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FEMAP

Commands
Version 9.3
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Proprietary and Restricted Rights Notice
2007 UGS Corp. All Rights Reserved. This software and related documentation are proprietary to UGS Corp.
All trademarks belong to their respective holders.
UGS
Web: http://www.femap.com
Customer Support
Phone: (714) 952-5444, (800) 955-0000 (In US & Canada)
Web: http://support.ugs.com
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Conventions
This manual uses different fonts to highlight command names or input that you must type.
Throughout this manual, you will see references to Windows. Windows refers to Microsoft

Windows 2000, Win-


dows Me, or Windows XP. You will need one of these operating environments to run FEMAP for the PC. This
manual assumes that you are familiar with the general use of the operating environment. If you are not, you can
refer to the Windows Users Guide for additional assistance.
Similarly, throughout the manual all references to FEMAP, refer to the latest version of our software.
Special note about customers using Windows Vista:
FEMAP 9.3 is being released close to the same time as the initial release of Windows Vista. Although we have
tested FEMAP on Windows Vista with much success, there are issues with many graphics cards and drivers not
being available for Vista at this time, which may cause issues in FEMAP. Currently, Windows Vista is an unsup-
ported platform.
a:setup Shows text that you should type.
OK, Cancel Shows a command name or text that you will see in a
dialog box.
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1Table of Contents
Proprietary and Restricted Rights Notice
1 Table of Contents
1. Introduction
2. File Manipulation
2.1 Opening a Model File . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-1
2.1.1 File, New... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-1
2.1.2 File, Open... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-1
2.1.3 File, Close... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-2
2.1.4 File, Close All . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-2
2.2 Saving the Model File . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-2
2.2.1 File, Save... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-2
2.2.2 File, Save As... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-3
2.2.3 File, Save All . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-3
2.2.4 File, Timed Save... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-3
2.3 Importing/Exporting Files. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-3
2.3.1 File, Import Menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-3
2.3.2 File, Export Menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-6
2.3.3 File, Analyze... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-8
2.4 Using Notes and References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-8
2.4.1 File, Notes... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-8
2.4.2 File, References... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-8
2.5 Using Print, Copy, and Paste . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2-10
2.5.1 File, Page Setup... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2-10
2.5.2 File, Print... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2-12
2.5.3 File, Printer Setup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2-15
2.5.4 File, Picture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2-16
2.5.5 File, Messages Menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2-19
2.6 Using Rebuild and Preferences. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2-20
2.6.1 File, Rebuild... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2-20
2.6.2 File, Preferences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2-20
2.7 Using File, Recent Models - 1,2,3,4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2-40
2.8 Exiting FEMAP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2-40
3. Geometry
3.1 Creating Points . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-1
3.1.1 Geometry, Point... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-1
3.2 Creating Curves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-1
3.2.1 Lines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-1
3.2.2 Arcs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-8
3.2.3 Circles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3-11
3.2.4 Splines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3-15
3.2.5 Curves from Surfaces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3-19
3.3 Creating Surfaces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3-23
3.3.1 Sketch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3-24
3.3.2 Boundary Surfaces... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3-24
3.3.3 Surfaces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3-28
3.3.4 Midsurface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3-36
3.4 Creating Solids/Volumes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3-38
3.4.1 Volumes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3-38
3.4.2 Solids . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3-42
3.5 Copying Geometry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3-57
3.5.1 Geometry, Copy Commands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3-57
3.5.2 Geometry, Radial Copy Commands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3-58
3.5.3 Geometry, Scale Commands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3-58
3.5.4 Geometry, Rotate Commands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3-59
3.5.5 Geometry, Reflect Commands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3-59
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TOC-2 Table of Contents
3.6 Modifying Geometry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-60
3.6.1 Curve Operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-60
3.6.2 Moving Geometry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-66
3.6.3 Edit/Parameters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-72
3.6.4 Advanced Updates - Modify, Update Other Commands . . . . . . . . . . . 3-74
3.7 Deleting Geometry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-75
4. Finite Element Modeling
4.1 Creating Coordinate Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-1
4.1.1 Model, Coord Sys... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-1
4.2 Creating Finite Element Entities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-3
4.2.1 Model, Node... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-3
4.2.2 Model, Element... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-4
4.2.3 Model, Material . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-12
4.2.4 Model, Property... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-23
4.2.5 Model, Layup... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-37
4.3 Creating Loads And Constraints . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-42
4.3.1 Create/Activate Load Set . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-42
4.3.2 Load Definitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-42
4.3.3 Finite Element Loads . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-43
4.3.4 Geometric Loads . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-53
4.3.5 Load Analysis Options . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-59
4.3.6 Load Set Manipulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-64
4.3.7 Activate/Create Constraint Set . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-68
4.3.8 Constraint Definitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-69
4.3.9 Finite Element (Nodal) Constraints . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-70
4.3.10 Geometric Constraints . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-72
4.3.11 Constraint Set Manipulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-74
4.4 Creating Connections and Regions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-76
4.4.1 Connect, Automatic... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-76
4.4.2 Connect, Surfaces... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-78
4.4.3 Connect, Connection Property... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-79
4.4.4 Connect, Connection Region... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-95
4.4.5 Connect, Connector... (Contact Pair) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-98
4.4.6 Connect, Fluid Region... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-98
4.4.7 Connect, Bolt Region... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-101
4.4.8 Connect, Rotor Region... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-102
4.5 Using Optimization Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-103
4.5.1 Goal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-103
4.5.2 Vary - Design Variables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-103
4.5.3 Limit - Design Constraints. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-103
4.6 Working with Functions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-104
4.7 Modifying FEA Entities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-107
4.7.1 Moving FEA Entities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-107
4.7.2 Edit/Parameters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-115
4.7.3 Advanced Updates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-119
4.8 Deleting FEA Entities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-127
4.9 Preparing for Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-129
4.9.1 Defining a Analysis Set . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-131
4.9.2 Running the Analysis with an Analysis Set . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-135
5. Meshing
5.1 Meshing on Geometry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5-1
5.1.1 Mesh, Mesh Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5-1
5.1.2 Mesh, Geometry. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5-16
5.2 Non-Geometry Meshing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5-34
5.2.1 Mesh, Between... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5-34
5.2.2 Mesh, Region... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5-39
5.2.3 Mesh, Connection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5-40
5.2.4 Mesh, Transition... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5-42
5.3 Modifying a Mesh. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5-43
5.3.1 Mesh, Editing Menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5-43
5.3.2 Mesh, Remesh Menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5-44
5.3.3 Mesh, Edge Members... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5-50
5.3.4 Mesh, Smooth... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5-52
5.4 Copying a Mesh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5-53
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5.4.1 Mesh, Copy Menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5-53
5.4.2 Mesh, Radial Copy Menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5-56
5.4.3 Mesh, Scale Menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5-56
5.4.4 Mesh, Rotate Menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5-57
5.5 Meshing by Extruding, Revolving, and Sweeping . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5-58
5.5.1 Mesh, Extrude Menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5-59
5.5.2 Mesh, Revolve Menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5-65
5.5.3 Mesh, Sweep . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5-67
6. Viewing Your Model
6.1 View Activation, Management, and Options . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6-1
6.1.1 View, Set... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6-1
6.1.2 View, All Views... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6-2
6.1.3 View, Background... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6-2
6.1.4 View, Layers... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6-5
6.1.5 View, Select and View, Options . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6-5
6.1.6 View, Advanced Post . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-25
6.2 Modifying the View . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-26
6.2.1 View, Rotate Menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-26
6.2.2 View, Align By Menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-32
6.2.3 View, Autoscale . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-32
6.2.4 View, Magnify... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-33
6.2.5 View, Zoom... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-34
6.2.6 View, UnZoom... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-35
6.2.7 View, Center... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-35
6.2.8 View, Pan... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-36
6.2.9 Deleting Views (Delete, View command) . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-37
6.3 Window Menu Commands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-37
6.3.1 Manipulating Multiple View Windows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-37
6.3.2 Redrawing Windows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-40
6.4 Groups and Layers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-43
6.4.1 Differences Between Groups and Layers . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-43
6.4.2 Layer Commands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-43
6.4.3 Group Menu Commands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-44
6.4.4 Deleting Groups (Delete, Group command). . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-62
6.4.5 Renumbering Groups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-63
7. Modeling Tools
7.1 Undo and Workplane . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7-1
7.1.1 Undo and Redo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7-1
7.1.2 Tools, Workplane... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7-2
7.2 Dockable Panes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7-6
7.2.1 Tools, Model Info . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7-7
7.2.2 Tools, Entity Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7-18
7.2.3 Tools, Data Surface Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7-20
7.2.4 Tools, Entity Info . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7-39
7.2.5 Tools, Data Table . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7-40
7.2.6 Tools, Programming, API Programming . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7-47
7.2.7 Tools, Programming, Program File . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7-51
7.2.8 Tools, Other Windows, Messages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7-63
7.2.9 Tools, Other Windows, Status Bar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7-65
7.3 Tools, Toolbars... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7-65
7.3.1 Standard toolbars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7-65
7.4 Other FEMAP Tools. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7-89
7.4.1 Tools, Parameters... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7-89
7.4.2 Tools, Convert Units... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7-90
7.4.3 Entity Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7-92
7.4.4 Measuring Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7-94
7.4.5 Checking Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7-98
7.4.6 Tools, Stress Wizard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7-109
7.5 List Menu Commands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7-112
7.5.1 List, Tools Menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7-112
7.5.2 List, Geometry Menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7-113
7.5.3 List, Surface... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7-115
7.5.4 List, Connection Menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7-118
7.5.5 List, Model Menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7-119
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7.5.6 List, Output Menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7-127
7.5.7 List, Group... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7-128
7.5.8 List, View... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7-128
7.5.9 List, Model Info . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7-130
7.5.10 List, Destination... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7-130
7.6 Model Style (View, Select command) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7-131
7.6.1 Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7-131
7.6.2 Hidden Line Modes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7-131
7.6.3 Free Edge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7-131
7.6.4 Free Face . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7-131
8. Post-Processing
8.1 Procedure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-1
8.1.1 Reading Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-1
8.1.2 Selecting Views . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-1
8.1.3 Changing Options (View Options) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-2
8.1.4 Manipulating/Listing Output . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-2
8.2 Types of Views - View Select... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-2
8.2.1 Selecting Data for a Model Style . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-3
8.2.2 Choosing Deformed and Contour Styles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-3
8.2.3 Choosing an XY Style . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-16
8.3 View Options - PostProcessing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-18
8.3.1 Post Titles... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-19
8.3.2 Deformed Style . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-19
8.3.3 Vector Style . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-20
8.3.4 Animated Style . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-20
8.3.5 Deformed Model... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-22
8.3.6 Undeformed Model... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-22
8.3.7 Trace Style... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-22
8.3.8 Contour Type... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-22
8.3.9 Contour/Criteria Style... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-22
8.3.10 Contour/Criteria Levels... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-23
8.3.11 Contour/Criteria Legend... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-25
8.3.12 Criteria Limits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-26
8.3.13 Criteria - Elements that Pass/Fail... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-26
8.3.14 Beam Diagram... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-27
8.3.15 IsoSurface... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-27
8.3.16 IsoLine... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-27
8.3.17 Streamline... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-27
8.3.18 Contour Vector Style... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-28
8.3.19 XY Titles... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-28
8.3.20 XY Legend... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-28
8.3.21 XY Axes Style... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-28
8.3.22 XY X Range/Grid... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-29
8.3.23 XY Y Range/Grid... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-29
8.3.24 XY Curve 1 through XY Curve 9... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-29
8.4 Specialized Post-processing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-29
8.4.1 View, Advanced Post, Animation... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-29
8.4.2 View, Advanced Post, Dynamic Cutting Plane... . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-30
8.4.3 View, Advanced Post, Dynamic IsoSurface... . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-31
8.4.4 View, Advanced Post, Dynamic Streamline... . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-32
8.5 Output Manipulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-32
8.5.1 Model, Output, Set... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-33
8.5.2 Model, Output, Vector... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-33
8.5.3 Model, Output, Define... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-34
8.5.4 Model, Output, Fill... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-34
8.5.5 Model, Output, Process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-35
8.5.6 Model, Output, Calculate... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-42
8.5.7 Model, Output, From Load... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-42
8.5.8 Model, Output, Transform... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-43
8.5.9 Model, Output, Extrapolate... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-44
8.5.10 Model, Output, Convert Complex... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-46
8.5.11 Model, Output, Expand Complex... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-46
8.6 Listing Output (List, Output Menu) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-48
8.6.1 List, Output, Query... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-48
8.6.2 List, Output, Compare... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-49
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Table of Contents TOC-5
8.6.3 List, Output, Summary to Data Table.... . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8-50
8.6.4 List, Output, Results to Data Table... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8-53
8.6.5 List, Output, Nodal Changes to Data Table... . . . . . . . . . . . . .8-54
8.6.6 List, Output, Unformatted... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8-55
8.6.7 List, Output, Standard... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8-56
8.6.8 List, Output, Use Format... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8-57
8.6.9 List, Output, Force Balance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8-59
8.6.10 List, Output, XY Plot... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8-60
8.6.11 List, Output, Format... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8-60
8.7 Deleting Output (Delete, Output Menu) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8-60
8.7.1 Delete, Output Set... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8-60
8.7.2 Delete, Output Vector... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8-61
8.7.3 Delete, Output, Entry... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8-61
8.7.4 Delete, Output, Format... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8-61
9. Help and Non-Menu
9.1 Help Menu Commands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9-1
9.1.1 Help Topics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9-1
9.1.2 Help, Toolbars... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9-2
9.1.3 Help, Dockable Panes... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9-2
9.1.4 Help, Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9-2
9.1.5 Help, Whats New . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9-2
9.1.6 Help, Examples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9-2
9.1.7 Help, Using Help... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9-2
9.1.8 Help, Programming . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9-2
9.1.9 Help, Basic Language . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9-2
9.1.10 Help, Tip of the Day . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9-2
9.1.11 Help, FEMAP on the Web . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9-3
9.1.12 Help, Technical Support . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9-3
9.1.13 Help, About... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9-3
9.2 Non-Menu Commands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9-3
9.2.1 Previous Command... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9-3
9.2.2 View, Quick Options... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9-3
9.2.3 Dialog Function Keys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9-3
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TOC-6 Table of Contents
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1. Introduction
FEMAP is finite element modeling and post-processing software that allows you to perform engineering analyses
both quickly and confidently. FEMAP provides the capability to develop sophisticated analyses of stress, tempera-
ture, and dynamic performance directly on the desktop. With easy access to CAD and office automation tools, pro-
ductivity is dramatically improved compared to traditional approaches.
FEMAP automatically provides the integration that is necessary to link all aspects of your analysis. FEMAP can be
used to create geometry, or you can import CAD geometry. FEMAP provides powerful tools for meshing geometry,
as well as applying loads and boundary conditions. You may then use FEMAP to export an input file to over 20
finite element codes. FEMAP can also read the results from the solver program. Once results are obtained in
FEMAP, a wide variety of tools are available for visualizing and reporting on your results.
Geometry
FEMAP can directly import geometry from your CAD or design system. In fact, FEMAP can directly import a
solid model from any ACIS-based or Parasolid-based modeling package. If your modeling package does not use
either of these geometry engines, you can use the FEMAP IGES or STEP reader. If you are using I-DEAS, you can
bring a single part into FEMAP by exporting a Viewer XML (IDI) file from I-DEAS. These files can be read and
then stitched together to form a solid. This typically requires using one command.
If you do not have CAD geometry, you can create geometry directly in FEMAP using powerful wireframe and
solid modeling tools. Solid modeling directly in FEMAP uses the robust Parasolid modeling engine. You can build
or modify solid models using the Parasolid engine, and then export the geometry out of FEMAP. This is very con-
venient if you need to export geometry to CAD packages that are Parasolid-based.
Finite Element Modeling
Regardless of the origin of your geometry, you can use FEMAP to create a complete finite element model. Meshes
can be created by many methods ranging from manual creation, to mapped meshing between keypoints, to fully
automatic meshing of curves, surfaces and solids. FEMAP can even work with your existing analysis models. You
can import and manipulate these models using the interfaces to any of the supported analysis programs.
Appropriate materials and section properties can be created or assigned from FEMAP libraries. Many types of con-
straint and loading conditions can be applied to represent the design environment. You can apply loads/constraints
directly on finite element entities (nodes and elements), or you can apply them to geometry. FEMAP will automat-
ically convert geometric conditions to nodal/elemental values upon translation to your solver program. You may
even convert these loads before translation to convince yourself that the loading conditions are appropriate for your
model.
Checking Your Model
At every step of the modeling process, you receive graphical verification of your progress. You need not worry
about making a mistake because FEMAP contains a multi-level undo and redo capability.
FEMAP also provides extensive tools for checking your model before you analyze it to give you the confidence
that you have properly modeled your part. It constantly examines input to prevent errors in the model, and provides
immediate visual feedback. FEMAP also provides a comprehensive set of tools to evaluate your finite element
model and identify errors that are often not obvious. For example, FEMAP can check for coincident geometry, find
improper connections, estimate mass and inertia, evaluate your constraint conditions, and sum your loading condi-
tions. Each of these methods can be used to identify and eliminate potential errors, saving you considerable time
and money.
Analyzing Your Model
When your model is complete, FEMAP provides interface to over 20 popular programs to perform finite element
analysis. You can even import a model from one analysis program and automatically convert it to the format for a
different analysis program.
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1-2 Introduction
The NX Nastran for FEMAP solver is a general finite element analysis program for structural and thermal analysis
that is integrated with FEMAP.
Post-processing
After your analysis, FEMAP provides both powerful visualization tools that enable you to quickly interpret results,
and numerical tools to search, report, and perform further calculations using these results. Deformation plots, con-
tour plots, animations, and XY plots are just some of the post-processing tools available to the FEMAP user.
FEMAP supports OpenGL, which provides even more capability for post-processing, including dynamic visualiza-
tion of contours through solid parts. You can dynamically rotate solid contoured models with one push of your
mouse button. Section cuts and isosurfaces can be viewed dynamically by simply moving your cursor.
Documenting Results
Documentation is also a very important factor with any analysis. FEMAP obviously provides direct, high quality
printing and plotting of both graphics and text. Frequently, however, graphics or text must be incorporated into a
larger report or presentation. FEMAP can export both graphics and text to non-engineering programs with a simple
Windows Cut command. You can easily export pictures to popular programs such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft
Power Point, and Adobe Framemaker. You can export to spreadsheets, databases, word processors, desktop pub-
lishing software, and paint and illustration programs. These links enable you to create and publish a complete
report or presentation, all electronically, right on your desktop.
With support for AVI files, you can even include an animation directly in your Power Point Presentation or Word
document. FEMAP also supports VRML and JPEG format so anyone can easily view results with standard view-
ers.
FEMAP Documentation
FEMAP comes with a set of three printed manuals: FEMAP Examples, the FEMAP User Guide, and the FEMAP
Commands reference manual.
The FEMAP online help includes the contents of these manuals, as well as several additional books. The complete
set includes:
FEMAP Examples: Step-by-step examples for new users.
FEMAP User Guide: General information on how to use FEMAP, including an overview of the finite element
modeling process. Also contains reference information for the FEMAP analysis program and geometry inter-
faces.
FEMAP Commands: Detailed information on how to use FEMAP commands.
FEMAP API Reference: Information on how to write your own applications that work with FEMAP.
Whats New: New features for this release.
When NX Nastran for FEMAP is installed, online help includes all of the above, as well as a full set of current NX
Nastran documentation, to assist you during the solving portion of the analysis process.
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2. File Manipulation
This topic describes the File menu commands. These commands work with new or existing FEMAP models. They
can produce printed or plotted hard copy, and transfer both text and graphics to other Windows and analysis pro-
grams.
The commands on the File menu are described in the following sections:
Section 2.1, "Opening a Model File"
Section 2.2, "Saving the Model File"
Section 2.3, "Importing/Exporting Files"
Section 2.4, "Using Notes and References"
Section 2.5, "Using Print, Copy, and Paste"
Section 2.6, "Using Rebuild and Preferences"
Section 2.7, "Using File, Recent Models - 1,2,3,4"
Section 2.8, "Exiting FEMAP"
2.1 Opening a Model File
This section contains three commands, File, New, which opens a new FEMAP model file, File, Open, which allows
you to access an existing FEMAP model file, and File, Close, which allows you to close any active model. The
FEMAP model file is a binary database of everything contained in the FEMAP file. You can have multiple model
files open in a given FEMAP session. All three commands are discussed further below.
2.1.1 File, New...
... starts a new, empty model. All new models are named Untitled. When you save a model, FEMAP will prompt
you give the model a name. (For information on how to save your current model, see Section 2.2, "Saving the
Model File".) The FEMAP main window title bar will change to show the model name once saved.
When you start FEMAP without specifying a model file name on the command line or the ? command line
option, you begin with a new, empty model. This is just like using the File, New command.
2.1.2 File, Open...
... accesses an existing FEMAP model. File, Open uses the standard file access dialog box to request the file name
of the model you wish to use. The default file name extension is *.MOD. Multiple FEMAP models can be open in
the same FEMAP session. Click the title tabs at the top of the graphics window to switch between open models and
views.
The title bar for the FEMAP main window shows the file name of your active model. When you open a model, it
returns to the screen with the same graphics windows active (and in the same position) as when you saved the file.
When multiple views are open in one model, the view names will appear on title tabs above the FEMAP graphics
window. When multiple models are open, the title tabs will show the file name of the model and the view name in
the following format, File Name.mod : View Name.
Note: If you are having a problem opening a file, check to confirm that the file has only one extension. Files
with two extensions may have difficulty being opened due to the Windows file structures and default
parameters. Also, you may want to remove any spaces in the file name. Spaces are typically not a prob-
lem, but may cause difficulty on certain file systems.
Shift+F4
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2-2 Finite Element Modeling
If you start FEMAP and specify a model file name on the command line, FEMAP will open that model just as if
you opened the file using this command. You can also start FEMAP using the ? command line option. This will
display the standard file access dialog box just like File, Open.
You can also open an existing FEMAP model by dragging and dropping a FEMAP model file (*.MOD file) from
an existing directory window onto an open FEMAP interface. If the model is from the current FEMAP version, it
will simply open the model. If the model is from an older version of FEMAP (8.3 and below), FEMAP will alert
you and ask if it OK to import a FEMAP neutral file. (See Section 2.3.1.4, "File, Import, FEMAP Neutral..." for
more details on the FEMAP neutral file).
2.1.3 File, Close...
... allows you to close the model file that is currently active in FEMAP. If only one model is open, File, Close will
close the model, but FEMAP will remain running without a model until a new model is started using File, New, an
existing model is opened using File, Open, or FEMAP is shut down using File, Exit. When multiple models are
open, this command will only close the active model and the associated views, leaving the other open models run-
ning for continued use. FEMAP will always prompt you to save your model when the last open view is being
closed.
2.1.4 File, Close All
... closes all currently open models in your FEMAP session with one command. Only available when multiple
models are open in the same FEMAP session. FEMAP will prompt you to save each model individually when this
command is used.
2.2 Saving the Model File
FEMAP also has four commands which allow you to save the FEMAP binary database (model file). They are:
File, Save, which saves the file under the existing name,
File, Save As, which allows you to change the model filename,
File, Save All, which saves all the open files under their existing names,
File, Timed Save, which allows periodic saving of the model file automatically.
2.2.1 File, Save...
... writes a copy of your active model to the permanent file you specify. If your active model is Untitled, this
command asks for a filename by calling File, Save As. You must specify a file name, or you cannot save an Unti-
tled model. Whenever you are working on an active named model, File, Save simply writes to the same model file
- without prompting for a file name. Your model will be named if you open an existing model file, or if you had
previously saved the model. If you want to write to a different file, use File, Save As.
When to Save
When you work on a FEMAP model, all changes are retained in memory, and in a temporary disk file. Your origi-
nal model will not be updated until you save the data. This can be a mixed blessing. If you make a mistake, you can
simply use File, Open to revert to your original model file. You will be right back to where you did your last save.
On the other hand, if you accidentally turn your computer off, or forget to save your changes, they WILL be lost.
In general, you should save whenever you make a significant change to your model and you are certain the change
is correct. It usually does not take long to save the model, and the benefits can be well worth the time. Alterna-
tively, you can use the File, Timed Save command to save your model automatically, at a time interval that you
specify.
F4
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File, Save As... 2-3
2.2.2 File, Save As...
... is identical to File, Save, except that it always displays the standard file access dialog box to ask for the name of
the file to write. File, Save automatically calls File, Save As if you are working on an Untitled model. You should
only use this command when you want to save your model with a different file name.
2.2.3 File, Save All
... saves all currently open models in your FEMAP session with one command. Only available when multiple mod-
els are open in the same FEMAP session. FEMAP saves the models in the order in which they were open, so the
first model opened will be the first model saved and so on.
2.2.4 File, Timed Save...
... instructs FEMAP to save all open models automatically either at a specified time interval or after a number of
commands have been performed. It allows you to turn timed save on or off and set the time between automatic
saves. The default settings for this option can be set in File, Preferences, Database.
You also can request FEMAP to notify you prior to automatically
saving your open models. If you choose this option, you can skip a
timed save by canceling FEMAP's notification. Even if you cancel,
however, timed save is still active and will notify you again when
the interval expires. To disable timed save, you must turn it off with
File, Timed Save.
If you are working with an 'Untitled' model, you must specify a file
name before the model can be saved. This follows the normal pro-
cess, just like the File, Save As command. If your open models are
not named, they will be saved to specified file names.
Unlike some other programs, FEMAP does not interrupt your com-
mands to save your open models. After the interval has expired,
FEMAP waits until the end of your next command to save your open
models. This means that FEMAP will never automatically save your
open models unless you are actively working on a specific model. If
you are not accessing any FEMAP commands, Timed Save will be inactive; however, the timer will continue to run.
In many cases, you will find that Timed Save will save your open models after the next command that you access.
2.3 Importing/Exporting Files
The next menu commands under the File command allow you to both import and export data. FEMAP works as a
general pre and post-processor for finite element analysis. You may also import and export geometry, as well as
analyze your model if you have loaded one for the many solver programs that can be automatically executed by
FEMAP. The commands under this area of the menu are explained more fully below.
2.3.1 File, Import Menu
The File, Import commands enable you to import information from CAD packages as well as other FEA codes.
There are four commands based upon the type of information to import. You can import geometry from CAD pack-
ages, the analysis model from other FEA codes, the results from FEA solver codes, or a FEMAP neutral file. Each
command is further explained below.
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2-4 Finite Element Modeling
2.3.1.1 File, Import, Geometry...
... is the interface between FEMAP and other CAD programs. When you select this command, you will see the
standard Windows file section dialog box. There are many types of geometry files which FEMAP can import:
ACIS Solid Model Files - *.SAT files (up to version 15)
Parasolid Solid Model Files - *.X_T files (up to version 17)
IGES Files - *.IGS files (4.0 to 5.3)
STEP Files - *.STP files (AP203 and AP214 geometry)
Stereolithography Files - *.STL files
Wireframe Files - *.DXF files.
CATIA V4 Models - *.MDL files (version 4.1.9 to 4.2.4)
CATIA V4 Express Files - *.EXP, *.DLV files
CATIA V5 Files - *.CATP files (up to CATIA V5 Version 15)
I-DEAS Files - *.IDI files
Pro/ENGINEER Models - *.PRT and *.ASM files (versions 16 to Wildfire 2.0)
Solid Edge Models - *.PAR, *.PSM, *PWD, and *ASM files (up to version 18)
Unigraphics Models - *.PRT files (versions 11 to 18 and NX 1 - NX 4)
In each of these cases, simply select the file to import. Normally FEMAP will display all of the files that it knows
how to read, using the most common file name extensions for these formats. If your file uses a different extension,
you may rename it, or simply drop down the file type list, choose the appropriate format, then specify the file name.
If you do not use the standard extensions for each of the formats, and you are use the default All Geometry type,
FEMAP may choose the wrong format to read the file, which will result in errors. Depending upon the type of file
you choose, FEMAP may display information in the Messages window and then prompt you with one or more
additional dialog boxes where you can set various options. For more information on the options contained in the
dialog boxes, see Section 9, "Geometry Interfaces" in the FEMAP User Guide.
You can also import some types of geometry into FEMAP by dragging and dropping a geometry file of a cur-
rently supported format (*.X_T; *.SAT; *.IGES or *.IGS; and *.STEP or *.STP only) from an existing directory
window onto an open FEMAP interface.
FEMAP will bring up a dialog box asking you if it is OK to Start New Model with dragged and dropped geom-
etry or if you would like to Add the geometry to Current Model. Click Yes to create a new model or No to add
it to the current model.
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File, Import, Analysis Model... 2-5
2.3.1.2 File, Import, Analysis Model...
This command allows you to import an analysis model from many
popular FEA codes. FEMAP has support for over 20 finite element
solvers. By default, FEMAP will only show certain interfaces for
solvers whose translators are currently being maintained. Once you
select this command, you will see the Import From dialog box.
Simply select the appropriate code, and FEMAP will then prompt
you for the name of the input file. You may be asked other questions
based upon the format you have chosen. For a more details, see Sec-
tion 7, "Translation Tables for Analysis Programs" and Section 8,
"Analysis Program Interfaces" in the FEMAP User Guide.
You can also import analysis models from some solvers into FEMAP by dragging and dropping an analysis file
of a currently supported format from an existing directory window onto an open FEMAP interface.
Currently supported analysis input files drag and drop include *.DAT and *.NAS for NASTRAN programs;
*.INP for ABAQUS; and *.ANS for ANSYS. All of these file types can be read in for the version of the solver cur-
rently supported by the FEMAP translators. (For a more details, see Section 7, "Translation Tables for Analysis
Programs" and Section 8, "Analysis Program Interfaces" in the FEMAP User Guide.)
FEMAP will bring up a dialog box asking you if it is OK to Start New Model with dragged and dropped anal-
ysis input file or if you would like to Add the input file to Current Model. Click Yes to create a new model or
No to add it to the current model.
2.3.1.3 File, Import, Analysis Results...
... allows you to read results from an analysis you have performed, so you can then use FEMAPs powerful post-
processing capability. When you choose this command, you will see the same dialog box as the File, Import, Anal-
ysis Model. Simply select the appropriate format and then enter the file name. For more information on the individ-
ual solver codes supported, see Section 7, "Translation Tables for Analysis Programs" and Section 8, "Analysis
Program Interfaces" in the FEMAP User Guide.
You can also import analysis results from some solvers into FEMAP by dragging and dropping an results file of
a currently supported format from an existing directory window onto an open FEMAP interface.
Currently supported analysis results files for drag and drop include *.OP2, *.F06, and *.XDB for NASTRAN
programs; *.FIL for ABAQUS; and *.RST for ANSYS. All of these file types can be read in for the version of the
solver currently supported by the FEMAP translators. (For a more details, see Section 7, "Translation Tables for
Analysis Programs" and Section 8, "Analysis Program Interfaces" in the FEMAP User Guide.)
After the file is dropped onto the FEMAP interface, FEMAP will bring up all dialog boxes which would nor-
mally appear when importing analysis results from a certain solver with the exception of the Import Results From
Note: All import options can be made visible by going to
File, Preferences..., choosing the Interfaces tab and
turning on the Enable Old Analysis Interfaces option.
This is not recommended as the translators for the
solvers not listed by default are no longer maintained
and the FEMAP may no longer read some required
entities.
Note: As with File, Import, Analysis Model, all import options can be made visible by going to File, Pref-
erences..., choosing the Interfaces tab and turning on the Enable Old Analysis Interfaces option.
This is not recommended as the translators for the solvers not listed by default are no longer main-
tained and the FEMAP may no longer read some required entities.
Ctrl+Shift+T
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2-6 Finite Element Modeling
dialog box. FEMAP is able to skip the Import Results From dialog box because it has recognized which solver the
results file has come from already
2.3.1.4 File, Import, FEMAP Neutral...
... translates a FEMAP neutral file into a binary FEMAP database file. Once the FEMAP neutral file is read, you
can save this file as a FEMAP *.mod file. Because the FEMAP neutral file is compatible across all platforms, it is
the recommended format for long term storage. For more information on the FEMAP neutral file, see Section 8.1.2,
"Reading a FEMAP Neutral File" in the FEMAP User Guide.
You can also import a FEMAP neutral file into FEMAP by dragging and dropping a neutral file (*.NEU) from an
existing directory window onto an open FEMAP interface. The FEMAP neutral file MUST have been created with
either the current release or a previous release of FEMAP for import to be successful.
FEMAP will bring up a dialog box asking you if it is OK to Start
New Model with dragged and dropped neutral file or if you
would like to Add the geometry to Current Model. Click Yes
to create a new model or No to add it to the current model.
2.3.2 File, Export Menu
The File, Export menu allows you to export geometry, analysis model, or a FEMAP neutral file. Each of these areas
are described below.
2.3.2.1 File, Export, Geometry...
...provides export capability for FEMAP solid models. FEMAP cur-
rently supports various types of geometry export.
ACIS Solid Model Files - *.SAT files
Parasolid Solid Model Files - *.X_T files
STEP Files - *.STP
IGES Files - *.IGS
Stereolithography Files - *.STL files
VRML Files
The ACIS SAT interface will take geometry inside FEMAP and
generate a .SAT file using an Parasolid to ACIS converter. The STEP interface will allow you to export a Parasolid
entity to a STEP AP203 solid via a conversion from the Parasolid modeling kernel into the STEP standard. Simi-
larly, the IGES interface will allow you to export Parasolid geometry to an IGES file. The stereolithography file is
only applicable for a meshed model. FEMAP will export a faceted representation of your model using the FEA
mesh as the basis of this file. The final option, VRML, allows easy viewing of solid or meshed models in many
standard viewing programs. You can even save a deformed, contour plot in VRML format.
Note: You should always import analysis results into an existing model containing those nodes and elements.
If you read information for entities that do not exist in your model, FEMAP will provide a warning.
This could mean that you have read the results into the wrong (or modified) model.
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File, Export, Analysis Model... 2-7
2.3.2.2 File, Export, Analysis Model...
This command is used to start the translation to a analysis
input file for a selected solver. FEMAP will display the
Export Method dialog box which allows the user to trans-
late using a Analysis Set or translate using the manual
method, specifying the analysis parameters each time the
active model is translated.
Activate Analysis Set: The list box will contain any
previously created Analysis Sets. If a Analysis Set has
already been activated then that set will automatically
be selected. Once you choose the Analysis Set you
wish to translate from, press the OK button to create
the input file.
Create/Edit Set: If you have not previously created a Analysis Set, pressing this button will bring you to the
Model, Analysis command so that you can create or edit a existing Analysis Set. See Section 4.9, "Preparing for
Analysis" and Section 4.9.1, "Defining a Analysis Set"
Other Interfaces: Pressing this button will bring up the Export To
dialog box. When you select this command, you will see the
available analysis programs for export include the FEMAP Neu-
tral file, SINDA/G, CAEFEM, PATRAN, I-DEAS, and Comma-
Separated file. Simply select the appropriate format. Unlike File,
Import, Analysis Model, however, you will need to select the
appropriate analysis type (Static, Normal Modes/Eigenvalue,
etc.), when required. These are the only programs FEMAP can
export a file to unless the Enable Old Analysis Interfaces
option is checked on the Interfaces tab of the Preferences dialog
box.
For a more complete description of the options available for each analysis program, see Section 8, "Analysis Pro-
gram Interfaces" in the FEMAP User Guide.
2.3.2.3 File, Export, FEMAP Neutral...
... allows you to store the FEMAP model file as a neutral file. Because the FEMAP neutral file is compatible across
all platforms, it is the recommended format for long term storage. For more information on the FEMAP neutral file,
see Section 8.1.1, "Writing a FEMAP Neutral File" in the FEMAP User Guide.
Note: The preferred method of exporting an analysis model is to use the Analysis Set Manager. Support for
new features or expanded solver support will only be added to the Analysis Set Manager. For solvers
supported by the Analysis Manager see: Section 4.9, "Preparing for Analysis"
When you create an Analysis Set all the options necessary for solving are defined once and saved with
the model or in a library. This enables the user to reuse the Analysis Sets and for FEMAP to create the
input file without user interaction
Note: To translate using the old method of specifying the analysis parameters by prompting you to
fill in the necessary options (for ALL supported solvers) you must use File, Preferences...,
choose the Interfaces tab and turn on the Enable Old Analysis Interfaces option. With this
option turned on, the Export To dialog box from FEMAP versions 9.1 and before will appear.
This is not recommended as the translators for ALL solvers (including Nastran, ANSYS, and
ABAQUS) using the old method are no longer maintained and any option added to or fixed in
a translator after FEMAP version 8.0 will likely not be included in the input file generated.
Ctrl+T
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2-8 Finite Element Modeling
2.3.3 File, Analyze...
File, Analyze works similarly to File, Export, Analysis Model except if a Analysis Set is active then femap will sim-
ply write the model and try to launch the solver without user input. If an Analysis Set is not Active then the Export
Model dialog box will be displayed so that the user can create an Analysis Set or translate using the Manual method
by pressing the Manually Create Analysis Model button. If Manual creation of the input file is used then FEMAP
will determine the analysis program and analysis type from the settings that you chose in File, Preferences, Inter-
faces.
In the cases where FEMAP can run the analysis program, this command will also optionally begin the analysis.
2.4 Using Notes and References
2.4.1 File, Notes...
The File, Notes command pro-
vides a method of attaching notes
to your model as well as translate
lines to your model input file.
When you select this command,
the Model Notes and Text for
Translation dialog box will
appear.
This command is most often used
to provide identifying characteris-
tics to your model, such as date,
program, creator etc.
You may also provide information
for translation by selecting the
Translation Text option. You can
choose to include the translation
text in an output file by selecting
the Include During Write Transla-
tion option. When these com-
mands are selected, FEMAP will
automatically write this informa-
tion to the heading area (i.e. where
FEMAP automatically writes its
own date/time information) of
your active model.
2.4.2 File, References...
The File, References command allows you to insure that you are using the most current version of certain entities in
a given model. A single model can contain references for any number of imported files (Geometry, analysis mod-
els, and analysis results sets). References can be added or removed manually or FEMAP can be set up to create
them automatically based on settings in the File Reference Options in the Interface Preferences dialog box (See
Section 2.6.2.7, "Interfaces").
Note: Be careful when using the Translation Text option. The information included in the Notes area must
have the appropriate syntax for the type of translation you are performing. FEMAP will not perform
any checks on this syntax. It will simply write the information as you input it; therefore, improper syn-
tax could cause a fatal error in your analysis run.
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File, References... 2-9
If FEMAP is generating references automatically, they will appear after the geometry, analysis model, or analysis
results have been imported and reference a path to a particular file. FEMAP uses the time stamp on the file to
determine if the reference is up to date or not.
A check mark in a green circle will appear if the date of a reference file has not changed.
When the date of a file that is being referenced has been changed, a x in a red circle will appear next to the refer-
ence.
There are a few methods to bring a reference up to date:
Read File - Allows you to read in the updated file from the location currently specified in the reference.
Update Reference - Allows you to manually bring a reference up to the current date. This allows to continue to use
the model without being alerted that the reference is not up to date, even though you did not read the new file in to
FEMAP. A check mark in a yellow circle will appear next to the reference after the date has been updated.
If the file is changed again after the Update Reference command has been used, FEMAP will again alert you that
the reference is no longer valid. You can then make the decision to use the Read File command or simply update
the reference once again.
Locate File - If the reference file has moved to a different directory, this command allows you to browse and spec-
ify the path to the moved file in order to update the reference.
Remove Reference - Allows you to remove a reference from the list and FEMAP will no longer check to make
sure that this reference is up to date.
Add Reference - Allows you to manually add a reference to the FEMAP model for geometry, analysis models, and
analysis results sets.
Note: Depending on the type of geometry file that was referenced (.x_t, .sat, .igs, .stp, etc.) and the extent the
geometry was changed can have a substantial effect on the usability of the mesh and any geometry-
based loads and boundary conditions that are currently in the model. Be sure to verify all loads and
boundary conditions in the model are correctly applied after new geometry file has been read into
FEMAP.
The same can be said about analysis models and results files as node and element numbering, loads and
boundary conditions can also change and cause continuity issues.
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2-10 Finite Element Modeling
2.5 Using Print, Copy, and Paste
The commands under this section of the menu involve exporting information to a printer, or to documentation pro-
grams for reporting. FEMAP is a true Windows program, which greatly simplifies the transfer of data from
FEMAP to other Windows programs such as Microsoft PowerPoint or Word. The commands in this section involve
different methods of transferring this data to programs such as Microsoft Word, or to a printer. Each of the five
commands available in this section are explained more fully below.
2.5.1 File, Page Setup...
... specifies headers, footers, margins, position and other parameters. These items will be used when printing/plot-
ting either text or graphics using the File, Print command. The sections of the Page Setup dialog box include:
Page Header and Footer
The Header and Footer text are printed in the top and bottom margin of every page. This text uses the Default
Fixed Pitch Font for the selected printer/plotter. You can specify any other font by selecting Other Font, and then
specifying the typeface and point size that you want to use.
Other Printed Text
FEMAP uses these options when you print listings (with the List, Destination command). They are never used for
printing/plotting graphics nor for printing the Messages and other text windows. Just like headers and footers, this
text uses the Default Fixed Pitch Font. Again, you can select any other available font.
Note: If you are using True Type, or other scalable fonts, you will often see only one size in the Point Size list,
and it will usually be a very large: 50 point or larger. Since the font is scalable, you can choose any size
that you want; you just have to type it manually.
Hint: If the display looks fine on the screen, but characters are improperly printed, it is likely that your Win-
dows printer driver does not support the selected font. Simply change the font both in this dialog box as
well as under View Options, Label, Entities, and Colors, Label Parameters to a supported font.
Hint: FEMAP listings will not be as easy to read if you select a proportionally spaced font. Selecting a fixed
pitch font will properly align all columns in the listing.
Shift+F3
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File, Page Setup... 2-11
Page Margins
These margins identify the distance from the four edges of the page where you want printing to occur. When you
are printing listings, printing will start at the top-left margin. The bottom and right margins will be used to compute
the line length and number of lines on the page. For graphics printing, FEMAP combines the margins with the
options in Plot Position and Size to compute the actual size and position of the graphics image.
Often printers and plotters cannot print closer than some minimum distance from the edge of the paper. Check your
printer documentation for information on these minimum values. Setting a margin smaller than those minimums
can result in FEMAP trying to print to an inaccessible region of the paper. This should not cause any unrecoverable
problems, but you will not see the portion of the print that is in the inaccessible regions.
Plot and Metafile Style
The three options in this group allow you to control some specific details regarding the appearance of a graphics
plot. FEMAP uses these options when you print a graphic image using File Print, or place an image in a Metafile
using either the File, Picture, Save or File, Picture, Copy commands. When Draw Border is active, a single line
border will be drawn around the image. The location of this border is equivalent to the on-screen window border.
In FEMAP's default configuration, graphic windows have black or shaded backgrounds, with white or colored
images. In many cases, you may want to retain the white background of the paper and print with black lines - even
though it does not match the image on the screen. In Render Mode, FEMAP will swap the black or shaded back-
ground to white and change any white entities to black, when a window is printed. When in Non-Render mode, set-
ting Swap Black and White will automatically reverse the black and white colors during your print, resulting in the
print style described. This option has no effect on other colors, which will always be printed as shown on the
screen. This option also controls color swapping for Metafiles that you transfer to the Clipboard using File, Picture,
Copy or save to disk using File, Picture, Save.
If you are printing to a black and white printer like a laser printer, you may find that certain colors that are dis-
played on the screen do not show up very well (or at all) when you print them. This is caused by the method Win-
dows uses to shade colors on the monochrome printer. To overcome this problem, you can change all your model
colors to black and white so they can print well, or just turn on the Monochrome switch. In this case, colors will still
be displayed on the screen, but all colors (except color 0, which is black) will be converted to white when they are
printed. You can combine Monochrome with the Swap Black and White setting to print all black lines on a white
background.
While the Monochrome option can quickly make a print look much better, it must be used with caution. Since it sets
all colors but background to a single color, it can result in a picture which is totally illegible. For example, you
should never use it if you are using a color other than color 0 for the background. If you try, nothing will be visible.
Similarly, any plot with filled areas is not usually a good candidate for Monochrome. Contour plots, which rely
heavily on color shading, will not work well.
Setting Transparent Background will simply skip plotting the background. For printing on white paper, you will
still want to use Swap Black and White. Otherwise, you will get white lines on your white paper! Transparent Back-
ground is most often used when creating a Metafile to be transferred into another application. Here, you may want
just the graphic image, and rely on the other application to supply the background. This creates an image that can
be overlaid on top of other text/graphics without erasing them.
Reset Clipping
When this option is turned on, FEMAP will reset the clipping region at the end of each drawing operation or win-
dow. This is not be required for most printers, so you may be able to turn it off. Certain printers, like DeskJets,
however have trouble printing multiple view layouts, headers and footers if this option is off. We therefore recom-
mend leaving this option on (which should work for all printers), unless you are experiencing some incorrect clip-
ping of graphics on printed images.
Pen Width Factor
This factor is used for Metafiles and plotting directly to a printer. In FEMAP, graphics are normally drawn as sin-
gle-pixel-width lines - that is they are only one dot wide. For high resolution printers, like typesetters, this type of
line may appear very faint due to the small size of each pixel on these devices. By increasing the Pen Width Factor,
the width of each line is multiplied by this factor to obtain a print with fatter lines. This option has no effect on
screen display
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2-12 Finite Element Modeling
Render Res Factor
When you are printing graphics from Render mode, FEMAP can not print a Metafile to obtain printer resolution.
To provide printed output at higher than screen resolution, FEMAP instead creates an off-screen bitmap, renders
your image to that bitmap, and prints it just like a screen resolution print. While this is not printer resolution, it
does provide substantially improved resolution as compared to choosing to print at screen resolution. The factor
that you specify in this option is simply multiplied by the screen resolution to compute the size of the off-screen bit-
map. Therefore, if you specify 2, you get a print that is twice the screen resolution. Be careful not to specify a num-
ber that is too large. It will take quite a large amount of memory, and could take a very long time to print.
Plot Position and Size
These options control the shape, size and position of a graphics image that you print. Choosing Maintain Window
Aspect Ratio will force the height-to-width ratio of a printed image to match the shape of the screen or window that
you print. If you choose this option, the resulting print will be the largest possible rectangle, with the specified
height-to-width ratio that fits inside the margins and size options that you specify. Choosing this option will gener-
ally result in a smaller printed image, but one that more closely resembles what you see on the screen.
Integer Scaling is a further limitation to the mapping of the screen image to the printed page. When this option is
on, the pixels in the on-screen window are scaled by the largest integer (whole number) scale factor that fits inside
the margins and size specifications. Scaling occurs both horizontally and vertically. If the option is off, the scale
factor used is a real number (whole + fractional number) that exactly fits the margin and size specifications. Setting
this option usually results in a smaller printed image. When printing using bitmap formats however, you should
always specify this option for the best quality print. If you do not, FEMAP stretches the bitmap (by the fractional
portion of the real scale factor) to fit the margins. The stretching operation results in distortions that degrade the
appearance of the image.
Fill Printer Margins and Custom Size control the size of a printed graphic image. Choosing Fill Printer Margins
simply calculates the printable area by subtracting the margins from the size of the paper. Custom Size allows you
to specify the height and width that you want. Always make sure that you specify a size that is smaller than the
margins that you choose. No matter which size option you pick, the print may still be reduced from that size if you
selected either Maintain Window Aspect Ratio or Integer Scaling.
The final option sets (Top, T/B Center, Bottom, Left, L/R Center or Right) control the position of the printed image
within the margins. If you choose to fill the margins (and none of the other options reduce the image size) your
choice here will not matter: FEMAP fills the margins. Whenever the image does not fill the margins however, these
options control the alignment. For example, choosing Top and Left will result in an image that has its top and left
borders aligned with the top and left margins. By combining these alignment options with the margins, you can
position an image anywhere on the page.
Reset and Permanent
Permanent allows you to save your Page Setup options, so that they will be the defaults for all future models and
sessions. Reset deletes the saved options, and returns you to the normal FEMAP defaults.
2.5.2 File, Print...
This command produces a printed or plotted hardcopy of your model.
The Print dialog box allows you to choose what will be printed and in what format. You will see two command but-
tons, Page Setup and Printer Setup, which provide you with further control of printing parameters. These buttons
simply invoke the File, Page Setup and File, Printer Setup commands, respectively.
Print to File
This button allows you to print directly to a file rather than to your printer. It can be used to create files in a native
printer format (for example, Postscript). When you press OK, an additional dialog box will ask you for the name of
the file that you want to create.
Header and Footer
These options provide a quick way to set the headers and footers that will be placed at the top and bottom of the
page. They can also be set via the File, Page Setup command. In fact, you must use Page, Setup if you want to
change fonts or other options.
F3
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File, Print... 2-13
Page Preview
This section of the dialog box shows a
symbolic graphical representation of your
printed page. It quickly lets you know if
your page and printer setup options are cor-
rect. You do not need to waste a piece of
paper, or the time required to make a print.
The outer black border represents the paper
on which you will print. FEMAP calculates
the size and orientation of this boundary
(and the paper) from your Windows printer
configuration. You can change these set-
tings using Printer Setup.
Inside this border you will see four lines
(Top, Bottom, Right and Left) that represent
relative margin positions. You also may see
shorter horizontal lines located inside the
top and bottom margins. These lines repre-
sent the locations where the page headers
and footers (specified in Page Setup) will
be printed. They are only visible if the
header and/or footer is not blank. Finally, located inside the margin lines, is a filled rectangle. This rectangle repre-
sents the size and position of your printed image. If the printed image is smaller than you expected, FEMAP may
have automatically reduced the size due to your Page Setup choices. Maintain Window Aspect Ratio and Integer
Scaling are especially important.
What to Print
These options specify what will be printed or plotted.
Selecting Active View will print a picture of your model as it currently appears in your graphics window. If you
currently have multiple graphics windows open (from one or multiple models), only the top-most (the one
that you last selected in the active model) window will be printed.
If you do have multiple windows, and want to print them all as they are positioned on your screen, choose the
Layout option. Layout is only available when you are printing at printer/plotter resolution with multiple active
windows.
Choosing Desktop will print an image of the FEMAP Desktop - the gray area underneath the Graphics win-
dow. This includes all windows: the Graphics window, dialog boxes, even non-FEMAP windows. This option
is only available if you choose the Screen Resolution option.
The next graphics printing choice allows you to print a graphic image stored in a file. You can choose Resolu-
tion, Screen to print a saved bitmap. If you choose Resolution, Printer/Plotter, FEMAP will print a saved Meta-
file or placeable Metafile. For the best results, you should always save and print placeable Metafiles. They
contain additional information that allows FEMAP to properly choose font sizes and scale the picture. If you
use standard Windows Metafiles, FEMAP will be able to print them, but the font sizes will vary somewhat
depending on the resolution of your printer and the resolution of the graphics adapter you used to create the
Metafile.
Other print options allow you to print text/messages that are in the Messages, Program File, Entity Info, or API
Program Dockable Panes. If you do not want to print all of the text in one of these Panes, you can select the
lines that will be printed. For instructions, see Section 2.5.5, "File, Messages Menu". When you are printing
Hint: FEMAP can only print a multi-window layout as it is arranged on the screen with the Layout or
Desktop options. Best results are usually obtained with Layout if you turn off the graphics window
title bars. Otherwise, you will see gaps between the printed windows that represent the areas occu-
pied by the title bars. In Layout mode, the Page Preview diagram shows one overall rectangle that
surrounds all of your windows. Individual windows are not shown. For even more printing flexibil-
ity, you can transfer FEMAP graphics to other Windows programs which will allow you to print
other page layouts.
Printed Image
Header Footer
Image Orientation
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2-14 Finite Element Modeling
messages, the Resolution setting and the shape of the active graphics window do not matter. When you choose
this option, you will see the printed image disappear from the Page Preview area. Dont worry; this is normal
behavior, because the position of the printed messages is just based on the margin settings.
Using the Data Table option will print out all of the rows that currently appear in the Data Table. When the
Data Table is printed out, all of the columns for the rows will also be printed out. Since the columns in the Data
Table will often be wider than the screen (or a sheet of paper), FEMAP will print out as many columns as it can
for the current rows, then continue with the next set of columns for those rows directly below the first set of col-
umns. This will continue until all of the columns for all of the current rows have been printed. To make the
printed tables easier to read, the ID of the entities will appear as the first column in the printed table.
The print out will look like this:
Resolution
You have two choices for the print/plot resolution mode: screen and printer/plotter.
Screen resolution directs FEMAP to use the on-screen bitmap and copy it to paper. The bitmap will be scaled
and stretched, as required, to fill the desired margins and print size. However, the resolution of the screen image
determines the ultimate print quality. This option is not available for some printers and for most plotters that
cannot print a bitmap.
When you select Printer/Plotter resolution, FEMAP recomputes the image at the resolution of the printer. The
resulting printed image is almost always of much higher quality, but can take significantly longer for complex
images.
Orientation
You have two choices for the orientation of the printed image: portrait and landscape.
Portrait positions the selected images or text in the center of a piece of paper with the longer length going from
top to bottom.
Landscape positions the selected images or text in the center of a piece of paper with the longer length going
from left to right.
Options
Copies - If your printer/plotter supports making multiple copies, you can use this option to request the number
of copies you need. If you choose multiple copies, and your printer does not support this option, you will
receive a warning. Then, you will only get one copy of your print. For many printers, you can set this feature
permanently using the Setup option under Printer Setup.
Print to File - Creates a print file (.prt file) which can then be used later and sent to a local printer.
Hint: You can also print messages by using the File, Messages, Copy command and copying them to
another Windows application, or by setting the List, Destination to your printer and then using any
of the list commands.
ID Prop ID Type Topology Orientation Node Orientation Vector
1 1..Angle Stiffener BEAM Line2 0 0., 1., 0.
97 2..Upper Wing Skin PLATE Quad4
ID Color Layer Formulation C1 C2 C3 C4
1 124 1 0 6 322
97 124 1 0 6 322 197 7
Note: FEMAP can only print a bitmap in render mode. FEMAP performs operations to provide more detail
than the standard bitmap export, but it still may not be as clear and sharp as a Windows Metafile. You
may want to switch to Windows GDI mode (Render Options under View, Options) when you are print-
ing.
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File, Printer Setup 2-15
Printing Tips
Review the following items for some additional hints on printing:
Use the Page Setup and Printer Setup options on this dialog box instead of the commands on the File menu.
They graphically show the results of your settings in the Page Preview diagram.
If you want a quick draft hardcopy, print using Screen resolution. For final, high-quality output, always use
Printer/Plotter resolution.
When you are printing the active view using Screen resolution, you will get a better quality (higher resolution)
print if you enlarge the window. Choose the Maximize button in the Window title bar to enlarge it to full-screen
size prior to choosing File, Print.
Printing high-resolution images (especially color images) takes a lot of memory and/or disk space. You will
need to make sure that your TEMP environment variable specifies a disk with plenty of room if you are going
to print large models. Windows writes temporary files to this disk as it is printing. These files can often require
several megabytes or more.
Some older Windows printer drivers have problems handling complex pictures (especially if you choose
printer/plotter resolution). If you are having any problems printing, and you have a fairly old version of Win-
dows or an older printer driver, you should check with either Microsoft or your printer manufacturer to see if
there is a newer printer driver available. These drivers are frequently updated to correct errors and add new
capabilities. If a new printer driver does not solve your problems, you may be able to reduce the complexity of
the picture by selecting a group or modifying your view options. For example, if you are doing a contour plot,
reducing the number of contour levels can dramatically reduce the complexity of the image that you are print-
ing.
You cannot print when the active window is animating.
If you want to print a contour plot on a monochrome printer, you may want to adjust the contour palette before
printing. In particular, choose the View Options command. Then select the Post-processing category and the
Contour/Criteria Levels option. Press Set Levels..., then press Reset Gray. Choose OK twice to accept the gray-
scale contour palette. With the grayscale palette loaded, your prints should come out much cleaner. If you are
having trouble distinguishing contour levels on the print, you can adjust the individual colors in the palette. One
good approach is to change every other color so that it uses a cross-hatched color instead of a solid color. This
will result in contours that alternate between solid and the various hatch patterns.
Some printers (like DeskJet printers) have trouble clipping multiple regions, such as a multi-window layout, or
even a window with headers or footers. If you are experiencing this type of problem you can go to Page Setup
and turn on Reset Clipping. This option resets the clipping region in a way that is compatible with these print-
ers.
2.5.3 File, Printer Setup
This command directly sets and modifies
printer-related options. It also displays a
list of the active printers.
Printers that you installed, but did not acti-
vate, will not be shown. To choose a
printer for use in FEMAP, select it from
the list. To change the setup for the printer
you have selected, press Setup. Depending
on the printer, you will see one or more
additional dialog boxes. These let you
establish options like the active printing
mode (i.e., 75, 150 or 300 dots/inch), por-
trait or landscape paper orientation, fonts,
colors and many more.
The dialog boxes that you see when you
choose Setup are not really part of
FEMAP. They are part of the printer driver
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2-16 Finite Element Modeling
that you loaded when you installed the printer for Windows. You also can modify all of the same settings using the
Windows Control Panel. Refer to the Windows documentation and the documentation for your printer for further
advice on setting options for particular printers.
Using Control Panel, you can also install or activate additional printers. You can even make changes while FEMAP
is still running. The next time you choose the Print or Printer Setup command, it will recognize any control panel
changes that you have made.
When you change certain printer settings, like the paper orientation (landscape vs. portrait) or paper size, it is usu-
ally good to review the Page Setup options. This will give you the opportunity to make any changes to margins,
plot sizes or positions that are appropriate for your new printer settings.
2.5.4 File, Picture
The commands on this submenu let you transfer a copy of your graphics to the Windows clipboard and then to
other applications, or to a file. You can also redisplay graphics files.
2.5.4.1 File, Picture, Copy...
... transfers a copy of the image in the active graphics window to the Windows clipboard. No additional input is
required. By default, FEMAP transfers the image in Palette, Windows Device Dependent Bitmap (DDB), and Win-
dows Metafile or Picture formats. Windows Device Independent Bitmaps (DIB) can also be transferred, but must
be enabled using the File, Preferences, Views command. By producing these formats, you have great flexibility
when you transfer the image to many other software packages.
You can disable one or more of the formats for all future transfers by using File, Preferences, Views. You should
only do this after verifying the format is not useful in the software where you will paste the image. If supported,
transferring the Metafile/Picture format is usually your best choice since these images can be scaled and stretched
and they retain the best quality image.
When you transfer a Metafile or device independent bitmap to the clipboard, the black and white colors can be
swapped. This is useful for changing a picture with white lines on a black background into black lines on a white
background. The Swap Black and White Metafile option, in the File, Page Setup command, controls color swap-
ping. If this option is on, FEMAP will swap the colors. The File, Page Setup, Monochrome option can also be used
to convert to a monochrome image. These options have no effect on regular device dependent bitmaps which are
copied to the clipboard. Additional Page Setup options control the background and border for Metafiles.
The File, Picture, Copy command will be disabled if the current window is animating. You cannot transfer anima-
tions to the clipboard.
Transferring Graphics to Other Applications
After you use File, Picture, Copy to load your graphics to the clipboard, simply switch to the application that you
want to receive the image. For most Windows applications that accept graphics input from the clipboard, you will
find a Paste command somewhere in the menu (often under Edit). Pressing Ctrl+V (or Shift+Ins) will usually
invoke that command, or you can simply choose it from the menu. The Paste command should immediately load
the image into the other application.
Some applications (like Windows Paint) sometimes require you to choose Paste twice. Other applications require
you to define a region or area where the graphics will be placed prior to pasting. Refer to the documentation for the
receiving application for more information.
Note: Just like the File, Print command, FEMAP can only export a bitmap when in Render mode. You may
want to change to Windows GDI (Render Options under View, Options) mode to export a Windows
Metafile.
Note: Ctrl+C can be used as a general copy command in FEMAP. FEMAP takes into account which window
or dockable pane is currently active. When the main graphics window is active, Ctrl+C will perform the
File, Picture, Copy command.
Note: Remember that the clipboard only holds one image, so every time you choose this command, you auto-
matically overwrite the previous contents of the clipboard.
Ctrl+Shift+C
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File, Picture, Save... 2-17
2.5.4.2 File, Picture, Save...
... transfers a copy of the image in the active graphics window to a file. The standard file access dialog box allows
you to specify the name of the file to create.
In addition to the normal fields in the file access dialog, there are more options that specify the picture format:
Bitmap
Metafile
Placeable MF (Metafile)
Bitmap Series
Video for Windows - AVI
JPEG
All formats are not available for all types of pictures.
Using Bitmaps
If you select Bitmap, which is available for all views, the default file extension is .BMP, and the file will be saved
as a Windows Device Independent Bitmap. Bitmap files contain only the array of pixels currently displayed in the
window and are therefore equivalent to the size of the window. When you choose this format, FEMAP will ask if
you want to compress the bitmap. Compressed bitmaps usually take up significantly less disk space, but are incom-
patible with some Windows programs. Check the documentation for your other applications, or try transferring a
compressed bitmap to see if your other applications can support it. If you only plan to replay your bitmaps using
FEMAP, you should always use the compressed format.
Using Metafiles
If you select either Metafile or Placeable MF, the default file extension is .WMF. Both options save the picture as a
Metafile. Metafile chooses the Windows Metafile format, while Placeable MF chooses the Placeable Metafile For-
mat that is used by many Windows applications. Most often you will want to use the placeable Metafile for more
reliable transfer to other programs.
Metafiles contain commands that draw graphics into the current window. For this reason, when you load a Metafile
into another application, you can scale and stretch it. The Metafile will redraw itself for the new shape. If you plan
to load your pictures into another Windows application, you should refer to the documentation for that application
to find advice on choosing the best format for that application. The Metafile and Placeable Metafile options are not
available in Render mode.
Just like for the File, Picture, Copy command, the colors black and white can be swapped when you save a Metafile
or device independent bitmap. You can control color swapping with the Swap Black and White option under the
File, Page Setup command. FEMAP will also convert all colors to a black and white image if the Monochrome
option is on.
Saving Animations
If your active graphics window is animating, FEMAP will let you choose either a bitmap, bitmap series, or AVI for-
mat. The single bitmap animation file format is very similar to the standard bitmap format, but will be incompatible
with most (if not all) Windows applications other than FEMAP. Likewise, you will not be asked to choose com-
pression. FEMAP uses the .BMP default file extension for animation files just like for standard bitmaps. Depend-
ing on the number of animation frames, the size of your animating window and the number of colors supported by
your graphics board, these files can be very large. Unlike standard bitmaps or Metafiles, the various Page Setup
options do not change animations. They are always saved just as they appear on the screen.
You can also save animations as a Bitmap Series: a series of static bitmaps, one per animation frame with sequen-
tially numbered file names. This format can be used with other tools to create video (AVI) files. You can also sim-
ply save the picture as a Video for Windows (AVI) file. AVI files can be imported directly into most Windows
applications.
If you choose Bitmap Series, FEMAP will save each frame in the animation as a series of bitmaps, under the names
*n.bmp, where n ranges from 0 to n-1 frames. If you want to save an animation to replay in FEMAP, you should
Ctrl+F3
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2-18 Finite Element Modeling
save the entire animation as one bitmap, not a series of bitmaps. This format is strictly for programs which can play
a series of bitmaps.
2.5.4.3 File, Picture, Save Desktop...
... is the same as File, Picture, Save, except that instead of simply saving the active graphics window, this command
saves the entire screen to the file you specify. As always, FEMAP uses the standard file access dialog. Unlike File,
Picture, Save however, the desktop can only be saved in bitmap for JPEG format. This command does not show the
Metafile options.
2.5.4.4 File, Picture, Save JT...
... saves the FEMAP Graphics window as a *.JT file (Teamcenter
Visualization file). Only entities visible in the active graphics win-
dow will be saved in the JT file. As always, FEMAP uses the stan-
dard file access dialog. After JT file has been named, there are a few
JT Options which can be selected for the file.
A Hierarchal tree control will be created in Teamcenter Visualiza-
tion depending on which options are checked. The hierarchy can
also be changed by using the Move Up and Move Down buttons.
Each category selected will add a level of hierarchy in the tree. You
can choose how many branches will be in your tree structure by
selecting different categories. There will also be several options for
each category type depending on the category type that is chosen.
For example, Model will have options for deformed and undeformed
as well as others. Entity Type will separate Geometry into Surfaces, Curves, and Points and Finite Element Data
into Nodes and Elements. Entity Subtype will add different element types to the tree such as line elements, plates,
solid elements, and other element types as well as individual section cuts and isosurfaces. Layer, Property, and
Material will add branches for different Layers, Properties, and Materials currently visible. Curve & Surface ID
will create branches under Curve and Surface respectively for each Curve and Surface currently shown on the
screen.
2.5.4.5 File, Picture, Replay...
... displays graphics that you have saved in files. Just like File, Picture, Save, you will use the standard file access
dialog box to select the graphics format and file that you want to display. FEMAP will create a new window to dis-
play the bitmap image, Metafile or animation. For bitmaps, animations, and placeable Metafiles, the initial size of
the replay window will be the same size as the window that you saved. If that size is too large to fit on the screen,
the size will be automatically reduced.
The replay window does not have a command menu, but does have a system menu. You can use the system menu,
or the window borders to move and resize the window. If you resize the window, FEMAP will stretch a bitmap or
scale a Metafile to fit in the new window.
FEMAP adds an additional command, Original Size, to the system menu. This command will automatically return
the window to its default size and position.
FEMAP also adds an Animation command to the system menu. This command is identical to the View, Animation
command in FEMAP. It is used to control the replayed animations. You can also stop and start replayed animations
simply by clicking in the window. To stop the animation, press the left mouse button while the cursor is anywhere
inside the replay window. To restart the animation, press the right mouse button. You will find that animations work
Hint: When saving an AVI file, you must have a color resolution > 256 colors. if you have 256 colors or less,
you will not be able to successfully import the AVI files into other applications.
Note: Loads and Constraints will NOT appear in a JT file even if they are on screen when the JT file is cre-
ated. They may be available in future versions of FEMAP.
Note: Line elements which have a symbol associated with them, such as springs and gaps will be shown as a
line between two positions with a dot on the line. Mass elements will be shown as a single dot and
any offsets will be designated with a red line representing the offset.
Alt+F3
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File, Messages Menu 2-19
best if you leave the window at the original size. If you change the size, the animation will slow down dramatically
since FEMAP must do many more calculations for each animation frame. If you do change the size, you can
always use the Original Size command to restore the window.
Replaying Pictures Outside of FEMAP
When you choose the File, Picture, Replay command, FEMAP actually runs a separate Windows program
(REPLAY.EXE). At any time you want to view a picture, you can run that program yourself without running
FEMAP. When you run REPLAY by itself, you will see a dialog box that asks you for the picture file name. This is
not the standard file access dialog box, and it does not list the available files. You must already know the complete
file name of the file that you want to view, and type it in the dialog box. You must also include the file name exten-
sion (.BMP or .WMF, for example). Alternatively, you can specify the full file name on the command line, for
example:
REPLAY PICTURE.BMP
You can also run REPLAY directly from DOS with:
WIN REPLAY PICTURE.BMP
REPLAY automatically determines the type of file that you are specifying from the data in the file. It does not rely
on the file name extension, so you can specify any name.
The commands shown above assume that both Windows and REPLAY are in directories along your PATH. If they
are not, you must add the names of the appropriate directories to these commands.
2.5.5 File, Messages Menu
The commands on this submenu allow you to transfer text from the Messages window. You can copy the text to a
file or to the Windows clipboard and then to other applications.
By default, these commands transfer all lines of text from the Messages window to the selected file, or to the clip-
board. This includes all lines of text that are visible in the window, and the lines of text that can be retrieved by
scrolling. You cannot copy text that has scrolled out of FEMAP's buffer. You can set the number of lines saved in
the buffer using File, Preferences, Database.
Selecting Messages
If you do not want all of the text, you must select the lines that FEMAP will copy prior to invoking these com-
mands. To select messages, point to the line that you want to select with the cursor. Press the left mouse button and
drag the cursor to the last (or first) line that you want to select. As you do this, the color of the selected lines will
change. Now release the button. Don't worry if some lines appear to be missed as you drag the cursor. When you
release the mouse button, FEMAP will select all lines between the two points. Simply clicking on a line with the
left mouse button selects just that line. Clicking anywhere in the Messages window with the right mouse button
cancels any lines that you have selected. If you want to change your selection, just repeat the process. You do not
have to cancel your previous selection.
Note: FEMAP will never close the replay window. You must do that manually, by double clicking the system
menu with your left mouse button, or by choosing Close from the system menu. By leaving the window
open, you can continue to work in FEMAP and display many simultaneous pictures just by replaying
different files. The only limitation is the amount of memory available for Windows. You must be care-
ful if you are running FEMAP or any other application maximized to the full screen. When you choose
the next FEMAP command, your replay window or windows will disappear behind the maximized
FEMAP window. It is very easy to forget about these extra windows. While they do no harm, they are
using system resources (especially if they are animating!) that may be better applied to FEMAP or
some other ongoing process. Therefore, you should always close the window as soon as you are fin-
ished looking at it.
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2-20 Finite Element Modeling
2.5.5.1 File, Messages, Copy...
... copies the selected (or all) lines of text from the Messages window to the Windows clipboard. No additional
input is required.
2.5.5.2 File, Messages, Save...
... transfers a copy of the selected (or all) lines of text from the Messages window to a file. The standard file access
dialog box allows you to specify the name of the file to create. If you select an existing file, you will be given an
option to overwrite, or append to, that file. The default filename extension is *.LST.
2.6 Using Rebuild and Preferences
This section of the File menu pertains to rebuilding your model file and setting default parameters (preferences) for
your model files. Each of these menu commands are described further below.
2.6.1 File, Rebuild...
... verifies the integrity of your current active model and can be used to reduce the size of a model where you have
deleted entities. You will be asked to choose between two levels of rebuilding. The quickest method simply checks
whether all entities that are referenced by other entities exist. For example, all nodes and properties that are refer-
enced by elements must exist. You will receive messages informing you of any missing entities. This level of
rebuilding is called automatically every time you use one of the read translators to input a model. It verifies the
completeness of the model that you read.
The more thorough level of rebuilding (fully rebuild) does everything that the quick method does and also recon-
structs many internal database details. If you experience a power failure while a database is being written or run out
of disk space, your model file may become corrupted. This level of rebuild will recover any data that is still present.
Whenever you delete entities from a FEMAP model, the space that they occupied is marked as empty. The space is
still retained in the model file. When you create new entities, FEMAP will reuse this empty space before allocating
any new space. Therefore, as long as you plan to add to your model, the space will not be wasted - it will be reused.
If you have a shortage of disk space, or if you have done a large amount of deleting, such as deleting sets of output
data, you may want to choose the full rebuild option and allow it to compress your model. This will remove all of
the empty space and reduce the size of your model file.
Rebuilding is not usually required, but it is non-destructive so you can use it any time you have a question about the
integrity of your model. Instead of using Rebuild, you can also use the FEMAP neutral file translator to export a
neutral file, and then and import it to a new FEMAP database. The new database will also be free of empty space.
2.6.2 File, Preferences
This command allows you to customize the operation of FEMAP. These options control how certain commands
will operate, set defaults, and define disks or files to be used. This command bring up a tabbed dialog box with 9
tabs, each tab representing the type of entity you want to modify. FEMAP will remember the tab used most recently
and the Preferences dialog box will open with that tab active. Each of these tabs are discussed in more detail below.
You can use the arrows in the upper right hand corner of the dialog box to be able to be able to view all the tabs.
Note: Ctrl+C can be used as a general copy command in FEMAP. FEMAP takes into account which window
or dockable pane is currently active. When the Messages pane is active, Ctrl+C will perform the File,
Messages, Copy command.
Note: Remember that the Windows clipboard only holds one image or one set of text. Every time you choose
this command, you automatically overwrite the previous contents of the clipboard.
Hint: Be careful when changing preferences labeled startup preferences. These preferences cannot be mod-
ified for the active session, and will be saved when OK is clicked. For these settings to have any impact
on how FEMAP is operating, you must close your current session of FEMAP completely. The next time
you initialize FEMAP the options will be set as you selected them.
Ctrl+Alt+Insert
Ctrl+Shift+P
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Messages 2-21
2.6.2.1 Messages
These options control text dis-
played in the Messages Win-
dow and the overall size of that
window. When you select the
Messages tab, the Preferences
dialog box will display the
options for messages. These
options are partitioned into
two types: Max Text Lines and
Fonts and Colors.
Max Text Lines
This option controls the maxi-
mum number of lines of text
that can be retained in the
Messages window. The default
value is 100,000. There is no
set maximum number of lines
that can be set, but the higher
the number of max lines, the
more memory will be used and
this could effect the perfor-
mance of FEMAP.
Message Font, Listing
Font and Size
Message Font chooses the font
for display of messages and
feedback from FEMAP.
Listing Font chooses the font for display of text written to the Messages Window from any listing command in
FEMAP.
You can choose any Message Font, Listing Font, or size that you like for text display. In general, you should always
choose a fixed-pitch font. If you choose a proportionally spaced font, none of the FEMAP reports or listings will be
properly aligned and they will be harder to read.
Program Font and Size
Program Font chooses the font for display of text which has been recorded or written in the Program File window.
You can choose a size specifically for the Program Font which is independent of the Message Font and Listing Font
size.
Colors
These options let you choose the colors of text to be displayed. You can enter a numeric color value, or choose the
Palette button to select the color from the standard color palette. For these options, you must select solid colors
(Colors 0 to 149). You cannot select any cross-hatching or patterned lines. You should also make sure that you do
not choose a color for the background which matches any of the text colors, or you won't be able to see the text.
Furthermore, you can choose to make the font Bold Face by clicking the Bold check box next to the Palette button.
For best results, you should always pick a background color that results in filled areas and lines being the same
color. If you do not, the background may be a different color behind the text than it is to the right of the text.
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2-22 Finite Element Modeling
2.6.2.2 Views
When you select the Views tab, the Preferences dialog box will display the options for views. The Views tab of the
Preferences dialog box is partitioned into five areas:
Startup View (from View Library)
Background Bitmaps (Render Only)
Options
View and Dynamic Rotation
Startup View (from View
Library)
The Startup View area
includes:
The View Number option lets
you change the view that
FEMAP uses when you start a
new model, or when you cre-
ate a new view. When this
value is set to 0, FEMAP uses
its normal defaults. If you
want a different view, use the
View Quick Options dialog box
to store a view in the library,
then set View Number to the ID
of that view as it is stored in
the library. The first view in
the library has an ID of 1, the
second is 2, and so on. You can
also use the Browse button (...)
to select a view from the View
library. When you start a new
model, that view will be used
as the default.
Background Bitmaps
(Render Only)
The Background Bitmaps area
includes two different paths which can be to specified to use bitmap images in the background of the main FEMAP
graphics window (Render Mode Only):
Background - Allows you to specify a directory path or browse directories to designate a bitmap to be used as
the background of the main FEMAP graphics window. The bitmap will only be shown when either option
7..Bitmap or 8..Stretched Bitmap is chosen in the Window Background portion of the Window Background dia-
log box (see Section 6.1.3, "View, Background...").
Logo - Allows you to specify a directory path or browse directories to designate a bitmap to shown in a partic-
ular location in the FEMAP graphics window. The bitmap will only be shown when Show Bitmap is checked in
the Logo section of Window Background dialog box (see Section 6.1.3, "View, Background...").
There are two options for resolution which will be applied to any bitmaps which have been assigned, Screen or
Printer. Screen will show the bitmap on the screen the actual size of the bitmap, while Printer will show the bitmap
at a size that is determined by the actual size of the bitmap multiplied by the Render Res Factor, which can be
found in the Plot and Metafile Style section of the Page Setup dialog box (see Section 2.5.1, "File, Page Setup...").
Options
These options control various operational features of FEMAP views.
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Views 2-23
Autoplot Created/Modified Geometry
If this option is on, all geometry which is created or modified by a command will be drawn at the end of the com-
mand. FEMAP operates fully interactively in this mode, which means you do not have to request a new display. If
you turn this option off, you will have to choose the View, Redraw command to display the new or updated geome-
try. Turning off this option will also disable Group, Operations, Automatic Add.
Alternate Fill Mode
FEMAP fills polygons whenever you turn on element fill or do a hidden line plot, a contour plot, or a criteria plot.
Windows provides two different techniques for drawing a filled polygon, both of which should be equivalent for all
cases in FEMAP. Unfortunately, some graphics adapters and their drivers have trouble filling polygons with one
method or the other. Notably, some of the more advanced Windows accelerator boards like the Number Nine,
Matrox, and other S3-based boards will often forget to draw a polygon when using the standard filling method. If
you see missing spots/polygons when you draw a model (especially a contour plot), try switching the fill method. If
that solves the problem, save this option when you exit Preferences so it will be used for all models.
Workplane Never Visible in New View
This option allows you to turn the workplane off when starting a new model. If this option is not checked, FEMAP
will use the setting for the startup view to determine whether the workplane is visible in a new model. If this option
is on, FEMAP will automatically turn the workplane off, even if the settings in the startup view call for it to be on.
Alternate Color Palette
Use this option to select the alternate color palette, which uses blue to represent the lowest values in a post-process-
ing display. The standard color palette uses magenta for the lowest values.
Open Views of Existing Models
By default, when you open an existing model, the view of that model automatically opens. Sometimes, however,
opening graphics in a corrupt model file can cause a crash. To open a model file without the graphic view of the
model, turn off the Open Views of Existing Models option. Once the file is open, you can work on solving the prob-
lem, perhaps by writing out a neutral file. You can manually open the view by using View, Activate or View, New.
Aspect Ratio for New Views
When a new view is created, the aspect ratio is normally set to 1.0. The geometry is not stretched either horizon-
tally or vertically for display in that window. An aspect ratio of 2.0 would cause a square to be displayed two times
as high as it is wide. Changing this value only sets the default for new views. You can use View, Options to update
the aspect ratio for any existing window, and turn off the AutoAspect feature.
View and Dynamic Rotation
These options control the rotation of views in your model when using the View Toolbar commands as well as when
you access the View, Rotate command.
Delta
This is the default angle of rotation when you click in the scroll bars in the View, Rotate command or when you use
the Rotate buttons on the toolbar. It must be specified in degrees.
Dynamic
This option chooses the method that will be used for displaying your model during the Dynamic Rotate/Pan/Zoom
command from the toolbar. If you experience flashing when you perform a dynamic rotation, set this option to a
different mode to remove the problem. This option has no impact on Render mode dynamic rotation.
Dynamic Speed
Allows you to increase the speed a model will rotate in the graphics window based on the distance the mouse is
moved across the screen. The number must be between 1 and 10 and the higher the number, the greater number of
full rotations will occur as the mouse is dragged from side of the graphics window to another.
Rotation Angles
These options allow you to define three view orientations which can be accessed using the View, Rotate command
buttons. The default views are Isometric, Dimetric and Trimetric. In addition to the rotation angles you can also set
the button text. Place an ampersand (&) in front of the letter that you want to be able to access using the Alt+Letter
keyboard combination.
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2-24 Finite Element Modeling
2.6.2.3 Render
Render mode is a high-speed graphics mode that uses the OpenGL graphics language (It is the default graphics
mode in FEMAP). The Render tab lets you control Render graphics options and the level of functionality that you
have while in Render mode.
The dialog box has four areas:
Render Options
Include in Dynamic Rotation
Textures
Advanced/Debug Options
Render Options
These options control how Ren-
der will be implemented.
Hardware Accel (startup
only)
This option controls whether
you use hardware acceleration
while in the Render mode or if
the rendering is to be done by
software in Windows. This will
be defaulted to on, but will only
work when a hardware accelera-
tion board has been installed in
your computer. If a board has
been installed and you do not
wish to use hardware accelera-
tion, you can uncheck this
option. You must save this pref-
erence and restart FEMAP for
this option to take effect.
Use Midside Nodes
If this option is selected,
FEMAP will use the midside
nodes when drawing rendered
plots. This increases the com-
plexity of the graphics,
decreases the speed of drawing the graphics window, and increases memory usage.
Memory Optimization
When this option is selected, FEMAP doesnt use as much memory when drawing. This may or may not be helpful,
depending on the size of your model:
In very large models that require memory swapping, turning on this option will improve display performance.
In small/medium-size models that dont require memory swapping, turning on this option may slow down dis-
play performance.
Note: FEMAP often performs better when using the default settings for OpenGL graphics cards. Issues may
sometimes occur when using settings optimized for other applications, especially with animations.
Hint: For small models, you may find this option helpful in viewing arrowheads that represent boundary con-
ditions. If the option is on, the arrowhead will display flat on the screen as the model is rotated. If the
option is off, the orientation of the arrowhead will rotate with the model.
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Render 2-25
Beam Facet Edges
This option controls how a cross section is displayed on a beam
element. When on, the cross section extends along the length of
the element. When off, the cross section is drawn only at the
ends of the beam element.
Smooth Lines
When this option is on, FEMAP uses OpenGL anti-aliasing to
draw smooth lines. This can enhance wireframe displays but
can be computationally expensive.
Auto Regenerate
If this option is chosen, a graphics regenerate automatically occurs after virtually every command. The graphics
will always reflect the current model status. For large models, this can be expensive and the option should be
switched off. By default, this option is off.
Fast Render Picking
When selected, picking uses in memory data to pick nodes, elements, points, and surfaces. This results in much
faster picking with large models. If you switch this option off, or use Pick Query or Pick Front, the standard pick-
ing algorithms are used. You should leave this option on.
Edges Using Lines
Some graphics cards currently have poor quality support for the standard OpenGL method FEMAP uses to draw
element and surface edges. Selecting this option forces all edges to be drawn as simple lines. This is not as efficient
and may cause the edges to have a stitched appearance. You should use this option if element edges are not drawn
correctly.
Vertex Arrays
If your graphics card has good support of vertex arrays, you can get significant performance improvement by
selecting vertex arrays. FEMAP provides three levels of support (No, Partial and Full) to account for different
graphics cards:
Full Vertex Arrays uses vertex arrays for all graphics. We have seen problems with this level of support on some
graphics cards including severe system crashes.
Partial Vertex Arrays uses vertex arrays for all filled entities such as elements and surfaces, but does not use
vertex arrays for element and surface borders.
No Vertex Arrays does not use vertex arrays at all.
You should use the level that gives the best performance without any problems.
Search Depth
To optimize memory usage, FEMAP internally groups entities which are exactly the same (same element type,
property, material, layer, AND color) together. These like entities are stored in collectors in the FEMAP graph-
ics data structures. Every time a new entity is created, FEMAP will search all of the existing collectors to see if the
new entity can be placed into one of them.
The Search Depth value refers to how many collectors FEMAP should search when a new entity is created before
creating a new collector. By default, the value is 0, which means that FEMAP will search through all the existing
collectors and only create a new one if a collector does not exist with the entitys same element type, property,
material, layer, AND color. This value can be set to another number if you would like FEMAP to only search the
last n number of collectors to determine if a new one should be created.
Hint: If you switch it on in Render Options, you can switch it off in Include In Dynamic Rotation to improve
dynamic rotation performance.
On Off
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2-26 Finite Element Modeling
In general, searching all the collectors in a model is not an issue, but if you have a model with many different entity
types, properties, materials, layers, and colors, this can slow down the graphics quite a bit as FEMAP looks for an
existing collector in which to place the new entity.
Include in Dynamic Rotation
These options let you select the entities that will be included in dynamic rotation. By deselecting some of these
entities, you can improve display performance. In large models, you may see dramatic performance improvements
when you turn off options such as Fill, Shading, Filled Edges, and Undeformed.
If you turn Workplane off, some additional entities will also not appear during dynamic rotation. These entities
include the Axisymmetric Axis, View Legend, View Axis, Origin, Workplane and Rulers, and Workplane Grid from
the Tools and View Style category of View, Options as well as the Post Titles, Trace Locations (Trace Style), and
Contour/Criteria Legend from the PostProcessing category of View, Options.
If you select Elements as Free Edge, elements will be drawn as free edge only during dynamic rotation. This will
greatly improve graphics performance for large models.
Connections will turn off Connection Regions and Connectors
If you deselect Element Symbols, elements that are drawn as symbols will not be drawn during dynamic rotation.
This will greatly improve graphics performance for models that contain a large number of mass, mass matrix, link,
gap or DOF Spring elements.
Textures
These options enable you to control the texture maps used by Enhanced mode for post processing displays.
2D mapping
If you select this option, 2 dimensional texture maps will be used; otherwise, 1 dimensional texture maps will be
used. Different graphics cards have different levels of support of 1 and 2 dimensional texture maps.
Smooth Textures
This option is available for 1 or 2-Dimensional texture maps. It can provide better quality smooth contours.
Force All Triangles
Some graphics cards split quadrilateral graphics primitives differently when they intersect the edge of the window.
This can cause the contours on a model to move on an element face when the model is dynamically rotated while
intersecting the edge of the window. If you select this option, all quadrilaterals are split into triangles and this gives
consistent contours. The vertex colours are always correct: it is only the internal color pattern of an element face
that is impacted.
Max Number
FEMAP tries to use the largest texture map possible. However, some graphics cards do not enable the maximum
size to be determined. If you have problems with contour display colors, set this number lower and try again.
Advanced/Debug Options
These options apply to the Enhanced method only. They help you work with FEMAP Support to resolve Render
graphics display problems that may be unique to your graphics card driver.
Note: An example of when you might want to change the Search Depth is:
A NASTRAN input deck has been imported into FEMAP with a large number of CELAS2 elements
(spring elements which also contain spring property data on each connection entry). Since these ele-
ments are not associated with a property using a property ID, FEMAP is forced to create a property
for each CELAS2 element. Each spring element is now a different property, causing FEMAP to place
each one into its own collector. If there where 28000 springs in the model, FEMAP would have to
search through 28000 collectors each time a new entity is created and this is not efficient for the
FEMAP graphics data structures. Changing the value of Search Depth to a lower number can increase
graphics performance by searching the collectors far less often and creating a new one only if no match-
ing collectors can be found.
Hint: Remember that you can also use View, Options to control which entities are displayed.
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User Interface 2-27
Print Debug Messages
If you turn this option on, FEMAP will write print debug messages to the Messages window. FEMAP Support may
request this information to help you resolve a graphics display problem.
Bitmap Alignment
This option controls the way that bitmaps are stored. The default setting is 4. Changing this setting may cause
severe display problems. Do not change this setting unless FEMAP Support instructs you to.
Pixel Format
This option controls graphics descriptors. The default setting of 0 instructs FEMAP to use the optimal pixel format
for your graphics board. Changing this setting may cause severe display problems. Do not change this setting
unless FEMAP Support instructs you to.
BitBlt Delay
If you are seeing split images in your FEMAP graphics window, you may need to enter a value for BitBlt Delay.
In some low-end graphics cards, GDI and OpenGL graphics are not synchronized correctly, which can result in
split images to appear inside the FEMAP graphics window. This is due to the picture capture of the screen occur-
ring while the graphics are still in the swap buffer. In order to correct this problem, a value for the BitBlt Delay
can be placed into FEMAP to allow extra time (in milliseconds) for the graphics to come out of the swap buffer and
the screen image to be captured properly.
2.6.2.4 User Interface
When you choose the User
Interface tab, the Preferences
dialog box will display options
for the how the different facets
of the FEMAP User Interface
(menus, toolbars, dockable
panes, tooltips, etc.) will func-
tion. This User Interface tab is
partitioned into six categories:
Menus and Dialog Boxes
Graphical Selection
Mouse Interface
Dockable Panes
Model Info
Show Entities Defaults
Toolbars
Any options in the Menus and
Dialog Boxes, Graphical
Selection, or Mouse interface
sections can be changed for a
given session.
Menus and Dialog Boxes
Alternate Color Scheme
If this option is on, the menus, toolbars, and dockable pane borders will appear as a gray color instead of a shaded
color regardless of which color is set for dialog box appearance in Windows. FEMAP appears more like pre-Ver-
sion 9 releases when the Alternate Color Scheme is turned on.
Note: Usually, a delay of 10 ms or 20 ms, will correct the issue. If these values do not help, we suggest start-
ing with 100 ms and moving back towards 0 ms by increments of 10 ms until the problem reappears.
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2-28 Finite Element Modeling
Autorepeat Create Commands
If this option is on, all entity create commands will automatically repeat until you choose Cancel. This allows you
to continue creating entities without repeatedly choosing the same command.
Remember Dialog Positions
When this option is on, FEMAP will remember the last screen location for each dialog box. If you move a dialog
box then pick the command again later, FEMAP will place the dialog box in the position you chose rather than in
the default position. FEMAP will remember the dialog box locations only for the current FEMAP session. To
restore dialog boxes to their original positions, use the Reset Dialog Positions button.
Alternate Accelerator Keys for Views
When on, changes the way several Accelerator Keys (hard-coded shortcut keys) function in FEMAP to give quick
access to orient the view. Ctrl+B becomes View, Rotate, Bottom; Ctrl+T becomes View, Rotate, Top; Ctrl+F
becomes View, Rotate, Front; Ctrl+L becomes View, Rotate, Left; and Ctrl+I becomes View, Rotate, Isometric.
These accelerators mimic Solid Edge and FEMAP must be restarted in order for this preference to take effect.
Ask for Confirmation Before Delete
For version 9.2, an option, Dont confirm delete again, was added to all Confirm Delete dialog boxes which
appear when you delete any entity in FEMAP. If you check the Dont confirm delete again box, the Confirm
Delete dialog boxes will no longer appear when you delete an entity and this option will now be unchecked. If you
would like to turn the Confirm Delete dialog boxes back on, simply check this option.
Recently Used Files
This option sets the number of recently used files that will be listed at the bottom of the File menu.
Graphical Selection
Track Mouse Picking
This option activates dynamic selection tracking. When you move the cursor through the graphics window to select
nodes, elements or other geometry, FEMAP dynamically highlights the entity that will be selected if you click the
mouse button. This makes accurate selection much easier in complex models.
Pick All Inside
This option controls selection of entities when screen area (using box or circle) picking is used to select entities
whose position is defined by other multiple entities (i.e. elements by their nodes, curves by their points). If this
option is on, all entities which comprise the selected entity must be inside the selected area (i.e. for an element, all
of its nodes must be in the selected area for it to be picked). If it is off, only one entity must be selected (i.e. for an
element, only one node must be in the selected region when this option is off).
Tooltip Delay
Allows you to set the amount of time before a tooltip will appear after an entity has been highlighted by the cur-
sor. The number is in tenths of a second and can be from 1 to 1000. For example, the default value is 10 tenths of
a second (i.e., 10 x 0.1 seconds = 1 second after an entity has been selected, a tooltip will appear).
Tooltip Duration
Allows you to set the amount of time a tooltip will be visible after it appears. The number is in tenths of a second
(For example, the default is 100 tenths of a second, therefore, 100 x 0.1 seconds = 10 seconds that the Tooltip
will be visible). If you want to set the Tooltip to remain visible until the cursor is no longer selecting that entity, you
can set the value to 0 (zero).
Mouse Interface
Reverse Mouse Wheel Direction
By default, when the mouse wheel is used to zoom in and out inside the main FEMAP graphics window, spinning
the mouse wheel up (away from the user) will zoom in, while spinning the mouse wheel down (towards the user)
will zoom out on the model. When this option is checked, the direction of the mouse wheel will be reversed for the
FEMAP graphics window only (the mouse wheel will work normally in any other Dockable Pane), therefore spin-
ning the mouse wheel up (away from the user) will zoom out, while spinning the mouse wheel down (towards the
user) will zoom in on the model
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User Interface 2-29
Shift for Pan, Control for Zoom
By default, when the Shift key is held down along with the left mouse button (or mouse wheel is pressed when a
dialog box is open) moving the mouse up or down will allow you to dynamically zoom in and out of the model.
Also, when the Control key is held down along with the left mouse button (or mouse wheel is pressed when a dia-
log box is open) moving the mouse up, down, left or right will allow you to dynamically translate the model around
the screen in the corresponding direction. When this option is checked, the functionality of holding Shift or Control
down along with the left mouse button and moving the mouse around will be swapped (i.e. Shift for Pan, Control
for Zoom).
Dockable Panes
Animate Fly-out
This option is used when a Dockable Pane is in the retracted state (Retracted means that the pane is only visible
as a tab and will fly-out when the curser is placed on the tab). This preference, when on, will animate the fly-out
from the tab to full extension of the pane. The Retraction (when the pane goes from being fully extended back to
tab only) will also be animated. When this preference is off, the pane will just pop-up to full size and then mini-
mize to tab only instead of you viewing it extend and retract. This is a start-up only preference, therefore it the
preference must be saved and FEMAP reopened in order for it to take effect.
Model Info
Max Entities
Limits the number of items of each category which will be shown in the Model Info tree. This can significantly
improve performance if you have thousands of entities of one type. Options are added to the tree to show the next
or previous group, whenever less than the full number of entities are displayed. The default value is 2000.
Show Entities Defaults
These options are the same options for highlighting entities that are found in the Window, Show Entities... com-
mand. For more information, see Section 6.3.2.3, "Window, Show Entities...".
FEMAP will use these default settings for all new models and until the any of the options are changed by the user
manually. The options can be changed using the Window, Show Entities... command, the Show When Selected icon
in the Model Info tree, or the Show When Selected icon in the Data Table.
Toolbars
Save Layout
When the Save Layout button is pushed, FEMAP will prompt you to save your toolbar layout to a *.TBR file in a
directory of your choice. The *.TBR file can be used to bring a specific toolbar layout to a different installation of
FEMAP.
Load Layout
When the Load Layout button is pushed, FEMAP will prompt you to select a *.TBR file from a directory of your
choice in order to load a toolbar layout from an existing installation of FEMAP. This allows one layout to be used
by multiple users.
Reset User Interface
Resets the FEMAP User Interface to the original configuration when the product was installed, by deleting all of
the registry settings associated with FEMAP toolbars, dockable panes, menus, shortcut keys, and user-defined
commands. When this command is used, the following message will appear
If you click Yes, all toolbars or menus that have been changed (icons and commands added, moved, removed); all
altered icons; all toolbar positions, all custom toolbars; all dockable pane positions, pinnings, and stackings; all
user-defined shortcut keys; all custom commands that have been created; and all toolbar options which were cho-
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2-30 Finite Element Modeling
sen will be changed back to the defaults and can not be recovered unless you have saved them in a Toolbar layout
(*.TBR file). You must exit and restart FEMAP for this command to take effect.
Reset Dialog Positions
Resets the FEMAP dialog box positions to the original positions when the product was installed. This command
only has an effect if you have the Remember Dialog Positions option checked in the Menus and Dialog Boxes por-
tion of this dialog box.
2.6.2.5 Database
The options on the Database tab control certain database options, including memory management and location of
scratch files. All of these options, with the exception of those labeled immediate, are only used at startup. You
must therefore restart FEMAP after changing any of these option to have them take effect.
The Database tab of the Preferences dialog box is partitioned into four areas:
Database Options
Meshing
Timed Save
Scratch Disks
Each area is discussed more fully below.
Hint: Saving the toolbar layout to a*.TBR file is a good idea before using the Reset User Interface command,
as it will allow you to return to custom commands and shortcut keys if you need them in the future. You
can always load them for use and then use the Reset User Interface command to get the defaults back
again.
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Database 2-31
Database Options
These options control how FEMAP interacts with the FEMAP model file (binary database).
Backup before Save
When this option is on and your model has been saved previously, FEMAP will keep a backup copy of your model
in the file modelname.BAK (where modelname.MOD is the name of your model). Only one backup copy is saved,
so the .BAK file will be updated and overwritten every time you save. By default this option is disabled, and no
backup copies are saved.
Unlike the other options in this dialog box, changes to the backup option are effective immediately. You do not
have to save them permanently. The backup option is ignored whenever Use Model Scratch File is off. In this state,
you directly update the model file during every command, not just when you choose Save. Therefore, FEMAP does
not attempt to make a backup when you save.
Delete Model Scratch File
When this option is on, FEMAP will automatically delete your scratch file whenever you begin a new model or exit
FEMAP. The option is selected as a default.
Preserve Next ID during Rebuild
By default, FEMAP will reset the Next ID for all entities to the lowest available ID after the File, Rebuild com-
mand has been used. When this option is on, FEMAP will maintain the Next ID defined for all entities prior to
the Rebuild operation. This will prevent FEMAP from back-filling empty IDs that may exist in a model that
has been somehow partitioned using entity IDs.
Low Disk Warning
When this option is on, FEMAP will issue a warning when free space on the scratch files disk drops below the
amount specified.
Undo Levels
Controls how many commands (0-99) that you will be able to undo. Setting this to a larger number gives you
greater flexibility in being able to backup your commands, but can take a significant amount of disk space. All files
are placed in the specified Scratch Directory.
Cache Pages, Blocks/Page, Max Cached Label
These options control how FEMAP accesses your database file and handles internal caching of database informa-
tion. A database block is 4096 bytes. When FEMAP needs to read from disk, rather than simply reading one block
it reads a page consisting of a number of contiguous blocks. Since most commands access groups of entities, this
minimizes the number of disk accesses, and speeds up FEMAP.
The Blocks/Page number sets this page size. The optimum setting of this number depends on the speed of
your disk and controller.
The Cache Pages numbers indicates how many of these pages FEMAP will retain in memory simultaneously.
When FEMAP starts with a new model, it allocates the number of pages specified in Cache Pages. If your
model is even larger than that, any additional data will be written to disk (in the model scratch file).
Max Cached Label sets the largest label that FEMAP will reserve memory for. This option must be set to a ID
higher than any entity in the model.
The following figures Cache Pages and Block/Page provided as a starting point to improve performance.
Operating System Installed RAM (Mb) Cache Pages Blocks/Page
Windows XP, 2000,
Me
128 8000 2
256 12000 3
512 15000 5
1000 15000 11
Note: When multiple models are open, each model has an individual database open as well. Therefore, you
may want to set these values somewhat lower (~25% lower) if you plan to have multiple models open
in the same FEMAP session to avoid disk swapping when going back and forth between models and
using memory intensive commands such as meshing
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2-32 Finite Element Modeling
For more information, see Section 3.4.2, "Improving Performance (RAM Management)" in the FEMAP User
Guide.
Timed Save
On and Notify
The selected option specifies if FEMAP should notify you when it hits a preset limit or if it should just automati-
cally save the model.
Interval and Commands
The Interval sets the time in minutes between automatic saves, while the number of Commands set the number of
commands performed before FEMAP notifies you that it has performed an automatic save.
Scratch Directory
This option determines where temporary files will be placed. Both the Model Scratch file and the Undo Files will
always be saved in the same directory.
The Model Scratch file is always turned on. The scratch file is a duplicate of your model file and therefore is the
same size.
The size of the Undo Files depends upon how many levels of undo you choose and the FEMAP commands that
you execute. They can be large.
The model scratch file is not deleted (unless you request deletion using the Delete Model Scratch File option,
which is the default), when you exit FEMAP, but all other files are deleted.
For Windows XP, 2000, and ME the directory path to the Scratch Directory should be complete path names. If the
path is not specified these files are stored, by default, in the directory specified by the TEMP environment variable.
Recover Scratch Directory
As FEMAP models, it creates temporary files in the Scratch Directory. These files are necessary so FEMAP can
keep track of changes to the FEMAP database during the modeling process, but in general can not be used for any-
thing on their own. When you the File, Save command is used in FEMAP, the model information is first dumped
to the scratch directory, then the model file is opened in its saved location and the updated information is trans-
ferred to that location. If for some reason (usually running out of disk space), FEMAP crashes during the File, Save
command and the information has been dumped to the scratch directory and the model file has been corrupted or
disappeared, then the model can be recovered by clicking this button.
2.6.2.6 Geometry/Model
The Geometry/Model tab contains geometry options, as well as options for Load Expansion, Meshing, and Property
calculation in the Preferences dialog box.
You can specify the default geometry engine for solid modeling, as well as the midside node load expansion. Each
of these sections are described below.
Geometry Engine (startup only)
FEMAP can perform solid modeling with the Parasolid Solid Modeling engine. This option controls the default
geometry engine upon entering FEMAP. If you do not plan to export a solid model, you may use the FEMAP stan-
dard geometry engine to create wireframe and volume geometry.
When importing solid geometry, FEMAP will automatically switch to the Parasolid geometry engine. In particular,
when ACIS solid geometry is read into FEMAP, it will automatically invoke the ACIS-to-Parasolid converter and
all geometry modification and creation inside of FEMAP will be done using the Parasolid engine.
Note: The Recover Scratch Directory command is not designed to recover the model from any crashes that
occur during the modeling process. It is strictly for use when the model has been corrupted during the
File, Save command. As always, it is recommended that you save your model as often as possible.
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Geometry/Model 2-33
Solid Geometry Scale
Factor
The Internal Scale Factor is
used to reduce the size of the
part in the FEMAP database.
The internal engine of Para-
solid requires all positions be
in a box of +/- 500. If you have
entities outside of this box,
Parasolid cannot perform oper-
ations on them. By using an
internal scale factor, FEMAP
can scale the part internally to
prevent the part from extend-
ing beyond this box. You will
not see changes in the dimen-
sions of the part since FEMAP
will do all scaling internally.
This option allows the input of
very large dimensions for the
model, without exceeding the
limits of the Parasolid geome-
try engine.
By default the Solid Geometry
Scale Factor is set to
0..Inches, which automati-
cally sets a value of 39.37 (i.e.,
inches to meters conversion) and this factor is applied internally in FEMAP so that a part of 1.0 on the desktop will
be stored as 0.0254 in the database. The default factor of 39.37 will allow you to import and model parts that are +/
- 19,685 units. Without the scale factor the geometry would be outside of the Parasolid modeling limits and would
become corrupt. The default of 39.37 is chosen since it allows you to import a part that was modeled in inches in
CAD software, and continue to work in inches without manually having to scale the part. You can also choose to
set the Scale Factor to 1..Meters (value of 1.0), 2..Millimeters (value of 1000.0), or 3..Other, which allows
you to specify a value of your choice.
This is a startup preference; therefore, you must save the preference and exit FEMAP for it to take effect.
Load Expansion on Midside Nodes
This section sets the defaults for modification of the distribution of nodal loads (such as force and moment) on par-
abolic elements. To obtain an even distribution of force across a parabolic element, most programs require a larger
portion of the force be assigned to the midside nodes. You can set the factors Along Edges, On Tri-Face, or On
Quad-Face to represent the amount of the total load on the element which will be applied to the midside node.
You will typically want to use the default values above, as well as use the Midside Node Adjustment Default. If you
have further questions on the distribution required for your solver program, please consult the reference documen-
tation for your analysis program.
Meshing and Properties
Surface Meshing in Memory
This preference determines whether additional memory will be allocated by the FEMAP boundary mesher. If this
option is selected, FEMAP will allocate new memory to create the mesh. If it is not selected, FEMAP will utilize
the memory allocated in the database to perform the mesh. By allocating new memory, the FEMAP mesher can run
significantly faster than if it is limited to the database memory. Therefore, this option should almost always be
turned on. The only reason to turn this option off is if the available memory on the current machine is low enough
that allocation of new memory is extremely limited.
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2-34 Finite Element Modeling
Use Fast Tri Mesher
The fast tri-mesher option uses a method to create triangles that generally produces fewer triangles with better
aspect ratios. When this option is on, the FEMAP surface mesher will use the fast tri-mesher by default. You can
also control the tri-mesher from the Automesh Surfaces dialog box (see Section 5.1.2.3, "Mesh, Geometry, Sur-
face...").
Use Length Based Mesh Sizing
When this option is on, FEMAP will use Length Based Sizing to set up mesh sizing on all curves in the model.
By default, FEMAP mesh sizing along curves is done in the parametric space of curves. In many cases this is desir-
able resulting in finer mesh in areas of high curvature. In some cases however (such as unstitched geometry or
geometry that has curves with unusual parameterization), length based spacing will yield much better results. Espe-
cially when dealing with unstitched geometry, length based sizing will produce meshes with matching nodal loca-
tions far more reliably than parametric spacing.
Alternate Section Property Calculation
Uses an alternate Alternate Section Property Calculator to determine the section properties for a Beam element
property.
For more information about the Alternate Section Property Calculator see Special Note about the Alternate Sec-
tion Property Calculator in Section 4.2.2.1, "Line Elements"
2.6.2.7 Interfaces
This section controls defaults for interfaces to other programs. When you select the Interfaces option, the Interface
Preferences dialog box will appear.
Note: Using Length Based Sizing can be very helpful for setting up mesh sizing if your geometry has come
from Catia. The parameterization coming from Catia is often much different than what other CAD
packages produce, therefore our parameter based mesh sizing is not as effective with this geometry.
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Interfaces 2-35
It includes the following options:
Interface
This option simply chooses the default analysis program that FEMAP will display for the File, Import (or Export)
Analysis Model, and File, Import, Analysis Results commands. You should set this option to the interface that you
use most often.
Analysis Type
This option chooses the default type of analysis that will be performed. Set this to the type of analysis you perform
most often.
Non-FEMAP Neutral Version
To export a FEMAP model to some external analysis programs (CAEFEM, CDA/Spring, CFDesign, SINDA/G),
you use a neutral file. If your external program requires a previous version as input, use this option to set the neutral
file version. For example, an older version of CAEFEM may require a FEMAP version 6 neutral file rather than the
current version.
Neutral Digits
Use this command to set the number of significant digits for real numbers in the neutral file.
Interface Style
These options mask commands for users of some analysis programs. The two thermal options will configure
FEMAP in a thermal mode only, changing many dialog boxes. Many structural options will be hidden, and you will
no longer have access to them. The thermal options are is only recommended when performing modeling specific
to thermal analysis and exporting to a thermal specific program.
Structural makes all commands visible. Most users should use this option.
Thermal displays only thermal properties in material dialog boxes. This option can be used by structural analy-
sis program (such as Nastran) users who are performing thermal analyses.
Advanced Thermal displays only thermal properties in material dialog boxes, and limits the element types avail-
able. This option is for SINDA/G users only.
Enable Old Analysis Interfaces
When this option is on, interfaces to ALL solvers supported in FEMAP will be shown when importing or exporting
analysis files.
Analysis Monitor Options
Automatically Load Results: This option will set FEMAP to automatically read results when using the Analysis
Monitor.
Max Lines to Monitor: Sets the default for the number of lines that are monitored from the Analysis Monitor.
File Reference Options
Check References on Open: Toggles on and off checking the selected references (found in File, References)
when a model is opened
Create Geometry References: When this option is on, a geometry reference will be created automatically for
each piece of geometry when it is imported.
Create Analysis Model References: When this option is on, an analysis model reference will be created auto-
matically for each analysis model when it is imported.
Create Analysis Results References: When this option is on, an analysis results reference will be created auto-
matically for each analysis result set when it is imported.
For more information on references, see Section 2.4.2, "File, References..."
Note: The Enable Old Analysis Interfaces should not be used as these interfaces are no longer maintained
and have not been updated since FEMAP version 8.0. Please see Section 2.3, "Importing/Exporting
Files" for more information on using the Analysis Set Manager.
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2-36 Finite Element Modeling
General Solver Options
Run Analysis using VisQ
Turn on this option to use VisQ, the Visual Queue Manager for FEMAP, to run an analysis. This option will check
the Run Analysis using VisQ option by default in the Analysis Set Manager.
Skip Comments when Exporting
When this option is on, FEMAP will not write any comments into the input file. Comments include FEMAP names
and IDs for corresponding groups and sets. Header information indicating the version of FEMAP used and the date
the file was written will also not be written.
Compute Principal Stress/Strain
When this option is on and you read analysis results, FEMAP will automatically compute principal, Von Mises,
max shear and mean stresses and strains if they have not been read, and if all required XYZ components of stress/
strain have been read. You can turn this option off if you do not want to post-process these output quantities. Turn-
ing this option off can result in substantial speed improvements during the final phases of reading results.
You may also want to turn this option off if your analysis program already computes these values. FEMAP does not
compute new values if results exist already, but the checking procedure for these vectors will take some time, espe-
cially in extremely large models.
Assume Engineering Shear Strain
Turn on this option to assume that the shear strain read from the solver results is engineering shear strain rather than
actual shear strain. Since shear strain is used to calculate the principal stress/strain values, its important to specify
the shear strain method.
Nastran Solver Options
Output Set Titles
When this option is set FEMAP will use the specified type of Nastran title when reading output from the .op2
results file. Options available are TITLE, SUBTITLE, and LABEL.
Solver Memory (Mb 0=Auto)
Allows you to allocate the amount of memory for Nastran to use when solving. If you leave this field blank, Nas-
tran will use the value currently set in your Nastran Resource file (Nast*.rcf located in the conf directory for NX
Nastran 4.0, 4.1, or 5.0), which by default is often set to memory = estimate (NX Nastran will try to determine
how much memory the job requires). This is usually recommended.
The mechanism FEMAP uses to set this option is to add a command line option (memory = VALUE mb) when the
job is submitted. This will override the value currently set in your Nastran Resource file.
Direct Output To
Allows you to select the directory to direct all Nastran output:
Current Directory (default): Last used directory by FEMAP. If a model has been saved to a directory, the output
will be directed to that directory when this option is on. If you have opened a model, imported geometry, or
imported a FEMAP neutral file from a directory, then that is now the current directory.
Model File Directory: The directory where the model file currently being used in located. All output will go
into this directory until the model is saved somewhere else. Importing geometry or neutral files from other
directories has no effect on where the output will be sent. If you are working on a model that has not been
saved, the output will be directed to a temporary directory until the model is saved.
Note: Please refer to NX Nastran documentation for more information on setting the correct memory value
for the solver. Allocating more memory than your machine has can cause the solver to fail and setting
this value too low can cause the solver to be less efficient.
Note: If you are using the Model File Directory option, and you have a model that has never been saved (i.e.,
open FEMAP, create a model, then run in NX Nastran without saving), then the output files will be
directed to the FEMAP Scratch directory specified on the Database tab of the Preferences dialog
box. This is only the case for completely unsaved models.
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Library/Startup 2-37
Specified Directory: This option allows you to send all NX Nastran output to a directory that you have speci-
fied. You can us the ... browse button to select a directory. This can helpful because your output will always
be in the same place if you need to view the files or clean-up leftover output files from old analysis runs.
Read Comments as Titles
When you write out a Nastran file from FEMAP, you can write out titles (such as property or material names) as
comments. Turn on this option to read in these comments when you import the Nastran results back into FEMAP.
This option works best reading in comments as material and property titles. It may not read in comments as func-
tion, load set, or constraint set titles.
Read DirCos for Solid Stress/Strain
This option can be used when you wish to retrieve the direction cosines for solid stress/strain post-processing infor-
mation from your analysis program. Previous versions of FEMAP would ask you if you wanted to read this data
during the results import process. This is off by default since the direction cosine information can be quite large and
most users do not use this information.
Always Read Nonlinear Stress/Strain
When a nonlinear analysis is run using Nastran, both Nonlinear stresses/strains and regular stresses/strains are
available in the output file. An Output Set in FEMAP can only contain the Nonlinear OR the Regular stresses/
strains, not both. Checking this option will always read in the Nonlinear stresses/strains from the output file of a
nonlinear analysis, and this is the default for FEMAP. If this option is not checked, FEMAP will bring up a dialog
box during the import of results which allows you to choose which stresses/strains to read (Yes = Nonlinear, No =
Regular).
Using MSC/MD Nastran 2004 or later
Must be turned on when using MSC Nastran 2004, MSC Nastran 2005, or any MD Nastran version in order to
make sure that Nastran creates a compatible binary results file (.op2) that can be read into FEMAP correctly. It is a
good idea to select this option if you are always using MSC Nastran 2004 or above for analysis.
32-bit NX Nastran on 64-bit Windows (not available on 32-bit Windows operating systems)
When checked, tells FEMAP to run the 32-bit version of NX Nastran on a 64-bit Windows operating system. Both
the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of NX Nastran are installed on all operating systems.
Scratch Directory
Allows you to select the Scratch Directory for NX Nastran to use:
Nastran Default: Directory chosen during installation to use for creating NX Nastran scratch files.
Femap Scratch: Directory specified in the Database tab of the Preferences dialog box, where the FEMAP has
been directed to place the FEMAP scratch file.
Output Directory: Directory specified by the Direct Output To option on this tab of the Preferences dialog box.
2.6.2.8 Library/Startup
This section allows you to define the default libraries to be used for several different types of entities in FEMAP
and define a startup preference.
For any of the libraries, you do not have to specify a complete path as long as the file is in a directory which is
along your DOS PATH. FEMAP first searches your current directory and then along your path until it finds the file.
You can also use the Browse button to search for a specific directory where a FEMAP library file might be found.
By using Browse (...), a number of users can share one common set of FEMAP library files, as long as those users
have appropriate access and permissions to the directories where the shared library files are located.
Note: If you are using the Specified Directory option, it is a good idea to create a directory specifically for this
purpose only, such as C:\Output.
Note: If you are using multiple versions of MSC/MD Nastran (Any MD, 2005, 2004, 2001, 70.7, 70.5, etc.)
you may want to use the options available in the MSC/MD NASTRAN Version section of the NASTRAN
Executive and Solution Options dialog box found in the Analysis Set Manager to choose the specific
MSC/MD Nastran version on a case-by-case basis
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2-38 Finite Element Modeling
The View Library contains views that can be loaded into your model. This file must exist if you are going to use
the Load View or Save View buttons in the View Quick Options dialog box (Ctrl+Q).
The Material, Property, Layup, Connection Property, Function, Analysis, and Format libraries are files which
contain data that can be accessed via the Save and Load buttons on the creation (or list) commands. You must
specify the name of an existing file if you plan to use the Load option; however, Save will create a new file if
one does not currently exist.
The Material Type Definition file contains the dialog box titles as well as the record formats for Other Types of
materials. This file can be modified to include additional material types, but modifications are only suggested
when accessing FEMAP information from a FEMAP neutral file since dedicated translators such as ABAQUS
or LS-DYNA3D will not recognize these user materials. Materials contained in the mat_scr.esp file installed
with FEMAP are supported by the specific dedicated translators.
Deleting Individual Entries and Views from Libraries
Any individual entry saved in a Material, Property, Connection Property, Function, Analysis, or Format library in
FEMAP can be deleted using the Delete, Library ... commands. These commands allow you to delete entries one at
a time from the library currently set in the Library/Startup tab of the Preferences dialog box.
Also, any individual view can be deleted from the View library specified in the Library/Startup tab of the Prefer-
ences dialog box using the Delete, Library, View command.
Startup Program File/Basic Script/Executable and Custom Tools
Custom Tools Path
The Custom Tools Path allows you to specify a custom commands and tools directory to be used every time
FEMAP is initialized. You can select the directory by using the Browse button (...).
Versions FEMAP 9.3 and above contain a toolbar called Custom Tools. This toolbar allows you to choose a direc-
tory on your machine where you can store all custom commands and tools. Custom tools can be recorded Pro-
gram Files (.PRO or .PRG files), FEMAP Basic scripts (usually .BAS files), or other executable (for instance, a
Visual Basic script compiled into a .EXE file). The Custom Tools toolbar will take any of those file types it locates
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Color 2-39
in the specified directory and automatically places them into a menu structure which drops-down from the Custom
Tools toolbar.
Program
Allows you to choose a Program File, FEMAP Basic Script, or other executable (for instance, a Visual Basic
script compiled into a .EXE file) to run every time FEMAP is initialized or every time the File, New... command is
used to create a new FEMAP model. You can select the appropriate file by using the Browse button (...) to locate
the file in a particular directory.
Run for Every New Model
When the Run for Every New Model option is checked, FEMAP will run the Startup Program every time a new
model is created. If unchecked (default), it will only run the Startup Program when FEMAP is initialized.
2.6.2.9 Color
This section outlines the
options located on the Color
tab of the Preferences dialog
box.
You can control the default
colors for all entities.
The Reset Colors button on
this dialog box changes all col-
ors back to the FEMAP
defaults.
You can choose the Color Pal-
ette to use for these colors.
These colors will be used
whenever you start a new
model. You must save these
changes if you want them to
have any effect
You can also choose the User
Contour Palette which con-
tains the user-defined contour
palette colors. This file must
exist if you are going to choose
the user-defined palette in the
View Options command.
Note: If you are using more than 1 or 2 custom commands or tools, this saves a great deal of time because
in versions of FEMAP prior to 9.3, each command would have to be added to the user commands one at
a time and then placed into menus and/or toolbars.
Note: The Color Palette is stored with the model in FEMAP versions 9.3 and above. This means if you have
loaded or altered a Color Palette in a model, that Color Palette will be available when the model is
opened and also if the model is transferred into a newer version of FEMAP via a FEMAP Neutral File.
You can alter the current Color Palette or load a different Color Palette in any command in FEMAP
that brings up the Color Palette dialog box (i.e., Modify, Color, Node).
Note: The User Contour Palette can be specified for each view in a model. This can be done using the View,
Options command, PostProcessing Category, Contour/Criteria Levels Option. Clicking the Set Levels...
button and then the User Palette... button will allow you to specify the User Contour Palette. See Sec-
tion 8.3.10.4, "User-Defined Contour Palette" for more information about the User Contour Palette
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2-40 Finite Element Modeling
2.6.2.10 Reset All
This option permanently resets all changes that you have made back to the FEMAP default configuration. You will
be asked to confirm this command before FEMAP resets all options. The only preferences which will not be
changed are any shortcut keys you have defined.
2.7 Using File, Recent Models - 1,2,3,4
The four most recently edited model files are listed on the File menu to enable you to more rapidly select them. If
you choose one of these files, FEMAP will automatically open this model file, but only after asking you if you
would like to save the current model file.
2.8 Exiting FEMAP
The File, Exit command allows you to leave FEMAP. You will be given a chance to save all current models that are
open in this FEMAP session if you have made any changes since your last save. If you have just started a new Unti-
tled model, you will always be asked whether you want to save the model even though it might be empty. If your
model is untitled, the standard file access dialog box will be displayed so you can specify a file name for the model.
You can also exit FEMAP by double-clicking the main window system menu, or by using the Close command on
that menu.
Alt+F4
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3. Geometry
Geometry provides the framework for most finite element meshes. Therefore, it is necessary to have robust tools
for creating geometry. FEMAP has the capability to build geometry from simple points to complex 3-D solids.
Generally, you can create, copy, or modify geometry. The geometry section of this manual is separated into six
main sections, which are listed below.
Section 3.1, "Creating Points" (on the Geometry menu)
Section 3.2, "Creating Curves"(on the Geometry menu)
Section 3.3, "Creating Surfaces"(on the Geometry menu)
Section 3.4, "Creating Solids/Volumes"(on the Geometry menu)
Section 3.5, "Copying Geometry"(on the Geometry menu)
Section 3.6, "Modifying Geometry" (on the Modify menu)
Section 3.7, "Deleting Geometry" (on the Delete menu)
3.1 Creating Points
Points are used for constructing other geometry or finite element data. You may also apply loads and constraints to
points, and FEMAP will automatically apply them to nodes attached to the points. Points are similar to nodes in
that they are simply located at a specific location. Unlike nodes, however, they are not a finite element entity and
are not translated to analysis programs. Instead, they are used for defining geometry. Just as elements reference
nodes, curves reference points.
3.1.1 Geometry, Point...
... uses the standard coordinate definition dialog boxes (described in the FEMAP User Guide) to create points.
Choosing the Parameters button will display the Geometry Parameters dialog box, where you can set the active
layer or point color.
3.2 Creating Curves
Curves form the basis from which you can create surfaces, and they can also be generated from surfaces. They ref-
erence points to define their location. You can apply loads and constraints directly to curves, and FEMAP will auto-
matically convert them to nodal/elemental values on the attached FEA entities.
The Curve section of the Geometry menu has five submenus:
Curve -Line
Curve - Arc
Curve - Circle
Curve - Spline
Curve - From Surface
3.2.1 Lines
Lines are simply straight lines connecting two points. The Geometry, Curve-Line menu is partitioned into three sec-
tions:
The top portion creates lines in the workplane. Any locations that are specified in 3-D space will be automati-
cally projected onto the workplane.
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3-2 Geometry
The second section consists of the Rectangle command. This command creates a rectangle in the workplane. It
is separated from the commands above because it creates four lines at once.
The bottom portion of the menu contains commands that are used to create lines in 3-D space. These commands
do not project the inputs onto the workplane.
3.2.1.1 Geometry, Curve-Line, Project Points...
. . . creates a line between two locations, which you specify using the standard coordinate definition dialog boxes.
Before creating the line, this command projects
the coordinates that you specify onto the work-
plane. Therefore, the line that is created always
lies in the workplane. The coordinates are pro-
jected along a vector that is perpendicular to the
workplane. If you want to create a line between
coordinates in 3D space (i.e. not in the work-
plane), use the Curve - Line, Coordinates com-
mand.
3.2.1.2 Geometry, Curve-Line, Horizontal...
. . . creates a line, centered around one location. The line is oriented along the X axis of the workplane. The name of
this command comes from the fact that in the default XY view, before you reorient the workplane, the workplane X
axis is horizontal on the screen.
This command uses the standard coordinate definition
dialog boxes to specify the coordinates of the required
location. The location is automatically projected onto the
workplane, along a vector which is perpendicular to the
workplane. The projected location is used as the center of
the line.
The length of the horizontal line in either direction from
the center is controlled by the Horizontal/Vertical Line
Length parameter. You can adjust this length by pressing
the Parameter button on the standard coordinate dialog,
and entering a new value prior to defining the center location.
3.2.1.3 Geometry, Curve-Line, Vertical...
... works just like Curve - Line, Horizontal, except the line will lie along the workplane Y axis. In the default XY
view with the original workplane orientation, this will be vertical on your screen.
Hint: You can use this command to create a 2D projected image of 3D geometry. Just set up the workplane so
the workplane normal is along the direction that you want to project, and pick the end points of the
existing lines (using Snap To Point). New lines will be created in the workplane.
Hint: Since control of the line length is somewhat difficult using this method, but positioning the line is very
quick, this method is often used for creating initial construction geometry which you then plan to mod-
ify with trim, join or break commands.
Workplane
Original
Coordinates
Projected
Coordinates
Workplane
Original
Projected
Xw
Yw
Coordinates
Coordinates
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Geometry, Curve-Line, Perpendicular... 3-3
3.2.1.4 Geometry, Curve-Line, Perpendicular...
... creates a line in the workplane that is perpendicular to another curve. Three inputs are required for this method,
the origin of the new line, the original curve, and a location to specify direction. The origin projected along the
workplane normal vector, onto the workplane.
The total length of the line to be created is
based on the Horizontal/Vertical Line Length
parameter. You can change the length by press-
ing the Parameter button to change the length
in the Geometry Parameters dialog box. The
line to be created will start at the base location
(projected onto the workplane), will be ori-
ented perpendicular to the selected curve, and
will move in the direction of the location spec-
ified as the last input to this command.
3.2.1.5 Geometry, Curve-Line, Parallel...
... creates a line in the workplane that is parallel to another line. The required input for this command is the original
line and an offset distance. The line that you choose does not have to lie in the workplane. If it does not, it will be
projected onto the workplane (along the workplane normal) and the new line will be parallel to the projection. The
Offset distance is measured in the workplane, perpendicular to the original line.
When you press OK, you will see the standard
coordinate definition dialog box, asking for a
location on the side of the original line where
you want the offset curve to lie. Although you
can specify the coordinates in any manner, typ-
ically the best way is to point at the appropri-
ate side of the line, and click with the mouse.
The actual coordinates do not matter, just their
relationship to the original curve. The new line
will be offset toward the side of the line that
you specify.
The length of the new line is identical to the length of the original line that you choose
Note: If you choose a curve that does not lie in the current workplane, the selected curve will first be projected
into the workplane, then the perpendicular to the projection will be determined. The projection method
will work fine for lines, but if you choose an arc or circle that is not oriented parallel to the workplane,
the resulting line will not be perpendicular to the projection. Rather, it will go through the projection of
the original arc/circle center point.
Workplane
Original
Projected Base
Coordinates
Coordinates
Original Curve
Original Curve
Offset Distance
Coordinates
chosen on this
side
measured in the
workplane
Workplane
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3-4 Geometry
3.2.1.6 Geometry, Curve-Line, Midline...
... creates a line in the workplane that is the center
line between two existing lines. To create a mid-
line, choose two other lines. If they do not lie in
the workplane, they will be automatically pro-
jected along the workplane normal.
The resulting line will lie halfway between the
respective end points of the two lines that you
choose.
The length of the midline is determined by the rel-
ative positions of the lines you choose.
3.2.1.7 Geometry, Curve-Line, At Angle...
... creates a line in the workplane at a specified angle from the workplane X axis. Initially, you must specify the
base coordinates of the line using the standard coordinate entry dialog boxes. The coordinates that you specify are
projected onto the workplane, along a vector which is normal to the workplane.
Finally you specify the angle from the workplane X
axis to the line. Positive angles are measured from
the positive workplane X axis toward the positive
workplane Y axis. Negative angles are measured
toward the negative workplane Y axis.
The total length of the line to be created is based on
the Horizontal/Vertical Line Length parameter. You
can change the length by pressing the Parameter
button to change the length in the Geometry Param-
eters dialog box.
3.2.1.8 Geometry, Curve-Line, Angle to Curve...
... is similar to the Geometry, Curve-Line, At Angle command, except that instead of specifying the angle from the
workplane X axis, you select a curve, and specify the angle measured from the curve direction.
Just like the At Angle command, the first data required is the base location, specified with the standard coordinate
entry dialog boxes. The location that you specify is again projected onto the workplane along the workplane normal
vector.
Next, you choose both the curve to measure from, and the angle from that curve. You can choose any location for
this command. It is not necessary for the base location to lie along the curve that you measure.
Workplane
Original Curve
Original Curve
Workplane
Original
Projected
Xw
Yw
Coordinates
Coordinates

Positive Angle
Workplane
Original
Projected
Coordinates
Coordinates

Positive Angle
Original Curve
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Geometry, Curve-Line, Point and Tangent... 3-5
If the curve that you select is not a line however, the base location will be projected (in the workplane) onto the
curve and the base direction (zero angle) will be along the positive tangent to the curve.
3.2.1.9 Geometry, Curve-Line, Point and Tangent...
.... creates a line in the workplane through a point and tangent to a selected arc or circle. The first input for this
command is the curve.
After selecting the curve, you will see the standard coordinate dialog box. Here you must specify the location of the
end point of the line. This defines the end of the line opposite the end that will be tangent to the curve. You can
specify any location, but if you specify a location that is not on the workplane, those coordinates will be projected
along the workplane normal, to a location which is on the workplane.
The only restriction on the end point location is that it must lie outside of the arc/circle that you chose. No tangent
can be formed which passes through an interior point to the curve.
Finally, the standard coordinate dialog is displayed again. This time you must specify a location on the side closest
to the tangent that you want to use. Since there are two tangents that can be formed through any exterior point, this
allows you to choose the one that you want. There is no need for precise coordinates in this dialog. You must sim-
ply choose a location which is closer to one tangent point than the other; typically, a location on the appropriate
side of the circle.
For this command FEMAP considers arcs to be the same as circles. That is, you can still form a tangent to a portion
of the arc that lies outside of the arc end points. FEMAP ignores the end points, just as if the arc were a full circle.
For this reason, you must still choose the near location for an arc, even though there may only be one tangent
possible that falls within the end points.
3.2.1.10 Geometry, Curve-Line, Tangent...
... creates a line in the workplane which is tangent to two arcs or circles. First, you must choose the two curves that
you want to use.
Note: If you choose an arc or circle that does not lie in the workplane, FEMAP will project the key points of
that curve onto the workplane, and use the arc/circle defined by those projected locations to calculate
the tangent. If the curve was parallel to the workplane, this will not cause any problems. However, if the
curve normal is not parallel to the workplane normal, the resulting tangent will be calculated based on a
circle with a projected radius. Use this option carefully.

Projected
Coordinates
Tangent to Curve
Original
Curve
Projected End Point
Coordinates
Selected Curve
Use Point of
Tangency on
this side of Curve
All in Workplane
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3-6 Geometry
You can choose any arcs or circles, but neither curve can lie completely inside the other. If it did, no tangents could
be computed.
When you have selected the curves, FEMAP will ask for a location using the standard coordinate dialog boxes.
This location does not have to be specified precisely, but is used to select which tangency points will be used.
Typically, as shown above, when you select two circles, there could be four possible tangents - one above, one
below and two crossing tangents. You must choose a location near the end point on the first curve (the From
curve) of the tangent that you want to create. The location is not used to compute the tangent. It is just used to select
from the four choices.
3.2.1.11 Geometry, Curve-Line, Rectangle...
. . . automatically creates four lines in the workplane that form a rectangle. The only input required are the coordi-
nates of two diagonally opposite corners of the rectangle. You will specify these locations using the standard coor-
dinate definition dialog boxes
FEMAP takes the locations that you specify and projects them, along the workplane normal, to equivalent locations
which lie on the workplane. The rectangle is formed from these projected locations. The sides of the rectangle are
always oriented along the workplane X and Y axes. Therefore, by changing the orientation of the workplane, you
can use this command to create rectangles in various orientations.
3.2.1.12 Geometry, Curve-Line, Continuous...
... creates a series of connected line segments between locations specified in three-dimensional space. The specified
locations are not projected onto the workplane, however, coordinates that you pick graphically will still always be
located in the workplane. This is usually the best command to use whenever you must create a boundary, since it
requires very little input.
Selected
All in Workplane
Pick near here
to create tangent
or, Pick near here
to create crossing tangent
as shown
Selected
From Curve
To Curve
Workplane
Projected
Coordinates
Xw
Yw
Projected
Coordinates
Original
Corner Locations
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Geometry, Curve-Line, Points... 3-7
The standard coordinate definition dialog boxes are
used to specify the line segment end points. The first
line will be created after you specify the second end
point. Then, another line will be created after each
additional location that you specify. These lines will
connect the previous location to the one that you just
specified. As each line is created, it will appear in
your graphics windows.
You can continue to specify coordinates and create
lines for as long as you like. There is no limit on the
number of lines you can create in a single command. When you are done, press Cancel to stop creating lines. If you
press Cancel after having created two or more lines, you will be asked whether you want to close the lines. If you
choose Yes, a final line will be created joining the last location that you specified to the first location - thus creating
a closed polygon.
3.2.1.13 Geometry, Curve-Line, Points...
. . . creates a single line between two existing points. Unlike the other line creation commands, this command can
only be used when you already have point entities that you want to connect. The primary use for this command is to
connect end points of other curves.
To request the points that you want to connect, you can enter
the point IDs or choose them with your mouse, but the points
must already exist. Since the new line simply connects these
existing points, it does not lie in the workplane, unless both
points you select happen to be located in the workplane.
3.2.1.14 Geometry, Curve-Line, Coordinates...
... creates a single line in three dimensional space between two coordinate locations that you specify using the stan-
dard coordinate definition dialog box. This command is very similar to the Geometry, Curve-Line, Continuous
command, except that it requires two end points for each line that is created. You should use this command when
you have a series of lines to create, but the lines are not connected at their end points.
3.2.1.15 Geometry, Curve-Line, Offset...
... creates a line offset, in three dimensional space from another line. You first select the line from which you want
to offset. You may only choose lines for this command.
When you have selected the existing curve,
you will see the standard vector definition
dialog box. The vector that you specify will
be used to compute the offset location of the
new line. You do not have to specify the base
of the vector at either end point, nor at any
other specific location. The vector compo-
nents are simply used to offset the end points
of the original line. The length of the vector
that you specify will be the offset distance.
Hint: If the lines that you need to create are not coincident at their end points, use the Geometry, Curve-Line,
Coordinates command instead of this command.
End point Locations
Optionally
create line
to close
Point
Point
F9
Original Curve
Offset along
this vector
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3-8 Geometry
3.2.1.16 Geometry, Curve-Line, Vectored...
... creates a three dimensional line using the standard vector definition dialog boxes. This command gives you
access to the many special vector definition methods (along axis, components, normal, bisect, . . .) when creating
lines. The line that is created will go from the base to the tip of the vector that you specify.
Even if you just use the basic vector definition methods, like locate, when you choose the base and tip of the line
graphically, you have the benefit of seeing the line/vector dynamically drawn with the cursor before you choose the
end points.
3.2.2 Arcs
You may also define circular arcs with FEMAP by using the commands under the Geometry, Curve-Arc menu. This
submenu is broken into two sections. The commands at the top of the menu (above the separator line) all create arcs
which lie in the current workplane. The other commands can create arcs anywhere, including in the workplane.
All of the methods can be used to create equivalent arcs. The various commands are merely for convenience in
specifying the input.
3.2.2.1 Geometry, Curve-Arc, Center-Start-End...
... creates an arc in the workplane by specifying the location of the center and two end points of the arc. The stan-
dard coordinate definition dialog boxes are used to define all three locations.
The locations that you specify are first projected onto the workplane along the workplane normal, and are then used
to define the arc. As shown in the figure, the center location and start point are used to define the radius of the arc.
The end point does not have to lie on the perimeter, but the arc will terminate along the line that goes from the cen-
ter to the end point.
The arc will always be created in a counter-
clockwise direction in the workplane. That is,
the arc will go from the start point, in the direc-
tion from the workplane X axis toward the
workplane Y axis. As shown in the figure, if
you reverse the workplane normal, the same
start and end points create complimentary arcs.
Similarly, just swapping the start and end points
produces the same results.
3.2.2.2 Geometry, Curve-Arc, Radius-Start-End...
... creates an arc in the workplane by specifying two end points and the desired radius. To use this command you
must first specify the starting and ending locations of the arc using the standard coordinate entry dialog boxes. You
can specify any three-dimensional locations, but they will be projected onto the workplane, along the workplane
normal.
Hint: If you need to offset multiple curves along the same vector, including curves that are not lines, use the
Geometry, Copy, Curve command instead.
Start point
All in Workplane
Center of Arc
End point
Xw
Yw
radius
Start point
All in Workplane
Center of Arc
End point
Xw
Yw
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Geometry, Curve-Arc, Angle-Start-End... 3-9
After specifying the end points, you will be asked for the radius. If you specify a positive radius, the resulting arc
will always have an included angle less than 180 degrees. A negative radius will choose the complimentary or
major arc (always greater than 180 degrees).
This command creates arcs that go in a counter-clockwise direction (relative to the workplane axes) from starting to
ending points. The figure shows several possibilities:
Reversing the direction of the workplane normal has the same effect as swapping the end points, as shown in the
figure.
3.2.2.3 Geometry, Curve-Arc, Angle-Start-End...
... creates an arc in the workplane by specifying two end points and the included angle of the arc that connects
them. This command works just like the Geometry, Curve-Arc, Radius-Start-End command, except that you spec-
ify the included angle instead of the radius.
The shape and orientation of the arc to be created follows the convention shown for the Radius-Start-End method.
If you specify a positive angle, the arc will go in a counterclockwise direction (relative to the workplane X and Y
axes) from the start to the end point. A negative angle goes in a clockwise direction. This agrees with the normal
conventions for two-dimensional polar coordinates.
Start point End point
Xw
Yw
Positive Radius
Start point End point
Negative Radius
All in Workplane
Start point End point
Positive Radius
Start point
End point
Negative Radius
Start point End point
Xw
Yw Positive Angle
Start point End point
Positive Angle
All in Workplane
Start point
End point
Negative Angle
Start point
End point Negative Angle
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3-10 Geometry
3.2.2.4 Geometry, Curve-Arc, Angle-Center-Start...
. . . creates an arc in the workplane by defining the location of the center, the starting location and the included
angle. If the locations that you specify do not lie in the workplane, they will be projected along the workplane nor-
mal to new locations that are in the workplane.
This command is very similar to the Geometry, Curve-Arc, Angle-Start-End command. Instead of specifying an
ending location, however, you specify the center. The arc radius is automatically determined from the distance
between the center and starting locations. The end point is determined by rotating the start point through the speci-
fied angle.
If you specify a positive angle, the arc will be drawn in a counter-clockwise direction relative to the workplane
axes. A negative angle will create a clockwise arc. For an example of this convention, refer to the figure for
"Geometry, Curve-Arc, Angle-Start-End...".
3.2.2.5 Geometry, Curve-Arc, Chord-Center-Start...
... creates an arc in the workplane by defining the location of the center, a starting location and the length of the arc
chord. The standard coordinate definition dialog boxes are used to define both the center and starting locations.
Both of these locations will be projected onto the workplane, if required. The relative positions of these projected
locations determines the arc radius.
All arcs created by this command are drawn in a counter-clockwise direction (relative to the workplane XY axes).
If you specify a positive chord length, the arc will always have an included angle less than 180 degrees. Specifying
a negative angle creates a complimentary arc with an included angle that is larger than 180 degrees. By definition,
the chord length must always be shorter than twice the radius (the distance from the center to starting point).
3.2.2.6 Geometry, Curve-Arc, Points...
... creates an arc which passes through three locations on the perimeter. This arc does not have to be in the work-
plane. It will be drawn through any three locations that you define.
The standard coordinate dialog boxes will be displayed three
times during this command. The first coordinate is used for
the start of the arc, the second for any point along the arc, and
the third for the ending location. Since the arc is drawn from
the start, to the middle, to the ending locations, there are no
clockwise/counter-clockwise conventions. The direction is
simply based on the relative positions of the three locations.
3.2.2.7 Geometry, Curve-Arc, Center and Points...
. . . creates an arc which is defined by its center, start and ending locations. The arc created by this command does
not have to lie in the workplane. It is oriented by the locations that you define.
The standard coordinate dialog boxes will be displayed four times during this command. The first three coordinates
are used to define the center, starting and ending locations. The arc radius is defined by the distance from the center
to the start location. The ending location is used to determine the included angle. The end of the arc will always lie
Start point
Center
Xw
Yw
Positive Chord
Start point
Center
Negative Chord
All in Workplane
Chord Length
Chord Length
Ctrl+F9
Start
Other Location
End
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Geometry, Curve-Arc, Start-End-Direction... 3-11
along the line connecting the center and the ending location that you specify. Since the arc radius is constant how-
ever, the arc will not necessarily end at the location you specify. The only time it will end exactly at that location is
if the distance from the center to the end is identical to the distance from the center to the start.
After you specify the first three locations, the standard coordinate dialog box will be displayed a fourth time. The
fourth location can be specified anywhere, but it is used to determine which of the two possible arcs will be created.
Since there is no clockwise/counter-clockwise convention for this three dimensional arc, the arc will be drawn in
the direction from the start to the end that causes it to pass nearest to this fourth position.
3.2.2.8 Geometry, Curve-Arc, Start-End-Direction...
. . . creates an arc that is defined by two end points and the tangent vector at the starting location. This arc does not
have to lie in the workplane. It is oriented by the locations of the end points and the direction of the tangent.
The two end points are defined first, using
the standard coordinate dialog boxes. There
is no restriction on the positions of these
coordinates, but they must not be coinci-
dent. Finally, the standard vector definition
dialog boxes are used to define the starting
tangent. The tangent vector can be defined
relative to any convenient location. It does
not have to be based at the starting location
of the arc. Only the direction of the vector is used to define the initial tangent direction of the resulting arc.
3.2.3 Circles
There are several methods of creating circles in FEMAP. The Geometry, Curve-Circle submenu is partitioned into
two sections. The commands at the top of the menu (above the separator line) all create circles which lie in the cur-
rent workplane. The other commands can create circles anywhere, including in the workplane.
All of the methods can be used to create equivalent circles, the various commands are merely for convenience in
specifying the input.
Points on a Circle
No matter which command is used, five points will be created for each circle - one at the center, one at the starting
location on the perimeter, and three more every 90 degrees around the perimeter from the starting location. The
radius of the circle is determined by the distance from the center to the starting location. The other points are
merely for your convenience in defining other geometry. For example, you can easily snap a cursor selection to any
of these locations by choosing the Snap To Point method.
If you are modifying (moving, rotating...) points, you must be careful. If you do not move all of the points for each
curve, the circle radius may change, and the other points will no longer lie on the perimeter. In general you should
always use the curve modification commands, rather than the point modifications if you wish to preserve the origi-
nal geometry.
Note: The only restriction on the vector direction is that it must not be parallel to the line connecting the start-
ing and ending locations. If it were, it could not be an arc tangent. Similarly, it is relatively unusual to
choose vectors that are very close to being parallel. They will result in arcs with very large radii.
Start
End
End
Center
Other Location
Other Location
Start
Center
Start
End
End Start
Tangent Vector
can be located
anywhere
Tangent
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3-12 Geometry
3.2.3.1 Geometry, Curve-Circle, Radius...
. . . creates a circle by specifying the two end points of a
radius. That is, a location at the center and one on the
perimeter. This circle will always lie in the workplane.
If you specify coordinates that are not in the workplane,
they will be projected onto the workplane prior to defin-
ing the circle.
The standard coordinate definition dialog boxes will be
displayed twice. First for the center, then for the starting
point. As shown in the figure, the points on the perime-
ter are oriented relative to the line between the center
and starting locations. They are not based on the work-
plane X or Y axes.
3.2.3.2 Geometry, Curve-Circle, Diameter...
... creates a circle in the workplane, by specify-
ing two locations at opposite ends of a diameter.
This command is similar to Geometry Curve-
Circle Radius, but instead of defining the cen-
ter, you specify a point on the opposite side of
the perimeter. Again, this command projects the
locations that you specify onto the workplane
before creating the circle.
3.2.3.3 Geometry, Curve-Circle, Center...
. . . creates a circle in the workplane by specifying a location at the center, and the length of the radius. The center
location is defined using the standard coordinate definition dialog boxes. The location that you define is first pro-
jected onto the workplane before being used as the center of the circle.
Unlike the Curve-Circle Radius and Diameter
commands, this command does depend on the
orientation of the workplane X and Y axes to
orient the circle. The starting location is always
positioned in the direction of the positive work-
plane X axis relative to the center. If you spec-
ify a positive radius, the first point (at 90
degrees along the circle) is located in the direc-
tion of the positive workplane Y axis. If you
specify a negative radius, it is located in the
direction of the negative workplane Y axis.
3.2.3.4 Geometry, Curve-Circle, Two Points...
... creates a circle in the workplane which
passes through two locations and has a
specified radius. This command is similar
to the Geometry, Curve-Circle, Diameter
command in that you first specify two
points on the perimeter of the circle using
the standard coordinate dialog boxes. In
this case, however, the locations are not at
opposite ends of a diameter. The first point
is still used as the start of the perimeter.
Center
Start
radius
Other points
Xw
Yw
Start
diameter
Other point
Xw
Yw
End
Other point
of diameter
of diameter
Center
Start
radius
Xw
Yw
Positive Radius
Negative Radius
Starting location
Other location
radius
Starting location
Other location
radius
Xw
Yw
Negative Radius Positive Radius
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Geometry, Curve-Circle, Point-Tangent... 3-13
The second point is used to orient the circle, but does not determine the radius/diameter. Rather, an additional dia-
log box is displayed which asks for the length of the radius.
As shown, if you specify a positive radius, the center of the circle will be chosen so that the circle will be drawn in
a counter-clockwise direction relative to the workplane X and Y axes. A negative radius chooses the center so that
the circle is drawn in a clockwise direction.
3.2.3.5 Geometry, Curve-Circle, Point-Tangent...
... creates a circle by specifying a center location and choosing a tangent arc, circle or line. This command always
creates circles in the workplane. You specify the center coordinates using the standard coordinate dialog boxes, but
they will be projected onto the workplane before being used to define the circle.
Next, you will be prompted for the curve
ID. This allows you to choose the curve
that will be tangent to the new circle. You
can choose any line, arc or circle. You can-
not choose a spline. No matter what curve
you choose, it will be considered to be
infinite when computing the tangency.
That is, lines will extend to infinity, and
arcs will be considered to be full circles.
If you choose an arc or circle, there would
be two possible points of tangency. This
command will always choose the one that is closest to the center of the new circle. You cannot use this command to
create a circle which envelops another circle. You can, however, create circles which are tangent to either the inte-
rior or exterior of another arc or circle.
The starting point of the new circle will always be located at the point of tangency.
3.2.3.6 Geometry, Curve-Circle, Tangent to Curves...
... creates a circle, of a specified radius, in the workplane which is tangent to two other curves.
Only the dialog box show here is required for this command.
The circle to be created will be tangent to the two curves that you select. If you are choosing two lines, make cer-
tain they are not parallel. The radius can be any value, but must be large enough to make the double tangency pos-
sible. For example, if you are choosing two circles that are separated by 10 inches, a 1 inch radius cannot possibly
be tangent to both.
Center
Start automatically
Xw
Yw
positioned at point
Original Curve
of tangency
Curve 2
Curve 1
Xw
Yw
Pick Curve 2 graphically
in this quadrant to create
Other possible tangent
circles. Center Near
chooses which one will
be created
this circle
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3-14 Geometry
The coordinates that you specify for With Center Near are simply used to choose from among the several possible
tangent circles that could be created. Only the circle which has its center closest to the location that you specify will
be created. For convenience, you can change the coordinate system in which this location is specified.
If you are using your mouse to select the curves graphically, the With Center Near coordinates will automatically
be set to the location where you choose the second curve. If you are careful, when you select this curve, you will
not have to respecify any additional center coordinates.
3.2.3.7 Geometry, Curve-Circle, Concentric...
... creates a circle in the workplane which has the same
center as another circle or arc. You can specify any
radius for the new circle. This is a very quick method for
creating a series of circles which have the same center.
Simply select the curve and input the radius. The curve
must be an arc or circle. The starting location of the new
circle will be in the same direction from the center as it is
for the original curve that you select.
3.2.3.8 Geometry, Curve-Circle, Points on Arc...
... creates a circle which passes through three specified
locations. This command is just like the Geometry,
Curve-Arc, Points command, except that it creates a full
circle rather than an arc. The resulting circle does not
have to lie in the workplane, it is completely oriented by
the three locations that you specify.
3.2.3.9 Geometry, Curve-Circle, Center and Points...
... creates a circle specified by its center, a starting location on
the perimeter and one other location. This command is just
like the Geometry Curve-Arc Center and Points command,
except that it creates a full circle rather than an arc. In addi-
tion, one less location is required since there is no end point
for a circle.
The Other Location does not have to lie on the perimeter of
the circle. It is only used to determine the positive direction
around the circle from the starting location. The radius of the
circle is determined from the distance between the center and
starting locations.
Note: You can choose any type of original curves for this command, however, they should lie in the current
workplane. If they do not, they will be projected onto the workplane prior to computing the tangency
and you may not get the results that you expected. Similarly, because of inaccuracies in computing off-
set splines (which are used in the tangency calculations), you may find that if you choose one or more
splines, the resulting circle does not actually touch the spline. For this reason, this command is not rec-
ommended when you are working with splines.
Original
Xw
Yw
radius
Circle
Start
Other
Final Location
Location
Start
Other
Center
Location
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Splines 3-15
3.2.4 Splines
FEMAP has the capability to produce splines containing from between four to 110 points. Splines created in
FEMAP with four points will be stored as cubic Bezier curves. Splines created through the Ellipse, Parabola,
Hyperbola, Equation, Tangents, and Blend suboptions will automatically contain four points and be stored as cubic
Bezier splines. Splines created with the remaining commands with more than four points will be stored as B-
Splines. In addition, Non-Uniform Rational B-Splines (NURBS) can be imported through the IGES translator.
Splines are created from their control points. The actual curve passes through the first and last control point, but
does not pass through the intermediate points. FEMAP does have methods which allow you to input a spline based
upon points on the spline, however, FEMAP will use these points to calculate the control points, and then store the
spline with its control points.
The control points of a spline determine the direction of the spline.
In addition to direction, distance between control points influences curvature of the spline. The further the control
point is pulled from the previous control point, the more the spline is pulled toward the intermediate point, and
the curvature is increased.
Displaying Splines
Splines are computed internally with full double precision accuracy. For display purposes however, splines are dis-
played as a series of line segments. If you want to change the accuracy of the display, either to make it more accu-
rate (but slower), or less accurate (but faster), use the View Options command. Choose the Tools and View Style list,
and the Curve and Surface Accuracy option. Then set the Max% Error value. A smaller number makes the display
more accurate.
The Geometry, Curve-Spline submenu is partitioned into three sections: splines in a workplane, splines from ana-
lytics (also in the workplane), and splines in 3-D space. Each of the commands on these menus are discussed below
3.2.4.1 Geometry, Curve-Spline, Project Control Points...
...creates a spline in the workplane specifying the location of the control points. The standard coordinate definition
dialog boxes will be displayed as many times as required (up to 110 times) to allow you to define the control points.
If you create a spline with four points, it will be a Bezier spline. More points will force the curve to be a B-spline.
If the locations you choose are not in the current workplane, they will be projected onto the workplane before the
spline is created.
Note: The Cancel button on the dialog box is utilized to both cancel the creation of the spline, as well as cre-
ate it. If less than four points have been chosen, the Cancel button will enable you to terminate the pro-
cess without creating a spline. Once four points have been defined, however, the Cancel button is used
to terminate input of more points and a spline is created. If you make an input error after four points
have been defined, you cannot cancel the procedure without creating the spline. Simply use the Tools,
Undo command to remove the spline if it is inaccurate. This is true for all procedures that enable you to
create B-splines.
Final Control
Intermediate
Point
Control Points
Final Tangent
Starting Tangent
Final Tangent
Starting
First Control
Point
Tangent
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3-16 Geometry
3.2.4.2 Geometry, Curve-Spline, Project Points...
... is similar to the Geometry, Curve-Spline, Project Control Points command, except that instead of defining the
control points, you specify four or more points on the spline. The control points are computed automatically so that
the spline passes through the points that you specified.
The standard coordinate dialog boxes are used to define the points, and the locations are, as usual, projected onto
the workplane. The spline will go through the points in the order that you define them - from first to last.
This command is typically used to create two-dimensional splines to fit a curve through known locations. It lets
you precisely control points to lie along the spline. Some care should be taken, however, when choosing those
points. If you choose points that are extremely close together, it can result in control points at great distances from
the spline.
3.2.4.3 Geometry, Curve-Spline, Ellipse...
... creates four splines, in the workplane, that together form an ellipse. Each spline represents one quadrant of the
full ellipse. When you choose this command you will be asked for the center location using the standard coordinate
dialog boxes. The center will be projected onto the workplane whenever necessary. Next, the standard vector defi-
nition dialog boxes are used to specify the orientation of the principal axis from the center, as shown in the figure
The base location and length of the axis vector are unimportant, only the orientation is used. You must be careful to
specify a vector that is not perpendicular to the workplane, since the vector must be projected onto the workplane.
It is the projection that orients the ellipse.
Finally, you will specify the two radii. The first, or Vector Radius, is the radius of the ellipse along the vector that
you just specified. The other radius is the radius along the other principal axis of the ellipse. If you specify equal
radii, the splines will approximate a circle.
3.2.4.4 Geometry, Curve-Spline, Parabola...
... creates a spline in the workplane that is one side of a parabola. This command requires three sets of coordinates.
Each location is defined using the standard coordinate dialog boxes, and is projected onto the workplane before
being used to create the spline.
Note: Since the underlying mathematics of the spline are based on a parametric cubic equation, the resulting
splines cannot precisely represent a circle or ellipse. For most FEA analyses, however, the approxima-
tion is close enough. Given the four spline layout created by this command, with equal radii, the maxi-
mum deviation from a true circle would be 0.027% of the radius. If this is not close enough, use arc/
circle commands to create precise geometry.
First Point
Fourth
Second Point
Third Point
Computed
Computed
All in Workplane
Control Point
Point
Control Point
Principal Axis Vector
Vector Radius
Other Radius
can be major or minor
axis.
All in Workplane
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Geometry, Curve-Spline, Hyperbola... 3-17
The first location is the vertex of the parabola. The
spline will start from this location. The next location
is the focus of the parabola. These coordinates
(along with the vertex) are used to determine the
focal length and focal direction of the parabola. Nei-
ther the spline nor its control points are actually
located at the focus. For reference, however, an extra
point is created at this location. The final location is
an approximate end for the spline. These coordinates
do not have to be specified precisely. They do not
have any impact on the shape or orientation of the parabola, they simply define where you want the parabola to
end.
3.2.4.5 Geometry, Curve-Spline, Hyperbola...
... creates a spline in the workplane that is one side of a hyperbola.
The first input required is the location of the ver-
tex of the hyperbola. The standard coordinate dia-
log boxes are used to specify this location. The
spline will start from this location. The standard
vector dialog boxes are then used to define a vec-
tor toward the focus. The origin and magnitude of
this vector are not important, only the direction is
used to orient the hyperbola. Next, you must
specify the vertex height and asymptote angle, as
shown in the figure. These values determine the
shape of the hyperbola. Finally, an approximate
end for the spline/hyperbola is required. These
coordinates do not have to be specified precisely.
They do not have any impact on the shape or orientation of the hyperbola, they simply define where you want the
curve to end.
3.2.4.6 Geometry, Curve-Spline, Control Points...
... creates a spline by specifying its control points. This command is exactly like the Geometry, Curve-Spline,
Project Control Points command, except that the locations that you define are not projected onto the workplane.
Therefore, the spline created by this command does not necessarily lie in the workplane, and in fact may be nonpla-
nar.
Hint: This command always creates a parabola which extends completely to the vertex. If you need some
other segment of a parabola, you can still use this command to create a basic curve, then use the Modify,
Trim command to cut away the portions that you do not need.
Note: Even though the spline is defined by a parametric cubic equation, the representation of a parabola is
precise. Unlike ellipses and hyperbolas, there is no deviation from a true parabola.
Hint: This command always creates a hyperbola that extends completely to the vertex. If you need some other
segment of a hyperbola, you can still use this command to create a basic curve, then use the Modify,
Trim command to cut away the portions that you do not need.
Note: Since the underlying mathematics of the spline that this command creates is a parametric cubic equa-
tion, it cannot precisely represent a hyperbola. For most finite element applications, however, the devi-
ations are acceptable. The exact deviations are dependent on the geometry specified, but even extreme
cases will be very accurate.
Vertex
Focus
Specified
End Point
Focal Direction
All in Workplane
Specified
End Point
V
e
r
t
e
x
Asymptote Angle
Asymptote
Vertex
Vector toward Focus
All in Workplane

H
e
i
g
h
t
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3-18 Geometry
3.2.4.7 Geometry, Curve-Spline, Points...
... creates a spline by specifying four points along the spline. This command is exactly like the Geometry, Curve-
Spline, Project Points command, except that the locations that you define are not projected onto the workplane.
Therefore, the spline created by this command does not necessarily lie in the workplane, and in fact may be nonpla-
nar.
3.2.4.8 Geometry, Curve-Spline, Equation...
... creates a spline by specifying the coefficients of its parametric cubic equations. This is a rather cumbersome way
to create a spline, but provides complete control over the resulting curve.
The parametric equations are shown in the dialog box with blanks for the coefficients. Leaving a coefficient blank
effectively eliminates that term from the equation. If you leave all coefficients for one of the x, y or z equations
blank, the spline will be planar in the corresponding global plane.
3.2.4.9 Geometry, Curve-Spline, Tangents...
... creates a cubic Bezier spline by specifying starting and ending tangent vectors. The standard vector creation dia-
log box is displayed twice so you can define the two vectors.
For this command it is important to define the vector direction, location, and magnitude. The base location of each
vector is used as the starting and ending locations of the spline. The direction and magnitude are used to position
the intermediate control points.
This method can be very powerful when you use the advanced vector definition (tangent, bisect, normal. . .) meth-
ods.
3.2.4.10 Geometry, Curve-Spline, Blend...
... creates a spline that connects and blends the ends of two existing curves. The resulting spline will be tangent to
the respective ends of the two curves. This command offers only limited control of the interior of the spline but
enforces both connectivity and tangency at the end points.
Here you select the two curves, and two coordinate locations. The coordinate locations are only used to determine
which end of each curve that you want to select. You do not have to specify precise coordinates. In fact, if you
choose the curve graphically the coordinates will be automatically specified to the location you were pointing to
when you picked the curve. Therefore, be sure to point near the end of the curve that you want to use when you
make the selections.
Final Tangent
Starting Tangent
Base of vector
Magnitude and direction
of vector defines
intermediate control
is end point of
spline
points
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Geometry, Curve-Spline, Midspline... 3-19
The other required input is the Blend Factor.
This factor is the only control over the interior
shape of the spline. By specifying a larger num-
ber, the spline will closely follow the ending tan-
gents for a larger distance, typically causing
more curvature near the center of the spline.
Smaller numbers make the tangency weaker,
therefore, most of the curvature will be near the
ends of the spline. The figure shows some possi-
bilities.
If you specify a blend factor which is too large,
or too small, you can create splines that have
loops, or extreme curvature.
3.2.4.11 Geometry, Curve-Spline, Midspline...
... creates a spline which is midway between two curves. Any two curves can be used for this command. The only
input required is the two curves. FEMAP will automatically create a spline which is midway between the two
curves.
3.2.4.12 Geometry, Curve-Spline, Offset...
... creates a spline that is offset from another spline along a
direction parallel to the workplane. This does not necessarily
create splines in the workplane - it just offsets them in a direc-
tion which is parallel to the workplane. The offset is however a
planar offset. Three dimensional (nonplanar) splines cannot be
offset in multiple directions along their length.
The first input required for this command is the ID of the origi-
nal curve (which must be a spline), and the offset distance.
Then, using the standard coordinate dialog box, you will specify
a location on the side of the original curve (relative to the current
workplane) where you want the offset curve to be created. The
coordinates are not important, just which side of the original curve you want.
3.2.4.13 Geometry, Curve-Spline, Multiple Curves...
...creates a single spline along multiple, connected curves. The spline points and control
points will be created automatically. The only input for this command is a list of curves. The
curves must be continuously connected in a single branch loop. The loop does not have to be
closed. If possible FEMAP will use exact replicas of the selected curves, and simply create a
new continuous curve. If the curves are from mixed geometry engines, or cannot be dupli-
cated, FEMAP will create a FEMAP engine spline that closely approximates the selected
curves.
3.2.5 Curves from Surfaces
FEMAP can create curves directly from surfaces. This capability is most often used to create a curve at a specific
location on a surface, or at the intersection of two surfaces. You can imprint curves onto a surface to provide addi-
tional controls on your meshing procedures. You can define the mesh size on these curves, as well as load or con-
strain them, just like any other curve in FEMAP. This can be very useful to obtain nodes at specific locations.
Note: Cubic Bezier splines (ones with only four points) cannot be offset precisely, due to the underlying math-
ematics. You will find that the offset curve is not a constant distance from the original - sometimes by a
significant deviation. This is especially true when the spline is nonplanar. Offset B-splines are modified
by adding control points to improve how well the offset spline tracks the original curve. If you need pre-
cise offsets, you cannot use splines. Instead, use a series of arcs, since arcs can be offset precisely.
Note: Take care to avoid sharp corners, as the resulting spline will not be able to match the geometry cor-
rectly.
Blend Factor = 1.0 Blend Factor = 1.5 Blend Factor = 0.5
Offset
Original Curve
Offset to this
side of original
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3-20 Geometry
This menu is partitioned into two segments. The first portion of the menu contains one command, Geometry,
Curves - from Surface, Update Surfaces. This command does not perform any calculations. It simply applies the
curve operations in the second segment of the menu to the surfaces, and therefore allows imprinting of these curves
onto the surfaces. The second portion of the menu contains the actual commands.
This entire menu of commands is not available in the standard geometry engine.
3.2.5.1 Geometry, Curves - from Surface, Update Surfaces...
... toggles the update surfaces between on and off. As mentioned above, this command does not perform any oper-
ations directly. It simply controls how the remaining Geometry, Curves - from Surface commands are implemented.
If this option is on, a check mark will be visible next to the command. When any of the other commands on this
menu are then performed, FEMAP will automatically update the surfaces with these curves. This is a very easy
method of imprinting curves onto surfaces to customize the meshing procedure. If this option is off, (no check
mark), curves are created/manipulated using the surface, but the surface itself is not updated.
3.2.5.2 Geometry, Curves - from Surface, Intersect...
... creates a curve at the intersections of surfaces. The only inputs required for this command are the two solids.
FEMAP will create curves at all intersections of these bodies, and update the surfaces at the intersections if this
option is on (see Section 3.2.5.1, "Geometry, Curves - from Surface, Update Surfaces...").
3.2.5.3 Geometry, Curves - from Surface, Project...
... projects curves onto selected surfaces. You must first select the surfaces, and then select the curve(s) which you
want project. FEMAP will automatically project the curves onto the selected surfaces. This command will automat-
ically project normal to the surface.
This command is very useful for imprinting one surface, composed of its bounding curves, onto the surface of a
solid. You must have the Geometry, Curves - from Surface, Update Surface on to imprint the curves onto a surface
of the solid (see Section 3.2.5.1, "Geometry, Curves - from Surface, Update Surfaces...").
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Geometry, Curves - from Surface, Project Along Vector... 3-21
3.2.5.4 Geometry, Curves - from Surface, Project Along Vector...
... is identical to Geometry, Curves - from Surface, Project, except you define a vector, using the standard vector
definition dialog box, to project along.
3.2.5.5 Geometry, Curves - from Surface, Parametric Curve...
... creates a curve along a surface in either the u or v direction. After selecting this command, you must input a loca-
tion for the curve, using the standard coordinate definition dialog box. FEMAP will then prompt you to choose
between the u direction or the v direction. FEMAP will create the curve along the surface, through the point you
input, in the surface direction you chose.
When Update Surfaces is on (see Section 3.2.5.1, "Geometry, Curves - from Surface, Update Surfaces..."), you can
quickly partition a surface into several segments, which is often useful for loading and meshing purposes.
3.2.5.6 Geometry, Curves - from Surface, Slice...
... requires you to define a plane, using the standard plane definition dialog box, and the solid to slice. FEMAP will
create curves which will form the slice through the solid. If Update Surfaces is on (see Section 3.2.5.1, "Geometry,
Curves - from Surface, Update Surfaces..."), the affected surfaces will also be partitioned by the slice.
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3-22 Geometry
3.2.5.7 Geometry, Curves - from Surface, Split at Points...
... requires you to choose a face to split and then choose points to split the selected face with a parametric curve. If
Update Surfaces is on (see Section 3.2.5.1, "Geometry, Curves - from Surface, Update Surfaces..."), the affected
surface will also be partitioned by this command.
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Creating Surfaces 3-23
3.3 Creating Surfaces
There are several types of surfaces in FEMAP. The following table summarizes those types, and the commands
that create them.
You do not have to worry about which type of surface is being created. All surfaces can be used equally well for
meshing or other purposes. This information is just provided so you can understand the various methods that are
being used.
Surface Parameters
When you are creating surfaces, you will see numerous dialog boxes with a Parameter button. Choosing this but-
ton lets you set various options which control the surfaces that you will create. You will see the Geometry Parame-
ters dialog box
All of the parameters of interest are in the Surface section. You can choose the ID of the next surface to be created,
although it is usually not of great concern. You can also choose a color for the surface - either by typing its number
or by pressing the Palette button and choosing from the standard palette. If you do not set a color, you can always
change the color later with the Modify, Color, Surface command
Surface
Type
Commands Characteristics
Boundary Sketch, Boundary Sur-
face
Bounded by curves on all edges and can contain
voids (holes). Typically used for planar meshes and
as basic framework for solid model generation.
Bilinear Corners, Edge Curves,
Plane
Bounded by lines on all edges. Surface is defined by
bidirectional linear interpolation between the edges.
Ruled Edge Curves, Ruled,
Extrude, Sweep, Cylin-
der
Bounded by any curves on two opposing edges, with
lines joining the end points. Surface is defined by
linear interpolation between the two edge curves.
Revolution Revolve, Sweep, Cylin-
der, Sphere
Surface is defined by revolving a curve through
some angle. Original defining curve can be of any
type.
Coons Edge Curves Surface bounded by three or four curves of any type.
Interior is defined as a bidirectional cubic interpola-
tion.
Bezier Aligned Curves Surface defined by 16 control points (arranged in a
four by four array). The surface only passes through
the control points at the corners.
Face all of the above Complex trimmed surfaces obtained from solid
model Boolean operations or imported from IGES
files.
Note: When you use these commands in the FEMAP standard geometry engine to create surfaces, you cannot
perform Boolean operations on these surfaces. They can be used for meshing as well as creating vol-
umes, but not for intersection or Boolean solid operations.
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3-24 Geometry
Surface Divisions
The final surface parameters are the number of divisions. When sur-
faces are displayed, intermediate curves are drawn to show you the
shape of the interior of the surfaces. They have no impact on the
actual shape of the surface or on the position of any location on the
surface, they are purely for display purposes. By changing the num-
ber of divisions, you will control how many curves will be drawn for
each surface. Typically, very curved surfaces will need more divi-
sions, planar surfaces need fewer.
You can independently control the divisions along the two paramet-
ric surface directions (shown as s and t). By setting the parameters to
different values in the two directions, you can very quickly see (by
counting the number of curves) the orientation of the surface direc-
tions. This can be of assistance when setting mesh sizes on surfaces.
You can modify the number of divisions on surfaces that you have
already created using the Modify, Update Other, Surface Divisions
command.
Commands
There are three commands/menus in the surface area of the Geome-
try menu. The first two, Sketch and Boundary Surface, create a
boundary surface, while the third listing, surfaces, is actually a sub-
menu of several commands for creating surfaces. Each of these
commands will be discussed in more detail below. The major differ-
ence between a boundary surface and a surface is that a boundary surface is typically planar, while a surface is typ-
ically 3-dimensional. Also, surfaces can be readily mapped mesh, while boundary surfaces require a free-mesher.
3.3.1 Sketch
The Sketch command provides a quick method to create boundary surfaces. This command essentially combines
the capability of the individual geometry creation commands under the Geometry menu with the Geometry, Bound-
ary Surface command. When you first select this command, the following window will appear, and the right hand
toolbar will be switched to one of the geometry toolbars.
You can then use the toolbars, as well as the menu commands to create geometry. Once you
create the geometry for your boundary surface, simply press Finish Sketch on the above
Window, and FEMAP will automatically create a boundary surface from the geometry you
just created. Until you select Finish Sketch, the individual geometry which you just created
contains no association between the geometric entities. If you press Cancel, the geometry
you just created will remain, but a boundary surface will not be created.
If you have accessed this command through the Solids toolbar, you will also have the option to Extrude or Revolve.
When you select one of these options, FEMAP will automatically create the boundary surface and then move to the
Solids Extrude/Revolve menu.
3.3.2 Boundary Surfaces...
There are two basic ways to create boundary surfaces - by selecting the boundary curves, or by combining existing
solid faces. The following section describe these methods.
3.3.2.1 Geometry, Boundary Surface, From Curves...
is used to create boundaries that will be used with the Mesh, Geometry, Surface command. A boundary is a series of
connected curves that enclose an area that you want to mesh. A boundary is most often used to define planar areas
for meshing that have more than four sides, and which are easier to define as curves than as faces of solids.
Alt+F11
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Geometry, Boundary Surface, From Curves... 3-25
Choosing Curves for a Boundary
To define a boundary you simply select the curves that you want using the standard entity selection dialog box. The
curves that you pick must form one or more closed loops, that are connected end-to-end. There cannot be any gaps,
or multiple connections (branches) in the loops. In addition, the curves should never cross or intersect. If you are
selecting multiple loops, one of the loops must completely contain all of the others. That is, the other loops are
actually representing holes in the outer loop.
The curves do not have to be connected to the
same end points, but the end points must be coin-
cident. If they are coincident, the end points will
be merged when you create the boundary.
You can select the curves that form your bound-
ary in any order, and you can even box or cir-
cle pick to select all the curves with one
selection. FEMAP will automatically order your
selections to put them in boundary order. This
feature makes it extremely easy to use the area
cursor picking methods to choose all of the
curves in an area as part of your boundary. You may only select up to 750 curves to define a boundary (including
holes).
Adding Holes to Boundaries
Holes are areas inside the boundary that you do not want this boundary to mesh. They may or may not represent
physical holes in your structure. The procedure for defining a hole is identical to that for defining the outer bound-
ary. Simply pick all curves around the boundary of the hole at the same time you are selecting the outside boundary.
FEMAP will automatically sort the curves and determine which ones are associated with the hole(s), and which
curves form the outer boundary.
The same restrictions (single, closed loop...) apply to curves that represent holes. In addition, as you might expect
holes cannot overlap (or touch) each other, and they must be totally inside the outer boundary but outside all other
holes.
You can define as many holes as you like in the boundary, but the total count of all curves that define the boundary
and the holes cannot exceed the 750 curve limit.
Note: You may also map a boundary onto a surface to obtain a non-planar mesh. For
details, see Section 3.6.4.6, "Modify Update Other, Boundary on Surface...".
Good - Single Closed Loops Bad - Not Closed Bad - Crossing
Bad - Branching, Multiple Loops
Good, multiple holes Bad, holes overlap Bad, holes inside
each other
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3-26 Geometry
Improving Meshing Speed
While you can define and mesh very large, complicated boundaries, it is often more productive to break them into
multiple smaller pieces. Typically, the boundary mesh command will be able to mesh two smaller boundaries faster
than one large one. In addition, you have some extra control over the mesh. The figure shows a typical example.
Obviously there is a trade-off between the time you might save when making the mesh, and the time it takes to split
the boundaries. In general, it is probably worthwhile if you can make the splits by just adding a line or two, like the
figure. Otherwise, it is probably faster to mesh the entire boundary. On the other hand, you may still want to add the
extra splits to get the extra control of the mesh. With the extra curves, you can specify exactly the number of
nodes along those splits.
Another area of concern is meshing boundaries that are set to Map onto Surface. They can take substantially longer
than meshing boundaries that just use the boundary curves. This delay is caused by the extra mapping required to
insure that the mesh lies on the surface.
3.3.2.2 Geometry, Boundary Surface, From Surfaces on Solid...
Unlike the method of creating boundary surfaces by picking the boundary curves, this command lets you pick adja-
cent faces of a solid using the entity selection dialog box. You will want to create this type of boundary surface
when the surface geometry that you have does not lend itself to creating a good mesh.
For example, if you have a number of surfaces that are somewhat skewed, it can result in a mesh that is also
skewed, if the surfaces are meshed individually. By combining these surfaces into a single boundary, the mesh can
often be improved.
Original Boundary Two, Simpler Boundaries
Original geometry showing multi-surface
Meshed as Multi-surface Boundary Meshed as four individual surfaces
boundary covering four surfaces
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Geometry, Boundary Surface, Update Surfaces 3-27
When building multi-surface boundaries, it is important to understand how FEMAP will use them in meshing, and
the limitations of this method. FEMAP simply takes the surfaces that you select, and uses the enclosing outer
curves to form a regular boundary surface. This means that the surfaces that you select must be stitched into a solid.
When you select stitched surfaces, the outer boundary curves will form the closed loop that is necessary to create a
boundary, and the interior curves can be properly identified. Although the order of your selection is not important,
you must select surfaces that create a single region. You cannot select surfaces that are disconnected, or that only
join at a single point. If you want to create multiple regions, you must do this in multiple commands. Just as bound-
aries can have holes, you can select surfaces that surround holes (or simply surround other surfaces that you do not
select).
When you mesh a multi-surface boundary, FEMAP will mesh it as a planar boundary. It is therefore very important
that you do not combine surfaces that contain too much curvature. Best results will be obtained if you combine sur-
faces that are nearly planar, or have moderate curvature from the average plane. There is no checking to prevent
you from combining surfaces that have a very large curvature (even greater than 180 degrees), but the resulting
mesh quality will surely suffer if you do this. Taken to the extreme, the resulting boundary surface will not be
meshable.
Although the surface is meshed as a planar boundary, the resulting mesh is projected and smoothed back to the
original surfaces. This is much like the Modify, Project Mesh onto Solid command. This is very different than what
happens when you use the Modify, Update Other, Boundary on Surface command to attach a boundary to a surface.
In that case, the mesh is created in the parametric coordinates of the surface.
Any features (curves or surfaces) in the interior of the boundary will simply be meshed over. Interior does not, in
this case refer to holes which are still on the inside of the boundary. It refers to curves and surfaces that are com-
pletely surrounded by surfaces that have been combined. Therefore, if you combine things like fillet surfaces into
other adjacent surfaces, they will be meshed over. Some nodes may still lie on the fillet, but there is nothing to
retain the basic shape of the fillet. Similarly, if you combine two surfaces that are not tangent at their intersection,
the mesh will simply blend over this intersection. There will not be any distinctive break between the surfaces.
When you create multi-surface boundaries, FEMAP does several things automatically to help you in later meshing
of your surfaces. First, the underlying surfaces that you select are moved to the no-pick layer, and they are feature
suppressed. This means that when you later select surfaces or solids for meshing, the underlying surfaces will not
be meshed, nor will they even be pickable.
If you are creating many multi-surface boundaries, it can sometimes be difficult to tell which surfaces have been
selected, and which boundary contains the surfaces. If you go to the Modify, Color, Surface command and choose
the boundary surfaces, you will be asked if you want to randomize the colors. Doing this will update the color of
the surfaces, in each selected boundary, to be a distinct, but different color.
Working with Unstitched Geometry
This command only works with stitched surfaces. If you are unable to stitch the surfaces that you want into a single
solid, you will not be able to use this command. You may, however, still be able to accomplish the same meshing
result. The first step is to create a boundary using curves around the outside of the region of interest. You may need
to make additional curves, if the curves that you have are not joined at their end points. Then, mesh the boundary
surface as normal, and go to the Modify, Project Mesh onto Solid command to project the mesh back onto the orig-
inal unstitched surfaces.
3.3.2.3 Geometry, Boundary Surface, Update Surfaces
This command is used when the underlying surfaces that you used to create a multi-surface boundary change due to
later modeling operations. When you create a multi-surface boundary, you select the surfaces that you want to rep-
resent. At that time, the boundary curves are extracted, and the boundary is created. If you then update the underly-
ing surfaces (slice them, cut a hole in them...) the already defined boundary will not reflect those changes. If you
simply select this command, and choose the boundary surfaces to update, the boundaries will be recreated from the
current definition of the underlying surfaces, any changes to this point will then be included.
3.3.2.4 Geometry, Boundary Surface, Edit Surfaces
...is used to modify the underlying surface definition of a multi-surface boundary. Choose this command if you
want to add or remove surfaces from a boundary that you have already defined via the From Surfaces on Solid
command. If you are adding surfaces, the rules for which surfaces can be added follow the same guidelines as if
you were defining the surface originally.
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3-28 Geometry
3.3.3 Surfaces
These commands enable you to create surfaces in the standard geometry engine or the Parasolid geometry engine.
3.3.3.1 Geometry, Surface, Corners...
... creates a surface by defining the location of three or four corners. This command also creates lines along the
edge of the surface which connect the corners.
The standard coordinate definition dialog boxes are
used to specify the corner locations. The locations
you specify are not projected in any way, they are
simply used to define the surface.
To create a triangular surface, choose Cancel for
the fourth corner (specify a fourth location and
choose OK to create a quadrilateral surface). You
will then be asked whether you want to make a tri-
angle. Choose Yes to make the surface, No to abort.
You can create quadrilateral surfaces with coinci-
dent corners to form triangular surfaces, but it is not
advisable. When you mesh these surfaces, you will
get quadrilateral elements with coincident nodes. If
you create proper triangular surfaces, they will
automatically mesh with triangular elements at the
tip.
3.3.3.2 Geometry, Surface, Edge Curves...
... creates a surface by choosing three or four existing curves which define its boundaries or edges. The edge curves
must be coincident at their respective end points so that they form a continuous, closed boundary. They do not have
to physically connect the same points, but if not, they must connect coincident points (which will be merged auto-
matically by this command). The dialog box will be used to choose the edges:
Corner 1
Corner 2
Corner 3
Surface s Direction
Direction
Corner 4
Surface t
Corner 1
The third corner is
Corner 2
Corner 3
Surface s Direction
Surface t Direction
the tip of the triangle
Shift+F9
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Geometry, Surface, Aligned Curves... 3-29
First, you should choose the desired surface shape - 3 or 4 sided. Then choose the curves that you want to use either
graphically or by specifying their IDs. You must choose the curves in order, going around the boundary. You cannot
choose the curves in a random order.
You can choose any type of curve as an edge. In addition, the curves can be in any orientation, so long as they are
all coincident at the end points. The curves do not have to form a planar surface. However, you should not create
surfaces with extreme warping, or extreme corner angles. These will be fine as surfaces, but when you apply the
finite element mesh you may create very distorted elements. If you do have these extreme types of surfaces, they
should be meshed with triangular elements to minimize element distortions.
3.3.3.3 Geometry, Surface, Aligned Curves...
... has two different capabilities based upon the geometry engine in use. You can use this command to create a
FEMAP standard geometry engine surface or a Parasolid surface.
Standard Geometry Engine
The FEMAP standard geometry engine creates a quadrilateral surface defined by four control curves which are
aligned in the same parametric direction. This type of surface gives you control over the shape and curvature of the
interior of the surface. It is somewhat more difficult to use however, since the control curves do not actually lie on
the surface, they are simply used to control its shape. The only places that the surface touches the control curves are
at the corners.
You must select the curves in sequential order, along the increasing parametric (surface t) direction. In general, you
will want to select splines for this surface, but you can pick any type of curve. If you are going to use other types of
curves however, it is often simpler to use one of the other surface commands.
As shown, this command creates two additional edge curves that connect the ends of the four control curves. These
edge curves do not really define the surface, but are helpful in visualizing the control net for the surface. Be careful,
however, if you move one or more of the end points of the control curves, they will no longer lie along the edge
curves. This does not hurt anything, but can be confusing visually.
In the figure above, you can see how the surface follows the shape of the control curves, but the curves do not lie on
the surface. This is especially true for curves which have significant changes in curvature in comparison to the
adjacent curves - like Curve 4 above. The actual surface will be blended between the control curves which causes
larger deviations in areas of rapidly changing curvature.
Note: Since this surface does not coincide with the curves along its edges, it can be difficult to join it with sur-
faces of other types. It will join properly with another aligned surface that uses the same edge. As
shown in the figure, if you have a linear edge (the bottom edge), the surface will coincide with the con-
trol curve, so you can join the surface to other surface types.
Surface s Direction
Surface t Direction
Curve 2
Curve 1
Curve 3
Curve 4
Curve 1
Curve 2
Curve 3
Curve 4
Surface s Direction
Surface t Direction
Automatically creates
two edge curves
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3-30 Geometry
Parasolid Geometry Engine
The advanced geometry engine allows you to fit a lofted surface between a series of curves. It differs from the stan-
dard aligned surface in that you can use any numbers of curves to define the surface, and the curves will be on the
surface that is constructed. This is a very powerful method to create surfaces with varying curvature simply by
defining curves at critical locations.
3.3.3.4 Geometry, Surface, Ruled...
... creates a quadrilateral surface between two curves. The surface is formed by linear interpolation between corre-
sponding parametric locations along the selected curves. The only inputs for this command are the two curves.
After you select the curves, two additional lines are created which join the end points of the original curves. These
new lines do not control the surface, but do help to show its boundaries.
Ruled surfaces are very easy to create. You can choose any type of curves, in any orientation. They do not have to
lie in the same plane. In addition, the resulting surface is usually fairly uniform parametrically and yields very good
finite element meshes.
3.3.3.5 Geometry, Surface, Extrude...
... creates surfaces by extruding one or more curves along a vector. Each curve that you choose creates a separate
ruled surface. This command allows you to quickly convert a two dimensional profile of curves into three dimen-
sional surfaces.
All input for this command uses standard dialog boxes. You select the curves to extrude using the standard entity
selection dialog box. You can choose these curves in any order, but it is usually best to choose them in the order of
a continuous profile or boundary.
When you have selected all of the curves, you will define the vector that you want to extrude them along, using the
standard vector definition dialog box. You can choose any vector, but most extrusions should be relatively perpen-
dicular to the original curves. If it is not, some surfaces may be badly shaped for meshing. The same vector is used
for all curves that were selected, so if you need to extrude in different directions, you must repeat this command.
The vector that you define can be based at any location. Only the vector components and magnitude are used. The
components define the direction of the extrusion. The magnitude defines the length of the extrusion.
Note: The curves used for this command with the Parasolid engine must always be in the same direction.
FEMAP will not automatically reverse the direction. Therefore, if you are having difficulty defining the
surface, you should check the direction of the curves by using the View Options, Tools and View Style,
Curve and Surface Accuracy option to turn Directions on. This will enable you to confirm that all
curves are formed in the same direction. If the directions are not aligned, FEMAP will ask you if you
want to try and create a surface through the interpolated points of the curves. You can try this or change
the direction of the curves.
Surface s Direction
Surface t Direction
Automatically creates
edge lines
Curve 1
Curve 2
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Geometry, Surface, Revolve... 3-31
As an example, the picture shows a boundary that was extruded.
More curves were created (but not shown) at the opposite side of the surfaces. Other curves were created to connect
the end points of the original curves to the new curves.
3.3.3.6 Geometry, Surface, Revolve...
... is similar to Geometry, Surface, Extrude, except that instead of extruding curves along a vector, this command
revolves them through an angle around a vector - the axis of revolution.
Just like the Extrude command, you select the curves to revolve using the standard entity selection dialog box.
Next, specify the vector along the axis of revolution using the vector definition dialog boxes. The location and
direction of this vector are important; the magnitude is not. Finally, enter the rotation angle: specify the angle
through which the curves will be revolved.
Some Special Cases
Typically, this command creates four-sided surfaces; however, there are a few special cases. If a curve has one end
point that lies on the axis of revolution, a triangular (three-sided) surface will be automatically created. Since all
surfaces must have either three or four sides, you cannot revolve any curve that has both end points on the axis of
revolution. This limitation includes arcs and splines where intermediate points along the curve do not lie on the axis
of revolution. If you want to revolve this type of curve, use the Modify, Break command to split it into two curves,
then revolve both of those curves.
Another special case arises if the axis of revolution intersects the curve that you are revolving. In this case, the
resulting surface will be twisted and effectively unusable for meshing. Although you can create these surfaces, you
should avoid this situation.
3.3.3.7 Geometry, Surface, Sweep...
... allows you to create surfaces by moving or sweeping one or more curves along a path defined by other curves.
The required input for this command is minimal. You simply select the curves that define the cross section that you
want to sweep, using the standard entity selection dialog box. Then with a second entity selection dialog box, you
select the curves that make up the path along which you will sweep the cross section.
Selecting the Path
Even though you choose it after the cross section, it is important to understand the implications of choosing a path
before you define the cross section. The curves that you select for the path must form a single continuous loop -
either closed (the end is also connected to the start) or open. They must not branch, or have any gaps. They do not
have to be connected to the same points, but must have coincident end points.
Extrusion direction
Selected Curves
and magnitude
Selected Curves
Surface s Direction
Surface t Direction
Selected Curves Selected Curves
Axis of Revolution
Surface t Direction
Surface s Direction
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3-32 Geometry
If, in addition to being coincident, all curves along the path are also tangent at their end points, the sweeping oper-
ation will maintain a constant cross section as it traverses the path. On the other hand, if you include nontangent
curves, the corners will be automatically mitred to the half angle between the tangents of the curves. This, however,
will result in a nonuniform cross section, and in some cases a cross section that is somewhat distorted.
Choosing Splines in the Path
You can use any type of curves in the path; however, if you are using the standard FEMAP geometry engine, this
command cannot create a single swept surface along a spline. If you choose splines in the path, they will be broken
into multiple line segments, and the cross section will be swept along these segments rather than the true spline.
This will result in multiple surfaces. You can control the number of line segments by setting the mesh size along the
spline prior to sweeping using the Mesh, Mesh Control, Size Along Curve command.
Selecting the Cross Section
Just as for the path, you can choose any curves that you want for the cross section. You do have to be aware, how-
ever, of the relationship between the path and the cross section.
Here are some general rules to follow:
1. The curves in the cross section must be positioned in space at the appropriate location relative to the path. This
command simply extrudes and revolves the cross section along vectors which are defined by the curves you
select as the path. It is up to you to properly locate the starting position of the cross section. The surfaces created
by this command will be located wherever you start the cross section. All offsets from the path to the cross sec-
tion will act as rigid links as the cross section is swept around a curve.
2. If your path contains arcs, make sure that your cross section does not protrude further than the arc radius to the
inside of the path. If it does, the resulting surfaces will be twisted as they are swept around the arc.
3. Typically you will want to create the curves for the cross section in a plane that is normal to the ending tangent
of the path. If you do not, the cross section that you sweep will be a projection of the true cross section.
4. If the cross section that you choose contains arcs or circles, and your path contains curves that are not tangent to
one another, the arcs and circles will be converted to equivalent splines before they are swept. This is not a pre-
cise representation, but it is fairly accurate. It is required because of the automatic mitred corners that will be
generated between the nontangent curves. The cross section at those corners will no longer be circular, it will be
elliptical (which must be represented by a spline).
Selected Curves Selected Curves
Axis of Revolution
Surface t Direction
Surface s Direction
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Geometry, Surface, Plane... 3-33
3.3.3.8 Geometry, Surface, Plane...
... automatically creates a rectangular, planar surface using the standard plane definition dialog boxes. The base of
the plane is used for the first corner of the surface. After choosing the appropriate plane, you will be prompted for
the width (along plane X) and height (along plane Y) of the plane.
The width and height of the plane are combined with the orientation of the plane to determine the other three cor-
ners. While limited to rectangular surfaces, this command offers great flexibility in positioning of planar surfaces.
3.3.3.9 Geometry, Surface, Cylinder...
... makes surfaces which represent the curved lateral faces of
a cylinder, cone or tube and optionally the planar endcaps.
The first input required is the orientation of the object that
you will create. You will use the standard vector definition
dialog box to define the location and orientation of the cen-
terline of the object. The magnitude of the vector that you
specify is also used as the object length. By choosing the
various vector definition methods, you can either explicitly
specify the length, or automatically determine it from the
end points of the vector.
After you have defined the centerline vector, the standard
vector dialog box will appear again. This time you must specify a vector which points toward the circumferential
location where you want the lateral curved surfaces to begin. Just as the centerline positioned and oriented the sur-
faces in space, this vector orients the surfaces by rotating them around the centerline. This is fairly obvious when
you are going to generate a partial cylinder (< 360 degrees), but is also necessary for full cylinders. If you really
dont care where the surfaces start, you can choose any nonzero vector that is not parallel to the centerline.
Finally, the following dialog box is used to specify the remaining parameters:
Cross Section Curve
Path Curves
Front View - Before Isometric View - Before
Front View - After Isometric View - After
Mitred corner where
path was not tangent
Path Curves
Centerline vector
Start vector
Bottom radius
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3-34 Geometry
The shape controls the type of object that will be created. Cones and cylinders only have one lateral (curved) sur-
face, but tubes have two, an inner and outer surface. The various radii must be specified to define the object size.
Unnecessary radii for each shape will be grayed and disabled. The inner radii are only available for tubes. They
must always be greater than zero, but less than the respective outer radius. The bottom radii are applied at the base
of the centerline vector. The top radii are used at the tip of the centerline vector.
The default angle (360 degrees) creates a full cylinder/cone/tube. If you only want to create a partial object, specify
a smaller angle. The resulting surface(s) will subtend the selected number of degrees of arc around the centerline.
By default, the Make cap surfaces box is not checked. In this case, only the lateral or curved surface is created. If
you check the box, however, this command will also automatically make planar capping surfaces at the top and bot-
tom of the cylinder/cone/tube. Planar lateral surfaces will also be made. When you do not specify an angle of 360
degrees, these surfaces are required to close the sides of the object. With a 360 degree angle, these surfaces are
actually inside the object, but will be needed if you later want to use the Geometry, Volume, Surfaces command.
They are also useful if you want to make elements in a cross section that you can revolve into a mesh.
3.3.3.10 Geometry, Surface, Sphere...
... creates quadrilateral or triangular spherical surfaces. You can choose to create surfaces which represent any seg-
ment of a sphere up to and including a full sphere. This command will create more than one surface, if necessary, to
represent the portion of the sphere that you select.
The first dialog box that you see will be the standard
vector definition dialog box. Here you must define
the vector which goes from the center of the sphere
to the upper (north) pole of the sphere. The base is
used as the center of the sphere, and the vector com-
ponents orient the sphere in space. The magnitude
of the vector is also used as the default radius, how-
ever you will have an opportunity to change this
radius later.
Next, another vector is required, which is used to
position the origin of the spherical surfaces. Just as
the first vector oriented the sphere in space, this vector controls the rotation of the surfaces around the polar vector.
If you do not care how the surfaces are rotated, just choose any nonzero vector that is not parallel to the polar vec-
tor.
Finally, you will see this dialog box:
Note: If you are creating a Parasolid surface, you can only choose from a cylinder or a cone. Make cap sur-
faces will not be available.
End Cap
Partial Cylinder
with capping surfaces
Cylinder
Partial Cone
Tube with
capping surfaces
Lateral Cap
Pole Vector
Start Vector
-90 degrees longitude
0 degrees longitude
0 degrees latitude
Longitude angles
Latitude angles
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Geometry, Surface, Offset... 3-35
It lets you choose the portion of the sphere that the surfaces will represent. The longitude angles must range from -
90 to +90 degrees. Zero degrees is at the equatorial plane, -90 degrees is the north pole (along the first vector that
you defined) and +90 degrees is the south pole. Latitude angles go around the circumference of the sphere. The
zero angle is defined by the second vector that you specified. Increasing angles are measured in a counterclockwise
sense when looking at the equatorial plane from the north pole of the sphere. That is, they follow the normal right-
hand rule convention around the pole vector. The default angles, as shown in the dialog box, will define a full
sphere.
This command will create a single spherical sur-
face, unless you include both poles (-90 and +90
longitude). In that case, two surfaces, split at the
equator will be created.
Additional planar surfaces will be created if you
choose Make cap surfaces. Top and bottom cap-
ping surfaces will be created if you do not choose
the corresponding pole. These surfaces are defined
parallel to the equatorial plane. Lateral capping
surfaces are always created. If you specify latitude
angles less than 360 degrees, they close the sides
of the spherical segment. Otherwise, they are created internally, just like the lateral caps for cylindrical volumes
created by the Geometry, Surface, Cylinder command.
3.3.3.11 Geometry, Surface, Offset...
....create a new surface by offsetting an existing surface. This command requires you
to select the surfaces to offset, and enter a distance to offset. The normals of the sur-
face are used as the offset direction. The offset surface may expand or contract
depending on the curvature of the surface and the offset direction.
3.3.3.12 Geometry, Surface, Convert...
This command converts a surface generated with the standard FEMAP geometry engine to a Parasolid surface.
Generally, you will use Convert to update FEMAP legacy geometry so that you can use it with a newer version of
FEMAP.
3.3.3.13 Geometry, Surface, Remove Hole...
This command removes interior holes from surfaces by selecting a curve or curves related to that hole. This com-
mand works for Surfaces (Sheet Solids) as well as Solids.
Remove Hole is looking for loops to remove from the geometry. You select which loops to remove by selecting
the a single curve of an interior hole. FEMAP then tries to walk around a loop (starting with the selected curve)
and if the loop or chain of curves are continuous, the hole will be removed from the surface.
If this command is used on a component surface of a solid, not only will the hole be removed from that surface, but
the feature associated with that loop and any associated geometry more interior than the loop will be
removed. Very similar to the way Mesh, Mesh Control, Feature Suppression operates. (For more on how that com-
mand works, see Section 5.1.1.16, "Mesh, Mesh Control, Feature Suppression...")
Note: If you are creating a Parasolid surface/sphere, you will only be able to create a complete sphere. The
Longitude Angles and Latitude Angles will be grayed, and Make cap surfaces will not be visible.
Hint: You can use the On Surface selection method (Entity Selection dialog box for curves) to remove all of
the internal holes from a surface. FEMAP will ignore the curves making up the outline of the surface
and send a message to the Messages pane. A similar technique can be used on for solids by using the On
Solid selection method
Partial Sphere
with capping surfaces
Partial Sphere
Full Sphere
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3-36 Geometry
Examples
3.3.4 Midsurface
The midsurfacing commands are available when using the Parasolid geometry engine. They are useful for generat-
ing surfaces from thin-walled solid geometry. The midsurfaces can then be used as the basis of plate meshes. Care
must be taken to make certain that the resulting plate mesh adequately represents the model.
3.3.4.1 Single in Solid...
...creates a single midsurface between two surfaces of a solid. The surface is trimmed by the solid so that it is com-
pletely contained within the solid. This command requires you to select the two surfaces. Not all surface pairs can
be midsurfaced. The command will simply return if the midsurface operation fails.
Note: Any Nonmergeable Curves will be ignored in the command. If you would like to designate curves as
nonmergeable, use the Modify, Update Other, Nonmergeable Curve command.
Surface with several interior holes
Choose one curve on each
interior hole and all of the
curves making up the loop
will be found and removed
from the surface
All internal holes have been
removed from the surface
Original Solid Part with stepped hole Curve chosen for loop in Remove Face
Resulting Solid Geometry
Original Solid Part with stepped hole Curve chosen for loop in Remove Face
Resulting Solid Geometry
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Single... 3-37
3.3.4.2 Single...
...creates a single sheet surface between two surfaces. The resulting surface will be larger than both of the selected
surfaces. Not all surface pairs can be midsurfaced. The command will simply return if the midsurface operation
fails.
3.3.4.3 Trim to Solid...
...trims a surface with a solid. It deletes any parts of the surface which lie outside the volume of the solid. This com-
mand requires you to first select the surface to trim, and then the solid to use for trimming.
3.3.4.4 Trim with Curve...
....trims/breaks a surface using a curve. First pick the surface to be trimmed/broken and then pick the curve(s) to
trim with. The curves are extended in both directions past the ends of the surface if necessary.
3.3.4.5 Extend...
....extends a surface by using one of a surfaces edge curves and extending the surface using a specified Extend
Shape method (Linear, Continuous Curvature, or Reflective) to a target Solid (or Sheet Solid), location in space,
or simply by a distance.
Whether or not the curves will be imprinted onto the target solid or sheet solid is determined by the Geometry,
Curve - From Surface, Update Surfaces flag setting. If the flag is on, they will be imprinted (burned) into the tar-
get surface.
3.3.4.6 Automatic...
...runs the three steps of semi-automatic midsurfacing (Generate, Intersect, and Cleanup below) at once. The com-
mand requires you to select the surfaces and specify a midsurface tolerance. Any surfaces with a distance between
them of less than the midsurface tolerance will have a midsurface generated. The command then intersects all cre-
ated midsurfaces with one another and lastly, deletes all small free floating surfaces.
3.3.4.7 Generate...
...automatically creates all possible midsurfaces from selected surfaces. This command requires you to select the
surfaces for generation and enter a midsurface tolerance. Any surfaces with a distance between them of less than
the midsurface tolerance will have a midsurface generated.
3.3.4.8 Intersect...
...automatically intersects/splits all selected surfaces with one another. The only input to this command is the sur-
faces to intersect.
3.3.4.9 Cleanup...
...automatically determines which surfaces can be deleted by checking for small free floating surfaces. You enter
the surfaces to check. It does not delete these surfaces, but rather places them on a separate layer so they can be
reviewed before they are deleted.
Note: If Parasolid cannot extend a surface properly, FEMAP will return an error and let you know that surface
cannot be extended using the current parameters. You may want to try a different Extend Shape
method or Extend To option.
=
Pick this curve
two surfaces
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3-38 Geometry
3.3.4.10 Assign Mesh Attributes...
...automatically creates and assigns properties to midsurfaces based on the thickness of the solid from which they
were created. The original top and bottom surfaces must be separated by a constant thickness. This command
will not create properties which vary in thickness along a surface. The only input for this command are the selected
surfaces to assign these attributes.
3.4 Creating Solids/Volumes
The last commands for geometry creation in the Geometry menu involve creation of 3-D solids and volumes. In
FEMAP, there is a distinct difference between volumes and solids.
Solids are formed by using the Parasolid modeling engine to form complex 3-D shapes. Boolean operations can be
performed with these solids, and they can have voids, or holes in them. The number of faces (or surfaces) to a solid
is not limited. Solids provide an excellent method to form complex 3-D shapes, and can be automatically meshed
with tetrahedrals, or if care is taken, semi-automatically meshed with hexahedrals.
Volumes are formed from analytics as well as joining selected surfaces. Volumes generated from surfaces require 4-
6 surfaces which form a complete enclosed volume. Voids (or holes) are not permitted in volumes. The restrictions
on number of surfaces and no voids limits the usefulness of volumes. They are typically only created when you
must model a very regular pattern volume (with no holes), and brick or wedge meshes are essential.
3.4.1 Volumes
The Geometry, Volume menu allows you to create volumes which can be used for meshing of solid elements. All
volumes in FEMAP are essentially the same, although you can create volumes with several different shapes. In
this case, shapes refers to the number of surfaces that are used to bound the volume. The following table summa-
rizes those shapes.
Shape Characteristics
Brick
Six quadrilateral surfaces
Wedge
Five surfaces, top and bottom are triangular,
others are quadrilateral
Pyramid
Five surfaces, bottom is rectangular, others are
triangular
Tetra
Four triangular surfaces
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Geometry, Volume, Corners... 3-39
You can choose any of these volume shapes that you need to fill the portion of your model that you want. In fact,
the shapes shown are just the basic outlines if you used regular, planar surfaces. In fact, any surfaces can be used
and the shapes really refer more to the overall topology than the actual shape of the volume.
Volume Parameters
When you are creating volumes, you will see numerous dialog boxes with a Parameter button. Choosing this but-
ton lets you set the ID and color of the volume. The ID is not usually of great concern. You can choose a color for
the volume either by typing its number or by pressing the Palette button and choosing from the standard palette. If
you do not set a color, you can always change the color later with the Modify, Color, Volume command.
Displaying Volumes
The display of volumes is largely based on displaying the surfaces that are used to define the volume. The only
thing actually drawn for the volume is an outline around the surface boundaries. You can control the overall display
by adjusting the surface divisions and surface display options.
Geometry, Volume Menu
The Geometry, Volume menu is partitioned into three sections based upon the method of creation. The first section
of commands (Corners, Surfaces, Between), create volumes from framework geometry of points, surfaces, or both.
The second section (Extrude, Revolve) perform operations on a surface to create a volume. The final section (Cylin-
der, Sphere) involve analytical volumes. Each command on the Volume menu is discussed further below
3.4.1.1 Geometry, Volume, Corners...
... creates volumes simply by specifying the coordinates of the corners. You do not need any existing geometry to
use this command - it creates all of the required points, lines and surfaces.
All of the input for this command uses the standard coordinate definition dialog boxes. Each corner is defined using
a separate dialog box. To create volumes having different shapes, simply choose Cancel when all of the required
corners have been defined. You will be asked whether you want to cancel, backup, or create a volume with that
number of corners. If you press Cancel at a point when a volume cannot be created, you will be given a chance to
backup or abort. This is an ideal way to update incorrectly specified coordinates before you finish the command.
The following table shows the number of corners that are allowable when creating volumes:
The convention for defining corner locations
is shown in the figure.
It is always best to follow the conventions
shown for specifying the order of the corner
locations; however, FEMAP does check the
locations that you specify to see if they match
the correct shape. If they do not, FEMAP will
automatically change the selection order and
attempt to create a valid volume. This fix-
up will often create the correct volume even
if you specify the corners in a different order,
but there is no guarantee.
The same volume will be created no matter
what coordinate system or systems you use to
define the corner locations. Straight lines will
be used to connect all of the corners, and all
surfaces will be bilinear.
Shape Corners Press Cancel when Defining
Brick 8 Never
Wedge 6 Corner 7
Pyramid 5 Corner 6
Tetra 4 Corner 5
Brick Wedge
Pyramid Tetra
1 2
3 4
5 6
7 8
1
2 3
4
5 6
1
2
3
4
1
2
3 4
5
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3-40 Geometry
3.4.1.2 Geometry, Volume, Surfaces...
... allows you to select and combine existing surfaces to form a volume. The only dialog box required is the follow-
ing one:
Here you select the shape of the volume that you want to create (brick, wedge, pyramid or tetra) and the surfaces
that will define the volume. You can select any type of surface, but you must follow these guidelines:
The surfaces that you choose must have the appropriate shape (triangular or quadrilateral) to define the shape of
volume that you choose. The required shapes are listed in the table at the beginning of this section for the
Geometry, Volume menu.
All surfaces must have coincident edges. The surfaces do not have to use the same edge curves, but they must
use exactly coincident curves, so that there are no gaps between the edges. If the surfaces do not use the same
edges, the curves will be automatically merged by this command. This insures that the surfaces that you choose
form a complete closed volume.
You do not have to choose surfaces that have their parametric directions aligned, nor do you have to choose the
sides in any particular order. The volume parametric directions are based on the parametric directions of the first
surface that you select. The first and second (s and t) volume directions are aligned with the parametric directions
of the bottom surface. The third parametric volume direction (u) goes from the bottom to the top surface. If these
directions do not form a right-handed coordinate system, then the s and t directions are reversed (negated, but still
along the same direction).
Note: You can choose any type of surface for a volume, but you will probably not want to choose any Bezier
surface that was created by the Geometry, Surface, Aligned Curves command. Since this type of surface
does not typically follow its edge curves exactly, any volume that you create may have gaps along its
edges and you will not be able to use it for meshing.
Alt+F9
Side
Bottom
Top
Side
s direction
t direction
u direction
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Geometry, Volume, Between... 3-41
3.4.1.3 Geometry, Volume, Between...
... creates a volume between two surfaces, or
between a surface and a point. When you choose
the 2 Surfaces option, both surfaces must have the
same shape - either triangular or quadrilateral.
Quad surfaces form a brick volume, while tri sur-
faces create a wedge.
The Surface and Point option is used to create the
other volume shapes. With this option, choose a
quadrilateral surface to create a pyramid, or a trian-
gular surface to form a tetra.
.If you are using the 2 Surfaces option, you simply
choose the two surfaces which form the top and
bottom of the brick or wedge. All of the side sur-
faces are automatically created between the respec-
tive edges of these surfaces. The same approach is
followed for the Surface and Point option, but
instead of specifying a top surface (To Surface),
you will specify a top point. The point must
already exist, you cannot specify coordinates.
Again the required side surfaces and curves are
automatically created.
3.4.1.4 Geometry, Volume, Extrude...
... creates volumes by moving or extruding one or more surfaces along a vector. You simply select the surfaces to
extrude using the standard entity selection dialog boxes, and the vector to extrude along, using the vector definition
dialog boxes. One volume will be created for each surface that you select.
The vector that you choose can be located anywhere, but
the direction and magnitude are used to define the direc-
tion and length of the extruded volumes.
All quadrilateral surfaces will extrude into brick vol-
umes. Triangular surfaces extrude into wedge volumes.
Other volume shapes cannot be created with this com-
mand.
3.4.1.5 Geometry, Volume, Revolve...
... is similar to the Geometry, Volume, Extrude command
described above. In this case the volumes are created by
revolving the original surfaces around a vector (the axis
of revolution), instead of extruding them along the vec-
tor.
In addition to selecting the surfaces to revolve with the standard entity selection dialog box, and specifying the axis
of revolution with the vector definition dialog boxes, you must also define the angle of revolution. This is the angle
through which the surfaces will be rotated around the axis of revolution vector to form the volumes. As the surfaces
are revolved, all of the additional curves and surfaces which define the volume will be created automatically.
2 Surfaces Surface and Point
From Surface
To Surface
From Surface
To Point
Selected
Extrusion Vector
Surfaces
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3-42 Geometry
When you are specifying the axis of revolution vector, the location and direction are important, the magnitude is
not. The location and direction are needed to define the rotation.
You should never specify an axis of revolution that crosses any of the surfaces that you are revolving. If you do, the
resulting surfaces and volumes will be twisted, and will be useless for meshing.
In addition, there are several special cases that can arise when you revolve surfaces that have one or more points or
edge curves that lie on the axis of revolution. For example, if you revolve a triangular surface that has one point on
the axis, you will create a pyramid-shaped volume. If you revolve a triangular surface with one edge on the axis,
you will create a tetra. There are similar cases with quadrilateral faces.
3.4.1.6 Geometry, Volume, Cylinder...
... is identical to the Geometry, Surface, Cylinder command except that it creates the volume, in addition to the sur-
faces. Since you will be creating a volume, capping surfaces will always be created. Otherwise, the volume would
not be closed.
For more information, see Section 3.3.3.9, "Geometry, Surface, Cylinder...".
3.4.1.7 Geometry, Volume, Sphere...
... is identical to the Geometry, Surface, Sphere command except that it creates the volume, in addition to the sur-
faces. Since you will be creating a volume, capping surfaces will always be created. Otherwise, the volume would
not be closed.
For more information, see Section 3.3.3.10, "Geometry, Surface, Sphere...".
3.4.2 Solids
These commands provide tools for building solid models in FEMAP. They are available when the Parasolid geom-
etry engine is active.
The Solid menu is partitioned into six major segments:
Activate - select and or name the active solid
creating/editing- Add/Remove Material, Extrude, Revolve, Primitives, Stitch, Explode
modifying - Fillet, Chamfer, Shell
Boolean operations - Add, Remove, Common, Embed, Intersect
slicing/face operations - Slice, Slice Match, Slice Along Face, Embed Face
Cleanup - cleanup the active solid
The functionality of these commands are explained in more detail below.
3.4.2.1 Geometry, Solid, Activate...
... is used to change between active solids, or to reset to make no solid active. When you select this command, the
Activate Solid dialog box appears.
Axis of
Angle of
Selected
Surfaces
Revolution
Revolution
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Geometry, Solid, Add/Remove Material... 3-43
ID
You can select the ID by inputting its ID or simply select it from the
list.
Title
You may rename a solid by typing in a different Title.
Reset
Choose this option to deactivate all solids.
3.4.2.2 Geometry, Solid, Add/Remove Material...
... does not perform any functions; however, it does set the defaults for the commands below. If this option does not
have a check mark next to it, the default will be Add. If there is a check mark, the default will be Remove.
This is a convenient method to toggle between defaults if you are performing many additions, then removals. How-
ever, you can still toggle between Remove and Add once you get into the command itself. Therefore, you are not
required to change this option.
3.4.2.3 Geometry, Solid, Extrude...
... allows you to move a boundary or surface through a vector, and either create a new solid from the extrusion,
remove material or add material. When you invoke this command, you will see the following dialog box:
The dialog box is separated into four major sections: Material, Direction, Length, and option buttons.
Material
This section controls the type of action to perform. The default will be based upon the Add/Extrude Material option
(see Section 3.4.2.2, "Geometry, Solid, Add/Remove Material..."), or the last previous operation. You can create a
new solid, add to the current solid (Protrusion), or remove from the current solid (hole). The Add and Remove com-
mands are similar to the Geometry, Solid, Add and Remove commands, except you do not have to form an addi-
tional solid to add or remove. You simply move a boundary or surface along a vector to add or remove material.
Direction
This option controls whether you extrude in the negative, positive, or both directions. You will see a small white
arrow along the surface or boundary denoting the current direction. If you switch from positive to negative, the
direction of the arrow will switch.
FEMAP can extrude both planar and non-planar surfaces, but it can only extrude planar boundaries. For all planar
entities, FEMAP will automatically choose the normal to the entity as the vector along which to extrude. If you
Note: Unlike other similar Activate commands, such as Model, Load, Set and Model, Constraint, Set, you
cannot create a new solid by inputting an unused ID. You must create a new solid by using one of the
commands under the Solid menu which actually forms the solid and select New Solid. FEMAP will
then automatically create a new solid with the title you input.
Note: You cannot extrude a FEMAP base (standard) surface, or a nonplanar boundary surface.
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3-44 Geometry
want to extrude a non-planar surface, or want to extrude along a vector other than the normal, you must select the
extrusion vector by pushing the Along Vector... button.
Length
You can extrude to a particular depth along the vector, to a specific location, or through all of the solid(s) along the
vector direction. If you select the location option, you must input the location using the standard coordinate defini-
tion dialog box after pressing OK on the Extrusion Options dialog box.
Options Buttons
These buttons allow you to change the defaults for the extrusion.
Active Solid...
...allows you to change the active solid which will be used in the extrude operation. When you select this option, a
list of the available solids will be provided (the same dialog box that is used in the Geometry, Solid, Activate com-
mand). Simply select the appropriate solid.
Along Vector...
... uses the standard vector definition dialog box to define the vector along which to extrude. If you do not select
this option, FEMAP will automatically extrude along the normal vector for all planar surfaces. If you attempt to
extrude a nonplanar surface, you must use this option to define the extrusion vector. You cannot use this option to
extrude boundary surfaces. Boundary surfaces area always extruded normal to their definition plane.
Pattern...
... allows you to create multiple extrusions from a single surface or boundary extrusion. This is an extremely useful
option when multiple holes, in a symmetrical pattern are required through a solid. You can simply define one
boundary/surface, and then choose Pattern. When you choose this command, the Patterns dialog box will appear.
None
The default option is None. A single extrusion will be performed with
this option.
Rectangular
This option allows you to identify the number and spacing in Y. If you
are planning to use this option, the workplane must be aligned with the
pattern. Also, the original surface/boundary you create should be at the
most negative position on the workplane. FEMAP will automatically
move in the positive X and Y workplane directions (unless you specify a
negative distance) to create additional entities in the pattern. The spacing
values input must be the distance form center to center of the boundary/
surface you are extruding.
Radial
This option is very similar to Rectangular, except it defines a radial pat-
tern. You input the center, the number, and the total angle, and FEMAP will create these extrusions into or through
the solid.
Examples
Below you will find two examples of a pattern definition.
Rectangular Pattern
The first example uses a rectangular pattern of 3 in X and 3 in Y with the same spacing for both. The origin is spec-
ified as the center of the circle in the workplane in the bottom left corner. FEMAP then uses the X spacing and Y
spacing to form the 9 holes in the solid.
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Geometry, Solid, Revolve... 3-45
Radial Pattern
The Radial Pattern is similar, except a number of 6 and a total angle of 360 degrees was specified.
Surface
This option lets you to select the surface to extrude.
3.4.2.4 Geometry, Solid, Revolve...
... is very similar to Geometry, Solid, Extrude except it revolves around an axis of revolution instead of extruding
along a vector. When you select this command, you must input the axis of revolution using the standard vector def-
inition dialog box. The Revolve Options dialog box then appears. This dialog box is almost identical to the Extrude
Options dialog box above (Geometry, Solid, Extrude), except for a few modifications (see Section 3.4.2.3, "Geom-
etry, Solid, Extrude...")
The Material (New Solid, Add, or Remove) and Directions (Positive, Negative, or Both) sections are identical, and
the Length section has options for Angle, To Location, and Full 360 degrees instead of Depth, To Location, and Full
360. The only other difference is you can choose to change your axis of revolution (instead of the Extrusion Vector)
by selecting the axis of revolution option.
3.4.2.5 Geometry, Solid, Primitives...
... can be used for such
geometry primitives as cyl-
inders, blocks, and cones.
This command can be used
to form a new solid or to
add/remove material from
an existing solid. When you
select this command, the
Solid Primitives dialog box
appears.
This dialog box is very
similar to the Extrude
Options and Revolve Options dialog boxes. Each of these areas are discussed below.
Material
You can create a new solid, add to, or remove from an existing solid just as in the Extrude/Revolve commands
above. For this particular command, however, you also have the option to form a new solid from common areas of
the primitive you are about to create and the current active solid.
Note: When you perform this command, the construction geometry (surface) will remain, but it will be auto-
matically moved to the Construction Geometry Layer (Layer 9999). This layer by default is chosen as
the No Pick Layer on the View, Layers command. If you need to graphically select it later, you can sim-
ply change the No Pick Layer on the View, Layers command.
Note: When you perform this command, the construction geometry (boundary or surface) remains, but it is
automatically moved to the Construction Geometry Layer (Layer 9999). This layer defaults to the No
Pick Layer on the View, Layers command. If you need to graphically select it later, you can simply
change the No Pick Layer on the View, Layers command.
Rectangular Pattern Radial Pattern
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3-46 Geometry
Direction
You may also choose to move in a positive or a negative direction, just like the commands above.
Origin
You simply specify a location for the origin of the primitive. If you plan on using a rectangular pattern, you should
use the origin of the primitive which is in the most negative position in the workplane, since FEMAP will always
move in the positive direction to create the pattern.
Primitive
This section defines the actual primitive to be created. You can create a block, cylinder, cone, or sphere. For the
block, you can input the origin at the center or corner of the block. You must then specify the distances in the X, Y
and Z directions. These directions are all relative to the workplane. For a cylinder you simply input a height and
radius. A cone requires a top and bottom radius as well as a height. There are two options for sphere, Sphere
requires only a radius for input and creates a sphere with 8 three-sided surfaces, while Sphere - Alt requires only
a radius and creates a sphere from 6 four-sided surfaces.
Options
You may also change the active solid (Active Solid) or choose to create a Pattern (see Section 3.4.2.3, "Geometry,
Solid, Extrude...").
3.4.2.6 Geometry, Solid, Stitch...
... creates a solid from a series of surfaces. The only inputs required for this command are the surfaces themselves
and a stitching tolerance. The tolerance can be adjusted to facilitate the closing of gaps between surface edges. This
is a very useful command when reading trimmed surfaces from an IGES file. You can read an IGES file, and then
use this command to generate a Parasolid solid from the IGES surfaces. You can then manipulate this solid just like
any other solid you would have created in FEMAP.
3.4.2.7 Geometry, Solid, Explode...
...creates independent surfaces from a solid. The underlying solid no longer exists. The only input for this com-
mand is a solid. This command is quite useful because it allows you to modify surfaces on solids and then stitch
them back into a solid.
3.4.2.8 Geometry, Solid, Fillet...
... allows you to create fillets on a solid model. When using this command, you must be careful to select the appro-
priate curve for filleting. This command works slightly different than the Modify, Fillet command in that you are
modifying a solid, not individual curves. Therefore, you must select an edge of the solid, and that edge will become
rounded based upon the radius you input.
The input for this command is simply the curve(s)/edge(s) to fillet, and the radius of the fillet. Below are a few
examples of filleting a solid.
Sphere
Sphere - Alt
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Geometry, Solid, Chamfer... 3-47
Examples
3.4.2.9 Geometry, Solid, Chamfer...
... operates identically to Geometry, Solid, Fillet except it produces a chamfer instead of a fillet. Input for this com-
mand is simply the solid edge (curve) and the chamfer length. Examples of this command are shown below.
Examples
3.4.2.10 Geometry, Solid, Shell...
... allows you to hollow out a solid. Simply select the surfaces to pierce (the surfaces on the solid to be hollowed
out), and the thickness of the solid shell. FEMAP will automatically remove the interior portion of the surface and
leave an outer thickness equal to the input of the thickness and then move through the solid, normal to the surface,
and remove material until it reaches within a thickness value of the opposing surface. To shell a solid completely
and remove all material in the interior, simply choose two opposing surfaces.
Examples
Fillet Top Curve
Fillet Top + Side Curves
Chamfer Top Curve
Chamfer Top + Side
Pierce One Surface
Pierce Two Surfaces
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3-48 Geometry
3.4.2.11 Geometry, Solid, Thicken...
... allows you to thicken or thin out (depending on the selected options) an existing solid using a component
surface or surfaces or thicken a surface (sheet solid) into a solid by extruding in one specified normal direction or
both.
Offset
The In and Out Offset directions are determined by the normal direction of the surface, with the Out direction
being in the normal direction. For solids, the Out direction will always face away from enclosed volume.
When using thicken on a surface (sheet solid) not associated with any solid, you simply choose the surface(s) to
thicken, choose an offset direction (In and/or Out), and enter a value.
Example
Options
These options are used to control the way the thicken command behaves. Some are only available in certain situ-
ations.
Auto Cleanup - Runs a portion of the Solid, Cleanup command to make sure any new solids that have been created
are valid solids and also tries to remove any extraneous material (slivers, hanging edges) from the thicken pro-
cess. This option is on by default and is a recommended every time this command is used.
Note: You can turn on the Surface normals using the View, Options command. Once in the View Options
dialog box, choose the Tools and View Style category, then choose Curve and Surface Accuracy from
the Options list. Change the option in Parametric Directions to either 1..Show All Arrows of
3..Show Surface Arrows.
Note: You can reverse the normal direction of a surface (sheet solid) using the Modify, Update Other, Surface
Normal command.
Two Surfaces with opposite Normals
Surfaces showing Normals
Solids created using Out and
a value of 3 units
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Geometry, Solid, Thicken... 3-49
Thick Individually - Creates an individual solid for each surface that was selected to thicken. Doing this allows
you to pick and choose which newly created solids to boolean (add, embed, etc.) or use in other operations.
Delete Original Surfaces - Simply deletes the Original Surface that was used to thicken. Is on by default, but
may be turned off if you would like to use the surface for additional geometry operations (extrude, revolve, etc.)
Auto Boolean
When using thicken to alter a solid by choosing surfaces associated with the solid, you will have some additional
options. These options allow you to combine the thicken operation with FEMAP Boolean operations.
Essentially, the geometry will be thickened and then the selected Boolean operation will occur. Only thickened
surfaces from a particular solid can be booleaned with that solid (i.e., you can NOT take a surface from a solid,
thicken it, and then boolean it into a different solid).
None - The new geometry will be created with no effect to existing geometry in the model, even if the new solid
created with thicken overlaps the original surfaces associated solid.
Add - The new geometry will be added to the solid after the thicken operation. This option is good to use when
you want to thicken a portion of your model.
Subtract - The new geometry will be subtracted from the solid after the thicken operation. This option is good
to use when you want to thin out a portion of your model as natatorial will be removed.
Embed - The new geometry will be embedded into the solid after the thicken operation. This Boolean is a
good option to select when you need multiple elements through the thickness and can be used in conjunction
with adjacent surface matching to create a continuous mesh of this type.
See the examples below for how the thicken command can be used with Boolean operations.
Examples
Hint: You can reduce the diameter of a hole by choosing all the surfaces of the hole, selecting the Out offset
direction, and the Add Auto Boolean Option.
Hint: You can increase the diameter of a hole by choosing all the surfaces of the hole, selecting the In offset
direction, and the Subtract Auto Boolean Option.
Hint: You can create a cylindrical region for meshing around a hole by choosing all the surfaces of the hole,
selecting the In offset direction, and the Embed Auto Boolean Option.
Reduce Radius using a
combination of Out
Offset and Add Boolean
Increase Radius using
a combination of In
Offset and Subtract
Choose a single surface
and use the Out Offset and
Add Boolean to thicken
a portion of your solid
Choose a single surface and
use the In Offset and
Subtract Boolean to thin
out a portion of your
solid
Boolean
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3-50 Geometry
3.4.2.12 Geometry, Solid, Remove Face...
... allows you to Remove a face from a solid. Simply select the surfaces to remove (surfaces that create fillets,
chamfers, holes, bosses, tabs, cut-outs, etc.), and the faces will be removed from the solid. FEMAP will automati-
cally fill-in or remove the portion of the solid that was represented by the chosen face. For example, a hole can
be removed (material will be added to fill-in the hole) by choosing to remove the interior faces that make up the
sides of the hole or a boss can be removed (material is taken away) by choosing to remove a surface that makes
the side of a boss.
Examples
3.4.2.13 Geometry, Solid, Add...
... forms one solid from multiple, connected solids. The only input required for these commands are the solids
which are selected through the standard entity selection dialog box. FEMAP intersects all selected solids to form
one solid composed of the volumes of all selected solids.
Note: If a solid is not connected to any of the other chosen solids, it will not be added and will remain as a
separate entity.
Create Mesh Region
using combination of
In Offset and Embed
Boolean
Choose all of the outside
surfaces, the In Offset,
and the Embed Boolean
for two elements
through the
thickness mesh
to partition the solid
Remove the two inner faces of a hole
The hole has been removed and the block is solid again
Remove the faces that are fillets
The fillets has been removed from the geometry
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Geometry, Solid, Remove... 3-51
Example
3.4.2.14 Geometry, Solid, Remove...
... modifies one solid by subtracting other solids from it. First select the base solid (the one to be modified), and
then select the solids to subtract. FEMAP removes material common to the solids from the first solid (the base
solid). The subtracted solids are removed from the model.
Example
3.4.2.15 Geometry, Solid, Common...
... is very similar to Geometry, Solid, Add except it creates a solid from the shared volumes between two solids
instead of the total volumes of both.
Example
3.4.2.16 Geometry, Solid, Embed...
...similar to the common command except that it forms two solids: one from the shared volumes and one from the
remaining volume of the base solid. You are first asked to pick the base solid, then the solid to embed.
+
=
=
-
=
Common
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3-52 Geometry
Example
3.4.2.17 Geometry, Solid, Intersect...
...automatically breaks surfaces on selected solids at their intersections.
The figure shows the surfaces of two solids before and after intersection.
3.4.2.18 Geometry, Solid, Slice...
... forms two solids by using a cutting plane to slice through a solid. This command simply requires you to select
the solid, and define the cutting plane using the standard plane definition dialog box. FEMAP will then slice the
solid and form two individual solids from the first solid.
Hint: This command is extremely useful when importing CAD files of symmetrical parts. Most solid mod-
els in CAD systems will be of the entire model to generate drawings. You can use this command to
slice the part through its plane(s) of symmetry and produce a much smaller and efficient model for
meshing and analyzing. If you need to mesh the entire model due to nonsymmetric loading condi-
tions, simply mesh the sliced portion and then reflect the mesh. You will be able to produce a much
better mesh in less time, than if you attempt to mesh the entire part. You will also be guaranteed to
obtain a symmetrical mesh
=
Embed
Pick this solid first
Surfaces Before Intersect Surfaces After Intersect
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Geometry, Solid, Slice Match... 3-53
3.4.2.19 Geometry, Solid, Slice Match...
...similar to the solid slice command, but it will leave matching faces on both solids. The faces can then be matched
for meshing using the mesh size commands. This command is useful for making multiple solid meshes (tetrahe-
drons or hexahedrons) that can be sewn together using the coincident nodes command.
3.4.2.20 Geometry, Solid, Slice Along Face...
...similar to the slice match command but a face of the solid is selected instead of a plane. The face can be planar or
curved.
3.4.2.21 Geometry, Solid, Embed Face...
...extrudes a face into a new solid and embeds it into the solid that
contained the face. You must first select a face, then you will have
several optional methods that you can use to embed the face. Usu-
ally you will simply want to use the defaults, by pressing OK.
Embedding Direction and Distance
The direction that the face will be embedded can be determined or
specified in a number of ways. If you are embedding a planar face,
the direction can be automatically determined from the plane nor-
mal. If you choose Automatic, the surface normal will be used as the embedding direction, and the face will be
embedded through your entire solid. If you choose Specify Direction, you will be asked for a vector to use for both
+
=
+
=
Pick this face
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3-54 Geometry
the direction and the distance to embed. If you choose Specify Offset, you will simply be asked for an offset dis-
tance. The surface will be offset through that distance and embedded. If you use this method with non-planar sur-
faces, the resulting embedded solid will not be a simple extrusion. The sides of the solid are projected normal to the
original surface.
Curves
In most cases, you will want to embed the entire face. That means choosing the Outline Only mode, where only the
outline of the face is used - holes are ignored. If you choose All Curves, curves on holes will also be used, so any
geometry that is inside the holes will be sliced out of the embedded solid.
If a planar face is selected FEMAP uses the face normals as the extrusion direction. If you select a curved surface,
FEMAP will ask you for a direction vector to use for the extrusion.
3.4.2.22 Geometry, Solid, Cleanup...
... is used to cleanup a solid. This command will check the solid, and
remove any extraneous features which are not part of the actual solid, but
may have developed during export from a CAD package or from Boolean
operations on it. If a portion of your solid appears inaccurate, or drawn
incorrectly, use this command to see if you can remove it.
Remove Redundant Geometry
Redundant geometry is geometry that is not required to define the volume
of the solid. Examples of this could be curves that have been imprinted in a
face to split it into regions, points used to split curves, or multiple surfaces
that are all really part of the same underlying geometric surface. If you
check this option, this geometry will be removed, resulting in a simplified
solid.
Remove Sliver Surfaces
Slivers are small faces that are created because of numerical inaccuracies in Boolean or other solid modeling
operations. Typically these faces are much smaller than the other faces that define your solid. While they are small,
they can cause great difficulties in meshing. They will often completely prevent a part from being hex meshed. This
option removes these surfaces and attempts to restitch your solid without them. This option is only available with
Parasolid geometry.
Check Geometry
Once you have cleaned geometry, especially if you removed sliver surfaces, it is often good to check it to be confi-
dent that it is still a good, usable solid. You may even want to do this without any of the other options just to check
the validity of a solid that you are creating.
Match Model Scale Factor
If you have a model containing geometry in more than one scale factor, this command will take all selected geome-
try and adjust the geometrys internal scale factor to the Solid Geometry Scale Factor that is currently set in File,
Preferences under the Geometry preference.
Note: Do not use this option if you have imprinted curves or performed some of the matching commands
since imprinted curves are considered extraneous and will be removed.
=
two solids
pick circular face
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Geometry, Solid, Cleanup... 3-55
Advanced Cleanup
If you press the Advanced Cleanup button, you will see a list of alternate ways that you can attempt to repair your
geometry. These options give you more control over repairing specific problems. In most cases in the dialog box,
you will see a check box to turn a specific cleanup option on or off, along with an associated tolerance (if appropri-
ate), to specify the characteristic size where you want cleaning to take place.
Cleaning Options
Repair Edges allows you to specify a toler-
ance which will be used to repair the edges of
your solid. If Smooth or Split Discontinuities
is checked, then surface or curve G1 discontinu-
ities will be removed. If the discontinuity has a
change in tangent of less than the tolerance that
you specify then the discontinuity will be
smoothed. If the change in tangent is greater
than the tolerance then the face or edge will be
split at the surfaces or curves discontinuity. If
a surface contains self-intersections, which lie
outside its face boundaries then this portion of
the surface will be removed by splitting the sur-
face, if you check Remove Surface Self Inter-
sections. This may result in the surface being
split into several surfaces. If you are concerned
that surface geometry be preserved at all costs,
and repairs should be confined to getting face
boundaries repaired as far as possible, then turn
off Allow Surface Modifications - this will
leave surface geometry unchanged.
Small Feature Options
Remove Spikes attempts to heal surface trim-
ming curves that have spikes as shown. Remove Small Edges removes
very short edges which are below the length that you specify. Similarly,
Remove Small Faces removes small faces. A small face is defined as any
face, no matter what shape, that fits completely within a sphere of the radius
that you specify in this option. Remove Sliver Faces also removes insig-
nificant faces, however in the case of slivers, they may only be small in one direction and long in the other. These
are faces with high aspect ratios, and small area.
Geometry Simplification Options
If Convert to Analytic Geometry is on, B-Spline curves and surfaces are converted, whenever possible, to simpli-
fied analytic geometry. Curves can be simplified to lines, circles or ellipses. A surfaces can be simplified to a plane,
cylinder, cone, sphere or torus. The original B-Spline geometry must match the analytical representation within the
specified tolerance or it will not be converted.
Edge Healing Options
These options attempt to heal inaccuracies in the edges of a solid or sur-
face. They repair edge and vertex geometry by recalculating geometry that
does not meet precisely. The tolerance you specify is the tolerance to
which the edges will be recomputed to meet the other constraints imposed
by the model - for example, surface tangency. This option will also repair
misalignment between the axes of analytical surfaces - for example, two
very nearly coplanar surfaces are made planar. Likewise, very small mismatches between the radii of cones, cylin-
ders, spheres and torii are corrected. If Merge Edges is on, then after healing the inaccurate edges, any redundant
edges in the model will be removed.
spike
tangential
surfaces
repaired
surfaces
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3-56 Geometry
Surface Heal and Stitch Options
These options allow you to stitch surfaces into a solid, or automatically explode and restitch an existing solid. In
addition to simply stitching, if you turn on Heal Surfaces, then additional cleaning options are performed before
stitching - self intersections of curves will be removed, and self-intersections in sharp corners of 3-sided surfaces
will be removed. If Smooth or Split Discontinuities is checked, G1-discontinuities in curves and surfaces will be
removed, and closed geometry is made periodic. If Replace Missing Geometry is on, then an attempt will be
made to fit surfaces in any remaining holes in the model to close it into a solid.
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Copying Geometry 3-57
3.5 Copying Geometry
FEMAP provides robust tools to make duplicates of existing geometry. There are five commands which can be
used to make duplicates of existing geometry:
Copy
Radial Copy
Scale
Rotate
Reflect
These operations can be performed with any geometry, including points, curves, surfaces, volumes, and solids.
When you copy geometry that is comprised of other geometry (such as surfaces which are comprised of curves),
FEMAP will automatically copy these framework entities, and then connect them properly to form the new cop-
ies. Each of these capabilities is described in more detail below.
3.5.1 Geometry, Copy Commands
You can use the copy commands to duplicate existing points, curves, surfaces, volumes, or solids. All Geometry,
Copy commands require the exact same input, independent of the geometry you are copying. After selecting the
appropriate command for the type of entity you want to select, the standard entity selection dialog box will appear.
Simply choose the desired entities, and FEMAP will display the following dialog box.
After you set the Generation Options and press OK,
you will see the standard vector definition dialog box.
This vector defines both the direction and distance
from the selected entities to the first copy. If you spec-
ify multiple repetitions, each additional copy will be
located along the same vector, at the same distance
from the previous copy. Optionally, you can specify a
new vector for each repetition by selecting the Update
Every Repetition option.
Specifying Generation Options
The generation options control how many copies FEMAP will make, and choose parameters for the resulting enti-
ties. You have the following choices:
Parameters:
These two choices select the parameters that will be assigned to the entities you create (such as color and layer). If
you select Use Current Settings, the entity parameters will match the active parameters. This is the same as if you
had created new entities using the geometry creation commands (for example, Geometry, Point or Geometry,
Curve-Line, Project Points) If instead, you choose Match Original Entities, each new entity will exactly match the
parameters of the entity that was copied to create it.
Repetitions:
By default this option is one. One repetition will create one copy of each selected entity. If you want multiple cop-
ies, set this option to the number desired.
Update Every Repetition:
When this option is off, FEMAP will only ask you for one vector that will be used to position the copies. In this
mode, FEMAP will always offset the position of the current repetition from the position of the previous repetition,
based on the direction and length of the vector that you define.
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3-58 Geometry
If you select the Update Every Repetition option however,
FEMAP will ask you for a new vector before every repeti-
tion. This new vector will be used to offset from the origi-
nal entities you selected, not from the previous repetition.
You will want to check this option whenever you want to
create multiple copies that do not lie along a single vector.
Match Mesh Sizes, Loads, Constraints...:
When this option is on, you will have FEMAP create a
copy of a geometric entity with identical mesh sizing,
geometry-based loads, and geometry-based constraints.
FEMAP will automatically create local coordinate systems
to define the loads and boundary conditions properly, if
necessary.
Copying in Non Rectangular Coordinates
FEMAP always creates copies along the vector that you specify, that is along a straight line. You can specify the
vector in any convenient coordinate system. You cannot however, use it to create a copy in a rotated location by
choosing the angular direction in a cylindrical coordinate system. You must use the rotation commands to create
rotated copies.
3.5.2 Geometry, Radial Copy Commands
The commands on this menu provide an alternative to the Geometry, Copy commands. Instead of copying all enti-
ties along a constant vector, as those commands did, the Geometry, Copy commands use a different, radial vector
for each entity to be copied.
When you choose one of these commands, you will be asked to select the entities to be copied, and to define the
generation options. This portion of the process is identical to the normal copy commands. Instead of defining a vec-
tor however, you will next choose a location which defines the center of the radial pattern. Finally, you must spec-
ify the radial offset length. That is, the radial distance between each original and the associated copy.
FEMAP will compute a direction vector for each entity which runs from the
center that you chose, to the entity, as shown here.
In a three dimensional case, these commands are actually a spherical copy,
since the copy vector is computed from the center of the sphere.
For more information regarding the specifics of using the various genera-
tion options refer back to the Geometry, Copy command.
3.5.3 Geometry, Scale Commands
The Geometry, Scale commands are very similar to the Geometry, Radial, Copy commands. They create one or
more copies of selected entities, offset from a center location. In this case however, instead of specifying a constant
offset from the original, the new copy is formed by scaling the distance from the center to the original.
These commands start by selecting the entities to be copied, and defining the generation options. This portion of
the process is identical to the normal copy commands. Just as in the Geometry, Radial, Copy commands, you next
choose a location which defines the center of the pattern. Finally, you must specify the scale factors. Scaling can be
done in one or more directions. By specifying the same scale factor in all three directions, a spherical copy can be
made. A cylindrical copy can be accomplished by specifying the same factor in two directions, and a unit (1.0)
scale factor in the third direction - along the axis of the cylinder. For this type of operation, a coordinate system can
also be chosen if the axes of the desired cylinder do not coincide with the global axes.
Note: This command is not available for solids. It is used most often to copy arcs and other basic geometry.
You must also be careful when using this command with arcs. You should typically use the center of the
arc as the center of the radial pattern, otherwise the arc formed by the copy may be significantly differ-
ent than you would expect.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
Original Points
Make 3 copies
along this vector
Center
Radial Vectors
Offset
Original
Copy
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Geometry, Rotate Commands 3-59
FEMAP will compute a direction vector for each entity which runs from
the center that you chose, to the entity, as shown here.
In these commands, both the direction and magnitude of these vectors is
used. The direction is used to determine the original copy vector compo-
nents. These components are multiplied by the scale factors to calculate
the final offsets from the center location of the copy. If you use different
scale factors in different component directions, the copy will not lie along
the vector from the center to the original.
For more information on using various generation options, see Section
3.5.1, "Geometry, Copy Commands". For information on specifying scal-
ing factors, see Section 3.6.2.7, "Modify, Scale Menu".
3.5.4 Geometry, Rotate Commands
Like the Geometry, Copy commands, these commands create duplicate copies of model entities. Instead of copying
along a vector, these commands rotate the duplicate copies around a vector.
FEMAP displays the standard entity selection dialog box to allow you to select the nodes you want to copy. This is
followed by the same Generation Options dialog box. All of the options in this box are used just as in the Geome-
try, Copy command.
Following the Generation Options dialog box, you will see the standard vector definition dialog box. This vector is
used to specify the axis that you want to rotate around to generate the copies. Unlike the copy command, you do not
have to specify a length for this axis. Instead, after you choose the vector, FEMAP displays one additional dialog
box that asks for the Change per Repetition.
You can specify both a Rotation Angle and a Translation Distance. Each copy is rotated around the axis of rotation
vector by the specified angle (following right-hand rule conventions), and is translated along the axis vector by
specified distance. If you specify a nonzero translation distance, you will be creating a spiral.
3.5.5 Geometry, Reflect Commands
The commands on this menu allow you to generate a portion of your model by reflecting or flipping existing points,
curves, surfaces, volumes, and solids across a plane.
Note: If you use a scale factor of 1.0, the resulting copy will be located at the same location as the original in
that coordinate direction. Scale factors of (1.0, 1.0, 1.0) will result in a completely coincident copy of
the originals.
Center
Original
Copy
Scale=2.0
Scale=2.0
Axis of Revolution
One original node
Spiral created by rotating
with a nonzero translation
distance.
Circle created by rotating
with translation distance
set to zero.
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3-60 Geometry
As always, you will use the standard entity selection dia-
log box to choose the entities to be reflected. Then
FEMAP will display the Generation Options dialog box.
(See Section 3.5.1, "Geometry, Copy Commands"). All
options work just like they do for Geometry, Copy com-
mands, except that you cannot choose multiple repeti-
tions.
In addition, you can specify a Trap Width. FEMAP will
not make a copy of any selected node if it is closer to the
reflection plane than the trap width that you specify. If
you set the trap width to zero, all of the nodes that you
select will be reflected. This option is used most often when reflecting elements, and will usually be zero when
reflecting geometry.
Next, FEMAP will display the standard plane selection dialog box, so you can define the reflection plane. You can
choose any plane that you want. It does not matter how your selected entities are oriented with respect to the plane.
They can be on one side, or they can be on both sides of the plane. Just remember that the reflected entities will be
located on the opposite side of the plane from the original.
3.6 Modifying Geometry
The last major sections of commands involve the modification of geometry. Geometry commands explained above,
under the Geometry menu, were used to create new geometric entities, either from scratch or as some type of
duplicate from existing geometry. This section deals with the actual modification of geometry, not its creation. It is
often easier to modify geometry by using commands to trim or fillet curves, than it is to create the curves from
scratch in every model.
All these commands are contained under the Modify menu. These commands can be separated into four specific
areas for the purpose. They are:
curve operations (Trim, Extend, etc.)
move geometry operations
edit/parameters
advanced updates
These commands are all contained on the Modify menu. The curve operation commands are contained on the top
section of the Modify menu, while the move geometry commands are contained in the middle section. The bottom
section of the Modify menu contains the edit/parameters commands (Edit, Color, Layer), and the advanced updates
(top portion of the Modify, Update Other menu). Each of these areas and their commands are discussed more thor-
oughly in the sections below.
3.6.1 Curve Operations
The top portion of the Modify menu contains commands that will modify existing curves. These commands essen-
tially perform Boolean operations on curves. Other Boolean operations are performed directly on the solids menu.
The commands on the first section of the Modify menu are specifically designed to manipulate only curves.
Several commands also require input of a Near location. When trimming or joining curves, several possible solu-
tions may be obtained. By inputting a Near location, you specify which option to select. The easiest method to
use this option is to position the cursor so it will select the appropriate curve, but also so it is near the proper loca-
tion. When you press the mouse button to select the curve, FEMAP will automatically select the curve, and input
the coordinate location in the Near inputs. If you make a mistake, you can always set the input back to the center
location and pick new coordinates.
These curve operations cannot be performed on curves that define a surface or solid. The available commands are:
Modify
Trim
Extend
1 2 3
4 5 6
7 8 9
10
11 12 13
14 15 16
17 18 19
20
Reflection Plane
Original Points Reflected Points
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Modify, Trim... 3-61
Break
Join
Fillet
Chamfer
Each of these commands are explained below.
3.6.1.1 Modify, Trim...
... cuts curves at the locations where they intersect other curves. The curves you want to trim must actually inter-
sect. This command does not project curves onto a plane before intersecting - it uses the three dimensional curve
definition.
To trim, you must select the curves that will be used as the cutting edges using the standard entity selection dialog
box. You can choose as many cutting curves as you like.
Choosing the Curve to Trim
After you choose the cutting curves, you will see the following dialog box:
You must select the curve you want to trim and define a location (Remove Near) near the portion of the curve that
you want to eliminate. Assuming they intersect, the cutting curves always divide the curve that you are trimming
into at least two sections, and possibly more. The portion of the curve closest to the Remove Near location you
specify will be removed. This could be one of the ends of the curve, or a segment on the interior. The location must
be specified relative to the coordinate system shown, but other than this, the coordinate system has no impact on
this command.
When you have selected the curve and location you want to trim, you can press OK or More. Choose OK if this is
the only curve that you want to trim with the selected cutting curves. Press More if you want to trim more curves
without selecting new cutting curves.
By far, the easiest way to use this command is to use your mouse to graphically select the curve. While input is set
to the ID field, point at the portion of the curve that you want to remove and click the left mouse button. This will
select both the ID and the Remove Near location. If you double-click the mouse instead, it will also automatically
press the OK button and trim the curve.
The extended trim option controls how the cutting curves are used. With extended trim on, cutting curves extend
past their end points toward infinity. Trimming intersections can be found anywhere along these extended curves. If
extended trim is off, the cutting curves stop at their end points and intersections can only be found between the end
points.
Note: These curve operations cannot be performed on curves that define a surface or a solid. You must delete
any entities that reference these curves before you can perform any of these curve operations.
Ctrl+i
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3-62 Geometry
Examples
3.6.1.2 Modify, Extend...
... moves the end points of one or more curves to a specified location. This command can either lengthen or shorten
the curves depending upon the chosen location. If the location does not lie along the curve, the curve is extended
along its length to the location that is closest to the coordinates you specified.
This command only uses standard dialog boxes. You choose the curves to extend using the standard entity selection
dialog. You then specify the location using the standard coordinate dialog boxes. As described above, any curves
and any location can be chosen. The location is simply projected onto each curve at the point of closest proximity.
This command always modifies the end of the curve that is already closest to the specified location.
You can also use this command to extend or shrink B-Spline curves.
3.6.1.3 Modify, Break...
... splits one or more curves into two pieces at a location that you specify. If the location is not along the length of a
curve, it is projected to the closest location on the curve, and the curve is split at that location.
The location that you choose, or its projection, must fall within the current end points of the curve that you are try-
ing to break. You cannot use this command to extend the existing curve beyond its end points.
Only standard dialog boxes are used for this command. You select the curves to break using the standard entity
selection dialog box. Then, you choose the location with the standard coordinate dialog boxes.
Normally, breaking a curve does not change its type. You just end up with two new curves of the same type, that
together, make up the original curve. The only exception is when you break a circle. In this case, you end up with
two arcs (a different type of curve) that represent the original circle.
Curve to Trim
if Remove Near is
at this end
if Remove Near is
at this end
if Remove Near is
in the middle
Curve to Trim
Remove Near
Curve to Trim
Remove Near
Cutting Curve
Ctrl+K
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Modify, Join... 3-63
Examples
3.6.1.4 Modify, Join...
...combines the capabilities found in the trim
and extend commands to allow you to
quickly connect two intersecting curves. If
an intersection is found the selected curves
are either extended or shortened to that com-
mon location. This command cannot be used
to create a third curve from the two selected
curves. It simply extends or shrinks the
curves so they will intersect.
Only one dialog box is required for this command. Here you select the two curves, and a location near the intersec-
tion where you want to join the curves. If you are joining lines, you can specify any location that you want since
there will only be a single intersection. For other curve types, where multiple intersections are possible, the curves
are joined at the intersection that is closest to the location you specify. The coordinate system can be used for con-
venience in specifying the location, but is not used otherwise.
The Update 1 and Update 2 options control whether the respective curves will be extended (or shortened) to the
join location. If you turn one of these off, that curve will not be updated, but the other curve will still be extended to
the join location. Do not turn both off - nothing will be updated.
This command cannot work, if the curves, or the extensions of the curves past their end points, do not intersect. If
the selected curves intersect within their original length, the Near location is used to determine which portion of the
Extend to here
Extended Curves
Closest to
specified location
Original
Extend (shrink) to here
Extend to here
Curves
Break here
Original Curves
Original Circle
Break here
Starting location
of circle
Two arcs
Ctrl+J
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3-64 Geometry
curves will be kept after they are updated. Just like Modify, Fillet, the portion of the curve closest to the Near loca-
tion is kept.
Examples
3.6.1.5 Modify, Fillet...
... connects two curves with an arc of a specified radius. The lengths of the original curves can be adjusted so that
they just meet the ends of the fillet arc. The arc is positioned so that it is tangent to both original curves at its end
points.
Just like the Modify, Join command, only one dialog box is required for this command. You must choose the two
curves to fillet, and a location that is near the center of the desired fillet. Since even at a line-to-line intersection
there are four possible quadrants for the fillet, this location is always important. It must lie in the quadrant where
you want the fillet arc. For other curve types, it also chooses between the many possible intersection locations. The
examples below will show you how to specify this location.
If you are filleting intersecting curves, like lines, you can choose any fillet radius that you want. If you are filleting
non-intersecting curves, like two arcs or circles, the fillet radius must be large enough to span the gap between the
curves.
As long as the Trim Curve options are on, the end points of the respective curve will be adjusted to be coincident
with the ends of the fillet arc. If you just want to add an arc, but not trim the curves, turn one or more of these
options off.
If you are having trouble creating the arc that you want, check the location and alignment of your workplane. The
coordinates that you pick are typically in the workplane and if it is skewed relative to the curves that you are fillet-
ing, the point you choose may not be in the quadrant that you expected. It is always best to do filleting in a view
where the curves and the workplane are normal to the screen.
Join these curves
These portions
have been removed
Join these curves
Only update
this curve
Only one curve
extended to join location
Join these curves
These portions
have been removed
Near
Near
Ctrl+F
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Modify, Chamfer... 3-65
Examples
Limitations
You may encounter the following limitations when you are attempting to fillet curves:
If you are going to fillet an arc, circle or spline, the other curve should lie in the same plane. If it does not, the
fillet that is created will probably not be tangent to both curves, or no fillet will be created. Fillet expects the
geometry to be planar.
If you attempt to fillet splines, the fillet arc will probably not be tangent to the spline. Since splines cannot be
precisely offset, the center location of the fillet arc is not calculated precisely. You will have to adjust the posi-
tion manually or use another technique.
3.6.1.6 Modify, Chamfer...
... trims two intersecting lines at a specified distance from their end points and connects the trimmed ends with a
new line. This command is very similar to the Modify, Fillet command, but you must choose lines (not arcs, circles
or splines).
Just like the Modify, Fillet command, only one dialog box is required. You must choose the two lines to chamfer,
and a location that is near the center of the desired chamfer. Since even at a line-line intersection there are four pos-
sible quadrants for the chamfer, this location is always important. It must lie in the quadrant where you want the
chamfer line. The figure shows you how to specify this location.
You can choose any chamfer lengths that you want, and
you can independently control the chamfer length along
each curve. The lengths that you specify are the distances
along the curves as shown here.
As long as the Trim Curve options are on, the end points of
the respective line will be adjusted to be coincident with
the ends of the chamfer line. If you just want to add a line,
but not trim the original lines, turn one or more of these
options off.
Original Curves
Fillet Arc
Both curves trimmed
or extended to the
fillet locations.
Center Near here
Pick the center
location in the
quadrant where
you want the fillet.
Original Curves
Original Curves Original Curves
Fillet added
without trimming
original circles
Pick here
for this fillet
Curve 1
Curve 2
Chamfer Length 1
Chamfer Length 2
Chamfer Line
Choose location
near here
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3-66 Geometry
If you are having trouble creating the chamfer that you want, check the location and alignment of your workplane.
The coordinates that you pick are typically in the workplane and if it is skewed relative to the lines that you are
chamfering, the point you choose may not be in the quadrant that you expected. It is always best to do chamfering
in a view where the lines and the workplane are normal to the screen.
3.6.2 Moving Geometry
FEMAP also has robust tolls for moving geometry. When you move geometry, any geometry that reference that
geometry is also moved. Therefore, if you move a point that is referenced by a curve on a surface, you are actually
modifying that surface. These move commands, therefore, give you the power to make large scale changes to the
model with only a few changes to the geometry. These commands are also very useful when assembling parts from
different models into one large model.
The move commands can be separated into five major categories:
Project
Translate (Move)
Rotate
Alignment
Scale
Both the Translate and Rotate categories have two capabilities based upon whether you move/rotate to a given
position (Move To and Rotate To) or move along or rotate around (Move By and Rotate By) a vector. Each of the
individual commands is described in more detail below.
3.6.2.1 Modify, Project Menu
The Project commands update the locations of points by moving them onto a selected curve or surface. These com-
mands are only used for points (or nodes with finite element data).
In all of these commands, the projection direction will typically be normal to the curve or surface that you are pro-
jecting onto. Actually however, these commands move the entities to the closest location on the curve or surface.
For the purposes of these commands, curves extend past their end points toward infinity, or in the case of an arc,
they extend a full 360 degrees. Likewise, surfaces extend past their edge curves, but not to infinity. Even though
possible, you should avoid projecting onto a surface outside of its defined boundaries. Depending on the surface
type, this may or may not result in the coordinates that you expected.
Modify, Project, Point onto Curve...
... moves one or more points onto a curve. The standard entity selection dialog box is used to choose the points that
you want to project. You then select the curve for the projection.
You can choose any curve, and all of the selected points will be projected onto it. For more information on how the
projection will be done, see Section 3.6.2.1, "Modify, Project Menu".
Note: These commands cannot be used to move entities of solids. You must use the commands under the
Geometry, Solids menu to perform manipulations on solid entities. You can move an entire solid, how-
ever.
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Modify, Project Menu 3-67
Modify, Project, Point onto Surface...
... moves one or more points onto a surface. The standard entity selection dialog box is used to choose the points
that you want to project, and then you must select the appropriate surface.
You can choose any surface, and all of the selected points will be projected onto it. For more information on how
the projection will be done, see Section 3.6.2.1, "Modify, Project Menu".
Modify, Project, Point along Vector...
...similar to Modify, Project, Point onto Surface except it allows you to use a vector to specify a projection direction
instead of always using the surface normal direction. This can be helpful if you are projecting points in a plane onto
a surface with a high level or curvature and want to keep the spatial relationship between the points intact.
Modify, Project, Point onto Vector...
... similar to Modify, Project, Point onto Curve except it allows you to specify a vector (using any method in
FEMAP) representing a straight line between two coordinates to project to instead of an existing curve.
Modify, Project, Point onto Plane...
... similar to Modify, Project, Point onto Surface except it allows you to specify a 2-D plane (using any method in
FEMAP) to project to instead of an existing planar surface.
Original Locations
Projected Locations
Points projected onto
extended curve
Projected Locations
Point projected onto
extended arc
Original
Locations
Original Points
Surface
Projected Points
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3-68 Geometry
3.6.2.2 Modify, Move To Menu
The Move To commands update the location of some portion of your model. Although there are only commands to
move coordinate systems, points, and nodes, you can use these commands to move your entire model. For example,
when you move a point, the geometry entities (curves, surfaces, etc.) that reference the point, are also updated.
The basic philosophy behind each of these commands is to specify a new coordinate to which selected entities will
be moved. Since it is relatively useless to move multiple entities to a single location (they would all be coincident),
each command allows you to limit the movement to any subset of the three coordinates. For example, you can just
update the X coordinates, leaving all Y and Z coordinates in their original locations. By specifying a non-rectangu-
lar coordinate system, you can also move to a selected radius or angle.
Each command on this menu displays the standard
entity selection dialog box so you can choose the
entities to move. When you press OK, the standard
coordinate definition dialog box appears to specify
the location to Move To. Finally, after you choose a
location, you will see the Move To dialog box to
select which coordinate (in a specific coordinate
system) to update. Only those coordinates that are
checked will be updated. In most cases, you will not
want to check all three coordinates unless you are updating a single point.
For example, you could use the Move To, Point command to move all nodes to be in a specific plane (i.e. same
value of X).
Modify, Move To, Coord Sys...
... is the most powerful Move To command. Not only does it update the location of the coordinate systems that you
select, but it can also move all points, nodes and other coordinate systems that are defined relative to those coordi-
nate systems.
If you just want to move the coordinate systems that
you selected, do not choose Move CSys, Nodes and
Points... If you did select that option, FEMAP would
move the coordinate systems you selected plus the
dependent entities.
All of the coordinate systems that you select are
updated as you requested. Other dependent entities
are moved as a rigid body based on the transforma-
tion of the definition coordinate systems. If a coordi-
Before After
Select all points and
change X coordinates
to this location.
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Modify, Move By Menu 3-69
nate system is both selected and dependent on other selected coordinate systems, it is updated based on your
request, since you selected it. For more information, see Section 3.6.2.2, "Modify, Move To Menu".
If your model was built in a hierarchical manner, using multiple coordinate systems, this command can quickly
move large, related portions of your model. If you want to update the location of a coordinate system but leave the
entities that reference it in their original positions, you can also use the Modify, Update, Coord Sys command.
Modify, Move To, Point...
... moves selected points to a specified coordinate. Curves and any other geometry that reference the selected points
will also be moved. For more information, see Section 3.6.2.2, "Modify, Move To Menu".
3.6.2.3 Modify, Move By Menu
These commands are similar to those found on the Move To submenu. The significant difference is that for these
commands you specify a vector instead of coordinates. All of the entities that you select for modification are
moved along (or by) that vector.
This command only uses two dialog boxes. First, the standard entity selection dialog box is displayed. You should
select the entities to be updated. Then, the standard vector definition dialog box will be displayed. The vector you
specify must contain both a direction and magnitude. All of the selected entities, and the entities that reference
them will be moved by that vector. This essentially means that the location of the selected entity is updated by add-
ing the components of the vector.
Move By in Non-Rectangular Coordinate Systems
The Move By commands always move along a vector (i.e. along a straight line). You can define the vector in any
convenient coordinate system, but it will always represent a straight line. You can not use the Move By commands
to rotate your model by specifying a vector in the angular direction of a cylindrical coordinate system. Use the
Rotate commands to rotate your model.
Modify, Move By, Coord Sys...
... just like the Modify, Move To, Coord Sys command, will move all of the selected coordinate systems, and any
points, nodes, or other coordinate systems that reference a selected system. This can be very powerful if your
model is constructed with multi-level coordinate systems. Again, dependent entities are moved as a rigid body.
Selected coordinate systems are all moved by the vector that you define. For more information, see Section 3.6.2.3,
"Modify, Move By Menu".
x
y
z
3
x
y
z
4
x
y
z
3
x
y
z
4 These nodes
relative to CSys 3
CSys 3 moves
and so do nodes
defined
Move By vector
Select these nodes
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3-70 Geometry
Modify, Move By Point, Curve, Surface, Volume, Solid...
... moves the selected points, curves, or surfaces and all geometry that references them, by the specified vector. For
more information, see Section 3.6.2.3, "Modify, Move By Menu".
When you move points that are connected to curves, those curves will be moved also. If you only move some of the
points which are attached to a curve, the shape and size of the curve will probably change. Be especially careful
when moving points that define arcs or circles. Small movements can sometimes lead to large changes in the curve
definition.
Modify, Move By, Point; Modify, Move By, Surface; Modify, Move By, Solid
3.6.2.4 Modify, Rotate To Menu
The commands on this menu rotate selected entities. Unlike the Modify, Move To commands, these commands treat
the selected entities as a rigid body. All of them are rotated by the same angle.
The Modify, Rotate To commands require four dialog boxes. First, the standard entity selection dialog box is dis-
played. You can select all of the entities that you want to rotate. Then, the standard vector definition dialog box
defines the axis of rotation. Only the location of the base and the direction of this vector are important. The length
is not used. Finally, the standard coordinate definition dialog box is displayed twice. The first time, you must define
the coordinates of the starting point of the rotation. The second time, you must define the ending point of the rota-
tion. Using these coordinates, and the axis of rotation, FEMAP will determine the rotation angle.
Modify, Rotate To, Coord Sys...
... just like the Modify, Move commands, will rotate all selected coordinate systems. Points and other coordinate
systems that reference a selected system are also moved as a rigid body. Their movement is based on the motion of
their definition coordinate systems. This can be very powerful if your model is constructed with multi-level coordi-
nate systems. For more information, see Section 3.6.2.4, "Modify, Rotate To Menu".
Modify, Rotate To Point, Curve, Surface, Volume, Solid...
... rotates selected geometry, and all other geometry that references them, around the specified vector. For more
information, see Section 3.6.2.4, "Modify, Rotate To Menu".
Modify, Rotate To, Point; Modify, Rotate To, Surface; Modify, Rotate To, Solid
3.6.2.5 Modify, Rotate By Menu
These commands are similar to the commands on the Modify, Rotate To menu but you must specify a rotation angle
instead of locations. You can also specify an optional Translation Distance with these commands. By combining
both rotation about, and translation along the axis of rotation, you can move entities along a screw-thread or helix
shaped path.
Axis of rotation
Rotate from here
Rotate to here
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Modify, Align Menu 3-71
Simply select the entities, chose a vector, and define the Rotation Angle and the Translation Distance.
The selected entities will be rotated (following right-hand rule conventions) around the axis of rotation by the spec-
ified angle. Simultaneously, they will be translated, along the same vector, by the specified distance. The actual
length of the vector is not used. If you specify a zero rotation angle, these commands will simply translate along the
vector - much like the Modify, Move By commands.
Modify, Rotate By, Coord Sys...
... just like the Modify, Rotate To commands, will rotate all of the selected coordinate systems. Points or other coor-
dinate systems that reference a selected system are also moved as a rigid body. Their movement is based on the
transformation of the selected coordinate systems. This can be very powerful if your model is constructed with
multi-level coordinate systems. For more information, see Section 3.6.2.5, "Modify, Rotate By Menu".
Modify, Rotate By Point, Curve, Surface, Volume, Solid...
... rotates the selected points, and all geometry that references them, around the specified vector. For more informa-
tion, see Section 3.6.2.5, "Modify, Rotate By Menu"
When you rotate points that are connected to curves, those curves will rotate also. If you only select some of the
points which are attached to a curve, the shape and size of the curve will probably change. Be especially careful
when rotating points that define arcs or circles. Small movements can often lead to large changes in the curve defi-
nition.
Modify, Rotate By, Point; Modify, Rotate By, Surface; Modify, Rotate By, Solid
3.6.2.6 Modify, Align Menu
These commands combine the capabilities of the Modify, Move and Rotate commands to provide a simple way of
aligning portions of your model. Only three dialog boxes are necessary.
First, you select the entities that you want to align using the standard entity selection dialog box. Next you need to
specify two vectors using the vector definition dialog boxes. The first vector defines the original position and orien-
tation that will be aligned. The second vector defines new or desired position and orientation. FEMAP will first
move the entities that you selected from the origin of the first vector to the origin of the second vector. Then,
FEMAP will rotate the entities to the new orientation. This is accomplished by a rotation based on the angle
between the vectors.
Axis of rotation
Align these elements From this vector
To this vector,
along these other
elements
Aligned elements
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3-72 Geometry
If you simply want to use this command as an alternate method of rotation, make sure both vectors have the same
origin. If you do not, the entities will be translated before they are rotated
Modify, Align by CSys...
... is just like the Move and Rotate commands. It will align all of the coordinate systems that you select, plus the
entities that are defined relative to those systems. No option is available to skip alignment of the referencing enti-
ties.
Modify, Align Point, Curve, Surface, Volume, Solid...
... aligns the selected geometry, and all geometry that references them, using the two vectors. For more information,
see Section 3.6.2.6, "Modify, Align Menu".
3.6.2.7 Modify, Scale Menu
These commands are used to change the size of your model. You specify a relative scaling factor and a point to
scale around. FEMAP will adjust the selected coordinates appropriately. Like other modification commands, enti-
ties which reference the selected entities which you have selected to scale will also be scaled. Coordinate systems
cannot be scaled.
The first dialog box used by these commands is the standard entity selection dialog. You must select all of the enti-
ties that you wish to scale. After you press OK, FEMAP will display the standard coordinate definition dialog box.
FEMAP will scale your model relative to these base coordinates. The equation used for the scaling is:
Finally, FEMAP displays the Scale dialog box which requires input of a coordinate system as well as scale factors.
You can specify three different scale factors, one for each coordinate direction. For any coordinate direction that
you do not want to scale, you must use a scale factor of 1.0. Scale factors that are larger than 1.0 increase the phys-
ical size of your model. Scale factors smaller than 1.0 decrease its size. You can use a negative scale factor to
reflect the entities about the base location. Similarly, a scale factor of 0.0, will move all entities to the base coordi-
nate, just like the Modify, Move To commands
All scaling is done in the coordinate system that you select. The coordinate directions are along the axes of this sys-
tem. If you select a non-rectangular system, you can scale your model radially or tangentially.
3.6.3 Edit/Parameters
The first three commands in the third section of the Modify menu (Edit, Color, and Layer) enable you to change
specific items in the geometry. Each of these commands are described below.
3.6.3.1 Modify, Edit Commands
The commands on the Modify, Edit menu are used to edit or recreate entities in your model. These commands are
typically used when you need to perform modifications to a single or a few entities. You will be prompted for input
for each entity selected. Therefore, to use this command to modify hundreds of entities, can be quite time consum-
ing. For these type of gross changes to the model, please see the other Modify commands in this section of the Mod-
ify menu (Color, Layer, Update Elements and Update Other commands). For geometry, this command can only be
used to modify points and surface boundaries (and coordinate systems).
Each command first asks you to select the entities you wish to edit. As always, the standard entity selection dialog
box is used. Following your selections, FEMAP simply displays the same dialog box (or boxes) used by the related
command in the Geometry menu which you used to originally create the entities. In this case however, all of the
X { }
New
X { }
Old
X { }
Base
X { }
Old
( ) X { }
Scal eFact or
( ) + =
Original Model
After Scale Factor of 2.0
in Horizontal Direction Only
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Modify, Color Commands 3-73
data fields default to the current values for the selected entities. For example, if you choose Edit Point and then
select points 1, 3 and 5, three additional dialog boxes will be displayed, one at a time. The first dialog box will dis-
play the coordinates of point 1. You can change them, or just press OK to accept the current values. Then dialog
boxes for points 3 and 5 will be displayed. If you press Cancel at any time, you will immediately return to the
FEMAP menu. Any entities that you had previously changed (and pressed OK) will still be changed.
3.6.3.2 Modify, Color Commands
The commands on this submenu are used to modify the color of one or more selected entities of a specific type. All
of these commands work in a similar fashion. Each of these commands uses the standard entity selection dialog box
to select the entities to be modified. Then the standard Color Palette dialog box is displayed. You can pick a color,
which will be applied to all of the entities that you selected. The default color, will be the current color of the
selected entity with the minimum ID.
For more information on the Color Palette, see Section 4.3.5, "Color Palette" of the FEMAP User Guide.
You can also use the Modify, Edit commands to change colors, but these commands will be much quicker if you are
changing multiple entities to the same color.
Modify, Color, Point; Modify, Color, Curve; Modify, Color, Surface
Modify, Color, Solid; Modify, Color, Coord Sys
3.6.3.3 Modify, Layer Commands
The commands on this submenu are used to modify the layer of one or more selected entities of a specific type.
These commands are very much like those on the Modify, Color menu. First, you select the entities you want to
modify using the standard entity selection dialog box. Then, instead of selecting from the Color Palette, FEMAP
will prompt you to choose a new layer number from the list of available layers. All of the selected entities will be
modified to the specified layer.
Again, Modify, Edit can be used to change layers, but this command is faster for multiple entities.
Modify, Layer, Point; Modify, Layer, Curve; Modify, Layer, Surface
Modify, Layer, Solid; Modify, Layer, Coord Sys
3.6.3.4 Modify, Renumber Menu
The commands on this submenu are used to renumber
the IDs of one or more selected geometry (points, curves,
surfaces, volumes and solids).
Each of these commands uses the standard entity selec-
tion dialog box to select the entities to be renumbered.
After you press OK, the Renumber To dialog box is dis-
played. You select a new Starting ID and Increment. The
first entity to be renumbered is changed to the starting
ID. The increment is then added to the starting ID before
each subsequent entity is renumbered. Refer to Section
4.7.2.5, "Modify, Renumber Menu" for more informa-
tion.
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3-74 Geometry
Modify, Renumber, Point; Modify, Renumber, Curve; Modify, Renumber, Surface
Modify, Renumber, Solid; Modify, Renumber, Coord Sys
3.6.4 Advanced Updates - Modify, Update Other Commands
The commands on this menu are used to update parameters which are referenced by one or more selected entities.
Unlike the commands on the Modify, Color and Modify, Layer menus, the parameters that are updated by these
commands are only applicable to one entity type.
All of these commands work in a similar fashion, but since the parameters that they update vary, each command is
documented in its own section.
3.6.4.1 Modify, Update Other, Point Definition CSys...
... works just like Modify, Update CSys, Definition CSys, except that you select points to update instead of coordi-
nate Systems. If you want to create a new coordinate system while using this command, simply click the Coordi-
nate System Icon Button in the Select Coordinate System... dialog box.
3.6.4.2 Modify, Update Other, BSpline Order...
... is used to change the order of B-Spline curves. B-Spline curves created in FEMAP will automatically default to
an order of 3. Higher order splines can provide some shape smoothing, but may also cause sharp fluctuations for
splines that have been driven through particular points. This command should be used with some care in these cir-
cumstances. The maximum order for any B-Spline is either the number of points (a mathematical limit) or ten (a
FEMAP limit), whichever is smaller.
3.6.4.3 Modify, Update Other, BSpline Knots...
... is used to insert control points on the selected B-Splines. This command provides you with a powerful tool to
modify the curvature and smoothness of a particular curve by inserting control points at precise locations. You sim-
ply select the curve(s) to update and then enter the location of the Knot (control point).
3.6.4.4 Modify, Update Other, Reverse Curve...
... enables you to reverse the direction of a curve. This command cannot be used on any curves that are referenced
by surfaces, therefore no solid curves can be reversed. This option can be useful when creating curves to model
entities that require a certain direction of the curves (for example, curves for an ABAQUS rigid surface). The only
input to this command is the curves to reverse.
3.6.4.5 Modify, Update Other, Nonmergeable Curve...
... allows you to designate curves as non-mergeable, meaning the curves will not be merged into a surface or
solid and deleted during a clean-up operation. Clean-up operations will often occur as a part of stitching a solid,
performing certain solid boolean operations, or using the Geometry, Solid, Cleanup command. This command can
also be used to move split-points on fully circular curves to more desirable positions. In order for this to be effec-
tive, manipulate the curves until the break points are positioned, designate the curves as non-mergeable, then use
the stitch, boolean, or clean-up commands to have the new positions be used for split lines in a feature (i.e. a hole).
3.6.4.6 Modify Update Other, Boundary on Surface...
... is used to map a boundary surface, which is typically planar, onto a surface. This command enables you to pro-
vide curvature to any boundary surface. When you select this command, you will be asked if it is OK to map onto a
surface. If you say Yes, you must then select the surface and the boundary will be mapped to it. If you say No, any
connections to a surface which the boundary had previously are removed. Therefore, you can use this command to
either attach a boundary surface to a surface, or remove a connection.
3.6.4.7 Modify, Update Other, Surface Divisions...
... is used to update the number of surface divisions that will be displayed for selected surfaces. To begin, you sim-
ply select the surfaces that you want to update, using the standard entity selection dialog box. Then you simply
enter the number of divisions that you want to display in each parametric direction. The defaults will be the existing
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Modify, Update Other, Surface Normal... 3-75
values for the surface that you selected with the minimum ID. For more information about surface divisions, see
Section 3.3, "Creating Surfaces".
3.6.4.8 Modify, Update Other, Surface Normal...
... is used to reverse the normal of sheet solids. To begin, you simply select the sheet solid where you want to
reverse the normal, using the standard entity selection dialog box. Then FEMAP will reverse the surface normal
without further user input. This command works on solid surfaces only.
3.7 Deleting Geometry
The commands on the Delete, Geometry menu are all used to delete entities. All commands will delete entities
from your model. Since most of the commands on this menu work in a very similar fashion, the documentation for
the entire menu is given in this section.
Deleting From Your Model
If you want to delete any type of entity in your model, all you need to do is select the appropriate command (based
on the entity type) from this menu. The standard entity selection dialog box will then be displayed to let you select
the entities you wish to delete. When you complete your selection, and press OK, you will be asked to confirm that
you really want to delete the entities. This final question will also let you know how many entities have been
selected. Answering Ye, will delete the entities. Choosing No will simply cancel the command.
You may also use the Delete, All or Delete, Geometry All command to remove all geometry from the model. When
you choose this command, FEMAP will ask you to confirm that you really want to delete all geometry (and analy-
sis model if you select Delete All). If you answer Yes, all geometry will be removed from the model. If you answer
No, the command is canceled. The Delete, Geometry All command is useful for removing geometry from a meshed
model when it is no longer of use (assuming you do not want to constrain or load geometry). No checking is per-
formed to see if any entities are considered non-deletable since all geometry is removed.
Non-Deletable Entities
Sometimes when you try to delete, you will receive a message that a number of non-deletable entities have been
skipped. These entities are skipped because FEMAP protects you from deleting entities which are needed by other
entities in your model. For example, a point is non-deletable if it is connected to one or more curves. Similarly a
curve is non-deletable if it has a load attached to it. To delete these non-deletable entities, you must first delete all
of the entities which reference them.The following table lists the entities that can cause an entity to be non-dele-
table:
Deleting Geometry Icons
Delete, Geometry, Point...; Delete, Geometry, Curve...; Delete, Geometry, Surface...
Delete, Geometry, Solid...; Delete, Model, Coord Sys...
When you are
trying to delete. . .
Could be referenced by. . .
Point Curves, loads, (solids)
Curve Surfaces, loads, (solids)
Surface Solids, volumes, surfaces, curves, loads
Hint: You can use this feature to great advantage in cleaning up a model. For example, if you want to get rid
of all of the unused points, simply choose Delete, Point, and select all points. This may seem danger-
ous, but in fact only those points which are not referenced by any other geometry or loads will be
deleted. If you attempt to delete an entity, and FEMAP says it is non-deletable, and you believe that
there are no connections to it, perform a File, Rebuild. This will check all connections in the model, and
verify whether there are connections to this entity.
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3-76 Geometry
After You Delete
When you delete entities from a FEMAP model, the space that they occupied is simply marked as empty and avail-
able for reuse. The model file does not decrease in size. Normally, as long as you are going to create additional
data, this is not a problem since the space will be reused. In some cases however, when you delete a lot of data you
may want to immediately remove that empty space from your model and reduce the size of your model file.
The File, Rebuild command can do just that. Choose the File, Rebuild command, and press Yes to perform a full
rebuild. Then press Yes again to allow FEMAP to compact the model. If you had blocks of empty space, they will
be removed and your model will decrease in size. You should only use this option after you delete large blocks of
data. FEMAP cannot usually compact space if you have only deleted one or two scattered entities, and the savings
will not be worth the time it takes to perform the command.
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4. Finite Element Modeling
The Model menu provides the basic commands for creating finite element information in your model. It also lets
you set up an analysis case for certain solvers.
This topic describes how to use the sub-menus and commands under the Model menu. It includes these sections:
Section 4.1, "Creating Coordinate Systems" (Coordinate systems are separated from the finite element informa-
tion in this structure because they are applicable for both geometry and finite element information.)
Section 4.2, "Creating Finite Element Entities"
Section 4.3, "Creating Loads And Constraints"
Section 4.4, "Creating Connections and Regions"
Section 4.5, "Using Optimization Analysis"
Section 4.6, "Working with Functions"
Section 4.7, "Modifying FEA Entities"
Section 4.8, "Deleting FEA Entities"
Section 4.9, "Preparing for Analysis"
For information on the Model, Output sub-menu, see Section 8.5, "Output Manipulation".
4.1 Creating Coordinate Systems
Coordinate systems are applicable for both finite element information and geometry. In general, coordinate systems
can greatly simplify input to your model. They are also a convenient way to update the position of geometry and
finite elements. If you use the Modify, Move commands to move coordinate systems, all geometry defined in that
coordinate system will move with it - even other coordinate systems. In this manner, you can create a hierarchy of
coordinate systems which greatly simplify movement of geometry. The methods of creating coordinate systems are
explained below.
4.1.1 Model, Coord Sys...
... allows you to define coordinate systems for coordinate, vector or plane entry or to align nodal degrees of free-
dom or material axes. Coordinate Systems 0 (Global Rectangular), 1 (Global Cylindrical), and 2 (Global Spherical)
are always defined. You can create any additional coordinate systems that you need for your model with this com-
mand.
When you choose this command you will see the Define Coordinate System dialog box, which allows you to define
numerous parameters which determine the type of coordinate system to be created.
ID, Title, Color/Palette and Layer
These options set parameters for the coordinate system to be created. Titles can be up to 79 characters long.
Ref CSys
The coordinate system you create will be defined in this coordinate system. This will also be the default coordinate
system for coordinate or vector definition - although you can change that system when those dialog boxes are dis-
played. The reference coordinate system is utilized to create a hierarchy of coordinate systems which can be used in
later Modify, Move commands.
Type
Determines the type of coordinate system that will be created. Coordinate specification for each of the types is
shown in Section 4.3.2, Coordinate Definition in the FEMAP User Guide.
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4-2 Finite Element Modeling
4.1.1.1 Angles Method of Creating Coordinate Systems...
... allows you to specify coordinates using the standard coordinate definition dialog boxes to define the coordinate
system origin.
The orientation of the coordinate system is then specified by three rotation angles, around the reference coordinate
system directions. All angles are entered in degrees. Rotations about multiple axes are interpreted as a rotation
about the reference coordinate system X-axis, then the rotated Y-axis and finally the rotated Z-axis, as shown here.
4.1.1.2 Workplane Method of Creating a Coordinate System
This method of creating a coordinate system simply creates a coordinate system by placing the X-Y axes at the X-
Y axes of the current workplane. The Z axis is created as the positive normal to the workplane. Since this command
uses the current workplane, no additional input is required.
4.1.1.3 Coordinates Method of Creating a Coordinate System
There are three methods to create a coordinate system using coordi-
nate locations. Each of these methods requires you to define three
sets of coordinates using the standard coordinate definition dialog
boxes. The first set of coordinates defines the coordinate system ori-
gin. The final two sets orient the coordinate system axes. The meth-
ods are titled XY Locate, YZ Locate, and ZX Locate. These names
correspond to the orientation axes that you define. For example, for
XY Locate, you specify coordinates on the X axis and coordinates in
the XY plane. The final axes are calculated from the three locations
that you define.
4.1.1.4 Axes Methods of Creating Coordinate Systems
Just like the Locate methods, the Axes methods require three inputs.
Again you specify coordinates for the origin. Then instead of loca-
tions on the axes, you specify vectors in the direction of the axes,
using the standard vector definition dialog boxes. The methods are
titled XY Axes, YZ Axes, and ZX Axes, which correspond to the ori-
entation axes that you define. Again, just like for XY Locate, for XY
Axes, you specify a vector along the X axis and a vector in the XY
plane.
Hint: Always specify meaningful titles. They are shown
along with the ID in the drop-down list boxes used for
selection throughout FEMAP.
Z
Y
X
y
z
x

x
Z
Y
X
y
z
x

y
Z
Y
X
y
z
x

z
rotate around x then around rotated y
then around doubly rotated z
Z
Y
X
y
z
x
Origin
X Axis
XY Plane
Z
Y
X
y
z
x
X Vector
XY Plane
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Creating Finite Element Entities 4-3
4.2 Creating Finite Element Entities
These commands allow creation of finite element entities for your model. There are five commands contained
under this section: Node, Element, Material, Property, and Layup. These commands are grouped together because
four of these entities (all except Layups) are normally required to create a finite element in FEMAP. The relation-
ship between these five entities is described below:
Node - define physical position of element in space (See Section 4.2.1, "Model, Node...")
Element - references nodes and property. (See Section 4.2.2, "Model, Element...")
Material - contains physical parameters of material. (See Section 4.2.3, "Model, Material")
Property - contains physical characteristics and references a material. (See Section 4.2.4, "Model, Property...")
Layup - contains physical characteristics of plies for laminate properties. (See Section 4.2.5, "Model, Layup...")
These commands allow you to create these entities one at a time. Many times it is much easier to use the automatic
meshing tools available under the Mesh menu to generate nodes and elements for the model. In this case, you can
generate your individual properties, materials, and layups with these commands, then use the automatic meshing
tools to create the finite element mesh.
4.2.1 Model, Node...
... allows you to define nodes by entering their coordinates using the standard coordinate definition dialog boxes.
Just like all other coordinate locations, you may use any of the available methods and/or snap modes, along with
keyboard or mouse input to define the location of a node. Even so, this command creates nodes one at a time. Much
more powerful methods are available through the various Generate commands.
Specifying Node Parameters
When you are creating a node, choosing the Parameters command button will display the Node Parameters dialog
box. The use of output coordinate systems and permanent constraints varies substantially between various analysis
programs.
For more information on how these features are supported for your program, see Section 8, "Analysis Program
Interfaces" in the FEMAP User Guide.
Output Coordinate System
Here you can set the output coordinate system for the node. This is the coordinate system in which displacements,
degrees of freedom, offset connections for line elements and constraints are defined.
Increment, Color, Palette, Layer
The Increment is added to the Node ID, which you create to determine the default ID for the next node to be cre-
ated. The Color and Layer options define these parameters for the node to be created.
Superelement ID
The Superelement ID can be set for each node using this field. The Superelement ID is the only method available to
define Superelements for Nastran in FEMAP.
Type
This option is almost always set to Node. You can change this option to Scalar Point or Extra Point for other node
types, but this is not used for most analysis programs.
Permanent Constraints
Permanent constraints, like other constraints are defined relative to the output coordinate system. Unlike con-
straints that can be defined in multiple sets, there is only one group of permanent constraints per node. The six
degrees of freedom which can be constrained are the X, Y and Z translations (TX, TY, TZ) and the X, Y and Z rota-
tions (RX, RY, RZ). The permanent constraints are combined with the constraint sets that you request for analysis.
Note: In general, you can use any convenient method of entering the coordinates or vectors to define coordi-
nate systems. However, you can not enter colinear or coincident coordinates or vectors, since they
would not fully specify the coordinate system orientation.
Ctrl+N
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4-4 Finite Element Modeling
4.2.2 Model, Element...
....displays one of the element creation dialog boxes based on the
active element type. You can set the active element type from any of
the element creation dialog boxes (or any of the property creation
dialog boxes) by choosing the Type button. This will display the Ele-
ment/Property Type dialog box, where you can choose the type of
elements to create.
There are four main element types which often have to do with the
shape or topology of elements
Line Elements (See Section 4.2.2.1, "Line Elements")
Plane Elements (See Section 4.2.2.2, "Plane Elements")
Volume Elements (See Section 4.2.2.3, "Volume Elements")
Other Elements (See Section 4.2.2.4, "Other Elements")
For any of the plane or volume elements, other than Plot Only, you
can choose the Parabolic Elements option to create elements with
nodes at the middle of each edge. For other element types, you can
only create linear elements - nodes at the corners only. For details on
the full FEMAP element library, see Section 6, "Element Reference"
in the FEMAP User Guide.
For further information on how each element type is translated to the
various analysis programs, see Section 7, "Translation Tables for
Analysis Programs" in the FEMAP User Guide. You should review
those sections prior to creating elements. This will ensure that you
choose the correct element types to represent your structure, and ele-
ment types that are supported by your analysis program.
Element Material Orientation
For planar and axisymmetric elements, you can also define an ele-
ment material orientation. Pressing this button will display an
additional dialog box that lets you set the material orientation
direction or angle for all elements that are created until you
change to a different orientation.
This includes elements that are created using the various genera-
tion techniques. For more information, see Section 4.7.3.13,
"Modify, Update Elements, Material Angle...". Proper specifica-
tion of material angles is extremely important if you are using
nonisotropic materials.
.
.
Ctrl+E
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Model, Element... 4-5
Formulation
If you are exporting to NASTRAN, ABAQUS, LS-DYNA3D, or
MARC, you should also select the element formulation. These pro-
grams have several different subtypes, or formulations, for the same
basic element. When you select Formulation..., the Element Formu-
lation dialog box will appear. You will be able to set options for
NASTRAN,LS-DYNA3D, ABAQUS, and MARC.
The inputs to the dialog box will be slightly different based upon the
current element type, but all element types will have separate inputs
for NASTRAN, DYNA and ABAQUS/MARC. The element formu-
lation for LS-DYNA3D is exported on the *SECTION cards as part
of the property definition, while most options for ABAQUS/MARC
change the name/number of the element.
Each element type has a different formulation which is stored as a
global variable. Once the formulation is set, all elements of that type
created from that point on will have that formulation. To change to a
different formulation for future meshes, simply enter the element
formulation dialog box with the appropriate element type active, and
select from the available options
.
.
.
.
Common Features of All Element Dialog Boxes
There are quite a few different dialog boxes used for creating the various element types in FEMAP. The major dif-
ference between them is the changing number of nodes required to define the various element types. Most other
features are identical. Near the top of each dialog box, you will notice a group of controls which are used to set var-
ious parameters for the element to be created. The Type button, used to choose a new element type can be found
here also.
ID, Color/Palette and Layer:
These options set parameters for the element to be created. Every time you create an element, the default ID will be
automatically incremented.
Property:
This drop-down list allows you to choose the property to be referenced by the element. A few element types (plot,
rigid, etc.) do not require a property, but most do. For your reference, all properties that are defined in your model
will be shown in the list. You must choose one which is of the same type as the element that you are creating. You
can make your choice by typing an ID, choosing from the list, or by graphically selecting an existing element
which references the property that you want. If you do not specify a property (leave the option blank or 0), when
you press OK, you will be given a chance to automatically create a new property. You can also create a new prop-
Note: If you do not set the formulation before meshing, or would like to change the formulation, you can
use the Modify, Update Elements, Formulation command to change the formulation of a few ele-
ments, or an entire mesh. To determine which formulation is best for your analysis, consult your
analysis program documentation. For instance, the hybrid option in ABAQUS and MARC is typi-
cally used for large elastic (hyperelastic) materials. For more information on the different available
formulations, see Section 6, "Element Reference" in the FEMAP User Guide. Each element has a
section on their formulations.
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4-6 Finite Element Modeling
erty by click the Property icon button next to the Property drop-down list. This is the same as using the Model,
Property command, except that the Define Element dialog box is still visible and the resulting property ID will
automatically be entered into the list.
Selecting Nodes for your Elements
No matter what element type you use, you will see text boxes which allow you to select the nodes to define the ele-
ment. The number of these boxes corresponds to the number of nodes required for the type of element which you
are creating. You can choose nodes either by typing an ID or by selecting a node from any graphics window with
the cursor. Alternatively, you can leave one or more of the node IDs blank (or 0). When you press OK, you will be
given a chance to automatically create new nodes for each of the blank entries. Using this technique, you can effec-
tively create elements using specific coordinates, without having to first create nodes.
The order of the text boxes in the dialog box matches the order of nodes shown for the various FEMAP element
types. You should try to specify the nodes in their proper sequence. For example, for plane elements, the required
nodes proceed either clockwise or counter-clockwise around the corners of the element (followed by the midside
nodes for parabolic elements). You should enter the nodes in this order. Every time you create an element however,
FEMAP checks its shape. If you do specify the nodes in a different order, FEMAP will attempt to reorder them so
that they result in the shape you were trying to create. This technique can untwist planar elements, and switch faces
on solid elements. You will receive a warning if FEMAP had to change the order.
Some element types require you to specify a shape, in addition to the nodes. For plane elements, you must choose
either a triangular or quadrilateral shape. For volume elements, your choices are a brick, wedge or tetrahedron. As
you change the shape, you will see the number of required nodes change also. Because of the automatic node cre-
ation feature described above, you can not define a triangle with the shape set to quadrilateral and then only enter-
ing three nodes. If you try this, FEMAP will ask you to create the fourth node.
Parabolic plate and solid elements allow you to pick nodes at the midsides of each element edge in addition to the
corner nodes. You can however skip the midside nodes by leaving them as blank or 0. For this reason, the automatic
node creation feature can only be used with the corner nodes of parabolic elements, not with the midside nodes.
4.2.2.1 Line Elements
All line element types (Rod, Bar, Tube, Link, Beam, Spring, DOF Spring, Curved Beam, Gap, and Plot) connect
two node points. Proper choice of the type depends upon the structural behavior that you want to represent. For all
of these elements, however, you will see one of two possible dialog boxes. The first, and simplest, creates all ele-
ments except the bar, beam, and curved beam. In addition to the standard parameters, it just requires two nodes to
define the element.
For the bar, beam, and curved beam however, you will see a more complex dialog box. This dialog also requires
two nodes, but lets you define element offsets, orientation and releases.
Note: The number of inputs in the Define SPRING/DAMPER Element dialog box changes depending on
the Formulation currently set for spring/damper elements. When the Formulation is set to
0..Default, the dialog box simply asks for two nodes. When the Formulation is set to 1..CBUSH,
there are additional inputs for Orientation and Offsets.
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Plane Elements 4-7
Offsets:
Offsets are used to move the end of the element a specified distance
from the node. The End A and End B command buttons will display
the standard vector definition dialog boxes to let you define the off-
set at each end of the element. Both the magnitude and direction of
this vector are used to define the offset. If the element has a constant
offset at both ends, you can simply define the offset at End A, then
press End B=End A to copy the offset to End B. If you have already
defined offsets, and want to delete them, press No Offsets. When off-
sets have been defined, the titles of the End A and End B buttons will
change to End A... (On) and End B... (On) to reflect the status. By
default, after you define an element with offsets, the next element
will use the same offsets. You can turn them off with No Offsets.
Checking the Use Reference Point box will offset the nodes at both
ends of the element to the location of the specified Reference Point
selected in the Beam Property - Cross Section Definition dialog box.
Orientation:
Each of these element types requires that you orient the cross section of the element. The element X axis is always
along the length of the element (between the nodes). The orientation defines the Y and Z axes. FEMAP provides
two methods of orientation. You can either specify another node or a vector. If you specify an Orientation Node, the
element XY plane will be defined by the element X axis and the vector from the first element node to this orienta-
tion (or third) node. If you specify a vector orientation, that vector, along with the element X axis will define the
XY plane. You can enter the orientation node directly into the dialog box, or choose the Vector Orient command
button to orient using a vector. The standard vector definition dialog boxes are used. If you attempt to specify both
a vector and an orientation node, only the orientation node will be recognized.
When you define a vector, FEMAP will update the button title to Vector Orient... (On) to reflect the status. The
default orientation is the same as the orientation that you specified on the last element that you created.
Releases:
In some cases you do not want an element to be structurally connected to all six degrees of freedom at each node.
You can choose the Releases command button to specify the degrees of freedom that you do not want to connect.
By default, all degrees of freedom are connected. The Element Releases dialog box lets you choose the transla-
tional (TX,TY,TZ) and rotational (RX,RY,RZ) degrees of freedom to release at each end of the element. When you
specify releases, FEMAP changes the button title to Releases... (123456/123456), or some variation of those num-
bers. The numbers one through six correspond to the six elemental degrees of freedom (TX, TY,..., RZ). The num-
bers before the slash represent the releases on the first end of the element. The numbers after the slash represent the
second end. Just like offsets and orientations, FEMAP remembers the releases that you define and uses them as the
defaults for your next element.
4.2.2.2 Plane Elements
Standard Plane elements are created using one of two dialog boxes depending on whether you are creating linear or
parabolic elements. The only difference between these two boxes is the addition of midside nodes for the parabolic
elements.
For either of these dialog boxes you must choose either a triangular or quadrilateral shape. As you choose the
shape, the number of required nodes will also change. For parabolic plate elements, midside nodes can be speci-
fied, but they can also be blank. This feature allows elimination of some elemental degrees of freedom and can be
used to join linear and parabolic elements, or for transitioning between varying mesh densities. Since midside
nodes are not required and the automatic node creation feature only works for required nodes, you must specify an
existing node or it will be left blank.
B
A
2
Offset B
Plane 1 (XY)
Cz
Third Node, or
Cy
1
Offset A
Ye
Xe
Plane 2 (XZ)
Ze
Bar / Beam Elements
Orientation Vector
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4-8 Finite Element Modeling
If the plane element you are creating is a Axisymmetric Shell then the dialog boxes will be more like the line ele-
ment.
Axisymmetric Shells are defined as lines with two nodes for linear and a third midside node for a parabolic type.
Offsets can also be defined for the shells.
4.2.2.3 Volume Elements
Just like plane elements, volume elements use one of two dialog boxes depending on whether you are creating lin-
ear or parabolic elements.
Also, just like plane elements, you must specify a shape (Brick, Wedge, Tetra) and parabolic midside nodes can be
skipped.
4.2.2.4 Other Elements
Masses
The mass and mass matrix element types require no input other than a single node to locate the element.
Stiffness Matrix
Stiffness matrix elements connect two nodes and use the same dialog box described above for the simpler line ele-
ments.
Rigid and Interpolation
Rigid elements are different than the other types. They connect one independent node to a variable number of
dependent nodes. You must always specify at least the independent node and one dependent node, but all other
dependent nodes are optional. In addition, rigid elements can be used as interpolation elements (for those programs
that support interpolation elements) by specifying an optional interpolation factor and dependent degrees of free-
dom.
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Other Elements 4-9
In addition to the nodes, you must specify one or more degrees of freedom to be rigidly connected between the
independent and dependent nodes. You may specify different degrees of freedom for each dependent node, as well
as different factors. You simply select the interpolation degrees of freedom (and factor if applicable) you want for a
node or nodes, press the Nodes... button, and select the appropriate nodes. You may do this as often as required to
define the connections to the dependent nodes.
Use the Delete button to remove an entry in the list, or the Reset button to remove the entire list. When you high-
light a node in the list, it will highlight in the graphics window, based on the current settings of the Window, Show
Entities command. If you need to connect dependent nodes to different degrees of freedom on the reference node
however, you must use multiple elements.
A coefficient of thermal expansion for any Rigid element can either be entered directly into the Coefficient field
or copied from a defined material using the Material... button in this dialog box. Currently, a CTE on the Rigid ele-
ment is only supported for NX Nastran and MSC/MD Nastran.
When defining Rigid elements for NASTRAN you have a two formulations available. Using the RSPLINE formu-
lation for NASTRAN will display the following dialog box which allows you to pick multiple dependent and inde-
pendent nodes.
Note: If you select the interpolation factor check box, you will be creating an interpolation element (RBE3 for
Nastran and ANSYS), otherwise you are creating a rigid element (RBE2 for Nastran, CERIG or CP for
ANSYS). You can only change the status of this option when no dependent nodes are selected.
Note: In FEMAP, the use of the CTE for rigid elements is OFF by default in all Analysis Types. In order for
the CTE to be used during an analysis, you must turn on (check) the Rigid Element Thermal Expan-
sion option in the Plate, Beam, and Rigid Options section of the NASTRAN Bulk Data Options dia-
log box. This dialog box can be reached by creating an Analysis Set for NX Nastran or MSC Nastran
using the Model, Analysis command. See Section 8.7.1.3, "Bulk Data Options" for more information.
First term is Independent
Last term is Independent
Dependent terms
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4-10 Finite Element Modeling
The RSPLINE is defined by selecting the nodes in the order they appear along the interface of the two regions
being connected. A term of the RSPLINE is created by first selecting the type of term to be added (Dependent or
Independent) then if a dependent term is being created then select the degrees of freedom which you would like to
include.
A term can be added dynamically to the list by placing the cursor in the Node field then simply picking the appro-
priate node.
Multiple terms of the same type and dof can be defined by first selecting the appropriate options and pressing the
Multiple button.
The First and Last term in the list must be independent and FEMAP will present a error until this requirement is
satisfied.
Independent terms are graphically shown as a filled in square and dependant terms are shown as open squares.
Slide Lines
Slide elements are used to define contact and sliding conditions between nodes on surfaces. The master and slave
nodes are selected by choosing the appropriate button. The Standard Entity Selection box will appear to choose
nodes. Once nodes have been chosen, the button for the chosen nodes will contain (on). Otherwise, only the head-
ings Master Nodes... and Slave Nodes... appear. A node may not be chosen as both a master and a slave.
You may select as many master and slave nodes as you need, but the order that you select them defines the order
that they will be included into the element. Slide lines should have their master and slave nodes selected in reverse
order compared to each other. If you select them in the same order, you will be asked whether you want to automat-
ically reverse the order of the slave selection.
Weld
This element allows you to specify a weld connector element (CWELD) for use with NX Nastran and MSC Nas-
tran and is defined using the WELD Element dialog box.
Weld Types
There are several different Weld Types to choose from:
Elem to Elem (ELEMID) - Weld is defined from shell element to shell element and a Weld Location must be
defined manually using either the Projection or Axis Define methods (see Weld Location Definition Methods
later in this section for more information)
Elem to Elem Vertex (ELEMID) - Weld is defined from shell element to a single vertex of another shell ele-
ment (node on the element) and a Weld Location will be normal to the selected element vertex (node).
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Other Elements 4-11
Elem Vertex to Elem Vertex (ALIGN) - Weld is defined from a single vertex of a shell element (node on an
element) to the single vertex of another shell element and the Weld Location will be between the two selected
element vertices (nodes).
Patch to Patch (ELPAT - MSC Nastran Only) - Weld is defined in the same manner as Element to Element
(from shell element to shell element and a Weld Location must be defined manually using either the Projection
or Axis Define methods). The difference is MSC Nastran will determine if the diameter of the weld overlaps
onto additional elements, based on the welds location, then automatically connect the nodes on those additional
elements to the weld.
Prop to Prop (PARTPAT - MSC Nastran Only) - Weld is defined from all elements of one shell property to all
elements of another shell property and a Weld Location must be defined manually using either the Projection or
Axis Define methods.
Nodes to Nodes (GRIDID) - Weld is defined from a number of nodes (8 Maximum) on shell elements to a
number of nodes (8 Maximum) on shell elements and the Weld Location must be defined manually using either
the Projection or Axis Define methods
Nodes to Elem Vertex (GRIDID) - Weld is defined from a number of nodes (8 Maximum) on shell elements to
a node on shell element and the Weld Location will be normal to the selected element vertex (node).
Weld Location Definition Methods
Note: Take care when selecting the nodes when using Weld Types 5..Nodes to Nodes and 6..Nodes to
Elem Vertex. The nodes must be chosen as you would choose nodes when creating a shell element (i.e.
clockwise or counter-clockwise from the first node to the 3rd or 4th node). If you are using 6 (triangle)
or 8 nodes (quad) to define your patch, you must first select the 3 or 4 corner nodes then select the
mid-side nodes starting with the node between the first selected corner node and the second selected
corner node and so on. Not ordering the nodes properly will likely cause an error in NX Nastran.
Using the Projection Method
Using the Axis Method
Weld Location Methods
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4-12 Finite Element Modeling
A Weld Location must be defined manually for Elem to Elem, Patch to Patch, and Nodes to Nodes. There are two
different Weld location Definition Methods to choose from:
Projection - Weld Location is defined by a single node and sometimes a defined vector direction. The vector
from the node along the vector direction must pass through both element or nodal patches in order for the weld
to function properly.
Axis - Weld Location is defined using 2 nodes to represent the positions and direction. Both nodes must fall
within the boundaries of the element or nodal patches for the weld to function properly.
4.2.3 Model, Material
FEMAP supports eight types of materials:
Isotropic (See Section 4.2.3.1, "Isotropic Materials...")
2-D and 3-D Orthotropic (See Section 4.2.3.2, "Orthotropic Material Formu-
lation"
2-D and 3-D Anisotropic (See Section 4.2.3.3, "2D and 3D Anisotropic Mate-
rials...")
Hyperelastic - Mooney-Rivlin/Polynomial form (See Section 4.2.3.4, "Hyper-
elastic Materials...")
Fluid (See Section 4.2.3.5, "Fluid Materials...")
Other Types (See Section 4.2.3.6, "Other Types...")
These material formulations allow you to simulate different material character-
istics. FEMAP allows any element/property type to reference any of the avail-
able material types. However, if you plan to use any type but Isotropic, see
Section 8, "Analysis Program Interfaces" in the FEMAP User Guide. This topic describes how each type is trans-
lated to your analysis program.
In general, the 2D material types should only be used by plane (and axisymmetric) elements and the 3D formula-
tions should only be used by solid elements. For some analysis programs, however, the 3D formulations are used to
add transverse properties to plate elements. If you do reference a material type that is not supported by the transla-
tor, FEMAP will convert it to a supported type (after giving you a warning) but the converted type might not cor-
rectly represent the material characteristics that you intended.
Common Features of All Material Dialog Boxes.
Even though the material definition dialog boxes are quite different from each other, there are numerous features
that appear in all of them. Near the top of each box you will see controls which allow you to define the ID, Title,
Color and Layer for the material. The ID will automatically increment after each material you create. The ID can
not match the ID of any other existing material. You should always specify a meaningful title (up to 79 characters)
because it will help you to identify the material later in drop-down lists throughout FEMAP. The Type button is
also found near the top of dialog box and lets you choose the material type that you want to create. There is also a
Function icon button at the bottom of the dialog which can be used to conveniently create a new Function.
Copying Materials
If you need to create a material that is similar to another in your model, you do not have to enter all of the material
values manually. Pressing the Copy button will display a list of all existing materials. When you choose a material
from the list, the material values will be copied from that material and displayed in the current material creation
dialog box. You can then modify those values in any way you want, or even change your mind and copy a different
material, before pressing OK to create the new material.
If you copy a material of one type into a material of a different type, FEMAP automatically converts the material to
the new type. The material constants are converted to a form which represents the material which you copied. For
example, copying an isotropic material to a 3D orthotropic material will result in stiffness values which are identi-
cal in all three directions, that is isotropic. If you copy the other direction, 3D orthotropic to isotropic, there is no
way to represent the orthotropic nature of the material and that information will be lost. You should review care-
fully any materials which you copy between different types.
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Isotropic Materials... 4-13
Working with Material Libraries
Material libraries allow you to create standard materials that you can use over and over again in many different
models. When you press Save, the current material is added to the material library file. Pressing Load will display a
list of the materials in the library and let you choose one to be loaded into the material creation dialog box. Just like
Copy, you can then modify the values before pressing OK to create the material. Also, just like Copy, when you
load a material of a different type it is automatically converted. The material ID, Color, Layer and Coordinate Sys-
tem are not saved in the library, nor updated when a material is loaded from the library.
4.2.3.1 Isotropic Materials...
... are the simplest and
most widely used
material type. They
can be used for any
element type. Materi-
als of this type exhibit
constant properties in
all directions. There-
fore all properties
(stiffness, thermal,
stress limits...) are
specified with a single
value, which is direc-
tionless.
Properties that are not
required for your anal-
ysis may be left blank
(or 0.) For example,
there is no need to
specify any of the ther-
mal properties if you
do not plan to do a
thermal analysis. Typi-
cally, you can always
leave one of the three
stiffness parameters
(E, G, nu) blank also.
FEMAP will maintain
its value as zero, but most analysis programs recognize this situation and automatically calculate the third parame-
ter from an isotropic formulation:
4.2.3.2 Orthotropic Material Formulation
Care must be taken when specifying structural properties for orthotropic materials. Various analysis programs use
different conventions regarding how they refer to the properties, and which properties they require. FEMAP uses
the following stress-strain relationship:
G
E
2 1 + ( )
-------------------------- - =
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4-14 Finite Element Modeling
where the bold constants in the shaded area are the ones that you enter. During translation, these terms are con-
verted to the other ones, if required by the analysis program.
2D and 3D Orthotropic Materials...
... define different, in-plane, material characteristics in 2 or 3 primary directions, respectively. These materials are
typically used by planar or axisymmetric elements.
The Limit Stress/Strain section allows you to specify limits for tension and compression as well as a shear limit
value. Either Stress Limits or Strain Limits may be input (for 2-D only). These values are typically used in conjunc-
tion with the laminate property for failure calculations.

12

23

13
)




`





1
E
1
------

21

E
2
-----------

31

E
3
----------- 0 0 0

12

E
1
-----------
1
E
2
------

32

E
3
----------- 0 0 0

13

E
1
-----------

23

E
2
-----------
1
E
3
------ 0 0 0
0 0 0
1
G
12
--------- 0 0
0 0 0 0
1
G
23
--------- 0
0 0 0 0 0
1
G
13
---------

12

23

13
)




`





=
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2D and 3D Anisotropic Materials... 4-15
4.2.3.3 2D and 3D Anisotropic Materials...
...are a more general form of the 2-D and 3-D orthotropic materials. In this case, material parameters are specified
as a general 3 x 3 matrix (2-D), or 6 x 6 (3-D) matrix.
4.2.3.4 Hyperelastic Materials...
...define properties for materials subject to large displacement, both translational and rotational, such as rubber.
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4-16 Finite Element Modeling
You can input both the Distortional and Volumetric Deformation Constants and the Strain Energy Polynomial
Order, or input stress/strain test data in the Experimental Data Functions area to allow the analysis program to cal-
culate these constants. These data functions must be defined as vs. stress type FEMAP functions with stress as the
X value and strain as the dependent Y value.
4.2.3.5 Fluid Materials...
... defines material properties for fluids, including liquids and gases. This material type is not normally used in a
structural analysis, but is used in heat transfer and flow analyses.
The properties on the fluid material type are similar to the heat transfer properties on other material types, however
additional fluid specific properties are also available.
4.2.3.6 Other Types...
... defines material properties that do not fall directly under the previous categories. These materials are unique in
that the dialog box wording can be modified. When you select this option, you will see the above dialog box. The
inputs to the dialog box will change based upon the material type that you choose. The values are then stored with
that material type in the FEMAP database. The actual dialog box contents are read from a library file which con-
tains the appropriate information for each material, including type of input, storage area, limits (if any), and dialog
box text. This library file can be set in File, Preferences, Libraries. A default library file with the supported materi-
als is shipped with FEMAP.
Input can include real numbers, integers, and functions. They may also have input limits associated with them.
Function values are designated by the 0..None value when first entering a new material. You will need to input an
existing function ID for these fields (or leave it at None). Simply press Ctrl+F to see a list of available functions
when in the field.
Note: Many solvers do not support hyperelastic materials and those that do have restrictions. Please investi-
gate the applicability/rules of hyperelastic materials in the analysis program that they plan to utilize.
Note: When entering the hyperelastic material constants, Di, be careful. They are translated directly for Nas-
tran and ANSYS, but for ABAQUS the values written are 1 / Di.
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Other Types... 4-17
The hyperelastic materials for NX Nastran Advanced Nonlinear Analysis (SOL 601 and 701) can be specified
using this material type. The hyperelastic materials supported for SOL 601/701 are the Mooney-Rivlin, Hyper-
foam, Ogden, and Arruda-Boyce and each material has a distinct set of parameters which can be entered. These
materials are then written to the MATHE entry for NX Nastran.
This dialog box is also used to specify the Gasket Material (MATG) for NX Nastran Advanced Nonlinear Analy-
sis (SOL 601 only). The MATG can only be used with 6-Noded (Wedge) and/or 8-noded (Hex) Solid elements.
There should only be one layer of elements in the direction of gasket thickness. This material requires a loading
curve and at least one unloading curve (up to 10 can be specified) to properly define the Pressure-Closure
Relationship for the gasket (Closure is defined as the change in gasket thickness/ original gasket thickness).
These curves should be defined using functions in FEMAP.
A Fluid Material can be created for use with Solid Elements only to represent a fluid volume in Nastran
(MAT10). The Bulk Modulus must equal the Speed of Sound (squared) multiplied by the Mass Density.
This material type is also often used to define LS-DYNA3D materials instead of using the isotropic, orthotropic,
and anisotropic defaults, but FEMAP also supports special Hyperelastic materials for MSC/MD Nastran,
ABAQUS and MARC. The default library file shipped with FEMAP contains these material types. If you are only
using NX Nastran, MSC/MD Nastran, ABAQUS or MARC materials, you can edit the library file to remove other
materials for easy reference, but do not to modify any numbers of materials you want to use. You can modify the
text in quotes, but all other data must remain the same.
You can also create your own materials by adding to the current list. FEMAP will store the information in the
appropriate data fields. For information on how to create your own materials, refer to the MS Word file, neu-
tral.doc, installed with the FEMAP executable. Creating materials in this manner, however, is only useful for pro-
grams that access FEMAP through a neutral file since our dedicated translators will not recognize them.
Note: The Membrane Material ID, Yield Pressure, Tensile Modulus, and Transverse Shear Modu-
lus MUST be defined for NX Nastran to be able to process the material. Also, the Yield Pressure
MUST match a point on the loading curve.
Note: In order to review Gasket Results in FEMAP, you must request results in the .op2 file from NX
Nastran. To do this in FEMAP, you must set your Results Destination to 2..PostProcess Only or
3..Print and PostProcess in the Nastran Output Results dialog box of the FEMAP Analysis Set Man-
ager. (See Section 8.7.1.8, "Output Requests" for more information on Nastran Results)
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4-18 Finite Element Modeling
Next and Prev
FEMAP supports over 200 inputs on the material card, but only 24 at a time can be displayed in the dialog box.
When you press Next or Prev, the dialog box will scroll to show the other entities that can be input for the specific
material model
4.2.3.7 Function Dependent Materials
You will notice that many of the material dialog boxes have a tab marked Function References. This tab allows you
to assign function references to the various material properties.
The Function References tab contains all of the same properties as the General tab of the particular material type.
Instead of entering a material constant, here you may select from a list of already defined functions from a drop-
down list.
You do not have to choose a function for each property, however, any items that you leave blank will simply be
considered as a constant value (not varying with any function).
Although they are not shown here, the Function References tabs for the other material types also contain the same
fields found on the General tab of each material type.
A new function can be conveniently created while defining a material using the Function icon button located in
the lower left hand corner of the Define Material dialog box. This is the same as using the Model, Function com-
mand, except that the Define Material dialog box is still visible and the resulting function ID will automatically be
entered into the list.
Hint: All functions that you select for a material must be of the same type. For example, you can not choose a
time function for one value and a temperature function for another.
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Nonlinear Materials 4-19
4.2.3.8 Nonlinear Materials
All materials but Hyperelastic, Fluid, and Other Types have a Nonlinear tab. This allows you to add material con-
stants which are normally required for nonlinear analysis. To begin, you must select the type of nonlinearity that
you are trying to model.
Nonlinear elastic and plastic materials are defined by a stress-strain curve, which is defined by a vs. stress function
and selected in the Function Dependence property. The function for nonlinear elastic materials should be defined in
the first and third quadrants to accommodate different uniaxial tension and compression properties. Nonlinear elas-
tic properties can only be defined for isotropic materials. Nonlinear elastic materials can be made temperature
dependent by referencing a 5..function vs. temp function instead of a vs. stress function, where the Y value is the
ID of the Stress vs Strain curve and the X value is the corresponding temperature at which that curve is valid.
Elasto-plastic materials use the linear constants coupled with the plasticity modulus, H. This is the work hardening
slope, and is related to the tangential modulus, E
T
(the slope of stress vs. plastic strain) by the following:
If you have already defined Youngs Modulus (E), you may press Compute from Tangent Modulus. By selecting
this feature, you can simply input the tangential modulus, E
T
, and FEMAP will use E to calculate the plasticity
modulus, H.
The Yield Criterion option contains information on the yield types to be used. This box is only relevant for elasto-
plastic and plastic nonlinearity types. Four yield criterion are available (von Mises, Tresca, Mohr-Coulomb, and
Drucker-Prager). Von Mises and Tresca require input of the initial yield stress, while Mohr-Coulomb and Drucker-
Prager require input of 2*cohesion and angle of internal friction.
Nonlinear Materials - Extended Material Model
The Extended Material Model button enables you to define further information for the nonlinear material model.
This is currently only available for the von Mises and Drucker-Prager yield criterion.
H E
T
1 E
T
E ( ) =
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4-20 Finite Element Modeling
Von Mises
When you select Extended Material Model, and Von Mises is
specified, the following dialog box will appear.
Drucker-Prager
When you select Extended Material Model, and Drucker-Prager is specified, the following dialog box will appear.
You can input both the dilitancy angle and stress ratio for the
Drucker-Prager model and specify the type of stress-strain data
that you are providing in the Nonlinear Function Dependence.
Furthermore, you can provide the initial yield stress and can
make this yield stress a function of temperature or strain rate.
The function dependence must be of a consistent type with the
type of function supplied in the Function Dependence under
Nonlinear Properties. By proper selection of these functions,
you can generate yield and plastic region information as a func-
tion of temperature, strain rate, or both.
If the yield criterion is von Mises, all the required information
can be input in the Nonlinear Properties dialog box except for
yield function dependence on temperature and/or strain rate.
You may make the yield stress function dependent by selecting
the Extended Material Model, and a selection box will appear
which will enable you to choose the appropriate function.

Note: The Initial Yield Stress in the Define Nonlinear
Material dialog box must be set to 1.0 for this to
work properly when using this to define tempera-
ture dependent materials with a 5..Function vs.
Temp function.
Note: Support of the extended material model by analysis programs is limited. You should verify that both the
FEMAP translator and the code itself supports the extended material model.
Function Dependence Yield Function
Resulting Stress - Strain
Curve(s)
vs. Stress Not Used Single Curve
Function vs. Temperature vs. Temp Temperature Dependent
Function vs. Strain Rate
1. vs. Stress
vs. Strain Rate Strain Rate Dependent
Function vs. Strain Rate
2. Function vs. Temperature
vs. Strain Rate
TempFunction vs.
Strain Rate
Strain Rate and Tempera-
ture Dependent
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Defining Creep Material Properties 4-21
4.2.3.9 Defining Creep Material Properties
You will note that many of the material types have a Creep tab. This enables you to define properties for creep anal-
ysis. Creep properties can be defined even if no other nonlinear/plasticity properties have been defined.
Two creep formulations are available: Empirical Model, and Tabular Model. For the Empirical Model, the Thresh-
old Strain, Reference Temp, and Temp Dependent Rate must be defined as well as the Empirical Creep Law and
Coefficients. Two classes of empirical creep law are available. They are:
The appropriate law and coefficients are defined by their equations in the dialog box. All inappropriate information
will be grayed.
The second creep formulation is tabular model which requires only function inputs under the Tabular Creep Law
section. You must define FEMAP function types vs. stress for the three coefficients Kp, Cp (primary creep) and Cs
(secondary creep) of the uniaxial rheological model.
Note: Similar to hyperelastic materials, support of nonlinear and creep material properties by analysis pro-
grams is limited. You should verify that both the FEMAP translator for your analysis code and the code
itself supports creep material properties.

c
t , ( ) a
b
t
d
=

c
t , ( ) A ( ) 1 e
R ( )t
[ ] K ( )t + =
Creep Law Class 1:
A ( ) a
b
or ae
b

R ( ) ce
d
or c
d

K ( ) e f ( ) sinh [ ]
g
or ee
f

where
Creep Law Class 2:
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4-22 Finite Element Modeling
4.2.3.10 Defining Thermo-Optical Material Properties
Isotropic and ortho-
tropic materials have
the ability to also
specify thermo-opti-
cal properties of the
material. These prop-
erties are used for
heat transfer analyses
in programs like
TMG. They are not
used by Nastran,
ANSYS, ABAQUS
or any of the other
structural programs
where FEMAP sup-
ports heat transfer
analyses.
All of the fields are
function dependent.
You should specify
the constant value in
the field to the left,
which is applied as a
multiplier to any
function you select
from the lists. If you
do not select a func-
tion, the values are
simply constants. The Front Side and Reverse Side for InfraRed and Solar properties refer to planar elements,
where the Front is the face in the direction of the element normal.
4.2.3.11 Defining Phase Change Material Properties
All materials but Fluid and Other Types have a Phase Change tab. This allows you to add material constants which
are normally required for heat transfer and thermal analysis that involve a phase change (i.e. solid-to liquid, liquid-
to-gas).
The phase change material model is primarily available for Nastran and ABAQUS. It can also be used for custom
programs or programs that access the FEMAP neutral file. Reference enthalpy need not be specified when using
ABAQUS.
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Model, Property... 4-23
4.2.4 Model, Property...
...creates a new property. Properties are used to define additional analysis information for one or more elements.
Most property data is geometric (thicknesses, areas, radii, etc.), but properties also specify mass and inertia and
select the materials to be used. The available property types match the available element types. For an element to
reference a property, both the property and the element must be the same type. The only exception is that there is no
distinction between linear and parabolic properties. In fact both linear and parabolic elements can reference the
same property.
Line Elements Properties (See Section 4.2.4.1, "Line Element Properties")
Plane Element Properties (See Section 4.2.4.2, "Plane Element Properties")
Volume Element Properties (See Section 4.2.4.3, "Volume Element Properties")
Other Element Properties (See Section 4.2.4.4, "Other Element Properties")
Common Features of All Property Dialog Boxes
There are many different dialog boxes used for creating the various property types since different values are
required for nearly every element type. Near the top of each dialog box however, you will notice a group of con-
trols which are used to set various parameters for the property to be created. The Elem/Property Type button, used
to choose a different property type, can be found here also. This button will display the same dialog box as
described in the Model, Element command.
ID, Color/Palette and Layer:
These options set parameters for the property to be created. Every time you create a property, the default ID will be
automatically incremented.
Title:
This option allows you to provide a title of up to 79 characters for the property. You should always specify descrip-
tive titles because they will appear in the drop-down selection lists and will help you identify the property. If you do
not specify a title, FEMAP will create a title automatically based on the type of Property created (format is Prop-
erty ID.. Property Type property). For example, if you create a Plate Property without a title, FEMAP will sim-
ply title it 1..PLATE property.
Material:
This drop-down list allows you to choose the material to be referenced by the property. A few property types (mass,
stiffness matrix...) do not require a material, but most do. For your reference, all materials which are defined in
your model will be shown in the list. For details on how various material types translate to your analysis program,
see Section 8, "Analysis Program Interfaces" in the FEMAP User Guide.
In general, for plane element/property types you should pick either an isotropic, orthotropic 2D, or anisotropic 2D
material. Similarly isotropic, orthotropic 3D or anisotropic 3D materials should be used with solid elements. Some
analysis programs however, support 3D orthotropic materials for plate elements to add transverse properties. You
can make your choice by typing an ID, choosing from the list, or by graphically selecting an existing element
which references the material that you want. If you do not specify a material (leave the option blank or 0), when
you press OK, you will be given a chance to automatically create a new material. You can also click the Material
icon button next to the Material drop-down list to create a new material. This is the same as using the Model,
Material command, except that the Define Property dialog box is still visible and the resulting material ID will
automatically be entered into the list.
Copying Properties
If you need to create a property that is similar to another in your model, you do not have to enter all of the property
values manually. Pressing the Copy button will display a list of all existing properties. When you choose a property
from the list, the property values will be copied from that material and displayed in the current property creation
dialog box. You can then modify any of these values, or even change your mind and copy a different property,
before pressing OK to create the new property.
Copying is only useful when you copy properties of the same or similar type. When you copy properties of the
same type, all values are directly transferred to the new property. If you copy a property of one type into a property
of a different type, FEMAP converts the property to the new type, but many of the property constants may be
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4-24 Finite Element Modeling
meaningless. If the property types are similar, like a bar and beam, the similar properties will be copied. If you
attempt to copy a plate property to a beam, or vice versa, you will get meaningless constants. You should review
carefully any properties which you copy between different types.
Working with Property Libraries
Property libraries allow you to create standard properties that you can use over and over again in many different
models. When you press Save, the current property is added to the property library file. Pressing Load will display
a list of the properties in the library and let you choose one to be loaded into the property creation dialog box. Just
like Copy, you can then modify the values before pressing OK to create the property. Also, just like Copy, when you
load a property of a different type it is automatically converted. The property ID, Color, Layer and Material are not
saved in the library, nor updated when a property is loaded from the library. For more information on libraries, see
Section 2.6.2.8, "Library/Startup".
4.2.4.1 Line Element Properties
Rod Element Properties
Rod elements require cross-sectional properties - area and the torsional stiffness. Distributed, nonstructural mass
(per unit length) can also be specified. The coefficient for torsional stress is used in the calculation for torsional
stress as follows:
Tube Element Properties
The tube element cross section is circular. It is defined by the outer and inner tube diameters. Distributed, nonstruc-
tural mass (per unit length) can also be specified. In addition, for certain analysis programs, you can use the Tube
element to model pipe behavior, specifying an internal pressure and whether or not the ends of the element are
closed.
Curved Tube Element Properties
Curved tube element properties are the same as the tube, with the addition of a bend radius.
Bar Element Properties
In addition to the cross
sectional area, numer-
ous inertia properties
must also be defined for
the bar element. These
properties are identical
to those required for
beam properties except
that beam elements
contain additional
inputs. For more infor-
mation, see "Beam Ele-
ment Properties".
where
is the torsional stress
C is the coefficient of torsional stress,
J is the torsional stiffness, and
M

is the torsional moment.

C M

J
------------------ =
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Line Element Properties 4-25
Beam Element Properties
Beam properties are identical to bar properties except that you can specify different properties at each end of the
beam, and you can define a neutral axis offset from the shear center. You must turn on the Tapered Beam option if
you want to enter different properties at the second end of the beam. If this option is off, the properties at the second
end will be equal to the first end.
Care must be taken in properly specifying these properties with respect to the element axes. For FEMAP, I1 is the
moment of inertia about the elemental Z axis, which will resist bending in the outer fiber in the elemental Y direc-
tion. Some people look at this as the moment of inertia in Plane 1, the plane formed by the elemental X and Y axes.
For more information on the element directions, see Section 6, "Element Reference" in the FEMAP User Guide.
The figure will give some examples of cross sections, their orientations and relative inertias.
Distributed, nonstructural mass (per unit length) can also be specified.
You can specify up to four stress recovery locations in the plane of the element cross section. If you just specify the
first location, and leave the remaining ones blank or zero, FEMAP will automatically assign the remaining three
locations with positive and negative combinations of the location that you specified. This feature automates stress
recovery for the four corners of a rectangular cross section.
The neutral axis offsets should be specified in the local beam coordinate system, based upon the orientation node or
vector for the particular elements. This offset is only used to offset the neutral axis from the shear center. The offset
of the shear center (and neutral axis) from the vector between the two nodes defining the beam is input on the beam
Element command, not the beam Property command.
Shape - Section Property Generator
A graphical cross section property generator is available for this property type (as well as bar and curved beam).
FEMAP can automatically compute the cross section properties and stress recovery locations for common or arbi-
trary shapes. The common shapes include rectangular, trapezoidal, circular, and hexagonal bars and tubes, and
structural shapes such as I, C, L, T, Z and hats. Required input for these standard shapes is shown in the following
figure.
Vectors show the elemental
Small I1, Large I2 Large I1, Small I2 Large I1, Small I2
Y axis, which is the
orientation direction.
Rectangular Bar
Width
Height
Rectangular Tube
Width
Height
Thickness
Trapezoidal Bar
Width, Bot
Height Width, Top
Trapezoidal
Width, Bot
Height
Thickness
Width, Top
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4-26 Finite Element Modeling
An arbitrary shape requires creating a surface before entering Model, Property, and then selecting General Section,
pushing the Surface button, and selecting the surface. Whether you select a common or arbitrary shape, you can
Circular Bar
Radius
Circular Tube
Radius
Thickness
Hexagonal Bar
Radius
Hexagonal Tube
Radius
Thickness
I-Beam or Wide
Flange (W)
Height
Width, Bot
Width, Top
Thickness
Thick, Bot
Thick, Top
Channel (C)
Section
Width, Bot
Height
Thickness
Thick, Top
Width, Top
Thick, Bot
Angle (L)
Section
Width
Height
Thick, Bot
Thickness
T Section
Width, Top
Height
Thick, Top
Thickness
Z Section
Width, Top
Width, Bot
Thick,
Height
Thick,
Thickness
Bot
Top
Hat Section
Height
Width, Bot
Width
Thickness
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Line Element Properties 4-27
have FEMAP draw the cross section by pressing Draw. An error in the input will prevent drawing of the cross
section. This dialog box can also be used to define the stress recovery locations and orientation vector direction.
Stress Recovery and Reference Point
The Stress Recovery section of this dialog box allows the selection of stress recovery locations at standard points on
the cross section. By pressing the Forward Arrow button, FEMAP will move the location to the next standard
point, while pressing the Back Arrow button will move the location to the previous standard point. Whether you
specify stress recovery locations here or not, you still have the option to input values directly in the Define Property
- BEAM Element Type (previous) dialog box.
The Reference Point is only used when mesh attributes are assigned to a curve (Mesh, Mesh Control, Attributes
Along Curve). The reference point provides an easy method to automatically define the shear center/neutral axis
offset for beams that are automatically meshed onto a curve.
Any of the Stress Recovery or Reference Point locations can be turned on and off using the check boxes. FEMAP
will remember the positions of the Stress Recovery and Reference Point locations even if they have been altered
from the defaults (version 9.0.1 and above).
When a curve is meshed containing mesh attributes, and the offsets method has been set to Location, FEMAP will
place the reference point on the line joining the two nodes, and then calculate the offset of the shear center from this
point. The result is stored on the element record as the shear center/neutral axis offset.
The Attributes Along Curve command also has the capability to place the reference point at a distance from the line
joining the two nodes of the beam by setting y and z values. For more information, see "Mesh, Mesh Control,
Attributes Along Curve".
Orientation Direction
This section simply allows you to specify the direction of the orientation vector. This is very important since an
inappropriate direction of the vector with respect to the beam mesh will result in erroneous results. The Cross Sec-
Note: The offset stored on the element record calculated from the reference point moves both the neutral axis
and shear center from the line joining the two nodes of the beam. The offset stored on the property
record and calculated when Compute Shear Center offset is checked offsets the Neutral Axis from the
Shear Center.
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4-28 Finite Element Modeling
tion Definition dialog box provides a visual representation of the required direction of the orientation vector for the
beams.
Change Shape
This option is only available when editing a cross section for which properties have already been calculated. This
option must be turned on before any properties can be changed. Once this option is selected, FEMAP will use the
cross section generator to calculate new properties when exiting this dialog box via the OK button. If you simply
want to edit stress recovery locations or orientation, FEMAP will use stored values to calculate any change in prop-
erties instead of creating an entire new set. This can save some time when making these simple changes.
If you wish to convert beam sections to have no shape (but retain the property values), you can use the Modify,
Update Elements, Shape... command.
Compute Shear Center Offset, Compute Warping Constant
These options are only available for beam properties. They are not available for bar or curved beam properties
since they are not supported by most analysis codes for these types of elements.
If Compute Shear Center Offset is on, FEMAP will use its cross section generator to compute the offset of the neu-
tral axis from the shear center and store the result on the property record. This is on by default since this offset can
be important with certain cross sections and such programs as Nastran, ABAQUS, and ANSYS provide support for
these offsets.
If Compute Warping Constant is on, FEMAP will calculate the warping constant for the cross section. This is off by
default since warping is often not important in beam analysis and there is limited support among the analysis pro-
grams for warping.
Poissons Ratio, Nu
Allows the user to enter a value for Poissons ratio to be used with the Alternate Section Property Calculator
(FEMAP Version 9 and above).
Special Note about the Alternate Section Property Calculator.
The alternative method is selected by going to File, Preferences..., Choosing the Database... button and checking
Alternate Section Property Calculation. If the alternative method is selected, a poissons ratio keyin is available on
the Cross Section Definition dialog box.
In FEMAP version 9 and above, changes have been made to the Beam Section Property Evaluation. The original
algorithm has been found to generate negative shear area values for some thin walled beam sections. For example,
I beams with the following dimensions have a negative shear area:
Height >4.023
Width, Top 1.0
Width, Bottom 1.0
Thick, Top 0.1
Thick, Bottom 0.1
Thickness 0.1
Apart from the one negative shear area, all other properties for the above dimensioned I beams are correct. Cur-
rently no problem can be found with the algorithm and it gives excellent values for all solid sections and low aspect
ratio thin-walled sections.
Note: The following section contains information about the Alternate Section Property Calculator. This
portion of the documentation is intended for any user who would like to know how FEMAP is calculat-
ing Beam Section Property values and why FEMAP now has two separate methods for performing this
calculation. Users who model with thin-walled beams may find the information in this section very use-
ful in creating more accurate finite element models.
For more information on the theory used to develop the Alternate Section Property Calculator, please
consult the references listed at the end of this section. Thank You.
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Line Element Properties 4-29
To overcome this issue, the original algorithm has been adapted and an alternative algorithm added. The original
algorithm is still the default algorithm to ensure compatibility with files from previous versions of FEMAP.
The original algorithm assumes an internal poissons ratio value of 0.3. Changing the internal value of poissons
ratio value to zero prevents negative shear areas. However, this would not provide section property values consis-
tent with previous versions of FEMAP. In order to provide the best compatibility and to prevent bad shear area, in
FEMAP 9 the algorithm runs with an initial poissons ratio of 0.3 and if that results in a negative shear area or a
shear area greater than the area, an error is issued and the algorithm is rerun with a poissons ratio of zero.
While investigating this problem, an alternative and newer method of evaluating shear area was found (1,2).
Instead of using deflection curvature to determine shear area via Timoshenkos equation (3); the new method
equates internal to external shear energy. The resulting shear areas are always positive and well behaved, but they
do not exactly match classical values (4) when the poissons ratio is not zero. For example, consider a high aspect
ratio rectangular beam. The original algorithm calculates a shear area in both directions that matches the equation
for a rectangular section (4) with a poissons ratio of 0.3:
The alternative algorithm satisfies the above equation when poissons ratio is zero, but unlike the original algo-
rithm, it calculates different shear areas in the two directions when poissons ratio is not zero. This does not agree
with the classical equation above where aspect ratio in not included. However, applying shear load to a tall, thin
beam is likely to be less effected by poissons ratio than applying the same load to a wide, shallow beam. It is there-
fore almost intuitive that the two shear areas for a high aspect ratio rectangle should be different.
The choice between original and alternative is subjective. The original method calculates one bad shear area for
high aspect ratio thin-walled beam sections but matches classical values for solid sections and gets good properties
for low aspect ratio thin-walled sections. The alternative method gets good shear area values for all aspect ratios,
but does not match classical values for solid sections with non-zero poissons ratio.
1) Analysis and Design of Elastic Beams
By Walter D. Pilkey
Published by Wiley
2) Shear Correction factors in Timoshenkos beam theory for arbitrary shaped cross-sections
By F. Gruttmann and W. Wagner
Computational Mechanics 27 (2001) Springer-Verlag
3) Elastic Shear Analysis Of General Prismatic Beams
By William E. Mason Jr. and Leonard R. Herrmann
Journal of the Engineering Mechanics Division
Proceedings of the American Society of Civil Engineers
August 1968
4) Formulas For Natural Frequency And Mode Shape
By Robert D. Blevins
Published by Robert E. Krieger
Nastran PBEAML (and PBARL) Sections
FEMAP also enables you to create Nastran PBEAML (and PBARL) sections. Although FEMAP evaluates the sec-
tion properties and stress locations for these sections, if the translator writes PBEAML (or PBARL) Nastran cards:
these properties are ignored and only the dimensions are written. In this situation, Nastran evaluates the section
properties and stress locations and generates replacement PBEAM (or PBAR) cards.
A
10 1 + ( )
12 11 +
-----------------------
\ .
| |
where A = Area and Poissons Ratio =
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4-30 Finite Element Modeling
You can suppress the writing of PBEAML (and PBARL) cards when writing a Nastran deck using options on the
Bulk Data and Bulk Data Options dialogs. If you do this, FEMAP evaluated properties will be written to the
PBEAM and PBAR cards.
Required input for the Nastran sections is shown in the following figure.
Note: The property values evaluated by Nastran can differ from those evaluated be FEMAP. FEMAP uses a
general section property evaluation tool. Nastran may be using different assumptions suchas thin wall
theory. Some values for some sections, especially warping values, differ considerably.
Note: The definition axes for the Nastran sections is different to the standard FEMAP sections. For the stan-
dard FEMAP sections, y is to the right and z is up on the dialog box. For the Nastran sections, y is up
and z is to the right - this is to be consistent with Nastran documentation.
ROD
Dim1
TUBE
Dim1
Dim2
L
Dim1
Dim2
Dim3
Dim4
I
Dim1
Dim2
Dim3
Dim4
Dim5
Dim6
CHAN
Dim1
Dim2 Dim3
Dim4
T
Dim1
Dim2
Dim3
Dim4
BOX
Dim1
Dim2
Dim3
Dim4
BAR
Dim1
Dim2
CROSS
Dim1/2
Dim2
Dim3
Dim4
H
Dim1
Dim2/2
Dim3
Dim4
T1
Dim1
Dim2
Dim3
Dim4
I1
Dim1/2
Dim2 Dim3
Dim4
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Line Element Properties 4-31
Link Element Properties
Link element properties consist of just the stiffness values, in all six degrees of freedom, at each end of the element.
The link element is rigid between the ends.
Curved Beam Element Properties
The curved beam element properties are just like those for the bar element (see previous paragraphs), and similar to
the beam property (except neutral axis offsets from the shear center and warping are not supported) except that you
must also specify a bend radius. All elements which reference this property will use this constant radius.
Spring/Damper Element Properties
The FEMAP spring element is a combined linear spring and damper, which connects either translational (axial) or
rotational (torsional) degrees of freedom.
You can specify both stiffness and damping values for the same elements, however, some analysis programs do not
support the damping values.
Nastran BUSH Property Values
These properties are used to define the options for the Nastran PBUSH property. The PBUSH property allows you
to define stiffness or damping for each individual dof.
Nominal Structural damping and Stress recovery coefficients in the translational and rotational dof can be defined.
The Spring/Damp Loc option defines where the Spring/Damper is located along the line between the nodes defin-
ing the element. If the option is off Femap will write a blank in Nastran to use the default. The Orientation Csys
Note: For Nastran, stiffness and damping cannot both be specified on the same property.
Entering a Stiffness value for Axial or Torsional will create an equivalent PROD/CROD property/ele-
ment combination to represent the appropriate spring stiffness.
Entering a Damping value for Axial or Torsional will create a PVISC property.
CHAN1
Dim1
Dim2
Dim3
Dim4
Z
Dim1
Dim2
Dim3
Dim4
CHAN2
Dim1
Dim2
Dim3
Dim4
T2
Dim1
Dim2
Dim3
Dim4
BOX1
Dim1
Dim2
Dim3
Dim4
Dim6 Dim5
HEXA
Dim1
Dim2
Dim3
HAT
Dim1
Dim2
Dim3 Dim4
HAT1
Dim1
Dim2
Dim3
Dim4
Dim5
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4-32 Finite Element Modeling
option defines the BUSH element csys for the element referencing this property. If the Orientation Csys option is
off then Nastran will determine the element csys from the Orientation defined on the element.
Nonlinear/Freq Resp
This button allows you to define the frequency dependent or stress dependant properties for the BUSH element.
For a Frequency Response analysis you can define Stiffness vs. Frequency, Force per Velocity vs. Frequency in
each dof, and Structural Damping vs. Frequency. For a Nonlinear analysis you can define the Force vs. Displace-
ment also for each dof.
Note: The values in the NASTRAN BUSH Property Values are only used to create a PBUSH property when the
element formulation for the spring/damper element has been set to 1..CBUSH in the NASTRAN sec-
tion of the SPRING/DAMPER Formulation dialog box. When the formulation is set to 0..Default,
these values are ignored and FEMAP will only use the values specified in the Property Values section.
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Line Element Properties 4-33
DOF Spring Element Properties
Unlike the spring element which acts along the line between the elemental end points, the DOF Spring connects
two nodal degrees of freedom - independent of their orientation relative to each other. You choose the degrees of
freedom via the buttons at the left of the dialog box. Like the spring however, you can specify both stiffness and
damping.
In addition, you can add both nonlinear behavior and frequency dependence to the spring by defining and choosing
one or more functions. The Force vs Displacement function allows you to specify a nonlinear behavior for the
spring as it extends. The Force vs Frequency and Damping vs Frequency functions allow you to control the
behavior of the spring in a frequency analysis.
Gap Element Properties
For gap elements you can specify an initial gap distance, tension, compression and transverse stiffness and friction
constants. You should carefully review which of these options are supported by your analysis program before using
gap elements.
For zero length gaps (coincident node gaps), you can specify a coordinate system for orientation. Additional Nas-
tran options include limits on Penetration, and Adjustment, as well as an Adaptive option.
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4-34 Finite Element Modeling
For ABAQUS, gap properties are also used to define properties of interface elements, and you can specify the
interface normal and width/area.
4.2.4.2 Plane Element Properties
Shear Element Properties
Shear panel properties are limited to element thickness and distributed nonstructural mass. For some analysis pro-
grams, you can also specify effectiveness factors which provide for treatment of the effective extensional area of
the shear panel. Effectiveness Factors F3 and F4 are for use with NEi Nastran only.
Membrane, Bending, Plane Strain and Plate Element Properties
These property types are all variations of plate element properties. They all require the thickness property, but the
plate type allows you to vary the thickness at each element corner. Be careful, though, these corner thicknesses will
be applied to each element that references this property. The stress recovery locations are measured from the neu-
tral axis of the plate toward the top fiber. These are not offsets, they are simply the location where stresses are
recovered.
NASTRAN Options
The Bending Stiffness (12I/T**3) and Transverse Shear Thickness/Element Thickness (Ts/T) properties are used by
Nastran to simulate non-isotropic or sandwich material behavior. In addition to these options, FEMAP now sup-
ports choosing different materials for the bending, transverse shear, and membrane-bending coupling behavior. By
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Plane Element Properties 4-35
default, the plate will use the material that you select at the top of the dialog box, however, you can disable any of
these properties, or select a different material simply by choosing the options in the lists.
NEi Nastran Tension Only...
This button is used to define options for
the NE/Nastran tension only shell.
Specify the Component Direction to
define which element stress Component
Direction will be used to determine ele-
ment failure and the appropriate max
Compression Allowable.
The Shell Type After Reversion drop-
down allows you to choose which type
of element you are creating, whether it is
a Tension Only Shell or a Shear Panel.
For the Tension Only Shell, X and Y
Compression Factors are used to deter-
mine the stiffness when the element fails.
For the Shear Panel, Effectiveness Factors F1 through F4 can be defined to specify treatment of the effective exten-
sional area of the shear panel.
Laminate Element Properties
Properties of this type are different than those for any other type of element. In this case, the normal material refer-
ence (at the top of the dialog box), is not used. It is unavailable in this dialog box. Rather, you must choose a pre-
described Layup for your laminate property.
Laminate Definition
Layup
A Layup has information containing the material, physical thickness, and orientation angle for each ply in the
laminate, as well as any Global Ply information. If a Layup does not exist in your model, you can create a new
Layup by clicking the Layup icon button next to the Layup drop down menu.
Bottom Surface
Specifies a distance from the reference plane to the bottom surface of the laminate. If this field is left blank, the
default value will be -0.5 * the overall thickness of the laminate property.
Options
Symmetric
In general, you must list all plys in your laminate in your Layup. If you are using Nastran or ANSYS, and your lam-
inate is symmetric, you can choose the Symmetric option and only enter one half of the layers.
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4-36 Finite Element Modeling
Membrane Only (Nastran)
This Nastran option on the PCOMP entry simulates a derived PSHELL entry with only membrane terms being
computed. (MID1 on the derived PSHELL).
Bending Only (Nastran)
This Nastran option on the PCOMP entry simulates a derived PSHELL entry with only bending terms being
computed. (MID2 on the derived PSHELL)
Smear (Nastran)
This Nastran option on the PCOMP entry ignores the stacking sequence, sets MID1=MID2 on the derived
PSHELL entry, and the MID3, MID4, Ts/T, and 12I/T**3 terms are all set to zero. Also, when this option is used,
your stress and strain output will be returned in Top and Bottom shell format instead of Ply by Ply.
Smear - Core (Nastran)
This Nastran option can be used when creating a laminate which has Face Sheets and a Core. The last ply of
the Layup will be used to represent the Core. Half the overall thickness of the other plies that make up the Face
Sheets will be placed above the Core and the other half below the Core. The stacking sequence of the Face
Sheet plies is ignored. Also, when this option is used, your stress and strain output will be returned in Top and
Bottom shell format instead of Ply by Ply.
Laminate Properties and Failure Theory
Many programs support the failure theories listed. You must specify the bond shear allowable, along with strength
allowables on the materials if you want to use the failure theory calculations.
Axisymmetric Shell Properties
The axisymmetric shell property contains only 1 property value for the thickness.
4.2.4.3 Volume Element Properties
Axisymmetric Element Properties
Actually, axisymmetric elements do not have any property values. The FEMAP property for these types is simply
used to reference the desired material.
Solid Element Properties
Unlike the plane elements, which orient their material axes with using an angle on each element, solid element
properties can reference a coordinate system to align the material axes. This difference is due to the fact that solid
elements require orientation of all three principal directions. Plane elements always have their Z direction normal
to the plane and can therefore be oriented with a single rotation angle. You can also choose to orient solid elements
based on the directions defined by the element's corner nodes.
4.2.4.4 Other Element Properties
Mass Element Properties
FEMAP mass elements support differing mass and inertia properties in three principal directions. Many analysis
programs do not support differing X, Y and Z masses. In this case FEMAP just uses the X mass that you defined.
As an input convenience, if you leave My and/or Mz blank (or zero) they will be automatically set equal to the Mx
value. If you really want almost no mass value in one of these directions, you must set the value to a small nonzero
number like 1E-10. FEMAP can also align the principal mass directions to any coordinate system and offset the
mass from a node. Check to see if your analysis program supports these options before using them.
Use the Effective Diameter field for mass elements that are part of a model to be solved with FEMAP Thermal. The
solver will use the implied area of a sphere with the specified diameter to calculate the relevant conductances.
Mass and Stiffness Matrix Element Properties
Properties for mass matrix and stiffness matrix elements are input as a symmetric 6x6 matrix. Since mass matrix
elements are only connected to one node, this fully defines all six mass degrees of freedom for that node.
Stiffness matrix elements connect two nodes, and hence 12 degrees of freedom. The 6x6 stiffness matrix is simply
replicated to form a 12x12 matrix in this case.
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Model, Layup... 4-37
The following form is used (A is the 6x6 matrix you specify):
Slide Line Element Properties
You must define the interaction property values for the slide line element which include the slide line plane, width
of surfaces, and stiffness and frictional conditions. Both symmetrical penetration and unsymmetrical penetration
(for the slave nodes only) are available. No material reference is required for slide line element properties.
Weld Element Properties
Weld connector elements are only available for NX Nastran and MSC Nastran. Only isotropic materials (MAT1
entries in NASTRAN) can be used as the material for a weld element.
There are a few options to choose in the Define Property - WELD Element Type dialog box.
Diameter - This value represents the diameter of the weld. The diameter, length, and material are used to calculate
the stiffness of the connector in 6 directions.
Spot Weld - When this option is on, SPOT is written to the TYPE field on the PWELD entry. This causes the
actual length of the weld element to be ignored and instead the stiffness is calculated using an effective length (L
e
).
L
e
= 1/2 (t
a
+ t
b
), where t
a
and t
b
are the thicknesses of the shell elements A and B which are being connected with
the weld.
Eliminate M-Set DOF - When this option is checked, it writes out OFF for the MSET field on the PWELD entry
in the Nastran Bulk Data File. With MSET = OFF, the 2x6 constraint equations are built into the stiffness matrix of
the CWELD element thereby condensing the 2x6 degrees of freedom of the nodes used to create the weld connec-
tion. This option is available for 0..Elem to Elem, 1..Elem to Elem Vertex, 5..Nodes to Nodes, and 6..Nodes to Elem
Vertex weld types (ELEMID and GRIDID) only.
Plot Only and Rigid Element Properties
There are no properties required for these element types, so they are not normally defined. You can however create
properties of these types if you want to use them in any of the other generation / meshing commands.
4.2.5 Model, Layup...
...creates a new layup. Layups are used to define the make-up of a laminate property, ply by ply. You can choose a
material ID, physical thickness, and orientation angle for each ply in the laminate. There is also an optional Glo-
bal Ply which can be defined.
Note: This formulation does not take into account any geometric transformations required to connect non-
coincident nodes, so care should be taken when using this element type.
A A
symmetric A
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4-38 Finite Element Modeling
ID and Title:
These options set the ID and Title for the layup to be created. Every time you create a layup, the default ID will be
automatically incremented. Title allows you to provide a title of up to 79 characters for each layup.
Global Ply ID (optional):
This option is currently only used to save a particular ply of one layup for use in other layups in your model. Future
versions of FEMAP will expand the capabilities of the Global Ply.
You can create a new Global Ply by clicking the Global Ply Icon Button next to the drop down list. In the Global
Ply Definition dialog box, you can choose an ID, Title (up to 79 characters), Material, and Thickness. Once the Glo-
bal Ply has been defined, you can use it in any layup of your model by simply choosing it from the Global Ply ID
drop-down list and the Material and Thickness values will be entered.
Material, Thickness and Angle:
The Material drop-down list allows you to choose the material to be referenced for each ply. If you want to create a
new material, simply click the Material Icon Button next to the Material drop-down list.
Thickness allows you to enter the physical thickness of each ply.
Angle is used to enter the orientation angle of each ply. The angles are specified relative to the material axes which
were defined for the element. If you did not specify a material orientation angle, these angles are measured from
the first side of the element (the edge from the first to the second node). They are measured from the rotated mate-
rial axes otherwise.
Layup Editor Buttons
There are several buttons in the Layup Editor that allow you to perform different functions. Some buttons are avail-
able all the time, while other require that certain fields be filled, one row highlighted, or multiple rows highlighted.
Each button or group of button is explained in greater detail below.
New Ply
Once you have a Material, Thickness, and Angle specified, click this button to add the ply to the layup. By default,
it will add this ply to the Top of the List (Designated in the dialog box above the list of plies with Top of Layup).
Note: A Global Ply can only be referenced in a Layup one time. If you use a Global Ply more than once in a
Layup, the most recently entered instance of the Global Ply will have the Global Ply designation.
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Model, Layup... 4-39
If you have a ply highlighted in the list, the new ply will be added UNDER the highlighted ply (i.e., closer to the
Bottom of Layup). If you have multiple plies highlighted, this button is not available
Update buttons
Once a ply has been added the list, the definition of that ply can be updated using the Update Global Ply, Update
Material, Update Thickness, or Update Angle buttons. These commands are available when one or more plies are
highlighted in the list of plies (except Global Ply, which can only be used for one ply at a time). Once the desired
plies are highlighted, enter the new value for Material, Thickness, and/or Angle, then click the appropriate button to
update all highlighted plies with the new value.
Duplicate
Available when one ply or multiple plies are highlighted. Simply highlight the plies you would like duplicated in
the list of plies, click the Duplicate button, and the duplicated plies will be added to the top of the list of plies.
Delete
Available when one ply or multiple plies are highlighted. Simply highlight the plies you would like delete in the list
of plies, click the Delete button, and the plies will be deleted from the list of plies
Symmetry
Available only when multiple plies are highlighted. Simply highlight the plies you would like to mirror in the list
of plies, click the Symmetry button, and the mirrored plies will be added to the top of the list of plies in reverse
order as the were originally in the list.
Reverse
Available only when multiple plies are highlighted. Simply highlight the plies you would like to reverse in the
list of plies, click the Reverse button, and the order of the selected plies will be reversed in the list based on the
original position (i.e., the selected ply which was closest to the Bottom of Layup will now be closest to the Top
of Layup in the list).
Move Up and Move Down
Available when one ply or multiple plies are highlighted. Simply highlight the plies you would like moved up or
down in the list of plies, click the Move Up or Move Down button, and the selected plies will be moved closer to the
Top of Layup (Move Up) or Bottom of Layup (Move Down) one ply at a time.
Rotate
Available when one ply or multiple plies are highlighted. Simply highlight the plies you would like to rotate (alter
angle) in the list of plies, click the Rotate button, and the Angle of the selected plies will updated by adding or
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4-40 Finite Element Modeling
subtracting the number entered in the Rotate Ply By dialog box. Enter a negative number to subtract from the cur-
rent angle.
Compute
Always available once a single ply has been added to the layup. This command will calculate the equivalent
mechanical properties for the layup. These values will be sent to the Messages dockable pane.
The calculated equivalent laminate property values include:
Total Thickness
In-Plane Properties (2-D orthotropic)
Modulus of elasticity (X and Y directions)
Shear Modulus (XY)
Poissons Ratio
Coefficient of thermal expansion (X,Y, and
XY)
Bending/Flexural Properties (2-D orthotro-
pic)
Modulus of elasticity (X and Y bending)
Shear Modulus (XY bending)
Poissons Ratio
Coefficient of thermal expansion (X,Y, and
XY bending)
Compliance Matrices - These are provided
for advanced users working with compos-
ites. The inverse are also provided for your
convenience.
A Matrix (extensional stiffness)
B Matrix (coupling stiffness)
D Matrix (bending stiffness)
A-Inv Matrix
B-Inv Matrix
D-Inv Matrix
.
Copy and Paste
Available when one ply or multiple plies are highlighted. Simply highlight the plies you would like copied in the
list of plies, click the Copy button, and the selected plies will be place on the clipboard.
Clicking Paste will Paste the plies into the current layup at the top of the list of plies. You can now reposition the
plies using the Move Up and Move Down buttons.
Note: If you have the Entity Info window open while creating or modifying a Layup, the equivalent properties
will be calculated live every time a ply is added or modified. This is a great way to create a layup
which will behave as expected in your model.
Note: The copied plies will remain on the clipboard until over-written by another copy operation from a
windows program. If you desire, you can copy from a layup, then open another layup (new or exist-
ing) and paste those plies into that layup.
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Model, Layup... 4-41
Working with Layup Libraries (Save and Load buttons)
The layup library allows you to create standard layups that you can use over and over again in many different mod-
els. When you press Save, the current layup is added to the Layup library file. Pressing Load will display a list of
the layups in the library and let you choose one to be loaded into the layup editor dialog box. You can then modify
the values before pressing OK to create the layup. The layup ID is not saved in the library, nor updated when a
layup is loaded from the library. For more information on libraries, see Section 2.6.2.8, "Library/Startup".
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4-42 Finite Element Modeling
4.3 Creating Loads And Constraints
This section describes methods to load and constrain your model. Loads and constraints are applied in a similar
manner. Both are input as part of sets. Therefore, you can define multiple load and constraints for your analysis.
You can apply loads and constraints to geometry and/or FEA entities. You can even copy or combine sets for either
loads or constraints. The sections that follow will first explain the application of loads, and then move on to con-
straints.
4.3.1 Create/Activate Load Set
4.3.1.1 Model, Load, Set...
... makes a new load set or activates an existing set. This menu command is also available on the tray at the bottom
right portion of the graphics window, as well as through the Load toolbar.
To create a new load set, enter an ID that does not appear in the list of available sets. Then enter a title and press
OK. As always, you should choose a descriptive title. The titles are displayed, along with the IDs, whenever you
are asked to select a load set. To activate a load set that already exists, simply choose it from the list, or enter its ID,
and press OK. To deactivate all load sets, press Reset.
For each load set, a combination of Load Definitions, Body Loads, and Other Loads may be used to define the load-
ing conditions for that load set.
4.3.2 Load Definitions
Every time a load is created on finite element entities (i.e., Model, Load, Nodal; Model, Load, Nodal on Face; and
Model, Load, Elemental) or geometry (Model, Load, On Point; Model, Load, On Curve; Model, Load, on Surface)
a Load Definition will also be created in FEMAP. A Bolt Preload will also create a Load Definition. These Load
Definitions will appear in the Loads branch of the Model Info tree and can be given a title.
Each Load Definition will contain all of the individual loads which were created at the same time using a Model,
Load... command. Load Definitions can then be edited, listed, and deleted and all individual loads contained in that
Load Definition will be edited, listed, or deleted.
For example, if you chose to put a Force load of 1 unit on 5 selected nodes, a single Load Definition would
appear in the Model Info tree. In this case, if the Load Definition were to be edited, 5 individual loads would be
modified using one command.
Note: All of the commands for listing, deleting, and modifying individual loads are still available in FEMAP.
Ctrl+F2
Enter Set ID to
activate here
OR, choose an
existing set
from this list
Click here to
deactivate all
sets.
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Finite Element Loads 4-43
Load Definitions can be removed at any time using the Remove Definition command on the context sensitive menu
in the Model Info tree and the individual loads from that Load Definition will be moved under the appropriate head-
ing in the Other Loads branch. The Other Loads branch contains headings for On Geometry, On Mesh, Bolt Pre-
Load, Nodal Temperatures, and Elemental Temperatures.
Also, a Load Definition can be created from any number of loads of the same type (i.e., any number of Nodal
Forces, Elemental Pressures, or Displacements on Curves, etc) by highlighting them in the Model Info tree and
using the Create Definition command from the context sensitive menu.
If you choose loads of various types and then use the Create Definition command, FEMAP will create a Load Def-
inition for each separate type of load that was highlighted.
For more information about the Remove Definition and Create Definition commands, along with the process of
combining Load Definitions, please see Section 7.2.1, "Tools, Model Info" under Loads and Constraints in the
Model Info Tree
4.3.3 Finite Element Loads
FEMAP allows you to create loads directly on finite element entities. These types of loads will be exported directly
to the solver on translation, assuming that the translator supports the type of loading input. Loads can be applied to
the entire finite element model (Model, Load, Body command), to individual or groups of nodes (the Model, Load,
Nodal, the Model, Load, Nodal, and the Model, Node, Nonlinear Force commands), and to individual or groups of
elements (the Model, Load, Element command). Each type of load and its command is discussed in more detail
below.
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4-44 Finite Element Modeling
4.3.3.1 Model, Load, Body
Body loads act on all elements of your model and represent global motions, accelerations or temperatures. You
must activate the body loads that you want prior to defining load values, by checking the various active options.
Body loads can be separated into acceleration, velocity, and thermal.
Time and Frequency Dependence can be specified for Translational and Rotational Accelerations, as well as, Rota-
tional Velocity by selecting an existing FEMAP function from the drop-down list. You can also create a new func-
tion by clicking any of the Function icon buttons next to the Time/Freq Dependence drop-down list boxes.
Translational Accel/Gravity and Rotational Acceleration
These body loads represent translational and/or rotational acceleration. Input must always be in the global direc-
tions. Translational accelerations are often used to represent gravity loads. Watch the units however, these are not
specified in gs.
Rotational Velocity
This type of body load represents a rotational velocity and the resulting loads which are caused by centripetal
acceleration.
Center of Rotations
This specifies the location of the center of rotation for the rotational body loads (rotational velocity and rotational
acceleration). You can graphically select the Center of Rotations graphically by highlighting one of the fields in this
portion of the dialog and then clicking in the graphics window. To select a precise position, you may want to use the
Snap to Grid, Snap to Point, or Snap to Node mode.
Thermal
The Default Temperature is the temperature of all nodes/elements which are not given a specific temperature in this
load set by nodal or elemental temperature loads. This option can be used to quickly assign a temperature for the
entire model.
Rotating Around Vector... button
This utility allows you to specify a Rotation Vector (using any vector
method in FEMAP) for all rotational body loads in a particular load
set. Once you select the vector, FEMAP allows you to enter a value for
Velocity and Acceleration around this specified vector. Clicking OK will
return you to the main Body Loads dialog box and the transformed
values for the entered Velocity and Acceleration will now appear in the
appropriate X, Y, and Z components.
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Model, Load, Nodal 4-45
4.3.3.2 Model, Load, Nodal
Creating nodal loads is a two step process. First, you must select the nodes where the load will be applied. As
always, this is done using the standard entity selection dialog box. After you select the nodes, you will see another
dialog box which defines the load.
The first selection you should make is the type of load you wish to create. FEMAP supports eleven (11) types of
nodal loads for various types of thermal and structural analysis - forces, moments, displacements, enforced rota-
tions, velocities, rotational velocities, accelerations, rotational accelerations, nodal temperatures, nodal heat gener-
ation and nodal heat fluxes.
The last 10 load types available are Fluid specific and are only accessible through the FEMAP neutral file.
As you choose a load type, FEMAP will disable or hide any controls in the load definition dialog box which are not
required. After choosing a load type you can proceed to define the other load parameters and values.
Title:
Allows you to enter a title for the Load Definition being created. If you do not enter a title, a default title will be
created based on the type of load which was created.
For example, if you create a Force on a selected node or nodes, the default title will be Force on Nodes.
Color/Palette and Layer:
These controls define parameters for the load to be created.
Coordinate System:
This option is only available if you select the Components method for direction for non-thermal load types. The
components are defined relative to the selected coordinate system. If you select a cylindrical or spherical system,
the true direction of the loads also depends on the location of the node where it is applied. For example, a positive
radial force goes in a different direction if the node is at 0 degrees, than if it is at 180 degrees.
Direction:
All non-thermal load types are vector quantities which require a direction. FEMAP provides five methods to define
the direction of a load: Components, Vector, Along Curve, Normal to Plane, and Normal to Surface. The Compo-
nents method simply requires input of components in the three directions. For all methods except Components, you
must check the Specify button to either define the vector (FEMAP standard vector definition dialog box will
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4-46 Finite Element Modeling
appear), select the curve, define the plane (FEMAP standard plane definition dialog box will appear), or select the
surface. These methods provide great flexibility for defining the direction of the loads.
Choosing a Load Creation Method
There are three methods available to create loads on the nodes that you selected. The simplest, and default method,
is to assign a constant load value to each of the nodes. As an alternative, you can define an equation which defines
the value at each node. If you choose this method, you must select a variable (default is i - must select Advanced
under Variable to change it) which will be updated to contain the ID of the node where loads are being defined.
Then, instead of entering a numeric value for the loads, enter an equation in Value which uses the variable. You will
find the XND(), YND() and ZND() functions very useful in defining loads in terms of the locations of the nodes
that you are loading.
If instead of entering an equation, you enter a numeric value, that value will be assigned to every node, just as if
you had specified a constant. Conversely, if you enter an equation, but also set Constant, the equation will be eval-
uated prior to load definition and the constant result will be assigned to all selected nodes.
For example, if you choose to enter an equation in Value such as:
10*(xnd(!i)-xnd(1))+50
each node will receive a load which is equal to fifty, plus ten times the length in the X direction between that node
and node 1.
A third method is available in FEMAP 9.3 and above, and this method is to use a Data Surface. There are several
different types of Data Surfaces which can be created and in most cases, a Data Surface allows you to vary a value
based on specific parameters of an entity (i.e., XYZ coordinates; Node or Element ID; spatial locations - 1-D, 2-D,
or 3-D; mapped results from different mesh; parametric locations on geometry). These Data Surfaces can be cre-
ated prior to load creation using the Data Surface Editor (For more information on the Data Surface Editor, see
Section 7.2.3, "Tools, Data Surface Editor"). You can also click the Data Surface Icon button in the Create Loads
dialog box and choose from the list of available Data Surfaces to create a new one.
Time, Temperature or Frequency Dependent Loads
If the loads that you are creating are constant, simply set this option to 0..None. However, if your loads vary with
either time, temperature or frequency, you can choose the appropriate function to define that dependence. Prior to
creating your loads, you must use the Model, Function command to create the functions, so that they can be
selected from the list. The Y values of the function are used to multiply the constant values that you specify in this
dialog box. Do not confuse frequency dependence of the load value (specified here) with frequency dependence of
the phase (specified at the bottom of the dialog box for frequency analyses).
Note: Since these loads are created on the nodes themselves, the actual method of computing the direction is
not stored. FEMAP calculates the direction from the method, and then stores the result in component
form. This enables you to modify or remove any geometry that was created to specify the direction
without changing the load direction. If you attempt to edit or list the load, the values listed will be in
component form. Only loads attached directly to geometry store any information regarding the direction
method.
Hint: When choosing the Along Curve or Normal to Surface options, be careful that the nodes fall within the
length of the curve or the area bounded by the surface. If the curve is anything but a line, FEMAP will
attempt to project the position of the nodes onto the curve to determine the direction of the curve at that
location. A similar projection is also required for the Normal to Surface method. If the projection falls
well outside the curve or surface actual bounds, unexpected values for the direction may result.
Note: The XND(), YND(), and ZND() functions will use a loads definition coordinate system. For example,
in a cylindrical coordinate system, XND() would be the radial coordinate of the node, YND() would be
theta coordinate of the node, and ZND() would be the coordinate in the Z-axis of the node.
Note: The equation is evaluated at each node, and the actual calculated value of the load is stored as a nodal
load. The equation, itself is not stored. Equations are only stored for geometric loads.
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Model, Load, Nodal On Face... 4-47
Creating Component Loads (Forces, Moments, etc.)
For component of non-thermal loads (forces, moments, displacements, enforced displacements, velocities, rota-
tional velocities, accelerations, and rotational accelerations) you must activate the various load components, using
the option boxes, prior to setting the load value. There is no load applied to any component which is not activated.
For forces, moments, velocities, rotational velocities, accelerations, and rotational accelerations, this is equivalent
to activating the component and then applying a zero (or blank) load. For displacements and enforced rotations,
however, these two alternatives are not equivalent. With the component deactivated, that component is free to
move (displace) freely. Activating the component and then specifying a zero displacement (or a blank), prevents all
movement of that component. This is similar to a constraint.
As just described, FEMAP will allow you to activate load components which have a zero (or blank) load value.
You may not however, have all load values equal to zero. If you want to use displacement loads as pseudo-con-
straints, you must specify at least one small nonzero value, like 1E-10 or smaller. You should never have to create a
zero force or acceleration, since it will have no effect.
Phase:
Non-thermal loads also allow you to specify a phase. This value is only used for frequency analyses. In addition,
for frequency response analyses, you can make the phase frequency dependent by selecting an additional function.
4.3.3.3 Model, Load, Nodal On Face...
... is the same as Model, Load, Nodal, except that instead of directly selecting the nodes where the loads will be
applied, here you select the faces of elements. You will first use the standard entity selection dialog box to select
the elements which reference the nodes where you want to place loads. Then, the face selection dialog box (as
described later in Model, Load, Elemental) is used to limit the nodal selection to specific element faces. When you
have selected the element faces, FEMAP will automatically determine the nodes where loads will be defined, and
this command will continue, just like the normal Model, Load, Nodal command.
4.3.3.4 Model, Load, Elemental...
...is used to create elemental loads. The process is very similar to Model, Load, Nodal. You must first select the ele-
ments where the load will be applied using the standard entity selection dialog box. Then, another dialog box
allows you to define the load type and values similar to the Create Loads on Nodes dialog box. The one major dif-
ference is that you will not be able to specify a direction. All elemental loads have a certain prescribed direction
(typically normal to face of application).
There are seven types of elemental loads in FEMAP: distributed loads on line elements, pressure, temperature, and
four types of heat transfer loads - heat generation, heat flux, convection and radiation. Again, just like nodal loads,
you should select the load type first. This choice will disable or hide all controls which are not necessary for the
type of load you are defining. Finally, specify the other load parameters and values.
You can also make elemental loads function dependent, just like nodal loads, as well as input a constant or variable
load. You will find the XEL( ), YEL( ), ZEL( ), XEF( ), YEF( ) and ZEF( ) functions very useful in defining loads
in terms of the locations of the elements and element faces that you are loading. If instead of entering an equation,
you enter a numeric value, that value will be assigned to every element, just as if you had specified a constant. Con-
versely, if you enter an equation, but also set Constant, the equation will be evaluated prior to load definition and
the constant result will be assigned to all selected elements.
Creating Distributed Loads
Distributed loads are forces applied along the length of line elements (bars, beams...). Their load values are speci-
fied as a force per unit length.
You can specify a different value at each end of the element. If you want a constant load along the length, you must
specify the same End A and End B values. If you leave End B blank, zero load will be applied at that end.
In this case the same function dependence will apply to the loads at both ends of the element.
Note: This command can be a convenient method of specifying nodal loads on complex models, especially on
solid models where you can use the adjacent faces approach (see Section 4.3.3.2, "Model, Load,
Nodal"). This is an alternative to creating geometric loads and can be very useful to create loads on a
portion of a surface.
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4-48 Finite Element Modeling
Distributed Load Direction
After you specify the load magnitude and phase, press OK. You
will be prompted for the load direction, which can be along any of
the elemental or global axes. You can not specify an arbitrary
direction or the axis of any other coordinate system. The elemen-
tal axes are determined by the element orientation. For elements
that do not require an orientation (rods, axisymmetric shells...)
you should always use the global directions.
Creating Pressure Loads
Elemental pressure loads always act normal to an element face or edge. For this reason, you can only apply pres-
sure to plane or solid elements. You may not apply pressure to line, or other element types.
Just like distributed loads, you first define the load magnitude and phase, then any function dependence. You have
the option to input the pressure at corners. This will require input of four values and enables you to specify a vary-
ing pressure load across an element. This capability is most useful when defining a variable pressure load across a
surface.
You also have the option to specify the direction of the pres-
sure. When this option is selected FEMAP will prompt you
for the direction of the pressure using coordinates or a vector.
Specifying a direction for pressures is only supported for
Nastran. If pressures are defined in this manner for other
solvers FEMAP will simply create pressures normal to the
selected element face.
Specifying Face IDs
For pressures, when you press OK, you will be presented with the following dialog box to choose the face or faces
where the pressure will be applied:
This provides four ways to select
the faces. The most obvious is to
simply choose Face ID and
select the ID of a face. For
details on how face numbers for
plane and solid elements are
defined, see Section 6, "Element
Reference" in the FEMAP User
Guide. Alternatively, you can
simply choose the face graphi-
cally by moving the cursor near
the center of the face and clicking the left mouse button. The selected face will be highlighted. If you chose an
unexpected face, simply move the mouse and click again until you get the face you want. Also, you have the option
to select the Front Face or the Back Face when choosing the face of a plate element. This is strictly a way to
choose a particular face without having to rotate the model.
While this method is easy to understand, it has the disadvantage of applying the loads to the same face number on
all selected elements. If the elements where you need to apply loads are oriented randomly, this method is not very
effective. You will either need to use one of the other methods, or in some cases you can reorient the elements (see
Section 4.7.3.12, "Modify, Update Elements, Reverse/Orient First Edge..."
Note: Not all analysis programs support pressures at the corners of elements. If you translate to a
program that does not support corner pressures, FEMAP will automatically average the
corner pressures and output a centroidal value.
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Model, Load, Elemental... 4-49
In most cases, loads on plane elements will be applied
to face 1. In this case positive pressure acts in the
same direction as the face normal (as determined by
the right-hand rule). Conversely, if loads are applied
to face 2, their positive direction will be opposite to
the face normal. Therefore a positive pressure on face
2 is equivalent to a negative pressure on face 1. If you
need to apply edge loads, they can be applied to faces
3 through 6 as shown. Their positive direction is
inward, toward the element center.
Choosing Faces Near a Surface
If you have used geometry to define your elements, or if you just have surfaces in your model, you can apply loads
to element faces which are close to a selected surface. When you choose Near Surface, you must also choose a sur-
face and specify a tolerance. Loads will be applied to the faces of the selected elements that are closer than your
specified tolerance from the surface. This method can only be used to apply pressure to Face 1 of planar elements
(not to the edges).
Choosing Faces Near a Plane
The Near Coordinates method is very similar to Near Surface. Instead of specifying a surface, however, you
choose a coordinate system, direction and position. This defines a planar surface, which is used along with the tol-
erance to find the closest faces.
Choosing Adjacent Faces
The final and most powerful method for choosing faces, especially for complex solid and planar element models, is
Adjacent Faces. You choose just one initial face (and the associated element ID). This can be done very easily by
graphically selecting the face. You then specify a tolerance angle. FEMAP will search all selected elements for
faces that are connected to the face that you chose and that are within the specified tolerance from being coplanar
(colinear for planar elements) with an already selected face. This can be used to find all faces on an outer surface
(or edge) of a solid (or planar) - regardless of the shape. By selecting the option Matching Normals Only you can
further limit the faces selected by allowing only elements with matching normals to be selected.
In the picture above, loads could have been applied to all exterior faces, including those inside the hole, by choos-
ing a tolerance greater than 90 degrees. Loads could have been applied just in the hole by selecting a face inside the
hole and specifying a fairly low tolerance.
As with Face ID, you have the option to select the Front Face or the Back Face when choosing the face of a
plate element. This is strictly a way to choose a particular face without having to rotate the model.
Choosing Faces Model Free Faces
The Model Free Faces method simply applies the load to every free element face in your model.
For more information about determining Free Faces see Section 7.6.4, "Free Face".
1 2
3
4
F3
F4
F5
F2
Triangular elements do
not have a face 6.
F6
Element
Normal
F1
Selected
Loads on
Adjacent Faces
Face
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4-50 Finite Element Modeling
Pressures on Axisymmetric shells
Axisymmetric shell elements only have a top and bottom surface.
With the top defined as the positive normal direction from node 1
to 2. You have the choice of loading either the top or bottom sur-
face.
NOTE:
Since these elements do not have a orientation the direction of the
pressure is not known. or viewing purposes use the Axisymmetric
Axis view option to set the orientation required by the analysis package.
Creating Elemental Temperatures
For temperature loads, you can only specify a single temperature value. This value is assigned to all selected ele-
ments. If you need to represent temperatures which vary within an element, you must use nodal temperature loads.
No face specification is required for temperatures, they apply to the entire element.
Creating Loads for Heat Transfer
All of the loads for heat transfer analysis are created similarly to pressure and temperature loads, the only differ-
ence is the parameters that need to be specified.
Heat Generation
For heat generation, only a single constant is required - the generation rate.
Heat Flux
Elemental heat flux is applied normal to an element face. You must specify the rate of flux, and, just like pressure,
apply the flux to a specific face.
Alternatively, you can define a directional heat flux. In this case, you must also specify a surface absorptivity and
temperature for the selected face.
And, after pressing OK, you must specify a flux direction. The direction is defined either as a constant by giving the
components of a vector in the direction of the flux, or as a time varying vector, by choosing three functions which
contain the components defined as a function of time. In either case the components must be specified in global
rectangular coordinates.
Finally, after defining the direction, you will choose the face(s) where the fluxes will be applied. For more informa-
tion about choosing faces, see "Creating Pressure Loads".
Convection
Free convection loads require the convection coefficient and the film temperature, along with the face where the
convection is acting. As always, the face is chosen after you press OK, in the standard fashion. For more informa-
tion about choosing faces, see "Creating Pressure Loads".
Forced convection loading is also supported, although only for a 1-D type analogy. In this case you must specify
the flow rate and diameter along with the temperature, so the proper coefficients can be calculated. For this type of
analysis, you will also have to specify numerous fluid properties in the Model, Loads, Body command described
earlier.
Special Case - Forced Convection Over a Plate or Surface
For Nastran, forced convection loads can also be used to model one or more flows over a plate. This is a very spe-
cialized capability and requires a thorough understanding of Nastrans thermal capability before you attempt to per-
form this type of analysis.
To model this condition you must follow these steps:
1. Model the plate. You can use any general mesh, however a rectangular mapped mesh will be much easier to
understand, and will more accurately represent the flow.
2. Model flow tubes. Since Nastran only has forced convection along line elements, i.e. a 1-D case, you must
define a series of tube elements that represent the flow location and direction. These are typically placed at some
location above/below the plate.
If you are going to have more than one discreet flow, place all tube elements from each flow on a separate layer.
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Model, Load, Elemental... 4-51
Modify, Layer command to change it later.
Unlike most general modeling techniques in FEMAP, tube elements are required for this special capability. In
most cases, where these tubes are simply a modeling convenience and do not represent a physical tube with ther-
mal properties, you will not want them to be written to your Nastran model. In that case, just define both the
inner and outer diameters of the tube property as 0.0 - this indicates that you want the tube to be skipped during
translation. If you do want the tube to be translated, just specify nonzero diameters.
If you need to use tube elements in your model that are not being used to represent flow tubes, you MUST place
them on a layer that is not used by any of the forced convections that you will later apply to the plate elements. If
you do not, FEMAP may create improper links that do not represent the situation that you are attempting to rep-
resent.
3. Model the mass flow. The mass flow is modeled by applying forced convections to each of the flow tube ele-
ments. For all of these loads you must check the Disable Convection option. This will result in a load that simply
models the mass/energy transfer down the flow stream, and not the convection effects. You must specify a flow
diameter on these loads. Even though it is not required for the mass transfer equations, it is necessary to properly
connect the convections from the plate. Typically you will want to specify a value that is near (or at least the
same order of magnitude) the flow diameter for the plate convections.
4. Model the convection on the plate. Next, apply forced convections to the plate elements where the flow is occur-
ring. All forced convections on plate elements are placed on Face 1, flowing from the middle of the first edge of
the plate to the middle of the third edge (to the opposite node for triangular plates). If you created your elements
in a manner where this does not really represent the direction of your flow you should use the Modify, Update,
Reverse command, and the Align First Edge to Vector option to realign your plates so that the flow is properly
represented. This is the step that can become very difficult if you have an arbitrary (non-rectangular or non-
mapped) mesh. It is very important that as they are displayed, all of these convections on the plate point along
the general flow direction.
On all of these plate convections you should check the Disable Advection option. This will effectively eliminate
the mass transfer, and indicate that you are trying to associate this load with a flow tube. You must also specify
the flow diameter (hydraulic diameter). This diameter will be used in the calculation of the Reynolds number. In
addition, when you check this option you will see an additional option displayed that is titled Area Factor. If you
do not specify anything here, FEMAP uses the plate areas to compute coefficients in the heat transfer equation.
By specifying a value you can scale that computation to allow for fins or any other area correction that you wish
to apply.
If you are working with multiple discreet flows, once again you must use the FEMAP layer capability to assign
these convections to a flow number. Set the convection load layer to the same ID as that of the associated flow
tubes.
Specify additional fluid/heat transfer options. Go to the Model, Load, Body command and choose the Heat
Transfer button. This will display a dialog box where you can specify the fluid properties and other flow param-
eters. Currently only one fluid and set of parameters can be specified.
5. Translate to Nastran. When you translate these loads to Nastran, the translator creates Plot-Only elements to rep-
Flow Tube
with Advection
Links Created
by Nastran
Translator
Convection
on Plate
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4-52 Finite Element Modeling
resent the CHBDY elements that are required, and also create the links shown above. These links represent how
each of the convection only plates are linked to the advection only flow tubes. Also, during the translation
you will be asked to specify a factor that is used to disable the convection and advection. Since Nastran really
has no way to disable these portions of the problem, we simulate this effect by scaling the appropriate compo-
nents downward by the scale factor that you specify. Make sure that you always specify a small number (<< 1),
otherwise advection and convection will not be properly disabled.
Radiation
Two forms of radiation can be defined: radiation to space, and enclosure radiation. For radiation to space, you must
specify the surface emissivity, absorptivity and temperature, as well as a view factor from the surface (element
face) to space.
For enclosure radiation only an emissivity is required. The absorptivity is assumed to be equal to the emissivity,
and the view factor will be automatically calculated by the analysis program (currently only supported for NX Nas-
tran or MSC.Nastran). Optionally, you can speed up the view factor calculations by limiting calculations to sur-
faces which can shade or can be shaded by other surfaces.
If you are working on a single enclosure problem, make sure that you set the same layer on all of the radiation
loads.
4.3.3.5 Model, Load, Nonlinear Force...
... is used to define nonlinear transient loads that apply forces to a node based upon displacement and/or velocity at
one or two other nodes. You must define the type of relationship, the node and degree of freedom for the applied
force, and the node(s), degree of freedom, and value (displacement / velocity) that the force will be based upon..
Relationship defines the type of nonlinear transient loads to be created. As shown in the table, four types are avail-
able.
Note: Enclosure radiation problems also require a cavity/enclosure number - even if you are using only a sin-
gle cavity. Surfaces in each cavity are totally independent of other cavities. They neither shade nor radi-
ate to any surfaces other than the ones in their own cavity. To provide maximum flexibility in viewing
and verifying cavity definition, FEMAP uses the layer number that is defined with each radiation load
(not the layer for the element), as the specification of the cavity number. In this way, you can turn on/off
as many cavities/layers as you want to visually verify the loading that you have defined.
Relationship Definition (F=Force, X=Disp/Vel)
Tabular Function
Product of Two
Variables
Positive Variable
to Power
Negative Variable
to Power
F
i
t ( ) Scale Table X t ( ) ( ) =
F
i
t ( ) Scale X
j
t ( ) X
k
t ( ) =
F
i
t ( )
Scale X
j
t ( ) [ ]
A
where X
j
t ( ) 0 >
0 where X
j
t ( ) 0

=
F
i
t ( )
Scale X
j
t ( ) [ ]
A
where X
j
t ( ) 0 <
0 where X
j
t ( ) 0

=
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Geometric Loads 4-53
The other options simply
define the arguments to
these equations. In all
cases, you must specify a
scale factor. The X(t) argu-
ments represent the dis-
placement or velocity at
node/DOF j (the first node)
or k (the second).
For Tabular Function
loads, you must define and
select a force vs. displace-
ment/velocity function
which will be used by the
analysis program to calcu-
late the force. Since
FEMAP does not currently
contain a vs. Force func-
tion, any function type can be used, but it should contain the appropriate force values. The nodal degrees of free-
dom must be specified as 1 through 6. For the Positive and Negative Power relationships, power is the exponent, A,
of the equation shown.
4.3.4 Geometric Loads
As an alternative, and/or supplement to finite element loads, FEMAP allows you to create loads on geometry. Since
analysis programs require loads directly on nodes and elements, FEMAP will convert these loads to nodal and ele-
mental upon translation. Defining loads by geometry can greatly simplify load input, especially in complex solid
models. It also provides a convenient method of load distribution, since a many times you will know the total load
on a surface. FEMAP will automatically distribute that load over the surface based upon the area of the elements.
Geometric loads also offer the advantage of storing equations and methods of direction. When you create a variable
geometric load, FEMAP will store the equation and only evaluate it upon translation, or when expansion to a nodal
or elemental load is requested.
The geometric load section contains four commands, based upon the type of load to create. They are On Point, On
Curve, On Surface, and Expand. The first three commands enable you to create a load on the selected geometric
entity, while the fourth command allows you to convert between FEA (nodal/elemental) and geometric (point/
curve/surface) loads. Each of these commands are discussed in more detail below.
4.3.4.1 Model, Load, On Point...
... allows creation of loads directly on points. The type of loads available are identical to those that are available
through the Model, Load, Nodal command. All loads are converted directly to nodal loads upon translation or
expansion. Most often you may want to simply use Model, Load, Nodal to create nodal loads directly.
There are two major advantages of using this method over the Model, Load, Nodal command. The first is the ease
of picking the correct entities. Points will typically be one of the first entities created in your model, even before
any FEA entities are created, which will make selecting the points relatively simple. Also, you will generally have
fewer points than nodes in your model, which again simplifies the selection process. The second advantage is that
you can create a variable load which stores the equation and can then be easily modified.
4.3.4.2 Model, Load, On Curve...
...creates loads on curves, which are then converted to nodal or elemental loads (based upon the type of load) upon
translation or expansion. This section documents unique features of loads on the curves. It does not go into detailed
explanation of the input values for each type of load. For more detailed information on the specific inputs for each
load type, see Section 4.3.3.2, "Model, Load, Nodal" or Section 4.3.3.4, "Model, Load, Elemental...".
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4-54 Finite Element Modeling
FEA Attachment
All loads on curves must be eventually expanded to nodal or elemental loads when translated to a finite element
analysis program. When FEMAP expands the loads on curves into elemental or nodal loads, it creates loads for
nodes or elements that were originally from that curve during a meshing procedure (or manually attached). This
procedure is relatively simple for nodal loads. FEMAP determines which nodes are attached to the curve and cre-
ates the loads on these nodes. The only item which may alter this calculation is if you have turned on Midside Node
Adjustment (see "Midside Node Adjustment").
For loads converted to elemental loads, only 2-D elements can be attached to the curve. For an element to be
attached to the curve, all nodes on a face of an element must be attached to that curve. If a parabolic element is
along a curve, but the midside node has been detached from that curve for some reason, the element is not consid-
ered to be on the curve.
Load Types
There are 33 loads available for loads on curves. Many of the load types, such as force, force per length, and force
per node are just different input methods for the same nodal load type (force). These different input methods enable
FEMAP to distribute loads along the curve.
The listing in the dialog box of the load type are separated into four sections:
structural loads, temperature, heat transfer loads, and fluid loads.
All structural loads except pressure are converted to nodal loads.
Temperature is converted to a nodal temperature while elemental temperature
obviously is an elemental load.
The heat transfer loads include loads which will be converted to nodal loads (heat
flux, heat flux per length, heat flux at node, and heat generation) or elemental
nodes (element heat flux, convection, radiation, and element heat generation).
There are 10 fluid loads that are scalar quantities and can only be accessed
through the neutral file for use in analysis.
Load Input Values
There are also three basic types of load input values: Total, Per Length, and Per
Node. The total loads include force, moment, and heat flux. Input is a total load
that is then automatically distributed along the nodes attached to the curve. The
distribution will be based upon the total length associated with each node. Total loads must be input as constant.
They cannot be variable.
Loads input as per length loads (force per length. moment per length, and heat flux per length) are very similar to
total loads. The load is distributed identically to a total load, except the values are then multiplied by the length
along the curve associated with each node. The sum of all these loads is simply the input value multiplied by the
total length of the curve. These types of loads must also be input as constant.
All other loads are input on an per node basis. These include force per node, moment per node, heat flux per
node, and translational and rotational displacements, velocities, and accelerations. These values are applied directly
to the node with no distribution.This load type is most commonly used for displacements, as well as variable load-
ing conditions for forces. If you have a load which varies along the length of the curve, this type of load input will
allow you to describe an equation or function to simulate that loading condition.
Direction
Structural loads (i.e. force, force/length, etc.) which are converted to nodal loads upon expansion require input of
the direction. The direction is identified identically to the specification of nodal load direction (see Section 4.3.3.2,
"Model, Load, Nodal") with two small differences. The first is that the Direction method is saved. FEMAP does not
convert the loads into components until you expand or translate. Therefore, if you list or modify these loads, you
will see the same direction method you originally specified. Secondly, if you choose the Along Curve method, you
cannot specify the curve. FEMAP will automatically use the curve(s) to which the loads are applied.
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Method
The Method allows you to choose
between a constant or variable load. If
constant loading is required, simply
choose Constant and input the values.
If Variable loading is required (not
available for total and per length
loads), you must select Advanced,
which allows you to define the type of
definition for your variable load:
Equation, Function, or Interpolation.
Equation
Equation allows you to specify a variable loading in terms of the x, y, and z positions of the nodes or elements.
Each of these values may be used in the equation definition, preceded by an !. For example
4.35*!x - 2*!y
would multiply the x coordinate of each node (or element) and then subtract the product of 2 and the y coordinate.
The x, y, and z coordinates are in the coordinate system defined in the main load dialog box. For instance, if you
were working in a cylindrical coordinate system, x would be the radial coordinate, y the theta coordinate, and z the
coordinate in the Z-axis. FEMAP will store the equation, and evaluate it only upon translation or expansion. The
variable i is not used for loading on geometry, therefore all functions such as XND, and XEL are not applicable and
should not be used.
Function
The second type, Function, allows you to define a function to describe the loading. This function must be created
before defining the load by using the Model, Load, Function command. Two types of functions are acceptable for
variable loads on curves: vs. curve length, and vs. curve parameterization. Simply create this type of function with
the load value as Y, and the X value as either the length along the curve, or the parameter value.
By creating a function, you can model any irregular load pattern over the curve. FEMAP will use the position of the
node, element face centroid, or element centroid and linearly interpolate a value at that position from the function.
FEMAP does not perform any extrapolation of these values. Therefore, if a load occurs over the entire length of the
curve, you should take care to define the values of the curve at the beginning and end points.
Interpolation
The third type, Interpolation, is really a shortcut version of Function. When you select Interpolation, the Locate 1
and Locate 2 areas become accessible. You can then select Locate for 1 and 2 and the standard coordinate definition
dialog box will appear. You simply define the two locations and then define the load values associated with them.
FEMAP will interpolate between these values to obtain loads on the nodes or elements attached to the curve. Once
again, FEMAP will perform no extrapolation. This is a useful method for defining loads on a segment of a curve.
Note: A variable load is only available for elemental loads and nodal loads that are per node. Nodal loads
that are total (i.e. force, moment, etc.) and per length (force per length, etc.) must be constant.
Note: The node locations are used to evaluate the equation for all loads converted to nodal loads. The position
of the centroid of the elemental face attached to the loaded curve is used for all elemental face loads
while the centroid of the element is used for non-face loads such as elemental temperature and elemen-
tal heat generation. The only exception is FEMAP will use the node locations to calculate pressure if
the At Corner option for pressures is selected.
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4-56 Finite Element Modeling
FEA Attachment
All loads on curves must be eventually expanded to nodal or elemental loads when translated to a finite element
analysis program. When FEMAP expands these loads, it creates loads for nodes or elements that were originally
generated from that curve during a meshing procedure (or manually attached). This procedure is relatively simple
for nodal loads. FEMAP determines which nodes are attached to the curve and creates the loads on these nodes.
The only item which may alter this calculation is if you have turned on Midside Node Adjustment (see "Midside
Node Adjustment").
For loads converted to elemental loads, both 2-D and 3-D elements can be attached to the Surface. IF FEMAP finds
faces of 2-D and 3-D elements that are identical, FEMAP will expand the load on the 2-D element, and issue a
warning message. The only exception to this procedure is if the 2-D elements are plot-only planes.
For an element to be attached to the surface, all nodes on a face of an element must be attached to that surface. If a
parabolic element was created on a surface, but midside nodes have been detached from that surface for some rea-
son, the element is not considered to be on the curve.
Midside Node Adjustment
Some methods such as force/length and force distribute the loads over the entire length. For many parabolic ele-
ments, you cannot simply distribute the force evenly and obtain an even displacement result. You must apply a
larger value to the midside nodes than the corner nodes, and this value is in excess of 1/2 the value of the total load
on the element.
You can specify the factor you want on the midside nodes under File Preferences, Geometry, on the Edge Factor.
This value defaults to 2/3, which is standard for many programs. This means that 2/3 of the load will be applied to
the midside node, and 1/6 to each corner node. If your results are inappropriate for your analysis program, please
consult the documentation for your program. You can also remove the option to adjust for midside nodes by click-
ing this option off.
4.3.4.3 Model, Load, On Surface...
...creates loads on surfaces, which are then converted to nodal or elemental loads (based upon the type of load)
upon translation or expansion. This section documents unique features of loads on surfaces. It does not go into
detailed explanation of the input values for each type of load. For more detailed information on the specific inputs
for each load type, see Section 4.3.3.2, "Model, Load, Nodal" and Section 4.3.3.4, "Model, Load, Elemental...".
FEA Attachment
All loads on surfaces must be eventually expanded to nodal or elemental loads when translated to a finite element
analysis program. When FEMAP expands these loads, it creates loads for nodes or elements that were originally
generated from that surface during a meshing procedure (or manually attached). This procedure is relatively simple
for nodal loads. FEMAP determines which nodes are attached to the curve and creates the loads on these nodes.
The only item which may alter this calculation is if you have turned on Midside Node Adjustment (see "Midside
Node Adjustment").
For loads converted to elemental loads, both 2-D and 3-D elements can be attached to the surface. If FEMAP finds
faces of 2-D and 3-D elements that are identical, FEMAP will expand the load on the 2-D element and issue a
warning message. The only exception to this procedure is if the 2-D elements are plot-only planes. Since plot only
elements are not translated as structural elements, loads cannot be applied to these elements.
For an element to be attached to the surface, all nodes on a face of an element must be attached to that surface. If a
parabolic element was created on a surface, but midside nodes have been detached from that surface for some rea-
son, the element is not considered to be on the curve.
Load Types
There are 33 loads available for loads on surfaces. Many of the load types, such as force, force per area, and force
at node are just different input methods for the same nodal load type (Force). These different input methods enable
FEMAP to distribute loads along the surface.
Note: Loads are not expanded on plot-only planar elements since these elements are not translated as struc-
tural elements. Loads cannot be applied to these elements.
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The listing in the dialog box of the load type are separated into four sections:
structural loads, temperature, heat transfer loads, and fluid loads. All structural
loads except pressure are converted to nodal loads. Temperature is converted to a
nodal temperature, while elemental temperature obviously is an elemental load.
The heat transfer loads include both nodal (heat flux, heat flux per length, heat
flux at node, and heat generation) and elemental nodes (element heat flux, con-
vection, radiation, and element heat generation). There are 10 fluid loads that are
scalar quantities and can only be accessed through the neutral file for use in anal-
ysis.
Load Input Values
There are also three basic types of load input values: Total, Per Area, and Per
Node. The total loads include force, moment, and heat flux. Input the total load
value, and FEMAP will automatically distribute it over the surface. The distribution will be based upon the total
area associated with each node. Total loads must be input as constant. They cannot be variable.
Loads input as per area loads (force per area, moment per area, and heat flux per area) are very similar to total
loads. The load is distributed identically to a total load, except the values are then multiplied by the area associ-
ated with each node. The sum of all these loads is simply the input value multiplied by the total area of the ele-
ments. These types of loads must also be input as constant.
All other loads are input on a per node basis. These include any per node loads as well as translational and rota-
tional displacements, velocities, and accelerations. These values are applied directly to the node with no distribu-
tion.These are most commonly used for displacements and variable loading conditions. If you have a load which
varies over a surface, this type of load input will allow you to input an equation to simulate the loading condition.
Direction
Structural loads (i.e. force, force/length, etc.) which are converted to nodal loads upon expansion require input of
the direction. The direction is identified identically to the specification of nodal load direction (see Section 4.3.3.2,
"Model, Load, Nodal") with two differences. The first is that the Direction method is stored. FEMAP does not con-
vert loads into components until you expand or translate. Therefore, if you list or modify these loads, the same
direction method is shown. Second, if you choose the Normal to Surface method, you cannot specify the surface.
FEMAP will automatically use the surface(s) to which the loads are applied.
Method
The Method allows you to choose between a constant
load or a variable load. If a constant load is required,
simply choose Constant and input the values. If a vari-
able load is required (not available for total and per
length loads), you must select Advanced and select the
Equation method. The Function and Interpolation meth-
ods are not available for loads on surfaces.
Equation
Equation allows you to specify a variable loading in terms of the x, y, and z positions of the nodes or elements.
Each of these values may be used in the equation definition, preceded by an !. For example
4.35*!x - 2*!y
would multiply the x coordinate of each node (or element) and then subtract the product of 2 and the y coordinate.
The x, y, and z coordinates are in the coordinate system defined in the main load dialog box. FEMAP will store the
equation, and evaluate it only upon translation or expansion. For instance, if you were working in a cylindrical
coordinate system, x would be the radial coordinate, y the theta coordinate, and z the coordinate in the Z-axis. The
Note: A variable load is only available for elemental loads and nodal loads that are per node. Nodal loads
that are total (i.e. force, moment, etc.) and per area (i.e. force per area, etc.) must be constant.
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4-58 Finite Element Modeling
variable i is not used for loading on geometry, therefore all functions such as XND, and XEL are not applicable and
should not be used. FEMAP stores the equation and only evaluates it when the load is expanded upon translation or
when the Model, Load, Expand command is used.
Midside Node Adjustment
Some loads such as force/area and force distribute the loads on the nodes over the entire area. For many parabolic
elements, you cannot simply distribute the force evenly and obtain an even displacement result. You must apply a
larger value to the midside nodes than the Corner nodes, and this value is in excess of 1/2 the value of the total load
on the element.
You can specify the factor you want on the midside nodes under File, Preferences, Geometry. There are two factors
available for Midside Node Adjustment, Tri-Face and Quad-Face factors. These value represent the percentage of
the load on each midside node. The values default to 1/3. which means for tri-faces, no loads are applied to the cor-
ner nodes, and a -1/12 factor is applied to quad-face corner nodes. These values are standard for many programs. If
your results are inappropriate for your analysis program, please consult the documentation for your program. You
can also remove the option to adjust for midside nodes by clicking this option off.
4.3.4.4 Model, Load, Expand...
...enables you to visualize the nodal and elemental loads which will be created from geometric loads. This com-
mand operates only on the current active load set. When this command is selected, you will see the following dia-
log box.
The Model, Load, Expand command can be used to either expand or
compress the geometric loads. When using it to expand loads, you
have the option to specify which loads to expand (On Point, On
Curve, On Surface) or to expand the entire set (All in Set). If you
select an option other than All in Set, the standard entity selection
box will appear. When compressing loads, individual types of loads
cannot be selected. Compression is always performed on the entire
set.
If a load has already been expanded, and you select to expand it
again, or expand the entire set, an error message will be supplied and
the load will not be expanded a second time. This procedure pre-
vents duplication of loads. When translating to an FEA model, to
prevent duplication, and to evaluate all loads with their current
equation, all loads used in the translation will be compressed, then expanded through the translator, and finally
compressed again after translation. Therefore, any expanded geometric loads which appear as elemental or nodal
loads before expansion, will be converted back to geometric loads.
Convert To Node/Elem
This option allows you to permanently convert the selected loads to nodal/elemental loads. Be careful when using
this option, because you cannot convert back to the original geometric loads. This option can be useful when a load
is mostly constant (or easily described as an equation) over a surface, except at a few nodes (or elements). You can
permanently expand the load, and then use the Modify, Update Other, Scale Load command to change individual
loads.
Combined Nodal Loads
When FEMAP expands multiple geometric loads, it will attempt to combine all similar nodal loads into one load
for each DOF. Many analysis programs require only one load on a DOF. With loads such as forces and moments,
FEMAP will add the components. The only exception is if the loads contain either different vs. time/temp/freq ref-
Note: The location of the nodes are used to evaluate the equation for all loads converted to nodal loads. The
position of the centroid of the elemental face is attached to the loaded curve is used for all elemental
face loads. The position of the centroid of the element is used for non-face loads such as elemental tem-
perature and elemental heat generation. The only exception to the above is FEMAP will use the position
of the nodes to calculate pressure loads if you select the At Corner option for pressures.
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Model, Load, Bolt Preload... 4-59
erence functions, different phases, or different freq reference functions for the phase. In these cases, the loads will
remain separate and a warning message will be written.
For loads such as displacement or acceleration, FEMAP will not add values for the same DOF. It will keep these
values separate and provide a warning message that two different values were found for the same DOF. You will
need to modify the input to obtain the desired values at the nodes. The option to permanently convert to nodal loads
could be used in this to expand and then modify the displacements on the nodes.
4.3.4.5 Model, Load, Bolt Preload...
...creates a load representing a Bolt Preload for NX Nas-
tran. The Bolt Preload is available for use in Linear Static
Analysis, Modal Analysis, Buckling, and Advanced Nonlin-
ear Analysis (Solution 601).
The Create Bolt Preload dialog box allows you to enter a
title which will used as the Load Definition title and assign a
color and layer for each Bolt Preload.
Each Bolt Preload must be associated with a Bolt Region.
The Bolt Region can be created prior to creating the Bolt Pre-
load, or elements can be chosen in this dialog box and the
Bolt Regions will then be created automatically.
You must choose the entity type (Bolt Region(s) or Ele-
ment(s)) and specify the Preload value before you can actually choose the entities to apply the load.
Currently, Bolt Preloads can only be applied to Beam and Bar elements. If you choose multiple elements to apply
Bolt Preloads, FEMAP will combine any selected elements which are connected into a single bolt region. This is
actually very useful when creating Bolt Preloads as you can choose all of the Beam or Bar elements in a model oth-
erwise consisting of solid or shell elements. In this case, each connected set of beam/bar elements will become
and individual Bolt Region with appropriate Bolt Preload.
4.3.5 Load Analysis Options
These three commands enable you to set options for different analysis types. Three commands are available, based
upon the type of analysis required: heat transfer analysis, dynamic analysis, and nonlinear analysis. These com-
mands are not used to put loads onto the model. Rather, they simply define certain parameters which are required
for the analysis type. The options contained in each of these commands are discussed below. These commands are
not used if you are performing simple static or modal analysis.
4.3.5.1 Model, Load, Nonlinear Analysis...
...defines the information that is typically required to perform a nonlinear analysis. While this information does not
typically represent a load, it is included in the load menu because it does relate to the other loading conditions and
how they will be applied. Each load set to be used in a nonlinear analysis must have the appropriate solution type
activated.
Note: FEMAP will allow you to choose ANY type of element when selecting elements for applying a Bolt
Preload. If any of those elements are not the right type of element (Bar and Beam elements ONLY
for FEMAP 9.3 and NX Nastran 5), they will not be added to the list and an error message stating
Skipped # of Elements which have invalid types for this command will be sent to the Messages
window.
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4-60 Finite Element Modeling
Solution Type
The solution type determines the type
of solution that will be performed for
the particular load set. Available
options are Static, Creep, and Tran-
sient. Only appropriate control infor-
mation in the remainder of the window
will be available based upon the type
of solution you choose.
Basic
These values provide the time and iter-
ation control information for the non-
linear analysis steps. They control the
Number of Increments and the Time
Increment to be used, as well as the
Maximum Iterations for each step. No
time increment is used for static analy-
sis.
Stiffness Updates
This specifies the number of iterations
to be performed before the stiffness
matrix is updated, as well as the update Method. Five different update methods are available, but not all are appro-
priate for all each solution type. If an inappropriate method is selected, the translator will provide an error message
and automatically choose the default method.
Output Control
Output Control information allows you to request or eliminate output at intermediate steps (static and creep) or
request Output Every Nth Step (transient).
Convergence Tolerances
The type of Convergence Tolerances (Load, Displacement, and/or Work) as well as the tolerance values themselves
are defined in these boxes.
Solution Strategy Overrides
This area provides you with the capability to further control the strategy that will be employed to converge toward
a solution.
Defaults
When you first choose this command, all values will be zero. By pushing this button, nonzero default values will be
entered for all properties. You can then modify these defaults as appropriate.
Copy
Copy allows you to duplicate the nonlinear analysis information from any other load set in the current model.
Advanced
This button enables you to access additional nonlinear analysis options as well as damping inputs for nonlinear
transient analysis. For most problems, the nonlinear options are not required, but they are available for experienced
analysts to modify the default solution controls. The damping values for nonlinear transient analyses can be input
here or under Model, Load, Dynamic Analysis.
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Using Advanced Options with
NASTRAN
The options in the Advanced Group,
when written to Nastran, are used to
define the parameters on the
NLPARM statement. In general,
FEMAP does not distinguish
between blanks and zeros when you
enter values into dialog boxes, there-
fore, when the values are written to
Nastran it is normally not possible to
control whether a blank or a zero
will be written. For some of these
fields however this distinction is
important, therefore several special
cases have been implemented. If you
specify a blank, or zero, in the dialog
box for any of these cases, you will
get a blank in your Nastran file. If
you specify a negative value for
Quasi-Newton Vectors, or for Max
Line Searches/Iter, you will get a
0. Similarly, if you specify a value
that is less than -10, for Max Bisec-
tions / Increment, you will get a zero. Values less than -10 were chosen because values down to this value are valid
for that field.
4.3.5.2 Model, Load, Dynamic Analysis...
...provides the solution type and control information for dynamic analyses. Each load set to be utilized in a dynamic
analysis must have the appropriate solution method activated. In addition, a dynamic analysis load is required for
nonlinear transient analysis to define structural damping.
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4-62 Finite Element Modeling
Solution Method
The solution method chooses the type of dynamics solution to be performed. Four available options exist: Direct
Transient, Modal Transient, Direct Frequency, and Modal Frequency. The inappropriate boxes for each Solution
Method will be grayed automatically.
Equivalent Viscous Damping
This box provides damping information for the structure. The Overall Structural Damping Coefficient is input for
all four solution methods, while the Modal Damping Table is utilized for only the two modal methods. The Modal
Damping Table requires a function to define damping information as a function of frequency. Three types of
FEMAP functions can be chosen: Viscous Damping vs. Frequency, Critical Damping vs. Frequency, and Amplifica-
tion vs. Frequency. You can create a Function directly from this dialog box by clicking the Function Icon Button.
Equivalent Viscous Damping Conversion
Information for both system damping and element damping is provided in this box. These values are only input in
direct and modal transient Analysis. These values provide the conversion from the frequency domain, in which
damping is usually defined, into the time domain. The Frequency for System Damping (W3 - Hz) is divided into the
overall damping coefficient (for Nastran and ANSYS), or the material damping values for each material (for
ABAQUS and LS-DYNA3D) and then multiplied by the stiffness to obtain element (or stiffness) damping. The
Frequency for Element Damping (W4 - Hz) is used in combination with the material damping values to obtain
structural damping in Nastran, and mass damping in ABAQUS, ANSYS, and LS-DYNA3D.
Response Based On Modes
For the modal solution methods, these options allow you to choose the number and/or range of modes to include in
the frequency response or transient formulation.
Transient Time Step Interval
For transient analyses, these options control the number of steps, size of steps, and the output interval. If this load is
to be used in a nonlinear transient analysis, these options are overridden by the nonlinear transient time step input.
Frequency Response
The Solutions Frequencies table is chosen in this section. This table defines the frequencies to be analyzed for both
direct and modal frequency analysis. The frequency table is just a function with a list of frequencies in the X posi-
tion. The y position is irrelevant and will be ignored. A solution frequency table can be automatically created by
pressing the Modal Freq button. If you are using Nastran, you may also select the Advanced option to define the
range of solution frequencies. You can create a Function directly from this dialog box by clicking the Function Icon
Button.
Random Analysis Options
This option allows you to define a Power Spectral Density (PSD) function to be used for random analysis. You sim-
ply use the Model, Function command to define the PSD values as a function of frequency (a vs. frequency func-
tion type), and then select this function under Random Analysis Options. This option is used only for random
response analysis. You can create a Function directly from this dialog box by clicking the Function Icon Button.
Modal Freq
If you have previously performed a modal analysis on your
model, and have the solution information in the current
model, you can automatically create a solution frequencies
function/table from that output. Simply press Modal Freq,
and you will see the following:
The modal frequency in each output case will be selected for
the Solution Frequency table. Additionally, frequencies in a
band near each modal frequency can be chosen by using the
Additional Solution Frequency Points. The Number of Points
per Existing Mode defines the number of frequencies to be
included for each modal frequency, while the Frequency
Band Spread defines the placement of the additional frequen-
cies.
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modal frequency plus and minus the spread value. The number of points must always be odd so that the modal fre-
quencies are selected.
Enforced Motion
Pressing the Enforced Motion button enables you to define a base acceleration. This option creates a base mass,
links it to a set of base nodes in your model with rigid elements, and applies an equivalent base force.
To begin you specify coordinates for the base mass using the standard coordinate definition dialog box. A node will
be automatically created at this location. The next dialogue box is the standard entity selection box, which asks you
to choose the nodes on the base. A rigid element is then created with the newly generated node as the independent
node and the selected nodes as the dependent nodes. Next you define the base acceleration using the standard load
creation dialog box. The type of load to create will be limited to either acceleration or rotational acceleration. You
must choose a time or frequency dependent function to associate with the acceleration.
The final required input is the mass and the acceleration scale factor. They are utilized to generate a nodal force
(force = base mass * specified acceleration) at the independent node of the newly created rigid body. The values are
automatically computed based on your current model and the acceleration that you chose. The default for the mass
value is several orders of magnitude larger than the mass of the current model so the large mass will drive the rest
of the model.You can either simply press OK to accept them, change them here, or edit the force later with the Mod-
ify, Edit commands.
Advanced
As with nonlinear analysis, an Advanced button is provided to give experienced analysts more control over the
solution strategy. The following dialog box is provided to enable choices for Mass Formulation and Dynamic Data
Recovery.
You can also specify addition analysis inputs for Solution Frequencies and Random Response Analysis.
Solution Frequencies / Additional Frequencies
This option provides an alternative method to the Solution Frequencies function on the main Dynamic Analysis dia-
log box. The Solution Frequencies section defines the first set of frequencies defined on a FREQi card. A addi-
tional set of frequencies with all the same options as in the first frequency set can be defined in the Additional
Frequencies section. If additional frequencies are defined, then a second FREQi card will be used. This is currently
only supported for Nastran.
If you have selected a direct frequency analysis, only the Default List and the Frequency Range (Min, Max, No. of
Intervals) options will be available, although logarithmic interpolation can also be employed for the frequency
range. If you select Modal Frequency as the analysis type, additional types to determine the solution frequencies
from the natural modes will be available. These are Cluster around Modes, which corresponds to the Nastran
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4-64 Finite Element Modeling
FREQ3 card, and Spread Around Modes (Nastran FREQ4 card). Cluster around Modes will also have a logarithmic
interpolation option.
Random Analysis
There are currently two options supported for random analysis. The first is the ANSYS PSD type: ANSYS has the
capability to input acceleration (in g2/Hz or acc units2/Hz, displacement, velocity, or force). By simply changing
this option, the type of input on the PSD Function in the main Dynamic Analysis dialog box is modified. The sec-
ond is Nastran PSD Interpolation: Nastran has the ability to define the PSD table in the following four formats...
(Log, Log), (Linear, Linear), (X Log, Y Lin), (X Lin, YLog). By simply changing this option, the type of Interpola-
tion used on the PSD table input (Nastran TABRND1) in the main Dynamic Analysis dialog box is modified.
Copy
This selection allows you to copy dynamic analysis options from any other load set in the current model.
4.3.5.3 Model, Load, Heat Transfer Analysis
This command enables you to define
heat transfer constants, thermal char-
acteristics for convection, and select
the type of formulation to use for
different types of heat transfer prob-
lems.
Radiation
If you are going to perform a radia-
tion analysis, you must specify the
temperature difference between
absolute zero and zero in the temper-
ature system that you are using, and
the Stefan-Boltzmann constant.
Free Convection
For free convection analysis, you
can choose between two alternative
forms of the free convection temper-
ature exponent. They are
The Convection Exponent is the value shown as EXPF in the above equations. These options are currently used for
NX Nastran and MSC.Nastran only.
Forced Convection
The forced convection values specify the properties and behavior of the fluid to be analyzed. These options corre-
spond directly to the options on the Nastran PCONVM and MAT4 commands. Refer to the Nastran documentation
for more information about the proper values for these options.
4.3.6 Load Set Manipulation
This section of the menu works to create either additional load sets or new loads from output. There are four com-
mands available: Copy, Combine, From Output, and From Freebody. Each command is briefly discussed below.
q h u
CTRLND
T T
AMB
( )
EXPF
T T
AMB
( ) =
q h u
CTRLND
T
EXPF
T
EXPF
AMB ( ) =
Standard
Alternate
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Model, Load, Copy... 4-65
4.3.6.1 Model, Load, Copy...
... duplicates the active load set. All loads, including body, nodal elemental, and geometric loads are copied to the
new set. If you do not want to duplicate all of them, use the Delete, Model, Load commands to remove the ones that
you do not want from the new set.
Input for this command is minimal. Simply specify the ID of the load set that you want to create. This new set must
not exist. FEMAP will create a duplicate copy of the active set with the ID that you specify. After the copy has been
made, FEMAP will ask whether you want to activate the new set. Answer No if you want to continue working with
the original load set. Answer Yes to work with the new copy.
4.3.6.2 Model, Load, Combine...
... enables you to combine two or more load sets into one new load set based upon the following formula
Choose any number of load sets
from the From list (Hold the
CTRL key when you click to
choose multiple load sets one at a
time or the SHIFT key to choose a
range of Load Sets), then enter a
Scale factor (Default is 1), then
select an existing Load Set to
place the load combination when
finished (or use the default
0..New Set to create a new load
set). If you are creating a new load
set, you can give the new com-
bined Load Set a title.
Once the Load Set(s) are selected
from the From list, the scale factor
and To are set, click Add Combi-
nation to add the selected Load
Sets to the Combinations list.
You will notice that the scale factor will proceed the Load Set number and title when placed in the list. You can use
the Remove Combination button to remove any number of load combinations from the Combinations list.
Temperature loads will not be linearly combined. FEMAP will simply copy the nodal and elemental temperatures.
If conflicting temperatures exist for the same node or element in the individual load sets, FEMAP will use the last
temperature. Also, If loads exist on the same node or element in different sets that are combined, the resulting set
will simply obtain multiple loads on that node or element, which can then be combined with Tools, Check, Coinci-
dent Loads.
4.3.6.3 Model, Load, From Output...
... lets you convert output data from one or more output vectors into various load types.
The loads are always created in the active load set. When you choose this command, FEMAP displays a dialog box
to let you choose the type of load you want to create. After you make a selection, and press OK, the Create Loads
From Output dialog box will be displayed. If you are creating nodal or elemental temperatures, pressures or heat
transfer loads, you will be able to specify an output set and output vector which contains the temperature data. For
other types of loads, six vectors can be selected.
Hint: You may want to use the Model, Load, Set command to modify the title of the new copy. FEMAP will
always create it with the same title as the original set that was copied.
Load A
1
Load
1
A
2
Load
2
A
n
Load
n
+ + + =
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4-66 Finite Element Modeling
Data from the six vectors will
be converted to the six loading
degrees of freedom. If you leave
any vectors blank (or zero), no
loads will be created in that
direction. You must always
specify at least one vector.
When creating elemental pres-
sures, or many of the elemental
heat transfer loads, you must
also specify a Face ID where
the load will act. You cannot
create output on different element faces at the same time with this command. Also, all loads are created in global
rectangular coordinates, therefore the output must also be in global rectangular. You can choose the Color and
Layer for all new loads.
Finally, after you complete these options and press OK, the standard entity selection dialog box will be displayed.
You must select the nodes or elements where loads will be created. You can either select your entire model, in
which case all output will be converted, or limit the conversion to some selected portion of your model. In either
case, loads will only be created if output exists for a particular node or element.
Why Create Loads from Output?
The primary reason to convert output data to load data is for use in future analyses. For example, you may want to
convert that data to temperature loads from a heat transfer run in a structural analysis. Similarly, you might want to
use displacement, force or acceleration output from one structural analysis as a loading condition for further analy-
ses.
Converting Between Nodal and Elemental Temperatures
Another reason to use this command is to convert nodal to elemental temperatures, or vice versa. If you have
defined temperatures and need to convert them to the opposite type, this command can be combined with several
others to accomplish that task. First, convert your current temperatures to output data using Model, Output, From
Load command. Then use Model, Output, Convert to create an additional output vector of the opposite type.
Finally, use Model, Load, From Output and select the vector created with Model, Output, Convert.
4.3.6.4 Model, Load, Map Output From Model...
... lets you map certain output data from 2-D elements on one model (Source) onto another (Target). The two
models can have completely different meshes and FEMAP gives you a few options for the method used to map
the output.
There are a few things required for this command to be used effectively:
1. You must have both the Source and the Target models open in the same instance of FEMAP
2. The Source model must have output which can be mapped onto the nodes of a Target model. Output
which can be mapped is restricted to displacements and temperatures on 2-D elements only (Quad and Triangular
elements)
3. The Source model must have a group containing all the elements which have output data to be mapped onto
the nodes or elements of the Target model.
Output to Map
All fields must have values for this command to function properly. You will know you have enough data in your
Source model if all the drop-down menus have selectable values.
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Model, Load, Map Output From Model... 4-67
From Model
This menu allows you to choose a Model to use as
your Source model for the mapping process. If
you have more than 2 models open inside one
instance of FEMAP, all of the other models except
the current model will appear in the From Model
drop-down menu.
Results on Group
This menu allows you to choose a Group in the
Source model to use for the mapping process.
If you have multiple groups in your Source
model, all of the groups will appear in the Results
on Group drop-down menu. The group can only
contain 2-D elements (Quad and Triangular ele-
ments)
Output Set
This menu allows you to choose an Output Set in
the Source model to use for the mapping pro-
cess. If you have multiple output sets in your
Source model, all of the output sets will appear
in the Output Set drop-down menu.
Output Vector
This menu allows you to choose an Output Vector
in the Source model to use for the mapping process. Only available Output Vectors in the Source model will
appear in the Output Vector drop-down menu.
Values for Locations with No Map
This menu allows you to choose a mapping option for entities which do not have a one-to-one mapping from
the Source to the Target. When a node is not mapped it is because a Target nodes normal projection does
not fall within any Source Element. The options for nodes that are not mapped:
0..Set to Zero - Sets all entities without a direct map to the value of zero (0.0)
1..Set to Value - Sets all entities without a direct map to a specified value. The value can be specified as a
constant or in X, Y, and Z components.
2..Extend Closest - Extends the value to the closest Target Entity.
3..Interpolate - Does a linear interpolation using the source values. (Default)
4..No Output - Applies no output values to any entities which do not have a direct map. FEMAP will also
automatically create a group of Target nodes which have not been mapped.
Target
You can choose to Map Output to the target model using either the To Model Loads or To Data Surface method.
When the To Model Loads option is used, loads of the chosen type (Forces, Displacements, or Temperatures on
Nodes; Pressures or Temperatures on Elements) will be created directly on the target models nodes or elements in
the current load set.
When To Data Surface is used, FEMAP will create a new Data Surface to be used in any loading condition of the
current model or saved to the Data Surface library for use in other models. The only input additional input for the
To Data Surface method is Data Surface Name, which is optional, but recommended.
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4-68 Finite Element Modeling
The following figure shows an example of a common use for this command:
4.3.6.5 Model, Load, From Freebody...
...creates loads directly from a freebody display. You must have a freebody display active and Show Load Summa-
tion under Freebody Display must be on. The only input to this command is the nodes to apply the loads. FEMAP
will automatically create loads from the freebody display for the nodes you selected. If you have requested a total
load calculation at a specific location in the freebody display, FEMAP will ask you if it is OK to create this load as
well as the individual loads. If you say Yes to the Total Load question, FEMAP will create a node at this location
and then create the appropriate load.
4.3.7 Activate/Create Constraint Set
All nodal constraints, constraint equations, and geometric constraints are created in the active constraint set. There-
fore, you must always activate a constraint set prior to creating either of them.
Course Thermal model with
Temperature output
Fine Structural model receives mapped
Nodal Temperatures as a Load from
Course Thermal model (temperature loads
not displayed in figure for clarity)
Temperature Loads converted to Output
for viewing of Mapping to closest node.
Nodal Temperature Loads could also be
used to perform Thermal Stress analysis
Fine Structural Model with
Nodal Temperatures displayed
as output
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Model, Constraint, Set... 4-69
4.3.7.1 Model, Constraint, Set...
... makes a new constraint set or activates an existing set.
To create a new constraint set, enter an ID which does not appear in the list of available sets. Then enter a title and
press OK. As always, you should choose a descriptive title. The titles are displayed, along with the IDs, whenever
you are asked to select a constraint set. To activate a constraint set that already exists, simply choose it from the list,
or enter its ID, and press OK. To deactivate all constraint sets, press Reset.
4.3.8 Constraint Definitions
Every time a constraint is created on finite element entities (i.e., Model, Constraint, Nodal; Model, Constraint,
Nodal on Face; and Model, Constraint, Equation) or geometry (Model, Constraint, On Point; Model, Constraint,
On Curve; Model, Constraint, on Surface) a Constraint Definition will also be created in FEMAP. These Con-
straint Definitions will appear in the Constraints branch of the Model Info tree and can be given a title.
Each Constraint Definition will contain all of the individual constraints which were created at the same time using
a Model, Constraint... command. Constraint Definitions can then be edited, listed, and deleted and all individual
constraints contained in that Constraint Definition will be edited, listed, or deleted.
For example, if you chose to put a constraint for Degrees of Freedom TX, TY, and TZ on 5 selected nodes, a single
Constraint Definition would appear in the Model Info tree. In this case, if the Constraint Definition were to be
edited, 5 individual constraints would be modified using one command.
Constraint Definitions can be removed at any time using the Remove Definition command on the context sensitive
menu in the Model Info tree and the individual constraints from that Constraint Definition will be moved under the
appropriate heading in the Other Constraints branch. The Other Constraints branch contains headings for On
Geometry, On Mesh, and Equations.
Also, a Constraint Definition can be created from any number of constraints of the same type (i.e., any number of
Nodal Constraints, Constraints on Curves, or Constraint Equations, etc) by highlighting them in the Model Info tree
and using the Create Definition command from the context sensitive menu.
Note: Each Constraint Equation created will also create a new Constraint Definition. These Constraint Defini-
tions can then be combined.
Note: All of the commands for listing, deleting, and modifying individual constraints are still available in
FEMAP.
Note: If you combine multiple constraint equations into one constraint definition, you will be prompted to edit
each constraint equation one at a time.
Shift+F2
Enter Set ID to
activate here
or, choose an
existing set
from this list
Click here to
deactivate all
sets.
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If you choose constraints of various types and then use the Create Definition command, FEMAP will create a Con-
straint Definition for each separate type of constraint that was highlighted.
For more information about the Remove Definition and Create Definition commands, along with the process of
combining Constraint Definitions, please see Section 7.2.1, "Tools, Model Info" under Loads and Constraints in
the Model Info Tree
4.3.9 Finite Element (Nodal) Constraints
FEMAP allows you to apply constraints directly to nodes or create constraint equations which provide a relation-
ship between DOFs of nodes. There are three commands which apply constraints directly to the nodes: Nodal,
Nodal on Face, and Equation. Each of these commands is discussed below.
4.3.9.1 Model, Constraint, Nodal...
Nodal constraints are used
to prevent movement in
one or more nodal direc-
tions (degrees of freedom).
Creating nodal constraints
is a two step process: (1)
select the nodes to be con-
strained using the standard
entity selection dialog box,
and (2) choose the degrees
of freedom, or component directions, at each of these nodes, which will be constrained. The same constraints will
be applied to all of the nodes that you select in a single command.
Color/Palette and Layer:
These controls define parameters for the nodal constraint to be created.
Coordinate System:
This list allows you to choose a coordinate system which will define the nodal degrees of freedom, and hence the
constraint directions, for all selected nodes. The coordinate system you select here replaces the coordinate system
that you selected as the nodal output coordinate system (see Section 4.2.1, "Model, Node..."). If the coordinate sys-
tem that you choose is different from your previous selection, you will be asked to confirm that you want to over-
write the previous selection for all nodes.
Specifying Degrees of Freedom
Any combination of the six nodal degrees of freedom (TX, TY, TZ, RX, RY and RZ) can be selected using the
check boxes. In many cases however, standard combinations of degrees of freedom will be needed. For these situa-
tions, you can quickly select the combination by pressing the appropriate command button.
The following table shows the combinations which are available. In the table, * indicates a constrained degree of
freedom.
Note: Be careful when you change the output coordinate system. If you have other constraints defined on the
same node, even in other constraint sets, you are implicitly changing their orientation every time you
change the output coordinate system. These changes can result in modeling errors which FEMAP can
not detect. Remember, you can only have one output coordinate system per node. All constraints, in all
sets, as well as everything else that references nodal degrees of freedom, are specified relative to that
coordinate system.
Command
Button
TX TY TZ RX RY RZ
Fixed * * * * * *
Free
Pinned * * *
No Rotation * * *
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Model, Constraint, Nodal on Face... 4-71
Simply choose the command button you need, followed by OK, to create the constraint.
Other Uses for Nodal Constraints
In most cases, you will want to create nodal constraints to do exactly what their name implies - constrain your
model. For some types of analysis (usually modal analysis) other sets of degrees of freedom can be used. One typi-
cal example of this is the analysis set (Nastran ASET, ANSYS M set, STARDYNE GUYAN set) which is often
used for reduced modal analysis. FEMAP's translators support these additional, non-constraint sets. All you have to
do is create an additional set, just like you specified your constraints, which contains the nodal degrees of freedom
that you want. It is a good idea to specify a title that will help you to properly identify the set. Then when you trans-
late your model, simply choose this set for its intended purpose, instead of translating it as a constraint set.
Quick Constraint Icons
These icons create specific types of nodal constraint combinations on a selected set of nodes:
...Fixed - constrains all six degrees-of-freedom
...Pinned - constrains the three translational degrees-of-freedom
...No Rotation - constrains the three rotational degrees-of-freedom
4.3.9.2 Model, Constraint, Nodal on Face...
...works just like Model, Constraint, Nodal, but instead of directly selecting the nodes where constraints will be
applied, you select elements and element faces. FEMAP then automatically finds all of the nodes on those faces
and applies the specified constraints. For more information, see Section 4.3.3.3, "Model, Load, Nodal On Face...".
4.3.9.3 Model, Constraint, Equation...
...relates the motion or displacement of two or more (up to 70) nodal degrees of freedom. When you create a con-
straint equation, you must specify all of the terms in the following equation:
Equation coefficients are directly specified in the constraint equation definition dialog box:
X Symmetry * * *
Y Symmetry * * *
Z Symmetry * * *
X AntiSym * * *
Y AntiSym * * *
Z AntiSym * * *
Command
Button
TX TY TZ RX RY RZ
where
A
j
are the equation coefficients, and
u
j
are the nodal degrees of freedom
0 A
j
u
j
=
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4-72 Finite Element Modeling
Add, Multiple Nodes, Replace, Delete:
Nodal degrees of freedom are identified by selecting a
node number and selecting the degree of freedoms
(see table below). To input one node at a time, define
the coefficient, select the degrees of freedom, and
then select/input the node and press Add. This will
add it to the constraint equation.
You can also add multiple nodes, if you have multiple
nodes in the constraint equation that have identical
degrees of freedoms and coefficient. Simply input the
coefficient, select the degrees of freedom, and then
press the Multiple Nodes button. You will then see the
standard entity selection dialog box. Select the appro-
priate nodes and press OK. This will add these nodes
with the selecting degrees of freedom and coefficient
to the constraint equation.
You can also modify your selections by highlighting a selection in the dialog box. When a selection is highlighted,
you can remove it by pressing Delete, or change it to your current pick by pressing Replace.
As always, the nodal degrees of freedom are in the X, Y and Z directions defined by the nodal output coordinate
systems.
ID, Color, Layer:
In addition to the equation terms, you must define an equation ID. This ID must be unique within each constraint
set, and is used only to identify the equation within FEMAP. The ID will automatically increment each time that
you create a new equation. You can also specify a Color and Layer for each equation.
4.3.10 Geometric Constraints
You may also create nodal constraints in FEMAP by constraining geometry. FEMAP will automatically transfer
these constraints to nodes attached to the constrained geometry upon translation or expansion. There are two types
of geometric constraints - standard and advanced. Standard geometric constraints only allow you to specify either
all translations (DOF 123 - Pinned), all translations + all rotations (DOF 123456 - Fixed), or all rotations (DOF 456
- No Rotation). These combinations do not require setting or changing the nodal output coordinate systems during
translation, and can therefore be defined in any number of constraint sets, in any combination. Advanced geometric
constraints give you full control of the degrees of freedom to constrain, but require more care when you are speci-
fying them. Since analysis programs only support one output coordinate system per node, it is possible to specify
combinations of advanced geometric constraints that can not be solved in a single analysis.
Geometric constraints are expanded to nodal constraints upon translation or expansion. If you have already defined
nodal constraints for nodes on the geometry, FEMAP will combine the constraints. In this manner, you could pin
nodes on a curve, and then create a no rotation condition on one of the nodes through Model, Constraint, Nodal,
and the combined result would be a pinned surface with one node as fixed.
Number DOF
1 TX, X Translation
2 TY, Y Translation
3 TZ, Z Translation
4 RX, X Rotation
5 RY, Y Rotation
6 RZ, Z Rotation
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Geometric Constraints 4-73
The geometric constraints, similar to the geo-
metric loads, are divided into four com-
mands: On Point, On Curve, On Surface, and
Expand. Whether you are defining con-
straints on points, curves or surfaces, you
will see the same dialog box. The Standard
constraint types are available at the top of the
dialog box. The Advanced types are at the
bottom of the box.
Advanced Constraints
There are three available approaches to
defining advanced geometric constraints.
Arbitrary in CSys is available for points,
curves and surfaces. Surface is available
for all surface constraints. Cylinder/Hole is
only available if you select one or more
cylindrical surfaces.
The first, Arbitrary in CSys, gives you full
control over the six nodal degrees of freedom
in any coordinate system you specify. You
can either pick a coordinate system from the
list, or choose Use Nodal Output Sys. If
you pick a coordinate system, all nodes will
have their output coordinate systems
changed to that system, and the constraints will be applied. If you choose Use Nodal Output Sys, only the con-
straints will be applied - it is up to you to manually define the nodal output coordinate systems so that the degrees
of freedom are properly interpreted.
Surface constraints are intended to automatically select the degrees of freedom necessary to match certain physi-
cal conditions. In all of these cases, new coordinate systems will be created, as necessary, and assigned as nodal
output coordinate systems, to create the selected conditions. Sliding along Surface will constrain the direction
perpendicular to the surface, and if Include Rotational DOF is checked, the rotational degrees of freedom around
the two axes that result in rotations out of the surface. Move Normal to Surface does just the opposite, constrain-
ing the in-surface translations and optionally the in-surface rotations. If you choose Sliding in Specified Direc-
tion, degrees of freedom normal to that direction will be constrained. In this case, you will also be asked to specify
the sliding direction, which is used to align the resulting output coordinate systems.
Cylinder/Hole is very much like Surface, except that they can only be applied to cylindrical surfaces. In this
case the output coordinate system will be aligned with the axis of the cylinder/hole, and you can constrain any com-
bination of the three directions.
Expanding Advanced Constraints
Any time you expand advanced geometric constraints, the nodal output coordinate systems will be created and
assigned. This will happen whether you use the Expand command, or simply translate the model for analysis.
These output coordinate systems will not be removed if the expanded constraints are compressed. In the case of
translation for analysis, the output coordinate systems are needed for proper interpretation of the analysis results.
As stated before, some care must be taken when applying advanced geometric conditions. Because of the restric-
tion in analysis programs of a single output coordinate system per node, there are many conditions that can not be
represented in a single analysis. For example, lets assume that you wanted to analyze one condition that con-
strained some arbitrary set of DOF in a specified coordinate system (using Arbitrary in CSys), and you also
wanted to analyze another condition that specified Sliding in Surface. Even if you defined two constraint sets,
this will not in general be possible, since the output coordinate system specified for the first condition may not
match the one required for the second. If you attempt to do this, FEMAP will do attempt to match the second con-
dition as closely as possible to your request, but you should carefully check your model to see that it is what you
want. To investigate this a little further, it is good to understand the process FEMAP uses to expand these con-
straints. FEMAP will first attempt to define the output coordinate systems for each node. Starting with the first con-
straint set required/selected, the required coordinate directions at the nodes will be defined. The process will
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4-74 Finite Element Modeling
continue until all coordinate directions at each node have been defined. This may allow proper matching of more
than one constraint request - for example constraining sliding in surface, really only requires one direction be spec-
ified - the normal to the surface - both of the in-surface directions will be constrained, and can therefore be arbi-
trarily specified, as long as they are in-surface. This allows FEMAP to also properly handle another constraint
request that might require a specific in-surface direction. Once the coordinate systems have been computed and
assigned, then FEMAP will start the process of actually assigning constraints. At this time, the desired constraint
directions are considered individually. If they match with the coordinate directions of the output coordinate system,
as all should if they meet the single output coordinate system restriction, they are simply applied to the nodes. If
multiple requests force the coordinate system to be improperly defined, then request will not precisely match the
coordinate system - in this case every degree of freedom that is partially constrained will be fully constrained.
4.3.10.1 Model, Constraint, On Point...
...allows you to apply constraints directly to points, which are then transformed to nodal constraints upon transla-
tion or expansion. This command can ease the entity selection process since you will typically have many more
nodes than points in your model, however, it is often just as easy to apply the constraints directly to the nodes with
the Model, Constraint, Nodal command.
4.3.10.2 Model, Constraint, On Curve...
...allows you to apply constraints directly to curves. You simply select the curves through the standard entity selec-
tion box, and then select the type of constraint. Nodes attached to that curve will then be constrained upon transla-
tion or expansion.
4.3.10.3 Model, Constraint, On Surface...
...allows you to apply constraints directly to surfaces. You simply select the surfaces through the standard entity
selection box, and then select the type of constraint. Nodes attached to that curve will then be constrained upon
translation or expansion.
4.3.10.4 Model, Constraint, Expand...
...is used to expand or compress geometric constraints. It operates
identically to Model, Load, Expand. You can select individual types
to expand, or an entire set. You can also compress an entire set.
If you choose Convert to Nodal, the geometric constraint will be
removed and be replaced by nodal constraints. Just like with the
Model, Load, Expand command, be careful when converting to
nodal. This conversion is permanent. You cannot go back to the
original geometric load.
.
.
4.3.11 Constraint Set Manipulation
This section contains command to copy or combine entire constraint sets.
4.3.11.1 Model, Constraint, Copy...
...duplicates the active constraint set. All nodal constraints and constraint equations are copied to the new set. If you
do not want to duplicate all of them, use the Delete, Model, Constraint - Definition or Delete, Model, Constraint -
Individual commands to remove unwanted constraints from the new set.
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Model, Constraint, Combine... 4-75
Input for this command is minimal. Simply specify the ID of the constraint set that you want to create. This new set
must not already exist. FEMAP will create a duplicate copy of the active set with the ID that you specify.
After the copy has been made, FEMAP will ask whether you want to activate the new set. Answer no if you want to
continue working with the original constraint set. Answer yes to work with the new copy.
4.3.11.2 Model, Constraint, Combine...
... enables you to combine two or more constraint sets into one new constraint set. This option works much like
Model, Load, Combine, (See Section 4.3.6.2, "Model, Load, Combine...") except there is no scale factor input, and
you have the option to Combine or Overwrite constraints for each set that you add to the Combinations list. A +
in front of the Load Set name designates Combine, while an O designates Overwrite.
Hint: You may want to use the Model, Constraint, Set command to modify the title of the new copy. FEMAP
will always create it with the same title as the original set that was copied.
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4-76 Finite Element Modeling
4.4 Creating Connections and Regions
The commands under the Connect menu are used to create connections usually by creating all of the different enti-
ties required to set up contact conditions. How these contact conditions are used depends on the selected options
and the Finite Element solver being used to perform the analysis.
There are basically three steps in creating contact for these programs. They involve three different entity creations:
Connection Property
Connection Region
Connectors
This type of contact is currently supported for NX Nastran, ABAQUS, ANSYS, MARC, LS-DYNA3D, and NE/
NASTRAN. In most cases, the solver you are using determines which Connection Property will need to be used to
create appropriate contact conditions.
The top portion of the Connect menu aids in the creation of connections based entirely on geometry. FEMAP has a
command to automatically determine which geometric bodies will come into contact with one another based on
some factors and automatically generate the Connection Regions, Connection Properties, and Connectors. There is
also a command which allows you to set-up contact conditions by choosing specific surfaces (or sets of surfaces) to
use as Connection Regions, then selecting a Connection Property which is used to create a Connector between the
Connection Regions.
The middle portion of the Connect menu allows you to create each separate type of entity required to set up contact
conditions. These commands allow you to use nodes, elements, or property information to generate Connection
Regions, as well as geometry. Also, depending on your solver, curves can sometimes be used to create analytical
rigid surfaces for use with axisymmetric models.
Connection regions are usually geometry, element, or node-based regions for contact, but the same concept can be
used to create regions for other types of analysis conditions.
The bottom portion of the Connect menu may be used to create three specialized types of regions useful for Nastran
users, Fluid Regions, Bolt Regions (used to apply a Bolt Pre-load in NX Nastran only), and Rotor Regions (used to
define rotors for Rotor Dynamics in NX Nastran only)
A Fluid Region allows you to create a region of elements to simulate either a finite volume internal fluid (i.e. a
fluid in a contained area) or an infinite volume external fluid (i.e., ship floating in a body of water). The regions
can be created in a similar manner to Connection Regions by using element IDs and face numbers OR elements
associated to the positive or negative side of a surface. Along with defining the physical regions that can be
affected by the fluid, there are additional options which can be set up for creating the MFUILD entry for the Nas-
tran solver.
A Bolt Region is used to create a region of elements where you would like to apply a bolt preload. The preload
is a specified torque which has been translated into an axial load, arising from components in an assembly being
bolted together. Each Bolt Region represents a bolt and there can be multiple bolts in a single model, all with
unique preloads. When analyzing preloaded bolts, you may be interested in obtaining the stresses due to the
preload condition alone or due to a combination of the bolt preload and additional loading conditions.
A Rotor Region is used to create a region of nodes which you would like to specify as a rotor for Rotor Dynamics
in NX Nastran. There are also options to set the rotation axis, damping values, and individual rotor load sets.
FEMAP gives you the ability to enable and disable Fluid, Bolt, and Rotor Regions which can be very useful
when trying different numbers of MFLUIDs, Bolt Preloads, and Rotors in different analysis runs.
4.4.1 Connect, Automatic...
...creates connections automatically based on the proximity of geometric entities selected in your model using a
number of parameters. These parameters include specific values for Tolerance (distance between bodies) and Angle
Tolerance, as well as choice of a Detection Strategy (Minimal to Aggressive) and options for the way multiple
Connection Regions will be combined on the same solid.
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Connect, Automatic... 4-77
FEMAP will automatically create Connection Regions, a specific Connection Property (or use one that has already
been defined), and Connectors between bodies which are within the tolerance values and fit the Detection Strategy
criteria. If you would like to create these entities one at a time, please see Section 4.4.3, "Connect, Connection
Property...", Section 4.4.4, "Connect, Connection Region...", and Section 4.4.5, "Connect, Connector... (Contact
Pair)"
Coincident Surface Detection
Tolerance
Essentially, the Tolerance value is a distance between bodies that
FEMAP will use to determine if automatic connections should be
generated between surfaces. The default value for Tolerance is set
to be 5 times the default node merge tolerance in FEMAP.
In some cases, you may need to change this value to have FEMAP
detect more or less surfaces for auto-connection.
Angle Tolerance
The Angle Tolerance can be used to allow FEMAP to detect connections between surfaces on bodies which are not
planar to one another. By default, FEMAP will only create contact between surfaces which are within 1 degree of
being planar to one another.
Many times you will only want to create contact conditions between the surfaces of bodies which are somewhat
planar to one another. This is especially the case for setting up Glued/Bonded contact.
Detection Strategy
FEMAP gives you 5 different options for Detection Strategy. Depending on the Detection Strategy you choose
FEMAP will go from detecting a minimal amount of connections using a limited number of geometric entities to
actually swelling bodies (internally, the geometry will not actually be changed in the model) and attempting to
Boolean them together for the purpose of finding the maximum number of surfaces for use in creating connections.
As you move from left to right, you are adding methods of detection. For example, if you are on Detection Strategy
2, FEMAP will actually perform Detection Strategy 1 and then Detection Strategy 2. If you are on Detection Strat-
egy 5, Detection Strategies 1-4 will be attempted and then Detection Strategy 5.
Here is a little more information on each option going from Left (Minimal) to Right (Aggressive)
Analytical - Planes Only (Minimal) - FEMAP will only create connections between planar surfaces on bod-
ies within the Tolerance and Angle Tolerance detection criteria.
Analytical - Cylinders, Spheres, Cones, and Toroids (Default) - In addition to creating connections between
planar surfaces, FEMAP will also look for connections between sets of cylindrical, spherical, conical, and
toroidal surfaces. This is the default setting for FEMAP and will often find the most appropriate surfaces for
creating connections.
Boolean - FEMAP will create Connections using adjacent surfaces on bodies which could be Booleaned
together if you were using a command such as Geometry, Solid, Add... and are within the other criteria.
Swell, then Boolean - FEMAP will actually swell all of the selected solids by 1/2 the value specified in Tol-
erance and then attempt to Boolean the swelled solids together. If after swelling a Boolean can take place,
Connections will be created between the surfaces on those bodies which fulfill the detection criteria.
Intermittent Swelling, then Boolean (Aggressive) - FEMAP will actually swell all of the selected solids by
intermittent values based on the Tolerance value and then attempt to Boolean the swelled solids together after
each iteration. If after swelling a Boolean can take place, Connections will be created between the surfaces on
those bodies which fulfill the detection criteria.
Note: FEMAP determines the default node merge tolerance
based on overall model size. The number is 1/10000
of the model box diagonal (think of the model box
being an invisible box that completely encapsulates
every entity in the model).
You can override the default node merge tolerance by
specifying a value in Tools, Parameters.
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Check for Connections in same Solid
When this option is on, FEMAP will search for surfaces on the same solid which fulfill the detection criteria and
then create a connection between those surfaces. This can be helpful if you are performing an analysis on a part
(often times a circular part) where the two ends will be clamped together or a rubber boot which may contact
itself in many places as it is displaced. This option is off by default.
Combine all Connections between Solids
When this option is on, FEMAP will combine all Connection Regions it has created automatically on a single solid
into a single Connection Region for that particular solid. This limits the number of Connection Regions which will
be created in an assembly model containing a number of solids. This option is on by default but if you turn it off
you will be able to see exactly which surfaces FEMAP is detecting to create Connection Regions and which sets of
Connection Regions are being connected with Connectors automatically.
Connection Property
This portion of the of the Auto Detection Option for Connections dialog box allows you to create a new default
Connection Property or choose an existing Connection Property to use when automatically creating connections.
Contact - Creates a new Connection Property using 0..Contact as the Type and will enter the same default
values which are entered when the Defaults button is used in the Define Connection Property dialog box
Glued - Creates a new Connection Property using 1..Glued as the Type and will enter the same default values
which are entered when the Defaults button is used in the Define Connection Property dialog box
Property - Allows you to choose any previously created Connection Property from a from a drop-down list.
4.4.2 Connect, Surfaces...
...allows simple creation of a connection between two single surfaces, a set of surfaces and a single surface, or
two sets of surfaces. Basically, it allows you to create 2 separate Connection Regions then a automatically creates a
Connector between those Connection Regions using a specified Connection Property.
Connect Surfaces
Master - Creates a new Connection Region using a selected surface or surfaces if Multiple has been chosen to
be used as the Master in a Connector.
Slave - Creates a new Connection Region using a selected surface or surfaces if Multiple has been chosen to be
used as the Slave in a Connector.
Note: If you dont know which settings to use for Automatic Detection, it is better to start with the default val-
ues for the Tolerance and Angle Tolerance and the Minimal Detection Strategy options. FEMAP will
not overwrite any Connections or create duplicate Connections which have been created, so you can use
larger Tolerance settings and more Agressive Detection Strategies to have FEMAP detect additional
connections.
Also, connections will not be created between surfaces linked with Adjacent Surface Matching.
Note: You may want to turn this option off when using the Check for Connection in same Solid option in order
for FEMAP to create Connectors between surfaces on the same solid, which some analysis codes will
require in order to create self-contact conditions on the same part.
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Connect, Connection Property... 4-79
Connection Property
FEMAP allows you to choose an existing Connection Property to use when creating this connection. There is also
an option to create a new Connection Property.
Search for Related Surfaces
When this option is turned on, FEMAP will search for Related Surfaces to also put into the Master or Slave Con-
nection Region. A Related Surface is defined as a surface which was created from the same underlying geometry
to the selected surface(s). This option is on by default.
For example, if a cylindrical surface is split into two periodic faces by Parasolid (which is common), and one of the
faces is selected for the Slave Connection Region, the other face would also be included in the Slave Connection
Region when this option is turned on. Other examples include surfaces split using imprinted curve or surfaces sep-
arated by a Boolean operation such as Geometry, Solid, Remove.
4.4.3 Connect, Connection Property...
Connection Properties
You must define interface information for the Connector with a Connection Property. When you define a Connec-
tion Property, you will see the Define Connection Property dialog box for contact pairs.
The typical entity information contained in FEMAP: ID, Color, Layer and Title are available for the Connection
Property. It is important to give each Connection Property a descriptive title so you may easily select one from the
drop-down property list when defining a Connector.
The Connect Type is a specialized entry for the Connection Property and allows you to choose between 0..Contact
and 1..Glued. When Connect Type is 0..Contact, almost all contact options are available for all solvers. When Con-
nect Type is set to 1..Glued, only the options required to create Glued or Bonded contact are available.
Also common to the Define Connection Property dialog box regardless of what Tab is chosen are the Defaults,
Load, Save, and Copy buttons.
Clicking the Defaults button will bring up a different set of Default values which are recommended for each
solver and/or type of analysis and fill them in on all tabs at once.
Load and is used to load a saved Connection Property from the Connection Property Library (conprop.esp file, usu-
ally located in the FEMAP directory) and Save is used to store a new or modified Connection Property in that same
library. A Title is required in order to save the a Connection Property to the Connection Property Library and all
values on all tabs will be stored together.
Copy allows you to copy the values from an existing Connection Property in your model to a new Connection
Property. You must have a least one Connection Property in your model for copy to be able to work correctly.
Note: Connect Type has no effect on the MARC, DYNA, or NEiNastran tabs.
Extruded from boundary surface -
If either top surface is selected,
there are no related surfaces
Would NOT be Related
Primitive with Boolean cut-out -
If either top surface is selected,
there are related surfaces
Would be Related
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4-80 Finite Element Modeling
The rest of the dialog box is separated into 8 tabs. Each tab has the required input for a particular solver and/or
analysis type.
The first 3 tabs are for creating contact conditions for different solution sequences in NX Nastran. NX Linear (SOL
101), NX Advanced Nonlinear (SOL 601), and NX Explicit (SOL 701) each have a tab containing different options
associated with a particular analysis type.
Each of the other 5 tabs contain options required to set up contact conditions for a particular solver. Each tab cre-
ates program specific input for one of the following solvers: ABAQUS, ANSYS, MARC, LS-DYNA, or NE/Nas-
tran. The options available for each solver are discussed in greater detail below
Note: FEMAP will use the information you have set on the Interfaces tab of the Preferences dialog box to set
which tab of the Define Connection Property dialog box should be active by default.
For example, if you have your Interface set to 16..ABAQUS, when you use the Connect, Connection
Property command, the ABAQUS tab will be active until you select a different tab. If you were to
then change your Interface to 45..NX Nastran and your Analysis Type to 22..Advanced Nonlinear
Static, the NX Adv Nonlin tab would be active until changed.
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NX Nastran Linear and Glued Contact Properties (NX Linear tab) 4-81
4.4.3.1 NX Nastran Linear and Glued Contact Properties (NX Linear tab)
The linear contact property for NX Nastran contains options for linear contact which is available in Linear Statics
(SOL 101, NX Nastran version 4.0 and above), as well as Glued Contact, which is available in all NX Nastran
solution sequences (NX Nastran version 4.1 and above), except Advanced Nonlinear (SOL 601) and Explicit Tran-
sient Dynamics (SOL 701). These options can be reached by pressing the NX Linear tab in the Define Connection
Property dialog box.
Contact Pair (BCTSET)
The options in this portion of the dialog box can be set individually for each Connector (contact pair) that is created
in the model. These options will be written out to the BCTSET entry for each individual contact pair. Each contact
pair will be designated in the graphics window with a single line going from one Connection Region to another and
this line is a contact element.
Friction - Enters a value in the FRICi field on the BCTSET entry. Designates the Static Coefficient of friction for
contact pair i.
Min Contact Search Dist - Enters a value in the MINDi field on the BCTSET entry. Designates the Minimum
search distance for contact pair i.
Note: In general, if different friction values are NOT needed then the contact pairs should all reference the
same contact property.
Note: The minimum distance can be negative and use used to defined an interference fit condition modeled as
overlapping surfaces.
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4-82 Finite Element Modeling
Max Contact Search Dist - Enters a value in the MAXDi field on the BCTSET entry. Designates the Maximum
search distance for contact pair i.
Contact Property (BCTPARM)
These options need to only be defined once for a contact analysis, regardless of how many contact pairs are defined
in the model. Each contact pair has an element number assigned to it and can have a separate contact property asso-
ciated with it. FEMAP will use the contact property referenced by the contact pair with the lowest element num-
ber to define the BCTPARM entry for the entire model. For example, if a model has 2 contact pairs with element
numbers 101 and 102, the Contact Property values defined in the property associated with contact pair 101 would
be used for the analysis.
Max Force Iterations - Creates the MAXF field on the BCTPARM entry. Designates the maximum number of
iterations for a force (inner) loop (Default = 10).
Max Status Iterations - Creates the MAXS field on the BCTPARM entry. Designates the maximum number of
iterations for a status (outer) loop (Default = 20).
Normal Penalty factor - Creates the PENN field on the BCTPARM entry. Designates the penalty factor for the
normal direction (Default = 10.0).
Tangential Penalty factor - Creates the PENT field on the BCTPARM entry. Designates the penalty factor for the
tangential direction (Default = 1.0).
Force Convergence Tol - Creates the CTOL field on the BCTPARM entry. Designates the Contact Force conver-
gence tolerance (Default = 0.01).
Num Allow Contact Changes - Creates the NCHG field on the BCTPARM entry. Designates the allowable num-
ber of contact changes for convergence (Default = 0).
Min Contact Percentage - Creates the MPER field on the BCTPARM entry. Designates the Minimum Contact Set
Percentage (Default = 100).
Initial Penetration - Creates the INIPENE field on the BCTPARM entry. Controls definition of initial gap or pen-
etration of the generated contact elements (Default = 0).
0..Calculated - Use the value calculated from the grid coordinates.
2..Calculated/Zero Penetrations - Same as 0..Calculated, but if penetration is detected, set the value to zero.
3..Zero Gap/Penetration - Sets the penetration/gap to zero for all contact elements.
Shell Offset - Creates the SHLTHK field on the BCTPARM entry. Shell Thickness Offset flag. (Default = 0)
0..Include shell thickness - Include half shell thickness as surface offset.
1..Do not include thickness - Does not include thickness offset.
Avg Methods - Creates the AVGSTS field on the BCTPARM entry. Determines the averaging method for contact
pressure/traction results (Default = 0).
0..Include All Elements - The averaging of Pressure/Traction values for a contact grid will include the results
from ALL contact elements attached to the grid regardless of whether they are active or inactive in the contact
problem
1..Include Active Elements - The averaging of the Pressure/Traction values for a contact grid will exclude those
contact elements which are not active in the contact solution and thus have a zero Pressure/Traction value.
Contact Status - Creates the RESET field on the BCTPARM entry. Flag to indicate if the contact status for a spe-
cific subcase is to start from the final status of the previous subcase. (Default =0)
0..Start from Prev Subcase - Starts from previous subcase.
1..Start from Init State- Starts from initial state.
Note: The max distance must be defined for all contact problems. This is the distance that NX Nastran will
search for contact from the element normal.
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NX Nastran Linear and Glued Contact Properties (NX Linear tab) 4-83
Common Contact Parameters (BCTPARM and BGPARM)
These options are available for both linear contact and Glued contact.
Eval Order - Determines the number of Linear Contact or Glue Points for a single element on the source region.
Creates INTORD field in BCTPARM or BGPARM entry and gives you 4 choices:
0..Default - Does NOT write the INTORD field or corresponding value field to the BCTPARM or BGPARM
entry. Simply uses the default value for Linear or Glued contact built into the NX Nastran solver.
1..Low - Lowest order of points on source region.
2..Medium - Medium order of points on source region. This is the default.
3..High - Highest order of points on source region.
The higher the integration order, the longer the solve will take.
Refine Source - Determines if the source region is refined for the Linear or Glued Contact solution. Creates
REFINE field on the BCTPARM or BGPARM entry and gives you 2 choices for the corresponding Value field:
0..Do Not Refine - Does not refine the Linear Contact/Glue source region based on target surface definition.
1..Refine Source to Target (Default) - Refines the Linear Contact/Glue source region based on target surface
definition.
Glued Contact Property (BGSET and BGPARM)
The options in this portion of the dialog box are used to set-up Glued Contact in NX Nastran. Here is a brief
description of Glued Contact:
An option to Glue elements together during a solution is available in NX Nastran version 4.1 and above. Glue
definitions can be used in all solution sequences except for Advanced Nonlinear (SOL 601) and Explicit Transient
Dynamics (SOL 701). The Glue option creates stiff springs to connect pre-defined Connection Regions and pre-
vents relative motion in all directions (these springs are essentially glue elements). Glue elements are created
from the free face of one Connection Region to another if the regions are within the specified separation distance
(Search Distance) for gluing to occur. Many different glued connections can occur in the same model and all of the
connections will be placed in the same Glue Set (BGSET entry) in the NX Nastran input deck.
Search Distance - Enters a value in the SDISTi field on the BGSET entry. Designates the Search Distance for the
contact pair i. Essentially, this is telling NX Nastran that if the Connection Regions of the contact pair are within
this distance, which they should be, then Glued contact will be active for this contact pair.
Penalty Factor - Enters a value in the PEN field on the BGSET entry. Designates the Penalty Factor for ALL con-
tact pairs. Default value in FEMAP is 1.0E6 and is sufficient for most cases.
Note: The Defaults button will automatically fill in the dialog box with the default values suggested by NX
Nastran. It may be helpful to try and run the analysis with the defaults and then run it again if any mod-
ifications are needed to create more accurate results or achieve convergence.
Note: In Linear Statics (SOL 101), both Glued Contact AND Linear Contact can be defined in the same sub-
case. Also, the Glued Contact must be set up in the first subcase for all solutions sequences except in
SOL 101, when Linear Contact is defined. In this case, Glued Contact can be defined in any subcase.
Note: Glued contact is currently NOT available when using the Element Iterative solver in NX Nastran.
Note: By setting the value of search distance to a value larger than the largest distance between connection
regions using Glued Contact, only one Glued Contact property is needed per model. Even if you have
several different properties created for Glued Contact, FEMAP will automatically combine them all in
to one BGSET entry in NX Nastran.
Note: If separation of the Connection Regions is observed, raise the Penalty Factor value by an order of mag-
nitude until separation no longer occurs. If defined too large, numerical errors may occur.
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4-84 Finite Element Modeling
Shell Z-Offset - Allows you to choose if the Z-Offset on shell elements should be included in determining Glued
Contact. Creates ZOFFSET field in BGPARM entry and gives you 2 choices for the corresponding Value field:
0..Include Z-Offset (Default) - Z offset of shells is included for determining glued surfaces.
1..No not Include Z-Offset - Z offset of shells is NOT included for determining glued surfaces. This is how
glued contact functioned in NX Nastran 4.1.
4.4.3.2 NX Nastran Contact Property Options - Advanced Nonlinear Analysis (NX Adv Nonlin tab)
General
For NX Nastran Solution 601, more than 1 contact pair can be defined and each pair can have a different contact
property. For each Connection Region, ALL of the values defined on the NX Adv Nonlin tab of the Define Connec-
tion Property dialog box are used for each respective contact pair.
Contact Type - Lets you choose the contact algorithm type and writes the TYPE field on the BCTPARA entry. You
get to choose between 0..Constraint Function, 1..Segment Method, or 2..Rigid Target. Depending on the contact
algorithm, some portion of the dialog box will be available, while other portions are grayed out.
Double Sided (check box) - This is a flag for single or double-sided contact. Creates NSIDE field on BCTPARA
entry. When not checked, it places a 1 (Single-sided contact) into the NSIDE field, when checked places a 2 (Dou-
ble-sided contact) into the NSIDE field.
Initial Penetration - Flags how initial penetrations are handled. Writes the Initial penetration option to the
INIPENE field on the BCTPARA entry. You can choose between:
Note: Advanced Nonlinear Analysis has a NXSTRAT solver parameter dialog in the Analysis Case Manager.
For more information, see Section 8.7.1.18, "Advanced Nonlinear Analysis (NX Nastran Only)".
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NX Nastran Contact Property Options - Advanced Nonlinear Analysis (NX Adv Nonlin tab) 4-85
0..Eliminate - Initial penetrations are eliminated
1..Eliminate/Print - Initial penetrations are eliminated and the list of penetrating nodes is printed
2..Ignored - Initial penetrations are ignored. In successive steps, each contractor node is allowed to penetrate the
target up to its initial penetration
3..Specify with Gap Distance - Initial penetrations or gaps are overridden by specified Gap Distance. This
option is not available for rigid target algorithm
Gap Distance - Specifies a constant gap distance (GAPVAL) between the source region (contactor) and the target
region when The Initial Penetration option is set to 3..Specify with Gap Distance. A Negative Gap Distance
means initial penetrations which will be eliminated.
Penetration Depth - Penetration Depth for single-sided contact (NSIDE=1). Write PDEPTH field on BCTPARA
entry. If PDEPTH > 0.0, then Penetration is detected when penetration is less than or equal to PDEPTH, and if Pen-
etration > PDEPTH, penetration is deemed not to occur.
Segment Normal - Indicates whether a continuous (interpolated) contact segment normal is used for the contact
surfaces. Creates the SEGNORM field on the BCTPARA entry. You can choose:
0..Default - SEGNORM = 1 if NSIDE = 1, SEGNORM = -1 if NSIDE = 2
1..Used - Continuous segment is used
-1..Not Used - Continuous segment is not used
Offset Type - Type of offset for contact regions. Creates the OFFTYPE field on the BCTPARA entry. Choose
from:
0..Single Sided - Use specified offset of NSIDE=1, use offset value of 0.001 for NSIDE=2
1..Single/Double-Sided - Use specified offset for NSIDE=1 or NSIDE=2
2..Half Shell Thick - Half the shell thickness is used for contact regions on shell elements and no offset for is
used otherwise
Offset Distance - Default offset distance value for contact regions. Creates OFFSET field on BCTPARA entry.
Time Activation
Birth Time - Birth time for contact set. Creates TBIRTH field on BCTPARA entry (default = 0.0).
Death Time - Death time for contact set. Creates TDEATH field on BCTPARA entry (default = 0.0). If TDEATH
is less than or equal to TBIRTH, it is ignored.
Rigid Target Contact Algorithm (TYPE = 2 only)
Penetration Tolerance - Penetration Tolerance which gives the maximum penetration allowed into a rigid target
surface. Creates PENETOL field on the BCTPARA entry. (Default=1.0E-8)
Normal Modulus - Normal contact Modulus. Creates NCMOD field on BCTPARA entry (Default=1.0E11)
Tangential Modulus - Tangential contact Modulus. Creates TCMOD field on BCTPARA entry (Default=0.0)
Min Tensile Freeing Force - Minimum tensile contact force required to change the state of a contact node from
node in contact to free node. Creates RFORCE field on BCTPARA entry. For instance, if the normal tensile
force is greater than RFORCE, a node in contact becomes a free node. (Default=0.001)
Max Total Freeing Force - Limit (Maximum) for the sum of all contact forces for nodes changing from the stat of
node in contact to free node. Creates LFORCE field on BCTPARA entry. If the absolute value of the sum of
the forces is larger than LFORCE, then automatic time stepping (ATS) method will be activated to subdivide the
current time step into smaller time increments (Default = 1.0)
Note: OFFTYPE = 2 can only be used with rigid target algorithm (TYPE=2).
Note: For TYPE=0 or TYPE=1, individual offset distances can be specified for each contact region using the
BCRPARA entry to override the default offset distance specified here
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4-86 Finite Element Modeling
Standard Contact Algorithm (TYPE = 0 or 1)
Disp Formulation - Selects the displacement formulation used for this contact set. Creates the DISP field on the
BCTPARA entry. Choose from:
0..Use NXSTRAT CTDISP - Use the formulation selected by CTDISP in NXSTRAT entry (Default)
1..Small Disp Formulation - Use small displacement formulation (contact conditions are not updated)
2..Large Disp Formulation - Use large displacement formulation (contact conditions are updated)
Consistent Stiffness (check box) - This is a flag to indicate whether consistent contact stiffness is used. Creates
CSTIFF field on BCTPARA entry (Default=0). When not checked, it places a 0 (Consistent contact stiffness is not
used) into the CSTIFF field, when checked places a 1 (Consistent contact stiffness is used) into the CSTIFF field.
Tied Tolerance (check box and field) - The check box is a flag to indicate whether contact regions in each contact
pair are tied together. Creates TIED field on BCTPARA entry (Default=0). When not checked, it places a 0 (Not
tied) into the TIED field, when checked, places a 1 (Tied) into the TIED field.
The field is the actual Tied Tolerance value used to determine whether contactor nodes are tied to the target region
when TIED=1 is specified. A contactor node is tied to its target region if the distance between them is less than or
equal to TIEDTOL. Creates the TIEDTOL field on the BCTPARA entry. (Default=0.0)
Init Penetration Duration - Time to eliminate initial penetrations (Must be greater than of equal to 0.0, default
=0). Creates TZPENE field on BCTPARA entry. If TZPENE=0.0, and INIPENE=0 or 1, then the initial penetra-
tions are eliminated in the first time step. This may cause convergence difficulties for certain problems. By using
TZPENE > 0.0, the initial penetrations are eliminated gradually over time TZPENE.
Surface Extension Factor - Factor for extending contact surfaces beyond their boundaries. The amount of exten-
sion is given by this factor multiplied by the length of the contact segments. Creates EXTFAC field on BCTPARA
entry. (Values must range from 1.0E-6 to 0.1; Default = 0.001)
Friction Model - Allows you to choose the type of friction model using a drop down menu. Creates an integer
from 0 to 13 (except 10 and 11) in the FRICMOD field on the BCTPARA entry to indicate which friction type is to
be used.
You can choose from the following friction types:
0..Default (Param 1) - Constant coefficient of friction specified for each contact pair (FRICi field(s) on BCT-
SET entry).
1..Constant (Param1) - Constant coefficient of friction specified by FPARA1 (FPARAi refer to Friction Param-
eter 1-5 below).
2..Model 1 (1,2) - Friction Model 1; uses FPARA1 and FPARA2.
3..Model 2 (1,2,3) - Friction Model 2; uses FPARA1, FPARA2, and FPARA3.
12..Modified Model 1(1,2) - Modified Friction Model 1; uses FPARA1 and FPARA2.
13..Modified Model 2(1,2,3) - Modified Friction Model 2; uses FPARA1, FPARA2, and FPARA3.
4..Static/Dynamic (1,2,3) - Use different static and dynamic friction coefficients; uses FPARA1, FPARA2, and
FPARA3.
5..vs Sliding Velocity (1,2,3) - Friction coefficient varies with sliding velocity; uses FPARA1, FPARA2, and
FPARA3.
6..Anisotropic (1-5) - Anisotropic friction model; uses FPARA1, FPARA2, FPARA3, FPARA4, and FPARA5.
7..vs Contact Force (1,2) - Friction coefficient varies with consistent contact force; uses FPARA1 and FPARA2.
8..vs Time (1,2,3) - Friction coefficient varies with time; uses FPARA1, FPARA2, and FPARA3.
9..vs Coordinate (1-5) - Friction coefficient varies with coordinate values; uses FPARA1, FPARA2, FPARA3,
FPARA4, and FPARA5.
Friction Param 1 - Friction parameter A1. Creates FPARA1 field on BCTPARA entry.
Note: Currently, the tied contact option assumes small rotations of the contact regions.
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NX Nastran Contact Property Options - Explicit Transient Dynamics (NX Explicit tab) 4-87
Friction Param 2 - Friction parameter A2. Creates FPARA2 field on BCTPARA entry
Friction Param 3 - Friction parameter A3. Creates FPARA3 field on BCTPARA entry
Friction Param 4 - Friction parameter A4. Creates FPARA4 field on BCTPARA entry
Friction Param 5 - Friction parameter A5. Creates FPARA5 field on BCTPARA entry
Constraint Function Contact Algorithm (TYPE = 0 only)
Normal Constraint - Parameter for normal constraint function, w. Creates EPSN field on BCTPARA entry
(Default = 1.0E-12).
Frictional Constraint - Parameter for frictional constraint function, v. Creates EPST field on BCTPARA entry
(Default = 0.001, must be greater than 0).
Compliance Factor - Compliance Factor. Creates CFACTOR1 field on BCTPARA entry. (Default = 0.0).
For more information about using contact with NX Nastran Solution 601, see Nonlinear Analysis Theory and Mod-
eling Guide.
4.4.3.3 NX Nastran Contact Property Options - Explicit Transient Dynamics (NX Explicit tab)
General
For NX Nastran Solution 701, more than 1 contact pair can be defined and each pair can have a different contact
property. Like solution 601, ALL of the values defined on the NX Explicit tab of the Define Connection Property
dialog box are used for each respective contact pair.
Note: Advanced Nonlinear Explicit has a NXSTRAT solver parameter dialog in the Analysis Case Manager.
For more information, see Section 8.7.1.19, "Advanced Nonlinear Explicit (NX Nastran Only)".
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Contact Type - Lets you choose the contact algorithm type and writes the XTYPE field on the BCTPARA entry.
You get to choose between 0..Constraint Function, 1..Penalty Method, or 3..Rigid Target. Depending on the contact
algorithm, some portion of the dialog box will be available, while other portions are grayed out
Double Sided (check box) - This is a flag for single or double-sided contact. Creates NSIDE field on BCTPARA
entry. When not checked, it places a 1 (Single-sided contact) into the NSIDE field, when checked places a 2 (Dou-
ble-sided contact) into the NSIDE field.
Initial Penetration - Flags how initial penetrations are handled. Writes the Initial penetration option to the
INIPENE field on the BCTPARA entry. You can choose between 0..Eliminate (Initial penetrations are eliminated),
1..Eliminate/Print (Initial penetrations are eliminated and the list of penetrating nodes is printed), or 2..Ignored (Ini-
tial penetrations are ignored. In successive steps, each contractor node is allowed to penetrate the target up to its
initial penetration).
Penetration Depth - Penetration Depth for single-sided contact (NSIDE=1). Write PDEPTH field on BCTPARA
entry. If PDEPTH > 0.0, then Penetration is detected when penetration is less than or equal to PDEPTH, and if Pen-
etration > PDEPTH, penetration is deemed not to occur.
Segment Normal - Indicates whether a continuous (interpolated) contact segment normal is used for the contact
surfaces. Creates the SEGNORM field on the BCTPARA entry. You can choose 0..Default (SEGNORM = 1 if
NSIDE = 1, SEGNORM = -1 if NSIDE = 2), 1..Used (Continuous segment is used), or -1..Not Used (Continuous
segment is not used)
Offset Type - Type of offset for contact regions. Creates the OFFTYPE field on the BCTPARA entry. Choose from
0..Single Sided (Use specified offset of NSIDE=1, use offset value of 0.001 for NSIDE=2), 1..Single/Double-Sided
(Use specified offset for NSIDE=1 or NSIDE=2), or 2..Half Shell Thick (Half the shell thickness is used for contact
regions on shell elements and no offset for is used otherwise).
Offset Distance - Default offset distance value for contact regions. Creates OFFSET field on BCTPARA entry.
Friction - Static coefficient of friction for contact pair i. Creates FRICi field on BCTSET entry.
Time Activation
Birth Time - Birth time for contact set. Creates TBIRTH field on BCTPARA entry (default = 0.0).
Death Time - Death time for contact set. Creates TDEATH field on BCTPARA entry (default = 0.0). If TDEATH
is less than or equal to TBIRTH, it is ignored.
Rigid Contact Algorithm (TYPE = 3 Only)
Penetration Tolerance - Penetration tolerance which gives the maximum penetration allowed into a rigid target
surface. Creates PENETOL field on BCTPARA entry (Default = 1.0E-8).
Tangential Modulus - Tangential contact modulus. Creates TCMOD field on BCTPARA entry (default = 0.0).
Standard Contact Algorithm (TYPE = 0 or 1)
Surface Extension Factor - Factor for extending contact surfaces beyond their boundaries. The amount of exten-
sion is given by this factor multiplied by the length of the contact segments. Creates EXTFAC field on BCTPARA
entry. (Values must range from 1.0E-6 to 0.1; Default = 0.001)
Init Penetration Duration - Time to eliminate initial penetrations. Creates TZPENE field on BCTPARA entry.
(Default = 0.0)
Penalty Contact Algorithm (TYPE = 1 only)
Note: OFFTYPE = 2 can only be used with rigid target algorithm (TYPE=2).
Note: For TYPE=0 or TYPE=1, individual offset distances can be specified for each contact region using the
BCRPARA entry to override the default offset distance specified here
Note: If there is no duration for initial penetration (TZPENE = 0.0) and Initial Penetration (INIPENE) is set to
0 or 1, then the initial penetrations are eliminated in the first time step. This may cause convergence dif-
ficulties for certain problems. By using TZPENE > 0.0, the initial penetrations are eliminated gradually
over time TZPENE.
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NX Nastran Contact Property Options - Explicit Transient Dynamics (NX Explicit tab) 4-89
Penalty Stiffness Criteria - This drop-down menu selects the criterion for evaluation of normal penalty stiffness.
Creates the XKNCRIT field on BCTPARA entry. There are 2 choices:
0..Program Calculated - NX Nastran calculates the normal penalty stiffness.
1..User Defined - User specifies the normal penalty stiffness (XKN).
Normal Stiffness - Creates the XKN field on the BCTPARA entry. Specifies the normal penalty stiffness when
1..User Defined is specified for Penalty Stiffness Criteria (XKNCRIT = 1)
Tangential Stiff Criteria - This drop-down menu selects the criterion for evaluation of tangential penalty stiffness.
Creates the XKTCRIT field on BCTPARA entry. There are 2 choices:
0..Program Calculated - NX Nastran calculates the tangential penalty stiffness.
1..User Defined - User specifies the tangential penalty stiffness (XKT).
Tangential Stiffness - Creates the XKN field on the BCTPARA entry. Specifies the tangential penalty stiffness
when 1..User Defined is specified for Tangential Stiff Criteria (XKTCRIT = 1)
Damp Coefficient Method - This drop-down menu selects whether damping will be used and whether or not the
damping used will be a factor or critical damping. Creates the XDAMP field on the BCTPARA entry. There are 3
choices:
0..Not Used - Damping is not used. Damping Coefficient (XNDAMP) is ignored.
1..As Crit Damping Factor - Damping is used and is a factor of the critical damping (i.e., the damping coeffi-
cient, specified in XNDAMP, is multiplied by the critical damping). This is the recommended choice if damp-
ing is used.
2..Directly Defined - Damping is used and the Damping Coefficient (XNDAMP) is specified directly.
Damping Coefficient - Specifies the relative or absolute damping coefficient (for normal penalty stiffness) when
the penalty explicit contact algorithm is used and the Damp Coefficient Method is 1..As Crit Damping Factor or
2..Directly Defined (XDAMP = 1 or 2).
For more information about using contact with NX Nastran Solution 701, see Nonlinear Analysis Theory and Mod-
eling guide.
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4.4.3.4 ABAQUS Contact Properties (ABAQUS tab)
The ABAQUS-specific section allows you to specify parameters found on the *CONTACT PAIR option and the
*FRICTION entry, as well as the thickness/area for input for 1 or 2-D contact.
This dialog box is broken into three separate segments, Friction Values, STEP Controls, and Other.
Friction Values
...are included on the
*FRICTION card in
ABAQUS. Some interest-
ing options include Fric-
tion Type, Slip Value
(dependent on Friction
Type), and Decay Exp
(parameter allows separate
static and dynamic (kinetic)
friction coefficients with a
smooth transition zone
defined by an exponential
curve).
STEP Controls
...Max Slide Distance and
Approach, are input to the
*CONTACT PAIR option.
Max Slide Distance limits
finite sliding in 3D deform-
able contact. Approach
activates automatic vis-
cous damping for a contact
pair.
On this dialog box, the
STEP Control options
apply to the load set. To
turn on these options in a
time step, you must specify
them on the ABAQUS
STEP Options dialog box.
For a detailed process, see Section 8.2.1.1, "Preparing the Model for Analysis" in the FEMAP User Guide.
Other
Typically, the most important input in this section is the Critical Penetration (HCRIT in ABAQUS). This value
defines the maximum allowable penetration of a slave node into a master surface. Penetration values above this
value will cause ABAQUS to abandon the current increment and start again with a smaller increment. This value
can greatly affect convergence and accuracy of the overall solution.
Surface to Surface Contact (TYPE=SURFACE TO SURFACE) must be specified for shell thicknesses to be
included during contact instead of using nodal locations (default). This option is only available when the Small
Sliding and/or Tied options are also turned on.
For a description of the other parameters, see the ABAQUS Standard and Explicit Users Manuals.
Note: If Connect Type is set to 1..Glued a good idea is to click the Defaults button at the bottom of the
Define Connection Property dialog box. This will turn on the Tied and Adjust options that are typically
used in conjunction when created Tied contact in ABAQUS.
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ANSYS Contact Properties (ANSYS tab) 4-91
4.4.3.5 ANSYS Contact Properties (ANSYS tab)
The ANSYS-specific section allows you to specify the real constants on the TARGE169 (2-D), TARGE170 (3-D),
CONTA171 (2-D), CONTA172 (2-D with midside nodes), CONTA173 (3-D), and CONTA174 (3-D with midside
nodes). Contact surface elements are associated with target segment elements through a shared set of real constants,
and ANSYS only looks for contact between surfaces with the same real constant set. Only contact elements and tar-
get elements of the same dimension (2-D or 3-D) can be in contact with each other.
For complete definitions of these real constants, see the ANSYS Element Reference Guide as well as the ANSYS
Structural Analysis Guide.
This dialog can be used to specify additional contact parameters. All of these parameters correspond to KEYOPT
entries on the ANSYS contact and target elements. These are more advanced options used to create contact models
which require additional parameters.
The check boxes in the KEYOPT Overrides section of the dialog box allow you to toggle between two options for
KEYOPTs (2), (4), (5), (8), and (11). The pull-down boxes in the lower portion of the dialog box correspond to
KEYOPTs (7), (9), and (12), which offer additional options that can be chosen to create a more realistic contact
model.
Be sure to review the ANSYS Element Reference Guide as well as the ANSYS Structural Analysis Guide before
beginning any type of nonlinear contact analysis.
Note: If Connect Type is set to 1..Glued a good idea is to click the Defaults button at the bottom of the
Define Connection Property dialog box. This will choose an appropriate setting for Surface Behavior
that will create Bonded contact in ANSYS.
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4.4.3.6 MSC.MARC Contact Properties (MARC tab)
Pick the MARC tab to specify parameters found on the *CONTACT and *CONTACT TABLE options.
Contact Options
This section contains all property inputs for the *CONTACT TABLE option. They will also be used in the *CON-
TACT option if the property is chosen. For details, see Section 8.6, "Marc Interfaces" in the FEMAP User Guide.
You can specify the tolerance for contact (when two bodies are considered touching), the separation force to sepa-
rate a node from a body, and an interference closure amount. In addition, if you choose No Relative Contact Disp,
the glue option will be invoked.
Stick-Slip Model, Rigid Plasticity, Friction Values, Contact Checking, Separation Checking
The remaining contact parameters are only relevant if the contact property is chosen in translation to be output to
the *CONTACT option. In most cases, the defaults will be chosen if none of the options are selected for the contact
property.
Refer to your MARC Program Input Manual for descriptions of these options.
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LS-DYNA Contact Properties (Dyna Tab) 4-93
4.4.3.7 LS-DYNA Contact Properties (Dyna Tab)
Usually, the most important option is the Type of contact you want to define. You can select many different types of
contact including automatic, eroding, constraint, tied, etc. If you select an option that requires additional informa-
tion beyond the standard inputs, you must determine the options needed and enter this information. If not, errors
may result, or at minimum your analysis will run with all defaults, which may or may not be appropriate.
The General portion of the dialog box also contains options to choose ONE_WAY contact for those types of con-
tact that support this (default is two-way contact between surfaces). An offset for TIED contact types can be tog-
gled on and off, as well as a toggle to use a penetration formulation, which can also be based on the shortest
diagonal.
This rest of the options found on the DYNA tab allow you to specify additional contact parameters for LS-
DYNA3D.
The left side of the dialog box contains information which is pertinent for all contact types. They include Scale
Factors, Thickness Overrides, Time Activation, and Output information. If no values are input or set, the defaults
will be used. The right side of the dialog box contains information specific to certain contact types. If you have
selected one of these types (Rigid, Tiebreak, or Eroding), you will want to select the appropriate information. Refer
to your LS-DYNA3D Users Manual for more information for each of these options.
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4.4.3.8 NE/Nastran Contact Properties (NEiNastran tab)
Pick the NE/Nastran tab to specify fields found on the BSCONP entry for NE/Nastran. Please consult your NE/
Nastran documentation to determine the correct usage of Connection Region and contact property cards before
beginning contact analysis.
Static Friction Coefficient, Frictional Stiffness for Stick, Stiffness Scale Factor
These parameters need to be set for you to attain accurate results from contact analysis from NE/Nastran. These
factors will be entered on the BSCONP entry of your NE/Nastran input file.
Penetration Type
There are several options when choosing the penetration type for NE/Nastran. Please refer to NEiNastran docu-
mentation to determine which Penetration Type will work best for your analysis.
1..Unsymmetric
2..Symmetric
3..Unsymmetric weld
4..Symmetric weld
5..Unsymmetric bi-directional slide
6..Symmetric bi-directional slide
7..Unsymmetric rough contact
8..Symmetric rough contact
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Connect, Connection Region... 4-95
Other Penetration Factors
These parameters need to be set for you to attain accurate results from contact analysis from NE/Nastran. These
factors will be entered on the BSCONP entry of your NE/Nastran input file.
4.4.4 Connect, Connection Region...
The Connect, Connection Region command creates the individual segments for contact. When you access this com-
mand, you will see the Connection Region dialog box.
This dialog box is partitioned into four major sections: standard entity information, Defined By, Type, and Output.
Each of these sections are described more fully below. In addition, Add includes one item, Multiple allows you to
select multiple entities, Delete removes one item, and Reset removes the entire list.
4.4.4.1 Entity Information
This section includes the typical entity information contained in FEMAP: ID, color, layer and title. It is important
to give each Connection Region a descriptive title so you may easily select them when defining a contact pair. You
will be able to graphically select them, but often these segments will be very close to one another, making it diffi-
cult to accurately pick them. By using the titles, you can simply select these from a list when creating the contact
pair.
4.4.4.2 Segment Definition
The Defined By group in the Connection Region dialog box creates the Connection Region. You can select sur-
faces, curves, elements, nodes, or properties for the contact. Although there are five entities shown, there are really
two methods available: Property/Part Contact, which allows selection of only FEMAP properties, or standard con-
tact, which allows selection of the other four entities, but not properties.
Property/Part Contact
This type of definition allows input of FEMAP properties only. The Output options of Nodes, Elements, or Curves
will also be disabled. FEMAP automatically exports all elements referencing that property as the contact body for
ABAQUS and MARC. For LS-DYNA3D, the actual Part ID (typically the FEMAP property ID) will be selected
for contact. NX Nastran, ANSYS and NE/NASTRAN do not support this option.
Since a larger number of elements could be associated with the property, FEMAP also provides the capability to
limit the number of elements with the contact box definition.
Note: An entity is not selected until it appears in the large window on the right of the dialog box. Thus, an
item contained in the entry area (shown as Surface above) will not be included if you enter the entity
and press OK. You must select <<Add before exiting for single entity input.
Note: Once an entity is selection window, clicking on the entity will highlight the entity in the graphics win-
dow. The default is to show the entity using transparent highlight, but if you have another option
selected in the Windows, Show Entities command or in the Show When Selected command in the Data
Table or Model Info tree, that option will be used instead.
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When selecting the Property/Part Contact option, the dia-
log box changes to allow specification of a contact box. If
you pick the Contact Box... button, the standard coordinate
definition dialog box will appear. Simply specify two
points, which are the corners of a box. Only elements refer-
encing the chosen property that have centroidal values
inside the box will be considered in contact. This is a very
convenient method of limiting contact to certain regions,
thus potentially decreasing execution time dramatically. If
you create a contact box and then later want to remove all restrictions, simply push the Delete button.
The points on the contact box are exported directly to LS-DYNA3D as a *DEFINE_BOX, which is then referenced
on the *CONTACT option for the referenced segment. For ABAQUS and MARC, only elements with centroidal
values in the box will be exported.
Standard Contact
This contact method allows selection of both geometry (Surfaces and Curves) and finite element entities (Nodes
and Element Faces).
Select the type of entity, enter the ID, and press <<Add; press Multiple... to chose multiple entities. You can select
both geometric and FEA entities in the same Connection Region.
Geometry Selection
When selecting geometry for contact, simply select the appropriate entities. There will also be a check box for pos-
itive side. This is used to determine if the top or bottom face of plates is in contact when attached to a surface. It is
not currently implemented for curves.
The conversion from geometry to export of FEA entities is very similar to expanding geometric loads. When
exporting the model, FEMAP determines all nodes that are attached to the particular geometry.
With Output set to Nodes, the nodes will be exported. The only exception is for MARC, where pure node sets
are not supported. For NE/NASTRAN, output must be set to nodes.
With Output set to Elements, FEMAP determines which element faces are attached to the geometry. For an ele-
ment face to be selected, all of its nodes must be attached to the curve (for edges of planar elements) or surface
(for planar and solid elements). FEMAP exports element faces to ABAQUS, SEGMENTS (corresponding to
the element faces) to LS-DYNA3D, and elements to MARC. FEMAP will also export the CONTACT NODE
option to MARC to limit contact to the face nodes attached to the geometry. This option is not available for NE/
NASTRAN.
With Output set to Curves, the only option for geometric selection will be curves (for analytical rigid surface
definition).
FEA Selection
You can also select the FEA entities directly. Nodes are selected by the standard picking method. For elements, ele-
ment faces are actually chosen. You must pick both the element and its face number.
When you press the Multiple
command with Elements cho-
sen, a procedure identical to ele-
ment loading is followed.
First, pick the elements, and
then you will see the Face
Selection dialog box. Select the
method, then graphically select
an element and its face.
For more information on these methods, see Section 4.3.3.4, "Model, Load, Elemental...".
Note: You cannot limit contact in segments for ABAQUS and MARC to element faces or nodes when using
part contact. Only the elements will be exported. If you want to limit contact to certain faces, or nodes,
you must use standard contact.
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Type of Segment 4-97
Region Options
Allows for an offset distance to be entered for use with NX Nastran Solutions 101, 601 and 701. Creates the OFF-
SET field on the BCRPARA entry for NX Nastran.
4.4.4.3 Type of Segment
FEMAP supports both deformable and rigid contact segments. Rigid contact segments are not currently supported
for NE/NASTRAN or MARC, and will be written as deformable. For deformable segments, no other input is
required in this section. For rigid segments, however, you must define the Ref Node (rigid body reference node).
FEMAP also supports the writing of an analytical rigid surface for ABAQUS. For this type of segment, you must
define a rigid body reference node and set the output selection to Curves.
Rigid Body Reference Node
The reference node is used to apply constraints and motions to the rigid segment. Constraints and motions (dis-
placements, velocities, etc.) assigned to the reference node will be assigned to the rigid segment.
For ABAQUS, the reference node is exported, with all the motions and constraints on the node itself. ABAQUS
will automatically assign these conditions to the rigid body or analytical rigid surface defined by curves.
In ANSYS, the FEMAP reference node is the pilot node in the TSHAP definition. You can apply nodes and con-
straints to this node as in ABAQUS.
LS-DYNA3D, does not contain a reference node, but references the rigid body directly on its
*PRESCRIBED_MOTION_ and *LOAD_ options for motions and loads, as well as constraints on the
*MAT_RIGID material. FEMAP will automatically assign all displacements and velocities on the reference node
to the rigid body exported to LS-DYNA3D. Constraints will be exported to the *MAT_RIGID material for this
rigid body.
4.4.4.4 Output
You must also specify the type of output for the segment.
If you select Elements, you will not be able to pick nodes for the definition. FEMAP will then export the appro-
priate elements to the contact entity when exporting. For ANSYS, you should always use Elements as output.
If you select Nodes, FEMAP will export nodal lists for contact to NX Nastran, ABAQUS, LS-DYNA3D, and
NE/NASTRAN. Contact segments defined by nodes are not supported for MARC and an error message will
occur on export. ANSYS does not support nodal output.
The option for Curve output is only available for ABAQUS. When this is selected, FEMAP will write out an
analytical rigid surface definition.
If you select Property/Part Contact under Define By, the Output option will be disabled and FEMAP will export
parts for LS-DYNA3D and elements for ABAQUS and MARC.
Note: You can use the OFFSET field to analyze an interference fit problem in SOL 101 if unconnected ele-
ments are modeled coincident. The offset value can represent the theoretical interference of these faces.
Note: A contact segment used for Linear Static Analysis for NX Nastran has the same definition as for
Advanced Nonlinear except the Rigid / Deformable option and the Rigid Reference node are not avail-
able.
Note: For motion, constraints, and loads of a reference node to be exported as rigid body values, two condi-
tions must be met: Property/Part Contact must be used, and the material referenced on the property
must be a *MAT_RIGID type (FEMAP Other Type No. 20).
Hint: It is usually best to use Property/Part Contact with LS-DYNA3D in combination with the Box Defini-
tion, and Element output for ABAQUS and MARC. These options will limit contact to certain areas,
decreasing analysis time. By selecting Elements as output for ABAQUS and MARC, you limit the num-
ber of nodes checked for contact to the appropriate faces. Also, when using rigid contact segments, it is
best to create a separate node that is not part of the structural model to be the reference node, and to
define the output as Elements for ABAQUS and Property/Part Contact for LS-DYNA3D.
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4.4.5 Connect, Connector... (Contact Pair)
The Connect, Connector menu selection brings up the Define Contact Connector - Select Connection Regions dia-
log box
You can pick the master and slave Connection Regions graphically, or use the drop-down box to select from a list
of Connection Regions. You must specify both a Master and a Slave. If you want to specify self-contact (or single
surface contact in LS-DYNA3D), select the same segment for both the Master and the Slave. You must also specify
a Connection Property, where you can input values such as static and dynamic friction, as well as other properties
and limits on the contact.
In addition to selecting existing Connection Regions, you can also define a new segment or edit an existing seg-
ment for use in this connector. Define Region simply accesses the Connection Region option to create a new Con-
nection Region, while Edit Master or Edit Slave access the Modify, Edit, Connection Region command.
For NX Nastran, ABAQUS, ANSYS, LS/DYNA3D, or NE/NASTRAN, you will need to specify a Connector to
have contact occur in your model. Connection Regions are not placed into contact in these programs unless a Con-
nector (basically, a contact element) is created. In MARC, you only specify a Connector when you want to limit
contact to just certain Connection Region pairs. If no connectors exist in the model, all Connection Regions will be
able to contact one another.
4.4.6 Connect, Fluid Region...
The Connect, Fluid Region command is very similar to the Connect, Connection Region command. The difference
is that instead of creating regions for Contact purposes, this command creates individual segments representing
incompressible fluid volume regions used for the purpose of generating a virtual mass matrix (MFLUID entry in
Nastran input files). This capability is available in FEMAP supported Nastran Solution Sequences 103 (Modal
Analysis), 107 through 112 (Complex Modal Analysis and Dynamic Analyses), 129 (Nonlinear Transient Analy-
sis), and 200 (Optimization).
Although the methods used for selecting elements and surfaces are identical to Connect, Connection Region, (See
Section 4.4.4.2, "Segment Definition" for more details) there are additional parameters which may be entered in the
Fluid Options portion of the Fluid Region dialog box. These options are very important to creating the MFLUID
properly.
Plate elements which have 1 face wetted by the fluid will be placed into and ELIST with a unique ID in Nastran
and this ID is used in the ELIST1 field on the MFLUID. If Both faces of the element are wetted then these ele-
ments will be placed into an ELIST with a different ID in Nastran and this ID is used in the ELIST2 field.
Note: For both ABAQUS and DYNA, you will need to specify Connectors to have contact occur in your
model. Connection Regions are not placed into contact in these programs unless a Connector is created.
For MARC, you only specify a Connector when you want to limit contact to just certain Connection
Region pairs. If no Connectors exist in the model, all Connection Regions will be able to contact one
another.
Note: For NX Nastran, contact elements are only available for Advanced Nonlinear Analysis (SOL 601) and
Explicit Transient Dynamics (SOL 701). For Nonlinear Analysis (SOL 106) you must use gaps or slide-
line elements to create any type of nonlinear contact.
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Connect, Fluid Region... 4-99
Entity Information
This section includes the typical entity information contained in FEMAP: ID, color, layer and title. It is important
to give each Fluid Region a descriptive title so you may easily select them from the Model Info tree if they need to
be edited.
Fluid Options
These options fill out particular fields on the MFLUID entry in Nastran.
CSys
Coordinate System to be used to specify the orientation of the free surface of the fluid and any planes of symmetry.
This coordinate system MUST be a rectangular Coordinate System, as any other type will cause a Nastran fatal
error. Represents the CID field on the MFLUID entry in Nastran.
Choosing the coordinate system properly is very important. It can be useful to create a Local Rectangular coordi-
nate system for each Fluid Region. Make sure the Z axis of the user-defined coordinate system is facing in the nor-
mal direction of the plane you would like to represent the Free Fluid Surface, as any elements or surfaces that are
in the Fluid Region AND in the below the XY plane of the user-defined coordinate system will be filled with
fluid.
For example, in the figure below there are two fluid regions, the Shallow Section and the Deeper Section. The
Free Fluid Surface for the Shallow Section is defined by coordinate system 3, while the Free Fluid Surface for
the Deeper Section is defined by coordinate system 4. In this case, these Fluid Regions would be filled because
all of the entities that make up the Fluid Region lie below the XY plane of the coordinate systems used to set the
Free Fluid Surface.
Z Free Surface
Intercept of the free surface on the Z-axis of the Coordinate System specified in CSys. If the Z Free Surface is set to
Zero, then the free surface will be in-plane with the XY Plane of Fluid Region Coordinate System. Represents the
ZFS field on the MFLUID entry in Nastran.
Deeper Section
Shallow Section
Coordinate System 4
Coordinate System 3
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For Example:
If the Fluid Region Coordinate System is at the Bottom of a the Fluid Region and Z Free Surface is set to 0.0,
then there is effectively no fluid acting on the structure.
If the Coordinate System is again at the Bottom of the Fluid Region, but the Z Free Surface is set to 2.0, then
the fluid will reach a height of 2.0 Units from the Bottom of the Fluid Region.
On the other hand, if the Fluid Region Coordinate System is at the Top of a the Fluid Region and Z Free Surface
is set to 0.0, then the fluid will reach the Top of the Fluid Region.
There is a Check box which enables you to turn the Z Free Surface OFF completely, so no value is written out to
Nastran for the ZFS field. When the Z Free Surface is completely OFF and the XY Plane and YZ Plane fields are
NOT set to Antisymmetry, Nastran will treat the MFLUID card as a special form of external fluid. In this special
case, the user should define a coordinate system with the origin located as close to the center of the enclosed vol-
ume as possible in order for this type of MFLUID to behave properly. This special case is only available for Nas-
tran Solution Sequence 103 (Modal Analysis), as well as, SOLs 107 through 112 (Complex Modal Analysis and
Dynamic Analyses).
Fluid Density
Density of the fluid. Value is written to the RHO field on MFLUID entry in Nastran.
XZ Plane and YZ Plane
Allows you to choose symmetry conditions for the fluid region using the XZ Plane and/or YZ Plane of the Fluid
Region Coordinate system. The three options are 0..None, 1..Symmetry, or 2..Antisymmetry. Based on what is
selected in the drop down list, FEMAP will place a N, S, or A in the PLANE1 (XZ Plane) and PLANE2 (YZ
Plane) fields in the MFLUID entry in Nastran.
If you are using these symmetry options, make sure to define the coordinate system to the appropriate plane of
symmetry with regard to the structure.
For example, the figure below shows the appropriate position for the Fluid Region Coordinate Systems for a model
which is using a YZ Plane Fluid Symmetry condition.
Region Options
Characteristic Length - Interactions between elements with separation
that is greater than this number are neglected. Value is written out to the
RMAX field of the MFLUID entry.
Exact Integration Factor - Exact integration is used if the distance
between two elements is less than this number multiplied by the square
root of the area of the larger element. Otherwise, center point integration
is used by default. Value is written out to the FMEXACT field on the
MFLUID entry.
Fluid reaches Top
CSys at Top of Region
Z Free Surface is 0.0
of Fluid Region
Fluid reaches Height of 2.0
CSys at Bottom of Region
Z Free Surface is 2.0
Units from Bottom of Region
Fluid does not act on
CSys at Top of Region
Z Free Surface is 0.0
Fluid Region
Shaded Elements represent Fluid Regions, while Thick, Dark Lines represents Fluid Level
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Connect, Bolt Region... 4-101
Fluid-Structure Pressure Output
When a Fluid Region is present in your model, FEMAP provides an Output Request (Nastran only) called Fluid
Pressure which will return an elemental fluid-structure pressure along with any other requested results. This
fluid-structure pressure will only be retrieved from Nastran when using the 1..Print Only (.f06 file), 2..PostPro-
cess Only (.op2 file), 3..Print and PostProcess (.op2 and .f06 files), or 5..Punch and PostProcess (.op2 file) options
for Results Destination in the Nastran Output Requests dialog box.
4.4.7 Connect, Bolt Region...
The Connect, Bolt Region command creates individual regions of a single element or multiple elements where you
would like to apply a bolt preload. Bolt preload is only supported in FEMAP supported Nastran Solution
Sequences 101 (Linear Static Analysis), 103 (Modal Analysis), 105 (Buckling Analysis), 107 through 112 (Com-
plex Modal Analysis and Dynamic Analysis) and 601 (Advanced Nonlinear Analysis).
Each region represents a bolt and there can be multiple bolts in a single model, all with unique preloads. The
preload is a specified torque which has been translated into an axial load, arising from components in an assem-
bly being bolted together. In FEMAP, the preload is created using the Model, Load, Bolt Preload command.
When analyzing a model with preloaded bolts, you may be interested in obtaining the stresses due to the preload
condition alone or due to a combination of the bolt preload and additional loading conditions.
Entity Information
This section includes the typical entity information contained in FEMAP: ID, color, layer and title. It is important
to give each Bolt Region a descriptive title so you may easily select them from the Model Info tree if they need to
be edited.
Defined By
Currently, only Beam and Bar elements can be used to define a Bolt Region. Bolt Regions can be defined using
either Curves (selects Beam and Bar elements associated with the selected curves) or Elements (element IDs). Both
curves and elements can be used at once to define a single Bolt Region. The IDs of the elements in the Bolt Region
will be written out to the EIDi field(s) of the Nastran BOLT entry.
Curves and Elements can be selected from the graphics window one at a time in the main Bolt Region dialog box.
In addition, their IDs can be typed into the appropriate field and added to the list using the <<Add button. If you
would like to choose multiple curves or elements at one time, clicking the Multiple... button will bring up the
appropriate Entity Selection dialog box for the selected entity type.
Curves and Elements can be deleted one at a time from the list in the Bolt Region dialog box by highlighting an
entity in the list and clicking the Delete button. If you would like to delete all of the Bolt Region entities at once,
you can simply click the Reset button.
Note: FEMAP will allow you to choose ANY type of element when selecting elements for a Bolt Region. If
any of those elements are not the right type of element, they will not be added to the list and an error
message stating Skipped # of Elements which have invalid types for this command will be sent to
the Messages window.
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4-102 Finite Element Modeling
4.4.8 Connect, Rotor Region...
The Connect, Rotor Region command creates individual regions of nodes to be used as individual rotors in rotor
dynamic analysis in NX Nastran. Rotor Dynamics is only supported in FEMAP supported Nastran Solution
Sequences 110 (Complex Modal Analysis) and 111 (Modal Frequency Response Analysis).
Entity Information
This section includes the typical entity information contained in FEMAP: ID, color, layer and title. It is important
to give each Rotor Region a descriptive title so you may easily select them from the Model Info tree if they need to
be edited. Also, if any Rotational Force has been applied to the rotor, you may want to include that information in
the title. The ID of each Rotor Region is written out as the RIDi field on the ROTORD entry.
Defined By
Only nodes can be used to define a Rotor Region. The IDs of the nodes in each Rotor Region will be written out to
the GRIDi field(s) of the Nastran ROTORG entry.
Rotor Options
These options fill out particular fields on the ROTORD entry in Nastran.
Rotation Axis (Z Axis)
Coordinate System to be used to specify the rotation axis for the current rotor. The Axis of rotation coincides
with the Z-Axis of the selected coordinate system. Writes out to the RCORDi field on the ROTORD entry for each
Rotor Region.
Freq for Overall Damping (W3)
Reference frequency for structural damping set by PARAM,G in NX Nastran for the current Rotor Region. Writes
out to the W3_i field on the ROTORD entry for each Rotor Region..
Freq for Material Damping (W4)
Reference frequency for structural damping set for each unique material in NX Nastran for the current Rotor
Region. Writes out to the W4_i field on the ROTORD entry for each Rotor Region.
Rotation Force Applied
Allows you to choose a Load Set with a prescribed Rotational Velocity only, which is then applied to the current
rotor. Different Load Sets can be used to apply different Rotational Velocities for each rotor in your model. Writes
the ID of the Load Set to the RFORCEi field of the ROTORD entry for each Rotor Region.
Note: For Complex Modal Analysis, the PARAM, G value can be set in the NASTRAN Modal Analysis dia-
log box of the Analysis Set Manager. For Modal Frequency Response Analysis, this value can be set
using the Model, Load, Dynamic Analysis command. Simply change the Solution Method to Modal
Frequency in the Load Set Options for Dynamic Analysis dialog box and enter a value for Overall
Structural Damping Coefficient (G).
Note: Material Damping can be set in the Define Material dialog box for each material in the model.
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Using Optimization Analysis 4-103
4.5 Using Optimization Analysis
This command defines the goals, variations, and limits for Optimization analysis. This capability is currently only
supported for Nastran. The result of an optimization analysis is values for the design variables which enable the
structure to stay within the design limits. These results are stored as XY functions in FEMAP that demonstrate the
history of the design variables over the requested number of cycles.
When you select this com-
mand, the Design Optimiza-
tion dialog box will appear.
This dialog box has three
sections: Goal, Vary (design
variables) and Limit (design
constraints). The allowable
inputs will change based
upon your active selection.
Those items that are
selected for either Vary or
Limit will appear in the
large window on the left of
the dialog box when you
select that option. Each of
the these areas is discussed
more fully below.
At the bottom left of the
dialog box, the Add button
adds one entity, Multiple
allows you to select multi-
ple values, and Edit allows
you to change the selected
entity. Delete will remove a
single entity from the list, while Reset will delete the entire list.
4.5.1 Goal
When this option is selected, the Goal Design Objective portion of the dia-
log box is active. The only design objective currently supported is Mini-
mize Weight. You will not be able to change this selection. The only input
available input for this option is maximum number of design cycles.
4.5.2 Vary - Design Variables
This section defines design variables in the analysis. Currently, you can select Rod Area and Torsion, Bar Area,
Torsion, I1, and I2, and Plate Thickness.
You must specify the specific item to vary by selecting the Attribute and asso-
ciated Property. Maximum and Minimum inputs (Value or Percent of original
value) can then be specified, with a limit on the max allowable change per
iteration. Once the values are input, select the <<Add. The specific item is not
selected unless it appears in the window to the left of the dialog box. To select
multiple entities, enter the design variable information, select Multiple, then
select the properties.
4.5.3 Limit - Design Constraints
This section defines the constraints on the analysis. These values define limitations on the response of the structure.
They are typically displacements, stresses, and strains.
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To select a specific limit, select the type of Response, and input the Maxi-
mum and Minimum values. Once this is complete, enter a Node or Element
ID. Press <<Add if you only want to add a single item, or press <<Multiple
to select multiple nodes or elements. The values will then appear in the
window of the left of the dialog box.
The analysis program will then cycle through the analysis attempting to
limit the response to the design constraints, while modifying the design
constraints to Minimum Weight.
4.6 Working with Functions
Functions can be created using the Model, Function menu command.
Functions allow you to
input tables of parameters
that are used to describe
loading, material, or prop-
erty behavior. Functions are
created using the Model,
Function command. Their
most common use is to
define time or frequency
dependent loading for tran-
sient/frequency response
analyses, as well as nonlin-
ear material properties
(including temperature
dependence). You must
always create the function
first before referencing it
when creating a load or
material property.
When you assign a function to a material property or a load, the Y function values are used to multiply the constant
values that are defined by those entities.
The Function Definition dialog box includes the following fields:
ID and Title
These options simply specify a unique ID and a Title by which the function can be identified.
Type
Currently, nineteen types of functions are available: Dimensionless (0), vs. Time (1), vs. Temperature (2), vs. Fre-
quency (3), vs. Stress (4), Function IDs vs. Temp (5), Structural Damping vs. Freq. (6), Critical Damping vs. Freq
(7), Q Damping vs. Freq (8), Strain Rate (9), Function IDs vs. Strain Rate (10), vs. Curve Length (11), vs. Curve
Parameterization (12), Stress vs. Strain (13), Stress vs. Plastic Strain (14), Function vs. Value (15), and Function vs.
Critical Damping (16), vs. Angle of Incidence (17), vs. Direction of Incidence (18). You define functions of each of
these types in an identical manner. The type simply determines how the X values will be interpreted.
For Types 5, 9, and 15, the Y values are the IDs of other functions (typically vs. Stress functions). The X values are
the temperatures or strain rates that will be assigned to each function.
Data Entry Options
These options are used to define the XY function.
You can specify single values in the table by choosing Single Value and filling in the X and Y values.
Hint: It is very important to identify the proper type for the function that you are trying to define; otherwise, it
will not be properly used when you try to analyze your model.
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Working with Functions 4-105
If you want to define equally spaced points along a linear function, choose Linear Ramp. Then fill in the X, Y,
To X and To Y values, along with the Delta X value. All data points between X and To X will be linearly inter-
polated at every multiple of Delta X.
For more complex relationships choose Equation. In this case, just like the Linear Ramp, fill in the X, To X and
Delta X options. However, for Y, type in any equation (in terms of the X Variable - !x by default) that defines
the function that you want to represent. A typical example, might be setting Y to sin(!x). If you do not want to
use the !x variable, you can change it, but make sure that you use the new variable in your equations.
If you need to replicate a portion of a function, you can
choose periodic. In this case, the input options switch to those
shown. You specify X and To X as the range of the existing
function that you want to replicate. Specify Inc X as the value
that you want to add to the original X function values for each
copy that you are going to make. Specify Copies as the num-
ber of additional copies of the function range that you want to
create. The Y values are unchanged by this command. After
creating the copies, you can use the Edit Magnitude option to
update those values.
The XY table of values will always be shown (and used) in sorted order based on ascending values of X. You do
not, however, need to input the values in that order - they will be automatically sorted as they are defined.
If you want to define a step function, you can define multiple Y values with the same X value. In this case, they will
be added to the function in the order that you specify them, and will not be reordered by the sorting.
Editing Options
The Edit Phase and Edit Magnitude options allow you to modify the data that you have already defined. After
selecting either of these choices, specify the range of data points that you want to edit by entering the X and To X
values. Then enter Scale and Add values. All data between X and To X will be multiplied by Scale, and will then be
increased by the Add value. The Edit Phase option modifies the X values. The Edit Magnitude option modifies Y.
More, Delete and Reset
These options allow you to manage the list of data points in the function.
More will add the point or points that you are currently defining to the function.
Delete removes a selected point from the function. To use this option, first select the point from the list that you
want to remove, then press Delete.
Reset simply clears all data from the function.
Copying Functions
If you have another function in the current model that is similar to the one that you are trying to create, you can
press the Copy button. This will display a list of all functions in the model. When you choose a function from the
list, all data from that function will be loaded into the current function. You can then add or delete additional items
as you choose.
Working with Function Libraries
Function libraries allow you to create standard functions that you can use in many different models. When you
press Save, the current function is added to the function library. Pressing Load displays a list of the functions from
the library and lets you choose one to be loaded into the current function.
For more information, see Section 2.6.2.8, "Library/Startup".
Working with Other Programs
Since functions are just general XY data, they are easy to work with in other programs like spreadsheet and graph-
ing applications. To move functions between programs, you can use the Get and Put buttons. Put copies the current
function to the clipboard. Get retrieves clipboard data into the current function.
The clipboard format that is used is simply a free format, one XY data point per line table. The Put button places a
TAB character between the X and Y characters, but Get can interpret any space, comma or TAB separated values.
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Modifying FEA Entities 4-107
4.7 Modifying FEA Entities
This section describes commands which are available to perform modifications to FEA entities. They can be sepa-
rated into three major areas:
moving entities: in the second partition of the Modify menu
edit/parameters: in the bottom partition of the Modify menu
advanced updates (Modify, Associativity and Modify, Update commands)
Each of these commands are discussed more fully below.
4.7.1 Moving FEA Entities
The following commands allow you to move the location of nodes. Certain commands also allow movement of
coordinate systems as well as elements. There are several commands under this section, but they all involve some
type of movement, whether it be projection, rotation, or translation. Each of these menu commands are described
below.
Many of these commands are also applicable to geometric entities. For more information, see Section 3.6, "Modi-
fying Geometry".
4.7.1.1 Modify, Project Menu
The Project commands update the locations of points or nodes by moving them onto a selected curve or surface.
When you project points or nodes, any geometry, elements or other entities that reference those points/nodes are
also moved.
In all of these commands, the projection direction will typically be normal to the curve or surface that you are pro-
jecting onto. Actually however, these commands move the entities to the closest location on the curve or surface.
For the purposes of these commands, curves extend past their endpoints toward infinity, or in the case of an arc,
they extend a full 360 degrees. Likewise, surfaces extend past their edge curves, but not to infinity. Even though
possible, you should avoid projecting onto a surface outside of its defined boundaries. Depending on the surface
type, this may or may not result in the coordinates that you expected.
Modify, Project, Node onto Curve...
... moves one or more nodes onto a curve. The standard entity selection dialog box is used to choose the points that
you want to project. You then must select the curve. You can choose any curve, and all of the selected nodes will be
projected onto it.
For more information on projection, see Section 4.7.1.1, "Modify, Project Menu".
Original Locations
Projected Locations
Points projected onto
extended curve
Point projected onto
extended arc
Original
Projected Locations Locations
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Modify, Project, Node onto Surface...
... moves one or more points onto a surface. The standard entity selection dialog box is used to choose the points
that you want to project. Then, simply select the surface.
You can choose any surface, and all of the selected points will be projected onto it. For more information on projec-
tion, see Section 4.7.1.1, "Modify, Project Menu".
Modify, Project, Node along Vector...
... similar to Modify, Project, Node onto Surface except it allows you to use a vector to specify a projection direc-
tion instead of always using the surface normal direction. This can be helpful if you are projecting nodes in a plane
onto a surface with a high level or curvature and want to keep the spatial relationship between the nodes intact.
Modify, Project, Node onto Vector...
... similar to Modify, Project, Node onto Curve except it allows you to specify a vector (using any method in
FEMAP) representing a straight line between two coordinates to project to instead of an existing curve.
Modify, Project, Node onto Plane...
... similar to Modify, Project, Node onto Surface except it allows you to specify a 2-D plane (using any method in
FEMAP) to project to instead of an existing planar surface.
Modify, Project, Mesh onto Solid...
... moves a mesh onto a solid or group of surfaces. The standard entity selec-
tion dialog box is used to select the nodes (on the mesh) that you want to
project onto the solid, then the Project Onto dialog box is displayed.
With this dialog you can either directly pick a solid, or choose to project onto
surfaces. If you choose surfaces, you will be asked to choose the surfaces
after you press OK to close this dialog. Projecting onto a solid will simply use
all of the surfaces of that solid for the projection. If you want to limit the pro-
jection to a certain group of surfaces, then you must choose them explicitly.
Projected Nodes
Original Nodes
Surface
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Modify, Move To Menu 4-109
The method used to project your mesh is to find the closest
point on the solid/surfaces to the initial node in the mesh. If
you select smoothing of the projected mesh, the mesh is
repeatedly smoothed and re-projected onto the surfaces. In
general, because of the closest location projection, it is usu-
ally best to start with your mesh somewhere close to the final
surfaces, especially if there is a large amount of curvature in
the surfaces. As you can see in the graphic, in areas of high
curvature, you will probably still have some cleanup to do
using this approach, but the closer you can start the mesh to the
final surface, the better your results will be.
4.7.1.2 Modify, Move To Menu
The Move To commands update the location of some portion of
your model. Although there are only commands to move coor-
dinate systems, points, and nodes, you can use these com-
mands to move your entire model. For example, when you
move a node, the elements, constraints and loads that reference the node are also updated.
The basic philosophy behind each of these commands is to specify a new coordinate to which selected entities will
be moved. Since it is relatively useless to move multiple entities to a single location (they would all be coincident),
each command allows you to limit the movement to any subset of the three coordinates. For example, you can just
update the X coordinates, leaving all Y and Z coordinates in their original locations. By specifying a non-rectangu-
lar coordinate system, you can also move to a selected radius or angle.
Each of the commands on this menu displays the standard entity selection dialog box, so you can choose the enti-
ties that you want to move. When you press OK, this will be followed by the standard coordinate definition dialog
box. The entities that you selected will be moved to the location that you specify. Finally, after you choose a loca-
tion, you will see the Move To dialog box. Here, you can choose the coordinates to update (X, Y and/or Z) and the
coordinate system to use for the modification. If you choose any coordinate system other than Global Rectangular,
the location you chose previously is transformed into that system, before the entities are moved. Only those coordi-
nates that are checked will be updated. In most cases, you will not want to check all of the coordinates, unless you
are updating a single entity.
Modify, Move To, Coord Sys...
... is the most powerful Move To command. Not only
does it update the location of the coordinate systems that
you select, but it can also move all points, nodes, and
other coordinate systems that are defined relative to
those coordinate systems.
If you just want to move the coordinate systems, do not
choose Move CSys, Nodes and Points.... If you did select
that option, FEMAP would move the coordinate systems
you selected plus the dependent entities.
Coordinate systems that you select are updated as you requested. Other dependent entities are moved as a rigid
body based on the transformation of the definition coordinate systems. If a coordinate system is both selected and
dependent on other selected coordinate systems, it is updated based on your request, since you selected it.
For more information on other options, see Section 4.7.1.2, "Modify, Move To Menu".
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4-110 Finite Element Modeling
All of the coordinate systems that you select are updated as you requested. Other dependent entities are moved as a
rigid body based on the transformation of the definition coordinate systems. If a coordinate system is both selected
and dependent on other selected coordinate systems, it is updated based on your request, since you selected it.
If your model was built in a hierarchical manner using multiple coordinate systems, this command can quickly
move large, related portions of your model. If you want to update the location of a coordinate system but leave the
entities that reference it in their original positions, you can also use the Modify, Update Coord Sys command.
Modify, Move To, Node...
... moves selected nodes to a specified coordinate. Elements, loads, constraints and any other entities that reference
the selected nodes will also be moved.
For more information, see Section 4.7.1.2, "Modify, Move To Menu".
4.7.1.3 Modify, Move By Menu
These commands are similar to those found on the Move To submenu. The significant difference is that for these
commands you specify a vector instead of coordinates. All of the entities that you select for modification are
moved along (or by) that vector.
This command only uses two dialog boxes. First, the standard entity selection dialog box is displayed. You should
select the entities to be updated.
Next, the standard vector definition dialog box will be displayed. The vector you specify must contain both a direc-
tion and magnitude. All of the selected entities and the entities that reference them will be moved by that vector.
This essentially means that the location of the selected entity is updated by adding the components of the vector.
Move By in NonRectangular Coordinate Systems
The Move By commands always move along a vector, that is, along a straight line. You can define the vector in any
convenient coordinate system, but it will always represent a straight line. You can not use the Move By commands
to rotate your model by specifying a vector in the angular direction of a cylindrical coordinate system. Use the
Rotate commands to rotate your model.
Modify, Move By, Coord Sys...
...just like the Modify, Move To, Coord Sys command, this command will move all of the selected coordinate sys-
tems, and any points, nodes, or other coordinate systems that reference a selected system. This can be very power-
ful if your model is constructed with multi-level coordinate systems.
x
y
z
3
x
y
z
4
x
y
z
3
x
y
z
4
CSys 3 moves
and so do nodes These nodes
defined
relative to CSys 3
Move By vector
Select these nodes
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Modify, Move By Menu 4-111
Again, dependent entities are moved as a rigid body. Selected coordinate systems are all moved by the vector that
you define. For more information, see Section 4.7.1.3, "Modify, Move By Menu".
Modify, Move By, Node...
... moves the selected nodes, and all parts of the model that reference them, by the specified vector. For more infor-
mation, see Section 4.7.1.3, "Modify, Move By Menu".
Modify, Move By, Element...
... is identical to Modify, Move By, Node, except that you choose elements. FEMAP will automatically move all
nodes which are connected to those elements. For more information, see Section 4.7.1.3, "Modify, Move By
Menu".
The Modify, Move By, Element command, unlike the other commands in this menu, will also update the orientation
nodes, orientation vectors and offsets of any line elements that you select. This allows you to move those elements
as a rigid body.
Modify, Move By, Radial Node...
Modify, Move By, Radial Node will move the selected nodes along a
vector directed from either a single point or from a specified vector.
After the nodes to move are selected, FEMAP will ask OK to Move
Around Point/Spherical (No=Around Vector/Cylindrical). Once the
question has been answered, FEMAP will prompt you for either a
Point (answer = Yes) or a Vector (answer = No).
When this command is used with the point method on a set of pla-
nar nodes, the nodes will be moved in the plane the r distance from the
point to move about.
.
Modify, Move By, Radial Element...
...is identical to Modify, Move By, Radial Node, except that you choose elements. FEMAP will automatically move
all nodes that are connected to those elements by the radial length. For more information, see "Modify, Move By,
Radial Node...".
Modify, Move By, Offset Element...
...is somewhat different than the other commands on this menu. In
fact, in function, it is very similar to the Mesh, Extrude, Element
command. It is intended for use with planar elements. You simply
select the elements that you want to offset, then choose the offset
method.
If you choose Vector, you will simply be prompted for a vector (just
like an extrusion vector), and the elements will be offset along that
vector. Using the command with this option is equivalent to using
the Modify, Move By, Element command. All elements are simply
moved by a constant amount.
Note: Moving radial around a vector is a great way to increase or decrease the radius of a hole in a solid mesh.
One thing to remember when increasing the radius of solid elements is to make sure you are not moving
the selected nodes past other nodes of the same element. This could lead to elements being inside out,
which will cause most solvers to not be able to use the elements properly.
r Point to move about
New Position
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4-112 Finite Element Modeling
The other two options are more interesting. If you choose
the Normals or Normals with Thickness Correction
options, you will be asked for the offset distance. In this
case, however, each element will be offset along its nor-
mal direction. For most cases however, you will want to
choose the Normals with Thickness Correction option.
For more description of these two options and the effect
of using thickness correction, see "Mesh, Extrude, Ele-
ment...".
Using this command with this option can be a simple
way to create midsurface meshes in constant thickness
parts. You simply mesh one of the sides of the thin
walled solid. Whether it is the outer or inner surface
really does not matter. You then use this command to off-
set the element by half the thickness to the midsurface.
When doing this, you will normally need to use a nega-
tive offset value. Since all solid surfaces have normals
that point outward, the planar elements meshed on those
surfaces will also have elements that point outward. By
specifying a negative offset distance, you will move the
elements toward the interior of the solid. Parts with mul-
tiple constant thicknesses can be handled by using this
command several times and selectively moving the ele-
ments.
Modify, Rotate To Menu
The commands on this menu rotate selected entities. Unlike the Modify, Move To commands, these commands treat
the selected entities as a rigid body. All of them are rotated by the same angle.
The Modify, Rotate To commands require four dialog boxes. First, the standard entity selection dialog box is dis-
played. You can select all of the entities that you want to rotate. Then, the standard vector definition dialog box
defines the axis of rotation. Only the location of the base and the direction of this vector are important. The length
is not used. Finally, the standard coordinate definition dialog box is displayed twice. The first time, you must define
the coordinates of the starting point of the rotation. The second time, you must define the ending point of the rota-
tion. Using these coordinates, and the axis of rotation, FEMAP will determine the rotation angle.
Modify, Rotate To, Coord Sys...
...just like the Modify, Move commands, this command will rotate all of the selected coordinate systems. Points,
nodes, or other coordinate systems that reference a selected system are also moved as a rigid body. Their movement
is based on the motion of their definition coordinate systems. This can be very powerful if your model is con-
structed with multi-level coordinate systems.
For more information, see "Modify, Rotate To Menu".
Original elements on outer surface
Elements offset to half
of solid thickness
Axis of rotation
Rotate from here
Rotate to here
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Modify, Rotate By Menu 4-113
Modify, Rotate To, Node...
... rotates the selected nodes, and all parts of the model that reference them, around the specified vector.
For more information, see "Modify, Rotate To Menu".
Modify, Rotate To, Element...
... is just like the Modify, Rotate, To Node command, except that you choose elements. FEMAP will automatically
rotate all nodes that are connected to those elements.
The Modify, Rotate To Element command, unlike the other commands in this menu, will also update the orientation
nodes, orientation vectors and offsets of any line elements that you select. This allows you to move those elements
as a rigid body, and retain their original characteristics.
For more information, see "Modify, Rotate To Menu".
4.7.1.4 Modify, Rotate By Menu
These commands are similar to the commands on the Modify, Rotate To menu. Instead of using a starting and end-
ing location, however, you must specify a rotation angle. You can also specify an optional translation distance with
these commands. By combining both rotation about, and translation along, the axis of rotation, you can move enti-
ties along a screw-thread or helix shaped path.
This time, only three dialog boxes are necessary. The first is the standard entity selection dialog box. As always,
you should select all of the entities that you want to rotate. Next, the standard vector definition dialog box will be
displayed. This defines the axis of rotation. As in the Modify, Rotate To commands, only the location and direction
of this axis are important. The length is not used. Finally, the Rotation and Translation dialog box will appear. You
must specify the Rotation Angle and the Translation Distance.
The selected entities will be rotated (following right-hand rule conventions) around the axis of rotation by the spec-
ified angle. Simultaneously, they will be translated along the same vector by the specified distance. If you specify a
zero rotation angle, these commands will simply translate along the vector - much like the Modify, Move By com-
mands.
Modify, Rotate By, Coord Sys...
...just like the Modify, Rotate To commands, this command will rotate all of the selected coordinate systems. Points,
nodes, or other coordinate systems that reference a selected system are also moved as a rigid body. Their movement
is based on the transformation of the selected coordinate systems. This can be very powerful if your model is con-
structed with multi-level coordinate systems.
For more information, see Section 4.7.1.4, "Modify, Rotate By Menu".
Modify, Rotate By, Node...
... rotates the selected nodes, and all parts of the model that reference them, around the specified vector.
For more information, see Section 4.7.1.4, "Modify, Rotate By Menu".
Axis of rotation
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4-114 Finite Element Modeling
Modify, Rotate By, Element...
... is just like the Modify, Rotate By, Node command, except that you choose elements. FEMAP will automatically
rotate all nodes which are connected to those elements.
The Modify, Rotate By, Element command, unlike the other commands in this menu, will also update the orienta-
tion nodes, orientation vectors and offsets of any line elements that you select. This allows you to move those ele-
ments as a rigid body, and retain their original characteristics.
For more information, see Section 4.7.1.4, "Modify, Rotate By Menu".
4.7.1.5 Modify, Align Menu
These commands combine the capabilities of the Modify, Move and Rotate commands to provide a simple way of
aligning portions of your model. Only three dialog boxes are necessary. First, you select the entities that you want
to align using the standard entity selection dialog box. Then you need to specify two vectors using the vector defi-
nition dialog boxes. The first vector defines the original position and orientation that will be aligned. The second
vector defines new or desired position and orientation. FEMAP will first move the entities that you selected from
the origin of the first vector to the origin of the second vector. Then, FEMAP will rotate the entities to the new ori-
entation. This is accomplished by a rotation based on the angle between the vectors.
If you simply want to use this command as
an alternate method of rotation, make sure
both vectors have the same origin. If you do
not, the entities will be translated before they
are rotated.
Modify, Align, Coord Sys...
... is just like the Move and Rotate commands. It will align all of the coordinate systems that you select, plus the
entities that are defined relative to those systems. No option is available to skip alignment of the referencing enti-
ties.
Modify, Align, Node...
... aligns the selected nodes, and all parts of the model that reference them, using the two vectors.
For more information, see Section 4.7.1.5, "Modify, Align Menu".
Modify, Align, Element...
... is just like the Modify, Align, Node command, except that you choose elements. FEMAP will automatically align
all nodes which are connected to those elements.
The Modify, Rotate By, Element command, unlike the other commands in this menu, will also update the orienta-
tion nodes, orientation vectors and offsets of any line elements that you select. This allows you to move those ele-
ments as a rigid body, and retain their original characteristics.
For more information, see Section 4.7.1.5, "Modify, Align Menu".
4.7.1.6 Modify, Scale Menu
These commands are used to change the size of your model. You specify a relative scaling factor and a point to
scale around. FEMAP will adjust the selected coordinates appropriately. Only points and nodes can be scaled. You
Note: The Modify, Align Element command, unlike the other commands in this menu, will also update the ori-
entation nodes, orientation vectors and offsets of any line elements that you select. This allows you to
move those elements as a rigid body, and retain their original characteristics.
Align these elements
From this vector
To this vector,
along these other
elements
Aligned elements
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Edit/Parameters 4-115
can also choose to scale curves or elements, but FEMAP will just automatically select the proper points or nodes
for you. Like other modification commands, entities which reference the selected points and nodes will also grow
or shrink with them. Coordinate systems cannot be scaled.
The first dialog box used by these commands is the standard entity selection dialog. You must select all of the enti-
ties that you wish to scale. After you press OK, FEMAP will display the standard coordinate definition dialog box.
FEMAP will scale your model relative to these base coordinates. The equation used for the scaling is:
You can specify three different scale factors,
one for each coordinate direction. For any
coordinate direction that you do not want to
scale, you must use a scale factor of 1.0. Scale
factors that are larger than 1.0 increase the
physical size of your model. Scale factors
smaller than 1.0 decrease its size. You can use
a negative scale factor to reflect the entities
about the base location. Similarly, a scale fac-
tor of 0.0 will move all entities to the base
coordinate, just like the Modify, Move To commands.
All scaling is done in the coordinate system that you select. The coordinate directions are along the axes of this sys-
tem. If you select a non-rectangular system, you can scale your model radially or tangentially.
Modify, Scale, Node...
... scales the selected nodes, and all parts of the model that reference them, along the specified directions.
For more information, see Section 4.7.1.6, "Modify, Scale Menu".
Modify, Scale, Element...
... is just like the Modify, Scale, Node command, except that you choose elements. FEMAP will automatically scale
all nodes which are connected to those elements.
For more information, see Section 4.7.1.6, "Modify, Scale Menu".
4.7.2 Edit/Parameters
Four commands in the third section of the Modify menu (Edit, Color, Layer, and Renumber) enable you to change
specific items for the FEA information. Each of these commands are described below.
4.7.2.1 Modify, Edit Menu
The commands on the Modify Edit menu are used to edit or recreate entities in your model. These commands are
typically used when you need to perform modifications to a single or a few entities. You will be prompted for input
for each entity selected. Therefore, to use this command to modify hundreds of entities can be quite time consum-
ing. For these type of gross changes to the model, see the other Modify commands in this section of the Modify
menu: Color, Layer, Update Elements, and Update Other.
Each command first asks you to select the entities you wish to edit. As always, the standard entity selection dialog
box is used. Following your selections, FEMAP simply displays the same dialog box (or boxes) used by the related
X { }
New
X { }
Base
X { }
Old
X { }
Base
( ) X { }
ScaleFactor
( ) + =
Original Model After Scale Factor of 2.0 in
Horizontal Direction Only
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4-116 Finite Element Modeling
command in the Model menu which you used to originally create the entities. In this case however, all of the data
fields default to the current values for the selected entities.
For example, if you choose Edit, Node and then select nodes 1, 3 and 5, three additional dialog boxes will be dis-
played, one at a time. The first dialog box will display the coordinates of node 1. You can change these values or
just press OK to accept the current values. Then dialog boxes for nodes 3 and 5 will be displayed. If you press Can-
cel at any time, you will immediately return to the FEMAP menu. Any entities that you had previously changed
(and pressed OK) will still be changed.
4.7.2.2 Modify, Color Menu
The commands on this submenu are used to modify the color of one or more selected entities of a specific type. All
commands work in a similar fashion. Entities to be modified are selected with the standard entity selection dialog
box. The standard Color Palette dialog box is displayed. You can pick a color, which will be applied to all of the
entities that you selected. The default color, will be the current color of the selected entity with the minimum ID.
For more information on the Color Palette, see Section 4.3.5, "Color Palette" of the FEMAP User Guide.
Modify, Edit can be used to change the colors of entities, but this command is much faster for multiple entities.
Modify, Color, Region; Modify, Color, Coord Sys; Modify, Color, Node
Modify, Color, Element; Modify, Color, Material; Modify, Color, Property
4.7.2.3 Modify, Transparency Menu
The commands on this submenu are used to modify the transparency of one or more selected entities of a specific
type. All commands work in a similar fashion. Entities to be modified are selected with the standard entity selec-
tion dialog box. A Transparency dialog box is displayed. You can enter a number from 0 to 100, with 0 being
Opaque (Not Transparent) and 100 being Clear (Completely Transparent). The default transparency level is 0.
4.7.2.4 Modify, Layer Menu
The commands on this submenu are used to modify the layer of one or more selected entities of a specific type.
These commands are very much like those on the Modify, Color menu. First, you select the entities you want to
modify using the standard entity selection dialog box. Then, instead of selecting from the color palette, FEMAP
will prompt you to choose a new layer number from the list of available layers. All of the selected entities will be
modified to the specified layer.
Again, Modify, Edit can be used to change layers, but this command is faster for multiple entities.
Modify, Layer, Region; Modify, Layer, Coord Sys; Modify, Layer, Node
Modify, Layer, Element; Modify, Layer, Material; Modify, Layer, Property
Note: When modifying multiple Loads of the same type (nodal forces, elemental pressures, etc.) using the
Modify, Edit, Load... command, FEMAP will ask a question OK to Update All Selected Loads with
same values? after you have modified the first selected load. Clicking Yes will change all selected
loads to the value specified for the first load, while clicking No will allow you to modify each load indi-
vidually.
A similar question relating to constraints is asked when using the Modify, Edit, Constraint... command
and works in a similar manner.
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Modify, Renumber Menu 4-117
4.7.2.5 Modify, Renumber Menu
The commands on this submenu are used to renumber the
IDs of one or more selected entities of a specific type, sets
(load, constraint, and output sets), or groups.
Each of these commands uses the standard entity selection
dialog box to select the entities to be renumbered. After
you press OK, the Renumber To dialog box is displayed.
You select a new Starting ID and Increment. The first entity
to be renumbered is changed to the starting ID. The incre-
ment is then added to the starting ID before each subse-
quent entity is renumbered.
If an entity which is not being renumbered has an ID which
conflicts with the renumbering, that ID will be skipped.
The increment will simply be added extra times until an
unused ID is found. If you choose Verify Renumbering, a
list of the existing and new IDs will be created in the Mes-
sages window, and you will be asked to confirm that you
wish to renumber the selected entities.
Your choice of sorting options determines the order that FEMAP will use to renumber the selected entities. These
sorting options are identical to those used by the corresponding list commands. The specific sort options which are
available for each command are shown in the following table.
Layups, Load Sets, Constraint Sets, Analysis Sets, Output Sets, and Groups can only be renumbered using the
Original ID and Selection Order sort options.
Original ID...
...keeps the original entity order. The IDs will change, but not the relative sequence of entities within your model.
This option is the default. It is most often used to do a simple renumbering from one ID range to another.
Selection Order...
... is the most flexible option, but the one which requires the most work from you. Entities are renumbered in the
sequence that you have chosen them in the original standard entity selection dialog. You can force FEMAP to
renumber into any sequence that you want, simply by choosing them in that order. This option is usually not appro-
priate for renumbering large numbers of entities, but can be very useful for making specific changes to a portion of
your model.
Color or Layer...
... both use the data on the entity records to sort the renumbered entities. These options will group entities with the
same color or layer in the same ID range.
Sorting
Options
Connect
Prop
Region Connector CSys Node Elem Matl Prop Function Layer
Original ID * * * * * * * * * *
Selection Order * * * * * * * * * *
Color * * * * * * * * *
Layer * * * * * * * x
Type * * * * *
Definition CSys * *
Property *
Material *
Min Node ID *
X * * *
Y * * *
Z * * *
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4-118 Finite Element Modeling
Type...
... is only available for elements, properties and materials. Just like renumbering by color, this option uses the entity
type to renumber similar entities into the same ID range. You can use this option in models which use many differ-
ent element types. It will group each type into similar IDs.
Definition CSys...
... is only available when you renumber coordinate systems or nodes. It is just like renumbering by color or type,
except that it uses the entity definition coordinate system.
Property or Material...
... are also just like renumbering by color or type. These options sort based on the element property reference or the
property material reference.
Min Node ID...
... finds the minimum node ID on each element. The renumbered elements will be in the order of the minimum
node ID which the element references.
X, Y or Z...
... will renumber entities based on their coordinates in your model. If you are renumbering nodes, the X, Y, or Z
nodal coordinates are used to determine the renumbering sequence. Coordinate systems use the coordinate system
origin, and elements use the center of the element.
When you choose any one of these options, you must also choose a coordinate system. The entities coordinates are
transformed into the coordinate system that you choose prior to being sorted for renumbering. By defining and
choosing different coordinate systems, you can implement many different renumbering sequences. For example, if
you choose a cylindrical coordinate system, and renumber by X (or R) you can renumber entities based on their
radial distance from the origin of the coordinate system.
When renumbering by coordinates, you can also check Absolute Value if you want FEMAP to ignore the sign (pos-
itive or negative) of the coordinate value. If this option is not checked, negative values will be different, and numer-
ically less than positive values.
Ascending/Descending
You can choose to either renumber entities in Ascending or Descending order. Ascending order is the default, and
will sequence entities from the lowest to the highest value of the sort option that you select. Descending order will
reverse that sequence.
Constant Offset
If you select this option, all Sort Renumbered Order by options are grayed, and you can only choose the Starting ID
and the Verify Renumbering option. FEMAP will simply change the lowest ID value to the starting increment. It
will then add the constant difference between the original lowest ID and the new starting increment to all other IDs.
No sorting will take place, and no gaps will be filled. This is an easy method to maintain a numbering structure
while shifting it to another level (such as changing all IDs from 1-1000 to 10,000-11,000).
Renumbering Based on Multiple Options
Sometimes, you may want to renumber your model based on more than one of the options. FEMAP cannot do this
in one command, but it is very easy to do. If for example, you wanted all of your node IDs to be sorted based on
their X, then Y (for all identical X) then Z (for all identical X and Y) position, you should use Modify, Renumber,
Node three times, selecting the sort options in reverse order. The first time you would sort based on Z. The second
time based on Y, then finally based on X.
Multiple options can always be used, not just with X, Y, and Z. You must just remember to choose the sort options
in reverse order.
Modify, Renumber, Region; Modify, Renumber, Coord Sys; Modify, Renumber, Node
Modify, Renumber, Element; Modify, Renumber, Material; Modify, Renumber, Property
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Advanced Updates 4-119
Modify, Renumber, Layup; Modify, Renumber, Load Set; Modify, Renumber, Constraint Set
Modify, Renumber, Analysis; Modify, Renumber, Group; Modify, Renumber, Layer
4.7.3 Advanced Updates
The commands on the Modify, Update menus are used to update parameters which are referenced by one or more
selected entities. Unlike the commands on the Modify, Color and Modify, Layer menus, the parameters which are
updated by these commands are only applicable to one entity type.
These commands are separated into three major areas: Associativity, Update Elements, and Update Others. All
Modify, Update commands work in a similar fashion, but since the parameters that they update vary, each com-
mand is documented in its own section
4.7.3.1 Modify, Associativity...
... allows you to attach or remove nodes and elements from geometry. This
can be a very useful command to eliminate some areas of a mesh from a
curve or surface to prevent geometric loading from applying to them. You
have the option to choose either nodes or elements.
When you select this command, you will see the Geometry Associativity
dialog box. You must choose between Detach From or Attach To. You must
also choose the type of geometry from which you wish to detach. If you
select Any, you can remove all attachments. If you select a specific type of geometry, you must also input (or graph-
ically select) the ID of the geometric entity.
Interior Nodes Only
The Interior Nodes Only option is available when you are removing geometry from curves, surfaces, or solid/vol-
umes. FEMAP uses a hierarchal system of attachment. Nodes on a surface, for example, include nodes attached
directly to the surface, nodes attached to the curves that define the surface, and nodes on the points that define the
curves. If you select the Interior Nodes Only option, the attachments directly to the surface will be removed, but the
curve and point attachments will remain. You will still be able to load or constrain the curves. If you do not select
Interior Nodes Only, all attachments will be removed.
4.7.3.2 Modify, Update Elements, Type...
... updates the type of one or more selected elements. You can never change elements to an incompatible type. For
example, you cannot change a beam to a plate, or vice versa. You can, however, use this command to change
between various line element types or between the plane element types.
Before you choose this command, you may use Model, Property, or any other available method, to make a property
of the type you want to use for the elements. When this command is used, you will be asked to select the elements
to be updated using the standard entity selection dialog box. Then you will be presented with a list of available
properties. If you want to create a new property while using this command, simply click the Property Icon Button
in the Select Property for New Element Type dialog box.
Hint: You will typically want to use this command with nodes only.
Attach/detach of elements will only affect certain picking
options. Expansion of geometric loads onto finite elements is
always performed on a nodal basis. An element is consider on a
surface for geometric loads if all nodes from an elements face
are attached to the surface. Therefore, you can effectively
remove an element from a surface by simply detaching one of
its nodes.
Note: When attaching nodes, they must not have any other attachments to geometry. You also will not be able
to develop the hierarchy that FEMAP creates automatically when meshing.
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4-120 Finite Element Modeling
Choose a property of the type that you want for the selected elements. When you press OK, all of the element types
will be changed along with the properties that the elements reference. You will receive messages if any of the ele-
ments are incompatible with the property you selected.
If you are changing from a line element type that does not require an orientation to a type that does, FEMAP will
automatically call the Modify, Update Elements, Orientation command. This allows you to properly orient the ele-
ments that you just modified. You should always specify the orientation that you want. If you do not however,
FEMAP will automatically assign an orientation to each of the updated elements. Review any of these automatic
assignments very carefully.
4.7.3.3 Modify, Update Elements, Formulation...
...enables you to specify the element formulation for a selected set of elements. You must select the elements to
change, and then the Element Formulation dialog box will appear to set the formulation. All elements must be of
the same type. FEMAP will then reassign the chosen element formulation to the selected elements.
For more details, see:
Section 4.2.2, "Model, Element..."
Section 6, "Element Reference" in the FEMAP User Guide
4.7.3.4 Modify, Update Elements, Property ID...
... works just like Modify, Update Element, Type, except that you must choose a property of the same type as the
elements. You cannot change the element type using this command.
4.7.3.5 Modify, Update Elements, Material ID...
... updates the material that is referenced by one or more selected properties. You first select the properties to be
updated, and then choose a new material from a list of the available materials. If you want to create a new material
while using this command, simply click the Material Icon Button in the Select Material for Update dialog box.
Some property types, such as masses, do not require material definitions. If you attempt to update one of these, you
will receive a warning message. Similarly, the many materials referenced by laminate plate properties cannot be
updated using this command - use Modify, Edit, Property instead.
4.7.3.6 Modify, Update Elements, Line Element Orientation...
... updates the element orientation for various line (bar, beam, curved beam) elements. You must first select the ele-
ments to be updated using the standard entity selection dialog box. Then you can select whether to update the ele-
ments using an orientation Node ID or a Vector. If you choose Node ID, you must also specify the node to use. If
you choose Vector, the standard vector definition dialog box will be displayed after you press OK.
Your orientation will be applied to all elements you selected, and it must not be colinear with any of the elements.
Also, remember that you may be specifying different orientation directions for each element when you choose
Node ID, since the orientation direction is based on the location of the first node on the element.
A third option, Equivalent Vector Orientations, can also be selected. This option allows you to convert elements
which are oriented using third nodes to vector orientations. No additional input is required. An orientation vector,
in the direction of the third node, is simply computed for each element. This option has no effect if the element was
already oriented by a vector.
4.7.3.7 Modify, Update Elements, Line Element Offsets...
... updates the offsets for various line (bar, beam, curved beam) elements. You must first select the elements to be
updated using the standard entity selection dialog box. Then the Update Element Offsets dialog box is displayed.
You can choose to Update End A offsets and/or Update End B offsets. If you enable the Set EndB=EndA option, the
offset at the first end (A) of the elements is automatically applied to the second end (B) of all selected elements.
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Modify, Update Elements, Line Element Reverse Direction... 4-121
After you press OK, the offsets are defined using the standard vector def-
inition dialog boxes. Updating the offsets at one end will require only
one vector definition. Updating both offsets requires two vectors. The
default vectors will be the current offsets from the selected element with
the minimum ID.
Radial Offsets
If you want to offset beams in a radial pattern, from the center of a
sphere, choose the Radial Offset option. You must then enter a distance
to offset the element endpoints from the node. When you press OK, you
will be asked for the coordinates of the center of a sphere. The offset
directions lie along the lines connecting this center location and the indi-
vidual nodes. All offsets, at both ends of the elements are set to the same
size, only the directions change.
Move to Reference Point
Instead of specifying offsets for the element, you can also use the Reference Points that can be defined in the Sec-
tion Property Generator (Section 4.2.4.1, "Line Element Properties") to automatically define the offsets. First,
define your element properties using a shape, and set the reference point to the location in that shape that you want
to be located at the nodes. Then, when you use this command, simply press Move to Reference Point (the other
settings are not used), and the appropriate offsets will be generated for each element to move the reference point to
the associated node.
4.7.3.8 Modify, Update Elements, Line Element Reverse Direction...
... swaps the first and second ends of line elements to reverse each elements direction. Use this carefully, since the
resulting element orientations may also need to be updated.
4.7.3.9 Modify, Update Elements, Beam/Bar Releases...
... updates the releases for various line (bar, beam, curved beam) elements. You must first select the elements to be
updated using the standard entity selection dialog box. Then, the Define Element Releases dialog box allows you to
choose any combination of the six degrees of freedom at each end of the element to release. You should make cer-
tain, however, that your element is still capable of supporting any load you may want to apply.
The default degrees of freedom will be the current releases from the selected element with the minimum ID.
4.7.3.10 Modify, Update Elements, Beam Warping...
... adds or updates the Nodes/SPOINTS that are defined for Warping on Nastran beam elements. You must first
select the elements to be updated using the standard entity selection dialog box. Then, the Define Beam Element
Warping dialog box allows you to choose how the points will be created.
None: Removes warping points from the ends of the selected beams.
Continuous: Creates Nodes/SPOINTS at ends of the beam so that the warping is continuous throughout the ele-
ments selected.
All Continuous: Creates Nodes/SPOINTS at the ends of the selected beams so that warping is continuous through-
out the elements selected as well as any other beam elements connected to the originally selected beams.
Discontinuous: Creates Nodes/SPOINTS at the ends of the selected beams so that the warping is discontinuous
across each of the selected elements.
Edit: Choose a single element to update to enable the editing of the warping points at the ends of that beam.
Note: In FEMAP versions before 9.3, this operation was done with the Modify, Update Elements, Reverse
command. That command has been broken into two separate Reverse commands, one for line ele-
ments, one for planar and solid elements, to eliminate confusion.
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4.7.3.11 Modify, Update Elements, Remove Cross Section...
...updates the selected beam or bar properties to have no section shape defined. All the property values and stress
location values are retained but the section shape is set to None. One use for this command is to convert any
PBEAML or (PBARL) cards that were read from a Nastran Deck into standard PBEAM (or PBAR) data.
4.7.3.12 Modify, Update Elements, Reverse/Orient First Edge...
... switches the normal direction of selected planar and solid elements. After selecting the elements to reverse/ori-
ent, you will given be the option to reverse the normals, align normals either outward or inward, or if you want to
align planar elements to a vector.
For plane elements, the connections are swapped to reverse the direction of the element normal. For solid elements,
the top and bottom faces are swapped, turning the element inside-out. In either of these last two cases, the direc-
tion of any applied pressure loads will change. Choosing this option a second time for the same elements will effec-
tively undo the reversal.
If you choose to align the edges of planar elements to a vector, all planar elements are reconnected so that their first
edge is closest to the direction that you specify. The element normal is actually unchanged in this operation, only
the order in which the nodes are connected is changed. This can be used to rotate a group of elements so that their
first edge lies along a model boundary. Line and solid elements are unchanged by this operation.
The All Normals Outward and Inward options apply only to planar elements,
but provide a very easy way to make all normals consistent. If the elements
that you selected form one or more complete shell (like the outside of a solid
model), all normals can be automatically adjusted to the direction you chose.
If there are interior features/panels (like internal bulkheads), FEMAP will
make the directions consistent, but the concept of inward/outward may not be
maintained. You will also receive a warning if the elements you select do not
form a complete shell (i.e. they have free edges). FEMAP can still usually
align the normals.
4.7.3.13 Modify, Update Elements, Material Angle...
... updates the element material orientation angle for planar and axisymmetric elements. You set the default mate-
rial orientation angle in the Element/Property Type dialog, which can be accessed from any of the element or prop-
erty creation commands. This default is applied to all new elements that you create. If however, you want to change
the material angle for existing elements, use this update command.
Note: In FEMAP versions before 9.3, this command (simply called Modify, Update Elements, Reverse) also
reversed line elements. Reversing direction of line elements is now done with the Modify, Update
Elements, Line Element Reverse Direction command (See Section 4.7.3.8, "Modify, Update Ele-
ments, Line Element Reverse Direction...").
Reverse these elements
Before After
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Modify, Update Elements, Split Quads... 4-123
You will choose the elements to update using the standard entity
selection dialog box. Then the Element Material Orientation dia-
log box will appear. This is the same dialog box used to define
the default orientations. Updating orientations using this com-
mand does not however change the default values that you have
currently defined.
You have four basic choices for setting the orientation. You can
choose None, which will turn off the material orientation. This
will typically result in material axes that are oriented along the
default elemental axes. If you choose Set Angle using Vector
Direction and press OK, FEMAP will display the standard vector
definition dialog box. You then assign a vector direction.
FEMAP will automatically calculate the material angle values
for each element which will align the primary (X) material direction with the vector you specified.
When you choose Set Angle using Coordinate Direction, the vector and resulting angle are simply defined along a
coordinate direction at the first node of each element. This method is especially useful if you want to align the
material axes to the radial or tangential direction in a cylindrical or spherical coordinate system. In most other
cases, Set Angle using Vector Direction is preferred. The final option, Angle Value, allows you to directly define the
orientation angle value. FEMAP does no further calculations with this angle value.
Before choosing any of these methods, be sure to refer to your analysis program documentation to see how material
orientation angles are used and to find any limitations.
When to Set a Material Angle
Most analysis programs have two basic uses for this type of orientation angle. The first is to align the principal
directions of a non-isotropic material. Whenever you are using orthotropic or anisotropic materials, you should
probably be defining a material angle for all of your planar elements. If you do not, the default orientation, along
the vector between the first two nodes of the element is used. This will typically produce a different alignment for
each element and can give meaningless analysis results.
The second use for material angles can be equally important. If you are going to recover and post-process elemental
normal stresses (i.e., X Stress, Y Stress, XY Shear, etc.), they are usually reported relative to the elemental coordi-
nate system. That coordinate system is aligned by the material angle. Again, if you do not align all of your elemen-
tal axes, the X Normal Stress for one element may not be in the same direction as the X Normal Stress for the
next element. Refer to your analysis program documentation to see how your stresses are reported. You may not
have to set angles if stress output is reported relative to some other coordinate reference.
Viewing Material Angles
You can see the material angles that you have defined for your planar elements by using the View Options com-
mand. Choose the Element - Orientation/Shape option, and turn on Show Orientation. This will display a small
vector at the center of each element where an angle has been defined. The orientation of the vector shows the angle
that you chose. Generally, you will want to see that all of the vectors are parallel - then your elements will be
aligned.
4.7.3.14 Modify, Update Elements, Split Quads...
... changes quadrilateral elements into triangles. This command asks for the elements to be split. You may choose
any element types or shapes - only quadrilateral elements (with or without midside nodes) will be changed. The
elements can have loads applied. Those loads will automatically be applied to one or both of the new triangular ele-
Note: Not all programs will report analysis results automatically in the material angle coordinate system. You
should check the documentation of your analysis program to determine whether you can force the anal-
ysis program to output results in the material angle coordinate system, and what commands are required
to do this.
Hint: You may define a material angle after you have analyzed a model to transform the normal stresses to a
different coordinate system. Set the material angle using Modify, Update Elements, Material Angle,
then use the Model, Output, Transform command to convert the stresses.
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4-124 Finite Element Modeling
ments - whichever is appropriate. New nodes will be added at the element center if you are splitting elements with
midside nodes.
FEMAP will automatically split the quad elements to form the best triangles that it can. You cannot control the
direction of the split, other than by the initial shape of the quad elements.
4.7.3.15 Modify, Update Elements, Adjust Plate Thickness/Offset...
... enables you to adjust the thickness or the offsets of the selected plate elements. When you select this command,
you will be asked to select the elements to update, and you will then see the following dialog box.
Update
These options control whether FEMAP will update the thickness or the offsets for the selected plates. If you are
updating thickness, new plate properties will be written for each thickness value calculated. New properties are not
required when you vary offsets. Currently defined offsets and thicknesses have no bearing on this command.
Method
These options control the calculation of the thickness/offset values. You can choose to calculate variable values
based upon nodal position (Vary Between Nodes option), an equation, or constant value.
For the Vary Between Nodes option, you must input the first node, last node, and values at each of these nodes.
FEMAP will then compute values for all other nodes attached to the selected elements based upon their relative
distance between the From and To nodes. This option provides an easy way to gradually vary the thickness/offsets
of plates which are in a patterned series.
The other option, Equation or Constant, lets you input an equation or constant value for the thickness/offsets. If an
equation is chosen, the i variable will represent elements for offsets, and nodes for thickness values.
The final option in this area, Average for each Element, will average the nodal thickness for each plate, and assign
this constant thickness to all corner nodes on the plate. Otherwise, each corner of the plate will most likely have a
different value. This option has no effect when modifying plate offsets because these offsets are already calculated
on an elemental basis, not on a nodal basis.
Limits
This section enables you to define the Tolerance, Maximum, and Minimum values to be used in the update. You can
limit the number of significant digits to be retained as a unique thickness or offset by specifying a tolerance value.
This is especially convenient if you want to limit thicknesses or offsets to an increment of a specific value (like
0.001, for example) You may also limit the minimum and maximum allowable values, which is especially useful
when defining equations.
After - Quads Split Before
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Modify, Update Elements, Linear/Parabolic Order... 4-125
4.7.3.16 Modify, Update Elements, Linear/Parabolic Order...
... changes linear elements to parabolic ele-
ments and vice versa. You will be asked to
choose the direction.
Pressing Yes will update linear elements to
parabolic ones. Pressing No will update para-
bolic elements to linear ones.
After making your selection, choose the ele-
ments to be updated using the standard entity
selection dialog box. You can choose any ele-
ments in your model, but this command only
recognizes plane and volume types. In addi-
tion, only elements which are currently of the selected order are updated. For example, if you are converting linear
to parabolic elements and choose a mixture of linear and parabolics, only the linear ones will be updated.
Converting from linear to parabolic elements creates new nodes automatically at all element midside locations.
Current nodal parameters (next ID, definition and output coordinate systems, permanent constraints, etc.) are used
for these nodes. This command always creates new nodes. It makes no attempt to find current nodes in your model
at the correct locations. You can use the Check Coincident Nodes command to remove any duplicates.
When you convert parabolic to linear elements, midside nodes are no longer needed for the converted elements, but
are not deleted. You can use Delete, Node to remove them.
4.7.3.17 Modify, Update Elements, Midside Nodes...
... moves nodes to the midpoint of element
edges.
Only parabolic elements are considered and
only the nodes which are referenced as mid-
side nodes are moved. If you select non-
parabolic elements, they will simply be
ignored.
Input for this command is minimal. You
just select the elements to be updated using
the standard entity selection dialog box.
When you press OK, the position of all midside nodes will be checked and moved to the midside of their respective
element edges.
4.7.3.18 Modify, Update Elements, Rigid Thermal Expansion...
... allows you to change the Coefficient of Thermal Expansion (CTE) for existing rigid elements in your model.
First select the Rigid elements to update and then enter the CTE in the dialog box. You may also specify the CTE
by clicking the Material... button and choosing a material from the list. This will take the CTE defined for that
material and assign the same value to the selected rigid elements.
4.7.3.19 Modify, Update Other, CSys Definition CSys...
... chooses a new definition coordinate system for one or more coordinate systems. You must select the coordinate
systems to be updated using the standard entity selection dialog box. Then, another dialog box will be displayed
which will contain a list of all available coordinate systems. You can choose any coordinate system from the list. If
you want to create a new coordinate system while using this command, simply click the Coordinate System Icon
Button in the Select Coordinate System... dialog box. You will receive an error message, however, if you choose
one of the systems that is being updated, since a coordinate system cannot reference itself.
This command does not move the coordinate system location. Rather, it redefines the system so that it is in the
same location and orientation relative to the new definition coordinate system.
Note: Only REB2 rigid elements (non-interpolation) can have CTEs in Nastran, so if any chosen elements are
not RBE2s, they will be skipped.
Before - Linear Plates After - converted to Parabolic
with Midside Nodes
Before After - Midside nodes moved
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4.7.3.20 Modify, Update Other, Node Definition CSys...
... also works just like Modify, Update Other, CSys Definition CSys, except that you select nodes to update instead
of coordinate systems. If you want to create a new coordinate system while using this command, simply click the
Coordinate System Icon Button in the Select Coordinate System... dialog box.
4.7.3.21 Modify, Update Other, Output CSys...
... works just like Modify, Update Other, Node Definition CSys. First, you select the nodes to be updated, and then
choose a coordinate system from a list of available systems. In this command, however, the nodal output coordinate
system is updated instead of the definition coordinate system. If you want to create a new coordinate system while
using this command, simply click the Coordinate System Icon Button in the Select Coordinate System... dialog
box.
4.7.3.22 Modify, Update Other, Perm Constraint...
... updates the permanent constraints on one or more selected nodes. You select the nodes to be updated using the
standard entity selection dialog box. You may then select the appropriate DOFs to constrain permanently through
the Update Nodal Permanent Constraints dialog box. You can choose any combination of the six permanent con-
straints to be applied to all selected nodes.
4.7.3.23 Modify, Update Other, Superelement ID...
... updates the Superelement ID of a set of nodes. First select the nodes and then enter an integer to specify a Super-
element ID. This is an easy way to create a number of Superelements in a model that has already exists. Each new
integer entered becomes a Superelement with a new ID for Nastran.
4.7.3.24 Modify, Update Other, Load Phase...
... updates the phase of loads. When you invoke this command, you will be asked whether you wish to update
nodal, elemental, point, curve, or surface loads. After you select the type of load, you must choose the entities
where the loads will be updated. The standard entity selection dialog box is used. When you press OK, you will see
another dialog box that will let you specify the new load phase.
Only loads from the active load set will be updated by this command. If there are multiple loads at a single entity in
the same load set, they will all be updated.
4.7.3.25 Modify, Update Other, Scale Load...
... allows you to modify the values of existing loads. When you invoke this command, FEMAP will ask you to
identify the type of loads that you want to update. Then, depending on the load type, you will identify the entities
where the loads will be updated.
When you have identified the entities to update, FEMAP will ask for two factors. The current load values are mul-
tiplied by the first factor, then following the multiplication, the second factor is added. The default factors do not
change the load values.
If you use this command to update temperatures, some care must be taken. This command will just scale the tem-
perature value. Since structural loads are determined by the difference between the specified and reference temper-
ature, you will also have to adjust the reference temperature appropriately to get the desired loads. FEMAP does
not change the reference temperature when you use this command.
Only loads from the active load let will be updated by this command. If there are multiple loads on an entity in the
active load let, they will all be updated.
Note: If you use this command to update heat transfer loads with multiple inputs (i.e. radiation with absorptiv-
ity, emissivity, view factor, and temperature), FEMAP will ask whether you want to update each input.
Say Yes to those you want to update.
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Modify, Update Other, Load Function ID... 4-127
4.7.3.26 Modify, Update Other, Load Function ID...
... allows you to update the function referenced by loads. This is very convenient when you need to change the
function reference for a load condition on a large number of entities.
This works very similar to Modify, Update Other, Scale Load. FEMAP will ask you to identify the type of loads
that you want to update. You will then be prompted by several questions to determine which function references on
the loads to update (for instance, a force can have both a function for the magnitude and phase). You simply need to
select the function for each update. If you select Yes to update, FEMAP will provide a list of functions from which
to pick. Answer No to those functions you do not wish to update.
4.8 Deleting FEA Entities
The commands on the Delete menu are all used to delete entities. All commands will delete entities from your
model. Since most of the commands on this menu work in a very similar fashion, the documentation for the entire
menu is given in this section.
Deleting From Your Model
If you want to delete any type of entity in your model, simply select the appropriate command (based on the entity
type) from this menu. The standard entity selection dialog box will then be displayed to let you select the entities
you wish to delete. When you complete your selection, and press OK, you will be asked to confirm that you really
want to delete the entities. This final question will also let you know how many entities have been selected.
Answering Yes will delete the entities. Choosing No will simply cancel the command.
Using Delete Mesh allows you to delete any finite element entity by simply selecting it. This command will delete
the selected entity and any other entities that are associated with it, such as loads that are defined on elements.
You may also use the Delete, All or Delete, Model All commands to remove the entire model or all FEA model enti-
ties and output. When you select either of these commands, you will be prompted to confirm your request. Answer-
ing Yes will delete all appropriate entities, while answering No will cancel the command. Neither of these
commands perform any checking to see if any of these entities are nondeletable. They are simply deleted.
NonDeletable Entities
Sometimes when you delete entities, you will receive a message that a number of nondeletable entities have been
skipped. These entities are skipped because FEMAP protects you from deleting entities which are needed by other
entities in your model. For example, a point is nondeletable if it is connected to one or more curves. Similarly, a
curve is nondeletable if it has a load attached to it. To delete these nondeletable entities, first delete all entities
which reference them. The following table lists entities that can cause an entity to be nondeletable.
Deleting From a Set
The Delete, Model, Load -Individual and Delete, Model, Constraint - Individual commands delete entities out of
the active load or constraint set. When deleting nodal or elemental loads, the normal confirmation Ok to Delete
When you are trying
to delete...
Could be referenced by...
Node Elements, loads, constraints
Element Loads
Property Elements
Material Properties
Coordinate System Points, nodes, coordinate systems, loads, constraints,
properties, materials
Function Loads, materials
Connection Property Connector
Connection Region Connector
Hint: You can use this feature to great advantage in cleaning up a model. For example, if you want to get rid
of all of the unused nodes, choose Delete, Node, and select all nodes. This may seem a little scary, but in
fact only those nodes which are not referenced by any elements, loads or constraints will be deleted.
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4-128 Finite Element Modeling
Loads only applies to the temperature loads. You will then also be asked to confirm whether to delete the temper-
atures. If you have multiple temperature loads defined on the same node or element in the same load set, they will
all be deleted.
Deleting body loads also works with the active load set. In this case there is nothing to select; you are just asked to
confirm the deletion.
Deleting Finite Element Entity Icons
Delete, Model, Mesh...; Delete, Model, Coord Sys...; Delete, Model, Node...
Delete, Model, Element...; Delete, Model, Material...; Delete, Model, Property...
Delete, Model, Layup...; Delete, Model, Load - Set...; Delete, Model, Load - Definition...;
Delete, Model, Load - Individual...; Delete, Model, Constraint - Set...;
Delete, Model, Constraint - Definition...; Delete, Model, Constraint - Individual...
Delete, Model, Analysis Set...; Delete, Function...
Deleting Connection Entity Icons
Delete, Connection, Connection Property...; Delete, Connection, Connection Region...
Delete, Connection, Connector...
After You Delete
When entities are deleted from a FEMAP model, the space that they occupied is marked as empty and available for
reuse. The model file does not decrease in size. Normally, this is not a problem because new entities will reuse this
space. In some cases, however, when you delete a lot of data (output, for example), you may want to immediately
remove empty space from your model and reduce model file size. The File, Rebuild command does just that.
Choose the File, Rebuild command, and press Yes to perform a full rebuild and Yes again to allow FEMAP to com-
pact the model. Blocks of empty space are removed, and your model decreases in size. You should only use this
option after you delete large blocks of data. FEMAP cannot usually compact space if you have only deleted one or
two scattered entities, and the savings will not be worth the time it takes to try the command.
Another way to compact your model is to export a neutral file using the File, Export command. Start a new model
and then use File, Import, FEMAP Neutral to read that file. The new model will contain all of the old data, but no
unnecessary space.
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Preparing for Analysis 4-129
4.9 Preparing for Analysis
The Analysis Set Manager dialog box lets you create analysis sets that define the analysis parameters, boundary
conditions, and output for an analysis. Once you have defined an analysis set, you can use it as input to an analysis
program such as NX Nastran or ABAQUS. Analysis sets are saved in the model file, unlike the parameters that you
define when you use the File, Export or File, Analyze commands. You can also save analysis sets in FEMAP anal-
ysis libraries.
For more information, see Section 4.9.1, "Defining a Analysis Set" and Section 4.9.2, "Running the Analysis with
an Analysis Set".
Supported Solvers
NX Nastran (See Section 8.7, "Nastran Interfaces"of FEMAP User Guide)
MSC/MD Nastran (See Section 8.7, "Nastran Interfaces" of FEMAP User Guide)
NEi Nastran (See Section 8.7, "Nastran Interfaces" of FEMAP User Guide)
ABAQUS (See Section 8.2, "ABAQUS Interfaces" of FEMAP User Guide)
ANSYS (See Section 8.3, "ANSYS Interfaces" of FEMAP User Guide)
LS-DYNA (See Section 8.5, "LS-DYNA Interfaces" of FEMAP User Guide)
MSC MARC (See Section 8.6, "Marc Interfaces" of FEMAP User Guide)
FEMAP Structural
The Analysis Set Manager dialog box has two areas: the analysis set list and buttons that enable you to control data
stored for an analysis set.
Analysis Set List
The Analysis Set Manager list area lets you easily view the parameters for your analysis set: solver name, type of
solve, options, master output requests and boundary conditions, and cases. To work with the list:
Use the plus and minus buttons to collapse and expand the analysis set hierarchy.
Double-click on an item to bring up a dialog box that lets you define or modify the item. For example, if you
double-click on Solver, the Analysis Set dialog box opens. You can then modify the analysis program or analy-
sis type.
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You can use a combination of list items and buttons to perform actions. For example, to copy an analysis set,
pick the analysis set and the Copy button.
Analyze
The Analyze button begins the analysis using the active analysis set. Once you enter a file name, the analysis will
start. Before this option will work properly, you may need to setup VisQ or one or more environment variables that
let FEMAP know how to find your solver. Refer to the User Guide documentation for your solver for more infor-
mation on preparing to run an analysis.
Export
Export will write the analysis input file without trying to run the analysis.
Active
The active analysis set is the set that will be sent to the analysis program or saved in the analysis library. The Anal-
ysis Set Manager dialog box displays the active analysis set in the title bar. Use the Active button to make a differ-
ent analysis set active.
Preview Input
This command is only available for previewing input files for Nastran. FEMAP uses the settings of the active Anal-
ysis Set for Nastran to create a preview of the input file. If there is no active Analysis Set for the Nastran solver
then this option will not be available.
Edit Preview: By selecting this option you enable editing in the preview window and subsequently when the
Analyze or Export commands are selected, FEMAP will write the input exactly as it appears in the preview
window (including any editing that has been done).
Analyze: This button runs the analysis if FEMAP has been set up to run a analysis automatically.
Export: Exports the input file without running the analysis.
MultiSet
Use MultiSet to automatically create cases for every combination of load set and constraint set that you have
defined for your model. You can then review the list of cases and delete those that you dont want to include in the
analysis.
Note: If the Edit Preview option is unchecked then FEMAP will use the options in the active Analysis
Set when writing the input file and any changes made to the preview window will be discarded.
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Defining a Analysis Set 4-131
Copy
Use Copy if you need to create an analysis set or case that it similar to one that already exists. From the analysis set
list, pick the set or case to use, then pick Copy. You can copy cases from one analysis set to another.
Delete
Use Delete to remove analysis sets or cases from the analysis set list. Pick the set or case, then pick Delete.
...you can also delete Analysis Sets using Delete, Model, Analysis Set
Load/Save
Use Load and Save to work with analysis libraries. An analysis library is an external file that lets you store analysis
sets. Analysis libraries let you create standard analysis sets that you can use in many different models.
Pick Load to use an analysis set from a library. Pick Save to save the active analysis set to the library file.
The default analysis library file name is analysis.esp. To change the name, use File, Preferences.
New
Use New to create a new analysis set or case. Pick an existing set or case, then pick New.
Edit
Use Edit to modify analysis sets. Pick an item from the analysis set list, then pick Edit.
Done
When you are finished creating analysis sets, pick Done. The analysis sets are stored in the model file.
4.9.1 Defining a Analysis Set
The general process for defining an analysis set is:
1. Pick the first item on the list, then pick New. (You can also double-click the item.)
2. On the Analysis Set dialog box, enter the Title.
3. Choose the Analysis Program and Analysis Type. This information determines the remaining options and
parameters that youll define.
4. The best way to define an analysis set is to pick Next to work through the dialog boxes in order. Alternatively,
you can pick OK to close the dialog box. From the analysis set list, you can then double-click on a parameter to
bring up the dialog box. (You can also click the item and press Edit.)
For details on the dialog boxes, see the following topics:
Section 4.9.1.1, "Analysis Set"
Section 4.9.1.2, "Options"
Section 4.9.1.3, "Master Requests and Conditions"
Section 4.9.1.4, "Boundary Conditions"
Section 4.9.1.5, "Output Requests"
Section 4.9.1.6, "Cases"
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4.9.1.1 Analysis Set
The Analysis Set dialog box lets you define the Title, Analysis
Program, and Analysis Type. Pick Next to continue setting up
the analysis. The options on the remaining dialog boxes are
dependent on analysis program and type.
Run Analysis Using VisQ
If this option is set Femap will launch the analysis using VisQ
when the user selects Analyze from the Analysis Manager or
from the File menu. If this option in not selected, Femap will
launch the analysis using the local settings. Before this option
will work properly, you may need to setup VisQ or one or
more environment variables that let FEMAP know how to
find your solver.
For more information setting up Femap to launch the solver, see: Section 4.9.2, "Running the Analysis with an
Analysis Set" in the FEMAP Command Guide
For more information on analysis program interfaces, see:
Section 8, "Analysis Program Interfaces" in the FEMAP User Guide
4.9.1.2 Options
Use the Options dialog boxes to define specific information required by your solver.
For example, the NX Nastran options include solution parameters (specific to analysis type), solver parameters,
and files.
For more information, see:
Section 4.9, "Preparing for Analysis" in the FEMAP User Guide
4.9.1.3 Master Requests and Conditions
In an analysis, the master requests and conditions are the default output requests and boundary conditions (loads
and constraints). The analysis will generate one output set for the master requests and conditions, unless you define
a case. (For more information, see Section 4.9.1.6, "Cases".)
On the Master Requests and Conditions dialog box, you can enter a Title and Manual Control options. Once you
have entered this data, pick Next to set up the boundary conditions.
The Manual Control options include:
Skip Standard: If this switch is on, the interface does not write text to the input file. If Start and End Text have
been defined, they will still be written to the input file.
Start Text: Pick this option to add text to the beginning of the the input file.
End Text: Pick this option to add text to the end of the input file.
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Boundary Conditions 4-133
4.9.1.4 Boundary Conditions
The Boundary Conditions dialog box lets you select the
loads and constraints to apply to your analysis.You can
apply boundary conditions as both master boundary condi-
tions or in cases. Once you have entered this data, pick
Next to continue setting up the analysis.
Primary Sets
Depending on your analysis type, you can select constraints
and loads.
Constraints: pick a constraint set for your model.
Loads: pick a load set for your model.
Initial conditions: for some solvers, you can pick a load
set to use for initial conditions.
Constraint equations: pick a constraint set to define con-
straint equations.
Other DOF Sets
You can select constraint sets to use as various types of DOF sets.
The Master/ASET field lets you use a constraint set to define a FEMAP Structural master DOF set or a Nastran
ASET.
The Kinematic/SUPORT field lets you use a constraint set to define a FEMAP Structural kinematic DOF set or
a Nastran SUPORT set.
The remaining DOF set names let you define other Nastran DOF sets.
For heat transfer analyses, you will notice that constraint sets are not used. Rather, loads and constraints are both
selected from a load set. FEMAP translates nodal temperatures, in the same set as the other thermal loads, as ther-
mal constraints (boundary conditions).
Note: If your analysis requires multiple load or constraint sets, you must create cases.
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4.9.1.5 Output Requests
Use the Output Requests dialog box to identify the types of output that you want from the analysis. The type of out-
put that you can request will depend on the analysis program and analysis type.
You can define output requests as both master output requests or as part of a case.
4.9.1.6 Cases
Cases let you perform multiple analyses with different load and/
or constraint sets.You can also specify output requests for each
case. The analysis program will generate one output set for each
case.
Use the Analysis Case dialog box to enter a Case ID and Title
for a case. For Linear Static Analysis in Nastran, you have the
choice of creating a Standard Case or a SUBCOM, which is
a combination of other Subcases defined in your model. For
more information on the SUBCOM, see Section 8.7.1.6, "Mas-
ter Requests and Conditions" of the FEMAP User Guide
For some analysis programs, you can also enter manual control
text. Once you have entered this data, pick Next to continue set-
ting up the analysis. (The master requests and conditions pro-
vide the defaults for the cases.)
The Manual Control options include:
Skip Standard: If this switch is on, the interface does not write text to the input file. If Start and End Text have
been defined, they will still be written to the input file.
Start Text: Pick this option to add text to the beginning of the the input file.
End Text: Pick this option to add text to the end of the input file.
Hint: One easy way to create cases is to use the MultiSet button on the Analysis Set Manager. Multi-Set cre-
ates one case for each combination of loads and constraints.
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Running the Analysis with an Analysis Set 4-135
4.9.2 Running the Analysis with an Analysis Set
When you are ready to solve your model:
1. Check the title bar for the active set. If the correct set isnt active, pick Active, then the analysis set to analyze.
2. Pick Analyze.
3. Depending on the solver youre using, you may need to enter a name for the file that will be written to the
solver.
Once the analysis is complete, the output sets will be loaded into FEMAP. You can examine the results using
FEMAPs post-processing capabilities.
4.9.2.1 Run Analysis Using VisQ / Local Settings
Analyze Using VisQ:
If the Analysis Set option Run Analysis Using VisQ is selected then Femap will use the VisQ to launch the anal-
ysis. VisQ provides the user with a graphical interface to submit a file for analysis on a remote machine and then
monitor the job, and retrieve the results when complete.
VisQ consists of two components. The first is the VisQ Server that is installed on the PC that contains the analysis
solver. The second is the VisQ Client program that is installed on the local users PC.
The VisQ Client must be installed in the FEMAP directory in order for Femap to launch the VisQ program. The
VisQ Client must be configured with the location of where on the network the VisQ Server is located.
VisQ Server must be initially setup with the location of the analysis solver and the command line required to
run that specific solver.
For more information setting up the VisQ Client and VisQ Server, see: Section 4.9.2, "Running the Analysis with
an Analysis Set" in the FEMAP Command Guide
Analyze Using Local Settings:
If the option Run Analysis Using VisQ is not selected then Femap will try to Analyze the model using local set-
tings defined below.
Before the Analyze option will work properly, you may need to setup one or more environment variables that let
FEMAP know how to find your solver. Refer to the User Guide documentation for your solver for more informa-
tion on preparing to run an analysis. For example, the following variables need to be defined to launch these solv-
ers. Each variable must point to the executable of their respective solver before this method will work.
Solver Environment Variable
NX Nastran NXNAST_EXE
MSC/MD Nastran MSCNAST_EXE
NE/NASTRAN NENAST_EXE
ABAQUS ABAQUS_EXE
MSC.Marc MARC_EXE
ANSYS ANSYS_EXE
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4-136 Finite Element Modeling
4.9.2.2 Analysis Monitor
The Analysis Monitor is used to monitor a
analysis that has been launched using the
environment variable method defined above.
Much like the Entity Editor, Model Info tree,
Data Table, and the enhanced Messages Win-
dow, when the Analysis Monitor is open it
appears in a Dockable Pane. This dock-
able pane can be un-docked and placed any-
where on top of the active FEMAP interface.
It can also be undocked and then re-docked
into another predetermined dock position by
dragging a dockable pane onto one of the
docking indicators (blue arrows which
appear when dragging a dockable pane
around the active FEMAP interface) and
releasing the left mouse button. (Picture of
Analysis Monitor shown undocked)
Status: The Status section is automatically
updated to reflect the current status of the
analysis. When analyzing with NX Nas-
tran or MSC/MD Nastran you have the
option to view the .log, .f04 or .f06 files
by choosing the appropriate radio button.
If analyzing with MSC.Marc Femap will
monitor the .log file.
Update Monitor: When this option is
selected the Monitor will be updated
every few seconds. Turning off this option
will stop updating the Monitor with the
data from the monitored file, when the
Update switch is turned back on the Mon-
itor will be updated to include the latest entries from the monitored file.
Automatically Load Results: When this option is selected Femap will automatically load the results from the
appropriate file when the analysis completes and then close the Analysis Monitor. If you wish to keep the mon-
itor open after a analysis then turn this option off.
Kill Job: Allows you to kill the job process that is running.
Load Results: This option allows you to manually load the results from a complete analysis into Femap. This is
typically done when you have turned off the option to automatically load the results.
Max Lines: Is the number of lines of text from the monitored file that you want to be displayed. This number
can be set as a Femap Interface Preference
Note: The Analysis Monitor is only available for analyses performed by NX Nastran, MSC/MD Nastran,
or MSC Marc
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5. Meshing
This topic describes the many automatic meshing tools available in FEMAP. The Model, Element command can be
used to generate one element at a time, but most often, you will be using the commands under the Mesh menu to
automatically generate a finite element mesh.
The commands on the Mesh menu are partitioned into five categories based upon the type of meshing. They are:
Section 5.1, "Meshing on Geometry" - commonly used tools for surface/solid meshing
Section 5.2, "Non-Geometry Meshing" - specific tools
Section 5.3, "Modifying a Mesh" - allows you to copy, rotate, reflect, or scale a mesh
Section 5.4, "Copying a Mesh" - copy commands
Section 5.5, "Meshing by Extruding, Revolving, and Sweeping" - used to convert a 2-D mesh that has a con-
stant third dimension into a 3-D mesh
Each of these areas and their associated commands will be discussed below.
5.1 Meshing on Geometry
This portion of the Mesh menu contains two major submenus: Mesh Control and Geometry. The Mesh Control
menu allows you to specify mesh size, as well as customize the meshing procedure. The Geometry command is
used to produce the actual mesh on the selected geometry.
5.1.1 Mesh, Mesh Control
This menu contains the commands to control your meshing. This menu is separated into seven sections:
default size
size on geometric entities (points, curves, surfaces, solids)
interactive sizing
customization
attributes
approaches
feature suppression
Each of these areas and their associated commands are explained below.
5.1.1.1 Mesh, Mesh Control, Default Size...
... is used to define the default element size. The default size is used for all
geometry where you did not define a specific size or number of elements. It
is always important to set the default size to a value that matches your
model. If you only need a uniform mesh, this will be the only value that
you need.
Only two inputs are required for this command: Size and Min Elem. The
size is specified in model units. In addition to the size, you can also specify
Note: The first four categories above all pertain to setting the size of mesh that you will generate. In all of
these commands, there are three basic ways that mesh sizing is specified: along a curve, at a point or
globally. If you set the size along a curve, the other two methods are ignored, even if you specify them.
If you do not set sizes along a curve, then point mesh sizes are used wherever they are defined. Global
mesh sizes are only used when neither curve nor point mesh sizes apply.
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5-2 Meshing
a minimum number of elements along a curve. This number is only used along curves where no other curve or
point sizes have been defined. FEMAP first calculates the number of elements along these curves using the default
size, then increases the number if it is below the minimum. Use this option if you have some small features (short
curves) in your model compared to the default mesh size that you are using. This will allow you to add refinement
(more elements) along those curves without impacting your overall mesh size.
5.1.1.2 Mesh, Mesh Control, Size At Point...
...specifies the element size at a point. This size is used to define the mesh size along any curve that references that
point as an end point, and does not have a specific mesh definition along the curve. After choosing the points where
you want to set a mesh size, define the size in model units.
To turn off or delete a point mesh size that you have already defined, simply choose the point again and specify a
mesh size equal to zero.
5.1.1.3 Mesh, Mesh Control, Size Along Curve...
...defines the number and spacing of elements along selected curves. When you set the mesh size using this method,
it overrides all point and default sizes. After you select the curves, you will see the Mesh Size Along Curve dialog
box. This dialog box includes the following:
Mesh Size
This section of the dialog box contains the options to determine the mesh size along the curve. If you choose a
Number of Elements, then every curve that you selected will be meshed with that number of elements. If you spec-
ify an Element Size, that size is used, along with the curve length, to determine the number of elements that will be
on each curve. Since fractional elements are not allowed, the nominal size that you specify is adjusted to the closest
size that will fit evenly into each curve length. If you are using this method, there are several additional options that
will allow you to further control the mesh sizing.
You can set the Min Elem on Lines to ensure that each straight line in your model will have at least a specified num-
ber of elements. Similarly, Min Elem on Closed Edges sets the minimum number of elements that will be placed
along any closed edge, like an arc or circle. Min Elem on Other Edges applies to curves that are neither straight
lines or closed edges, like splines. These options are not typically used if you are setting the mesh size on a single
curve. What they allow you to do, however, is use a single command to select many curves (possibly your entire
model), specify a fairly large mesh size, and still obtain some mesh refinement around desired curves.
Node Spacing
The Node Spacing section of the dialog box allows you to bias the mesh along a curve. You can chose no biasing
(Equal), linear biasing (Biased), or logarithmic biasing (Geometric Bias). If you select a bias, you must also specify
the Bias Factor and where the small elements will be located (i.e. which location to bias towards). The Bias Factor
controls the spacing of nodes. Setting it to a value of 2.0 with linear bias will make the last element twice as big as
Note: This command does nothing when surfaces are part of solids or already have a mesh size assigned to
curves that end at a point. You must remove mesh sizes by using the Mesh, Mesh Control, Size Along
Curve, click Reset, and then this command will function properly. It also does NOT work on solid
edges, only curves and surface edges and will only function when end points of curves are selected.
Shift+F10
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Mesh, Mesh Control, Size On Surface... 5-3
the first if you select Small Elements at Start. The first element refers to the element at the first end point of the
curve. The diagram shows a sample surface mesh using different biases on the curves. By using biases appropri-
ately, you can create a fine mesh in the regions of most interest, as well as provide a smooth transition to regions of
less importance.
Parametric vs. Length Spacing
In addition to the biasing methods, you can also choose whether mesh locations will be located in parametric or
length coordinates along the curve. For lines, arcs and circles, these options make no difference since the paramet-
ric and length coordinates are equivalent. For spline curves however, the parametric coordinates are typically much
different.
In most cases, choosing parametric spacing is the preferred method. It results in a finer mesh in areas of high curva-
ture, which is often desirable. However, if you have two spline curves side by side, which happen to have different
parametric coordinates, Equal Length spacing will allow you to match the meshes on those two curves (this can
also be accomplished using a matched custom mesh size on one of the curves - see (Section 5.1.1.7, "Mesh, Mesh
Control, Custom Size Along Curve...").
5.1.1.4 Mesh, Mesh Control, Size On Surface...
...is another way to set the mesh size
along all curves that are used to
define selected surfaces. This com-
mand can be used to override mesh
sizing on curves associated to that
surface, or to define a mesh on all
curves that do not currently have a
mesh size. After you select the sur-
faces, the Automatic Mesh Sizing
dialog box will appear. Just as if you
were specifying the size along
curves, specify a nominal Element
Size, which is adjusted to fit evenly
into each curve. You also have the
opportunity to further control the
mesh sizing using the other options.
Replace Mesh Sizes on All Curves
If you choose this options, all curves on the surfaces will be sized. If you do not, only curves that do not currently
have mesh sizing will be updated. Normally, this option should be checked, since if you do not size all curves
simultaneously, other options like Mapped Meshing Refinement may be less effective.
Min Elements on Edge
This option specifies the minimum number of elements along any curve on the selected surfaces. Normally, 1 is the
correct setting, and the number of elements are just determined by the sizing. You can set higher numbers if you
want to force some degree of refinement.
Note: Equal Length based spacing is slower for display and meshing than parametric spacing. Parametric
spacing should therefore be used whenever possible.
Edge 1 - 5 elements, no bias
Edge 2 - 6 elements, bias=2.0
Edge 3 - 4 elements set,
5 elements created, bias=2.0
Edge 4 - 3 elements set,
6 elements created, bias = 2.0
Small Elements at Start
Small Elements at End
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5-4 Meshing
Max Angle Tolerance
This is one of the most important options for controlling
mesh sizes. It allows specification of a fairly large mesh size,
while still accurately represent geometry that has high curva-
ture. With this option enabled, the software determines a
nominal size based on the input nominal size. The curve tan-
gent vector is then compared to the vector that connects adja-
cent mesh locations. If the angle between those vectors is
larger than the angle that you specified, the elements are
added to the curve until it meets the requirement that you specified.
Small Feature Adjustments
Instead of increasing the number of elements, these options limit the number of elements placed around small
features to the Max Elem on Small Feature input. It prevents a large concentration of elements along small features
that may not be needed in your model. By default, the size for a Small feature matches the specified Element
Size, but when checked it can be changed to a size you specify.
This number is not a curve length. It is compared to the length of the perimeter around any closed loop of curves
divided by PI (the effective diameter of the loop). If the effective diameter of the loop of curves is less than the size
you specified, then the number of elements around that loop will be limited to the maximum number you choose.
Vertex Aspect Ratio
Turn this option on to optimize mesh spacing on geometry that has both short and long curves that join at common
vertices. This is especially useful if you are specifying a mesh size that is large compared to the length of your
shorter curves. In this case, without this option you may find that at points where long curves join short curves, the
long curves will have a fairly large mesh size right beside a short mesh size on the short curve. By turning on this
option, the longer mesh sizes will be biased and shortened at the ends where they join small mesh sizes. The aspect
ratio that you specify controls the maximum variation between adjacent mesh sizes.
Length Based Sizing
When this option is off, all sizing along curves is done in the parametric space of the curves. In many cases this is
desirable resulting in a finer mesh in areas of high curvature. In some cases however - with unstitched geometry, or
geometry that has curves with unusual parameterization - length based spacing along the curves will yield much
better results. Especially when dealing with unstitched geometry, length based spacing will produce meshes with
matching nodal locations far more reliably than parametric spacing.
Mapped Meshing Refinement
This option provides final adjustments to be made to the mesh sizes that favor mapped meshing. It only applies to
surfaces that are 3 or 4 sided (mapped-meshable). If curves on opposite sides of these surfaces have different
lengths, they will often get different numbers of elements, preventing them from being mapped meshed. If you use
this option, the sizes on opposite sides will be adjusted so that they match, if the adjustment will not change the
mesh size too much (factor of 2 from nominal, unless you defined a mapped meshing approach, in which case the
sizes will be matched regardless of size).
Surface Interior Mesh Growth
The Mesh Growth factor is simply a factor that is multi-
plied by the average size of the elements around the
perimeter of the surface. This value is used as the target
size of all the elements in the interior of the surface. If
you wish to decrease the size of the elements in the inte-
rior of the surface, use a number between 0 and 1 and a
value above 1 to increase the size of the elements formed
in the interior of the surface
Note: When using the Surface Interior Mesh Growth option, the surface MUST be free meshed. Free mesh-
ing will be the default on any non regular surface (more than 4 edges). If the surface is mapped or 4
sided then you must specify a Parametric Free mesh using the Mesh-Mesh Control-Approach on Sur-
face command.
Tangent
Vector to next mesh location
Angle
Factor = 0 Factor = 5 Factor = 0.2
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Curvature-Based Mesh Refinement
Curvature Based Mesh Refinement will reduce the size of
elements in areas of a surface with a high amount of curva-
ture. When Curvature Based Mesh Refinement is selected,
FEMAP first meshes the surface at the initial element size. It
then calculates the ratio of Chord Height to Chord Length for
each element. If this ratio is larger than the value specified,
then FEMAP will automatically reduce the element size and
remesh the surface with the new sizing. This will continue
until all the elements on that surface do not exceed the ratio.
Quad Mesh Layer Options
This option specifies the number of layers of quadrilateral elements that FEMAP will attempt to place around every
boundary curve on a surface. You can choose to have either 1, 2, or 3 layers of quads around each boundary curve
of a surface, including internal curves. If there is not enough room for the requested number of layers based on the
mesh size, FEMAP will try to put as many layers of quads in as possible. The process goes one layer at a time,
meaning that one layer of quads will be placed around all boundary curves (external curves first, internal curves
second) before a second layer of quads will be attempted. In many cases, more layers will produce a higher quality
mesh, but on some pieces of geometry using 1 or 2 layers may produce better overall results than using 3 layers.
5.1.1.5 Mesh, Mesh Control, Size On Solid...
.... provides the same basic options as Mesh, Mesh Control. Size on Surface. It has additional options that pertain
primarily to multi-solid and hexahedral meshing.
Chord Length
Chord Height
Original mesh locations
2 Layers 1 Layers 0 Layers 3 Layers
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5-6 Meshing
See Section 5.1.1.4, "Mesh, Mesh Control, Size On Surface..." for information about the controls that you can spec-
ify in the Basic Curve Sizing, Surface Interior Mesh Growth, and Curvature Based Mesh Refinement sections.
Suppress Short Edges
In addition to the other options in Basic Curve Sizing, you can also access the a feature normally found in Section
5.1.1.16, "Mesh, Mesh Control, Feature Suppression..." to automatically suppress short edges in your mesh. Turn-
ing on this option, and eliminating short edges can significantly improve the reliability of meshing by automatically
skipping over small features whether they were created intentionally or unintentionally by small mismatches in
adjacent geometry. The percentage value that you specify is a percent of the specified element size. Curves that are
shorter than this length will be automatically suppressed and ignored during meshing.
Auto Boundary Small Surf
This option automatically identifies surfaces whose areas are under a user-defined percentage multiplied by the
area of a one mesh size by one mesh size rectangular surface for a given mesh size. Once these small sur-
faces have been identified, they will be combined with neighboring surfaces to create a meshable boundary sur-
face. FEMAP uses an algorithm which attempts to combine the small surface with a neighboring planer face, and
if a planer face is not available, the small surface will be combined with any surface tangent or nearly tangent
with it to create a meshable boundary surface.
For instance:
Mesh size, M=2 units; Percentage, P=5%; Area of one mesh size by one mesh size surface, A=(M*M)=4 unit
2
.
In this case, surfaces with an area smaller than 0.2 units
2
(P*A = 0.05 x 4 = 0.2) will be identified as small sur-
faces. These small surfaces will then be combined with neighboring surfaces to create a meshable boundary sur-
face using an algorithm which attempts to combine the small surface with a neighboring face or faces. The same
concept is used by the Boundary Surface, From Surfaces on Solid...command, except this option automatically
chooses the surfaces to be combined.
See Section 3.3.2.2, Geometry, Boundary Surface, From Surfaces on Solid... for more details on composite sur-
face meshing.
Tet vs. Hex Meshing
Choose the option that is appropriate to the type of meshing that you want to do. Depending on your choice how-
ever, the mesh sizing that is generated can be significantly different.
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Preparing for hex meshing however, requires very specific mesh sizing. Many surfaces must be mapped meshed so
that the hex mesh can be generated. In addition, surfaces across multiple solids must be consistently sized and
meshed so that the resulting hex mesh will be compatible. Due to this extra checking that must be done, hex mesh
sizing takes much more time than tet mesh sizing. For more information about hex mesh sizing, see Section 5.1.2.4,
"Mesh, Geometry, HexMesh Solids...".
Assembly / Multi-Solid Sizing
These options are used to automatically specify mesh approaches
(which can be defined manually using the Mesh, Mesh Control,
Approach On Surface command).
Adjacent Surface Matching
If you are specifying sizes on multiple solids at the same time,
this option will set a slaved mesh approach on surfaces that are
adjacent to each other and which are the same size. For example,
in the figure, the cylinder is contained in a box with a cylindrical
hole. The outer surface of the cylinder is adjacent to the similar
surface of the hole through the box. To mesh these parts, you
must ensure that the meshes on these two surfaces are identical.
Setting one of the surfaces as a slave to the other insures a consis-
tent mesh. This option automatically finds surfaces which are adjacent between multiple solids and slaves them to
each other.
Remove Previous Slaving
This option removes all slaving from surfaces in the solids that you are sizing before proceeding with the new sizes.
You will always want to leave this option on unless you have manually defined some slaved surfaces that you want
to keep slaved. Turning this option off however can interfere with the proper operation of hex mesh sizing.
Adjust Colors
This option simply changes colors of surfaces during the mesh sizing process to give more information about how
they were processed. It is often difficult to see all of the surfaces in a solid assembly; however, this is particularly
important when you are slicing a solid in preparation for hex meshing. If you enable this option, surface colors will
be adjusted as follows:
You must be displaying your model in solid, shaded Render mode for the best effect of these colors. After sizing,
you can graphically see which surfaces were detected and slaved as adjacent, to make sure that all of the surfaces
that you expected were found. You can also easily see which solids need to be further simplified to allow hex mesh-
ing.
Skip Sizing on Slaved Surfaces
Turning on this option allows surfaces that have been slaved to other surfaces to be skipped during mesh sizing.
You will want to turn this on when you are incrementally updating the mesh sizes of one solid in a group of adja-
cent solids. In this case, you may have slaved surfaces between the solids, that must maintain the same mesh sizing.
If you are just updating one of the solids, the slaved surfaces must not be updated or the slaved meshing will fail.
Hint: If you are preparing for hex meshing, you MUST select all solids that you plan to mesh in a single com-
mand. If you try to select them one at a time, there is no way to guarantee that the meshes will be com-
patible across different solids.
Color Description
Dark, Transparent Blue Free surfaces that were successfully sized.
Light Solid Blue Surfaces that were successfully sized and which
are adjacent to another surface.
Red Surfaces of solids that can not be hex meshed
Adjacent
Surfaces
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5-8 Meshing
5.1.1.6 Mesh, Mesh Control, Interactive
... allows you to interactively modify existing mesh sizes along one or more curves.
This command can be used in three different modes, as follows:
Always choose the mode and numbers before beginning. Then, simply click on the curve you want to change, and
the mesh size is adjusted. As you keep clicking on curves they are changed appropriately. Switch modes at any time
to make a different type of modification.
5.1.1.7 Mesh, Mesh Control, Custom Size Along Curve...
... allows you to set custom sizes along the curve. This is extremely useful when you require nodes at specific loca-
tions along curves due to either stress concentrations, or connections to other parts in an assembly. When you select
this command, you will be asked to select the curve and then the Custom Mesh Spacing Along Curves dialog box
will appear.
In this dialog box, the Mesh
Definition window shows
the locations of the mesh
points. The options under
this window serve to mod-
ify or fill the entire win-
dow. The options under
Mesh Point Data, as well as
the buttons on the side,
work on editing, adding, or
deleting one entry at a time.
Mesh Definition
The Mesh Definition area
shows the location of nodes
and the number of elements
and the bias on the mesh.
You can set the mesh between specific locations to guarantee that certain locations will be present in the mesh. In
the example above, nodes will be placed at locations 0, 0.333, 0.667 and 1.0 (Nodes are always placed at the begin-
ning and end of curves). A total of three elements will be created in a uniform fashion (Bias of 1).
The four buttons at the bottom of the Mesh Definition section provide capability to make changes to the Mesh Def-
inition window (as compared to the options on the right side of the dialog box which work on one location at a
time).
Equal
This option asks for the number of elements that you want along the curve, then computes the mesh locations so
that there will be that number of equal length segments along the curve. It does not matter whether you specify
parametric or length spacing for this approach, you always get equal length divisions. Each division is created with
1 element and no bias.
Fill
Fill is used to fill between mesh points. You would typically select this option after defining one or more mesh
points. When you select this option you will be prompted for the mesh size. This mesh size will be used to fill inter-
Mode Result
Add The current curve mesh size is increased by the number of elements specified
Subtract The current curve mesh size is decreased by the number of elements specified. It is not reduced below 1.
Set To The curve mesh size is set to the number of elements specified
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Mesh, Mesh Control, Custom Size Along Curve... 5-9
mittent points between the current mesh points. This command does not change the number of points in the win-
dow. It simply updates the number of elements between each point to as closely as possible match the size you
specify.
Expand
This command simply takes all locations that have more than one element assigned, and expands it to each individ-
ual location. This is again a quick method to set an overall mesh size (using Fill and/or Equal), expand to each indi-
vidual location, and edit certain points if they are not at the exact location you require.
Match
This option simply allows you to match the mesh locations of one or more other curves. This command is very use-
ful when you have similar curves, such as a symmetric configuration. You can define the mesh size on one curve,
and then use Match on each additional curve to copy the mesh locations. The only input required for this option is
to select the curves you wish to match. Each of the mesh locations on the original curves is projected onto the target
curve.
Match Mesh
This option allows you to create matching node locations of a mesh that already exists. This command is useful for
connecting a mesh where the surrounding mesh has already been defined. Select the curve you want to have match
the existing mesh locations then press the Match Mesh button. Then select the nodes of the adjacent mesh and
FEMAP will project each node to the curve and create a matching location.
Mesh Point Data
This section of the dialog box contains the definition of the actual location, as well as any biasing. The Bias and
Spacing portions of the dialog box are identical to those found in the Mesh, Mesh Control, Size on Curve dialog box
(see Section 5.1.1.4, "Mesh, Mesh Control, Size On Surface..."). The bias itself cannot be used with the automatic
methods (Fill and Equal).
Location, Num Elements
This option allows you to input the location along the curve (1e-08 to 1.0) at which you want a mesh location
(node). You must also specify the number of elements required between this location and the previous location on
the curve (if no previous location is specified, it is the beginning of the curve). These options must be used when
you need to specify a biased mesh. The automatic methods (Fill and Equal) are not available.
Locate, Move, Add/Edit, and Delete Options
These options control the transfer of data from input to individual mesh locations. The results will appear in the
Mesh Definition window.
Locate
Often you will not know the percentage distance along a curve for a mesh point, but you will know the coordinate
location. In this case, simply use the Locate button. The standard coordinate definition dialog box will appear, and
you can input the coordinates with any of the standard methods. Be careful when inputting the location, however. It
must be along the curve, or at least be able to be projected onto the curve.
Once you select the location, it will automatically be converted to the location on the curve, and the value will be
added to the mesh points in the Mesh Definition window.
Move
The Move option is identical to the Locate option, except it replaces the highlighted entity in the Mesh Definition
window instead of creating a new entity.
Add/Edit
This button simply adds the location and number of elements contained in the Location and Num Elements boxes to
the list of mesh locations. If the value under Location is already contained in the list, FEMAP will edit the list, oth-
erwise it will simply add it to the list.
Delete
This option removes the highlighted entry in the Mesh Definition window from the list.
When you have finished defining the mesh points, simply press OK to set the mesh size, or press Cancel to abort
the mesh sizing.
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5-10 Meshing
5.1.1.8 Mesh, Mesh Control, Mapped Divisions on Surface...
... allows you to specify divisions for a mesh on 3 and 4-sided sur-
faces. When you select this command, you will be prompted to
select the surfaces. After surface selection, you will see the Mesh
Size on Surface dialog box.
This dialog box allows you to define the number of elements, as
well as a bias, for the s and t directions. The s direction is denoted
by an arrow that is drawn at one of the corners of the surface. This
command will allow you to define a mapped mesh grid for rectan-
gular and triangular surfaces.
5.1.1.9 Mesh, Mesh Control, Mesh Points on Surface...
... defines specific locations on a surface where nodes will be created when the surface is meshed. To begin, you
simply select the surface where you want to define mesh locations. You will then see the Custom Mesh dialog box.
Here you have several options. If you have already created points on the surface at
the locations that you want, choose Use Existing Points. When you press OK, you
will be asked to select the points that you want to use.
If there are already nodes on the surface at the desired locations, choose Use Exist-
ing Nodes and select the ones you want. This method is useful when you have an
existing mesh that intersects the middle of a surface and you want to match that
mesh. Note that even if you choose these nodes, it is not actually the nodes that are
attached to the surface. Instead, FEMAP automatically creates points at those
node locations and uses the points as mesh locations.
If you have neither points nor nodes, choose Create Points. You will be prompted to
specify the mesh locations and points will be automatically created and attached as mesh locations.
If you have already defined mesh locations on a surface, you use this same command to remove them. Simply
choose Remove All Points to delete all of the mesh locations for this surface. If you want to selectively remove one
or more points, choose Use Existing Points instead. You will see the standard selection dialog, but it will be filled
with the list of points that you already selected. To remove the points that you no longer need, you can use the
Delete button or the Remove/Exclude picking in the selection dialog box.
This command is used for placing mesh locations in the interior of a surface. It does not place locations along or
very near the bounding curves. To do that, use the Mesh, Mesh Control, Custom Size Along Curve command.
5.1.1.10 Mesh, Mesh Control, Attributes At Point
... is used to assign meshing attributes (properties) to one or more points. Before you begin this command, you must
have one or more properties defined that correspond to mass, or other point element types. You will be asked for
the points where you want to assign attributes, and the property to assign.
Once attributes have been defined, these points can be meshed with elements which will automatically use the
assigned properties.
Note: For most surface types, the points that you specify do not really need to be on the surface. FEMAP will
project the points onto the surface and use the projected location. For multi-surface boundaries, how-
ever, you must locate the points on the surface. They will not be projected.
Hint: When FEMAP meshes a surface, it creates the original mesh without the hard mesh points. It then
moves the node closest to each hard point to the hard point location. FEMAP then resmooths the mesh.
This technique works very well when there are a significant number of nodes in the mesh (and a reason-
ably fine mesh) in comparison to the number of hard points. If there are not many more nodes than hard
points, this technique will not produce good meshes. For this type of mesh, it is best to imprint a curve
or surface on the surface (see Section 3.2.5, "Curves from Surfaces"), and then define the mesh size on
it. This will use a different technique in the FEMAP surface mesher, and a better mesh will result.
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Mesh, Mesh Control, Attributes Along Curve 5-11
5.1.1.11 Mesh, Mesh Control, Attributes Along Curve
... is used to assign meshing attributes along
one or more curves. Unlike Point Mesh
Attributes, Curve Mesh Attributes contains
more information than just a property. They
also specify the element orientation, releases
and offsets that will be used when the curve is
meshed.
Once attributes have been defined, curves are
easily meshed with elements, properties, off-
sets, orientations and releases all automati-
cally assigned. You can create, orient and
position all cross sections on the geometry
and then mesh all curves in one easy operation. If the resulting mesh needs to be changed, simply delete the mesh,
adjust the mesh sizes and remesh all of the attribute information is still retained. The Reverse Element Direction
option even allows you to flip the section if the curve is pointed in the opposite direction.
Property
You must select a property that corresponds to a line element such as a bar or beam. If you do not have the property
that you need, you can press New Prop to create a new property.
Orientation and Releases
These options are similar to the options in the Model, Element command. You simply define the orientation and
releases that you want applied. When you press OK in this dialog box, you will either be asked for a vector, or a
location (not a node) to define the orientation. This orientation will be used for all elements along the curve.
Releases are specified immediately, when you press the Releases button. Releases specified on attributes apply to
connections at the first end of the curve (End A Releases) and the last (End B Releases). Element connections to
internal nodes along the curve are not released.
Offsets
Like orientations and releases, offsets closely follow the Model, Element counterparts. The main differences here
are in the three methods used to define the offset.
The Vector method is identical to the Model, Element method. You define a vector at each end, and the offsets cor-
respond to those vectors. Just like releases, the ends here refer to the start and end of the curve (not the start and end
of each element). Using the vector method, offsets vary linearly along the curve from the End A vector to the End
B vector.
The Location method uses the Reference Point that you can choose when creating a property from a standard or
general shape. If you choose this method, offsets are defined in the YZ plane of the cross section, not in global
coordinates. In this case a zero offset locates the shape so that the reference point lies on the curve at every location.
Even if you want to specify a zero offset, you must still specify the End A and End B offsets or the reference point
will not be used.
The Radial method allows you to choose a center location and offset distance. All of the offsets will be created as
radial vectors pointing away from the center (assuming a positive offset distance) along the line connecting the cen-
ter to the nodal location.
If you are editing the attributes on a curve that already has offsets defined, you will not be able to change the defi-
nition method. You must first press No Offsets to delete the existing offsets, then redefine them using the new
method.
Note: To use any of these options, first choose the method, then you MUST press End A Offset (or one or
more of the other offset buttons) to define actual offsets. Simply choosing the method does not define
an offset. Similarly, if you define the End A Offset, but do not choose either End B Offset, or End B =
End A, then the End B offset is zero.
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5-12 Meshing
5.1.1.12 Mesh, Mesh Control, Attributes On Surface
... is used to assign meshing attributes to one or more surfaces. In most
cases you will simply choose a surface element property to be assigned
to the surfaces. Press New Prop if you have not already created the prop-
erty that you need.
If you also want to assign offsets to the planar elements (typically plates
only), check the Offset box, and specify the value of the offset before
pressing OK.
Once attributes have been defined, surfaces can be easily meshed with
elements, properties (thicknesses, materials...) will be automatically assigned.
5.1.1.13 Mesh, Mesh Control, Attributes On Volume
... is used to assign meshing attributes to one or more volumes. In this case, you simply select the volumes where
you want to assign attributes, then select the property that you want. You must create the property before using this
command.
Once attributes have been defined, volumes can be meshed and properties (primarily material information) will be
automatically assigned.
5.1.1.14 Mesh, Mesh Control, Attributes On Solid
... is used to assign meshing attributes to one or more solids. This command is identical to Mesh, Mesh Control,
Attributes On Volume, described above, except that it applies to solids.
5.1.1.15 Mesh, Mesh Control, Approach On Surface
... is used to specify the type of mesh to be created on a surface. Normally, without specifying an approach,
FEMAP will decide whether to create a free/boundary mesh or a mapped mesh on each surface. This command
gives you control over that selection, and allows you to define additional information so that mapped meshes can
be created on surfaces that could otherwise not be mapped meshed.
After selecting surfaces where you want to specify
the approach, you will see the Surface Mesh
Approach dialog box. There are many different
approaches to choose from, in addition to Not
Specified. If you choose Not Specified, FEMAP
will decide which mesh is appropriate based on
geometry, mesh sizing and resulting mesh quality.
Free - Parametric
This approach tells FEMAP to always try a free
mesh on the surfaces. Even if mesh spacings allow
a mapped mesh, a free mesh is always created. In
some cases, the free mesh may look like a mapped
mesh, but it is created using the free meshing tech-
nique. Specifying this approach usually has little
effect since it uses the same approach that is most
commonly taken by FEMAP anyway. This is
called Free-Parametric because surfaces are meshed in their parametric coordinates.
Free - Planar Projection
This approach is similar to Free-Parametric, except the mesh is created on a plane and is projected onto the sur-
face. This approach is never used automatically, but can help to overcome problems with meshing surfaces that
have problems in their parametric representation. Most notably these would be cones or caps of spheres, where sur-
faces normally have an undefined pole in the parametric coordinates. This technique can only be used for sur-
faces that do not have too much curvature. If your surface is too curved, split it into several pieces and mesh them
using this approach.
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Mesh, Mesh Control, Approach On Surface 5-13
Fast Tri - Parametric
This approach applies a free mesh to the surfaces using the FEMAP Fast Triangle mesher. The Fast Triangle
mesher uses a different method when creating surface triangles that is faster and produces triangles with better
aspect ratios. This is called Fast Tri-Parametric because surfaces are meshed in their parametric coordinates.
Fast Tri - Planar Projection
This approach is similar to Fast Tri-Parametric, except the mesh is created on a plane and is projected onto the sur-
face. This approach is never used automatically, but can help to overcome problems with meshing surfaces that
have problems in their parametric representation. Most notably these would be cones or caps of spheres, where sur-
faces normally have an undefined pole in the parametric coordinates. This technique can only be used for sur-
faces that do not have too much curvature. If your surface is too curved, split it into several pieces and mesh them
using this approach.
Mapped - Four Corner
This approach creates a mapped mesh on the surface, between four corners that you select. When you select this
approach, the right hand side of the dialog box allows you to select four points for the corners of the mesh. These
points can be specified in any arbitrary order, but you must choose four different points. The edges of the mesh
are all of the curves that lie between the points that you choose.
In this example, the corner points have been defined at the locations of the dots. In addition, the total number of ele-
ments specified on the three outside curves equals the number of elements on the arc. This is a requirement.
If you do not specify mesh sizes that are compati-
ble with the mapped meshing approach, you will
still get a free mesh, even if you specified Four
Corner.
When specifying the mesh corners, you do not
have to specify points on the surface where you
are setting the approach. FEMAP will automati-
cally find the closest points on the surface to the
ones you selected, and use those. This eliminates
problems in knowing which points to pick when
surfaces are adjacent (coincident) with each other.
It can also be used to your advantage if you need
to set approaches on a series of parallel or similar
surfaces. You may be able to define them at once
by picking the points on one surface and letting
FEMAP automatically select the others.
Mapped - Three Corner
This approach is similar to the Four Corner approach; it
simply defines three corner locations. The resulting mesh
can be an all quadrilateral mesh on the three cornered
surface. Depending on the geometry however, the result-
ing mesh can be severely warped.
Mapped - Three Corner Fan
This method is similar to Three Corner, but the resulting
mesh has triangles at the first corner location. This is the
only point that must be specified in a particular order.
Just as in the four corner methods, the points in these three corner methods do not need to lie on the selected sur-
faces.
Matched - Linked to Surface
This final approach does not directly define a new type of mesh. Rather, it simply instructs FEMAP to make the
mesh on the selected surface match the one on the surface that you link it to. This approach is primarily used to
insure compatible meshing in a single solid for hex meshing, and to insure compatible meshes between adjacent
surfaces of multiple solids. You can use it for certain other situations, but care must be taken:
1. Surfaces to be linked must either be on the same solid, or must be adjacent/coincident in space, or must at least
Free
Four Corner
Three Corner Three Corner Fan
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5-14 Meshing
be closely aligned.
If surfaces are on the same solid, they can be anywhere in space. They do not have to be parallel or aligned in
any particular fashion, but they can only be linked if the other curves on the solid directly connect the two sur-
faces. In this mode, linking surfaces is intended to be used with hex-meshable solids only. That is, solids that are
essentially extrudable. If you have more complicated geometry, you will still be able to link the surfaces, but
meshing the linked surface will fail.
If surfaces are not on solids, or are on different solids, then they are meshed by matching the closest points on the
surfaces. For this reason, to mesh properly, the surfaces must be positioned and aligned so that the points on the
curves that are closest to each other result in the proper mapping between the surfaces. Surfaces that are rotated
arbitrarily in space relative to each other will usually not meet this criteria. Again, this mode is primarily
intended for matching adjacent surfaces between multiple solids.
2. Surfaces to linked must also have the same mesh sizing, or they will not mesh properly. In order for a linked sur-
face to be meshed, it must have the same mesh sizing as the master surface.
3. You cannot to define circular references. You can only slave surfaces in one direction, that is if A is linked to B,
then B must be independently meshable, it can not be linked to A.
5.1.1.16 Mesh, Mesh Control, Feature Suppression...
... enables you to remove features from the model when meshing. When a CAD part is imported into FEMAP, it
may contain many small features that are unimportant to the finite element model. With this tool you can suppress
these features so that FEMAP will mesh the part as if they did not exist. In many circumstances, the resulting mesh
will be much smoother.
When small single or connected edges are sup-
pressed, FEMAP will treat them as a single node
during meshing. One node is used for all vertices
attached to the suppressed edge. The end result
will be an excellent surface and subsequent solid
mesh.
The figure shows the geometry and the resulting
mesh when several of the short edges are sup-
pressed. Without suppressing the edges, the
mesher would have generated sharp sliver ele-
ments on those edges.
The Feature Suppression dialog box offers two
methods of feature suppression: Automatic and
Manual.
Automatic
The Automatic feature is a good
method for cleansing a part with a sig-
nificant number of small features.
Select the feature criteria and enter
their values. Features in your model
that are under this size will be
removed. The three options under
Automatic are explained below.
Smaller Than
This option removes loops from the
model that are smaller than the speci-
fied size. This command walks
along the entire loop. If the loop length
is smaller than the value entered, the entire loop will be removed from the part. In some cases, such as a very long
but small-radius cylinder, the total length of the feature may be longer than the specified value. Because the end
portion of this feature is smaller than the tolerance, FEMAP will remove the entire loop.
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Mesh, Mesh Control, Feature Suppression... 5-15
Face Area Less Than
This option removes any faces in the model that have an area less than the tolerance value you specify. This option
is useful for removing small sliver faces, but you must be careful that the area you specify is not so large that signif-
icant faces are removed from your model, which can harm the integrity of the solid model. This option does not
check for any loops in the model.
Edges Shorter Than
This option removes any edges in the model that are shorter than the tolerance value that you specify. Be careful
that the length you specify does not cause removal of important edges, which can harm the integrity of your model.
This command does not check for any loops in the model.
Manual
By switching to Manual operation, you can specify individual features in your model to remove. This command
has both Remove and Restore options. You can remove/restore edges, loops, and faces. Removal of key areas may
result in loss of integrity of the solid.
Edges
Edges lets you remove specific edges from the model. This option is most useful when you have many small edges,
but only want to remove a few of them.
Loops
Loops lets you remove features from your model. Select a curve on the loop, and the entire loop will be removed.
This can be very useful for removing small holes that run through the model.
Examples
Faces
Faces lets you to remove specific faces from the model. This option is most useful when you have many small
faces, but only want to remove a few of them.
Surface with several interior holes
Choose one curve on each
interior hole and all of the
curves making up the loop
will be found and Suppressed
from the surface for meshing
All internal holes have been
suppressed from the surface
for meshing purposes only
Original Solid Part with stepped hole
Curve chosen for loop to Suppress
Resulting Solid Mesh
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5-16 Meshing
Set Color To
This section of the dialog box lets you define colors for your suppressed and restored curves and surfaces. The
default colors to restore will be the current colors of curves and surfaces. The default for removal is typically a dark
color, which makes it easy to distinguish these curves and surfaces from the rest of the model. You should always
use a distinguishing color to remind yourself which features have been suppressed.
Restore All Features...
This button provides an easy method to restore all features in the model.
5.1.2 Mesh, Geometry
The Geometry menu provides the tools for automatically meshing geometry. The menu is partitioned into five sec-
tions based upon the type of entities to mesh. You can create meshes on points, curves, and surfaces. The last two
sections deal with solids and volumes. The first allows you to hex mesh solids and the last performs tet meshing in
volumes and solids. Each of the commands are described below.
Before using these commands, you will often want to use the Mesh, Mesh Control commands to define the mesh
sizes for the geometry you wish to mesh. If you are meshing a solid model, FEMAP will give you an additional
opportunity to define the mesh size before proceeding. Most other commands will simply use the mesh size which
you have already defined (or the default mesh size if you have not defined a mesh size).
5.1.2.1 Mesh, Geometry, Point...
... is the most basic of automatic meshing commands. It will simply generate nodes (or elements and nodes) at the
selected points. When you choose this command, you must select the points through the standard Entity Selection
dialog box. You will then see the Geometry Mesh Options dialog box, where you choose to generate either just
nodes or nodes and elements. One of the point element types (mass) must be selected if you are going to generate
elements.
5.1.2.2 Mesh, Geometry, Curve...
.... creates a mesh of
nodes and 1-D elements
along a curve. When you
select this option, you
will be asked to select the
curves through the stan-
dard entity selection dia-
log box. Once you select
the curves, you will see
the Geometry Mesh
Options dialog box. It
includes the following:
Node and Element Options
These options allow you to specify the beginning node and element IDs, the coordinate system (to set the definition
coordinate system of the nodes, and the property. You must choose a line element property for this command. You
may also use the New Prop button to define a new line element property if you have not already defined one, as
well as change the node and element parameters.
Using Meshing Attributes
If the curves that you are meshing have mesh attributes defined, you will see an additional property (0..Use Mesh-
ing Attributes) in the list. If you choose that property, FEMAP will use the attributes to define the property, orienta-
tion, offsets and releases for the elements that will be created. To ignore the attributes, simply pick or create a
different property.
Generate
This option controls whether you generate nodes or nodes and elements.
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Mesh, Geometry, Surface... 5-17
Element Shape
This section of the dialog box will be grayed, since lines elements do not have a shape. This section is available
for some of the non-geometry-based meshing commands (for example, Mesh Between).
If you are meshing with elements that require an orien-
tation (bars, beams, etc.), the standard vector definition
dialog box will be used to define an orientation vector.
You cannot orient using a third node, but you can mod-
ify the orientation later. The single vector that you
define is used for all elements that are generated, so it
must be specified carefully.
5.1.2.3 Mesh, Geometry, Surface...
... creates nodes and planar elements on a selected set of surfaces. Before choosing this command, you must define
the mesh sizes using the various Mesh, Mesh Control commands.
Controlling the Mesh
If you simply specify sizes and then mesh surfaces, FEMAP will decide which type of mesh to create based upon
what it can do automatically. Normally this will result in a free/boundary mesh; however, mapped meshes will be
created whenever possible. If you want to control this process, for example to force a mapped mesh onto surfaces
with more than four boundary curves, use the Mesh, Mesh Control, Approach on Surface command to define the
meshing approach for your surfaces.
When you select the Mesh,
Geometry, Surface com-
mand, you must select the
surfaces to mesh. After
they are selected, the
Automesh Surfaces dialog
box appears.
After choosing the appro-
priate property, you can
usually press OK to accept
all default options. The
Mesh Control and Mesh
Smoothing areas do, how-
ever, give you significant
control over the resulting
mesh.
Note: In many cases, you will only want to mesh a geometric surface one time with 2-D elements. Suppose
you have already meshed a few surfaces in a model and now want to mesh the rest of the surfaces.
Instead of having to choose all the non-meshed surfaces individually to avoid creating overlapping ele-
ments, FEMAP allows you to select all the surfaces in the model, then choose whether you would like
to create overlapping elements on the already meshed surfaces or skip over these surfaces during the
meshing process.
FEMAP will bring up a dialog box asking OK to Mesh Already Meshed Surfaces? Meshing these sur-
faces again will result in coincident meshes. Pressing Yes will create an overlapping mesh on the
already meshed surfaces. Pressing No will mesh only the surfaces which are not currently meshed, skip-
ping all of the previously meshed surfaces. Pressing Cancel ends the command entirely.
Curves
Beam Elements generated
along curves with cross section
shown.
Shift+F11
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5-18 Meshing
Node and Element Options
These options control parameters that are assigned to the nodes and elements that you will create. The CSys option
does not control the mesh in any way. It is just assigned as the definition coordinate system of each node. The prop-
erty is most important. You must choose a property which corresponds to a planar element.
Using Meshing Attributes
If the surfaces that you are meshing have mesh attributes defined, you will see an additional property (0..Use Mesh-
ing Attributes) in the list. If you choose that property, FEMAP will use the attributes to define the property and type
of the elements that will be created. If you wish to ignore the attributes, simply pick or create a different property.
Mesh Control
These options control the size and shape of the mesh inside the boundary. The elements along the boundary edges
are defined by the mesh sizes that you choose and are unaffected by these settings. Those mesh sizes also have sub-
stantial impact on the interior of the mesh, but these options give you additional control.
Min Elements Between Boundaries
As a boundary is being meshed, groups of elements are often generated between two opposite edges of a boundary.
Sometimes, the mesh sizes that you have defined are large enough that a single element will span the distance
between surfaces. Since this may not be enough refinement for the model that you are creating, you can control this
behavior by setting a minimum number of elements that must be created between any boundary edges.
Setting this parameter does not guarantee that you will get that number of elements between every edge. But wher-
ever possible (based on compatibility with your surface mesh sizes) that number of elements or greater will be cre-
ated.
It is usually best to leave this parameter set to 1 initially, then if the results are undesirable, undo the mesh and try it
again with the number increased. Setting this number greater than 1 can greatly increase the number of elements
that are generated.
You will usually only have to set this option if you are meshing a
surface that is long and thin relative to the mesh size, or one that has
long, thin appendages, as this example demonstrates.
Max Element Aspect Ratio
Like the Min Elements setting described above, this option controls
the elements inside the mesh. In this case however, control over the
number of elements is only a secondary effect of this option. Prima-
rily, this number is used as a guideline for how long elements can
be relative to their width. You must always specify a value that is greater than or equal to 1.0. Smaller numbers
usually create slightly more uniform meshes with elements that are better shaped. Large numbers can lead to
severely distorted elements. If you make a mesh that contains long, thin or distorted elements, try again with a
smaller aspect ratio.
Quick-Cut
Meshing large non-uniform surfaces can often take some time. Turning this option on shortens the time required
while usually having minimal impact on the overall mesh quality. If you want the best possible mesh, and are will-
ing to wait, turn this option off. You can also control the threshold by setting the number of nodes to a smaller or
larger number. Do not reduce the number of nodes too much, or mesh quality will substantially decrease.
Element Shape
These options control the creation of triangular elements in your mesh.
If you want to create all triangles, you have the choice of All Triangles with or without the Fast Tri Mesh
option. The Fast Tri Mesh option uses a different method to create triangles that generally produces fewer trian-
gles with better aspect ratios. This technique works particularly well if you have a long thin surface with holes.
There is no all quads setting, but the Quads option will generate quadrilateral elements whenever possible.
(Note: You must always get at least one triangle if you specify an odd number of nodes on the surface.) Trian-
gles are created wherever quadrilaterals cannot meet the specified boundary mesh sizes, and wherever a quadri-
lateral would be severely distorted. You can override the default 60 degree allowable distortion with any value
that you want. Lower distortion values will result in more triangles.
Min Elements = 3 (or 2)
Min Elements = 1
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Mesh, Geometry, Surface... 5-19
Mesh Smoothing
These options are the same as those described in the Mesh, Smooth command. After an initial mesh is generated, it
is automatically smoothed to reduce element distortions. You will usually just want to accept the default values for
these options. For more information, see Section 5.3.4, "Mesh, Smooth...".
Examples
The following pictures show sample boundary meshes created using this command.
These suggestions can help you use the free meshing commands more effectively:
Specify mesh sizes that transition gradually along the edges. Do not have large changes in size from one curve
to the next.
Use default generation settings first, then undo and try again with modified settings if you do not like the
results. If that does not work, consider changing some mesh sizes.
Map a boundary to a surface (Modify, Update Other, Boundary on Surface) whenever it is nonplanar.
If most of a mesh looks good, but there are a few distorted areas, use the remesh option in the Mesh, Refine
command to clean-up the distorted elements.
The nodal locations along all edges can vary due to the shape of the surface and biasing. Biasing along edges can be
varied independently. It will not be ignored along the third and fourth edges, even in the mapped meshing case.
This command can generate either a mapped or a free/boundary mesh. If you have the same number of divisions
along opposite edges of the surfaces, a mapped mesh can be automatically generated. If not, FEMAP will create a
You could use the Min Elements option
to increase the number of elements in this area
Simultaneous generation in two boundaries
Outer boundary
with circular hole
Inner, circular
boundary
Boundary mapped to cylindrical surface
Boundary curves
are not on the
Surface and
shrunken elements
surface
Edge 1 - 5 elements, no bias
Edge 2 - 6 elements,
Edge 3 - 4 elements set,
5 elements created, bias=2.0
bias=2.0
Edge 4-
3 elements set,
6 elements created
bias=0.5
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5-20 Meshing
boundary mesh. You can further control this process by specifying a mesh approach using the Mesh, Mesh Control,
Approach on Surface command. (See Section 5.1.1.15, "Mesh, Mesh Control, Approach On Surface"
Boundary Mesh Mapped Mesh
Surface
Surface
Elements
Requires 4-corner mapped approach on surface
Surface Elements
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Mesh, Geometry, Surface... 5-21
Controlling the Interior of a Mesh
In many cases, the surface boundaries alone are not sufficient to generate the precise mesh that you may need to
properly locate connection points in your mesh. For this, you need to control key features inside the surfaces.
FEMAP provides two approaches to this problem.
Specifying Precise Mesh Locations
There are some cases where you need to have a node located at some precise location. For example, you may need
nodes at bolt locations where some other component attaches to your model. These cases can be handled using
mesh points, as described in Section 5.1.1.9, "Mesh, Mesh Control, Mesh Points on Surface...". You simply create
points or nodes at the locations you need, select them as mesh points, and they will be incorporated into the mesh.
Matching Interior Curves
Sometimes just matching individual locations is still not sufficient and you need to make sure that an entire curve is
reproduced in the mesh. This is often a case where you need to match edges of other surfaces that happen to inter-
sect the interior of a surface. To handle these situations, you need to imprint the curves that you need into the sur-
face. You can do this using the commands on the Geometry, Curve-From Surface menu. Make sure you turn on
Update Surfaces, and then use one or more of the other commands to imprint the curves you need onto the sur-
faces. Once the curves have been imprinted, they are part of the surface - you do not need to do any further associ-
ation using the Mesh Control commands - they will be automatically considered when the mesh sizing is defined.
When the mesh is created, elements will not cross these imprinted curves, therefore the mesh will properly repre-
sent the curves along element edges. FEMAP supports many different configurations of imprinted curves. You can
have individual curves floating in the interior of the surface, curves connected to the outer boundary or curves con-
nected to or joining interior holes. In addition floating curves can intersect each other, however in this case you
must break the curves at their intersection location(s).
Multi-Surface Meshing
When you mesh surfaces, the shape of the mesh is strongly controlled by the shape of the underlying surfaces. All
of the surface boundaries become boundaries in the mesh. In many cases however, surfaces may be split at places
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5-22 Meshing
that you really do not need, or even want, to split the mesh. Multi-surface boundaries address this problem. You can
use the Geometry, Boundary Surface, From Surfaces on Solid command to create boundary surfaces that span mul-
tiple underlying surfaces. In this case, the mesh will only conform to the outer boundary of the surfaces that you
combine, inner surface boundaries and features will be lost. For more information on creating multi-surface bound-
aries, see Section 3.3.2.2, "Geometry, Boundary Surface, From Surfaces on Solid...".
If you create a multi-surface boundary, you can still use the other features, such as mesh approaches, and mesh
points on surface to customize the mesh on the boundary. If you want to create mesh points on a multi-surface
boundary, they must be on the surface. Other surfaces will work with the projected mesh location, however for
multi-surface boundaries, the mesh locations must be on the surface.
5.1.2.4 Mesh, Geometry, HexMesh Solids...
... creates a hexahedral mesh in a selected set of solids. Before choosing this command, you must define the mesh
sizes using the Mesh, Mesh Control, Size on Solid command and choose the Hex Meshing option.
To create a hex mesh in solids, you must follow a fairly strict procedure.
1. Subdivide your model into hex meshable solids.
2. Set the mesh sizes using Mesh, Mesh Control, Size on Solid, with the hex meshing option.
3. Verify that all solids are hex meshable, and are properly linked to adjacent solids. If not, return to step 1, and
continue dividing your solids.
4. Hex mesh using the Mesh, Geometry, Hex Mesh Solids command.
Each of these steps is extremely important if you are going to succeed in creating a complete, correct hex mesh.
Multi-Surface Boundary with
mapped mesh. Note how
boundaries of interior
surfaces are ignored
Individually Meshed Surfaces
Geometry
Geometry (dark outlines show edges of multi-surface boundaries
interior hatching shows boundaries of individual surfaces)
Mesh - follows boundary outlines, but not surfaces
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Mesh, Geometry, HexMesh Solids... 5-23
Hex Meshable Solids
The first, most important, and often most difficult step in the hex meshing process involves dividing your part
(which we assume is one arbitrarily shaped solid) into simpler hex meshable solids. FEMAP can only hex mesh
extrudable solids, therefore if you have a part that is more complex, you must break/slice it into multiple, simpler
solids that can be meshed. While we use the word extrudable here, the actual solids that FEMAP can mesh are
much more complex than simple, straight extrusions. To give you some ideas of the types of solids that FEMAP
can and can not mesh, look at the following pictures:
The pictures represent some general solids that can be meshed. FEMAP can mesh solids where it can identify a
base and top surface that are connected by all four-sided, mapped meshable surfaces. The base and top surface
can be any shape, including surfaces with holes, and do not even have to be geometrically similar (although the
mesh quality may suffer depending upon how different they are). The base and top surfaces do have to have similar
connectivity, that is, the same number of edges.
During the process of hex meshing sizing, FEMAP identifies the base and top surfaces and automatically matches
(slaves) the mesh on the two surfaces. This is required for successful hex meshing. The base and top surfaces must
produce the same surface mesh, not necessarily the same shape, but the same number of nodes and elements with
the same connectivity.
The lateral or side surfaces (everything but base and top) control the mesh along the length of the extrusion. In
the simplest case, all are four sided surfaces with one edge on the base and the opposite edge on the top surface.
Often more complicated connections exist but many can still be meshed. In general, the requirement is that all lat-
eral surfaces must be four-sided. There must also be a single path through the lateral surfaces from each edge of
the base surface, to a corresponding edge on the top surface. If you combine all paths, they must cross the lateral
surfaces once and only once, and there cannot be any surfaces that are missed. Some examples of solids that do not
meet these requirements follow
Examples of Solids that can be automatically Hex Meshed
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5-24 Meshing
The corner of this solid creates three five-sided faces. You can split this
solid into three six-sided solids.
You cannot mesh solids with holes in faces other than the base and top.
The split on the top faces, combined with the five-sided face, prevents
identifying a top and a bottom surface. To mesh this part, simply split it into
two solids along the line.
You cannot mesh solids that have partial depth holes.
You cannot mesh revolvable, but not extrudable, solids. In this case, the
holes force the left and right sides to be the base and top, but they are con-
nected with 3-sided, not 4-sided, surfaces. To mesh, split the solid near the
point inside the hole.
The other main problem that leads to non-meshable solids is sliver surfaces. These are small surfaces that are
usually generated by inaccuracies in the solid modeling process. If you have sliver surfaces, you will have to
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Mesh, Geometry, HexMesh Solids... 5-25
remove them before proceeding. The Geometry, Solid, Cleanup, or Explode and Stitch commands can often be used
to remove these surfaces.
Commands for Subdividing Solids
Most real solids will have to be subdivided before they can be hex meshed. The various Geometry, Solid, Slice and
Embed commands are the primary tools that you have for cutting your solid. For more information, see Section
3.4.2.18, "Geometry, Solid, Slice..." and Section 3.4.2.16, "Geometry, Solid, Embed...".
In addition, another approach that is often helpful, especially with complicated solids, is to use the Geometry, Solid,
Explode command to explode the solid into a set of disconnected surfaces. You can then use the surface modeling
tools to add internal surfaces to divide the region, and use Geometry, Solid, Stitch to reassemble the pieces. This
technique can also be used to remove undesirable portions of your part.
Hex Mesh Sizing
The Mesh, Mesh Control, Size on Solid command (with the Hex Meshing option selected) is the primary mecha-
nism to setup the necessary mesh sizing for successful hex meshing. In addition to properly subdivided solids, con-
sistent mesh sizing is mandatory for hex meshing. Since many surfaces on your solids must be mapped meshed,
curves on opposite sides of those surfaces must have the same number of element divisions. Similarly, this consis-
tent sizing must propagate through the model, across the multiple solids that you have created.
Once you have properly subdivided your part, the Size on Solid command handles all sizing automatically. Simply
specify a nominal size. If you need further mesh grading or want to modify the sizes that Size on Solid has created -
you must use great care. If you manually change the mesh size along a curve, you must also manually change the
mesh sizes (to the same settings) on all of the other curves in your solids that must match the first curve to maintain
mapped meshable surfaces. If you do not, FEMAP will not be able to hex mesh your solids. While you are doing
this process, you must make sure that you pick ALL of the curves. In particular, at the common boundaries where
you have sliced solids, there will be duplicate curves - one on each solid. All of these curves must get the same
mesh size.
Hex Meshing
When you choose this command, you will first be asked to define a material for the mesh (if you have not defined
meshing attributes on your solids). This will use the standard material creation dialog boxes (see Section 4.2.3,
"Model, Material"). You will then see the Hex Mesh Solids dialog box.
Node and Element Options
Most node and element options were explained in Section 5.1.2.2, "Mesh, Geometry, Curve...". For this meshing
procedure, select a solid property, or create a solid property with the New Prop... button. If you do not have any
properties defined in your model, FEMAP automatically creates a solid property that references the active material.
The Options button controls more advanced meshing options. The Options dialog box is identical to those
described in Section 5.1.2.7, "Mesh, Geometry, Solids...". Most of the options are unimportant for hex meshing,
other than the Midside Nodes options, which are important if you are meshing with elements that have midside
nodes.
Mesh Generation
The options in this section of the dialog box control the actual meshing procedure. If you choose Surface Mesh
Only, only surface elements will be created, not solid elements on the interior. Choose Midside Nodes if you want
to create solids that have midside nodes.
If you choose Merge Nodes on Slaved Surfaces, all nodes on the surfaces that lie between sliced solids will be
merged. This should result in a single fully connected mesh. You should always use the free face and free edge dis-
play, and examine them carefully for any disconnections. In some cases, if surfaces are too far apart, nodes will fall
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5-26 Meshing
outside of the automatic merge tolerances and you could have gaps in your model. If this happens, use the Tools
commands to merge your nodes with a larger tolerance.
If you are not meshing all of your solids at once, you will have to manually merge the nodes. FEMAP only merges
nodes on the solids you are meshing. You can choose to turn off Merge Nodes on Slaved Surfaces if you want to
connect surfaces using other means (like the Mesh Connection command), or to simulate contact conditions.
In most cases FEMAP automatically chooses a mesh smoothing method that produces a good mesh. If the solid that
you are meshing has a high degree of curvature (especially with a small number of elements) and you want a more
evenly spaced mesh, or if you are getting messages that FEMAP can not produce a valid hex mesh, you might want
to try turning on Alternate Smoothing. This method also requires the meshes on the base and top surfaces be
mapped meshes - so you might have to divide your solid further before trying it. Finally, be aware that the alternate
smoothing method is significantly slower than the normal smoothing approach - but it can solve problems that are
otherwise not possible.
The figure shows a solid with three slices and the resulting hex mesh.
5.1.2.5 Mesh, Geometry, HexMesh from Elements...
HexMesh From Elements provides two ways to create a hex mesh out of mapped surface quads. A hexahedral mesh
can be created from a fully enclosed outer bound of mapped surface quads or between a bottom and top mapped
region that is connected with straight lines.
Top and Bottom:
To mesh hexahedral elements between two mapped surfaces, you will be asked to select the elements on the base of
the mesh and then the elements that form the top of the mesh. After the bottom and top of the mesh have been
defined, FEMAP will ask you if you would like to automatically match the top and bottom meshes. In most cases
FEMAP will be able to automatically match the top and bottom mesh. By saying No you will be able to choose a
node on the bottom set of elements and a matching node on the top set of elements. This will ensure the extrusion
matches the top region of elements. The last question defines how many layers of elements should be created
between the top and bottom regions.
Hint: Take advantage of any symmetry in your geometry when you are slicing. First divide your solid along
the lines of symmetry. Then you only need to further subdivide one of the symmetric pieces. When you
are done subdividing, you can either reflect the solids to recreate the entire part, or reflect the resulting
mesh.
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Mesh, Geometry, Volume... 5-27
Elements Enclosing the Volume to Hex Mesh:
For hex mesh regions that do not have straight lines that connect the top and bottom regions, you will have map
mesh all of the surfaces that enclose the volume to hex mesh.
In this case you will first select the elements that form the mapped base region. Then you will be prompted to select
all of the elements that form the remainder of the enclosing volume.
5.1.2.6 Mesh, Geometry, Volume...
... creates nodes and solid elements in a selected set of volumes. Before choosing this command, you must define
the mesh sizes using the various Mesh, Mesh Control commands.
Since this command uses a mapped meshing technique, the number of nodes/elements along opposite faces of a
volume must always be equal. Biasing can vary independently along each edge of the volume.
Hint: It is helpful to place the solids that must be manually hex meshed into their own group in order to sim-
plify the selection of surface elements. Use Group, Operations, Generate Solids.
Bottom Region
Top Region
Base Region
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5-28 Meshing
The volumes are selected using the standard entity selection dialog box. Additional meshing options are then spec-
ified using the Geometry Mesh Options dialog box.
For details, see Section 5.1.2.2, "Mesh, Geometry, Curve...".
The only options not described in this section are the Element Shape options. You can specify bricks, wedges, and
tetra elements, and the type of bias for wedges and tetras. The Bias options are explained in more detail in Section
5.2.1, "Mesh, Between...".
Examples
5.1.2.7 Mesh, Geometry, Solids...
... produces a 3-D solid tetrahedral mesh in a solid part. The solid must either have been imported from an ACIS
(*.SAT) file, a Parasolid (*.x_t), or built directly inside of FEMAP. When you select this command, if you have
only one solid in your model, FEMAP will automatically select it. If you have multiple solids, you will be
prompted to select the solids to mesh.
Hint: Volume meshing is typically only used if you have a very regular part and require a mapped mesh of
bricks and wedges. For all other solid parts, it is best to use Mesh, Geometry, Solids, or Mesh, Geome-
try, Solids from Surfaces, or Mesh, Geometry, Solids from Elements. The solid tetra mesher provides
much more flexibility and robustness than the volume mes