Femap Meshing and Analysis Preparation Turtorial

Part 4 - Meshing and Analysis Preparation


Welcome to the introduction to FEMAP video series. In the previous video we set up the material and element properties on the machined arm components and defined loads and boundary conditions. In this video we will continue the simulation process and mesh the geometry to create the finite element model. Then we'll set up the analysis parameters using Femap’s analysis sets manager. With the model definition complete, we can then submit the jump to be run using the next NX Nastran solver from within Femap.


Femap has robust tools for mesh sizing and meshing. In addition to manually creating nodes and elements, you can extrude, revolve and sweep meshes. You have full control of a mesh sizing for geometry meshing. The meshing toolbox has powerful tools for editing geometry and meshes. In this example we'll simply create a tet mesh on the arm, as described in the following step-by-step instructions.

  1. Expand the geometry object in the model info pane.
  2. Right click the solid arm and select tet mesh from the menu.
    At this point you can either mesh the part or change mesh parameters and all mesh sizing. Let's take a look at the mesh sizes for the arm.
  3. You can define a different mesh size, and in this case will increase the mesh size slightly to 2.5. We’ll increase the number of elements around curves by lowering the max angle tolerance to 15 and de-select options for max size of small feature and suppress short edges. Details on mesh sizing and editing are covered in other videos.
  4. Click OK to set the mesh size and ok again to mesh the arm. You'll see information about the resulting mess in the messages pane.
  5. We'll clean up the display by toggling off geometry and nodes. By selecting the meshing icon, the meshing toolbox becomes visible. You can click on the quality icon to visualize the quality of the mesh.
  6. Expanding the quality tool displays the maximum value of the Jacobian. The comparison of the actual elements shape to the ideal element shape for the element type.
  7. Before we analyze the model let's change the color of the mesh to make visualization easier. On the view toolbar select to view style pull down icon and select the color with property colors command.
  8. Since the property color of the aluminum material is the same as the color of the elements, right click the aluminum property in the model info pane and select color (we chose a medium green).

Analysis Preparation

Follow these step-by-step instructions to setup the analysis.
  1. Now Right-Click analyses and select Manage. In the analysis set manager dialog box, click the New button to create an analysis set.
  2. Since we're going to perform a linear statics analysis using an NX Nastran, the same as the preference setting for this particular Femap installation, we only need to enter a descriptive title for the analysis set.
  3. Once the analysis set is created, we’ll expand the analysis set to view the master request and conditions tree, along with its boundary conditions subtree.
  4. FEMAP will automatically assign the load and constraint sets that we created in the prior steps as the constraints and loads for this analysis. Clicking the Analysis button will generate an NX Nastran input deck for this analysis and automatically open the analysis monitor. This monitor displays relevant information about the current running analysis. You have the option to change the display of the progress of the analysis to different sets of information.
  5. Once the analysis is completed, the results are automatically added to the FEMAP model, at which point you can close the analysis monitor.
In the next video we'll move on and view analysis results in Femap and make use of some of the post-processing tools and the post-processing toolbox.

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