Leveraging CAD Models

FEA tools used to rely on neutral format such as IGES or STEP to import CAD geometries. This frequently introduced a number of issues with dirty geometries – including missing entities, holes and slivers. Today existing, native CAD geometry can be used directly, without translation to IGES or other intermediate geometry formats. ANSYS has offered native, bidirectional integration with the most popular CAD systems for more than a decade.

Not only do we import geometric entities such as bodies, faces or edges, but we also support the import of such additional attributes as materials, selections of entities and design parameters. Let’s say your CAD model has been built with dimensions. Wouldn’t it be great if you could change those dimensions directly from the FEA simulation environment without the need to open the CAD tool? That is exactly what we offer through our bidirectional integration with the major CAD systems.

The two videos below demonstrate the bidirectional links with PTC’s CREO and Siemens’ NX CAD tools. The mechanism that is demonstrated is the same, regardless of the CAD system and would apply similarly to Dassault Systèmes’ CATIA or Solidworks, as well as to Autodesk tools.

CAD models video
Watch how ANSYS interacts with the Creo CAD system to retrieve and update design parameters along with geometric entities.

CAD models video
See how ANSYS interacts with the NX CAD system to retrieve and update design parameters along with geometric entities.

When the geometry is imported, we read the parameters and expose them to the user. Once the dimensions are promoted to parameters in the Workbench environment, the user can easily change any value and automatically update the entire simulation model.

CAD parameters
CAD parameters are imported along with the geometric entities.

As loads and boundary conditions are applied on geometric entities, the full model is ready to solver after the new geometry configuration has been updated. Doing so, the user will save tremendous amount of time to perform design variations.

The simulation model is only setup once and then all geometry variations can be analyzed automatically. The user simply needs to enter the various dimension sets he wants to investigate and let ANSYS tools automatically compute all solutions.

Table of design points
Table of design points allows definition of all design variables to be computed.