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Getting Started with

About this document

This Quick Start Guide aims to provide an overview of ANSA's interface and
basic operations. A number of basic functions are described, oriented to
specific tasks, to help you get started.

Copyright 2013 BETA CAE Systems S.A. All rights reserved

Who is this guide for?

This guide is ideal for the user that encounters ANSA for the first time. For the
engineer who is familiar with CAE terminology, but is not familiar with ANSA's
interface. If you want to find your way around ANSA's interface, but don't know
quite where to start, this guide will familiarize you with some of the basic
window panels of ANSA's interface.

Getting Started with ANSA

Copyright 2013 BETA CAE Systems S.A. All rights reserved

Overview
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Graphical User Interface Overview


View operations using the mouse
View operations using a 3D mouse device
View operations using the keyboard
Selecting items with the mouse
Changing between discipline modules
Drag and drop operations using the graphic area
Acquiring help
Using the search engine to access any function
Using the database browser to access any entity
Selection lists
Open an ANSA database/Open CAD format files directly in ANSA
Geometric Entities
Main terms of MESH module
Entities display in different menus
Geometry Cleanup
Extracting middle surface
Meshing
Quality Checking
Improving Mesh
Create/define connections- Assembly
Volume Meshing
Surface to volume mesh extraction (Structured mesh)
Volume mesh improvement
Deck preparation
Output for analysis

Getting Started with ANSA

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1. Graphical User Interface Overview


Containers

Tools

Utilities

Search Engine

Assembly

Database Browser
and Selection Lists

Discipline Modules

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Modules Buttons

Guiding messages

ANSA Info Window


Getting Started with ANSA

Feature Selection

Visibility

Focus

Faces Draw

Drawing Styles

Box Draw

Extra options
may become
active here for
each function

Auxiliaries
4

Expand arrow for hidden toolbars. Press this


button to see more toolbars.

Expand arrow for hidden toolbar options. Press


this button to see more toolbar options.

Copyright 2013 BETA CAE Systems S.A. All rights reserved

Expand arrow for hidden functions. Press this


flag button for more functions.

Expand arrow for hidden function options.


Press this button to see more function options.

Getting Started with ANSA

2. View operations using the mouse


Rotating

Panning

Zooming

Copyright 2013 BETA CAE Systems S.A. All rights reserved

Getting Started with ANSA

Copyright 2013 BETA CAE Systems S.A. All rights reserved

Making right-click on any toolbar, the option Views can be activated that makes visible
this toolbar. It mainly supports the F view buttons and a new one called Zoom Area.
These will aid the use of devices with no keyboard.

Copyright 2013 BETA CAE Systems S.A. All rights reserved

Zoom by a window is now supported under the Rectangle Zoom option. The area
included in the selection-box will be fitted to the screen.

The Left mouse button is used to:


Activate menu buttons.
Select entities.

Copyright 2013 BETA CAE Systems S.A. All rights reserved

The Middle mouse button/mouse Wheel is used to:


Confirm selections.
Deactivate a function.
Zoom in/out.
The Middle mouse button is also used, in conjunction with the Shift
key, to temporarily expand a window. Any window with a scrollbar
can be expanded temporarily, in order to increase the viewable area
of the window. Hold the Shift key, middle click anywhere inside the
window and drag towards the required expansion direction.
The Middle mouse button is also used to roll-up a window without
closing it. Middle click anywhere on the title bar of a window and
the window will roll-up, leaving only its titlebar visible.
The Right mouse button is used to:
Perform the opposite action of the Left mouse button (i.e.
select/deselect, insert/delete, etc.).
Reapply the last function to other entities as well.
Deactivate a function.
Getting Started with ANSA

3. View operations using a 3D mouse device

Copyright 2013 BETA CAE Systems S.A. All rights reserved

The complete family of 3Dconnexion products is supported. Depending on the 3D mouse


device, there are a number of predefined 3DxWare profiles available to download and use
with ANSA.

Getting Started with ANSA

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4. View operations using the keyboard

Standard views

Step rotations

Copyright 2013 BETA CAE Systems S.A. All rights reserved

Getting Started with ANSA

11

4. View operations using the keyboard

Select ALL visible entities on the screen

Copyright 2013 BETA CAE Systems S.A. All rights reserved

Deselect ALL visible entities on the screen

Panning

Getting Started with ANSA

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5. Selecting items with the mouse


Selecting single items

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Box selection

Getting Started with ANSA

13

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Polygon area selection

Getting Started with ANSA


14

6. Changing between discipline modules

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Direct interoperability between the various disciplines is a distinct characteristic of ANSA.


Most FE entities are transferred and converted automatically when switching between
modules.

Getting Started with ANSA

15

TOPO Menu
In this menu the user can create, modify and clean up geometry.

Copyright 2013 BETA CAE Systems S.A. All rights reserved

Hot Points: These functions are used to create or delete Hot


Points or Weld Spots.
CONS:
Functions that are applied on CONS (Curves ON
Surfaces).
Faces:

Functions to create or modify Faces.

Surfaces:

Functions that create Faces and modify Surfaces.

Curves:

Functions to create 3D Curves.

Points:

Functions to create 3D Points.

Auxiliaries: Functions to create Working Planes in order to draw


in 2D mode.
Getting Started with ANSA

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MESH Menu
In the MESH menu the user can create, modify and fix
surface mesh.
Hot points: Functions to insert or remove Hot Points or
Weld Spots.
Perimeters: Functions to assign Perimeter nodes.

Macros:

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Grids:

Operations to modify Macro Areas, manually or


automatically, in order to improve their shape for
better surface meshing.
Manual operations on grids (move and paste).

Mesh Generation: Surface meshing algorithms.

Shell Mesh: Quality improvement functions (Reshape, Recons,


Smooth and Fix Qual) and other operations on
surface Mesh.
Elements: Manual operations on elements and Surface
Wrapping tool.
Getting Started with ANSA

17

VOLUME MESH Menu

Volumes: Volume definition.


Unstructured Mesh: Mesh Generation which
requires the definition of a closed Volume
entity.

Copyright 2013 BETA CAE Systems S.A. All rights reserved

Structured Mesh: Mesh Generation where the


volume is defined automatically when the
elements are created.
Improve: Quality check and improvement functions
for ANSA generated and FE-Model solid
elements.
Tools:

Extra tools to create volume mesh.

Getting Started with ANSA

18

7. Drag and drop operations using the graphics area

Copyright 2013 BETA CAE Systems S.A. All rights reserved

Supported files can be dragged and dropped in the drawing area of ANSA. Drag and
drop a supported file in the drawing area of ANSA and the file will open automatically.
Merging multiple files in ANSA can also be performed with drag and drop operations.
Simply select files from a file browser and then drag and drop them to the drawing
area of ANSA. The "Merge Parameters" window will then pop up.

Getting Started with ANSA

19

Copyright 2013 BETA CAE Systems S.A. All rights reserved

The opposite functionality is also supported. Assume you have a model read in ANSA. If
you drag the drawing area using your left-mouse button and drop it to your desktop, an
image file of the drawing area will automatically be created and saved. The image file
will be named "AnsaDropImage" and will be available in the .png format.

An image file can also be set as a background image of the drawing area of ANSA. Drag
an image file from your desktop or from a file manager and drop it to the drawing area.
The image will be set automatically as the background of the drawing area. It can later
be removed by Windows>Settings>GUI settings>[Colors]> Remove background image.
Getting Started with ANSA

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8. Acquiring help
It is very easy and user-friendly to acquire help in ANSA. Help is available for every
ANSA function through the "ANSA online help". In order to obtain information about
a particular ANSA function, the user can click on a function button while holding the
Ctrl key. The "Help Window" will then display a detailed 'sequence of operations'
description for that particular function.

Copyright 2013 BETA CAE Systems S.A. All rights reserved

Another way to access the "ANSA online help" is through Help>[Help Window].

Note that the "Help Window" is independent of the main ANSA window and can
remain open while the user works and executes functions.
Getting Started with ANSA

21

Copyright 2013 BETA CAE Systems S.A. All rights reserved

Another way to access the online help is to press CTRL+ Left Click on the button of the
function you need more information about.

CTRL +

Getting Started with ANSA

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9. Using the search engine to access any function

Copyright 2013 BETA CAE Systems S.A. All rights reserved

The Search Engine has similar functionality with what is already familiar from the
popular web search engines. Thus, the Search Engine allows to search and invoke
ANSA functions, model data and even loaded script functions. It searches and
gives results in real-time as the user types. The exact name of the ANSA function is
not required, descriptive words can also be used instead. The "Search Engine" tool
'adapts' and 'learns' given usage time. Hence, the most commonly-used functions
will appear at the top of the results, by just typing two or three characters.

Getting Started with ANSA

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Copyright 2013 BETA CAE Systems S.A. All rights reserved

Note that the Search Engine is always focused, so that the user can start typing at
any point, without having to place the mouse cursor over the search field.
By clicking on the small arrow button on the right side of the edit field, a list with
the most recent functions that were searched and executed, is unveiled. Thus,
commonly-used functions can also be accessed very quickly through this drop
down list.

By clicking on the small icon on the right side of the edit field, the settings of the
Search Engine come up.

Getting Started with ANSA

24

Copyright 2013 BETA CAE Systems S.A. All rights reserved

10. Using the Database browser to access any entity


The Database Browser is a utility, which allows
a direct overview of the model's entities, their
visibility control, management and
modification. In the Database Browser, all the
entities of a model are listed in an organized
manner, maintaining the solver grouping for all
deck entities. Visibility-control flags exist in
order to toggle the visibility of entities on and
off. The column named "Number" displays the
total number of entities of each category and
type. You can directly focus on entity
categories and types through the Show, Hide
and Show Only options of the right mousebutton menu. Moreover, ANSA entities such as
GEOMETRY, ANSAPARTs, CONNECTIONs,
CROSS, etc., also appear in the Database
Browser.

Getting Started with ANSA

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Copyright 2013 BETA CAE Systems S.A. All rights reserved

Creation of new entities from within the


Database browser. Right-click anywhere
on the empty space of the Database
browser to see the menu of options.
The most common entities are listed.
For any other entity, just click on the
last option named "Other ...".

Getting Started with ANSA

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11. Selection lists

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The Database Browser can also be used to visually


identify or navigate through model entities on a single
entity-basis through the Selection lists. To open the
Selection list for any of the items listed in the Database
Browser, double click on its entry or select the Open
option of the right mouse-button menu. As previously
mentioned, the Selection lists can be used to visually
identify entities on the drawing area, or the other way
round, to select entities from the drawing area in order
to identify them in the list.
Selecting items/entities from the Selection list window.
The selection of listed items is done using the left
mouse-button. Selected items are marked in black. Left
click and drag selects multiple sequential entries. If a
second item has to be selected, press Ctrl and use the
left mouse-button. Selecting one entry and then
pressing Shift and another entry simultaneously results
in the selection of all the in-between entries. The
number of selected entries appears at the bottom of
the Selection list window.
Getting Started with ANSA

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Copyright 2013 BETA CAE Systems S.A. All rights reserved

Activating the "Pick" button allows for


entities to be picked from the drawing area.
The picked entities will then be marked as
selected items in the selection list.
Activating the "Pick" button also activates
the "Highlight" button.

Activating the "Highlight" button


allows for selected list items to be
highlighted on the drawing area. The
feature lines of the corresponding
entities will be highlighted on the
drawing area.

Getting Started with ANSA

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Copyright 2013 BETA CAE Systems S.A. All rights reserved

The previously mentioned, Show,


Hide and Show Only operators are
available for all lists through the
right mouse-button options. The
chosen operation is applied only on
the selected entries of the list.

Getting Started with ANSA

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12. Open an ANSA database / Open CAD format files directly in ANSA
1

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Getting Started with ANSA

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13. Geometric Entities


The CAD entities used in ANSA are described in this chapter. The Geometry flag controls
the visibility of all geometric entities:
3D- point: These are points in 3D space that are not
connected to the surface model. The visibility of 3D
Points is controlled by the Points flag.

Copyright 2013 BETA CAE Systems S.A. All rights reserved

3D- curve: These are curves in 3D space. 3D Curves are not


connected to the surfaces on which meshing will take place.
However they are very useful for the creation or modification
of existing geometry, as they can be used to create surface
models from wire-frame models or in general to correct or
modify surface geometry. They appear as magenta lines and
their visibility is controlled by the Curves flag.
Hot Points: These are the nodes that appear on CONS and 3D
Curves representing their end points. Hot Points are
symbolized as small crosses in magenta and their visibility is
controlled by the Hot Points flag.

Getting Started with ANSA

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Surface: These are surfaces in 3D space. A surface is only visible at


the stage of its creation. It is used to create Faces.

Face: They are surfaces in 3D space that always lay on a Surface


entity and they have specific boundaries called CONS (Curve ON
Surface). The positive side of a Face is colored in gray and the
negative in yellow. Their visibility is controlled by the corresponding
flag button.

Copyright 2013 BETA CAE Systems S.A. All rights reserved

CONS are curves in 3D space, laying always on a Surface (Curve


ON Surface). They appear in four different colors:
- red if they are single free boundaries of a Face or inner perimeter
of a Face (hole).
- yellow if they are the common boundaries of two Faces (double
CONS) .

Getting Started with ANSA

32

- cyan if they are the common boundaries of three or more Faces


(triple or more CONS).

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- orange when a double CONS has been joined in order to create a


common Macro Area in the MESH menu in the TOPO menu. Their
visibility is controlled as followed:

A more handy way to deal with Faces is to use the Crosshatches.


These appear as green dashed lines and represent the
isoparametrics of the Surface on which the Face lays. A Face can be
selected by its Crosshatch. In case that a Face is frozen (by the
Freeze function), its crosshatch is colored in blue.

Getting Started with ANSA

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14. Main terms of MESH module


Hot Points: Hot Points are fixed mesh nodes on the Macro Area
Perimeters. They correspond to the CONSs Hot Points of TOPO
menu. Hot Points may be used to improve the morphology of a
Macro Area and the quality of the shell mesh. They are
displayed as white dots and their visibility is controlled by the
Perimeters POINTs button.

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Perimeter Grids: The Perimeter Grids are mesh nodes defined


automatically by the assigned to the Perimeter Segment,
element length, or they are defined by a user specified number.
These nodes are presented as magenta crosses. Their visibility
is dependent on the visibility of the Perimeters POINTs button.

Getting Started with ANSA

34

Grids: These are the nodes that lie inside the Macro Areas and are
generated by ANSA during meshing. These nodes are presented as
red crosses and their visibility is controlled by the Grids button.

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The Macro Area Perimeters or Perimeter Segments are the


boundary curves of the Macro Areas. A Perimeter Segment is the
discretized description of the underlying 3D CAD geometry and
has its limits defined by Hot Points.

Macro Areas or Macros initially correspond to the geometry's


Faces. The visibility of Macro Areas and of all the geometric
entities (curves, points etc.) is controlled by the Geom. button in
the visibility toolbar. The Macro Areas are visible only if the
Macros visibility button is active.

Getting Started with ANSA

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15. Entities display in different Menus


TOPO Menu

MESH Menu
Shown as

Hot Point
Red, yellow cyan
CONS

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Face

Hot Point
Perimeter Segment

Macro Area (Macros)

Orange CONS

Not shown

Not shown

Grid

Not shown

Nodes

Getting Started with ANSA

36

16. Geometry cleanup


Manually heal geometry using a combination of the following functions. A repeated
pattern of combined actions may be required, in order to fix some persistent topological
errors.

Copyright 2013 BETA CAE Systems S.A. All rights reserved

Delete selected hot points.


Additional options become
active in the "Options List"
window.
Create/Define new faces.
Specify the type of surface for
the new face to be created:
EXISTING: already underlying
surface
PLANAR: new planar surface.
Underlying surface will be
automatically created
FITTED: new surface that will
"fit" on the selected CONS
COONS: new multi-patch
surface, using the Coons
interpolation principal
Getting Started with ANSA

Release Hot Points that lie


on the common
boundaries of two or more
faces. As a result, the
topological description of
the faces will change.

Delete selected faces. The


"Feature Selection" toolbar
becomes active, in order to
assist with the selection of
the faces to be deleted.

37

Copyright 2013 BETA CAE Systems S.A. All rights reserved

Note!!! To create a new face, a property has to be defined. In order to define the
property, a material from the Material Data Base has to be chosen. Each solver
contains its own materials.
Paste together two or
more CONS segments that
lie close to each other.
Select two or more chains
of CONS to paste together.

Fill holes on faces. The holes can


be of any shape. The "Fill Hole
Parameters" window pops up, in
order to assist with the selection
of holes to be filled.

Cut existing faces. Two hot


points must exist at the
positions where the face
needs to be cut. Additional
options become active in the
"Options List" window.

Automatically create topological


conditions between selected
adjacent CONS. Additional
options become active in the
"Options List" window.

Define a new multi-patch


surface, using the Coons
interpolation principal. This is
an easy way to define a new
surface by its boundary CONS
segments or boundary curves.

Set a uniform orientation


direction of visible or selected
faces.

Getting Started with ANSA

38

Copyright 2013 BETA CAE Systems S.A. All rights reserved

Automatically locate problems on geometry. The "Check Geometry Options" window


pops up. Results are reported as a list of errors after the check is complete. An automatic
"Fix" function is available on the right mouse click.

Getting Started with ANSA

39

17. Extracting middle surface


There are five options available for the Mid. Surface function.
Skin Option
This function turns the solid description of a thin part into a thin shell description
by isolating the outer or inner skin of the solid description. It refers to stamped
parts.
Solid descriptions with

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calculated thickness greater


than this value, will not be
accepted for treatment.

Getting Started with ANSA

40

Casting Option
This completely automatic function is used to create FE shell elements that represent
the middle skin of a solid description. It refers to casted parts.
Choose the element type for
the FE mesh.

Give the minimum thickness of


the solid description.

Copyright 2013 BETA CAE Systems S.A. All rights reserved

Define the Target element


length

Getting Started with ANSA

41

Check Middle Surface


This function applies checks about the compatibility of a solid geometry or FE
representation and the middle representation.
Percentage of strictness.

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Check Type according to


the case is being checked.

Checks window opens with the


check results categorized
according to the type of errors.

Getting Started with ANSA

42

Calculate Thickness
This function calculates the thickness on the nodes of the elements, that comprise the
middle surface representation of a solid geometry, by calculating the distance of the
nodes from the surfaces of the solid geometry.

Copyright 2013 BETA CAE Systems S.A. All rights reserved

"Maximum Thickness"
value that will be defined
to the nodes. Choose a
value near the actual
maximum thickness of
the solid geometric
description.

Select, among the available


Check Types, the one that
corresponds to the entities
representing the solid
model and the middle
surface of it.

Welding

This function turns the solid description of a group of thin parts into thin shell
descriptions as Mid.Surface [Skin] but afterwards it also connects the ones that are
near by extending the Faces and applying Topology.

Getting Started with ANSA

43

18. Meshing
Before starting with meshing the model the Mesh Parameters have to be set. These
parameters can be opened through Utilities> Mesh Parameters where the user can
define the parameters for the Reconstruction, Reshape and Fix functions.
Basic Tab

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Defines the element length


used by the reconstruct
function.
The 'Freeze' section has
the purpose of not
allowing (during
reconstruction) the
renumbering or the
movement of nodes that
lie on free edges (Single
Bounds) and on edges
common to three or more
elements (Triple Bounds).
Getting Started with ANSA

The Distortion distance and


angle fields gives the ability
to control how close to the
original CAD surface shall be
the created shell grids.
These values influence the
mesh result especially at
curved perimeters like
Fillets and Holes.

'Remove triangles from' prevents


from creating undesired trias on
spots, internal single bounds or
feature lines.
44

Perimeters Tab
The Perimeters' tab provides the feature lines treatment during reconstruction on FEM.

Copyright 2013 BETA CAE Systems S.A. All rights reserved

The angle between the


normals of two adjacent
elements.
If the flag button is
activated, as soon as the
user has specified the
area (Visible or Select) for
Reconstruction or
Smoothing, is able to
select Edges or Nodes
('Selection Mode'
window) so as to
determine the feature
lines (green) and the
frozen nodes (yellow).
Getting Started with ANSA

The angle between two


consecutive element
edges.

45

Features and Fix Quality Tab


The Features' Tab, allows to control which perimeters have to be joined and which to be
kept. The 'Fix Quality' tab provides functions to automatically correct elements that
violate the quality criteria specified in F11. To activate each feature you have check it as
shown in the image below.

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Controls the way fillets


will be detected and
treated. The ranges for
min and max radius and
width and the desired
number of rows have to
be filled in to the
respective fields.

Controls the way holes


will be detected and
treated. The arrow
buttons '<' and '>' allow
to add or remove more
hole zones.

Controls the way


flanges will be detected
and treated.
Controls the way tubes
will be detected and
treated.

Check to activate.

The '+' and '-' buttons allow to add or remove rules for some treatments.
Getting Started with ANSA

46

Copyright 2013 BETA CAE Systems S.A. All rights reserved

Mesh Generation
Mesh using the free
meshing algorithm, which
takes into account the
meshing parameters of
the "Mesh Parameters"
window panel. This
algorithm is considered a
more robust algorithm to
be used on Macro areas,
which remain unmeshed.
Use when all other
algorithms fail to mesh a
Macro area.
Mesh using the map-meshing method. This
algorithm is used for structured mesh, as it
creates quadrilateral elements by default. It
is highly suggested to apply this algorithm
on quadrilateral-shaped Macro Areas,
which have the same number of nodes on
their opposite sides.
Getting Started with ANSA

The CFD algorithm meshes


with variable element
length, depending on the
local curvature of the
underlying CAD surface,
under tight user-controlled
specifications.

The Advancing Front meshing method


generates elements starting to build-up
from the boundaries of a Macro-Area.
Recommended for uniform size mesh.

47

Copyright 2013 BETA CAE Systems S.A. All rights reserved

Mesh Generation
Repeat the meshing
procedure on Macro Areas
that were previously meshed,
but for some reason their
mesh was accidentally
erased.

The spot-mesh algorithm


was initially introduced for
meshing Macro areas that
have 'weld spot' nodes on
their surface. However,
nowadays it is also
recommended for mixed
mesh (mixed element
types). This algorithm is
taking into account the
meshing parameters of the
"Mesh Parameters"
window panel.

Delete the mesh of selected


or visible Macro areas.

Mesh Macro Areas using the


STL meshing algorithm,
where the element quality is
not very important, but an
exact geometry
representation is needed.

Getting Started with ANSA

48

Mesh Generation
Use the gradual-meshing algorithm to
mesh Macro Areas, which have a
gradually-varying mesh density to their
boundary nodes. The resulting mesh is
of varying density. This algorithm was
recommended in the past for variable
size mesh, but is now actually surpassed
by the CFD meshing algorithm.

Copyright 2013 BETA CAE Systems S.A. All rights reserved

"Options List" window panel. (The options listed in this panel may vary for each
algorithm.) An important Parameter to keep an eye on here and check whether it is set
correctly, is the "Element type":
mixed

Getting Started with ANSA

quad

tria

ortho tria

49

19. Quality checking


1. Select and set the respective quality criteria for the corresponding elements to
perform the Quality Checks (or press F11).

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2. Activate the HIDDEN view mode.

Visible elements that exceed the defined


quality criteria values are colored according to
the criterion they violate.
Activate the status button of the
respective Quality definition, type the
Threshold values and select one of
the available definitions for each
criterion.
Getting Started with ANSA

50

Copyright 2013 BETA CAE Systems S.A. All rights reserved

On the left of the screen the number of the visible shell and solid
elements (per type and total) is displayed. Furthermore in the
same list we can get information about the Unmeshed Macros. In
the Right Mouse Button Menu we can control the visibility of
these Macros and also mesh these by selecting the Fix option.

A legend appears on the right in the


graphics area describing the criterion
for each color. You can
activate/deactivate each criterion by
left-clicking on the criterion. With rightclicking you can choose to hide all
inactive criteria.

20. Improving Mesh


To correct the elements that exceed the defined quality criteria values to perform
mesh- improving actions such as:

Copyright 2013 BETA CAE Systems S.A. All rights reserved

Re-meshing according to
threshold values of selected
Quality Criteria and
according to meshing
parameters defined in the
Mesh Parameters window.

Apply 'smoothing' on already


meshed Macro-areas
(geometry) or on FE-model
shell mesh. This function
respects the Mesh
Parameters regarding
perimeters' definition and
handling.

Getting Started with ANSA

Additional options for each function become


active in the "Options List" window panel as soon
as you activate the function.

Improve the quality of


meshed Macro-areas and FEmodel shell mesh according
to selected Quality Criteria.

This function improves the


quality of either meshed
Macro-areas or FE shell
mesh by performing a
combination of certain
predefined actions:
- Join Perimeters
- Insert or Delete Hot Points
- Reconstruct the mesh
- Create quad zones around
holes based on predefined
rules

52

Copyright 2013 BETA CAE Systems S.A. All rights reserved

Flatten the shape of a


meshed Macro-area or FEsurface according to a given
'edge angle limit'. This will
be the maximum angle of
features that will occur.

In case violating elements remain after the previous mesh-improving actions they
can to be fixed manually. There are many functions for these corrections like the
following:
- Grids > Move
> Align
- Elements > Split
> Join
> Swap
Manually correction methods can be found in ANSAs tutorials and documents.

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53

21. Create/define connections (welds)- Assembly

Copyright 2013 BETA CAE Systems S.A. All rights reserved

The term assembly in ANSA involves numerous actions that will finally lead to the
creation of an inter-connected structure.

Define Connections: Define


connection points (welds). A
different window panel will
pop-up, depending on your
selection:
- [AUTO]
- [MANUAL]
- [FLANGES]
- [HOLES]

Getting Started with ANSA

[MANUAL]

54

Copyright 2013 BETA CAE Systems S.A. All rights reserved

Connection Manager: Select, identify and organize connection entities while also
create mesh dependent and mesh independent representations. The selection of
connection entities is easily performed using the "Connection Selection Assistant"
window panel.

Connection Selection Assistant


Getting Started with ANSA

55

Copyright 2013 BETA CAE Systems S.A. All rights reserved

Template manager: The Template manager is used to distribute the connections of


the model into different scenarios.

Getting Started with ANSA

56

Convert: This function turns a number of selected 3Dpoints, circle centers or Weld Points into Spotweld
Points, Bolts or Gum Drops (magenta circles) according
to the preferred selection. These connection points may
be used for the automatic definition and management
of connection elements.

Copyright 2013 BETA CAE Systems S.A. All rights reserved

The Remove Double function can identify


multiple defined connection entities
using as criteria:
- the position,
- the connectivity and
- the connection type.

Getting Started with ANSA

57

22. Volume Meshing


All the functionality available for the handling and creation of solid elements is located
under the MESH > VOLUME and under the separate Volume Mesh module.

Copyright 2013 BETA CAE Systems S.A. All rights reserved

Automatically recognize and define


multiple volumes. The geometry
needs to be meshed, in order for
this function to work.

Valid Dependent Volumes and Sub-Volumes: detects all and


only the valid closed volumes and their sub-volumes.
Independent Volume paths with zero-thickness walls: detects
unconnected areas of the model.
Independent Volume paths without zero- thickness walls:
detects unconnected closed areas of the model.
Getting Started with ANSA

58

Create volume mesh using UNSTRUCTURED MESH algorithms


like Tetra Rapid, Tetra FEM, Tetra CFD, Hexa Interior and Hexa
Poly. Additional options become active in the "Options List"
window panel depending on your selection.

Define the parameters for volume


meshing. The "Fix Quality" parameters for
solid elements are also listed in this tab.

Copyright 2013 BETA CAE Systems S.A. All rights reserved

As for shell meshing, ANSA


provides several criteria for
checking the quality of FE solid
elements. These criteria can be
defined in the "Solids" tab. The
values defined here, will also be
taken into consideration by the
functions performing Volume
Mesh improvement.

Getting Started with ANSA

59

23. Surface to volume mesh extraction (Structured mesh)

Copyright 2013 BETA CAE Systems S.A. All rights reserved

ANSA provides the ability to extract a volume mesh from a surface mesh of one or
more selected meshed Macro Areas, or FE model, tria and quad shell elements. It
creates volume meshes with hexahedral and pentahedral (prism) first and/or second
order elements under three semi-automatic modes, surface to volume mesh
extraction (Translate), volume node interpolation between bounding surface meshes
(Map) and hexa block meshing (HEXBLOCK).
This function generates
volumes of Hexa and/or
Penta elements on multiple
structures with similar
geometry and shell mesh,
by leading a MASTER set
of shells towards a SLAVE
set.

Getting Started with ANSA

This function is used to


generate Pure Hexa mesh
based on Boxes.

This function generates a volume of Hexa and/or Penta


elements from the shell mesh of a number of selected
meshed Macro Areas or FE-Model elements and solid
facets. The shell elements are extruded by means of a
translation vector to create volume elements.

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24. Volume mesh improvement

Copyright 2013 BETA CAE Systems S.A. All rights reserved

A selection of functions to improve the volume mesh (solid elements):


Fix Quality: Improve the
quality of solid elements
based on selected Quality
Criteria. It takes into
consideration the threshold
values for solids, defined in
the Quality Criteria (F11)
window panel. The same
options become active also in
the "Options List" window
panel.
Reconstruct: Apply reconstruction on solid elements, taking
into consideration only the user-defined parameters of the
"Options List" window. In case the [Violating] option is
chosen, the function focuses on visible elements, which
violate the predefined quality criterions of the Quality
Criteria (F11) window panel.
Getting Started with ANSA

Smooth: Apply smoothing on


Tetra, Pyramid, Penta and Hexa
elements. The "Freeze volume
skin" option prevents the nodes
from moving along the
corresponding perimeters. If the
"Freeze volume skin" option is
disabled, movement of nodes may
take place along these perimeters.
In case the [Violating] option is
chosen, the function focuses on
elements, which violate several
predefined quality criterions of
the Quality Criteria (F11) window
panel.

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25. Deck preparation

Copyright 2013 BETA CAE Systems S.A. All rights reserved

ANSA performs a series of internal checks to the validity of input values within entity
cards. The CHECK drop menu of each DECK is set in alphabetical order, separated in
three main sections: The Checks Manager, the general checks (that are available for
each DECK) and the special checks section, that depends on the current DECK.
Application of most of the available checks in ANSA involves the interface of the Checks
Manager. The Checks Manager is a tool that performs multiple checks in one go, with
the use of templates.

Getting Started with ANSA

62

Copyright 2013 BETA CAE Systems S.A. All rights reserved

With the Utilities> Deck Info option you can generate a report page which lists detailed,
quantitative and statistical information about the Model, Shell and Solid properties of
the FE-model. Information is available for visible or selected entities, or the whole
database. The available information can be output in text, csv or html format including
also a JPG image of the FE-model.

Getting Started with ANSA

63

26. Output for analysis

Copyright 2013 BETA CAE Systems S.A. All rights reserved

The last stage in the build-up process of an FE model is the generation of a solver file.
The format of each solver file depends on the corresponding solver. Concerning Task
Manager, a solver file can be produced with the aid of the File Output task item.

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64