Exporting FE data


nTop Platform has several different ways of exporting FE data to various CAE software. This article lists the options available and provides an example file at the end. Depending on the need, three different blocks can be used to export different FE information and are shown below for reference.

The Export FE Mesh block will export an FE Mesh object containing the mesh information only. Optionally, a list of FE Sets (e.g., FE Boundary or FE Region) may be provided and, if supported by the target format, will be translated. Providing these sets can sometimes be useful in downstream applications when applying boundary conditions.

Export FE Mesh: Exports the FE Mesh only.

The Export FE Model block will export an FE Model object, which is an FE Mesh plus material properties. Since the data in this block needs a consistent unit system, a Unit System object is required in the "Unit system" input so that data is consistently translated. Like before, an optional list of FE Sets is available.

Export FE Model: Exports the FE Model (FE Mesh plus material properties).

The Export Static Analysis block will export a complete analysis model that may have been built in nTop Platform, including mesh, material properties, and boundary conditions. The example below shows the block for exporting a static analysis. Blocks are also available for other analysis types including modal and thermal.

Export Static Analysis: Exports FE Model plus boundary conditions.


The specific file formats, extensions, and any relevant notes are provided in the table below for reference.

File Type File Extension Notes
Abaqus .inp  Format supports node, element, face, and edge sets.
ANSYS Mechanical .cdb Format only supports node and element sets.
ANSYS Fluent .msh Only mesh export is currently supported.
LS-DYNA .k  
Nastran .bdf  
Patran .pat  
Universal File Format .unv  

A Note on Sets

The FE Sets (e.g., FE Boundary and FE Region) created in nTop Platform can be made of up nodes, elements, edges, or faces, but only certain target formats support all of these. In general, the Abaqus .inp format is very robust and well-supported and even works well when translated into other tools including ANSYS Workbench using the "External Model" system. If applicable, this format is generally recommended when communicating FE data for mechanical applications.

Take a look at the example file below to see how each of these blocks can export the data you need.



 Download the File

Example File

Labels: analysis mesh simulation fea export fe ansys nastran abaqus cae 
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