How to Create an FE Model


What is an FE Model?

An FE model brings together all of the necessary elements for the part to be analyzed, whether in simulation, optimization, or further analysis. An FE model is built up of Components and Connectors. Each component contains an FE Mesh and Attributes, while connectors are made up of Tie Constraints, FE Lattice Connectors, or Thermal Bonded Contacts that allow the analysis of multiple FE Components. An FE Model does not need a connector to run if it only has one FE Mesh. If it has multiple FE Components, there will always be one less connector compared to the total number of FE Components.


Note: Download the example file to follow along. 

How to Create an FE Model

1. Define a Material

The FE Model needs a Material block in order to assign properties to the part. You can choose from the list of Sample Materials (found in the Design Analysis Toolkit) or build your own Isotropic or Orthotropic Material. 


For this example, add the Isotropic Material block. Add an Isotropic Material Property by double-clicking in the Property input. Add the Isotropic Linear Elastic Property and enter the following values:

  • Young's modulus: 2.21e+13 Pa
  • Poisson's ratio: 0.3


2. Add an FE Component and Material Attributes

This step assigns the material properties to the mesh. Attributes define the material, thickness, frame, and region it occurs in. There are three types of Attributes that can be chosen: FE Solid, FE Beam, and FE Shell. Each type allows different elements to be chosen. 

Add an FE Component block and insert your FE Mesh into the Mesh input (from this tutorial). Double click in the Attributes input and add an FE Solid Attribute. Drag in the Material from the last step into the Material input. 


3. Create an FE Model 

The last step is to add an FE Model block. In this example, we are using only one Component, so we don't need to expand the Component list. Simply drag and insert the FE Component from the last step into the Component input. For this example, we will be leaving the Connectors empty. 



Move on to the next article in this series and learn how to select regions of an FE Mesh

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