and Definitions

Vector P 1o P 3o is rotated into vector P 1d P 3d .

Transforming Loads, Boundary Conditions, and Properties

Loads and Boundary Conditions


Loads and boundary conditions (LBCs) assigned to original entities may be transformed with a group,
using one of three options:
• Transform--applies the same transformation to loads and boundary conditions as that applied to
the group. Assigns LBCs to the newly transformed entities. New coordinate systems are created
and referenced by the new LBC sets.
• Copy--copies, but does not transform, loads and boundary conditions and assigns them to the
newly transformed entities.
• None--does not assign loads and boundary conditions to transformed entities.

Caution: Loads that are normal to surface geometry and to 2D elements are not reversed when
mirror transformation is used, unless you pick the option to do so. These loads
maintain their directionality with respect to the entity’s normal.

Properties
Along with the entities of a group, you may also transform properties assigned to the original group
members with one of the following options:
• Transform--applies the same transformation to properties as the transformation applied to the
group and assigns them to the newly transformed entities. Material orientations, however, are
not transformed.
• The Transform option is the only one that creates new property sets.
• Copy--does not transform properties but adds the same property set to the newly transformed
entities. Therefore, when element properties with directionality, such as material orientation,
beam orientation, and beam offset are copied, their definition may not be correct for the new
entities.
Ch. 5: All About Groups 269
Group Concepts and Definitions

• None--does not assign properties to transformed entities.

Set Names
For each existing LBC set or Property Set referenced by entities in the current group, and for each repeat
count, a new LBC set or Property Set may be created with transformed entities. The names of the new
property sets are derived from the original set name; an extension is appended to the original name in the
form of .N, where "N" is an integer. The value of N is determined by searching all existing property sets
for the highest ".N" extension, and then incrementing it by 1.
Fields referenced by transformed LBC sets or property sets are not modified or extended. For LBC fields,
you must manually extend the field, for all other field types, you must ensure that the field applies in the
space of the newly transformed entities.
270 Patran Reference Manual
The Group Menu

5.2 The Group Menu


The Group menu provides the commands that create and manage groups and their attributes.

Menu Conventions
A menu item with ellipses (...) attached to it calls up a dialog box in which you enter further data.

Group

Create...
Post...
Modify...
Move/Copy...
Set Current...
Transform...
Delete...
Attributes...
The Group pulldown menu keywords lead to dialog boxes that initiate all group-related actions. Menu
functionalities are described below in the order in which they appear.

Create... Creates a new group and automatically posts it for display.


Post... Posts (or unposts) existing groups to the current viewport.
Modify... Provides several functions to change a selected group’s definition,
including renaming the group, making it current, and adding to or
removing entities from it.
Move/Copy... Moves or copies members of one group to another.
Set Current... Selects a group to be current for the current viewport.
Transform... Transforms members of a group to create and add new entities in a
different configuration. LBCs and element properties associated with
the original entities may also be transformed.
Delete... Deletes a group, except the current group, and optionally deletes its
associated members from the database.
Attributes Assigns display attribute sets to one or more groups.
Group>Create 271
Creating a New Group

Group>Create Creating a New Group

The Group>Create command sequence displays the dialog box below. Assign a unique group name,
observing group naming conventions, then select entities designated for membership in the group.
272 Group>Create
Creating a New Group

Additional options include making the new group current, as well as unposting all other groups currently
posted.
Group>Create 273
Creating a New Group

Filter Using a filter helps you reduce the number of items displayed in a
potentially long list. Consequently, it takes less time to search for an
item (see Forms, Widgets, and Buttons, 24). By default, all items
contained in a list will be displayed since the default filter is the wild
card (*). To specify a filter, either enter the full name of the desired
item or type one or more letters in the name followed by a wildcard.
After you pressed the Filter button to activate it, only the item(s) that
pass the filter criteria will be included in the list.
Existing Group Names Displays the names of previously defined groups for your information.
The name of the current group is highlighted.
New Group Name Enter a unique new group name; (see Group Names, 260 for more
help).
Make Current Default is ON (4). Makes the new group the current group.
Unpost All Other Groups The new group is posted and any other posted groups are unposted.
Group Contents Provides several options for selecting entities to become group
members. Click the Add Entity Selection button then select entities
to include in the new group. Additional options include adding all
geometric entities, all FEM entities, all orphan entities, or even adding
all entities.

Entity Selection Displays the ID’s of the entities as you select them for inclusion.

To select several entities, hold down the Shift key while picking the
next item.

Changing Actions
To change from one Group command to another, you may return to the Group menu and pick another
keyword, or alternately, click on the Action button in the current dialog box to display all action options,
then select the desired action. As the new action dialog box is opened, the previous one will be closed.
274 Group>Post
Posting and Unposting Groups

Group>Post Posting and Unposting Groups


Group>Post 275
Posting and Unposting Groups

The Group>Post dialog box allows you to post or unpost one or more selected groups. Posted groups
are the groups that are visible in a viewport. A current group is automatically posted, but one or more
additional groups may also be posted to the same viewport. A group may be posted (visible) in more than
one viewport.

Current Viewport Identifies the current viewport in which you post the group.
Select Groups to Post Displays the names of all groups in the database. To post a group, click
on its name to highlight it; to unpost, click on a highlighted name to
unhighlight it.

To select several groups listed consecutively, hold the Shift key while
clicking the last item. To select several groups not listed consecutively,
hold the Ctrl key while clicking on each additional member.
276 Group>Modify
Modifying Groups

Group>Modify Modifying Groups

With the Group>Modify command and dialog box you can modify the following group definitions:
• Make a selected (target) group current.
• Rename a selected group.
• Add entities to a group.
Group>Modify 277
Modifying Groups

• Remove entities from a group.

Target Group to Modify Identifies the group targeted for modification. Although the default
target group is the current group, you may designate any another group
as the target group.
Change Target Group Displays a dialog box in which you can select a different target group.
Make Current Makes the target group the current group.
Rename Enables you to enter a new name for the target group in a subordinate
dialog box.
278 Group>Modify
Modifying Groups

Selectable Members When this toggle is not turned to ON, the entities that belong to the
group cannot be picked even though the group is displayed (default is
ON (4)).
Member List Lists the member entities of the group by name and ID.
Member List to Displays IDs of the entities as you select them for adding to or
Add/Remove removing from the group.

To add entities, select from the screen or type in entity IDs. To remove
entities, you can pick them from the Member List textbox.

To select several entities, hold the Shift key and click the next item.
Add Press this button to complete the process of adding the selected entities
to the target group.
Remove Press this button to complete the process of removing the listed
members from target group. The membership of these entities in other
groups will not be affected.

If the removed entity is not a member of any other group, it becomes


an orphan and will not be visible until it has been added to a group.

Adding Orphan Entities to Groups


One of the following command sequences can add orphaned entities to a group:
• Group>Create>Add All Orphans creates a new group that will contain all orphans in the
model database.
• Group>Create>Add All Entities creates a new group that will contain all entities, including
orphaned entities, from the model database.
• Group>Modify>Add use the All Geometry, All FEM, or All Entities option to add orphan
entities to an existing group. Or, to add only certain orphan entities, enter their name and ID
number into the Member List to Add/Remove databox.
Group>Modify 279
Modifying Groups

Changing the Target Group


If you pressed the Change Target Group... button in the Group>Modify dialog box, you will see the
subordinate dialog box shown below. Pick the name of the group you would like to select as the new
target group.
280 Group>Modify
Modifying Groups

Renaming a Group
If you pressed the Rename... button in the Group Modify dialog box, you will see the subordinate dialog
box shown below.

Existing Names Displays the names of existing groups. If you select a filter only those
groups that pass the filter criteria will be listed.
Rename As Enter the new name that you want to give to the target group.
Group>Move/Copy 281
Moving and Copying Group Members

Group>Move/Copy Moving and Copying Group Members

The Group>Move/Copy command and dialog box allows you to move or copy entities between groups.

From Group Pick the source group to which the entities currently belong.
To Group Pick the destination group to where the entities are moved or copied.
Move Removes selected entities from the source group and places them into
the destination group.
Copy Copies selected entities from the source group into the destination
group.
Select Entities... Displays the Entity Selection form.
282 Group>Move/Copy
Moving and Copying Group Members

Select Entities

Geom. On Press Geom. On to be able to pick all geometric entity types.

Geom. Off Press Geom. Off to cancel the “all” selection. Note that an entity type
is selectable only if its toggle box is ON (4).
FEM On Press FEM On to be able to pick all FEM entity types.

FEM Off Press FEM Off to cancel the “all” selection.


From Name of the From Group as selected in the parent form.
“From” textboxes Textboxes display the current members of the From Group.
Copy/Move Displays the IDs of the entities selected for the copy or move
operation (the heading of “Copy" or "Move" is based on the switch
you turned on in the parent form).

To pick entities:

• toggle the entity type ON


• select entities directly from the screen,
or
• copy and paste entity names from the From Group textboxes to the
Move/Copy databoxes.
Group>Move/Copy 283
Moving and Copying Group Members

To Name of the To Group as selected in the parent form.


“To” textboxes Display the current members of the To Group.
284 Group>Set Current
Making a Group Current

Group>Set Current Making a Group Current

With the Group>Set Current command you can specify any group as the current group in the current
viewport.

Current Viewport Displays the name of the current viewport (see Current Viewport, 317).
Set Current Group Pick the group you want to designate as the current group.
Group>Transform 285
Transforming Groups

Group>Transform Transforming Groups

The Group>Transform dialog box directs you to various actions that allow you to translate, rotate,
mirror, scale, pivot, reposition, and modify the coordinate frame definition of groups.
Although some of the commands are specific to the transform action you select, certain dialog box entries
are common to all transformations.

Current Group Displays the name of the active and visible current group. All new
entities are automatically associated with this group.
Target Group Identifies the group targeted for the transformation action. The default
target group is the current group, however, you may designate any
another group as the target group.
Change Target Group... Calls up a dialog box in which you can select a target group different
from the current group.
Delete Target Group Generally, in a transformation process the original (target) group is
copied and the resulting copy is transformed leaving the target group
in its initial position. You can, however, request that only the copy(s)
be retained and the target group be deleted, provided that the target
group is not the same as the current group, since the current group
cannot be deleted.

Group deletion ends the association of group members with one


another but does not remove the entities themselves from the database,
unless you specify otherwise (see below). However, an entity not
associated with any group becomes an orphan and will not be visible
on the screen until it joins a group again.
Delete Original Members Deletes original entities that belonged to the target group.

• Use Original IDs Assigns the names and ID numbers of deleted original entities to the
new ones obtained through transformation.
Loads/BCs Loads and boundary conditions associated with transformed entities
may be transformed or copied. Alternately, you may choose not to
assign any loads and boundary conditions to transformed entities.
Properties Properties associated with transformed entities may be transformed or
copied. Alternately, you may choose not to assign any properties to
transformed entities.

Translating Groups
286 Group>Transform
Translating Groups

The Group>Transform>Translate command sequence moves and copies a group linearly along an
XYZ translation vector.
Group>Transform 287
Translating Groups

Reference Coordinate Specifies the coordinate frame referenced by the translation process.
Frame When you click in this field, the Coordinate Frame select icons will
appear (see Select Menu, 35). Enter the ID of a previously defined
coordinate frame (the ID of the global coordinate frame is Coord 0) or
select a coordinate frame type from the Select Menu then pick a frame
of the selected type in a viewport. The selected reference frame must
be Cartesian; curvilinear frames are not accepted.
Translation Vector When you click in this field, the Vector select icons will appear (see
Select Menu, 35). You may type in the X, Y, Z, components of a vector
or select a vector type from the selection menu then pick a vector of the
selected type in a viewport. Vector direction is reversed if Reverse
Direction is selected. Vector magnitude is calculated automatifically if
Auto Update Magnitude is selected (the default). If Vector Magnitude
is 0 or blank, magnitude is calculated from Direction Vector.
Repeat Count Specifies the number of translated copies you wish to create
(default=1).
288 Group>Transform
Translating Groups

Rotating Groups
The Group>Transform>Rotate command sequence performs angular transformations around an axis.
Group>Transform 289
Translating Groups

Reference Coordinate Specifies the coordinate frame referenced by the rotation process.
Frame When you click in this field, the Coordinate Frame select icons will
appear in the Toolbar (see Select Menu, 35). Enter the ID of a
previously defined coordinate frame (the ID of the global coordinate
frame is Coord 0) or select a coordinate frame type from the Select
Menu then pick a frame of the selected type in a viewport. The
selected reference frame must be Cartesian; curvilinear frames are not
accepted.
Axis When you click in this field, the Axis select icons will appear in the
Toolbar (see Select Menu, 35). Select the axis type (e.g., 2Point Axis),
then specify an axis of the selected type (e.g., select two points).
Rotation Parameters
• Rotation Angle Specifies the angle of rotation (  r ) in degrees. Default = 90o CW. A
minus sign indicates counterclockwise rotation.
• Offset Angle Specifies an angle of offset ( o ), if any, in degrees. Default= 0o. A
minus sign indicates a CCW offset angle.
• Repeat Count Specifies the number of rotated copies you wish to create (default=1).
290 Group>Transform
Translating Groups

Scaling Groups
The Group>Transform>Scale command sequence proportionately scales the target group relative to a
scaling origin ( S o ).
Group>Transform 291
Translating Groups

Reference Coordinate Specifies the coordinate frame referenced by the scaling process.
Frame When you click in this field, the Coordinate Frame select icons will
appear in the Toolbar (see Select Menu, 35). Enter the ID of a
previously defined coordinate frame (the ID of the global coordinate
frame is CoordinateFrame 0) or select a coordinate frame type from
the Select Menu then pick a frame of the selected type in a viewport.
Scale Origin Specifies the coordinate location of the scaling origin. When you click
in this field, the Point select icons will appear in the Toolbar (see
Select Menu, 35). Enter a point location (global Cartesian coordinates,
Point ID, Vertex ID, or Node ID) or select a point type from the Select
Menu (e.g., Curve Intersect) then pick or construct a point of the
selected type in a viewport.
Scale Parameters

Coord. Frame Scale Specifies the scaling factors applied to the group in the X, Y, and Z
Factors directions (if scale factor = 1, there is no change).

Repeat Count Specifies the number of scaled copies you wish to create (default=1).
292 Group>Transform
Translating Groups

Mirroring Groups
The Group>Transform>Mirror command sequence performs a 180-degree rigid-body rotation of a
group around a mirror plane.
Group>Transform 293
Translating Groups

Define Mirror Plane Specifies the plane that serves as the mirroring plane. When you click
Normal in this field, the Plane select icons will appear in the Toolbar (see
Select Menu, 35). Enter the endpoint coordinates of the axis normal to
the mirror plane or select a plane type from the Select Menu (e.g.,
3Point Plane) then pick a plane of the selected type in a viewport (e.g.,
select three points).
Offset Specifies the offset of the final mirror plane from the one previously
defined. The offset is a specified distance (positive or negative) along
an axis, normal to the selected mirror plane.
Reverse Curves and Modifies the contained curves and surfaces by reversing the
Surfaces corresponding parametric direction and normals. See Reversing a
Curve, 510 and Reversing Surfaces (p. 570) in the Geometry
Modeling - Reference Manual Part 2.

Beam and shell finite elements will also be reversed if this toggle is
on. Solid finite elements will always be reversed (regardless of toggle
setting) to avoid negative volume.

Modifying Group Orientation


The Group>Transform>Mcoord command sequence moves a group from its original coordinate frame
to a new coordinate frame. As a result of simultaneous rigid-body translation and rotation, the local
294 Group>Transform
Translating Groups

position of the group with respect to a new coordinate frame will be the same as its local position with
respect to the original coordinate frame. Thus the orientation of the group will change.

From Coordinate Frame Specifies the coordinate frame in which the group is currently defined.
The default ID of the From Coordinate Frame is the active coordinate
frame. Coord 0 is the ID of the global coordinate frame.
To Coordinate Frame Specifies the coordinate frame in which a copy of the group will be
created. When you click in this field, the Coordinate Frame select
icons will appear in the Toolbar (see Select Menu, 35). Enter the ID of
a previously defined coordinate frame or select the icon of the
coordinate frame type then pick a frame of the selected type.
Group>Transform 295
Translating Groups

Pivoting Groups
The Group>Transform>Pivot command sequence performs rigid-body rotation of a group through a
plane defined by a pivot point ( P p ), a starting point ( P s ), and an ending point ( P e ).

Pivot Point Center of rotation.


Starting Point Current position of any point in the group ( P s ).
End Point Final position of the same point in the pivoted group ( P e ).

When you click in one of these fields, the Point select icons will appear in the Toolbar (see Select Menu,
35). Enter a point location (global Cartesian coordinates, Point ID, Vertex ID, or Node ID) or select a
point type from the Select Menu then pick or construct a point of the selected type in a viewport.
296 Group>Transform
Translating Groups

Repositioning Groups
The Group>Transform>Position command sequence performs simultaneous rigid-body translation
and rotation of a group. The transformation is defined by mapping a set of three points in an original
position to a set of three points in a destination position.

Original Position Specify the current position of three non-colinear points in the group.
Destination Position Specify the final desired position (non-colinear) of the same three
points in the final group.

When you click in one of these fields, the Point select icons will appear in the Toolbar (see Select Menu,
35). Enter a point location (global Cartesian coordinates, Point ID, Vertex ID, or Node ID) or select a
point type from the Select Menu then pick or construct a point of the selected type in a viewport.
Group>Delete 297
Deleting Groups

Group>Delete Deleting Groups

The Group>Delete command deletes one or several group definitions.

Current Group Name of the current group in the current viewport.


Filter Enter one or more letters of the name then a wildcard (*). Press Filter
to list only the item(s) that pass the filter criteria.
298 Group>Delete
Deleting Groups

Select Group(s) To Delete Highlight the group(s) you want to delete. The current group is never
listed here since it cannot be deleted.

note: If one of the groups listed here is the current group in any other
viewport, it still cannot be deleted until it is no longer a current group
in any viewport.
Delete Associated Members The members of the group you want to delete will be deleted from the
model even if those entities belong to other groups.
Group>Attributes 299
Assigning Attributes to Groups

Group>Attributes Assigning Attributes to Groups

With the Group>Attributes command you can assign named attributes to one or several groups (for
more information on named attributes, see Named Attributes, 375). The advantage of using this command
is that it allows you to assign display attributes to any number of groups.
300 Group>Attributes
Hierarchical Groups (Hgroups)

5.3 Hierarchical Groups (Hgroups)


Hierarchical Groups
Hgroups allow you to create and maintain hierarchical (tree-like) dependencies between groups. The
Group menu on the menu bar has been updated to include “Extras>Hierarchy” through which this
capability is made available. The group, subgroup and element parent/child relationships provide a
general tool for subdividing large models. This capability has been implemented to integrate with CATIA
file imports that have matching parent/child structures.
Group>Attributes 301
Hierarchical Groups (Hgroups)

Unless a hierarchial group structure is created, the group structure is flat. All groups exist at the same
level:

Normal Group Structure

Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4 Group 5


element_1 element_1 element_1 element_1
element_1 ...
... ... ... ...
element_n element_n element_n element_n
element_n

Complex and large FEM data models are diffcult to handle in a flat structure.

Note: By using the right mouse button (RMB) on a selected tree widget entity, a contextual menu
appears giving access to easily change Actions.

Organizing the data hierarchically establishes associations between groups that support performing
operations on more than one group at a time.

Hierarchical Group Structure

H-Group A
Group_1

H-Group B Subgroup

Group_2

H-Group C Subgroup

Group_3

H-Group D
Group_4

H-Group E Subgroup

Group_5
302 Group>Attributes
Hierarchical Groups (Hgroups)

Establishing hierarchical groups, subgroups and element parent/child relationships provide a general tool
for subdividing large models. It allows the same operations to be performed on collections of groups, and
groups and their subgroups.
Each hierarchical group can contain only one Patran group.
Hierarchy groups contain pointers to real groups. By selecting parent groups for operations, the
operations can be performed on the elements in the group and subgroups, as well.
You can perform the following actions:
• Create Hgroups. See Creating an Hgroup, 303.
• Post Hgroups. See Posting an Hgroup, 309.
• Modify Hgroups. See Modifying Group Hierarchies, 309.
• Delete Hgroups. See Deleting Hgroups, 311.
• Set Current an Hgroup as the current group. The current group is posted to the current viewport.
See Changing the Current Hgroup, 312.
• Export or Import an entire group hierarchy. See Exporting and Importing Hgroup Trees, 312.

At any time, you can view the existing Hgroups and group hierarchy.
Group>Attributes 303
Hierarchical Groups (Hgroups)

Creating an Hgroup
Select the action “Create” on the Group Hierarchy form to display the Create Group form.

This icon is used to manage This icon is used to manage


group entities (Group Icon) parent entities (Parent Icon)
This icon is used to manage
group member entities (Group
Members Icon)

The name of a standard group.


The name to be assigned to
the hierarchical group that
will contain the standard
group.

You use this form to create an association between a standard group and an Hgroup that will contain the
standard group. Assigning the Selection Group name identifies the standard group that is to be
associated with the Hgroup. You can either select a group from the list of groups displayed on the form
or you can enter the name of a standard group. The name you specify can identify an existing standard
group or it can be the name of a standard group that has yet to be created.
You can associate the same standard group with more than one Hgroup, but each Hgroup can be
associated with only one standard group.
As an example, assume the following very simple example where you want to create two Hgroups called
fem and geom. The fem Hgroup will be associated to a group containing all the finite elements of the
model and the geom Hgroup will be associated to a group containing all the geometry. In addition to that,
the fem and geom Hgroups will contain multiple sub Hgroups associated with groups containing only
portions of the fem or geom Hgroup entities, respectively.
304 Group>Attributes
Hierarchical Groups (Hgroups)

Adding Hierarchical Groups


To create an Hgroup/ group association:
• With the Group Hierarchy form displayed and the Action set to Create, and the Group icon
selected, identify or enter the group and Hgroup names. (Do not click Apply at this point.) Type
in all_fem for the group name and fem for the Hgroup name.
• Optionally, click the Group Member icon and add or define the element members of the
all_fem group. (Group members can be added at a later time if desired.) Press the All FEM, -
Add- button (not shown below). (Do not click Apply at this point either.)
• Use the Parent icon to display and select the newly created group. Select the top level as the
parent: Group Hierarchy. Then click Apply. The Hgroup fem is created associated to the group
called all_fem, which contains all finite element entities.
For this example, Hgroups will be used to divide the FEM and Geometry into two groups.
Creating the fem Hgroup

select
Step 1

select

enter

press

Repeat the process for the Hgroup called geom associated to the group called all_geom.
Group>Attributes 305
Hierarchical Groups (Hgroups)

• With the Group Hierarchy form displayed and the Action set to Create, and the Group icon
selected, identify or enter the group and Hgroup names. (Do not click Apply at this point.) Type
in all_geom for the group name and geom for the Hgroup name.
• Optionally, click the Group Member icon and add or define the element members of the
all_geom group. (Group members can be added at a later time if desired.) Press the All
Geometry, -Add- button (not shown below). (Do not click Apply at this point either.)
• Use the Parent icon to display and select the newly created group. Select the top level as the
parent: Group Hierarchy. Then click Apply. The Hgroup geom is created associated to the
group called all_geom, which contains all geometric entities of the model.

Creating the geom Hgroup

select

select

enter

press

Adding Sub Hgroups to an Hgroup


These actions associate real Patran entities with Hgroups and sub Hgroups. Performing post, modify, and
delete operations on the Hgroups and sub Hgroups will have direct affects on the Viewport and the
current state of the model.
Entities (subelements) are added to an Hgroup using:
306 Group>Attributes
Hierarchical Groups (Hgroups)

• The Group icon form to name the sub Hgroup and associated group.
• The Group Member icon form to add information about the entity.

An easy way to exclude data from a group is to:


• Select the object in the Viewport
• Click Add.
• Click Remove for the category of data to be excluded (e.g., All Geometry or All FEM).

Use the Parent icon form to add the subelement to the Hgroup. First, select the parent Hgroup. Then, click
Apply on the Parent icon form. Continuing with the previous example, we would like to add a sub
Hgroup under the geom Hgroup to furthur refine the hierarchy. The geometry of the model contains two
surfaces. We will create two sub Hgroups under the geom Hgroup, each associated with one of the
surfaces of the model. Similarly we will create two sub Hgroups under the fem Hgroup each associated
with the elements of the particular surface. Thus if you post the fem Hgroup and all its sub Hgroups, you
will get all the fem posted and ikewise, with the geom Hgroup for posted geometry. If you select the sub
Hgroups for posting, then only those entities assicoated with them are posted.
• With the Group Hierarchy form displayed and the Action set to Create, and the Group icon
selected, identify or enter the group and (sub) Hgroup names. (Do not click Apply at this point.)
Type in surface_1 for the group name and surface.1 for the (sub) Hgroup name.
• Optionally, click the Group Member icon and add or define the element members of the
surface_1 group. (Group members can be added at a later time if desired.) Select Surface 1 from
the graphics screen and press the -Add- button under the Member List to Add/Remove . (Do not
click Apply at this point either.)
• Use the Parent icon to display and select the newly created group. Select the geom level as the
parent. Then click Apply. The (sub) Hgroup surface.1 is created associated to the group called
surface_1, which contains just the entity Surface 1.
This operation can then be repeated for creating (sub) Hgroup surface.2, associated with group
surface_2, which contains entity Surface 2 where the Parent Hgroup is geom. The operation can then be
done two more times, once each for creating (sub) Hgroup FEM_surface.1 and FEM_surface.2,
associated with groups fem_surface_1 and fem_surface_2 each containing the finite element entities
associated to the two surfaces, respectively, and each having the fem Hgroup as their parent Hgroup.
Group>Attributes 307
Hierarchical Groups (Hgroups)

Creating the sub Hgroups


308 Group>Attributes
Hierarchical Groups (Hgroups)

In this example, when both surfaces have been defined as subelements (sub Hgroups of the parent
Hgroup), the group hierarchy will look as follows:
Group>Attributes 309
Hierarchical Groups (Hgroups)

Posting an Hgroup
The following form is used to display all or parts of the hierarchy tree in the Viewport:

If Auto Post Subtree is checked on the form, all the selected groups and their subgroups and elements
get posted when Apply is clicked.

Modifying Group Hierarchies


The following form is used to:
• Change the name of a group or change the selected group.
• Remove member elements from or add member elements to groups.
• Modify the tree structure.
310 Group>Attributes
Hierarchical Groups (Hgroups)

An additional icon, the Modify icon, is available on the Group Hierarchy form when the Action is
Modify and is used to perform the initial step of a modify operation.

Modify icon

Always start a modify hierarchical group operation by clicking the Modify icon.
For example, if the operation is to change a group name:
• Click the Modify icon and select the Hgroup.
• Click the Group icon and select the group.
• Enter the new name.
• Click Apply.

If the hierarchy operation is to add members to a group:


• Click the Modify icon and select the Hgroup.
• Click the Group icon and select the group.
• Click the Group Member icon and add or remove members as appropriate.
• Click the Parent icon and identify the group to which the selected hierarchy part will be moved.
• Click Apply.
Group>Attributes 311
Hierarchical Groups (Hgroups)

If the hierarchy operation is to change the hierarchy strucutre:


• Click the Modify icon and select the Hgroup.
• Click the Group icon and select the group.
• Click the Parent icon and select the new parent.
• Click Apply.

Of course, these operations can be combined.

Deleting Hgroups
The following form is used to remove the association between standard groups and Hgroups.

Use the checkboxes at the bottom of the form to scale the delete operation. You can delete the entire tree
by selecting Group Hierarchy.
Note that deleted items can be restored by:
• Selecting the Undo option.
• Using the Import form to recreate an exported tree.
312 Group>Attributes
Hierarchical Groups (Hgroups)

Changing the Current Hgroup


Use the following form to change the current Hgroup. To change the current set:
• Select the Hgroup that is to be the current hgroup.
• Click Apply.
• An exclamation mark always appears before the currently selected hierarchical group on forms
that display the group hierarchy.

The current group is preselected when this form is displayed.

Exporting and Importing Hgroup Trees


Exporting and importing files is particularly useful for:
• Preserving hierarchies for use on different machines by different users. Importing the hierarchy
on a different machine will restore the hierarchical relationships in an otherwise flat .bdf file.
• Taking snapshots of hierarchical structures. You can restore a hierarchy to an earlier form after
making changes, such as deletions, that you want to “undo”.
Group>Attributes 313
Hierarchical Groups (Hgroups)

Use the following forms to export and import group hierarchy definitions. Use the Select Session File
option on the Export form to create a snapshot by assigning a name to and saving a hierarchy definition
as an export file. To import a saved session file, select the Select Session File option on the Import form.

Importing and Using CATIA Files with Group Hierarchy Structures


Using the group hierarchy technology explained in the previous section, you can import a CATPart or
CATProduct tree structure from a CATIA V5 document into an Patran group hierarchy. See Importing the
CATIA V5 Tree, 128.
314 Group>Attributes
Hierarchical Groups (Hgroups)
Ch. 6: Viewports Patran Reference Manual

6 Viewports

 Viewport Concepts and Definitions 316



The Viewport Menu 320

Viewport Commands 321
316 Patran Reference Manual
Viewport Concepts and Definitions

6.1 Viewport Concepts and Definitions


Viewports are named graphics windows through which you look at a model. You can define as many
viewports as you need to help visualize different aspects of a model. For example, as an effective way of
showing the results of finite element analysis, one viewport may contain the original geometric model
with applied loads and boundary conditions, while in a second viewport you can display the distorted
model and color plots of stresses generated by the applied loads.
You can control the size and location of viewports, perhaps making selected viewports larger--and more
prominent--than others, or you can request that the viewports be tiled, in which case all visible viewports
are scaled to the same size and repositioned in rows and columns to fit the viewing area.
Viewport definitions are stored in the Patran database. A viewport, named default_viewport, is
automatically created in a new database, with a graphics area that is initially blank.

The defining characteristics of a viewport are:


• Name
• Status
• Display attributes
• Current group and posted groups
• Named views in viewports
Ch. 6: Viewports 317
Viewport Concepts and Definitions

Viewport Names
Viewports are given names to differentiate them from one another. In naming a viewport, you must
conform to the following set of rules:
• Uniqueness--each name must be unique.
• Number of characters--name may not contain more than 31 characters.
• “Legal” characters--the following characters are acceptable in names:
a through z
A through Z
0 through 9
-, _ , and .
• Case sensitivity--upper and lower case letters are recognized. For example, top_view and
Top_view are regarded as two distinct views.

Viewport Status
The status of a viewport may be:
• current (or not current)
• posted (or unposted)
• target viewport

Current Viewport
The current viewport is the viewport in which view commands are applied, titles are posted, and
postprocessing is performed. Only one viewport may be current at one time and only the current viewport
is updated when a model is viewed from a new angle or with new results and titles.

Posted Viewport
Posted viewports are the only viewports displayed on the screen. If a viewport is unposted it is hidden
from view.
You can hide any posted viewport but do not unpost the viewport to which the current group is posted,
or else you will not be able to see the geometric and finite element entities as they are created.

Target Viewport
The target viewport is a viewport selected for modifications. Any viewport can become the target
viewport, including the current viewport.

Viewport Display Attributes


Display attributes are a set of display parameters defined for each viewport. Display parameters include:
318 Patran Reference Manual
Viewport Concepts and Definitions

• Viewport size and location


• Display of viewport titles and annotations
• Display of coordinate axes and origin symbol
• Color bar display status and assigned range

Viewports and Groups


A viewport may contain any number of groups that are posted, or selected for display. Posting or
unposting of groups in a target viewport will not affect the posted groups in other viewports. A group
may be posted to more than one viewport at a time.

Only one group can be the current group in a viewport, however in each viewport you can designate a
different group as the current group.

Named Views in Viewports


Named views are views that you can create with the Viewing menu and store for later use (The Viewing
Menu, 346). When a named view is applied to a selected posted viewport, the current view will change
according to the parameter values of the named view.

Common Viewport Features


Certain common display features provide visual information about a number of viewport attributes and
are common to all viewports. Some features are automatically displayed and must remain on the screen,
while the visibility of others can be controlled.
• Top Banner--a posted viewport’s top banner automatically displays the following:
• Model database name
• Viewport name
• Current group name
• Display method--by group or by entity type

• Origin Symbol--crosshairs that identify the global cartesian origin (0,0,0) location. While this
symbol is ON by default, it can be turned OFF (see Show Origin Symbol, 327).
• Global Cartesian Coordinate Axes--the icon that represents the global Cartesian coordinate axes
is displayed in the viewport’s lower left corner. As the viewing plane is rotated, the orientation
of these axes will change to reflect the new position of the model. While this symbol is ON by
default, it can be turned OFF (see Show Global Axes, 327).
Ch. 6: Viewports 319
Viewport Concepts and Definitions

• Local Coordinate Axes--the icon that represents the axes of a locally defined rectangular,
cylindrical, or spherical coordinate system (for more information on local coordinate systems,
see Coordinate Frames, 375 )

Tiling Viewports
Posted viewports can be tiled within the available screen area. Tiling scales viewports so that they are of
the same size and repositions them in rows and columns to fit the viewing area.
320 Patran Reference Manual
The Viewport Menu

6.2 The Viewport Menu


The Viewport menu provides the commands that create and manage viewports and their attributes.

Menu Conventions
A menu item with ellipses (...) attached to it will call up an additional menu form in which you enter
further data.

Viewport

Create...
Post...
Modify...
Delete...
Tile

The Viewport menu functionalities are described below in the order in which they appear.

Create... Creates a new viewport and makes it the current viewport.


Post... Posts or unposts viewports for display.
Modify... Provides several functions that change viewport definitions, such as
viewport name, size, or location, current viewport selection, and
visualization control.
Delete... Deletes selected viewports (except the current viewport).
Tile Resizes and repositions posted viewports to fit within the available
screen area.
Ch. 6: Viewports 321
Viewport Commands

6.3 Viewport Commands


The following is a detailed description of the commands and dialog boxes with which you create and
manage viewports.
322 Viewport>Create
Creating a New Viewport

Viewport>Create Creating a New Viewport

With the Viewport>Create command sequence you can create and name new viewports.

Existing Viewports Displays the names of previously defined viewports for your
information. The name of the current viewport is highlighted.
New Viewport Name Enter a unique new viewport name; (see Viewport Names, 317 for
more help).

Note that a newly created viewport automatically becomes the current viewport.
Viewport>Post 323
Posting and Unposting Viewports

Viewport>Post Posting and Unposting Viewports

The Viewport>Post dialog box allows you to post or unpost one or more selected viewports. Posted
viewports are the only viewports visible on the screen. The current viewport is automatically posted.

Post/Unpost Viewports Displays the names of all viewports in the database. The name of the
current view is highlighted since it is automatically posted.

To post a viewport, click on its name to highlight it. When you select
a viewport for posting, all other viewports become unposted and their
names become unhighlighted.

To select several viewports listed consecutively, hold the Shift key


while clicking each item. To select several viewports not listed
consecutively, hold the Ctrl key while clicking.

Caution: If you unpost the current viewport, it will not be shown on the screen. Neither will the
current group, which is posted to the current viewport (see Posted Group, 261).
Consequently, you will not be able to see new geometric and finite element entities as
they are created.
324 Viewport>Post
Posting and Unposting Viewports

If you select a viewport other than the current viewport for posting, the current viewport will be unposted.
Patran will display the following warning message:
Viewport>Modify 325
Modifying Viewports

Viewport>Modify Modifying Viewports

With the Viewport>Modify command and dialog box you can modify the following viewport
definitions:
• Indetify the viewport targeted for modifications (the target viewport).
• Make the new target viewport current.
• Post/unpost groups to the target viewport.
• Set the current group.
• Apply a named view to the target viewport.
• Rename the target viewport.
326 Viewport>Modify
Modifying Viewports

• Modify the attributes of the target viewport.

Current Viewport Displays the name of the viewport you specified as current.
Target Viewport to Modify Displays the name of the viewport you selected for modification.
Change Target Viewport... Displays the Change Target Viewport dialog box in which you can
select a different viewport for modification.
Make Current Makes the newly specified target viewport the current viewport.
Post/Unpost Groups... Displays a dialog box in which you can select one or more groups to
post or unpost (display or hide) in the target viewport.
Viewport>Modify 327
Modifying Viewports

Set Current Group... Displays a dialog box in which you can select a group that will be the
current group in the target viewport.
Apply Named View... Brings up the Apply Named View dialog box in which you can select
a previously defined and named view that will be displayed in the
target viewport.
Rename... Displays a dialog box in which you can specify a new name for the
target viewport.
Attributes Allows you to control various display attributes assigned to the target
viewport.
Background Color Set the viewport background color.
Background Effects Displays a subordinate form to allow a number of different background
color effects such as a gradient between two different colors. This form
is explained below in Changing the Background Effects, 335
Range Name Displays the name of the selected range (or the default range).
Change Range Ranges have an important role in displaying finite element analysis
results. The name of the default range table is standard_range. This
command brings up a dialog box in which you can select a previously
defined and named range table to assign to the target viewport.
Show Spectrum Bar If the toggle is ON (4), the spectrum color bar will be displayed.
Default is OFF.
Show Viewport Legend If the toggle is ON (4), the viewport legend will be displayed. Default
is OFF.
Show Global Axes If the toggle is ON (4), the global coordinate axes will be displayed in
the lower left corner of the target viewport. Default is ON.
Show Origin Symbol If the toggle is ON (4), the crosshairs that identify the global cartesian
origin (0,0,0) location will be displayed in the target viewport. Default
is ON.
328 Viewport>Modify
Modifying Viewports

X,Y Location Indicates the location of the upper left corner of a viewport. Note the
following:

• Point (0 0) is at the upper left corner of the viewing area.


• Positive X is toward the right, positive Y is toward the bottom
of the viewing area.
• Distances are in inches.
To change the location of a viewport do one of the following:

• Enter new numerical values to locate the upper left corner of


the target view
• With the cursor in the top banner, drag the viewport anywhere
in the viewing area. Note that in the dialog box, the X, Y
Location input display will update only after you click
Viewport>Modify again.
X,Y Size Indicates the X and Y dimensions (in inches) of the target viewport.

To change the dimensions of the viewport do one of the following:

• Enter new numerical values to specify new dimensions.


• With the cursor at one of the edges or at one of the corners of
the viewport, drag the viewport boundaries. Note that in the
dialog box, the X, Y Size display will update only after you
click Viewport>Modify again.
Reset Returns the contents of the entire dialog box to their previously applied
state and values.
Viewport>Modify 329
Modifying Viewports

Changing the Target Viewport


If you pressed the Change Target Viewport... button in the Viewport>Modify dialog box, you will see
the subordinate dialog box shown below.
330 Viewport>Modify
Modifying Viewports

Filter Minimizes the number of items that appear in the list (optional). You
may enter a combination of one or more characters and wildcards (*)
then press the Filter button. Only the item(s) whose name passes the
filter criteria will be listed in the text field.

Default is (*), meaning that all items will be listed.


Viewports Lists the name of all existing viewports. Pick the viewport you want to
designate as the new target viewport.
Viewport>Modify 331
Modifying Viewports

Posting and Unposting Groups in a Viewport


If you pressed the Post/Unpost Groups... button in the Viewport>Modify dialog box, you will see the
subordinate dialog box shown below. Here you can select the group(s) that will be visible (posted) in a
particular viewport.

Target Viewport Displays the name of the target viewport in which the change will take
place.
Filter Specification Minimizes the number of items that appear in the list (optional). You
may enter a combination of one or more characters and wildcards (*)
then press the Filter button. Only the item(s) whose name passes the
filter criteria will be listed in the text field.
Post/Unpost Group(s) Displays the names of existing groups. To post a group, click on its
name to highlight it. When you select a group for posting, all other
groups become unposted and their names become unhighlighted.

To select several groups listed consecutively, hold the Shift key while
clicking each item. To select several groups not listed consecutively,
hold the Ctrl key while clicking.
332 Viewport>Modify
Modifying Viewports

Defining the Current Group in a Viewport


If you pressed the Set Current Group... button in the Viewport>Modify dialog box, you will see the
subordinate dialog box shown below. Here you can specify which group will be current in the target
viewport.

Filter Specification Minimizes the number of items that appear in the list (optional). You
may enter a combination of one or more characters and wildcards (*)
then press the Filter button. Only the item(s) whose name passes the
filter criteria will be listed in the text field.
Existing Names Displays the names of previously defined groups. Pick the group you
wish to specify as the current group in this viewport.
Current Group The name of the newly selected current group will also appear in this
text field.

Note: As an alternative to this command, you can simply click inside the viewport window to
specify it as the current viewport.
Viewport>Modify 333
Modifying Viewports

Applying a Named View to a Viewport


If you pressed the Apply Named View... button in the Viewport>Modify dialog box, you will see the
subordinate dialog box shown below. You can then select a previously defined named view (see Viewing
a Model, 341) to be displayed in the target viewport.

Target Viewport Shows the name of the target viewport in which the named view will
be displayed.
Filter Specification Minimizes the number of items that appear in the list that follows
(optional). You may enter a combination of one or more characters and
wildcards (*) then press the Filter button. Only the item(s) whose name
passes the filter criteria will be listed in the text field.
Named Views Displays the names of existing named views. To apply a named view,
click on its name to highlight it. The view of the model in the target
viewport will then change to the named view as requested.
334 Viewport>Modify
Modifying Viewports

Renaming a Viewport
If you pressed the Rename... button in the Viewport>Modify dialog box, you will see the subordinate
dialog box shown below.

Filter Specification Minimizes the number of items that appear in the list (optional). You
may enter a combination of one or more characters and wildcards (*)
then press the Filter button. Only the item(s) whose name passes the
filter criteria will be listed in the text field.

Default is the wildcard (*), meaning that all items will be listed.
Existing Names Displays the names of existing viewports. If you specified a filter, only
those viewports that pass the filter criteria will be listed.
Rename As Enter the new name that you want to give to the target viewport.
Viewport>Modify 335
Modifying Viewports

Changing the Background Effects


If you pressed the Background Effects... button in the Viewport>Modify dialog box, you will see the
subordinate dialog box shown below.

An example of the background effects is shown above.

Color 1 / 2 Select the color of the background. If both colors are the same, a solid
backgroud of that color is displayed. If the two colors are different,
then a gradation/transition between the two colors is displayed based
on the Shading Syles.
Swap Colors Swaps the colors between Color 1 and Color 2.
336 Viewport>Modify
Modifying Viewports

Shading Styles The shading or gradation / transition between the colors can be a
horizontal, vertical, diagonal or other type of effect. It is best to
experiment with these using the Preview button.

Inside Out Creates a shading from the middle out instead of top to bottom (or right
to left as the case may be).
Preview To preview how the viewport looks before applying the effect
permanently with the Apply button.
Apply / Cancel Press Apply to keep the effect and then Cancel to close the form.
Viewport>Modify 337
Modifying Viewports

Changing the Spectrum Range Designation


If you pressed the Change Range... button in the Viewport>Modify dialog box, you will see the
subordinate dialog box shown below.

Target Viewport Displays the name of the target viewport in which the change will take
place.
Filter Minimizes the number of items that appear in the list that follows
(optional). You may enter a combination of one or more characters
and wildcards (*) then press the Filter button. Only the item(s) whose
name passes the filter criteria will be listed in the text field.
Ranges Displays the names of previously defined Ranges. Pick the range you
wish to use for results displays in the target viewport. The newly
selected name will also appear in the Viewport>Modify dialog box.
338 Viewport>Delete
Deleting Viewports

Viewport>Delete Deleting Viewports

With the Viewport>Delete command sequence you can delete any number of viewports--except the
current viewport.

Current Viewport Displays the name of the current viewport.


Select a Viewport(s) Displays the names of all existing viewports, with the exception of the
current viewport.

Pick the name of the viewport you want to delete.

To select several viewports listed consecutively, hold the Shift key


while clicking each item. To select several viewports not listed
consecutively, hold the Ctrl key while clicking.
Viewport>Tile 339
Tiling Viewports

Viewport>Tile Tiling Viewports

With the Viewport>Tile command you can display a number of viewports in an ordered “tiled”
arrangement. Extents of viewports are changed so that each view is the same size and viewports are
positioned in rows and columns to fill the viewing area.
340 Viewport>Tile
Tiling Viewports
Ch. 7: Viewing a Model Patran Reference Manual

7 Viewing a Model


View Concepts and Definitions 342

The Viewing Menu 346

Viewing Commands 348
342 Patran Reference Manual
View Concepts and Definitions

7.1 View Concepts and Definitions


Views let you to present a model in various orientations in their respective viewports. One view may
display the full three-dimensional model, while others may depict it from different angles or show
enlarged details of important features. With the Viewing menu you can pan, zoom, rotate, clip, and resize
views.

Current View
Each viewport displays one independent view of a stationary model. The current view is the view most
recently defined for a viewport.

Named Views
If in a work session you rotated, zoomed, scaled, or clipped a view to show a particular aspect of your
model, you can preserve all your modifications with a named view that will be stored and ready to be
recalled at a later time or even in a different model (see Named Views in Viewports, 318). Additionally,
Patran provides several predefined standard engineering views (e.g., top_view) that you can utilize in any
viewport.
When naming a new view, remember that just as in naming groups or viewports, view names must
conform to the following set of rules:

• Uniqueness--each name must be unique.


• Number of characters--name may not contain more than 31 characters.
• “Legal” characters--the following characters are acceptable in names:
a through z
A through Z
0 through 9
-, _ , and .
• Case sensitivity--upper and lower case letters are recognized. For example, front_view and
Front_view are regarded as two distinct views.
A database may contain any number of uniquely named views.

Model Space
Model space is defined in the global X, Y, and Z rectangular coordinate system.

Screen Space
Screen space is defined by a projection plane’s X and Y coordinate system.
Ch. 7: Viewing a Model 343
View Concepts and Definitions

Viewing Coordinate System Parameters


The viewing coordinate system of a viewport is defined as follows:
• The origin is at the viewport’s focal point.
• The positive X direction points to the screen’s right edge.
• The positive Y direction points vertically.
• The Z-axis is normal to the viewport window, the positive Z direction is pointing outward
according to the right-hand rule.

Y Global Axes

Screen Axes
Global Origin
Y

Observer
Position Focal Point

Z
X

Z
X
Viewing Plane

Viewing Plane
The viewing plane lies in the plane of the screen and is the plane onto which the model is projected.

Window Center
The window center is at the center of the viewing plane.

Model Center
The model center is the geometric centroid of a viewport’s displayed geometric and finite element
entities.

Automatic Centering
The model center is recalculated each time an entity is added or removed, or each time a group is posted
or unposted. However, the focal point may be moved to coincide with the model center.
344 Patran Reference Manual
View Concepts and Definitions

Fitting a View
Fitting a view moves and resizes the view of the model so that all model entities will fit inside the current
viewport window. The view’s rotational orientation will remain the same.

View Transformations
Transformations refer to the action of panning, rotating, and resizing a view in the current viewport.
• Pan
Moves the window center left, right, up, or down in the current viewport as if a camera panned
over the model in the view.
• Zoom
Makes the model appear larger (zoom in) or smaller (zoom out) in the viewport.
• Rotate
Rotates the view around selected global or screen axes.
All transformations can be implemented one of three ways:
• The Viewing>Transformations command (see Viewing>Transformations on page 296)--click
the applicable icon to pan, zoom, or rotate a view. Accept a default transformation factor or
specify the desired rate by which the transformation will be performed.
• Other Viewing menu commands--use one of the following Viewing menu commands:
Panning--Select Center (p. 350)
Zooming--Select Corners, and Zoom% (p. 352)
Rotating--Angles (p. 354) and View From/To (p. 356)
• “Mouse method”--program the middle mouse button to execute one of the transformations (see
Preferences>Mouse, 460).

Note: Several shortcuts to some of the view control functionalities are also available via tool bar
icons (see also Mouse Function Tool Palette, 16 and Viewing Tool Palette, 17).

View Clipping
To clip a view, you make use of one or more planes to “slice” into the model at selected locations. Since
the geometry outside the clipping planes will be eliminated from view, with view clipping you can show
the inside of a model as well as create special sectional views. Z-axis clipping provides front and back
clipping planes that are parallel to the XY plane. In arbitrary clipping, you can define, orient, and place
your own clipping planes for specific clipped views.
Ch. 7: Viewing a Model 345
View Concepts and Definitions

Perspective Views
Perspective viewing makes surfaces that are farther from the position of an observer appear smaller.
Changing the observer’s position as well as the viewing plane location will modify perspective distortion.

View Parameters
Focal Point
The view’s origin, it is also the center of rotation when the view is rotated, the center for scaling, and the
perspective’s center.

Window Center
The center of the viewing plane from where translation distances are measured.

Focal
Point
Viewing Plane

Z Observer’s
Position

Front Clipping Plane


Model
Back Clipping Plane Visible portion of the model
with Z- clipping and perspective

Viewing Plane Distance


The distance from the focal point to the viewing plane.

Observer Position Distance


The distance from the focal point to the observer’s position.

Front and Back Clipping Plane Distances


The distances from the focal point to the front and back Z-axis clipping planes.
346 Patran Reference Manual
The Viewing Menu

7.2 The Viewing Menu


The commands of the Viewing menu control the orientation, sizing, position, and visualization methods
of views in viewports.

Menu Conventions
A menu item with ellipses (...) attached to it will call up an additional dialog box in which you enter or
select further data.
If a menu item is followed by an expression containing the abbreviation Ctrl, this item can also be
accessed by an accelerated keyboard shortcut. For example, to activate the Viewing>Transformations
command with the shortcut, press the Ctrl (Control) key and the lower case letter key (t) simultaneously.

Viewing

Transformations... Ctrl T
Fit View Ctrl F
Select Center
Select Corners
Zoom (% of view)
Angles...
Custom...
View From/To...
Scale Factors...
Named View Options...
Clipping Perspective...
Arbitrary Clipping...

The Viewing menu functionalities are described below in the order in which they appear.

Transformations... Displays graphic icons with which you can pan, rotate, and zoom a
view by selected incremental factors. Also provides a Fit View icon to
adjust the view of the model to be contained completely inside the
boundaries of the viewport.
Fit View Moves and resizes the current view so that all model entities will fit
inside the current viewport window. The view’s rotational orientation
will remain the same.
Select Center Pans a view by moving its center to a cursor picked location.
Ch. 7: Viewing a Model 347
The Viewing Menu

Select Corners Zooms in on a cursor-defined rectangular area of the view.


Zoom (% of view) Specifies a zoom factor, expressed as a percentage of the normal fit
view area, for viewing the model.
Angles... Rotates a view by specific angles about the X, Y, and Z axes of either
the global or screen coordinate system.
View From/To... Rotates a view by moving the view origin or by modifying the location
of an observation point.
Scale Factors... Changes the projected size of a model in the view by using specific
scale factors.
Named View Options... Applies an existing named view in a selected viewport. Creates new
named views, and renames or deletes existing named views.
Clipping/ Perspective... Controls the parameters for clipping and perspective viewing.
Arbitrary Clipping... Creates, modifies, and deletes user-defined clipping planes. Also
enables or disables (posts/unposts) selected clipping planes.
348 Viewing>Transformations
Viewing Commands

7.3 Viewing Commands


The following is a detailed description of the commands and dialog boxes that manage and manipulate
views.

Viewing>Transformations Transforming Views

With the icons of the View>Transformations dialog box you can pan, rotate, zoom, or fit the view in
the current viewport. Transformations are incremental, each mouse click will modify the view
orientation once by a predefined amount that you specify in the Options... dialog box.

Visually translates (pans) the model in the view left, right, up, or
down, by a selected incremental “pan factor”.

Visually rotates the model in the view around the X, Y, or Z axis


clockwise or counterclockwise by a selected incremental rotational
angle.
Viewing>Transformations 349
Transforming Views

Visually increases or decreases the size of the model in the view by a


selected zoom factor.

Fits the view of the model inside the viewport boundaries.

Transformation Options
If you pressed the Options... button in the View>Transformations dialog box, you will see the
subordinate dialog box shown below.

Rotation Displays the rotation angle in degrees. Each mouse click will rotate the
view of the model by that increment. Move the slidebar to the desired
angle value.
Model Relative The rotation takes place about global axes.
Screen Relative The rotation takes place about screen axes.
350 Viewing>Transformations
Transforming Views

Pan Factor Displays the panning rate in model units. Each mouse click will move
the view of the model by that increment. Move the slidebar to the
desired panning rate value.
Zoom Factor Displays the zooming rate. Each mouse click will zoom the view of the
model at that rate. Move the slidebar to the desired zoom factor value.

Fit View
Fitting a view moves and resizes the view of the model so that all model entities will fit inside the current
viewport window. The view’s rotational orientation will remain the same (for automatic execution of Fit
View, see Automatic View Settings, 458).

Select Center
The Viewing>Select Center command is an alternative way of panning the model. Click an arbitrary
point in the viewport and the view will be repositioned with its window center at the selected point. Note
that if you picked a point in a viewport other than the current one, that viewport will automatically
become the current viewport.

Select Corners
Using the Viewing>Select Corner command, you can zoom to a cursor-defined rectangular area of the
current view of the model.
Move the cursor to a point at the edge of the area you wish to zoom (P1). This point becomes the first
corner of the rectangle. Click and hold down the left mouse button while dragging it to form the rectangle.
When the rectangle surrounds the desired area, release the mouse button at the opposite corner (P2). The
view’s center will reposition itself to the center of the rectangle, and the selected area will zoom to fill
the viewport.
Viewing>Transformations 351
Transforming Views

The viewport in which you select the corners will automatically become the current viewport.

P1

P2
352 Viewing>Zoom (% of View)
Zoom by a Specified Factor

Viewing>Zoom (% of View) Zoom by a Specified Factor


Viewing>Zoom (% of View) 353
Zoom by a Specified Factor

The Viewing>Zoom (% of View) command lets you specify the zoom rate numerically rather than using
the zoom icon and the slidebar.

Zoom Factor The zoom factor is expressed as a percentage of the fit view size.
Custom... Enter a zoom factor in this subordinate dialog box if you want to use
a zoom factor other than those listed.
354 Viewing>Angles
Rotate by a Specified Angle

Viewing>Angles Rotate by a Specified Angle

Use the Viewing>Angles command when you want to enter very specific rotation angles that are not
easily set with the rotation slidebar, or when you want to control the axes about which the view is rotated.

Rotation Terminology

Model The view is rotated about the global model axes. These stay fixed to
the model and rotate with the model.
Screen The view is rotated about the screen axes. These are fixed to the screen
and never move.
Absolute The view is rotated relative to the zero (unrotated) position.
Relative The view is rotated relative to the current view position.
Rotation Angles The angle of rotation may be positive or negative around the
respective axis (follow the right hand rule).
Unit of Rotation The unit of rotation is degree, the allowable range is ±180o.
Center of View Rotation The center of rotation is the focal point (see Observation Point, 356);
the only point that remains fixed during a view rotation. If the center
of rotation does not coincide with the model center, the center of the
model will move, and a portion of the model (or the entire model) will
move outside the viewport during rotation.
Viewing>Angles 355
Rotate by a Specified Angle

list2+
Rotate the view as follows:

Rotation Method Model Absolute


Rotation Angles -30.0 10.0 15.0
Action The view is rotated from the global zero starting position, -30o, 10o, and 15o
about the global X, Y, and Z-axes, respectively.

Next, rotate the view again as follows:

Rotation Method-- Model Relative


Rotation Angles-- -10.0 -5.0 -5.0
Action-- The view will be rotated from the current starting position, -30o, -5o, and -
5o about the global X, Y, and Z-axes, respectively.
End result: The new view will have rotated a total of -40o, 5o, and 10o from the global
staring position about the global axes.
356 Viewing>View From/To
Moving the Observer and Origin Positions

Viewing>View From/To Moving the Observer and Origin Positions

The position of two points, the view origin, or focal point, and the observer position (see Observation
Point, 356) also influence the rotational orientation of a view.

In the Viewing> From/To dialog box, you can enter new coordinates for one or both of these points. If
you move either one--but not the other-- the view will be rotated. If the coordinates of both points are
changed by the same value, the view orientation remains unchanged.

Observation Point The observation point, or observer position, represents the location of
a person viewing the model in a perspective view. To change the
observer position, enter new model space coordinates for the
observation point.
Focal Point The focal point is the view’s origin as well as the center of rotation
when the view is rotated. To change the focal point location, enter new
model space coordinate values.
Model Center The model center is the geometric centroid of a viewport’s displayed
geometric and finite element entities. If you changed the Focal Point
coordinates in the dialog box, this button will return the focal point to
the model center. The observer position will also change accordingly,
in order to maintain the same view rotation.
Viewing>Scale Factors 357
Scaling a View

Viewing>Scale Factors Scaling a View

The Viewing>Scale Factors dialog box lets you enter specific scale factors to create a scaled view of the
model.

Screen Scale Factors The scale factors are applied in the X and Y directions of screen space.
The center of scaling is the focal point.
Model Scale Factors The scale factors are applied in the X, Y, and Z directions of model
space. The center of scaling is the focal point.
358 Viewing>Named Views
Creating and Manipulating Named Views

Viewing>Named Views Creating and Manipulating Named Views

With the Viewing>Named View Options command, you can create special views that can be named and
stored for later use. When a named view is applied in a selected viewport, the view of the model will
Viewing>Named Views 359
Creating and Manipulating Named Views

change to the same orientation, size, and clipping state defined for the named view. In this dialog box
you can also rename and delete existing named views.

Current Viewport Displays the name of the current viewport.


Select Named View Lists all named views that exist in the database. Click on the view you
want to display in the selected viewport.
Create View... Creates and saves a new named view. After you positioned, rotated,
and sized a view to achieve the effect you wanted, select this
command then specify a new, unique view name in the subordinate
dialog box.
360 Viewing>Named Views
Creating and Manipulating Named Views

Rename View... Renames a selected named view. Select the existing view to be
renamed and enter a new name in the subordinate dialog box.
Delete View... Deletes a selected named view. You may confirm or cancel your
request to delete a named view:
Viewing>Clipping/Perspective 361
Clippped Views

Viewing>Clipping/Perspective Clippped Views


362 Viewing>Clipping/Perspective
Clippped Views

With the Clipping part of this command, you can control the location of the Z-clipping planes visually,
as well as numerically in the dialog box.

Z Min/ Z Max These show the extents of the view of the model in the positive and
negative Z direction.
Front/Back Clipping Planes These text boxes show the current position of the front and back
clipping planes. Enter new values to change the position of either or
both, then press Apply.

You can also change the Z-clipping plane location by simply dragging
the plane symbols to the left or to the right. The changes will apply to
the model immediately, clipping it according to the new distances.
The numerical values in the databoxes will update as well.

Note that the front clipping plane distance must be greater than the
back clipping distance, otherwise, the back clipping plane would end
up in front of the front clipping plane. If you enter wrong values, a
warning message will appear.
Viewing>Clipping/Perspective 363
Perspective Views

Viewing>Clipping/Perspective Perspective Views

In the Perspective portion of the dialog box, you can modify the parameters of a perspective view,
namely the location of the viewing plane and the observer position.

Front Clipping
Back Clipping Plane Plane

Model along the Z-axis

View Plane Distance The distance between the viewing plane, which is normal to the Z-
axis, and the focal point measured along the Z-axis. If this distance is
zero, the viewing plane intersects the Z-axis at the focal point. A
positive value places the viewing plane to the right of the focal point
while a negative value moves it to the left of the focal point.
Observer Position The distance between the focal point and the location of an
observation point, measured along the Z-axis.
364 Viewing>Clipping/Perspective
Perspective Views

Managing the Parameters of Perspective Viewing

Controlling Distortion The distance between the viewing plane and the observer position
controls the distortion caused by perspective viewing. A greater
distance will result in less distortion; as you decrease the distance the
distortion will increase.
Visual Positioning You can control distortion visually by dragging the screen symbols of
the view plane and the observer to the left or to the right. With each
position change the perspective view of the model will update
immediately. Continue until the desired effect is achieved. Note that
the numerical values in the data boxes will be modified as the
respective symbols are repositioned.
Guidelines for View Plane When entering numerical values for these parameters, use the
Distance and Observer following considerations:
Position
• The observer position must be a non-zero positive number.
• The distance of the observer position from the focal point
must be greater than the model tolerance ( see Global Model
Tolerance, 457). If you enter an unacceptable value, a warning
message will be displayed.
• The observer position distance must be greater than the view
plane distance, otherwise, the view plane would end up behind
the observer. If you enter an unacceptable value, a warning
message will be displayed.
Viewing>Arbitrary Clipping 365
Creating and Managing User-defined Clipping Planes

Viewing>Arbitrary Clipping Creating and Managing User-defined Clipping


Planes
366 Viewing>Arbitrary Clipping
Creating and Managing User-defined Clipping Planes

The Viewing>Arbitrary Clipping dialog box accepts and displays all necessary information to create
and manipulate arbitrary, or user-defined clipping planes.
Viewing>Arbitrary Clipping 367
Creating and Managing User-defined Clipping Planes

Post/Unpost Clipping Lists all previously defined arbitrary clipping planes; the currently
Planes posted (active) clipping planes are highlighted.

Click on a clipping plane to post it; click on a highlighted (posted)


clipping plane to unpost it.

The maximum number of clipping planes posted at any one time is six
(use the Ctrl key while picking multiple entries).

Target Clipping Plane The clipping plane affected by all modifications


(e.g. rotation). To change the target plane from the one displayed, click
the button to show all selectable planes then pick the new target plane.
Create... Creates a new clipping plane. Brings up a text box in which you can
enter the new name.
Delete... Deletes a selected clipping plane.
Clipping Plane Attributes Additional clipping plane features:
Move with Model If ON, the clipping plane will retain its orientation relative to the
model even when it is moved. When OFF, the orientation of the
clipping plane is relative to the screen.
Display Direction Icon The plane icon consists of:

• a rectangle in the orientation defined in the Options below


• X and Y directional axes
• the plane’s normal represented by a directional arrow.
Options
Incrementally rotates the clipping plane around its X or Y axis
clockwise or counterclockwise. You set the rotation angle in the
Rotate slide bar; each mouse click causes one rotation.

Incrementally translates the clipping plane along its normal. You set
the increment in model units in the Number of Units text box. Each
mouse click moves the plane once.
368 Viewing>Arbitrary Clipping
Creating and Managing User-defined Clipping Planes

Direction As an alternative to rotating the clipping plane with the rotation icon,
you can enter a new vector to change the direction of the clipping
plane normal. Note that if you do use the rotation icon, the components
of the normal vector will automatically update in this text box.
Location As an alternative to moving the clipping plane with the translation
icon, you can enter the model coordinate location of the clipping
plane. Note that if you do use the icon to move the plane, the location
coordinates will automatically update in this text box.
Ch. 8: Display Control Patran Reference Manual

8 Display Control

 Display Concepts and Definitions 370



The Display Menu 377

Display Commands 378
370 Patran Reference Manual
Display Concepts and Definitions

8.1 Display Concepts and Definitions


Display functionalities are tools that help improve certain visual aspects of models. Examples of display
capabilities include the shaded rendering of solid models for more realistic appearance, the shrinking of
finite elements for easier recognition, and the creation of special colors for more accurate analysis result
interpretation.
It must be emphasized, however, that display controls are only instruments of visualization and have no
effect on fundamental analysis operations. The use of the commands in the Display menu is generally
based on personal preferences.

Global and Local Display Features


Global display features affect all viewports. As an example, the Erase feature, that temporarily hides
entities, is defined globally. If an entity is erased, it is erased from all viewports of the model.
Local display features apply only to a selected viewport, thus inputs can vary from viewport to viewport.
For example, a title inserted in one viewport will not appear in another, thus you can create distinct text
inputs in each viewport.

Display Modes
For controlling entity colors, labels, and render styles you must choose between two display modes:
• Entity mode--targets entities according to entity type. For example, you may specify that
solids must be shaded and green-colored. This specification then will apply to all solids in the
database.
• Group mode--targets entities according to group membership. For example, if Fender and
Wheel comprise two groups in a model, solids in the group called Fender may be rendered in
wireframe while those in Wheel may be shaded.
Display modes are global in nature; whichever you select will apply to the display in all visible
viewports.

Rendering Styles
While you are constructing a geometric or FEM model, it is not necessary to display solids and surfaces
in true-to-life “photographic” appearance. Such display would actually make it difficult to create certain
geometry, such as entities that define the interior of an object. In addition, it would take more time to
perform operations related to many display functions, such as view transformations.
Rendering is a tool that can change the display of solid or surface geometric and FEM entities for
visualization purposes. The basic rendering styles are wireframe and shaded, with additional options
within each of these styles.
Ch. 8: Display Control 371
Display Concepts and Definitions

Wireframe
In wireframe, the edges of solid and surface entities are displayed but faces appear transparent. To help
perceive surface contours, however, visualization lines can be drawn in all parametric directions. You
can control the number of lines depending on what it takes to improve visualization (see Number of
Display Lines, 386).

Wireframe/Accurate
This rendering style, used primarily when in group display mode, affords better visualization of a group
that appears in the same viewport with smooth shaded entities of other groups. This technique takes into
consideration changes in depth, therefore it is especially appropriate for showing how certain objects are
positioned behind one another.

Hidden Line
Hidden line rendering also displays the edges of solids and surfaces but the faces appear opaque, not
transparent. As a result, portions of an object that would be hidden from an observer are also hidden in
the display. In some cases this will result in a more realistic image of an object, especially in straight-
edged solids; for curved edges, however, it helps if you use visualization lines in the display.
372 Patran Reference Manual
Display Concepts and Definitions

Hidden Line/Accurate
This rendering combines the characteristics of Hidden Line and Wireframe/Accurate styles. It renders
hidden edges and faces invisible and also depicts the correct spatial order of objects.

Shaded/Flat
A compromise between smooth shading and wireframe or hidden line representation is “flat shading”.
Flat shading applies a series of shaded triangles of constant color to faces. Visual accuracy increases as
the number of triangles increases and the size of triangles decreases. The number and size of triangles is
governed by a calculated value called chordal tolerance.

Chordal Tolerance
Database definitions of even the most complex solid or surface objects are mathematically accurate, but
the exact graphical representation of curvatures in solids is, to some extent, at the expense of display
speed and computer resources. Therefore, the screen display of objects is somewhat less precise than the
mathematical data.
With the approximation technique used for creating the display, curved edges are replaced with a series
of straight line segments, or chords. The distance between a curve segment and its subtended chord is the
chordal deviation.

chordal deviation

true curved edge


d

chord
Ch. 8: Display Control 373
Display Concepts and Definitions

Chordal tolerance is calculated as the ratio of the chordal deviation and the length of the curve segment.
It is a user-controllable input that is entered as a display parameter. Bear in mind that while very small
chordal tolerance values produce smoother, more realistic displays, they may also cause the slowing
down of view-related operations.

Chordal Tolerance = 0.02 Chordal Tolerance = 0.002 Chordal Tolerance = 0.0002

Shaded/Smooth
The most realistic display of models is the “smooth” shaded image. It renders surfaces and solids
realistically, in a smoothly shaded manner, as if a light were shining on the model. It only shows visible
faces and edges, and does not display those that are hidden from view.

Finite Element Display


The rendering and display methods used for solid and surface objects are also applied to finite element
models. Just as in solid geometry, an approximation technique is used in FEM to reduce the time it takes
to display the model. The approximation, which affects only higher order elements, may make the display
of a model somewhat less precise.
Quadratic or cubic elements are most often used to mesh objects with curved faces because, being
nonlinear, they adhere more accurately to the definition of curved contours. The database contains the
precise mathematical definitions of these elements, but in the display of the finite element model their
curved edges are approximated with a series of straight line segments. The chordal distance between the
curved element edge and the approximating lines is inversely proportional to the number of line
segments, and if a very smooth realistic display is desired, you can opt for a high number of lines. In a
large FEM model, however, you may notice that certain processes, especially the ones that require a
change in the view display, become more time-consuming.
The default number of line segments displayed on an element edge is the number of segments required
to connect the nodes that define the element edge. Take as an example a QUAD8, a two-dimensional,
eight-noded, quadratic quadrilateral element with one midside node on each edge. The display of each
374 Patran Reference Manual
Display Concepts and Definitions

edge will be drawn with two line segments; one from the first corner node to the midside node, and one
from the midside node to the second corner node.

QUAD8

Default Number of Line Segments on Edge = 6

Similarly, the default number of display lines on the edges of a QUAD12, a cubic quadrilateral element
with two midside nodes, is three.
It must be emphasized that the display of line segments is strictly a visual tool and has no effect on the
mathematical formulation of elements.

Erasing and Plotting Entities


Erasing selected geometric or finite element entities makes them temporarily invisible. Plotting
redisplays erased entities. Erasure and plotting are global actions; erased entities are removed from every
view, likewise, plotted entities will be restored to every view. Because erased entities are only hidden
from display and not deleted from the database, the results of the erase action will not be saved when you
exit from the database.

Shrinking Entities
Shrinking is another display tool that can help improve visualization. It reduces the screen size of each
geometric or finite element entity separately by a user-selectable shrink factor, defined in model
percentage. For example, when you shrink adjacent solid components that initially touch one another,
they will become separated (each is individually shrunk by the shrink factor). You can then examine
these entities to be sure that each is geometrically correct. Similarly, you can shrink a FEM mesh to
display finite elements more distinctly within the geometric model.
Shrink action is global, it affects all entities in all viewports. Both geometric and FEM shrink are saved
in the database; if you apply shrink to a model and save it upon exiting, you will find the model in the
same saved shrink state when you open it again.

Titles
Especially useful for proposals or presentations, titles and other textual information enhance the display
of the model. Text is inserted into a selected viewport and is related to the viewport only, not to the model
Ch. 8: Display Control 375
Display Concepts and Definitions

nor to the view. Therefore, it remains in position through any view modification (e.g., view panning).
Each viewport may be annotated with different text and titles, however the same text may also be posted
to several viewports.

Coordinate Frames
Local coordinate frames are user-defined coordinate systems, generally created to help build specific
geometry and to evaluate localized results (see also Geometry Modeling, Chapter 3, p. 59). Their
symbols may be displayed or hidden, as desired.

Named Attributes
You can create a named attributes set to save certain changes you made to the geometry or FEM display.
The attributes in the set will then be available any time you work with the model, sparing you from
repeating the display changes.

Spectrums
In Patran, spectrum is a named, ordered set of colors, used for displaying analysis results. For example,
when stress analysis results are superimposed on a model, it is customary to use the colors in the red
family to indicate “hot spots”, or high stress areas, then transition toward the “cool” blue colors where
stresses are low. Spectrums, together with specific range and subrange definitions, interpret the color-
coding of result displays and the underlying numerical values.
Spectrum definition is global; the same spectrum is automatically used in all viewports where analysis
results are displayed.

Ranges
A range is a named collection of ordered subranges that attach numerical meaning to the displayed colors
according to result values. A subrange is generated when the full extent of analysis results (between
defined minimum and maximum values) is divided, automatically or manually, into smaller intervals
with specified starting and ending boundaries. Each subrange is paired with a color in the spectrum. In a
result plot, nodes and elements are shown in the color assigned to the subrange to which their analysis
results belong.
Thresholding cuts down the amount of data utilized for displayed analysis results. It may be used to
eliminate from the result plot those values that fall in the upper or lower extremes of the result range. An
even more important function of thresholding is the ability to delimit a narrow interval, with upper and
lower boundaries, in the vicinity of a particular result value that requires closer examination.
Ranges are not defined globally but linked to viewports. Using this feature, you can simultaneously
display results of multiple analyses (e.g., structural and thermal) with different range definitions in each
viewport.
376 Patran Reference Manual
Display Concepts and Definitions

Color Palette
For all color displays, Patran uses a color table of 16 colors. A named, ordered collection of the 16 colors
in various combinations makes up a Color Palette.
Several pre-defined color palettes exist, the one initially used in a new database is named
standard_colortable. You can modify the currently existing colors to create and store any number of new
color palettes in a database.
The first color in a color palette defines the viewport background color.
Color palettes are global in nature and will affect all viewports, therefore, only one color table can be
active at any one time.

Light Sources
The appearance of shaded surfaces is significantly affected by the nature of light that illuminates them.
You can experiment with some of the light-source control features to see which one will make the model
look even more realistic and visually pleasing.
Patran comes with several existing light source definitions, try them before you introduce new light
sources. If these do not produce the effect you are seeking, you can modify an existing light source or
create any number of new ones.
The characteristic features of light are color, intensity, direction, and the distance of the light source from
the object.
In Patran you can choose among the following types of light sources:
• Ambient--a background light, typically used to provide low level lighting around the model.
• Directional--directional light simulates the effects of sunlight. It is spread uniformly across a
surface and its intensity depends only on the direction of the light not on the distance between
the object and the light source.
• Spot--spot light is typically controlled by the location of the light source as well as the direction
of the light. A characteristic feature of this light source is attenuation, the measure of influence
of the distance between the object and the light source on the intensity of light on the surface. At
attenuation = 0, distance has no significance, and spot light is effectively the same as directional
light.
Ch. 8: Display Control 377
The Display Menu

8.2 The Display Menu


The commands of the Display menu help organize and enhance the appearance of a model.

Menu Conventions
A menu item with ellipses (...) attached to it will call up an additional menu form in which you enter
further data. For more information on using the Display menu forms see Entering and Retrieving Data, 23.
The Display menu functionalities are described below in the order in which they appear.

Entity Color/ Controls colors assigned to entities or groups, turns entity labels on or
Label/Render... off, and defines rendering styles of solid and surface entities.
Plot/Erase... Determines which entities of a model are visible. Erase hides selected
entities from view, Plot redisplays erased entities.

Erase and Plot are global actions that affect the display of all viewports
the same way.
Highlight... Provides a visual accent to a display by changing the color of selected
entities. Highlighting also helps locate entities specified by entity IDs-
-a feature especially useful in a complex model.
Geometry... Controls display attributes that help visualize geometric entities.
Finite Elements... Controls display attributes that help visualize finite element entities.
Load/BC/ Elem. Props... Manages the visibility, colors, and label parameters of the symbols
associated with loads, boundary conditions, and element properties.
Named Attributes... Creates and manages named attribute sets.
Coordinate Frames... Displays or hides symbols of previously defined local coordinate
frames.
Titles... Adds text to viewports.
Spectrums... Generates and manages spectrums and their attributes.
Ranges... Defines ranges, subranges, and thresholds.
Color Palette Establishes customized color tables.
Shading... Sets parameters that affect the shading of a model.
Light Source... Controls lighting attributes, such as the type and position of a light
source and the intensity of light that illuminates model surfaces.
378 Display>Entity Color/Label/Render
Display Commands

8.3 Display Commands


The following is a detailed description of the commands and dialog boxes that affect the appearance of
model entities in viewports.

Display>Entity Color/Label/Render Enhancing the Appearance of


Entities
Display>Entity Color/Label/Render 379
Enhancing the Appearance of Entities

In these dialog boxes you specify rendering styles for solid and surface entities, control the colors
assigned to entities or groups, and turn entity labels on or off.

Entity Type Specifies that actions in this command will target entities by type. The
selected rendering style will apply to all surfaces; similarly, colors and
label On/Off designations will affect all entities within a specific
entity class (e.g., all curves).
Group Specifies that the actions of this command will target entities by group
designation. Displays a dialog box in which you define the rendering
style, color, and label On/Off choice as they apply to members of a
selected group.
380 Display>Entity Color/Label/Render
Enhancing the Appearance of Entities

Render Style Displays a pop-up menu in which you can select a rendering method.

Shade Color Sets the color of shaded solid and surface entities, if Shaded rendering
was selected. This color will not apply if the object is rendered in
wireframe.
Entity Type Colors and Only in Entity mode, it assigns colors to entities by type. Specifies
Labels whether or not labels will be displayed on an entity class.

To change the default color shown for an entity type:

• Click the color chip next to the entity type. This will bring up
the “Color Select” form with all available colors.
• In this form, pick a new color for the entity type.
To specify that entities of a particular type should have their labels
displayed, click in the label toggle (4).
Show/Hide All Entity In the Entity mode dialog box; turns labels on or off for all entities.
Labels
Show Labels In the Group mode dialog box; turns labels on or off for all group
members.
Label Font Size Controls the size of entity labels. Note that the font size change can
take effect only if you specify Software Rendering Mode in the
Graphic Preferences Menu ( see Preferences, 433.).
Display>Plot/Erase 381
Erasing and Redisplaying Entities

Display>Plot/Erase Erasing and Redisplaying Entities

With the Display>Plot/Erase command you can temporarily “hide” (erase) selected entities or redisplay
erased entities (plot).
382 Display>Plot/Erase
Erasing and Redisplaying Entities

Both Erase and Plot are global actions; erased entities are removed from every view and plotted entities
are restored to all views. Since erased entities are only hidden from display and not deleted from the
database, the results of the erase action will not be saved when you exit from the database.

Selected Entities Lists entities selected for erasure. You can type entity ID’s, select them
with the mouse (hold the Shift key for multiple selections), or use any
other select mechanism (see Selecting Entities, 33). The text in this
textbox is editable, you can delete any entity ID you did not intend to
include in the list.
Erase Erases the entities contained in the entity list.
Plot Redisplays erased entities contained in the entity list.
Coord. Frames Brings up the Coordinate Frames dialog box in which you can select
the local coordinate frame(s) you want to display or hide from view.
Display>Plot/Erase 383
Erasing and Redisplaying Entities

Posted Entities
Geometry Erase/Plot Erases or plots all geometric entities.
FEM Erase/Plot Erases or plots all FEM entities.
All Erase/Plot Erases or plots all entities.
384 Display>Highlight
Highlighting Selected Entities

Display>Highlight Highlighting Selected Entities

Use the Display>Highlight command to call attention to specific entities or to locate certain entities by
their ID number. The default highlight color is red. If you want to change the default, you have to go to
the Preferences>Graphics command (see Preferences, 433).

Selected Entities Lists the entities you selected for highlighting. Pick entities using any
of the select mechanisms (multiple pick with the Shift key, polygon
pick, etc. see also Selecting Entities, 33). Alternately, type the name
and ID number of entities. The text in this textbox is editable; you can
correct, add or delete any text.
Highlight Performs the highlight action. You need to click this button only if you
entered entity IDs. If you picked entities with the cursor, they will
highlight immediately.
Clear All Clears the highlights as well as the entries from the textbox, but leaves
the dialog box on the screen.
OK Removes the highlights and the dialog box from the screen (pressing
the Enter key will have the same effect).
Display>Geometry 385
Modifying the Appearance of Geometric Entities

Display>Geometry Modifying the Appearance of Geometric Entities


386 Display>Geometry
Modifying the Appearance of Geometric Entities

The Display>Geometry command lets you change certain display attributes of geometric entities. The
modified display features are saved upon exiting the model and will be recalled when you open the
database again.

Number of Display Lines Specifies the number of display lines used to help visualize solids or
surfaces in Wireframe or Hidden Line rendering (see Hidden Line,
371). By default, the number of display lines = 0, meaning that only
the entity’s boundaries are shown.
Chordal Tolerance Shows the selected chordal tolerance value that controls the precision
of the display of solid geometry (see Chordal Tolerance, 372).
Display>Geometry 387
Modifying the Appearance of Geometric Entities

Geometric Shrink Shows the model percentage by which the display of each geometric
entity will be reduced. At default = 0, no shrinking takes place.
Show Parametric Direction Displays the location and orientation of the parametric axes of
geometric entities. This information may be essential in certain
geometric and finite element applications, for example, the parametric
directions of a surface determine the direction of element normals,
that in turn defines the positive direction of pressure loads on the
surface.
Show Free Faces Shows free faces of solids. This feature is useful when you import
CAD geometry that might contain gaps that will prevent you from
creating acceptable meshes on the model.
Point Size Increases or decreases the display size of geometric points to aid
visualization.
Colors and Labels Controls the colors and label display of geometric entities. This dialog
is the same as in the command Display>Entity Color/Label/Render
(see Display>Entity Color/Label/Render, 378), except it applies only to
geometric entities. The two commands work together, the latest input
in either one will become the prevailing color definition and will show
up in both dialog boxes.
Coordinate Frames Posts or unposts symbols of previously defined local coordinate
frames.

Note: You can save the first five of the geometry attributes in a named attribute set (see Named
Attributes, 375.
388 Display>Finite Elements
Modifying the Appearance of FEM Entities

Display>Finite Elements Modifying the Appearance of FEM Entities


Display>Finite Elements 389
Modifying the Appearance of FEM Entities

The Display>Finite Elements command can change certain display attributes of FEM entities. Modified
display features are saved when you save and exit the model, and will be recalled when you open the
database again.
390 Display>Finite Elements
Modifying the Appearance of FEM Entities

Number of Line Segments Defines the number of line segments used to approximate the
per Edge curvature of element edges. Default=0, which is to be interpreted as
accepting the minimum number of line segments needed to connect
the nodes located on each edge (number of midside nodes plus one).
FEM Shrink Shows the model percentage by which the display of each FEM entity
will be shrunk. At default=0, no shrinking takes place.
Show Only Free
Edges A free edge is a boundary edge of an element that is not shared by at
least one other element. When this toggle is on, only free edges are
displayed. This display tool can help you verify whether there are any
discontinuities in the finite element model.
Faces A free face is an element face that is not shared by at least one other
element. When this toggle is on, only the free faces are displayed. This
too can help you verify the continuity of the finite element model.
Node Size Increases or decreases the display size of nodes to aid visualization.
Colors and Labels Controls the colors and label display of FEM entities. This dialog is
the same as in the command Display>Entity Color/Label/Render
(see Display>Entity Color/Label/Render, 378, except it applies only to
FEM entities. The two commands work together, the latest input in
either one will become the prevailing color definition and will show
up in both dialog boxes.
Coordinate Frames Posts or unposts symbols of previously defined local coordinate
frames.
Connector Attributes Additional Connector display attributes may be defined via the
Connector Attributes form, invoked by selecting this button.

Note: You can save the first five of the FEM attributes in a named attribute set (see Named
Attributes, 375).
Display>Finite Elements 391
Modifying the Appearance of FEM Entities

Connector Attributes Form

Display 2D Markers Use these checkboxes to turn the display of 2D (bars) and 3D (spheres)
Display 3D Markers markers ON/OFF, independent of each other (default ON).
Scale The scale to be applied to the connectors diameter when calculating
the size of the spheres upon display.

If the 3D Marker Size is set to Absolute, then the label of this databox
becomes Diameter, and fixed model space diameter is specified.
Unverified Connectors The color that unverified connectors shall be displayed in. In the event
that the underlying model of a connector is changed (like a remesh),
then the connector will be flagged as Unverified, until it is re-verified.
Such connectors shall be displayed in an alternate color, defined here.
392 Display>Finite Elements
Modifying the Appearance of FEM Entities

Displaying Element Connectivity of Connectors


The element connectivity of a connector may also be displayed via the “Verify” button of the Create and
Modify forms, or via the Show form. This display includes a sphere similar to that described above,
along with a bar representing the axis of the connector, and lines spanning from the pierce grids to the
surface patch grids.

This is a wireframe display only.


The 2D and 3D marker attributes shall be driven by the Connector Attributes form above, except for the
color controls. The highlight colors shall be used instead (the primary highlight color for the
bar/sphere/label, and the secondary highlight color for the “octopus”).
Display>LBC/Element Property Attributes 393
Symbols for Loads, Boundary Conditions, and Element Properties

Display>LBC/Element Property Attributes Symbols for Loads, Boundary


Conditions, and Element
Properties
394 Display>LBC/Element Property Attributes
Symbols for Loads, Boundary Conditions, and Element Properties

With this command you can control the display symbols for loads, boundary conditions, and element
properties.

Load/BCs Controls of load and boundary condition symbols. To change a default


color, click on the color chip, then pick the desired color in the color
table.
Element Properties Controls element property symbols.
Display>LBC/Element Property Attributes 395
Symbols for Loads, Boundary Conditions, and Element Properties

Show on FEM Only Functional assignments, such as loads, boundary conditions, and
element properties may be applied either directly to geometry or to the
finite element model. By default, all symbols are displayed and
positioned at the entities to which they had been applied. If this toggle
is on, only those symbols are displayed that represent loads, boundary
conditions, or element properties applied to FEM entities.
Show LBC/ El. Property Certain loads and boundary conditions, and some element properties
Vectors are vector entities and their symbols are directed arrows. Generally,
their numerical values are also displayed. If you turn this option OFF,
both the vectors and the numbers will be turned OFF.
Show LBC/ El. Property If you turn this OFF, but keep the Vectors on, the symbols will be
Values displayed but not the numerical values.
Vectors/Filters Displays the Vector Attributes dialog box in which you can select the
length and color properties of display vectors. Optionally, you can
also stipulate that vectors be displayed according to some filtering
mechanism, e.g., if the numeric value they represent exceeds some
specified minimum.
Label Style Displays the Label Style dialog box that provides options for the
display format of the numerical values of functional assignments.
Beam Display Presents various options for identifying and displaying beam
elements.
Display Pin DOFs If ON, displays the degrees of freedom of the pinned connection.
Display Spring DOFs If ON, displays the degrees of freedom assigned to a spring element.
396 Display>LBC/Element Property Attributes
Symbols for Loads, Boundary Conditions, and Element Properties

Vector Attributes
In this dialog box you can designate length, color, and filtering characteristics for the vectors that
represent loads, boundary conditions, or certain element properties.
Display>LBC/Element Property Attributes 397
Symbols for Loads, Boundary Conditions, and Element Properties

Vector Length
Constant - The length of the vector symbols is constant. When you use this option
Screen Relative/ all vectors are of the same length; for example, a vector that represents
a 100 lb force will be just as long as the one that represents a 1,000 lb
Model Relative force.

Vector lengths may be proportional either to the screen display or to


the dimensions of the model.
Scaled - The length of the vector symbols is scaled. In this case, the vector that
Screen Relative represents the 1,000 lb force will be displayed as ten times the length
of the 100 lb force vector.
Model Relative
Vector lengths may be proportional either to the screen display or to
the dimensions of the model.
Scale Factor Enter a scale factor to be used when the vectors are scaled.
Vector Coloring
Same for All Vectors are shown in their actual direction in the colors specified in
the LBC/Elem. Properties dialog box.
Component This option displays the X, Y, and Z components of the vectors in the
colors defined in this dialog box.
Colors Select the display colors for vector components and the resultant
vector.
LBC/El. Prop. Filter With this option you can reduce some screen clutter by displaying
only those vectors that are associated with values that meet some
boundary requirements.

• None--display all vectors (default).


• Show Between Min/Max--only display the vectors whose
associated value falls between a lower and upper boundary.
• Show Below Max--only display the vectors whose associated
value is below a specified maximum.
• Show Above Min--only display the vectors whose associated
value is above a specified minimum.
398 Display>LBC/Element Property Attributes
Symbols for Loads, Boundary Conditions, and Element Properties

Label Style
Label style refers to the display format of the numerical values attached to symbols.

Label Format
Fixed The numbers are displayed in a decimal format.
Exponential The numbers are displayed in exponential format.
Integer The numbers are displayed as integers.
Significant Figures When using decimal or exponential format, you can specify the desired
number of significant figures either with the slider or by typing it in the
textbox.
Display>LBC/Element Property Attributes 399
Symbols for Loads, Boundary Conditions, and Element Properties

Beam Display
This attribute controls the way beam elements of a mesh (e.g., on the edge of a plate) are displayed on
the screen.

1D:Line Elements are drawn as lines. Element properties (defined in the


Properties application), such as offsets and beam section shape, are not
displayed.
1D:Line + Offsets Elements are drawn as lines. Offsets are also displayed.
2D:Mid-Span Beam section shape is displayed at the mid-span location of each beam
element.

2D:Mid-Span + Offsets Beam section shape is displayed at the mid-span location of each beam
element. Offsets are also shown.
3D:Full Span Beam section shape is displayed over the full span of elements.
3D:Full Span + Offsets Beam section shape is displayed over the full span of elements. Offsets
are also drawn.

Note: In 3D options, the beam sections are rendered in the rendering style specified for the model
with the Display>Entity/Color/Label/Render command.
400 Display>Named Attributes
Creating and Managing Named Attribute Sets

Display>Named Attributes Creating and Managing Named Attribute Sets

Use the Display>Named Attributes command to create, rename, or delete a unique set of display
attributes that you wish to recall during other work sessions with the current model.

Select Current Set Lists the existing attributes set names. Two default sets, general and
simple already exist. After you create a new set, its name will appear
in this area. Pick the attribute set you want to use.
Current/New Set If you pick an existing set, its name will appear here. To crate a new
Named Attribute set:

• Delete the name in this textbox


• Enter a new name
• Press Create
• Use various Display menu functions to select the attributes you
want to include in the set. All selections will be applied to the new
attribute set.
Display>Named Attributes 401
Creating and Managing Named Attribute Sets

Rename Renames a selected attribute set.


Delete Deletes a selected attribute set.
402 Display> Coordinate Frames
Displaying User-defined Coordinate Frames

Display> Coordinate Frames Displaying User-defined Coordinate Frames

In the Display>Coordinate Frames dialog box you can select one or more previously defined local
coordinate frames for posting.

Post/Unpost Coordinate Lists the names and IDs of currently defined coordinate frames. Select
Frame(s) the coordinate frame you want to display, or “post”. For multiple
selections, hold down the Shift key to pick names listed consecutively,
or the Ctrl key to pick non-consecutive names.
Post/Unpost All Displays all coordinate frames, or removes all coordinates from the
screen.
Select Coordinate Frame(s) Provides another way of selecting one or more coordinate frames for
posting. Type the ID of the coordinate frame or pick it with the cursor.
Use the Shift key for multiple selection.
Display>Titles 403
Adding Text to Viewports

Display>Titles Adding Text to Viewports

With the Display>Titles command you can create and modify titles and other text displayed in a
viewport.

Post/Unpost Titles Lists defined titles. To insert existing text into the viewport, select the
text you want then pick the viewport in which it will be displayed. The
text will be placed at the upper left portion of the viewport. You can
drag it to any other part of the viewport, as long as the Titles dialog
box is on the screen.

Text cannot be dragged outside the viewport.


Target Title This textbox will contain the text you want to create/insert or edit.
404 Display>Titles
Adding Text to Viewports

Post New Title Automatically displays the new text you typed as soon as you select
Create or press the Enter key.
Create Inserts text in a selected viewport. To create new text or title:

• Enter the new text in the Target Title textbox


• Press Enter or select Create
• ONce displayed in the viewport, drag the new text to the
desired location.
Rename Lets you edit textual information. To change text already on the
screen:

• Click on the text you want to edit; the text will be entered in
the Target Title textbox.
• Press Rename. The Rename dialog box will appear.
• Enter the new text and press Apply.

Delete Deletes text from the screen.

• Click on the text you want to delete; the text will be entered in
the Target Title textbox.
• Press Delete. The following message will appear:

• Press Yes to confirm.


Title Color Assigns a color to the new text string. This selection will not affect the
titles already on the screen.
Font Size Assigns a font size to the new text that you are creating. This selection
will not affect the titles already on the screen.
Display>Spectrums 405
Creating and Managing Spectrums

Display>Spectrums Creating and Managing Spectrums


406 Display>Spectrums
Creating and Managing Spectrums

With the Display>Spectrums command you can define new spectrums or modify existing ones for
displaying analysis results.
Display>Spectrums 407
Creating and Managing Spectrums

Current Spectrum Lists the names of all spectrums defined in the database and highlights
the currently used spectrum. Patran software comes with several
predefined spectrums.
Create Creates a new spectrum by placing the colors in the standard spectrum
in a different order. When you press this button, a subordinate dialog
box will appear in which you can specify the new spectrum attributes.

Number of Colors Specifies the number of colors in the new spectrum; this number must
be between 3 and 16.

Because the minimum number of subranges is 2, the minimum number


of colors in a spectrum is 3 (number of subranges +1).

Note that after a spectrum has been created, the number of colors
cannot be modified.
Spectrum Attributes
Continuous Color Displays the color bar in the viewport as a continuum of colors without
the separation lines.
Interpolation Factor Controls interpolation between any two colors in a continuous-display
spectrum. The default value of 2.0, representing quadratic
interpolation, is generally acceptable.
Spectrum/ Color Table The left-hand column is for defining the new spectrum, the right-hand
column is the standard color table. To change the definition of a color
button:

• In the Spectrum column, pick the button you want to modify


• In the Color Table, pick the color for the redefined spectrum color
• Repeat for all colors you want to change.
408 Display>Ranges
Defining Ranges and Sub-ranges for Results Display

Display>Ranges Defining Ranges and Sub-ranges for Results Display

All of the data entered on the Range form is now stored in the Patran database. This is most useful for
customizing the range labels and for defining ranges that automatically update to fit the current results
data being plotted. You can choose from several different methods to generate the range intervals. Your
method choices and all associated data are stored in the Patran database. The results plotting tool then
uses these setting to regenerate the range intervals based on the current results data and the Method and
parameters you defined for the range.
Display>Ranges 409
Defining Ranges and Sub-ranges for Results Display

The Display Ranges form shown below allows you to create and manage named range definitions that
associate numerical intervals to the colors of the current spectrum and are used to color code data in a
plot.

The options listed in the Action pull down menu located at the upper left corner of the Ranges form allow
you to set the forms operational mode. The operations are Create, Copy, Modify, Assign to Viewport,
and Delete.
• Create allows you to create a new range definition.
410 Display>Ranges
Defining Ranges and Sub-ranges for Results Display

• Copy allows you to make a copy of an existing range definition, with a new name. This copy can
be your starting point for a new range definition.
• Modify allows you to change the definition of an existing range.
• Assign to Viewport lets you select an existing range to be used for the current or any existing
Viewport.
• Delete allows you to delete one or more existing range definitions. Each Action option is fully
described in the sections that follow.

Create Creates a new Range


Range Names

The options located in the Range Names frame allow you to specify
the name of the new range. You can either enter a new name into the
New Range name edit box or select an existing range name by
pressing the Existing Ranges button. If you select an existing range
name the Ranges form will be updated to show the definition of the
range you selected. This method us typically selected if you want to
use an existing range as the starting point for your new range creation.
You will need to change the selected range name if you do not want
the exiting range definition to be over written.
Display>Ranges 411
Defining Ranges and Sub-ranges for Results Display

Data Methods

Data Methods define the algorithm that you would like to use to create
the range intervals.
Algorithms Auto: Auto is the algorithm used in the previous versions of the
Ranges form, with new capabilities added to the Fit Results function.
These new capabilities will be described below. A typical use scenario
for the Auto option is to first enter the number of sub-ranges for the
new range you are creating and then press the Fit Results button to
map result values into the range spread sheet as a starting point for
defining the new range intervals.

When you press the Fit Results button the Existing Plots form will
appear. This form has been added for this release. Previously the result
values of the current range tool would be loaded into the Ranges
spreadsheet. Now you can select any existing posted or unposted plot.
The selected plot’s results values to be loaded into the Ranges spread
sheet. After selecting an existing plot press the Apply button to cause
your selection to be set and to close the Existing Plots form. Next,
press the Calculate button to update the spread sheet, the Start and End
Value edit boxes with the result values of the plot you selected. You
can now modify the Start and End values and then to press the
Calculate button again to update the spreadsheet relative to your
changes.
412 Display>Ranges
Defining Ranges and Sub-ranges for Results Display

Delta: The Delta method requires you to enter the Number of Sub-
ranges, Start, and Delta values. The new range intervals will be created
beginning at the Start Value, having subinterval lengths of Delta size,
and will extend from the Start Value to an end value defined by the
product of the number of intervals and Delta length.

Cluster: Range intervals can be created using a Cluster Algorithm.


The steps the algorithm performs are described below:

1) The data is sorted in ascending order.

2) Starting with the minimum value the distance between it and the
next value is compared to the current Bin Size. The units of the Bin
Size and distance values are defined by the Bin Method, which can be
set to either Percent or Delta value units. If the distance is less than or
equal to the Bin Size the second value is contained in the first range
interval. If the distance is larger than the Bin Size the data value
defines the first data value to be included in the next range interval.

Step 2 is repeated using the initial value included in the new range
subinterval as the value to be compared with values that are greater
than it. This process stops when either the last data value is compared
and included in a range interval or the number of intervals exceeds the
Number of Sub-ranges values set by the user. If the number of sub-
ranges exceeds the Number of Sub-ranges than the process exits if
Failure Recovery is set to None.

If the Failure Recovery is set to Revert to Auto than the Number of


Sub-ranges is automatically increased to the number of sub-ranges
that are needed to map the data set into cluster sub-intervals.
Display>Ranges 413
Defining Ranges and Sub-ranges for Results Display

Manual: The Manual Algorithm allows you to define the range


subintervals by entering values into the Values column of the range
spreadsheet. The Manual Aids option gives you a choice of how you
enter this data.

None: You must enter all of the values. No values are calculated for
you, nor are any values automatically copied to other cells.

From and To: You must enter the From and To values for each range
interval. The Middle value is calculated for you and entered
automatically.

From gets To: You must enter the From values for each range
interval. The To values are set to the adjacent interval’s From values.
The Middle values are also calculated and set automatically for you.

To gets From: You must enter the To values for each range interval.
The From values are set to the adjacent interval’s To values. The
Middle values are also calculated and set automatically for you.

Middle only: You must enter each range interval’s Middle value.
Simple arithmetic averaging of adjacent interval Middle values is used
to define the To and From values that occur between adjacent Middle
values.

Mid +/- Delta and Mid +/ %: You must enter each range interval’s
Middle value and a single delta value. The interval’s From and To
values will be calculated by adding and subtracting the delta value
from the interval’s Middle value respectively. The value is either the
value you entered or the product of the decimal equivalent of the
percent integer you entered and the current Middle value. You can
change the Delta or Delta Percent Value at any time. This will only
affect intervals set after the change. Intervals already defined will not
be affected by the change.

From + Delta and From + %: You must enter each range interval’s
From value and a single delta value. The interval’s To value will be
calculated by adding the value to its From value. The value is either
the value you entered or the product of the decimal equivalent of the
percent integer you entered and the current From value. The Middle
value is calculated and set automatically for you.
414 Display>Ranges
Defining Ranges and Sub-ranges for Results Display

To + Delta and To + %: You must enter each range interval’s To


value and a single delta value. The interval’s From value will be
calculated by add the value to its To value. The value is either the
value you entered or the product of the decimal equivalent of the
percent integer you entered and the current To value. The Middle
value is calculated and set automatically for you.

Note on Manual Aids: During the process of defining the range


intervals, you may switch between the various Manual Aids and use
the currently selected Manual Aid for subsequent interval definitions.
Delta Log: You must enter the range start value and a delta log value
that will be used as the exponent of the base ten multiplier (i.e. 10delta)
used to determine the interval’s end value. For example, a Delta Log
value of 0.5 and a Starting Value of 1.0 will produce a range starting
at 1.0 and increasing by a factor of 10 every 2 intervals.
Thresholds

The Auto, Delta, and Delta Log Data Methods Algorithms allow you
to define Range Thresholds. Thresholding allows you to manually
define the size of the upper and lower range intervals. The remaining
intervals are located between these and defined by the Data Method
Algorithm you chose to use. A typical use of Thresholding is to
temporarily redefine the range to focus on a subset of result values to
determine where these occur with in the simulation model. The upper
and lower threshold values can be defined entering a result value or a
percent value. If a result value is entered then the lower and upper
intervals will be defined to have a length of minimum result value to
lower value and upper value to maximum result value respectively.

The Use Percentages toggle allows you to define the thresholds in


terms of the interval between the lower and upper range values before
thresholding. Negative Percent Values produce lower thresholds
below the lower range value. Percent Values greater than 100%
produce threshold values above the upper range value. Percent values
between 0% and 100% produce threshold values between the lower
and upper range values.
Display>Ranges 415
Defining Ranges and Sub-ranges for Results Display

Attributes

Allow Overwrite: If turned off this option will not allow the range’s
definition to be modified when attributes of a tool that uses it are
changed. This is to prevent accidental overwriting of your range by an
auto-ranging result plot.

Force Result Update: This option must be used in conjunction with


the Allow Overwrite option. It causes the range definition to be
modified if the results value associated to a plot that uses the range is
changed. This toggle causes the range intervals to be recalculated
every time the range is used. It does not work in conjunction with the
Manual Data Method. For the other Data Methods (Auto, Delta,
Cluster and Delta Log) the Data Method, relevant data values and
thresholding settings have been saved in the Patran database. These
setting will be used to automatically regenerate the range intervals
based on the result data values being plotted each time.

Post When Used: This option causes the range to be posted to the
Viewport if a results tool that is posted in a Viewport references it.
416 Display>Ranges
Defining Ranges and Sub-ranges for Results Display

General Information You can now customize Range labels. You can now control labels for
Concerning Range Labels values inside and outside the range as well as labels for values that fall
with in the maximum to minimum range bounds but do not map to an
interval within the range. Any combination of these labels can be
toggled on/off. Range labels can now include prefix and suffix text
that can be applied to all subinterval labels. Custom labels can be
defined for any label by pressing in its Custom button. Once this is
done the label becomes editable by the user. The following sections
describe the four sections of the Range form that contain the range
label controls offered to the user.
Display>Ranges 417
Defining Ranges and Sub-ranges for Results Display

Label Display

Label Display allows you to control the display of the To, Middle, and
From labels of each interval with in the range. For the Middle label
you can define a tolerance style format using the Tolerance option.
The choices of Tolerance are described below:

None: Standard label formatting is used.

+/- Delta: The label will appear as the middle value plus the value if
added and subtracted from the middle value would derive the
interval’s From and To values respectively.

+/- Delta: The label will appear as the middle value plus a percent of
the middle value that if it were added or subtracted from the middle
would derive the interval’s From and To values respectively.

From:To This option allows you to label the interval at its middle
location with the From and To values that define the extent of the
interval.

When the Use All Custom Labels button is pressed, labels that you
have not customized (i.e. the Custom button for the label is depressed)
will be turned on regardless of the state of its To/Middle/From toggle
button that globally turns on/off the labels at these range interval
positions.
418 Display>Ranges
Defining Ranges and Sub-ranges for Results Display

Label Controls

Reset All: If this button is pressed all the Custom buttons associated
to the labels will be turned off and the custom text you have entered
will be deleted.

Prefix/Suffix: If text is entered in these boxes it will globally appear


in the front and at the end of all labels that do not have their Custom
button turned on.

No Data: This edit box allows you to define text that will decorate the
range and spectrum interval used to show the regions of the model
where no analysis data is available.
Label Style

Label Style controls are used to define the format and color of the
range labels. The range labels are now styled independent from the
plot’s value labels. The range label color, font size, format (i.e. fixed,
exponential, integer) and number of significant digits can be
controlled.
Display>Ranges 419
Defining Ranges and Sub-ranges for Results Display

No Matching Sub-range

The options included in this section of the form let you control a
special range interval that is used to represent result values that do not
belong to any of the range intervals. The various Use Sub-range
options are as follows.

Default: This option turns off the special No Matching Sub-range


interval. If results data exists that is not mapped to one of the range
intervals than the regions of the model that contain these values are
colored as follows. If the values exist beyond the ends of the range the
region of the model where these values exist is rendered with the end
spectrum color it exceeds. If the values are inside the minimum and
maximum bounds of the range than the no data color is used for model
rendering.

Start – End: This options turns on the special No Matching Sub-


range interval. The Label edit box becomes active allowing you
define the label for this special range interval. If results data exists that
is not mapped to one of the range intervals than the regions of the
model that contain these values are colored as follows. If the values
exist beyond the ends of the range the region of the model where these
values exist is rendered with the end spectrum color it exceeds. If the
values are inside the minimum and maximum bounds of the range than
you are allowed to define the color that is used for their rendering.

First / Last / No Data: These options turn off the special No


Matching Sub-range interval. If results data exists that is not mapped
to one of the range intervals than the regions of the model that contain
these values are rendered with the first, last, or no data spectrum color
according to your selection of First, Last, or No Data.

Outside: This options turns on the special No Matching Sub-range


interval. The Label edit box becomes active allowing you define the
label for this special range interval. If results data exists that is not
mapped to one of the range intervals than the regions of the model that
contain these values are rendered with the color you have selected
420 Display>Ranges
Defining Ranges and Sub-ranges for Results Display

Copy

Existing range definitions can be copied. To perform a copy first set


the Ranges form Action pull down option menu to Copy. Next, press
the Existing Ranges button and select an existing range by
highlighting its name and pressing the Apply button at the bottom of
the Existing Ranges form. Finally, enter a new name in the New
Range Name edit box and press the Apply button at the bottom of the
Ranges form.
Modify An existing range definition can be modified. To modify an existing
range first set the Ranges form’s Action pull down option menu to
Modify. Next, press the Existing Ranges button and select an existing
range by highlighting its name and pressing the Apply button at the
bottom of the Existing Ranges form. You are now free to alter any part
of the range’s current definition. When you are finished simply press
the Apply button at the bottom of the form to save your changes.

You can also modify existing ranges by using the Create Action of the
Ranges form but you will always be asked to verify that you would
like to apply your changes to the existing range.
Display>Ranges 421
Defining Ranges and Sub-ranges for Results Display

Assign to Viewport

The Action option, Assign to Viewport, allows you to pick an existing


range to be assigned to any existing Viewport. When you perform this
operation the model will be re-rendered in the viewport using the
assigned range definition to define the value-color mapping. This
assignment may also be set from the Viewport > Modify, Attributes,
Change Range ... sub-form.
422 Display>Ranges
Defining Ranges and Sub-ranges for Results Display

Delete

To delete an existing range definition just set the Ranges form Action
pull down option menu to Delete. Select the existing ranges you
would like to delete by first pressing the Existing Ranges button,
highlighting the range names you would like to delete, and then
pressing the Apply button at the bottom of the Existing Ranges form.
Display>Color Palette 423
Creating and Managing Color Configurations

Display>Color Palette Creating and Managing Color Configurations


424 Display>Color Palette
Creating and Managing Color Configurations

In the Display>Color Palette dialog box you can customize all colors used in the current database.

Current Color Palette Lists the name of all Color Palettes that exist in the database and
highlights the currently used Color Palette. Patran provides the
following three default color tables: gray_scale, rgb_colortable and
standard_colortable.
Color Table Displays the 16 colors of the current color palette. The color at the top
of the column determines the background color of viewport displays.

To change a color, click on the color chip then use one of the
modification methods to create the effect you want.
Display>Color Palette 425
Creating and Managing Color Configurations

Color Table Modifications You can choose between two methods of modifying colors:

• HLS--creates and fine tunes a color based on its three perceptual


attributes, hue, lightness, and saturation.
• RGB--Creates new colors by varying the amount of red, green, and
blue they contain.
Hue Hue is an attribute of color that can be perceived as moving through
the spectrum as it extends around the color wheel, proceeding
clockwise from red (0o) through yellow, green, blue, then back to red
(360o). The range of the slider is 360o.
Lightness Lightness is an attribute of color that measures the amount of
transmitted or reflected light and controls the intensity of a selected
hue. It ranges from 0 to 1, where 0 makes all hues appear close to black
and 1 brings colors close to white.
Saturation Saturation controls the vividness of a color. At a saturation of 0 a color
is dull and grayish, at higher saturation values colors become brighter.
RGB Use the slidebar to regulate the percentage of the red, green, and blue
contained in a color.
426 Display>Shading
Controlling the Appearance of Light on Surfaces

Display>Shading Controlling the Appearance of Light on Surfaces


Display>Shading 427
Controlling the Appearance of Light on Surfaces

The Display>Shading command controls the way light interacts with surfaces displayed in shaded
rendering.

Texture Gives a textured appearance to surfaces. For smooth surfaces the


texture = 0, a value of 1.0 on the slidebar makes the surface look
rough.
Transparency Controls the amount of light that passes through a shaded object. If
transparency = 0, no light passes through and the object is opaque, at
a value of 1.0 the object becomes totally transparent.
428 Display>Shading
Controlling the Appearance of Light on Surfaces

Specular Reflection Sets the degree of light reflection in an object’s specular region, the
area of the surface that is normal to the light source. If this value = 1,
all light will be reflected in the specular region.
Diffuse Reflection Controls the degree of reflection throughout the surface of the whole
object. At higher values more of the surface area will be lighted. If this
setting is low and the specular reflection is high, the object will appear
brightly lit where the light is normal to the surface then the light will
dissipate all over the surface.
Highlight Size Illustrates the relative sizes of specular regions on surfaces.
Specular Color Specifies whether the color of the object or the color of the light source
will affect the color of the specular area.
Display>Light Source 429
Managing the Illumination of Surfaces

Display>Light Source Managing the Illumination of Surfaces


430 Display>Light Source
Managing the Illumination of Surfaces

With the Display>Light Source command you can create new light sources and control the light that
affects the shading of surfaces.

Post/Unpost Light Sources Lists all light sources defined in the database and highlights the
currently active (posted) light source(s). Pick the name of a light
source to post it. For multiple selections, hold down the Shift key to
pick consecutively listed items, use the Ctrl key for names not listed
consecutively.
Target Light Source Identifies the light source selected for modifications.
Display>Light Source 431
Managing the Illumination of Surfaces

Create Creates a new, named light source. Displays a subordinate dialog box,
in which you enter the name and select the type of the light source.

Delete Deletes a selected light source.


Light Source Attributes
Move with Model If this toggle is on the light source maintains its orientation relative to
the model even if the view undergoes transformations., such as
panning or rotation.
Show Direction Icon If this toggle is on the cone-shaped symbol of the light source will be
drawn at its specified location. The light originates at the tip of the
cone and travels out at the base in the direction aligned with the cone’s
axis of symmetry.

Direction Displays the coordinates of the end point of the light direction vector.
Location Displays the coordinates of the light source location (the start of the
light direction vector).
Color Shows the color of light selected for the target light source.
Intensity Controls the intensity of the light from low (0.0) to high (1.0).
Attenuation Applied to spot lights only, it controls the change in intensity based on
the distance of the light source from the object.
Opposing Light Sources When displaying surface entities, for each posted light source an
opposing light source is created to illuminate those faces whose
surface normals point away from the light source.
432 Display>Light Source
Managing the Illumination of Surfaces
Ch. 9: Preferences Patran Reference Manual

9 Preferences


Preferences Concepts and Definitions 434

The Preferences Menu 437

Preferences Commands 439
434 Patran Reference Manual
Preferences Concepts and Definitions

9.1 Preferences Concepts and Definitions


Preferences establish parameters that affect an entire modeling and analysis process. Whenever you start
a new database, the New Model Preferences dialog box is displayed in which you can set certain initial
parameters for the model (for more information, see Modifying Preferences, 69). As you continue your
work, you can specify additional preferences in the areas of graphic displays, geometric construction, and
finite element modeling and analysis. Some options you choose in the Preferences menu are applied
immediately, others, however will not take effect until after you exited the current work session and
restarted Patran.
Several preferences have their equivalents in specific application commands where you can override the
preferenced parameter. The override, however, will apply to that one instance only, for subsequent
operations the parameter will return to its default value as defined in the Preferences menu. For example,
the Preferences menu establishes a default construction plane. In the course of building a model,
however, you may select a different construction plane for placing a circle. Once the circle has been
created, the construction plane will revert to its Preferences menu default. If all later geometry is to be
located relative to the newly selected construction plane, consider changing the default in the Preferences
menu.

Analysis Codes
Analysis codes are the finite element programs you use to perform the analysis. Possible analysis codes
include MD Nastran (default), MSC.Marc, and various others may also be accessible. The analysis code
you pick here depends on what is available at your site.
Finite element analysis codes have their own specific way of defining components of a FEM model and
of formatting analysis input and output data. Therefore, the code you select will also determine the
following:
• available analysis type
• element type, shape, and property definitions
• material property definitions
• applicable loads and boundary conditions
• code-specific forms in the Analysis application.

Analysis Types
The analysis code you selected also determines which kind of finite element analysis can be accessed.
Structural, thermal, and fluid dynamics analyses are the most frequently used types available for most
analysis code applications.

Changing Analysis Codes


You can change the analysis code preference at any time during the modeling process. Keep in mind that
changing the analysis code changes; code-specific forms in the Analysis application, available analysis
types, element types, and element and material property definitions. If you decide to change the analysis
Ch. 9: Preferences 435
Preferences Concepts and Definitions

code, Patran will transfer as much code-specific data as possible to the new code according to the
Preference Mapping option you select.

Preference Mapping
Patran offers three mapping options each providing a unique level of conversion and user control.
1. Mapping Functions - Running a series of PCL commands, you can produce customized mapping
tables that you use when switching from one analysis code to another. These mapping tables
precisely define how element properties and material properties are translated from one particular
code to another.
2. Legacy Mapping - This option employs default mapping tables such that the most obvious data is
mapped to the new code and the more complex data is left untouched. Earlier versions of Patran
were limited to this default mapping.
3. No Mapping - Using this option the database remains unchanged when switching from one
analysis code to another. No mapping of any kind is done. The advantage to this option is that you
can change preferences, perhaps just to see what capabilities a code has, without changing the
model.
The mapping option you select will depend on the issues pertinent to your model and to the analysis
codes. For example: 1) do the fem entities (nodes, elements, mpc’s) map over correctly; 2) are there
equivalent loads and boundary conditions, contact, material and element properties; 3) are there
equivalent analysis procedures, and will they convert correctly when you change the analysis preference?

Model Tolerance
Tolerance specifies the maximum distance within which two like entities (e.g., nodes), are said to be
coincident. Tolerance, being a global parameter, remains valid for both geometric and FEM construction.
The same tolerance value will apply to geometric entities imported in a CAD database.
Model tolerance may be specified as an absolute number (normally 0.005) or it may be based on the
maximum model size. In the latter case, the recommended tolerance is 0.05% of the expected maximum
model size. However, you may specify a different tolerance depending on how accurately the imported
geometry was constructed.

Warning Messages
Occasionally Patran issues a warning in conjunction with a command or entity selection. Warning
messages are output to the history window and to the session file and, by default, are also shown on the
screen. You may choose to sound just a warning bell rather than the screen display, or omit warning
notifications altogether.
436 Patran Reference Manual
Preferences Concepts and Definitions

Hardware Rendering
If your system is set up to access a hardware graphics device for graphics displays (The settings.pcl file,
47) you can choose to render shaded images through that device. Hardware generation of images
typically takes less time but, in general, software rendering is more accurate and even offers more display
options (e.g., texturing effects).

Representing Geometry
In earlier versions of Patran (e.g., PATRAN 2), curves, surfaces, and solids were created as parametric
cubic, bicubic, and tricubic geometry. An option in the Preferences Geometry dialog box enables you to
create parametric cubic geometry that can be exported to a neutral file.

Model Units
The vehicle that Patran uses to create solid geometry is a modeler named Parasolid. Parasolid assumes
model units in meters. Although Patran is “unitless” (dimensions can be interpreted in any unit system),
because of Parasolid, a scale factor is used when creating solid geometry ( see Parasolid Model Units,
162). The default scale factor is set in the Preferences menu.
Ch. 9: Preferences 437
The Preferences Menu

9.2 The Preferences Menu


The commands of the Preferences menu define global parameters that affect the entire modeling and
analysis process.

Menu Conventions
A menu item with ellipses (...) attached to it calls up an additional dialog box in which you enter further
data.

Preferences

Analysis...
Global...
Graphics...
Mouse...
Picking...
Report...
Geometry...
Finite Element...
438 Patran Reference Manual
The Preferences Menu

The Preferences menu functionalities are described below in the order in which they appear.

Analysis... Selects the finite element analysis code and the type of analysis that
will be performed.

This form also specifies code-dependent suffixes attached to the


names of analysis input and output (results) files. These attachments
are required for identification by Patran file management and by
certain analysis code interfaces.
Global... Specifies the following globally significant parameters.

• Enables or disables the “revert” operation.


• Provides options for the display of warning messages when certain
conditions exist.
• Designates a previously defined coordinate frame as default for
model construction .
• Selects the default construction plane within the specified
coordinate frame.
• Sets the global tolerance value.
Graphics... Controls certain graphic display parameters:

• Manipulates view settings (fits views, locates view centers).


• Specifies whether hardware rendering will be used for the display
of shaded images.
• Defines highlight colors to be used to identify entities selected for
an operation and to identify entities associated with an error
condition.
• Selects the type, size, and color of markers used in geometry and in
FEM (e.g., in equivalencing).
Mouse... Programs the middle mouse button to perform view transformations,
such as rotation, pan, or zoom.
Picking... Controls the way entities may be selected from the screen.
Report... Specifies the format of numerical entries in the results output file.
Geometry... Selects the convention followed in representing geometric entities and
some of their attributes in the database.
Finite Element... Controls certain meshing characteristics and attributes associated with
equivqlnced nodes.
Preferences>Analysis 439
Preferences Commands

9.3 Preferences Commands


The following is a detailed description of the commands and dialog boxes that manage global
preferences.

Preferences>Analysis Selecting/Changing the Analysis Code


and Type

With the Preferences>Analysis command you specify the analysis code you will use to run the finite
element analysis calculations and select the kind of analysis you want to perform. Setting the Analysis
Preference activates code-specific definitions in the Patran database.

Analysis Code Specifies the analysis program used for analyzing the model.

Analysis Type Identifies the type of analysis that will be performed.


440 Preferences>Analysis
Selecting/Changing the Analysis Code and Type

Input File Suffix Displays the file name extension used by the analysis code to identify
a finite element input data file.
Output File Suffix Displays the file name extension used by the analysis code to identify
a finite element result (output) data file.
Preferences>Analysis 441
Selecting/Changing the Analysis Code and Type

Changing the Analysis Preference


If you elect to change the analysis code during the modeling process, the Analysis Preference form will
include options for mapping code-specific data from the original analysis code to the new analysis code.

Preference Mapping
• Mapping Functions Using PCL generated mapping tables, you can convert many of the
complex parts of the code-specific model from one analysis code to
another. In particular, mapping functions allow for the mapping of
element and material properties.
Mapping functions do not include converting contact conditions or
analysis procedures. These parameters change so extensively from
one code to another that generic mapping procedures are not
possible. It is possible to write your own specific PCL functions that
would map contact conditions or analysis procedures from one
specific code to another specific code. These PCL functions can
then be attached in the mapping procedure.
442 Preferences>Analysis
Selecting/Changing the Analysis Code and Type

• Legacy Mapping Legacy Mapping converts the most obvious code-specific


definitions such as, elements types, and basic loads and boundary
conditions, to the corresponding definitions in the new analysis
code. The more complex parts of the model such as, mpcs, shell
thicknesses, material orientations, and nonlinear material models
are not converted.
• No Mapping Selecting the No Mapping option leaves your database unchanged
when switching to a new analysis code. This option may be
appropriate when simply evaluating the capabilities of alternative
analysis codes, or in a case where your model contains very generic
model definitions.

Mapping Functions
Patran uses mapping tables to convert code-specific definitions from one analysis code to another. These
mapping tables are specific to the old and new analysis codes and separate mapping tables are required
for material properties and element properties.
A limited number of mapping tables are included in the Patran delivery. These mapping tables have been
generated as part of included example problems or generated to map previously supported analysis
solvers over to currently supported solvers. For example, the mapping tables for mapping from the MD
Nastran Preference to the MSC.Marc Preference are included and an example illustrates the full model
conversion between these solvers. In addition, you can access the MSC website under Product Updates
for the latest information on mapping tables.
Material property mapping tables and element property mapping tables are generated through separate
procedures that involve using spreadsheets to define translation instructions, converting spreadsheets to
PCL functions, then compiling those into the system to be executed during a preference change.
Once these mapping tables are generated they can be used repeatedly to switch between analysis codes.

Important: rocedure. Information in the Patran database that pertains to the old analysis code is
overwritten with information for the new analysis code.

Property Set Spreadsheets


The Property Set Spreadsheet is composed of four sections. The first section defines the analysis code
and type. The second section is a list of all the property sets defined for the specified analysis code and
type. Every row represents one of the possible Element Property Forms. The third section is a list of all
property words and IDs used for the given analysis code and type as well as whether the word is required,
the default type, possible types and allowable values. The last section shows the valid property words for
each property set.
Property set spreadsheets are tab-delimited files. You can open them in Excel to view and edit them.
There are two points to remember. First, the fields should be defined as “text” in order to keep large
Preferences>Analysis 443
Selecting/Changing the Analysis Code and Type

numbers from converting incorrectly. When opening the text file, Excel presents a form for converting
the data. Verify that “Delimited” is selected. Then hit “Next” and verify that “Tab” is the selected
delimiter. Then hit “Next” once more, select all the columns and choose “Text” as the “Data Format”.
Then hit “Finish”. The second point to remember is that spreadsheets read by Patran need to be tab
delimited text files. Therefore, when saved out of Excel, they need to be saved as text files rather than
Excel files. (The .xls file extension used above is just a convenient way to launch Excel.)
444 Preferences>Analysis
Selecting/Changing the Analysis Code and Type

Material Property Mapping Tables


The following steps are used to do material property mapping.

Generating a Material Property Mapping Table


1. Create Materials Spreadsheets for Source/Destination Analysis Codes

Prior to changing the Analysis Preference, type in the command (on the command line):

map_materials.generate_leaflist( )
Change the Analysis Preference and repeat the command above.(You may have to restart
Patran.)

This command generates files, or leaflists, in the working directory:

• CodeATypeMaterials - used to generate the mapping table.


• CodeATypeMaterials.xls - spreadsheet used to define actual mapping.
If switching from ABAQUS Structural to MSC.MARC Structural, these commands would
generate: “AbaqusStructuralMaterials.xls,” and “MarcStructuralMaterials.xls.”
2. Create Pairs of Source/Destination Material Sets

For each material model in the original code (CodeA) enter a corresponding Leaf Number (from
Code B) that designates what the material model will be translated to in the new code in the 3rd
column, labeled “Maps To Leaf.”
Preferences>Analysis 445
Selecting/Changing the Analysis Code and Type

Generating a Material Property Mapping Table


3. Create the Materials Mapping Spreadsheet

Type in the PCL Command (all one line):

map_materials.map_materials(“CodeATypeMaterials”,
”CodeBTypeMaterials”,”CodeAtoCodeBMaterials.xls”)
This command generates the file CodeAtoCodeBMaterials.xls.
4. Map Material Sets

For each material property, enter the Leaf Numbers from CodeA in the column labeled Old ID.
Selecting which input data boxes should be mapped from Code A to Code B is up to your
judgement and experience.
446 Preferences>Analysis
Selecting/Changing the Analysis Code and Type

Generating a Material Property Mapping Table


5. Converting the Mapping Spreadsheet into a PCL Function

Enter the PCL Command:

map_materials.Convert_To_PCL(“CodeAtoCodeBMaterials.xls”,”
CodeAtoCodeBMaterials”)
This generates a file named: CodeAtoCodeBMaterials.pcl. Remember, Code A and Code B are
the exact preference names (without spaces or decimals).
6. Compile the PCL Function

!!COMPILE CodeAtoCodeBMaterials.pcl INTO CodeB.plb


You may choose to test the compilation prior to compiling the .pcl into the CodeB.plb using the
command:
!!COMPILE CodeAtoCodeBMaterials.pcl INTO test.plb

Element Property Mapping Tables


The following steps are used to create element property maps.

Generating a Element Property Mapping Table


1. Create Property Set Spreadsheets for Source/Destination Analysis Codes

Prior to changing the Analysis Preference, type in the command (on the command line - all one
line):

map_properties.create_property_spreadsheet(“Code”,”Type”,
”Filename.xls”)
The “Code” and “Type” are case sensitive with the full name with decimals included and should
be entered exactly as they appear on the Analysis Preference form, for example “MSC.Marc” and
“Structural.” However “Filename.xls” can be whatever you want to name your property
spreadsheet such as “MarcStructuralProps.xls.”

Now, change the Analysis Preference to what you want to map to or from and repeat the
command above.

Keep track of whatever you name the spreadsheet as you will be needing this later.
Preferences>Analysis 447
Selecting/Changing the Analysis Code and Type

Generating a Element Property Mapping Table


2. Create Pairs of Source/Destination Property Sets

A property set is defined by the following information: a dimension, an element type, five
element options (geometric, condensation, laminate, formulation, and dof set), a topology, two
material rules (directionality i.e., materials category and linearity i.e., constitutive model) and a
set of property words. It is this data that is shown in the second section of the “Property Set
Spreadsheet” with the following exceptions. The topology and material rules are not shown, and
only one of the possible dof set element options is shown.
The first and most tedious part of creating a property set mapping is to match “Source” property
sets with “Destination” property sets. You will note that the first two columns in the “Property
Set Spreadsheets” (in the property set and property word sections) are “Source” and
“Destination”. The “Destination” column is just a count for identification. A mapping pair is
created by entering one or more source property set counters in the “Source” column.
For example, when mapping Abaqus to MSC.Marc consider the first two Abaqus property sets,
which are “Point Mass” and “Rotary Inertia.” In MSC.Marc, translational and rotational mass are
defined by the “Mass” property set. Therefore, we want to translate all Abaqus “Point Mass” and
“Rotary Inertia” property sets to MSC.Marc “Mass” property sets. This is done, by entering “1,2”
in the “Source” column in the MSC.Marc “Property Set Spreadsheet” on the line containing the
“Mass” property set (which happens to be the first one). This says source property sets 1 and 2
map to destination property set 1.
448 Preferences>Analysis
Selecting/Changing the Analysis Code and Type

Generating a Element Property Mapping Table


3. Map Property Words

Property words with the same IDs map automatically, regardless of the name. (The name is just
an analysis code specific label.) Property words with different IDs but the same meaning
(represent the same physics) are mapped like property sets. The counter for the source word is
entered in the “Source” column of the destination spreadsheet. For example, Abaqus has two
thickness definitions, “Shell Thickness -- ID 1080” and “Membrane Thickness -- ID 1081”.
These two words should map to the MSC.Marc property word “Thickness -- ID 36”. This is done
by entering “72,73” in the “Source” column in the MSC.Marc “Property Set Spreadsheet” on the
line containing “Thickness – ID 36” (which is the 26th property word). So we have mapped
source property word 72 and 73 to destination property word 26.
Preferences>Analysis 449
Selecting/Changing the Analysis Code and Type

Generating a Element Property Mapping Table


4. Create the Property Set Mapping Spreadsheet

Type in the PCL Command:

map_properties.create_mapping_spreadsheet(“Filename1.xls”,
”Filename2.xls”,”CodeATypetoCodeBTypeProps.xls”)
This spreadsheet shows each pair of source and destination property sets along with their source
and destination property words. This block of data defines how the data will map. The first two
lines of each block show the source and destination property set name, element type and element
options. Following this are the source and destination property word maps. At this point, the
mapped words include words with identical IDs and words that have been specifically mapped.
Not all source property words will map. (In this case, the corresponding cell in the “Destination”
column is blank.) If the data cannot be used by the destination Analysis Code, it can be ignored.
It will remain in the database, but will not be visible to the user. However, queries for element
property data by forward translators, etc. will have to account for property words that are
“unknown” to that Analysis Code. This is also true for unmapped property sets.
5. Make Additional Mappings

Some property words may not map in a general way. For example, you may want a property word
to map only for a specific property set. In this case, you can paste the destination word into the
appropriate cell next to the source word. Note that the spelling of the property word and the
accompanying ID must be accurate. The double hyphen is used as a delimiter and is therefore
also important.
If a complex translation is required, the general function can be used. See the section below
describing the use of the general function.
Conflicts
There are possible conflicts with acceptable data types or data values. For example, the source
Analysis Code allows either a real or a real nodal field to define a specific property word but the
destination Analysis Code only allows a real. Let’s assume we have one of these property sets to
convert and a real nodal field has been used for this property word. By default, the field will be
stored. This can be overridden by entering “No” in the column labeled “Store Incorrect
Datatype”. Likewise, if the source Analysis Code does not impose a limit on a specific property
word, but the destination Analysis Code does, the data will be mapped unless directed otherwise.
As mentioned above, queries for element property data by forward translators, etc. will have to
account for this inconsistent data. An easy way to identify these inconsistencies is to do a
“Modify” (with no changes) on each property set after the mapping is done. Any data consistency
problems will be flagged by Patran by an error or warning message.
450 Preferences>Analysis
Selecting/Changing the Analysis Code and Type

Generating a Element Property Mapping Table


6. Defining General Function Tags

The property mapping capability provides access to the mapping process via a specified function.
This function is declared in the “Property Set Mapping Spreadsheet” in the cell to the right of the
cell containing “GENERAL FUNCTION”. If a general function is specified and it exists, it will
be called at several points in the process. Specifically, it is called at the beginning and end of the
entire property mapping process, at the beginning and end of each “source” property set and
following each “source” property word, provided that a “tag” has been specified. (The “tag” is
not required for the two calls at the beginning and end of the entire property mapping process.)
You’ll note in the “Property Set Mapping Spreadsheet” following each source and destination
property set pair are cells containing “Initial Property Set Function Tag” and “Final Property Set
Function Tag”. If data is entered in the cell to the right of the cell containing “Initial Property Set
Function Tag”, then when this specific source property set is encountered in the database, the
general function is called and is passed the current state add the specified tag.
This function can then perform whatever actions are required including calling back to the
“map_properties” class for current data on the property set in hand. (See below for a list of
available functions.) Note that if no “Point Mass” property sets exist in the database, this call will
not be made.
Likewise, if a “Property Word Function Tag” is provided and that source word is encountered,
the general function is called. Note that these tags are specified in the column to the right of the
“Destination Word” column in the “Property Mapping Spreadsheet”. Also note that “Property
Word Function Tags” can only be specified for “Source Words”.
7. Converting the Mapping Spreadsheet into a PCL Function

Type in the PCL Command:

map_properties.create_final_map("CodeATypetoCodeBTypeProps
.xls",
"CodeATypetoCodeBTypeProps.pcl",”FunctName”)
Recall that Code A and Code B are the exact preference names (without spaces or decimals).
“FunctName” is the name of the function that will be called to do the property mapping.

For the ABAQUS to MARC Change, this command generates the PCL file,
“abatomarcprops.pcl” which contains the function “abatomarcprops.”

This function consists of the spreadsheet data loaded into pcl variables, which are then passed to
the element property mapping logic. This function needs to be compiled and made accessible to
Patran. The suggested location is the analysis plb, which in this case is “mscmarc.plb.”

The property mapping logic currently does not consider topology, linearity and directionality data.
Neither does it verify that materials mapped to laminate property sets are laminate materials. Further,
only the first DOF set value for each set of geometric, condensation, laminate, formulation options is
Preferences>Analysis 451
Selecting/Changing the Analysis Code and Type

considered in the “Property Set Spreadsheets”. This could pose some problems for logic accessing the
mapped element property set data, such as forward translators.

Invoking the PCL Function for Preference Switching


During a preference change, analysis specific functions are called. Two arguments are passed, the current
action ("add" or "remove") and the target Analysis Type. Consider a preference change from MD Nastran
to MSC.Marc where the Analysis Type is "Structural." The following two preference functions are
called:
mscnastran_pref_control ( "remove", "structural" )
mscmarc_pref_control ( "add", "structural" )
Note that by convention, the function name is "codename_pref_control". Also note that this is a function
without a class, which means that you can potentially replace it with your own function.
If you have selected "Mapping Functions" in the Analysis Preference Panel, the MSC supplied
preferences make the following call during the "add" action.
mscmarc_mapping.go ( old_code, old_type, new_code, new_type )
In general, this class then calls MSC supplied mapping functions. However, you can override the
supplied mapping functions and provide your own.
For example, in the case of a preference change from MD Nastran to MSC.Marc with "Mapping
Functions" chosen, the normal flow is
mscmarc_pref_control( "add", "structural" )
mscmarc_mapping.go ( "MD Nastran", "Structural", "MSC.Marc",
"Structural" )
map_to_mscmarc.from_mscnastran ( "MD Nastran", "Structural",
"MSC.Marc", "Structural" )
map_mscnastran_to_mscmarc.structural_materials ()
map_mscnastran_to_mscmarc.structural_elmt_props ()
map_mscnastran_to_mscmarc.structural_lbcs ()
map_mscnastran_to_mscmarc.structural_mpcs ()
map_mscnastran_to_mscmarc.structural_job_definitions ()
If you want to provide your own set of mapping functions, perhaps because none have been supplied by
MSC, that can be accomplished by telling the preference mapping class which function to use. This is
done with the following call
mscmarc_mapping.set_mapping_function ( "mscnastran",
"my_mapping_class.go" )
In this case, instead of calling "map_to_mscmarc.from_mscnastran", the "mscmarc_mapping.go"
function will call
my_mapping_class.go ( "MD Nastran", "Structural", "MSC.Marc",
"Structural" )
Knowing the specific function calls that are made by the MSC supplied mapping functions, you can
augment or completely rewrite the mapping behavior. For example, if only the LBC's needed modifying,
452 Preferences>Analysis
Selecting/Changing the Analysis Code and Type

your function "my_mapping_class.go" could call the "normal" mapping functions for materials, element
properties, mpcs and job definitions. And call your own function for LBCs. Thus,
my_mapping_class.go
map_mscnastran_to_mscmarc.structural_materials ( )
map_mscnastran_to_mscmarc.structural_elmt_props ( )
map_mscnastran_to_mscmarc.structural_mpcs ( )
map_mscnastran_to_mscmarc.structural_job_definitions ( )
my_mapping_class.do_the_lbcs ( )
The logical place to make the call to "mscmarc_mapping.set_mapping_function" would be in the
p3epilog.pcl file. But this call can be made anytime before a preference change is made. In addition, the
user would have to compile and add their plb to the system, again, most likely in the p3epilog file.
A little used but useful place to install this code on an enterprise basis would be in the "init.pcl" function
in "p3_home", probably just before the call to "p3epilog.pcl".

Using the General Function


Let’s return to our example of mapping Abaqus property sets to MSC.Marc. Assume that the general
function is named “map_abaqus_elmt_props_to_mscmarc”. (This was defined in the “Property Set
Mapping Spreadsheet”.) Recall that a “Point Mass” property set maps to a “Mass – (MASS)” property
set. Say an “Initial Property Set Function Tag” of “Point Mass” was specified in the “Property Mapping
Spreadsheet” for this source/destination property set combination. When an Abaqus “Point Mass”
property set is encountered during the mapping process, the following call is made:
map_abaqus_elmt_props_to_mscmarc ( “Start Region Mapping”,
“Point Mass” )
Also, let’s assume we have defined a tag, “Translational Mass” for the Abaqus property word “Mass
Magnitude”. If the mapping process encounters a “Point Mass” property set with a “Mass Magnitude”
property word, then the mapping process first maps the word to the specified destination word (if any)
and then makes the following call:
map_abaqus_elmt_props_to_mscmarc ( “Map Property Word”,
“Translational Mass” )
As you can see the general function takes two arguments, a state and a tag. There are five possible calls:
“Start Property Set Mapping”, Blank Tag
“Start Region Mapping”, Initial Prop Set Function Tag
“Map Property Word”, Property Word Function Tag
“End Region Mapping”, Final Prop Set Function Tag
“End Property Set Mapping”, Blank Tag
The suggested structure of the general function is a switch on the state with switches on the specific tags.
For example:
FUNCTION general_function ( state, tag )
Preferences>Analysis 453
Selecting/Changing the Analysis Code and Type

STRING state[ ]
STRING tag[ ]

SWITCH ( state )
CASE ( “Map Property Word” )
CASE ( “Start Region Set Mapping” )
CASE ( “End Region Set Mapping” )
CASE ( “Start Property Set Mapping” )
CASE ( “End Property Set Mapping” )
END SWITCH

END FUNCTION

Now lets do something practical. The Abaqus “Point Mass” property set allows a single quantity for
“Mass Magnitude”. The MSC.Marc “Mass – (MASS)” property set however defines mass in three
directions, “Transl Inertia, X”, “Transl Inertia, Y” and “Transl Inertia, Z”. Clearly when we map from
Abaqus to MSC.Marc, we want any “Mass Magnitude” to map to each of the three MSC.Marc property
words. Rather than handling this complexity in the “Property Mapping Spreadsheet”, we do it with the
general function.
Assume we have created a “Property Word Function Tag” for the “Mass Magnitude” property word in
the Abaqus “Point Mass” property set as described above. Our general function might look like the
following.
FUNCTION map_abaqus_elmt_props_to_mscmarc ( state, tag )
STRING state[ ]
STRING tag[ ]

INTEGER status
REAL mass
STRING word[32]

SWITCH ( state )
CASE ( “Map Property Word” )
SWITCH ( tag )
CASE ( “Translational Mass” )
$Recover the current “Mass Magnitude” value. We’re
$assuming it is a real value and not a field.
word = "Mass Magnitude"
status = map_properties.get_active_src_word_rval ( word, mass,
datatype,
field_id )
$status = 0, if word is valid, exists and defined
$status = 1, if word is valid, exists, but is not a real
$status = 2, if word is valid but doesn’t exist
$status = 3, if word is not valid for current property set
$status = 4, if a property set conversion is not active
IF( status == 0 ) THEN
$Create three MSC.Marc words using the Abaqus value
$Note that word definitions have to be specified exactly
$and they have to be valid for the destination property set.
454 Preferences>Analysis
Selecting/Changing the Analysis Code and Type

word = "Transl Inertia, X"


map_properties.create_dest_word_rval ( word, mass, datatype,
field_id)
word = "Transl Inertia, Y"
map_properties.create_dest_word_rval ( word, mass, datatype,
field_id)
word = "Transl Inertia, Z"
map_properties.create_dest_word_rval ( word, mass, datatype,
field_id)
END IF
END SWITCH
CASE ( “Start Region Set Mapping” )
CASE ( “End Region Set Mapping” )
CASE ( “Start Property Set Mapping” )
CASE ( “End Property Set Mapping” )
END SWITCH

END FUNCTION
Preferences>Global 455
Controlling Global Operational Parameters

Preferences>Global Controlling Global Operational Parameters


456 Preferences>Global
Controlling Global Operational Parameters

Parameters defined in the Global Preferences dialog box affect operational characteristics and
geometric construction.

Session File Selects whether or not a session file will be saved. Options are to save
after Patran completes, delete after Patran completes, or to be
prompted as to whether or not to save the session file.
Enable Revert Operation Controls the use of the File>Revert command (see File>Revert, 75).
If ON, the revert operation will be enabled. This selection does not
have immediate consequences; to have it take effect, you must exit the
current work session then reopen the database.
Preferences>Global 457
Controlling Global Operational Parameters

Warning Message Options Picks the type of feedback you receive whenever Patran needs to issue
a warning.

Default Coordinate Frame Selects an existing coordinate frame as the default.


Default Construction Plane Specifies the default construction plane in the selected coordinate
frame.
Global Model Tolerance Defines the maximum distance within which two like entities are said
to be coincident (default is 0.005).
458 Preferences>Graphics
Specifying Graphic Display Parameters

Preferences>Graphics Specifying Graphic Display Parameters

In the Graphics Preferences dialog box you can stipulate certain view settings, specify the colors used
for highlighting, and select the shape, color, and size of markers, used in some geometric and FEM
procedures (e.g., node equivalencing).

Automatic View Settings


Auto Extend If ON, automatically fits the view whenever new entities are created
and they fall outside the viewport.
Preferences>Graphics 459
Specifying Graphic Display Parameters

Auto Fit View If ON, automatically fits the view after any view rotation.
Hardware Rendering If ON, rendering will utilize a hardware device.
Default Background Color
Background Color Sets the background color of newly created viewports.
All Existing Viewports If ON, sets the background color for all existing viewports to the
Background Color setting.
Background Effects... Opens the form to set default background effects. This is explained in
Changing the Background Effects, 335.
XY Color Sets the background color on XY plot windows.
All Existing XY Windows If ON, sets the background color for all existing XY viewports to the
Background Color setting.
Disable Auto Updates If ON, the graphics display does not update after each operation. This
technique is particularly useful at times when you are performing a
number of operations but do not want to see the results of each interim
step.
Highlight Colors
Primary Color Assigns the color that will be used for highlighting entities selected for
an operation.
Secondary Color Identifies a second color in case the primary highlight color is already
in use.
Error Color Selects a color to highlight entities associated with an error condition.
Marker Options Picks the type, color, and size (in pixels) of markers.
460 Preferences>Mouse
Programming the Mouse for View Transformations

Preferences>Mouse Programming the Mouse for View


Transformations

With the Mouse Preferences options you can program the middle mouse button to perform incremental
view transformation functions.
Preferences>Mouse 461
Programming the Mouse for View Transformations

Middle Mouse Button Map All four functions can be programmed with different MMB / key
combinations simultaneously.
Rotate X/Y Rotates the view about the global or screen X and Y axes.

• About X
move the mouse up to rotate clockwise
move the mouse down to rotate counterclockwise.
• About Y
move the mouse right to rotate clockwise
move the mouse left to rotate counterclockwise.
Rotate Z Rotates the view about the global or screen Z axis.
move the mouse right to rotate clockwise
move the mouse left to rotate counterclockwise.
Pan X/Y Pans the view in the screen X or Y direction.
move the mouse left or right to pan left or right
move the mouse up or down to pan up or down.
Zoom Zoom the view of the model in (enlarge) or out (reduce).
move the mouse left to zoom in
move the mouse right to zoom out.
Transform in Wireframe If ON, view transformations are performed in wireframe even if the
model is rendered in shaded or hidden line mode.
Transform with Edges If ON, and the toggle above is OFF, view transformations are
performed in shaded mode and solid edges are shown.
Mouse Tracking This parameter is meaningful in hardware graphics mode only. If ON,
partial redraws will be created as rendering tries to catch up to the
mouse motion (in software graphics mode this happens
automatically).
Spin Model With the mouse button map set to one of the rotate functions, and this
toggle turned ON, you can spin the view of the model. When you press
the middle mouse button, the view will transform as expected, but you
can make it spin by releasing the button. The speed of rotation is
proportional to the speed with which you release the button.
Transformation Options Brings up a subordinate dialog box in which you can set the rotation
angle increment, pan factor and zoom factor.
462 Preferences>Mouse
Programming the Mouse for View Transformations

Rotation Displays the rotation angle in degrees. Each mouse movement will
rotate the view by that increment.
Model/Screen Relative Selects whether the rotation axis specified is to be interpreted as a
global axis or a screen axis.
Pan Factor Displays the panning rate. Each mouse movement will move the view
of the model by that increment.
Zoom Factor Displays the zooming rate. Each mouse movement will zoom the view
of the model at that rate.
Preferences>Picking 463
Parameters of Interactive Screen Picking

Preferences>Picking Parameters of Interactive Screen Picking

Many geometric and finite element operations require that you select one or several entities as the object
of some action. The Picking Preferences dialog box contains a variety of options for picking entities
with the mouse (for more information on interactive screen picking, see Screen Picking, 33).

Note: The selections you make in this dialog box will not take effect immediately. After selecting
the parameters, exit Patran. The choices you made will be saved in a file (settings.pcl) that
will activate the new parameter settings when you restart Patran.
464 Preferences>Picking
Parameters of Interactive Screen Picking

Single Picking These options apply when you select single entities.
Centroid Picks the entity whose centroid is closest to the center of a “pick box”.
Entity Picks the entity at which the cursor is pointing.
Entity Picking Cursor In entity picking mode, selects the shape of the cursor. In centroid
picking mode the cursor always remains an arrow.
Rectangle/Polygon Picking These options apply when you select a number of entities at the same
(Multiple) time.
Enclose entire entity An entity is selected only if it is totally inside the selection rectangle
or polygon.
Enclose any portion of An entity is selected even if it is only partially inside the selection
entity rectangle or polygon.
Preferences>Picking 465
Parameters of Interactive Screen Picking

Enclose centroid An entity is selected only if its centroid is inside the selection
rectangle or polygon.
Cycle picking form In entity picking mode:

lists the names of two or more entities that overlap at the place
the cursor is touching. You can then accept the highlighted
selection, or pick the entity you wanted to target.

In centroid picking mode:

lists all entities whose centroid lies near the point where the
cursor is touching.
Horizontal Select Menus If ON, the Select Menu (Picking Filters) will be horizontally placed.
Note that this is one of those parameters that will take effect only in
the next Patran work session.
Show Picking Icons If ON, the Select Menu will contain the icons to add, reject, and
replace a selection whenever a screen picking option is evoked.
Preselection Settings These options control the highlighting of entities prior to selection as
the cursor passes over them.
Label Highlighting If ON, entity labels will be highlighted along with the entities.
Entity Highlighting If ON, entities will be highlighted as the cursor passes over them.
Node/Point Marker Size Controls the size of the marker that is highlighted when the cursor
passes over a point or a node.
466 Preferences>Report
Formats of Numerical Entries in Analysis Result Reports

Preferences>Report Formats of Numerical Entries in Analysis Result


Reports

The Preferences>Report command controls the format of numerical entries in reports that output finite
element analysis results.

Real Numbers
Floating Point Outputs result data in floating point format.
Scientific Notation Outputs result data in scientific notation format.
Field Width Selects the width of the numeric field. This size must accommodate
all digits and the decimal point. In scientific notation the field width
takes on the maximum value.
Number of Decimals Defines the number of decimal digits in a numerical entry. In
scientific notation format, this number defaults to the maximum
value.
Integers Selects the number of integers the numerical entries may contain in
the tabular output.
Spacing Selects the number of spaces between numerical entries in the tabular
output.
Preferences>Geometry 467
Parameters for Representing Geometric Entities

Preferences>Geometry Parameters for Representing Geometric


Entities

With the Geometry Preferences options you can specify the way parameterized curves and surfaces are
represented in the database. These preferences apply to geometry imported from an external source, as
well as to geometry created in the Patran system.

Exportable to Neutral File If ON, curves, surfaces, and solids will be created as parametric cubic
geometry.
Solid Origin Location With the options in this category, you can select the method by which
left-handed parameterization created by some hyperpatch construct or
transform methods is changed to right-handed parameterization.

This selection is important only when you are running session files (see
Session File, 46), because the hyperpatch origin location must be set
according to whether the session file came from Patran or PATRAN 2.
Patran The origin location will be determined according to Patran convention.
PATRAN 2 The origin location will be determined according to PATRAN 2
convention.
468 Preferences>Geometry
Parameters for Representing Geometric Entities

Solid Property Assignment Default OFF. Controls the inheritance of property sets by
Inherit From Parent new/modified solid geometry created from existing solids. Whenever
new solids are created, this setting will be used to determine if property
sets should be assigned. The following rule will be applied for those
solid creation operations where existing solids are used. If the
preference is On and the original solid has a property set assigned, this
property set will be assigned to the new/modified solids. Otherwise,
no property set will be assigned to the new/modified solids. The
following solid editing operations are
affected:Geometry/Edit/Solid/Break|Blend|Refit|Boolean|
EdgeBlend|Chamfer|Imprint|Shell
NURBS Accelerator If ON (default), NURBS (Non-Uniform Rational B-Spline) curves and
surfaces will be converted to piecewise polynomials without
introducing any approximations. This format accelerates evaluation of
geometry and provides increased performance.
Auto Update Solid If ON (default), the mesh, loads, and boundary conditions applied on a
Mesh/LBC solid model will automatically update after you performed a Boolean
operation or other editing applications, namely edge blend, imprint, or
shelling.

If you turn this parameter OFF, the update action becomes a selectable
item in the Geometry>Edit>Solid command dialog boxes for the
above editing functions.
Geometry Scale Factor Because the model unit of Parasolid geometry is meter, a scale factor
is applied to Patran geometric extents so that they can be expressed in
the appropriate Parasolid dimensions. The default scale factor is 39.37,
the equivalent of one meter in inches. Other possible scale factors are:

If you select Customize, an arbitrary scale factor must be entered into


the Geometry Scale Factor databox.

Note that when importing Unigraphics (see Importing Unigraphics


Files, 149) and Parasolid files (see Importing Parasolid (xmt) Files,
159), an existing scale factor in those files may override this global
parameter.
Preferences>Finite Element 469
Setting FEM Parameters

Preferences>Finite Element Setting FEM Parameters


470 Preferences>Finite Element
Setting FEM Parameters

Several parameters are defined in the Preferences>FEM dialog box. They are described in the table
below.
Preferences>Finite Element 471
Setting FEM Parameters

Node/Edge Snap Angle Controls the angle that determines whether a node will snap to a vertex
where the slope of a composite edge changes. If the angle of the slope
is greater than the specified edge snap angle, a node will snap to the
vertex when you create a mesh seed or a mesh. If, however, the angle
of the slope is less than the snap angle, no node will snap to this vertex.

Edge Snap Angle = 30o

Slope Angle > 30o Slope Angle < 30o

You may realize that you need to change the Node/Edge Snap Angle
value after you have created a mesh seed on a composite edge and
discovered that no control point was placed on the vertex. If it is
important that a node be located there, you can invoke the
Preferences>FEM command and change the Node/Edge Snap Angle
so that it becomes less than the slope angle. When you press the Apply
button, the following will appear:

Select Yes and a mesh seed control point will snap to the vertex and the
mesh seed will be adjusted along the entire edge.
DFEM Field Equivalence Specifies which values of discrete FEM fields, that associate loads and
Options boundary conditions (LBCs) with nodes, will be associated with a
node that “survived” after coincident nodes have been equivalenced in
the finite element model.
472 Preferences>Finite Element
Setting FEM Parameters

Displace Presents various options for associating displacement values with the
surviving node.

• Use Retained--use the value associated with the node retained after
equivalencing.
• Add--use the sum of the values associated with each of the
equivalenced nodes.
• Use Deleted--use the value associated with the node that was
deleted during the equivalencing process.
Vector Presents the same options for associating vector (e.g., force) values
with the node that survived the equivalencing process
Scalar Presents various options for associating scalar values (pressures and
temperatures) with the node that survived the equivalencing process.

In addition to those already seen for vector field values, the option
exists to use the average of the two scalar values associated to the
equivalenced nodes.
Preference Specific Verify Specifies whether analysis code specific element verification
parameters should be used in the Elements/Verify forms. Currently
this value is on by default for MD Nastran and off by default for all
other analysis codes.
Enable Pseudo Surface Specifies whether pseudo-surface tool icons will be displayed on the
ASM Finite Elements/Create/Mesh/Advanced Mesh form. The tools are
used to convert between tessellated surfaces and pseudo-surfaces, to
stitch gaps in pseudo-surfaces, and to edit pseudo-surfaces.
Geometry/FEM LBC These parameters affect how Geometry to FEM association is
Association processed for LBCs. Each of these settings is saved in the database and
are restored each time the database is opened.
Preferences>Finite Element 473
Setting FEM Parameters

Additional Geometry to FEM Evaluation Check


This checkbox specifies whether additional proximity checking is
done when associating LBCs to FEM that were applied to Geometry.
Patran always uses the node to geometry association determined by the
mesher to associate LBCs to element faces and edges. Sometimes the
mesher must adjust the mesh in order to create elements that are
acceptable to the solver. In these cases associativity can miss the
application of some LBCs. Proximity checking adds a closeness and
face angle test which can catch the missing LBCs and apply them.
Proximity checking is a compute intensive process, which can take a
considerable amount of time to perform on large models.

By default, proximity checking is turned off. If it is turned on, the Edge


Length Tolerance and Elem Face/Surface Normal Angle Tolerance
may be used to control the process. The user can change the default
value to on by placing the following in the settings.pcl
file:pref_env_set_logical( "fem_geo_lbc_prox_check", TRUE )
Edge Length Tolerance The proximity check is measured in percent of the average edge length
(0-100%) of the element face in question. The element edge lengths are
computed, averaged and then factored by a percentage that may vary
from 0% to 100%. If the node or centroid is within this distance of the
loaded geometry solid face, it is accepted. The default value is set to
20%.
Elem Face/Surface Normal Angle Tolerance (0-90 Deg)
In addition to the proximity check, the angle between the element face
normal and the surface normal at a point on the surface closest to the
centroid of the element face is computed. If the angle is less than or
equal to this value, the node is accepted. The angle may vary from 0 to
90 degrees and the default is 30 degrees.
474 Preferences>Finite Element
Setting FEM Parameters

Check Adjacent Geometry This checkbox specifies whether adjacent geometry is checked when
associating LBCs to FEM that were applied to Geometry. Patran
always uses the node to geometry association determined by the
mesher to associate LBCs to element faces and edges. When adjacent
solids or surfaces have overlapping or duplicate faces or edges, an
element may be associated to one piece of geometry but some of its
nodes may be associated to an adjacent geometry. When this check is
turned on, element nodes associated to the adjacent geometry are
included in the LBC evaluation.

By default, adjacent geometry checking is turned on. The user can


change the default value to off by placing the following in the
settings.pcl file:pref_env_set_logical(
"fem_geo_lbc_adj_geo_check", FALSE )
Connection Elements The maximum normal angle controls the Maximum and Nromal
Angel between the surface patches of a connector. This value is used
to determine if the validity of a connector is suspect, since the elements
onto which the connector location was projected do not face in
relatively the same direction. For the PARTPAT or PROP formats, the
wrong element may be found, since a point can have multiple
projections.

During a create or modify operation, angle checks are done, and upon
failure an attempt is made to find the correct elements that will satisfy
the angle check.
Preferences>Main Form 475
Controlling the Appearance of the Main Form

Preferences>Main Form Controlling the Appearance of the Main


Form

On UNIX platforms, the Preferences>Main Form options enable you to change the layout and
appearance of the Main form. The changes will not take effect until you restart Patran

Main Form Preferences


Add latest history line at top

Popup applications switch


(default: right mouse button)
Small screen layout

Save visible history line count

Close

Add Latest History Line Adds latest history line to be written at top of history list (history lines
scroll down). Defaults ON and allows last history line to be viewed
above viewport in default orientation. If using history list to enter PCL
commands or debug PCL functions, you may want to turn this OFF.
Latest history line will be displayed at bottom of history window and
will scroll up.
Popup Applications Switch Causes application switch to be removed from Main form (allowing a
larger viewport) and displayed as a popup. As a default, this is mapped
to the right mouse button and can be activated by clicking almost
anywhere in a Patran form or in the history list on the Main form. This
will not activate with the cursor on the menu bar, the toolbar, on an
icon or in a select databox. Try several locations to see the best places
for using this option.
Small Screen Layout Causes initial orientation of Main form and viewport to fit better on a
small computer screen so that forms do not extend off the screen.
Save Visible History Line Allows any changes made during the current session to the vertical
Count height of the main form to be saved between sessions (Default is ON).
If turned OFF, the next session will startup ignoring any main form
height changes made during the present session.
476 Preferences>Main Form
Controlling the Appearance of the Main Form
Ch. 10: Tools Patran Reference Manual

10 Tools

 Tools Concepts and Definitions 478



The Tools Menu 487

Tools Commands 489
478 Patran Reference Manual
Tools Concepts and Definitions

10.1 Tools Concepts and Definitions


The Tools menu commands provide easy access to a number of self-contained add-on Patran features, as
well as to some specialized application modules, all of which are optionally purchased items and require
their own software licenses.

Lists
A list is a convenient way of referencing a number of entities for input in commands that accommodate
multiple entity selection. When you use a list, the listed entities are picked directly from the database,
rather than being cursor-selected in the graphics window.

Lists can be created of entities that either share some common attribute or are associated with a common
entity. For instance, an attribute-based list may contain elements that have the same material properties,
while an association-based list may be generated of nodes that are all located on the same edge.

An example where a list can be useful may be a finite element model in which you want to apply a nodal
displacement constraint to all nodes whose global x-coordinate is 2.0. Instead of picking a potentially
large number of nodes in the FEM application, you can first create a list to include the nodes that fit the
attribute criterion, then use the list for the constraint assignment.

Entity Types
Lists may contain either geometric or finite element entities.

Classification Methods
The criteria that determine an entity’s inclusion in a list may be attribute or association.

Attribute
The Attribute method identifies a distinctive characteristic that is shared by all members of the list. In the
FEM application, a list of elements may be based on common element properties, material properties, or
analysis results (fringe values), and for a node list you can specify coordinate values as well as fringe
values. For a geometry list, on the other hand, you must cursor-select entities or enter their IDs, because
the list generator does not recognize any attributes that are common for geometric entities.

Association
With this method you can list a number of entities that are associated with one common entity or group.
For example, you may specify that the list include those geometric entities, e.g., points, that are located
at the same vertex, or on the same edge or face. The list of FEM entities, such as nodes, may be based
either on their association with a geometric entity (e.g., vertex) or a group, or with an FE entity, for
example an element edge.
Ch. 10: Tools 479
Tools Concepts and Definitions

Group Assignment
After you created a list, you can associate its members with an existing group or, alternately, assign them
to a newly created group.

Boolean Operations
You can create several lists and combine them, two at a time, into one comprehensive list, with one of
the Boolean operations:
• Union--outputs a resultant list that contains all members of list A plus all members of list B.

• Subtraction--outputs a resultant list obtained by subtracting the contents of one list from the
contents of another list.

• Intersection--outputs a resultant list obtained by finding members that are common to both list A
and list B.

Using Lists
List names are entered enclosed in single quotes (‘), because the list names (lista, listb, and listc) are
global PCL string variables and require special delimiters so that the List Processor can recognize them.

Mass Properties
The Patran Mass Properties module is a tool with which you can calculate the mass properties of
geometric and finite element models. The process may be applied to an entire model or to any of its
subregions. For an overview of the theoretical background of mass properties calculations, see Summary
of Mass Properties, 772.

The following mass properties are calculated and, if applicable, their symbols displayed:
• mass and volume
• center of gravity (CG)
• inertia tensor at the origin of the reference frame
480 Patran Reference Manual
Tools Concepts and Definitions

• inertia tensor and principal inertias at the CG


• radii of gyration corresponding to the principal inertias at the CG
• principal directions for the inertia tensor at the CG.

The principal directions at the center of gravity may be presented in three different forms:
• Three orthogonal unit vectors.
• A triad of space-fixed rotation angles    that rotate a reference frame into the principal
inertia frame.
In space-fixed rotation the coordinate frame in which the rotation takes place remains fixed.
The rotation angles represent a 3-2-1 (Z-Y-X) sequence.
The principal frame is obtained by the following rotations:
about the Z-axis by  degrees
• about the original Y-axis by  degrees
• about the original X-axis by  degrees.
The X axis of the principal inertia frame corresponds to the largest principal inertia, and the
Y axis, to the next largest.
• A triad of body-fixed rotation angles (    ) in a 3-1-3 (Z-X-Z) sequence.
In body-fixed rotation the coordinate frame in which the rotation takes place moves with each
prescribed rotation.
The principal frame is obtained by the following rotations:
about the Z axis by  degrees
about the newly positioned X axis by  degrees
• about the newly positioned Z axis by  degrees.

Where applicable, mass properties are calculated in both the reference Cartesian coordinate frame and in
a user-specified coordinate frame.

Output Options
For the results output of the mass properties calculations, you can request that Patran do one or all of the
following:
• plot the principal axes at the center of gravity
• create a coordinate frame aligned with the principal axes of inertia
• write the results to a mass properties report file.
Ch. 10: Tools 481
Tools Concepts and Definitions

The principal axes are plotted in proportion to the magnitudes of the radii of gyration of the
corresponding principal inertias, as shown:

The newly created principal inertia coordinate frames will be assigned a coordinate frame ID that is the
next available in the database.

Report Files
Mass Properties report files are written in standard Patran report file format. In addition to mass
properties calculation results, these reports also list all included entities and all rejected entities.

Units
Mass properties are generated in units consistent with those used in the referenced geometry, element
properties, and material properties.

Mass Properties of Finite Element Models


Most mass properties calculations use the density, shell thickness, beam
cross-sectional area, non-structural mass, and concentrated mass values as defined in the Properties
application. If you do not want to use the given element property settings, Patran can override them; the
values of 1.0 will be assigned to density, thickness, or area, and 0.0 will be used for non-structural and
concentrated mass.
Non-structural mass and concentrated mass will be included in the calculations, but direct-input mass
matrices will not. Non-structural inertia will be ignored with no warning issued.

Mass Properties and Elements


Mass properties can be calculated for the following element types:
• constant and variable-thickness plates and shells
• general beams and rods with constant or variable cross-sectional areas
• tapered beams with constant cross-sectional areas
• beams defined not with section properties but with cross-sectional data,
for example, I-beams with given web and flange dimensions.
482 Patran Reference Manual
Tools Concepts and Definitions

Mass property calculations are based on the assumption that all beam and shell element offsets, as well
as concentrated mass offsets, are zero. If an entity with an offset is referenced, a warning message will
appear.

Weight Factors
Mass properties of shell elements are calculated by treating the thickness as a weighting factor and
assuming that all mass lies in the surface of the shell. Similarly, when calculating the mass properties of
beam elements, the cross-sectional area enters as a weighting factor with all mass assumed to lie in the
locus of the one-dimensional beam.
Consequently, mass properties calculated for these entities will be slightly different from those calculated
for corresponding 3D solids.

Mass Properties and Fields


For geometric entities, field properties (e.g., cross-sectional area) are integrated over the entity regardless
of the property’s value type. For FEM entities, a field property is evaluated at the centroid of the entity
if the value type of the property is real scalar, and is integrated over the entity if the value type is element
nodal.
Discrete FEM fields can be used only for real scalar properties of FEM entities.

Mass Properties and Materials


Patran can calculate mass properties of models made of composite materials. If a composite property,
such as laminate thickness, is defined both as an element property and as a material property, the element
property value will be used.
Material densities defined with fields cannot be used for mass property calculations.

Analysis Model Types and Mass Properties


When mass properties are calculated, it is assumed that all entities in a model conform to the selected
analysis model type. If an entity is geometrically inconsistent with the analysis type, it will not be
considered for the mass properties calculations. For example, if the analysis model is “2D
Axisymmetric”, a surface that does not lie in the axisymmetric modeling plane will be rejected.
After mass properties calculations have been completed, the Mass Properties Report output will include
a list of all ignored or rejected entities.

Three-dimensional Models
With this default option, you can calculate mass properties for all entity types (0D, 1D, 2D, and 3D).

Two-dimensional Plane Stress and Plane Strain Models


In these models the following assumptions are made:
• the model consists of coplanar zero-dimensional or two-dimensional entities.
Ch. 10: Tools 483
Tools Concepts and Definitions

• the thickness of 2D elements is 1.0.


• the modeling plane is the plane of the first 2D entity.
• if there are no 2D entities, then the modeling plane will be the plane of the first three non-
colinear 0D entities. If a specified entity does not reside in this plane, it will be omitted from the
mass property calculations and will be listed as a rejected entity in the output report.

Two-dimensional Axisymmetric Models


An axisymmetric model may contain axisymmetric shells and concentrated masses (2D and 0D entities)
that lie in a specified modeling plane. If an entity is not in the modeling plane, it will be omitted from the
mass property calculations and listed as a “rejected entity” in the output report.
Masses assigned to concentrated mass elements in axisymmetric problems are treated as linear mass
densities. Patran calculates the mass of the equivalent 1D hoop by multiplying the input mass by 2r .
Similarly, the moments of inertia applied to concentrated masses in axisymmetric models are treated as
linear moments of inertia. The inertia tensor of the equivalent 1D hoop due to the input moments of
inertia is obtained by multiplying the input moments of inertia by 2r .

The “2D Axisymmetric” option cannot be used to calculate mass properties of non-axisymmetric cyclic-
symmetry models. These are treated as 3D models. Their mass properties will be calculated for the model
only, not for the entire structure that would be generated by prescribed rotational and reflective
transformations.

Beam Library
Beam elements can be defined with a variety of cross sections. The beam library offers a number of
standard shapes as well as a means of defining your own “arbitrary” cross sections. In either case, you
can request that the dimensioned profile and its calculated section properties be shown after you have
entered all required dimensions or point coordinates. Optionally, you can also output a report file that
contains all boundary information.

Standard Shapes
Industry standard beam cross sections are presented in a tabular form; after you select an item, the
enlarged shape and its required dimensions will be displayed.
484 Patran Reference Manual
Tools Concepts and Definitions

Standard-shaped cross sections may be constant or vary along the length of the beam. To create variable
sections, you must use one or more spatial fields for dimensions, as well as provide a location for
evaluation along the length of the beam. This may be defined either with XYZ coordinates or with a
parametric function.

Arbitrary Shapes
In addition to standard cross-sectional profiles, you can also create your own specific non-standard beam
cross sections by generating arbitrary boundary contours. A boundary must be a closed loop that consists
of straight line segments. The cross section may contain holes; these are generated by adding inner
boundaries to the shape definition. Because the first loop defines the outer boundary, all subsequent loops
must be located within the area enclosed by the first loop.
To define the cross section, you can
• enter a series of input point coordinates
• select a surface whose outline will be approximated by the boundary
• provide a file from which the point coordinates may be selected.

Using a Surface
The arbitrary cross section is created by tracing the outline of an existing surface. The surface may be a
trimmed surface but not with any degenerated edges or duplicate edges. A number of points are sampled
on the surface boundary and their coordinates are placed in the spreadsheet. If the surface contains mesh
seeds, the points are sampled at the seeds.

Reading a File
The boundary is drawn utilizing points whose coordinates are contained in a file. To be able to read the
data and generate the profile, the format of the referenced file must be the same as the format of a Report
File that captures the point data of a manually created cross section.

Stress Recovery Points


When you define an arbitrary boundary, you can also specify up to four boundary points as stress
recovery points, at which you want to see stresses reported. Labeled with the letters C-F, these points may
typically be located at the points where cross- sectional changes occur.

Named Application Regions


The Regions menu is found under the Tools pull down menu.
Regions are groups of entities that can be used as application regions for Loads and Boundary Conditions
as well as Element Properties. They are general like Groups, but differ in that they are restricted (like
Application Regions) in that they can only contain one topology type. Some Applications, such as
CATIA import, will automatically create these Regions making them a convenient way to define LBC or
Element Property application regions.
Ch. 10: Tools 485
Tools Concepts and Definitions

Unlike Groups, where the entire entity must be in the group, Named Regions can be defined with only
portions of the entity defined such as the faces of a solid element or the edges of solid geometric entities.

Design Studies and Design Optimization


Finite element analysis is seldom conducted as a single-run operation; frequently the process goes
through several iterations. In each iteration the model may be “tweaked”, some dimensions or other
properties of the model modified, and the analysis repeated until an optimal design is attained.
As a simple example, you may run a linear static plane stress problem with a certain thickness assigned
to the elements. If the stress and displacement outcomes are well within the acceptable range, you may
decide to reduce the element thickness, thereby decreasing the weight of the object, and run the analysis
again. You may continue refining the model through several iterations, until the weight reaches a
desirable minimized value without compromising the stress or other criteria.
This procedure can be automated through a series of design studies and, ultimately, design optimization.

Design Studies
A design study is a named event in which you specify the following:

• the objective of the design study and of optimization--what do you want to achieve through
multiple iterations of the analysis process? Although there may be a number of possible
objectives, in the majority of structural analysis problems the objective of optimization is to
minimize the weight of the model.
• the parameters of the model--which dimensions or properties may vary in order to achieve the
optimal design?
• the constraints placed on the design study--what condition is a limiting factor in the optimization
process? For example, in the plane stress problem cited before, as the plate thickness is reduced
to decrease the weight, the thickness value must not become so small as to cause the plate to
deform beyond a given acceptable limit.

Variables
Variables are those parameters, or properties, whose magnitude will be modified in the process of
studying the solutions that can improve the design. The variable may be some dimension, an element
property (e.g., plate thickness, beam cross-section), or a material property. To perform studies for the
purpose of improving and optimizing a design through iterative solutions, you must parameterize the
model, that is, identify and label variables and set up possible relationships between them.
When you define a model variable, a corresponding field may be created as well. This field is a linear
function of the variable and it becomes available throughout Patran. Thus, if desired, it can be used to
define additional model properties. Any changes made to the variable will also change the properties
dependent on the field.
486 Patran Reference Manual
Tools Concepts and Definitions

Results Templates
Results Templates provide a convenient means of storing in the database collections of settings that you
can use to create plots, graphs and reports under the Results menu. Settings stored in Results Templates
are applied to the Results Display Attributes and Plot Options menu settings for the following results
tools: Deformation Plot, Fringe Plot, Marker Vector Plot, Marker Tensor Plot, Graph, and Report.

Rebar Definitions
With the Rebar Definitions application you can create and display Abaqus beam shapes in Patran

MSC.Fatigue
The MSC.Fatigue software application integrates finite element analysis and fatigue life estimation
techniques to perform fatigue calculations. Analysis results output includes full-color life contour plots
to provide rapid assessment of fatigue in critical areas. This selection only appears in the Tools pulldown
menu if a license is available.

Random Analysis
Random Analysis is a random analysis software package used with MD Nastran and Patran. It was
developed by field engineers at MSC.Software to offer a fast, integrated random analysis solution and all
of Random Analysis’s analysis capabilities and generated results are available from within the Patran
environment. To use this capability a software license must be available.

MSC.Laminate Modeler
The MSC.Laminate Modeler application aids the design, analysis, and manufacture of laminated
composite structures. It integrates various methods of simulating the manufacturing process (including
draping of fabrics) with simplified, more efficient ways of storing and manipulating data required for the
analysis of composite materials. This selection appears only if a license is available.

Analysis Manager
The Patran Analysis Manager provides convenient and automatic means to submit, monitor, control, and
perform all other management tasks required by analysis jobs running either locally or on remote
networked systems. This option is only selectable if a license is available.
Ch. 10: Tools 487
The Tools Menu

10.2 The Tools Menu


The commands of the Tools menu invoke various self-contained add-on Patran features, as well as the
specialized application modules.

Menu Conventions
A menu item with ellipses (...) attached to it calls up an additional dialog box in which you enter further
data.
488 Patran Reference Manual
The Tools Menu

The Tools menu functionalities are described below.

List (p. 489) Creates and manipulates lists with which you can reference a number
of entities for input in commands that accommodate multiple entity
selection.
Mass Properties (p. 498) Calculates mass properties either of entire geometric and finite
element models or of their subregions. Displays graphic symbols
related to mass properties and outputs report files and summary
spreadsheets.
Beam Library (p. 510) Creates and manages dimensioned cross section shapes to be
associated with beam elements. Calculates section properties for any
selected beam cross section.
Regions (p. 528) Creates named application regions for use in most places where
application regions (collections of entities) are requiered.
Model Variables (p. 533) Creates and manages variable parameters to be used in design studies
and design optimization.
Design Study (p. 545) Creates and manages design study cases in which the functions
necessary for design optimization are defined.
MSC.Fatigue (p. 594) Invokes the MSC.Fatigue application module if licensed and installed.
Results Templates (p. 555) Creates and manages templates that store collections of settings for
displaying, plotting and reporting analysis results.
Results Plot Sets (p. 566) Creates and manages templates that store collections of settings for
displaying, plotting and reporting analysis results.
Rebar Definitions (p. 586) Creates and displays Abaqus beam shapes in Patran.
MSC.Laminate Modeler Implements the MSC.Laminate Modeler application if licensed and
(p. 596) installed.
Properties Import (p. 597) Properties Import maintains material and property names when
reading results into Patran.
Analysis Manager (p. 601) Calls up the Patran Analysis Manager if licensed and installed.
Rotor Dynamics (p. 601) Opens the Rotor Dynamics form. Only available when MD Nastran is
set as the analysis type.
Experimental Data Fitting Used to curve fit experimentally derived raw elastomeric material data
(p. 601) and fit a number of material models to the data.
Bolt Preload (p. 589) Easily create simulated bolts with this tool for use in Nastran and Marc
analyses.
Feature Recognition Automatically and interactively recognize geometric features such as
(p. 592) holes, chamfers, and blend. Show, edit, and delete these features as
necessary.
Pre Release Provides access to pre-release capabilities in Patran.
Tools>List>Create 489
Tools Commands

10.3 Tools Commands


The following is a detailed description of the commands and dialog boxes that are referenced in the Tools
menu.

Tools>List>Create Creating Lists

The Tools>List process provides access to the commands with which you can generate and manipulate
lists.

Creating Lists
With the List>Create dialog box you establish a “pick list” of entities. The criteria for inclusion in the
list may be a common attribute that the entities possess (e.g., elements that have the same material
properties), or the association of the listed entities with one common entity (e.g., elements that are on the
same face).

Lists by Attributes
The nature of attributes that may be ascribed to entities depend primarily on whether they are geometric
or FEM entities.
490 Tools>List>Create
Creating Lists

Geometric Entities
For the purposes of lists, the only attribute of geometric entities is that they can be selected, either with
the cursor or by entering their names and ID numbers.
Tools>List>Create 491
Creating Lists

Attributes of FEM Entities


Common attributes of FEM entities include sharing one or more coordinate location values (applies to
nodes only), material properties, element properties (applies to elements only), or analysis result values.

Model Specifies the model definition, Geometry or FEM, that defines the
type of selectable objects.
Object Identifies the entity types to be include in the list. The entity
designations displayed when you press this button depend on the
Model type you selected.
Method Selects the criteria by which an entity’s inclusion in the list will be
determined (Attribute or Association).
492 Tools>List>Create
Creating Lists

Attribute Names the possible common attributes that determine which entities
will be included in the list.

• Select--entities are included as they are selected with the cursor or


their names and IDs are entered in the textbox.
• Coord Value--entities are included if one, two, or three of their
coordinates are equal, greater than, or less than a given value, or
fall between specified upper and lower boundaries.
• Fringe Value--entities are included if they share a specified result
value or value range (e.g., elements with a von Mises stress result
value greater than 20,000psi.).
• Property Set--entities are included if they share a common
property set.
• Material--entities are included if they share the same material
property specifications.
Target List (“A” or “B”) Places the resulting list in a form titled “List A” or “ListB”.

Coordinate Value/Coordinate Frames


If you are creating a list based on nodal coordinate values, you can specify any predefined coordinate
frame in which the coordinate values will be read. Because a coordinate frame may be rectangular,
cylindrical, or spherical, the dialog box entries may be X, Y, Z; R, T, Z; or R, T, P.

In cylindrical and spherical coordinate frames the tolerance values will be in degrees.

Range Specifications and Tolerances


If the attribute you have selected is either a coordinate value or a fringe value, additional options include
specifying how the value range will be calculated as well as a tolerance within which these values must
fall.

Specifying the Range


The dialog box will display the following range specification options symbols:

= the attribute must equal a certain value.


> the attribute’s value must be greater than a specified number.
< the attribute’s value must be less than a specified number.
|| the attribute’s value must be between two given boundary limits.
Tools>List>Create 493
Creating Lists

Tolerance
Enter a value (or accept the default) that determines how close the actual coordinate value or fringe value
must be to the specified range values so that the entity will be included in a list. For example, if the node
fringe value attribute is temperature, and the range is specified as F> 300 and Tol= 5, the list will include
all nodes for which the actual temperature result value was 295 degrees or higher.

Properties
If you are creating a list based on Property Set (element properties) or Material attributes, the dialog
box will contain the “Existing Property Sets” or “Existing Materials” textbox with the names of
previously defined element property sets or material properties. Pick the property set or material of
494 Tools>List>Create
Creating Lists

interest. When you press the Apply button, the list will comprise all elements to which the selected
properties or material is assigned.
A filtering mechanism helps you reduce a potentially long list by entering one or more letters of the name
of the desired property set.

Lists by Association
Association also depends on the nature of entities selected for the list. Geometric entities may be
associated with other geometric entities, whereas FEM entities may be associated either with other FEM
entities (e.g., nodes associated with the same element) or with geometric entities (e.g., nodes associated
with the same edge).
Tools>List>Create 495
Creating Lists

Target List
The list assembled in the List>Create dialog box will be entered in a List A or an identical List B form.
The listed entities may now be saved in the database as a group, added to another group, input into a select
databox in an application dialog box, or highlighted on the screen.

‘lista’ contents: Displays the list that resulted from the List>Create operation. The
contents of this textbox are not editable.
Add to Group Creates a new group for the listed entities or adds them to an existing
group.
Remove from Group Removes listed entities from a group.
Highlight Highlights listed entities on the screen.
Clear Removes all listed entities from the contents box.
Previous Restores the contents of the textbox to what it was before the current
list was applied.
496 Tools>List>Boolean
Boolean Operations on Lists

Tools>List>Boolean Boolean Operations on Lists

With the Tools>List>Boolean command sequence you can combine two lists into one, using Boolean
operations.

• Union--outputs a resultant list that contains all members of list A plus all members of list B.

• Subtraction--outputs a resultant list obtained by subtracting the contents of one list from the
contents of another list.
Tools>List>Boolean 497
Boolean Operations on Lists

• Intersection--outputs a resultant list obtained by finding members that are common to both list A
and list B.

‘listc’ Contents Displays the list that resulted from the Boolean operation.
Clear Removes all listed entities from the contents box.
Add to Group Creates a new group for the listed entities or adds them to an existing
group.
Remove from Group Removes listed entities from a group.
Replace A Transfers the contents of List C to List A.
Replace B Transfers the contents of List C to List B
Highlight Highlights listed entities on the screen.
498 Tools>Mass Properties
Calculating Mass Properties

Tools>Mass Properties Calculating Mass Properties

The Tools>Mass Properties application enables you to calculate the mass properties of two-or three-
dimensional geometric and finite element models. The calculations extend to entire models or any of their
subregions.
Tools>Mass Properties 499
Calculating Mass Properties

The numerical results of mass properties calculations are output in a spreadsheet along with an optional
graphic display of certain related symbols, such as the principal axes in the center of gravity. In addition,
you can request that the results be written in a formatted report file.
500 Tools>Mass Properties
Calculating Mass Properties

Dimension Selects the dimensionality of the analysis model. Models may be


defined as two-dimensional or three-dimensional.

• 3D--this model may include elements of all dimensions. Mass


properties of 1D and 2D elements are calculated with cross-
sectional areas and element thicknesses specified as element
properties.
• 2D axisymmetric--this model may contain 0D, 1D, and 2D
elements (concentrated masses, shells, and
2D-solids)
• 2D plane stress and 2Dplane strain--these models can consist of
only 0D and 2D elements.
Define Region Displays a secondary dialog box in which you can specify the
geometric or finite element model, or a portion of the model, for which
the mass properties will be calculated.
Relative to Coordinate Selects the coordinate frame in which the mass properties are
Frame calculated. The coordinate frame must be rectangular.
Density/ Concentrated Controls applicable density and mass values.
Mass
• Use Element Properties (default) applies the density specified for
the element material and the mass entered as element property.
• 1.0/0.0 overrides the defaults with a density value of 1.0 and a
mass value of 0.0.
Thicknesses/Areas/NSM Specifies additional element properties. For three-dimensional models
and 2D axisymmetric models you can use previously defined element
properties. For plane stress and plane strain models, however,
thickness and area default to 1.0 and non-structural mass defaults to
0.0.
Plot Principal Axes at CG Displays the principal axes at the center of gravity.
Create Principal Creates a coordinate frame that is aligned with the principal axes of
Coordinate Frame inertia.
Write to Report File Writes the calculation results to a formatted report file.
Mass Properties Display Redisplays the spreadsheet that contains the last calculated mass
properties.
Tools>Mass Properties 501
Calculating Mass Properties

Defining the Region for Mass Properties Calculation


When you pick the Define Region button, the following form will appear; in it you can specify the
geometric or FEM entities for which the mass properties are calculated.

Region Specifies the region for which mass properties calculations will apply.

• Group--mass properties are calculated for the region defined by a


selected group of entities.
• All--mass properties are calculated for all the appropriate included
entities on the screen.
• Selected--mass properties are calculated for a region defined by
selected entities.
502 Tools>Mass Properties
Calculating Mass Properties

Include Specifies the type of entities that can be included in the selected
region. Inclusion options are:

• Geometry--only geometric entities may be selected.


With this option, property data used for calculations must be
associated with the model geometry.
• FEM--only FEM entities may be selected.
If you pick this option, property data may be defined either for
geometric entities or for FEM entities.
• Both--both geometric and FEM entities may be selected.
Care must be taken with this option, because the calculated mass
may end up to be double the actual value if:
--both geometric and finite element entities occupy
the same space, and
--material and other properties (e.g., thickness)
are defined on the geometry.
Select Groups If your selection for Region is Group, this databox will display the
names of existing groups. Pick the group(s) for which the mass
properties will be calculated.

A filter is also provided to reduce a potentially large number of entries


in the Select Group textbox.
Geometric Entity List/ If your selection for Region is Selected, this textbox will display the
names of entities as you select them.
Finite Element Entity List/
The title of the textbox will be appropriate to the entity type you
Entity Selection
selected under Include (Geometry, FEM, Both).
Display Method Specifies how mass properties are calculated and displayed.
Summary • Mass properties are calculated for the entire region and a summary
of the results is displayed in the spreadsheet or report file.
Group • Mass properties are calculated for selected group(s) and are
displayed for each group in the spreadsheet and report file.
Entity • Mass properties are calculated for selected entity(s) and are
displayed for each entity in the spreadsheet and report file.

Displaying Mass Property Results


After mass properties have been calculated the results will be displayed in a spreadsheet. The format and
contents of the spreadsheet will depend on what you selected in the following dialog box entries:
• Region (in the Define Region form)--Group, All, Selected (see Region, 501)
• Display Method (also in the Define Region form)--Summary, Group, Entity (see Summary
Display Method, 503)
Tools>Mass Properties 503
Calculating Mass Properties

• Display Option (in the spreadsheet)--mass, CG, inertia tensors, etc.

Summary Display Method


This display is applicable to all three region definitions (Group, All, Selected). The spreadsheet displays
the summary of mass properties calculated for an entire model, for a group, or for a region made up of
selected entities. The column headings are determined by the display option you select in the spreadsheet
(e.g., “Mass, CG, Principal Inertias). Certain columns consist of three rows, these show the X, Y, and Z
component of the property listed at the top of the column.

Group Display Method


This display is applicable when the region is defined either as All or Group. The spreadsheet displays the
mass properties calculated for selected groups. The column and row definitions are the same as in the
504 Tools>Mass Properties
Calculating Mass Properties

summary spreadsheet, except that three rows of X,Y, Z components are now displayed for each group.
The name of the group is shown in the first column of the first row that contains information of that group.

Entity Display Method


This display is applicable only when the region is defined with the “Selected” option and you select
individual elements for the calculation. In the spreadsheet, the row definitions are the same as in the
summary spreadsheet, except that a three-row output (X,Y, Z components) is now displayed for each
element, and the first column of the first row of each also contains the name of the element.
Tools>Mass Properties 505
Calculating Mass Properties

For FEM entities, this spreadsheet will also contain additional columns to accommodate element
properties, such as element thickness, cross-sectional area, bar length, and property type. The N/A entry
in a cell indicates that the property is not applicable to that element (e.g., bar length for a plate element).

Mass, CG, Principal The first six columns are:


Inertias, and Others
1. Center of gravity (CG) in the Cartesian coordinate frame
2. CG in a user-specified coordinate frame
3. Principal inertias at the CG in decreasing order
4. Corresponding radii of gyration
5. Mass
6. Volume.
Inertia Tensor Columns 1, 2, and 3 contain the inertia tensor in a user-specified
coordinate frame relative to the coordinate frame origin. The last three
columns contain the inertia tensor in the reference Cartesian frame
relative to its origin.
Inertia Tensor at CG The first three columns contain the inertia tensor at the center of
gravity in a user-specified coordinate frame. The last three columns
contain the inertia tensor at the CG in the reference Cartesian frame.
506 Tools>Mass Properties
Calculating Mass Properties

Principal Directions in • Columns 1-3 - three mutually orthogonal principal direction unit
User-Specified Frame vectors at the CG, given in a user-specified coordinate frame in the
order of decreasing principal inertias;
• Column 5 - triad of 3-2-1 space fixed angles (see also on Mass
Properties, 479) that rotate a user-specified coordinate frame into
the principal inertia frame at the CG;
• Column 6 - the triad of 3-1-3 body-fixed angles (see also on Mass
Properties, 479) that rotate the user-specified frame into the
principal inertia frame at the CG.
Principal Directions in Ref. • Columns 1-3 - three mutually orthogonal principal direction unit
Cartesian Frame vectors at the CG, given in the reference Cartesian frame in the
order of decreasing principal inertias;
• Column 5 - triad of 3-2-1 space-fixed angles (see Mass Properties,
479) that rotate the reference Cartesian frame into the principal
inertia frame at the CG;
• Column 6 - triad of 3-1-3 body-fixed angles (see Mass Properties,
479) that rotate the reference Cartesian frame into the principal
inertia frame at the CG.

Reporting Mass Properties Results


Mass Properties reports are written in standard Patran report file format. A report will contain all
calculated mass properties, a list of included entities, and a list of rejected entities.
Follow these steps to output a Mass Properties report:
1. Complete all input in the Mass Properties dialog box
Tools>Mass Properties 507
Calculating Mass Properties

2. Click the Write To Report File toggle and the Report File form will be displayed. Initially only
the left-side portion of the form will be active.

3. Select the appropriate folder and enter a name for the report file. Be sure that the .rpt extension is
included.
4. Press Apply, and the right-hand side of the form will now become selectable.
5. Pick Mass Properties in the Report Contents list and press Apply. The report file will be written.
If you haven’t completed all input required for mass properties calculations, skip step 5, return to the
Mass Properties dialog box, perform whatever needs to be done. Press Apply to write the report.

Active Report Files


Once a report file has been started, it will remain open throughout a work session, even if you selected
“Cancel” in the dialog box and closed the report file form. In fact, it will remain active even if you close
the current database and start a new one without quitting Patran.
Therefore, Steps 2-5 in the preceding discussion apply only if you have not yet generated a report file in
the current work session; the process will be slightly different if a report has been created already.
If you select the Write To Report File toggle in the Mass Properties dialog box and the Report File form
does not appear, that is an indication that a report file is already running even though the report form may
be hidden (removed from the screen with the Cancel button). If you now request that another set of data
be written to a report, the new information will be automatically appended to the already open report file.
508 Tools>Mass Properties
Calculating Mass Properties

To create a new report file (and close the one that is open), select File>Report and the Report File form
will be redisplayed. Follow steps 3-5 for creating a new report file.
You can find and read your report files in the Notepad application.

Report File Comments

Center of Gravity
Center of Gravity coordinates are presented in Cartesian, as well as in a user-defined coordinate frame.

Principal Inertia Quantities


Principal inertias and corresponding radii of gyration are listed in descending order.

Inertia Tensor in Coordinate Frame


These inertia tensor components, in both the Cartesian and a user-defined coordinate frame, are given
relative to the origin of their respective coordinate frame.

Inertia Tensor at CG
These inertia tensor components, in both the Cartesian and a user-defined coordinate frame, are given at
the center of gravity.

Principal Direction Vectors


The principal direction vectors, given in both the Cartesian and a user-defined coordinate frame, are listed
in the order of decreasing principal inertia. Each set of the three principal direction vectors forms an
orthogonal matrix.
Tools>Mass Properties 509
Calculating Mass Properties

Rotation Angles
Space-fixed and body-fixed rotational angles (see Mass Properties, 479) are given in the Cartesian as
well as in a user-defined coordinate frame.

Rejected Entity List


Rejected elements are typically those for which the properties required for mass properties evaluation
have not been provided.
510 Tools>Beam Library
Using the Beam Library

Tools>Beam Library Using the Beam Library

Using the beam library, you can select among a number of dimensioned standard beam cross sections or
define a new “arbitrary” cross-sectional shape. Once you have supplied the necessary dimensions for a
standard cross section--or sufficient information for an arbitrary shape-- you can request that the
dimensioned profile and its calculated section properties be shown. Optionally, you can also output a
report file that contains all boundary and section property information.

Using Calculated Beam Properties


You may calculate beam properties independent of the analysis preference. However, Patran does not
support direct access of calculated beam properties for all analysis preferences. If you are using an
analysis preference that does not support direct access to calculated beam properties, you will need to
input the generated properties by hand or calculate the beam properties first using a supported analysis
preference and then change analysis preferences.
Tools>Beam Library 511
Using the Beam Library

Creating Standard Beam Cross Sections


When you select Tool>Beam Library, the following dialog box form will appear:

Action Creates, modifies, or deletes a beam cross section shape.


Object Selects Standard or Arbitrary for the shape definition.
Method Regardless of the analysis preference, you can only select standard
shapes supported by MD Nastran or MSC.Dytran.
Existing Sections Lists the names of previously defined beam cross sections.
New Section Name Specifies the name of the new beam cross section.
512 Tools>Beam Library
Using the Beam Library

Shape Symbols Shows the standard shape symbols. To browse through all the shapes,
press one of the arrows and the next (or previous) panel will be
displayed.

For a standard cross section, select one of the profiles. Its outline and
required dimensions will appear on the right side of the form. Fill in
all dimensions.

Spatial Scalar Fields Lists the name of existing spatial fields that you may apply for one or
more dimensions if the cross section varies along the length of the
beam.
Calculate/Display Displays the dimensioned cross section along with calculated section
properties and symbols.
Write to Report File Outputs section properties to a formatted report file.

Cross Section Display


After entering the required dimensions, press Calculate/Display to calculate beam properties and display
the following information.
Tools>Beam Library 513
Using the Beam Library

Variable Cross Sections


If you selected one or more spatial fields for dimensions, Patran recognizes that the beam cross section
will vary and the dialog box will display additional items to provide a location for evaluation along the
length of the beam. This location is defined either with a parametric function or with XYZ coordinates.
514 Tools>Beam Library
Using the Beam Library

Spatial Scalar Fields Lists the name of existing spatial fields that you
may apply for one or more dimensions if the cross
section varies along the length of the beam. To
enter the field value, first click in the dimension
databox then pick the field name.
Location Specification Options:
Select an Entity and a Parametric Location (C1) Evaluates the variable dimension at a parametric
location of the beam. Move the slider to the
appropriate position between End A (0.000) and
End B (1.000).
Specify an XYZ Coordinate Specify an XYZ Coordinate
Select a Beam or Curve Identifies the beam element, curve, or edge along
which the cross section varies. Click in the
or textbox and select the entity or enter its ID.
Coordinate If you picked the Specify an XYZ Coordinate
option, the textbox heading changes to
Coordinate. Enter the coordinates of the location
where the cross section is to be evaluated.

Creating Arbitrary Beam Cross Sections Using Boundary Loops


Arbitrary beam cross sections are generated with boundary contours or centerlines. Boundary contours
are closed loops made of straight line segments. The cross section may contain holes; these are generated
by adding inner boundaries to the shape definition. Because the first loop defines the outer boundary, all
subsequent loops must be located within the area enclosed by the first loop.
Tools>Beam Library 515
Using the Beam Library

In the Beam Library dialog box, next to Object, click the button marked Standard Shape to reveal the
other option of Arbitrary Shape. Notice that the dialog box form will change; the symbols of standard
shapes will be gone and the right side of the form will contain several new input items.

Option Shows the available methods for creating arbitrary profiles:

• Input Points--enter loop point coordinates


• Select Surface--trace the outline of a selected surface
• Read File--obtain point coordinates from a file.

Input Data Textbox where you enter point coordinates.


Point Displays a spreadsheet for point information. Points are numbered
consecutively.
X Outer X coordinate of a point in the outer (first) loop.
516 Tools>Beam Library
Using the Beam Library

Y Outer Y coordinate of a point in the outer (first) loop.


Stress Rec Label of a stress recovery point.
Arrows Moves to a higher or lower loop number.

Loop Shows the number of the loop that you are generating. Loop 1 is the
outer loop, any subsequent loops are inner loops that define holes in
the profile. Up to eight loops may be created.
Insert Row/ To insert a new row of data into the spreadsheet, select the row below
where the new row will be placed and press Insert Row. The row
Delete Row above it will become available for data input.

To delete a row from the spreadsheet, select the row and click the
Delete Row button.
Clear Boundary Deletes all input from the spreadsheet.
Display Boundary Draws the boundary loops. Loop points are numbered according to the
spreadsheet input.
Rotate/ Angle Rotates the points on all loops about point 1 of the outer loop by the
angle you enter in the Angle databox.

Using the Input Points option:


1. Click in the first X Outer cell.
2. Enter the X coordinate of the point in the Input Data textbox, press the Enter (or Return) key. The
value will be placed in the selected spreadsheet cell.
3. Click in the first Y Outer cell.
4. Enter the Y coordinate of the point in the Input Data textbox, press the Enter (or Return) key.
5. Continue entering points to define the loop. The maximum number of points you can specify in a
loop is 150. When you press Calculate/Display to create the section, the loop will be
automatically closed even if the last point you entered does not coincide with the first.
6. To create a hole in the cross section, press the up arrow to begin Loop 2. The spreadsheet headings
will be X Inner and Y Inner.
7. Continue entering hole boundaries as desired.

Using the Select Surface Option:


The inputs in the Select Surface dialog box will control the number of points that define the loop of the
cross sectional profile and will also determine how closely the cross section will follow the boundaries
of the surface.
Tools>Beam Library 517
Using the Beam Library

Because the loops of the cross-sectional boundary must consist of straight line segments, if a reference
surface has curved edges these will be substituted by straight lines. The deviation between a curved
segment and a straight line segment is called “allowable curvature error”; its default value is 0.05.

The endpoint coordinates of the line segments will be recorded in the spreadsheet as the boundary input
points. For a closer approximation--and a larger number of points--decrease the value of the curvature
error.
Once the data has been entered, there is no further connection between the surface and the section,
consequently you can edit the point coordinates as desired (e.g., round them up or down).

If the reference surface lies in the global XY, YZ, or XZ plane, the orientation of its boundary loops will
be defined in Coordinate Frame 0. If it is not in any principal plane, a temporary plane and coordinate
frame will be created as the edge points are recorded.
518 Tools>Beam Library
Using the Beam Library

Using the Read File Option


To read in the loop point coordinates from a file, the file must be in the same format as the last two
sections of the Report File titled Boundary Loops and Stress Recovery Points. Any other text preceding
the "Boundary Loops" heading will be ignored.

The two numbers in each line of the boundary loops data represent the X and Y coordinates of a point,
these will be entered into the spreadsheet. A blank line ends the loop. If there are several loops, each is
delimited by blank lines.
The “Stress Recovery Points” heading is followed by a line with up to four numbers that identify the
stress recovery points. The numbers correspond to the boundary loop points as they appear in the point
list starting with the first line (1) and not counting blank lines.

Stress Recovery Points


When you define an arbitrary boundary, you can also specify up to four boundary points as stress
recovery points, at which you want to see stresses reported. The procedure to identify these points is as
follows:
1. In the Point spreadsheet portion of the Beam Library dialog box, move the scrollbar to the right.
This will reveal the column with the heading Stress Rec (short for Stress Recovery).
2. In this column, click in the cell that is in the row of a point designated for stress recovery.
3. The Input Data databox will be replaced by the Stress Recovery options menu. Select a point
label (e.g., Point C).
4. Continue assigning additional points; points C through F can be selected. To eliminate a stress
recovery point, select None and the cell will be cleared. If you assign a label to a point and that
label is already in use, you will be asked if you wish to overwrite, or redefine, the stress recovery
point.
Tools>Beam Library 519
Using the Beam Library

5. When you press Calculate/Display, the profile will be drawn and the stress recovery points will
be labeled with the appropriate letters.

Creating Arbitrary Beam Cross Sections Using Centerlines


Arbitrary Shape using the Centerline method uses a set of branches that define the cross section of any
shape. Each branch has a beginning point and an end point. The next branch beginning point is the
previous branch ending point. Each branch has a beginning thickness and an end thickness, beginning
slope and end slope, and a even number of divisions that define the stress recovery points. If the slopes
are left blank, straight lines are assumed between begin and end point. If the number of divisions is left
blank, two is assumed, which gives three stress recovery points per branch. The begin and end points and
thicknesses at the begin and end points are required. Since each branch beginning point is the same as the
520 Tools>Beam Library
Using the Beam Library

end point of the previous branch it is sometimes necessary to overlap branches. When this is required,
you enter a zero thickness for the overlapping branch.

Option Displays the only available option: Input Branches.


Input Data Textbox where you enter X and Y coordinates.
Branch Displays a spreadsheet for branch information. Branches are
numbered consecutively.
X X coordinates of the beginning and end points.
Y Y coordinates of the beginning and end points.
Thickness Beginning and ending thickness for each branch.
dx/ds Beginning and ending slope in the X direction.
dy/ds Beginning and ending slope in the Y direction.
#Divs Number of divisions for each branch.
Tools>Beam Library 521
Using the Beam Library

Insert Branch/ To insert a new branch into the spreadsheet, select the branch below
where the new branch will be placed and press Insert Branch. The
Delete Branch branch above it will become available for data input.

To delete a branch from the spreadsheet, select the branch and click
the Delete Branch button.
Clear Branch Deletes all input from the spreadsheet.
Display Branches Draws the branches. Branches are numbered according to the
spreadsheet input.
Curvature Error The allowable Curvature Error will determine the number of straight
line segments used to approximate a curve.

You can define arbitrary sections with the Centerline method, press the Display Boundary button, and
then change the Method to Boundary Loops. The arbitrary shape from the centerline definition is also
stored as boundary loop data. At this point, if you press the Apply button, the beam section will be stored
as Boundary Loop arbitrary section as opposed to centerline data. Thus the centerline data can be used
directly in an MSC.Marc or MD Nastran analysis, or can be converted to boundary loops and used in
other analysis code including MSC.Marc if property values are accepted and input.

Centerline Method Examples.


Two examples of how to create cross sections with the centerline method are shown below.
The first example is a irregular, upside-down T beam. This requires 3 branches, one of which overlaps
and receives a zero thickness. The X, Y, and thickness values are tabularized below for the beginning
(e.g., 1b) and end (e.g., 1e) of each branch. The actual boundary loop points are calculated and displayed
on the side of the plot. As long as the Method is set to Centerline, the data is stored as branch data. This
means that the MSC.Marc, and MD Nastran analysis codes are the only ones that can take advantage of
this section. If however, you change the Method to Boundary Loops before pressing the Apply button,
then the section is stored as an arbitrary section with section properties calculated accordingly and all
522 Tools>Beam Library
Using the Beam Library

other analysis codes that accept section properties can use this section. In this case the Centerline method
was used out of convenience if defining the section.

X Y t
1b 0 0 1
1e 10 0 2
2b 10 0 0
2e 5 0 0
3b 5 0 3
3e 5 10 1

The second example is a D section with curvature. The X, Y, dx/ds, dy/ds and thickness values are
tabularized at the side of the plot. Two branches are defined. The slopes of the first branch are opposite
each other, thus indicating to the program a curvature for this branch. The D section looks bad when using
Tools>Beam Library 523
Using the Beam Library

the default curvature error. If you reduce this to say, 0.02 instead of the default 0.05, the D section looks
much better as shown below.

X Y t dx dy
1b 0 0 0.1 1 0
1e 0 1 0.1 -1 0
2b 0 1 0.1 0 -1
2e 0 0 0.1 0 -1
524 Tools>Beam Library
Using the Beam Library

Reporting Beam Section Data


If you pressed Write to Report File in the Beam Library dialog box, a report will be output about the
beam cross section you created. The procedure and the caveat are the same as in writing report files for
mass properties calculations; if you need more information please refer to (p. 507) of this manual.
Tools>Beam Library 525
Using the Beam Library
526 Tools>Beam Library
Using the Beam Library

Modifying Beam Cross Sections


You can change all data you used to define a beam cross section.

Existing Sections Lists existing cross sections. Select the one you want to change.
Rename Section As Displays textbox for entering a new name.
Section Symbols Shows cross section symbols. Pick the section you want to use to
replace the existing one.
Section Dimensions Displays existing dimensions. Edit dimensions as desired.
Tools>Beam Library 527
Using the Beam Library

Spatial Scalar Fields Lists existing fields. To associate a dimension with a field, click in the
dimension databox then pick the field name.
Location Specification Modifies the location where the field value will be evaluated. Enter
Options new coordinates, or select a new curve or beam element and move the
slider to define a new parametric location.

Deleting Beam Cross Sections


To delete a beam cross section, in the Beam Library dialog box next to Action select Delete.

Existing Sections Lists existing beam cross sections. Pick the section(s) you want to
delete.
Sections to Delete Displays the name of the cross section(s) you selected for deletion.
Apply Deletes the selected cross section(s) and remains in the Beam Library
application
Cancel Cancels the delete action and exits the Beam Library application.
528 Tools>Regions
Creating and Managing Model Variables

Tools>Regions Creating and Managing Model Variables

Named Regions are collections of entities that can be used as application regions for Loads and Boundary
Conditions as well as Element Properties. They are general like Groups, but differ in that they are not
used for display purposed and are restricted (like Application Regions) in that they can only contain one
topology type (1D, 2D, 3D). Some Applications, such as CATIA import, will automatically create these
named Regions making them a convenient way to define LBC or Element Property application regions.
Tools>Regions 529
Creating and Managing Model Variables

Creating Named Application Regions


Select Regions from the Tools pulldown menu and set the Action of the form to Create. Give the region
a name, select the entity type and topology if applicable. Then select the entities using the Select Entities
form as shown below.
530 Tools>Regions
Creating and Managing Model Variables

Once a named Region is created it can be used on the Select Application Region form of a Load and
Boundary Condition or Element Property Set and in other select areas of Patran.

Selecting Entites for Named Regions


There are two modes for collecing entities for a named Region: Entities and Groups
The Entities option of Region Creation works almost exactly like Entity selection of Application Regions
only with Application Region selection there are pre-defined limits (defined by the application) on the
type of topology that may be selected. When creating Regions the user defines the topology using the
Target Entity Type pull-down menu. Regions can also be created using Regions to “filter” which
entities are selected.
The types of Regions that can be created (node, element, edge, face), correspond to the type of entities
required in the Application Region of the LBC or Element Property set, and also by the dimensionality
of the Application Region entities (0, 1, 2, or 3 D). Once these are selected the individual entities, or
group the entities belong to, can be selected on the “Select Application Region” form.
On the Select Application Region form the Regions can be created using the Entities option by selecting
FEM or geometry entities similar to what can be done on the LBC or Element Property forms. The select
menus are used to filter the types of entities that can be graphically selected from the graphics screen.

3D Entity Select
Element E
2D Entity Select

1D Entity Select Face Select

0D Entity Select Node Select


Tools>Regions 531
Creating and Managing Model Variables

Selecting Groups for Named Regions


If the select pull-down menu on the Select Application Region from is set to Group, the valid entities in
the selected group would be used as the Application Region. The list of valid entities on the the Select
Application Regions form will change based on the Target Entity Type and/or Target Element Type
menus on the main Create form.

Modify a Named Application Regions


This is identical to creating a region except you select an existing region first and then proceed the same
way you would to create a region by selecting the entities you want to add or remove.
532 Tools>Regions
Creating and Managing Model Variables

Show Named Application Regions


Showing a named region will highlight all the entities in that region in the graphics window. Set the
Action to Show, select the region to be shown and press the Apply button.

Deleting Named Application Regions


To delete a named region set the Action to Delete, select the region(s) to be deleted and press Apply. All
regions in the Regions to be Deleted list box will be removed.
Tools>Model Variables 533
Creating and Managing Model Variables

Tools>Model Variables Creating and Managing Model Variables

Model variables provide the foundation for design studies. They are the parameters, or properties, whose
magnitude will be modified in the process of performing iterative solutions. A variable may be a
dimension value, an element property (e.g., plate thickness), or a material property.

Creating Model Variables


Variables defined for a geometric or finite element model fall into the following categories:
• value--a non-specific attribute value associated with the model
for example, a dimension.
• property--an element property, for example, element thickness
• material--a material property, for example, density.
• beam dimension--a selected dimension in a previously defined beam cross section, for example,
the inner diameter of a tube.
534 Tools>Model Variables
Creating and Managing Model Variables

Values as Variables

Action Lists the action that can be performed. In addition to creating new
variables, you can also show (verify), modify, and delete existing
variables.

Existing Variables Displays the names of previously defined variables.


Variable Name Names the new variable. The unique name may be a letter, a symbol,
or a text string, up to 32 characters long.
Description Provides a space where you can describe the nature of the variable.
This optional entry is especially helpful if you used an abbreviation or
symbol for the name of the variable and may not remember in the
future what the intent was (for example, which dimension was
designated as “L1”?).
Tools>Model Variables 535
Creating and Managing Model Variables

Analysis Value Shows the initial value of the variable. Enter a real, scalar number.
Create Referencing Field If ON, creates a field for the model variable.
536 Tools>Model Variables
Creating and Managing Model Variables

Element Properties as Variables

Existing Variables Displays the names of previously defined variables.


Variable Name Names the new variable. The unique name may be a letter, a symbol,
or a text string, up to 32 characters long.
Tools>Model Variables 537
Creating and Managing Model Variables

Description Provides a space where you can describe the nature of the variable. If
no description is entered, Patran will create a description; it specifies
the names of the Property Set and Property Name from which the
variable was created.
Analysis Value Shows the initial value of the variable. Enter a real, scalar number.
Dimension These two entries act together as a filter that facilitates finding the
element property that will be designated as the variable. The search
Type will be limited to the properties associated with those elements for
which the named dimensionality and type apply.
Select Property Set Lists the names of the Property Sets defined for the designated
element type. Pick the set that contains the property you wish to
parameterize.
Select Psets by Elements Selects a Property Set associated with an element you pick on the
screen (this can be helpful if you do not remember the pairing of
property sets and elements).
Select Property Name Displays a specific property contained in the named Property Set.
538 Tools>Model Variables
Creating and Managing Model Variables

Beam Dimensions as Variables

Existing Variables Displays the names of previously defined variables.


Variable Name Names the new variable. The unique name may be a letter, a symbol,
or a text string, up to 32 characters long.
Tools>Model Variables 539
Creating and Managing Model Variables

Description Provides a space where you can describe the nature of the variable. If
no description is entered, Patran will create a description; it will
identify the name of the element property set and specific element
property (e.g., Thickness) from which the variable was created.
Analysis Value Shows the initial value of the variable. Enter a real, scalar number.
Type This entry acts as a filter that facilitates finding the beam section for
which the variable is applied. The beam library will be searched for the
specified beam cross section type.
Select Beam Section Lists the names of previously defined beam cross sections. Pick the
one that contains the property you wish to parameterize.
Select Beams by Elements Selects a beam cross section associated with an element you pick on
the screen (this can be helpful if several beam elements exist each with
their own cross sections and you do not remember which name goes
with which element).
Select Beam Dimension Lists all dimensions pertaining to the named beam section. Select a
beam dimension which will become the variable.
540 Tools>Model Variables
Creating and Managing Model Variables

Material Properties as Variables

Existing Variables Displays the names of previously defined variables.


Variable Name Names the new variable. The unique name may be a letter, a symbol,
or a text string, up to 32 characters long.
Tools>Model Variables 541
Creating and Managing Model Variables

Description Provides a space where you can describe the nature of the variable. If
no description is entered, Patran will create a description; it will
identify the name of the material property set and specific element
property (e.g., Density) from which the variable was created.
Analysis Value Shows the initial value of the variable. Enter a real, scalar number.
Category This entry acts as a filter that facilitates finding the property that will
be designated as the variable. The search will be limited to the
material to which the category type applies (e.g., Isotropic).
Select Material Lists the names of previously defined materials. Pick the material that
contains the property you wish to parameterize.
Select Materials by Selects a material associated with an element you pick on the screen
Elements (this can be helpful if you do not remember which material goes with
which element).
Select Property Name Selects a specific property contained in the named material definition.
Also enters its current value into the Analysis Value textbox.

Displaying Model Variables


With the Model Variables>Show command you can display and verify any or all variables and their
values.

Select Variables to Show Displays all previously defined variables. Pick one or several to show
in detail.
Select by Elements Selects the properties associated with elements you pick on the screen.
542 Tools>Model Variables
Creating and Managing Model Variables

After you picked the variable(s) you want to verify, press Apply and the variable information will be
displayed in a spreadsheet.

Pick any of the properties and its description will appear in the lower left corner of the spreadsheet.
Tools>Model Variables 543
Creating and Managing Model Variables

Modifying Model Variables


In this dialog box you can modify the initial value of a variable as well as the description attached to it.
The names of variables cannot be changed.

Select Variable to Modify Lists all variables contained in the database. Pick the variable you want
to modify.
Variable Name Displays the name you selected. This name cannot be changed.
Description Displays the original description that you can edit or replace.
Modified Value Enter the new value you want to assign to the variable. All field values
and relationships that depend on the value of this parameter will be
updated when the new value is applied.

Deleting Model Variables


When you delete a model variable, all fields and other properties associated with it will be deleted from
the database.
544 Tools>Model Variables
Creating and Managing Model Variables

If a finite element property is defined as a function of a deleted variable, the current value will be used
for the property entry rather than leaving the property blank.

Select Variables to Delete Lists all variables contained in the database. Pick one or more
variables that you want to delete.
Select by Elements Select an element whose property is a variable that you want to delete.
Apply/Close Pick Apply to complete the deletion. Pick Close to cancel the delete
action and exit from the application.
Tools>Design Studies>Pre-Process 545
Creating Design Studies

Tools>Design Studies>Pre-Process Creating Design Studies

This tool is used in conjunction with analysis setup of MSC Nastran SOL 200 optimization analyses. To
successfully run a SOL 200 job you must setup a design study. Design studies are then selected when a
SOL 200 job is submitted from the Analysis application. Please see Optimize (Ch. 3) in the Patran
Interface to MD Nastran Preference Guide.
Before you can initiate a design study, you have to:
• consider the objective, or goal of the design study and of optimization. Although there may be a
number of possible objectives, in the majority of structural analysis problems the objective of
optimization is to minimize the weight of the model.
• parameterize the model. Define the variable dimensions or properties that may change in order
to achieve the optimal design.
• decide the constraints to place on the design. Define the condition that is considered as a limiting
factor in the optimization process.
This tool allows you to:
• define the design objectives of the optimization
• define the design variables or parametization of the model
• define the design constraints the model is subject to during the optimization
• create named constraint sets, a collection of constraints
• create a design study, a collection of objectives, variables, and constraints.

Important: Note on topology optimization versus sizing optimization. There are two
mechanisms to set up a topology optimization run.

• The first is through the Analysis form with the Action set to Optimize. The Customized
Solutions form is used to turn ON topology optimization and define constraints, objectives,
domains, and optimization controls. The mechanism is referred to as Quick Topology
Optimization.
• The second is through the definition of a design study using this tool. All constraints,
objectives, responses, etc. are defined and collected into a design study. Both sizing and
topology can be mixed in the same design study. This is referred to as General Topology
Optimization.
Quick Topology Optimization supersedes General Topology Optimization. If you wish to use
General Topology Optimization, please ensure that you have turned OFF the customized
solution topology optimization in the Analysis | Optimize | Customized Solutions... form and
that you select the design study and the objective/constraint of interest from the Design Study
Select... and the Global Obj/Cosntr Select forms.
546 Tools>Design Studies>Pre-Process
Creating Design Studies

Creating Design Studies

Action Lists the action that can be performed.


Note that with Create you can also modify a design study.

Object Displays the object of the action.


Current Design Study Shows the name of the current design study.
Existing Design Study Displays the names of existing design studies. Pick the name of an
existing design study if you want to modify it.
Design Study Name Provides a textbox where you can enter a name for a new design study.
The name may consist of any number of alpha-numeric characters.
special symbols and spaces are not acceptable.
Tools>Design Studies>Pre-Process 547
Creating Design Studies

Description Provides a textbox where you can enter a detailed description of the
design study.
Make Current Makes the selected design study current. Only those design parameter
values that originate in a current design study can be used to update
finite element model properties.

You can modify a design study even if it is not current (the toggle is
not on), but the parameter values of the model will not be updated.
Modifications to a design study that is not current will not affect a
current design study.
Design Study Setup
Design Variables Displays the Design Variables dialog box where you can review and
modify design variables (see Design Variables, 547).
Design Objective Displays the Design Objective dialog box (see Design Objectives, 551)
and allows you to associates them to a design study.
Design Constraints Displays the Design Constraints dialog box (see Design Constraints,
552) and associate them to a design study.
Constraint Sets Displays a dialog box where you can associate them to a design study.
Max/Min... Displays a dialog box where you can associate them to a design study.
Apply/Close Saves or discards input. The design study will be saved only if you
press Apply.

Design Variables
A design variable is a model variable that is used in a design study and in optimization. You create model
variables when you create a design variable or you can select an existing model variable to create the
design variable. When you press Design Variables in the Design Study dialog box, a spreadsheet will
display a summary of variables and their attributes. Because initially every model variable is also
considered a design variable, the spreadsheet will contain all variables defined in a database.
548 Tools>Design Studies>Pre-Process
Creating Design Studies

With the exception of the parameter names and their default initial values, all other data in the spreadsheet
may be modified.

The first column contains the name of the variable. Subsequent column headings and their contents are
as follows:

Design Variable A YES entry in this column confirms that the model variable is also a
design variable. If a variable is not to be used in the design study, you
can “deselect” it by clicking on the word YES. All variable
information for this item will be removed, indicating that the variable
is not a design variable, even though it is listed in the spreadsheet. To
toggle back to YES, click in the field again.
You can pick several consecutive items in this column at the same
time by dragging the cursor down the column.

A button will then appear at the top of the spreadsheet to show that the
current status is YES. Click on YES, to display the choices, pick NO,
then press the Enter (or Return) key, and the items will be deselected.
The button also works in the reverse (NO to YES).

Analysis Value Displays the value you assigned to the variable when you defined it.
This value cannot be changed here.
Tools>Design Studies>Pre-Process 549
Creating Design Studies

Design Value Provides a field where the value of a design variable will be placed, if
you define one that is different from the value of the model variable.

When you click in this field, a textbox appears at the top of the
spreadsheet. Type a new value then press Enter (or Return).

If you specify a new design value, the original lower and upper
boundary values will no longer be valid. Therefore, you will see the
following message:

Press Yes to acknowledge the warning. The new value will be entered
in the Design Value category and one or more of the boundary values
will change accordingly.
Lower Bound Displays the lowest value the design variable may assume during the
design study/design optimization process. By default, this boundary is
set to 10% below the base value. To change the boundary value, click
in the appropriate field then enter the new value in the Input New
Value textbox.
Upper Bound Displays the highest value the design variable may assume during the
design study/design optimization process. By default, this boundary is
set to 10% above the base value. To change the boundary value, click
in the appropriate field then enter the new value in the Input New
Value textbox.
Move Limit Specifies the change allowed in a design variable in each design cycle.
Default is 1.0, the equivalent of 100%.
Design Cycle Select Calls up the Design Cycle Select dialog box.
Defaults Resets all entries to their original value. Keeps the dialog box on the
screen.
OK/Cancel OK accepts all variables. Cancel closes the form.
550 Tools>Design Studies>Pre-Process
Creating Design Studies

Design Cycle Select


In this dialog box you can update the design variables in the study with the solution values output by the
solver and stored in the results database.

Runs Displays the names of the result cases, or runs, that were output by
iteratively performing analysis with different values of the variables.
Design Cycles Presents the list of design cycles (subcases).
Design Variables Shows the design variables.
Values Displays the values of the design variables for a selected design cycle.

To apply the results of a particular cycle of an analysis run in the design study, pick the name of the Run
then pick a Design Cycle. The design variable values of that run and cycle will be shown. Press OK to
accept the new values. When the Design Variables spreadsheet is redisplayed, the variables will be
updated to the new values.

Design Responses
Design responses are objectives or constraints. If you define a design response, you can select it to be
used as either an Design Objective or a Design Constraint later on. You can also group them together
under a MaxMin definition. The information necessary to define a design resonse is the same as that for
an objective or constraint. See Design Objectives, 551 and Design Constraints, 552 below.
Tools>Design Studies>Pre-Process 551
Creating Design Studies

Design Objectives
The design objective is the goal of the optimization process.
The computation of total weight includes only elements with definable volume. Elements such as lumped
mass (CONM2) and distributed mass/unit length are excluded--in fact these are invariant during design
optimization.

Solution Set this to the solution of interest. Valid solutions are:

• Linear Statics
• Normal Modes
• Buckling
• Frequency Response
• Transient Response
• Global
Response The combination of Solution and Response is the overall objective.
Each Solution has it’s own valid Responses, which can consist of
responses at discrete locations on the model

• Displacement, Velocity, or Acceleration


• Stress, Strain, Strain Energy, Compliance or Force
• Frequency, Eigenvectory, or Buckling mode
or global objectives such as

• Weight
• Volume
• Fractional Mass
• Average Compliance
Existing Objectives Displays names of the objective function already defined.
Use Existing Response For some Objectives, you may select an existing Response to define
the objective rather than redefining it again.
Min/Max Used to indicate whether the objective is to minimize or maximize the
objective such as weight or a response.
Component Type Entities For some responses, you must select the component of interest such as
translational maginitude, invariant or individual component. You may
also be required to select a model location such as a node, element, or
a property set that contains the entities of interest where the objective
is to be monitored for optimization.
552 Tools>Design Studies>Pre-Process
Creating Design Studies

Examples objectives:
• minimize the weight or volume of the structure
• minimize the displacement at a particular location
• maximize the buckling load
• minimize the stress in a member
• minimize the acceleration at a particular point at a particular frequency

Design Constraints
Design constraints provide certain restrictions, or limits, to ensure that as the optimization process
advances toward achieving the design objective, other design conditions do not become compromised.
As an example, you may decrease the cross-sectional area of a beam to minimize its weight, but not to
the extent where the axial stress generated in the beam increases beyond a specified value.
The nature of a design constraint depends, primarily, on the type of analysis solution you are performing.
In general, you define a constraint much the same way you define an objective except you give additional
information, the most important being the bounds in which the response must remain such as stress not
exceeding a particular value.

Displacements / Eigenvectors, Velocity, Acceleration, SPC Force


These constraints are valid for linear static, normal modes, frequency and transient response. Select a
translational (TX, TY, TZ) or rotational (RX, RY, RZ) displacement component and a location on the
model such as a node to apply the constraint. Alternatively, you may select Magnitude. The resultant will
automatically create an MD Nastran DRESP2/DEQUATIN entry pair. In case of frequency and transient
response, you may also define the frequencies or time steps of interest and whether the responses of all
frequencies or time steps should be subject to some algebraic function such as summation, average, etc.
Upper and/or lower bound definitions of the constraint are required. These also can be defined per
frequency and/or time step. By default all frequencies and/or time steps are used.

Stress, Strain, Strain Energy & Force


These constraints are valid for linear static, normal modes, frequency and transient response. Select the
attributes of the constraint and the location onthe model such as an element or a property set of the entities
of interest. Filters are available to easily select the dimentionality and correct property set. The constraint
responses can be subjected to a custom function such as determining the maximum or average value.
Upper and/or lower bounds must be set. For normal modes analysis you must specify the mode for which
this constraint is valid. For frequency and transient response, the constraints per frequency and/or time
step can be defined. Bt default all frequency and/or time steps are used.

Grid Point Force


Valid for linear statics and defined similary to above constraints except a list of nodes and elements is
required.
Tools>Design Studies>Pre-Process 553
Creating Design Studies

Composite Stress, Strain, and Failure


Valid for linear statics and defined similarly to above contraints except they require a ply number to be
specified.

Frequency & Buckling Mode


For normal modes and buckling you may specify the frequency of a mode number to constrain. The upper
and/or lower bounds of that frequency must be entered. For buckling, a number of modes may be
specified for which all must remain within the critical loads upper and lower bound specified.

Global Constraints
Weight, Volume, Fractional Mass, Average Compliance, Compliance, and Total Strain Enetergy are
global constraints that can be setup that require only the upper and/or lower bounds to be specified. The
latter two are valid for linear statics and normal modes only, respectively. Total Strain Energy requires
the mode of interest to be specified.

Constraint Sets
These are named sets of Design Constraints that can be selected later on when defining a Design Study
instead of selecting individual Design Constraints.

Maximum/Minimum Definitions
These are collections of responses for which special consideration is given to minimize (or maximize)
the maximum response of the collection. An example might be minimizing the stress in a set of elements
where each element response is setup separately as a Response. Thus they are all collected together in a
Min/Max definition.
When an input deck is created, each response is written to the input deck using a DRESP1 entry. The
DESRP2 entry is then used to associate all the DRESP1 entries and the BETA function keyword used to
indicate minimizing the maximum response. The constants C1, C2, and C3 are optional and default to
1.0, 0.005, and 10.0 respectively if not explicitly given. These constants are used in optimization
equations as explained in the Nastran Quick Reference Guide under the DRESP2 entry. C1 weights the
design variable, C2 sets an initial value, and C3 provides an offset to avoid dividing by zero.
554 Tools>Design Studies>Post-Process
Creating Design Studies

Tools>Design Studies>Post-Process Creating Design Studies

After running a topology optimization analysis in SOL 200 of MSC Nastran, use the Action:
• Read Results - to first import the new mesh from a jobname.des. This file is created by the
analysis run. Or import from a jobname.xdb file if PARAM,POST,0 is included in the input deck.
• Display Results - to view the results of the optimization run. A shaded or fringe plot of element
density distribution is created. Each time a plot is created a new group is created (defined by the
user, default = HIGH_DES_GRPn) and used to post the results on the elements associated to the
result case selected. The target elements, when creating the element density plot, can be the
"Entire Model", only elements posted and visible in the "Current View", or elements with
selected "Properties". If you select "Current View" please be aware that when you make a plot,
a new group is created and posted. If you make a subsequent plot with different results, the
"Current View" is now the new group posted. To avoid an unexpected plot, make sure the group
or groups with the desired target elements are posted first. The one exception to this is if the
posted group is the same as the group to be created as listed on the form, then "Current View"
will not be used, but the previous set of posted groups.
• FEM Smooth - to smooth the mesh. During this operation the elements are modified. A backup
database is created to preserve the original model in case you need to revert back to the original
model before smoothing.
Tools>Results Templates 555
Creating and Applying Results Templates

Tools>Results Templates Creating and Applying Results Templates

Results Templates provide a convenient means of storing in the database collections of settings that you
can use to create plots, graphs and reports under the Results menu. Settings stored in Results Templates
are applied to the Results Display Attributes and Plot Options menu settings for the following results
tools: Deformation Plot, Fringe Plot, Marker Vector Plot, Marker Tensor Plot, Graph, and Report.
The Results Templates menu provides the ability to Create, Edit, Copy, Delete, Export, and Import results
templates and then a means to Apply the template values to the Results Display Attributes and Plot
Options menu settings. Once you Create and Apply a Results Template from the Tools menu, you can go
the Results menu and select the “Use Templates” option. For more information on the Use Templates
option, see Use Templates (p. 24) in the Results Postprocessing.
Patran can also be customized to automatically load into a new or opening database a set of predefined
Results Templates.

Applying Results Templates


The Apply To Form action takes values from the selected Results Template and sets them on the
corresponding Results Display Attributes and Plot Options forms. The corresponding Results form to
Create or Modify the same Object must already be displayed before the template values can be applied
to the Results Display Attributes and Plot Options forms. For example, before applying a Deformation
556 Tools>Results Templates
Creating and Applying Results Templates

template to the Results forms, you need to display either the Create Deformation or Modify Deformation
results menu.

Object Defines the Results tools to which the Template will be applied.
Existing Deformation Select an the existing template to apply. The list includes templates
Templates that match the selected object.

Creating and Managing Results Templates


Use the Create, Copy, Edit, and Delete actions on the Results Templates form to obtain Results Display
Attributes and Plot Options values from a Result Tool, and then use those values to create and manage a
Tools>Results Templates 557
Creating and Applying Results Templates

Results Template. You can then use this Results Template to create more results tools (plots, graphs, and
reports) and be assured that they have the same attributes and options settings as the original.
558 Tools>Results Templates
Creating and