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Chapter Two

Simulation Basics

Simulation Basics

Chapter Overview

In this chapter, the basics of using Simulation to perform


analyses will be covered, which include:
The Simulation GUI and Operation
Introduction to the Simulation Wizard
Basic Analysis Procedure

The capabilities described in this section are generally


applicable to the ANSYS DesignSpace Entra licenses and
above, unless explicitly noted with the lower-left hand
table.

ANSYS License
DesignSpace Entra
DesignSpace
Professional
Structural
Mechanical/Multiphysics

Availability
x
x
x
x
x

ANSYS Workbench Simulation

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Simulation Basics

A. Launching Simulation
Recall that there are two ways of running Simulation:
Configured from within ANSYS Workbench

or directly from a supported CAD system

Model shown is from a sample Solid Edge assembly.

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Simulation Interface
The components of the user interface are shown below:
Workbench Tabs
Menus

Toolbars

Tree Outline

Details View

Graphics Window

Simulation
Wizard

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Short descriptions of each component are covered next

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Simulation Basics

GUI Menus

The menus provide much of the functionality present in


Simulation. Covering each menu item may be tedious, so
only the more commonly used menu items are covered
below:
The title bar lists the currently active ANSYS license
File > Save to save the .dsdb Simulation database
File > Clean to delete mesh and/or results from database
Edit > Select All to select all current entities in the window
Units to change units on-the-fly
Tools > Options to customize settings and options
Help > ANSYS Simulation Help to invoke documentation

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GUI Toolbars

There are four sets of toolbars to provide users quick access


to functionality also found in the menus.

Standard Toolbar
Graphics Toolbar
Named Selection Toolbar
Context Toolbar

The toolbars can be repositioned anywhere on the top of the


Simulation window
The Context toolbar, as will be illustrated later, will change,
depending on what branch is active in the Outline tree.

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Tooltips appear if the cursor is placed over the toolbar button


A Unit Conversion toolbar is also available (not shown)

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Simulation Basics

GUI Toolbars

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New or Open .dsdb

Save .dsdb

Bring up Simulation Wizard

Solve Model

Capture Snapshot

The Graphics toolbar is used very often:

Select mode

Select entities

Select Adjacent

Graphics Manipulation

Fit All

Wireframe

Viewports

The left mouse button can be either in selection mode or


graphics manipulation mode. The above toolbar buttons
grouped as select entities and graphics manipulation
control the left-mouse button behavior.
The selection of entities of the CAD geometry can be done
either by individual selection or by box-selection. This is
controlled by the Select Mode icon

ANSYS Workbench Simulation

The Standard toolbar is shown below:

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Simulation Basics

GUI Outline Tree


The Outline Tree provides an easy way of
organizing the model, materials, mesh,
loads, and results for the analysis
The Model branch contains the input
data required for the analysis
The four main sections of the Model
branch include Geometry, Contact
(if present), Mesh, and Environment.
The Environment branch contains the
loads as well as the Solution branch,
which holds results.
Other branches (not covered here) are
also available.

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GUI Outline Tree

The Outline Tree shows icons for each branch, along with a
status symbol. Examples of the status symbols are below:
Checkmark indicates branch is fully defined/OK
Question mark indicates item has incomplete data (need input)
Lightning bolt indicates solving is required
Exclamation mark means problem exists1
X means that item is suppressed (will not be solved)
Transparent checkmark means body or part is hidden
Green lightning bolt indicates item is currently being
evaluated
Minus sign means that mapped face meshing failed
Becoming familiar with the basic status symbols allows users to
debug Simulation problems quickly.

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GUI Details View


The Details View provides a means of
inputting data. The contents will change,
depending on branch selected.
White field: shows current input data
Data in white text field is editable

Gray (or Red) field: shows informative data


Data in gray fields cannot be modified.

Yellow field: incomplete input data


Data in yellow fields indicates missing
information.

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GUI Graphics Window

The Graphics Window shows the geometry and results. It


can also provide worksheet (tabular) listings, the HTML
report, and a Print Preview option.

The Job Status tab provides


information on jobs being
solved remotely.

Geometry Tab

Worksheet Tab

The remote solve capability


will be discussed in the
Simulation Advanced Training
Course

Job Status Tab

Print Preview Tab

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Report Preview Tab

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Simulation Basics

GUI Simulation Wizard

The Simulation Wizard is an optional component, a useful aid


to remind users steps required to complete an analysis
The Simulation Wizard provides a list of required
steps and the status of them
Green checkmark indicates the item is complete
Green i shows an informational item
A greyed symbol shows that the step cannot be
performed yet
A red question mark means that there is an
incomplete item
An x means that the item is not performed yet
A lightning bolt means that the item is ready to be
solved or updated

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The Simulation Wizard can be toggled on/off by


selecting the
button on the Standard Toolbar

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Simulation Basics

B. Startup Panel
When first attaching a model to Simulation, the Startup Panel is
shown (optionally), allowing the user to select a Simulation
Template.

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Simulation Basics

Startup Panel
The benefit of the Startup Panel is that the appropriate
results and Simulation Wizard will appear

Stress Branch is selected in the example below. Note that


results and the Stress Wizard are automatically chosen

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Simulation Wizard

By selecting an item on the Required Steps checklist, a


callout appears, illustrating how that function is performed.
In the example below, Verify Materials was selected, and the
callout shows the user where this item can be changed.

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Simulation Wizard
The Simulation Wizard is handy for
users who do not use Simulation
every day
Besides basic functionality, callouts
for more advanced items are also
available as shown on right

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C. Basic Procedure

Training Manual

The purpose of simulation is usually to determine the response of


the system based on some type of excitation or loading.

It is crucial to remember that a mathematical model is used:


CAD geometry is an idealization of the physical model
The mesh is a mathematical representation of the CAD model
The accuracy of answers is determined by various factors:
How well the physical model is represented depends on the assumptions
Numerical accuracy is determined by the mesh density

CAD Model

Finite Element Mesh

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Basic Procedure
Every analysis involves four main steps:
Preliminary Decisions
What type of analysis: Static, modal, etc.?

Preliminary
Decisions

What to model: Part or Assembly?


Which elements: Surface or Solid Bodies?

Preprocessing

Preprocessing

Attach the model geometry


Define and assign material properties to parts
Mesh the geometry
Apply loads and supports

Solution

Request results

Solve the Model


Postprocessing
Review results

Postprocessing

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Check the validity of the solution

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Simulation Basics

Basic Procedure

Training Manual

A sample analysis using the Stress Wizard will be shown in


this section.

The Wizards in Simulation aid the user in following the


basic analysis template discussed previously:
Attach/import geometry
Assign material properties
(Mesh geometry)
A default mesh will be supplied by Simulation if this step is not
performed manually by the user

Apply loads and supports


Request results
Solve model

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Review results/postprocessing

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Simulation Basics

Attach Geometry
Earlier, it was shown that geometry can be attached to
Simulation in two ways
Direct from CAD system
For supported CAD packages only using plug-in mode

From within a blank Simulation session


For all supported formats, using plug-in or reader mode

Directly launches
Simulation and attaches
geometry (plug-in mode)

Attaches active CAD model


(plug-in mode)
Browse for CAD file
(reader mode)

Method 1

Method 2

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Assign Material Properties

After importing a model, the Stress Branch template was


chosen, and the Stress Wizard appears
Verify Materials is selected, and the callout shows how to
change material properties in the pull-down menu

After Verify Materials is


selected, all of the parts
from the Geometry
branch are highlighted,
and the Details view shows
how to change the
material.

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Assign Material Properties

Training Manual

The default material property is Structural Steel but can be


changed
By selecting Import the user can select a material property file
(XML format)

Although a few material properties are supplied with Simulation for


demonstration purposes. Users should use their own material
property values in production use.

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Notice that the Details View allows the user to select a material
from a pull-down menu or to import a new material

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Assign Material Properties


Materials may be individually selected for each part
Multiple parts can be highlighted and changed at once
Use Shift-Left mouse button to highlight all items in range

Use Ctrl-Left mouse button to individually add/remove selection

By using a combination of ShiftLeft mouse button and Ctrl-Left


mouse button, twelve parts are
highlighted on the Outline Tree
The user can then change all
materials at once in the Details
View by selecting the material
pull-down menu.
Note that DesignSpace Entra is
limited to analysis of single
parts.

ANSYS License
DesignSpace Entra
DesignSpace
Professional
Structural
Mechanical/Multiphysics

ANSYS Workbench Simulation

Training Manual

Availability
x
x
x
x

August

Simulation Basics

Assign Material Properties

Material properties are listed, modified, imported or exported by


accessing the Engineering Data application via the Data icon
in Simulation

ANSYS Workbench Simulation

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Simulation Basics

Assign Material Properties

Default settings for material properties can be changed in


the Engineering Data application
The default material can be changed from Structural Steel
A list of Favorites can be saved for frequent access
New materials can be added from various locations

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Insert Loads & Supports

After verifying and assigning materials, the Insert Loads


item is selected from the Stress Wizard
Structural (and thermal) loads are applied from the pull-down
icon in the Context toolbar.

After Insert Loads is


selected, notice that the
Environment branch is
highlighted.
By highlighting the
Environment branch, the
Context toolbar and Details
view change.

ANSYS Workbench Simulation

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Simulation Basics

Insert Loads & Supports


Loads and supports are applied on geometric entities

There are two ways to accomplish this:


Select geometry entity in Graphics Window first,
then select load or support from Context Toolbar

Select load or support from Context Toolbar first, select


geometry entities in Graphics Window, then click on Apply
in Details View.

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Insert Loads & Supports

After assigning the load on geometric entities, the user can


enter additional data in the Details view, if necessary.
Notice that, in the Outline Tree, the associated load branch
symbol status will also change to completed (checkmark)

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Insert Loads & Supports


For some structural loads direction is
needed:
Selection is done in Details View of load
If Components is chosen, enter X, Y, or Z
Components of loading
If Vector is chosen, select geometry and
enter magnitude of loading
Defaults can be set in Tools > Options
> Simulation: Miscellaneous
> Load Orientation Type

The World Coordinate System or user


defined local coordinate systems can be
referenced
User-Defined Coordinate Systems will be
discussed later

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Insert Loads & Supports


In the Details view, select Define By: Vector
Three types of existing geometry can be used
Normal to planar face or along axis of cylindrical
face
Along straight edge or normal to cylindrical edge
Two vertices defining vector
Click on Direction and select geometry used for
vector orientation. Use the arrows in the Graphics
window to
toggle the direction.
Click on Apply when done.
Enter magnitude for loading in Magnitude.

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Existing geometry can be referenced to control


direction:

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Simulation Basics

Mouse Controls

Training Manual

User can select items (vertex, edge, surface, body) or manipulate


the view (rotate, pan, zoom in/out, box zoom)
Select mode can be single-select or box-select
In single-select mode, click-drag with left mouse
button to paint select multiple items
Use Ctrl-Left mouse button in single-select mode to select or
unselect multiple entities
In box-select mode, click-drag from left to right selects entities
fully enclosed in bounding box
In box-select mode, click-drag from right to left selects any
entity partially enclosed in bounding box

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The left mouse button is used to select geometric entities OR


to manipulate the graphics display

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Mouse Controls

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Click-drag middle mouse button to dynamically rotate model


Shift-Middle mouse button pans model
If present, the wheel can be used to zoom in/out

The right mouse button provides context-sensitive pop-up


menu if clicked once in Graphics Window
Click-drag right mouse button to box zoom in area of interest
Click right mouse button once and select Fit to fit model in view
Click-drag right mouse
button allows user to
box-zoom in region

Single-click right mouse


button provides contextsensitive pop-up menu

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In select mode the middle mouse provides several short cuts


for graphics manipulation

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Applying Loads and Supports

By taking advantage of the mouse controls, it can be


relatively easy to apply a load (or support) to multiple faces
In example below, user can use Ctrl-left mouse button to
single-select surfaces (highlighted in green)
Use of middle mouse button allows user to rotate model to
more easily select certain surfaces in back of model

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Insert Results

By selecting the Stress Branch template in the beginning,


some results are already requested. However, the user can
request other results, if needed.
By selecting Insert Results in the Stress Wizard, the callout
shows how to add results

Note that the Solution


branch is now highlighted.
Because the Solution
branch is selected, the
Context toolbar and Details
view changes.
Results, such as stress,
strain, and deformation can
be requested from the pulldown icons on the Context
toolbar. New result items
will then appear under the
Solution branch.

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Solving the Model

After verifying materials, applying loads and supports, and


inserting results, the model is ready to be solved.
Selection of Solve in the Stress Wizard produces a callout
showing the user that the lightning bolt icon is used to initiate
a solution

Starting the solution will include


automatically meshing the model if it
has not been done so previously.
The solution may take a few minutes to
a few hours, depending on how large
the model is and the hardware used. A
progress bar will be shown to indicate
roughly how long the solution will
take. The solution can also be
stopped via the progress bar.

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Solving the Model (ANSYS Details)

Training Manual

In Worksheet view of the


Solution Information branch,
the contents of the Output File
will be updated with a frequency
as specified in the Details view.
The location of the input file
ds.dat, output file solve.out,
and scratch files are located in
the system TEMP directory by
default.
This solver directory can be
changed under Tools >
Options > Simulation: Solution
> Solver Working Directory

Advanced ANSYS Details

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During solution an ANSYS input file is generated, and the


details of the Output File can be viewed if a Solution
Information branch has been requested under the Solution
branch

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Simulation Basics

View Results

After the solution is complete, the user can View Results


Plot contours and vectors by highlighting the result of interest
Animate results via the Animation Tab

To view results, as the callout


shows, the appropriate
branch needs to be selected.

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View Report

In preparation for generating the HTML report, one can add


figures and comments from the Standard Toolbar
Select a branch first, such as Equivalent Stress
Then select the appropriate Standard Toolbar button:

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View Report
After adding any figures or comments, select View
Report

Preliminary information can be entered, such as author name


Select Generate Report to create HTML report

The HTML Report can be


selected under the
Solution branch via
Report Preview tab, as
the callout indicates.

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View Report
The HTML report will be displayed in Simulation
Comments and figures added will appear in the report

The HTML report generator includes


all input and results associated with
the simulation, providing complete
documentation of the analysis.
This provides time-saving yet
customizable report that can easily be
generated by the user.

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View Report

Reports are always dynamically generated, so the user


needs to save the report, otherwise it will be overwritten
The report can be published as HTML files in a different
directory or an internal web server, emailed, or sent to
Microsoft Word or PowerPoint

The Appendix at the


end of the HTML
Report will show the
location of the
various files used to
created the report.

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Simulation Basics

D. Workshop 2 Simulation Basics


Workshop 2 Simulation Basics

Goal:
Using the Stress Wizard, set up and solve a structural model
for stress, deflection and safety factor.

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