4 3D Design Use CNC Manufacturing Rapid Prototyping Automation 3D CAD Model Design Detail and Form Visualization Simulation / Analysis
5 What is FEA? Finite Element Analysis (FEA) is a computerized method for predicting how a real-world object will react to forces, vibration, heat, and etc. in terms of whether it will function as planned.
6 FEA Benefits Predict Product Performance Reduce Raw Materials Ensure Optimal Design Verification Reduce Manual Testing and Prototypes Test What-If Scenarios Shorten Design Cycle
7 Reasons for Adoption by the Masses Better Computing (Faster and Cloud-based) Affordable Software Easier-to-Use Software 3D Design Data has become common. The Need to Improve Products Further
8 Who Uses Simulation? Design Engineer Analysis Engineer
9 FEA Process Overview 1. CAD Model Input 2. Simulation Setup (Pre-process) Analysis Type Material Property Assignment Add Constrains (Boundary Conditions) Add Loads (Loading Conditions) Mesh Generation 3. Solve Simulation 4. Review Results (Post-process)
10 Node Overview A node is a coordinate location in space where the Degrees of Freedom (DOFs) and physical property (stress, strain, temperature, velocity, etc.) are defined.
11 Element Overview An element is a mathematical entity that defines how the shape and physical property of an internal point is interpolated from the node positions and physical properties.
12 How FEA Works Models are defined by nodes and elements forming a mesh. Governing engineering equations (PDE, ODE) are solved at the nodes and elements. A matrix equation, including terms from each element, is solved. Predicts changes within the element. The results are plotted on the model using colors and line plots.
13 Meshed 3D Model Example
14 Types of Elements Line Elements A line connecting 2 nodes only for items like beams and springs. 2D Elements Planar elements with either three or four edges enclosing an area. 3D Plates or Shell Elements Planar elements that are triangular or quadrilateral with a specified thickness. Brick (Solid) Elements Enclosed 3D volumes with 4, 5, 6 or 8 corner nodes.
16 Material Assignment Material properties define the structure characteristics of the part. Material property information can be found on the web at
17 Constraints Structural constraints restrict or limit the displacement of the model mesh nodes. Floor is Fixed Constraint
18 Loads Structural loads are forces applied to a part or assembly during operation. Such loads cause stresses, deformations, and displacements in components. Hand Applies Load
19 Contact Conditions Contact conditions are used to establish relationships between the nodes of contacting parts within an assembly. Contact between Board and Blocks
20 Simulation Solving Running or solving the simulation processes and calculates the results based on the parameters established.
21 Results The simulation results can be reviewed and exported as a report to make design decisions.
22 Reviewing Results Simulation does not always replace the need for physical testing. The engineer / analyst needs to interpret the results to make final decisions.
23 Analysis Types Linear Focus for this week Nonlinear Thermal Natural Frequency Modal Fatigue Analysis Fluid Flow
24 Linear vs. Nonlinear Linear Structure returns to original form Small changes in shape stiffness No changes in loading direction or magnitude Material properties do not change Small deformation and strain Nonlinear Focus for this week Geometry changes resulting in stiffness change Material deformation that may not return to original form Supports changes in load direction and constraint locations Support of nonlinear load curves
25 Mild Steel Material Properties Density = lbmass/in^3 Young s Modulus = 3.193E+004 ksi Poisson s Ratio = Yield Strength = 3.004E+004 psi Ultimate Tensile Strength = 5.007E+004 psi Thermal Conductivity = 1.259E+003 btu in/(ft^2 hr f) Linear Expansion = Micoin/(in f) Specific Heat = btu/(lbmass f)
26 Stress = Force Area Mild Steel Stress Strain Curve Ultimate Strength Yield Strength (Elastic Limit) Strain Hardening Necking Failure Strain = Change in Length Original Length
27 Von Mises Stress Formula for combining three principal stresses into an equivalent stress to compare to the material stress properties.
28 Displacement The displacement results show the magnitude of the model deformation from the original shape.
29 Safety Factor Provides a ratio of how much stronger the object is than it usually needs to be for an intended load. Safety Factor = 2 = Material Yield Strength Maximum Von Mises Stress 40,000 psi 20,000 psi
30 Convergence (Mesh Independence Study) Convergence is the process of altering element sizes in high stress areas to ensure the specified result criteria has converged.
31 Stress Singularities A localized high stress area where the stress becomes infinite resulting distorted results.
32 Best Practices Setup simulation to match real world Verify material properties Use engineering knowledge judgment Avoid putting loads on nodes or small edges Choose formulation type (Linear / Nonlinear) Identify stress singularities Ensure your results converge
33 FEA Software FEA Features Built into Design Applications General functionality for engineers to use upfront Often limited to linear analysis with limited element types General load and constraint options Very affordable and easy to use Specialized Simulation Applications Robust capabilities (Nonlinear, Fatigue, Metaphysics) Focused more on dedicated analysis engineers needs instead of design engineers needs. Advanced mesh creation, loads, constraints, etc. More expensive and often harder to use (This is changing)
34 Autodesk Inventor Professional FEA Capability Summary Linear Analysis Tetrahedron Elements Only Static and Modal Analysis Automatic Mesh Creation Frame Analysis (Line Elements) General Loads, Constraints, Contacts
35 Computer-Cluster Projects (CP9)
36 Guided Lab Project 1 Guided instructions for assigning loads and constraints.
37 Guided Lab Project 2 Guided instructions for performing an analysis on the clamp arm to optimize the design.
38 Guided Lab Project 3 Guided instructions for performing an assembly analysis.
39 Guided Lab Project 4 Guided instructions for performing a design study and convergence.
40 Problem Set Assignment Analyze the bracket to ensure the optimal design is produced.
44 Stress Analysis Browser Multiple simulations For a part, features. For an assembly, parts Constraints and Loads Contacts Mesh settings Results folder
45 Simulation Properties Name of the simulation Single Point design objective Parametric Dimension design objective Static Analysis or Modal Analysis Defaults for the Automatic Contacts tool
46 Assign Materials Component column Original Material column Override Material column Safety Factor column
47 Assign Constraints
48 Assign Loads
49 Assign Loads Cont d
50 Mesh Settings Specifies the size of the elements in the initial mesh as a fraction of the largest overall dimension of the model. Recommended range is 0.05 to 0.1 Specifies the minimum size of elements as a fraction of the average element size. Recommended range 0.1 to 0.2 Specifies the maximum ratio of adjacent mesh edges for transitioning between coarse and fine regions. Recommended values from 1.5 to 3. When an arc is meshed, the arc is broken into one or more elements according to the specified turn angle. Creates meshes with curved edges and faces. If you clear this option, you produce meshes with straight elements, which can lead to a less accurate representation of the model. If unchecked, the average element size is based on the overall size of the assembly, resulting in mesh elements that may be too large for small parts. (Only available in Assemblies )
51 Automatic Convergence Settings Specifies the maximum number of refinement that takes place during convergence. Specifies when the convergence stops. Specifies the refinement threshold (between 0 to 1). A zero setting means include all the elements in the set as candidates for refinement. 1 means exclude all elements in the set from refinement. The default is.75, which means, of the elements with equivalent errors at the top, 25% are subject to refinements. Specifies which analysis result to check for convergence. A simulation will not converge if there is a stress singularity. If the singularity is not in an area of interest or importance, you typically ignore the stress in that area for the purpose of convergence.
53 Contacts Cont d
54 Results Tools Animates the displacement Probe the results at a Particular Node Adjust the color bar position and scale Controls the visibility of Probe Labels Displays the maximum and minimum Labels Selects the type of color shading Controls the visibility of Boundary Conditions Controls the model displacement scale Generates a report
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