Taking NASTRAN Input Files Into ANSYS Mechanical via External Model in ANSYS 16.0

nastran-ansys-external-model-tnI found another very nice enhancement to version 16.0 of the ANSYS Workbench/ANSYS Mechanical toolset.  If you happen to have a NASTRAN input file (.dat, .nas, and .bdf) that you need to get into ANSYS Mechanical, no longer do you have to use FE Modeler in ANSYS Workbench to perform the translation.  In fact, not only can you move the NASTRAN model into ANSYS Mechanical, but you get the existing mesh as well as newly-created geometry that can be used for boundary condition application, etc.  As with most translations from one FE tool to another, you can’t expect everything will be translated.  However, this new technique can be an incredible time saver in addition to giving us capabilities to continue and augment simulations that were previously performed in NASTRAN, now in ANSYS.

Here is an example of this new procedure.  (Note that we don’t have NASTRAN here at PADT, so I couldn’t create a generic sample of a NASTRAN model in NASTRAN.  Instead, I created a model in ANSYS, then converted it into NASTRAN using ANSYS FE Modeler to get a NASTRAN input file for the purpose of this exercise.)

Once I have the NASTRAN input file that I need to convert into ANSYS Mechanical, I launch ANSYS Workbench 16.0 and insert an External Model branch.  I then click the … button to browse to the NASTRAN input file.  In this case, the file is NASTRAN.nas.

nastran-ansys-external-model-f1

Next, I drag and drop a new analysis type block into the Project Schematic.  In this case, it was a modal analysis.  Note that you can’t drop this onto the Setup cell in the External Model block as you might expect.  You set it up as a separate block and establish the link in the next step.

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Next, we drag and drop the Setup cell from the External Model block onto the Model cell of the Modal analysis block.  This establishes the link from the NASTRAN model to the new Modal analysis.

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We also need to right click on the Setup cell in the External Model block and select Update to get a green checkmark in that cell:

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Notice that there is no Geometry cell in the resulting Modal analysis block.  If all goes well, there will be geometry within the Mechanical model that can be used for selection purposes (in addition to the mesh that comes in from NASTRAN). 

Next we open the Mechanical editor by double clicking on one of the cells in the Modal analysis blocks (other than the Engineering Data cell).  It may take several minutes to bring in the NASTRAN model depending on the size of the NASTRAN model.  The Mechanical window doesn’t really let you know that it’s working, but if it’s sitting there with nothing being displayed, it’s probably churning away at bringing in the NASTRAN mesh and creating surface geometry on it.

Here is what the Mechanical window looks like after the mesh is read in and geometry is automatically created.  This is the mesh from the NASTRAN file, but in this case both solid and surface geometry is also present.  It’s not guaranteed that everything will come across.  I’ve seen contact elements come through for certain types of contact but not for other types of contact for example.

nastran-ansys-external-model-f5

The next image shows that geometry was created that can be used for the purposes of inserting fixed supports, just as if the geometry had come in from a CAD system.  Note that the NASTRAN input file had NO geometry, just finite element entities.  ANSYS is creating the geometry for use in Mechanical from the information in the NASTRAN input file.

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Finally, after manually creating a needed contact region, I was able to solve the modal analysis, demonstrating that further simulation can be performed in ANSYS Mechanical from this model which originally came from NASTRAN.

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So, the main take away here is that with version 16.0 of ANSYS, we can take a NASTRAN input file and through the use of the External Model block, go directly into ANSYS Mechanical.  Not only do we get the nodes and elements as well as other finite element entities from the NASTRAN model, but if all goes well we get geometry that facilitates further processing within ANSYS Mechanical.

We certainly hope this new capability makes it easier for you to perform additional simulations in ANSYS when the starting point is a NASTRAN model.  The other formats documented for version 16.0 are ABAQUS, Fluent input files, and ICEM CFD input files.

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Press Release: Fast, Intuitive, and Precise 3D Scanning Solution from Steinbichler Added to PADT’s Portfolio

steinbichler-PADT-multiproduct-1Yes. Another press release from PADT announcing a new partner.  The truth is we have the advantage of having worked with some great companies in 2014 and we are now fortunate enough to be able to add several of the great products we use in-house to our product offering. It all kind of happened at once.  Don't worry, we are almost done… only one or two more surprises out there.

At the beginning of the year we mentioned that we were offering full professional optical scanning. That service was based on using a Steinbichler blue light scanner. And as is usually with a tool we really like, we quickly negotiated an agreement with that company to represent their products. They offer the COMET line of blue light scanners and the T-SCAN line of laser scanners. There is of course a nice software package, called colin3D, that serves as a way to interact with the devices and get the data into a useful form. Both technologies offer high-precision at a reasonable price, something that not only PADT, but many of our customers were looking for.  

Please find the official press release below or as a PDF file.  You can also learn more about the products on our website here. We hope to schedule some webinars on this tool, and publish some blog articles, in the coming months. But the best way to try out this technology is to have us scan a part for you.

steinbichler-scanning-cnc-part steinbichler-software-slide-2 steinbichler-t-scan-lv-slide-2 steinbichler-comet-l3d-slide-3

As always, feel free to contact us for more information.  

Press Release:

Industry leading 3D Scanning systems are now available through PADT with the addition of both Blue Light and Laser sensors from Steinbichler.  These solutions round out PADT’s offering for complete reverse engineering and inspection, providing greater accuracy and the scanning of very small to very large objects. 

Phoenix Analysis & Design Technologies, Inc. (PADT), the Southwest’s largest provider of simulation, product development, and 3D Printing services and products, is pleased to announce that an agreement has been reached with Steinbichler Vision Systems, Inc. for PADT to become a distributor of Steinbichler’s optical scanning solutions in the Southwestern United States. These highly precise and easy-to-use devices offer PADT’s customers a professional solution for their inspection, quality, and reverse engineering needs.

The COMET line of blue light scanners combine high-end technology, ergonomics, and compact design to offer optimum flexibility and precision for challenging scanning tasks. The product family includes multiple options for resolution and lenses.  The top-of-the-line COMET 6 boasts a 16 megapixel camera, adaptive projection 3D ILC technology, and six different camera lens options. At the same time, the entry level COMET L3D provides outstanding 3D data acquisition and accuracy at an affordable price. 

Coordinate measurement technology can be taken to a new level with the T-SCAN line of devices that couples an ergonomic and lightweight handheld laser scanner with a high precision tracking camera.  A touch probe can also be added for precise location measurement.  The result is a flexible system that allows accurate part measurement of everything from fine surface features to automobiles size objects.

“We have been using a Steinbichler system for our service work with great success” commented Rey Chu, a co-owner of PADT, “and it became obvious that this was the type of equipment, and the type of company, that would be a great match for our customers who needed professional high resolution non-contact 3D scanning and measuring capability.”

PADT is offering these systems with Steinbichler’s colin3D software and geometry tools from Geomagic and ANSYS SpaceClaim. This combination of hardware and software meets the full spectrum of needs encountered by customers to capture, clean, compare, and use geometry from point clouds to usable 3D parametric solid models.

To learn more about the COMET and T-SCAN professional 3D scanners, visit http://www.padtinc.com/steinbichler or contact our technical sales team at 480.813.4884 or sales@padtinc.com.

About Phoenix Analysis and Design Technologies

Phoenix Analysis and Design Technologies, Inc. (PADT) is an engineering product and services company that focuses on helping customers who develop physical products by providing Numerical Simulation, Product Development, and Rapid Prototyping solutions. PADT’s worldwide reputation for technical excellence and experienced staff is based on its proven record of building long term win-win partnerships with vendors and customers. Since its establishment in 1994, companies have relied on PADT because “We Make Innovation Work. “  With over 75 employees, PADT services customers from its headquarters at the Arizona State University Research Park in Tempe, Arizona, and from offices in Littleton, Colorado, Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Murray, Utah, as well as through staff members located around the country. More information on PADT can be found at http://www.PADTINC.com.

About Steinbichler
Steinbichler is a worldwide leading manufacturer and supplier of 3D scanning technology. We develop & market highly precise measurement systems with corresponding software solutions for a wide range of applications. Our best in class 3D scanning products – COMET® and T-SCAN are in operation at numerous well-known industrial companies & research institutes. As a technology oriented company, we offer innovative and effective inspection solutions to address our customer’s needs. http://www.steinbichler.com 

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Tech Tips and Videos for ANSYS Mechanical and CFD

ansys_free_techtipsA few weeks ago we added some great free resources to our website for existing and potential users of ANSYS Structural and CFD tools.  It includes some great videos from ANSYS, Inc. on a variety of topics as well as productivity kits. It dawned on us that many of you are faithful readers of The Focus but don't often check out our ANSYS product web pages. So, we are including the material here for your viewing pleasure. 

For structural users, we have a link to "The Structural Simulation Productivity Kit " here. The kit includes:

  • Analyzing Vibration with Acoustic–Structural Coupling Article
  • Contact Enhancements in ANSYS Mechanical and MAPDL 15.0 Webinar
  • ANSYS Helps KTM Develop a 21st Century Super Sports Car Case Study
  • A Practical Discussion on Fatigue White Paper
  • Designing Solid Composites Article

We also have a collection of videos from ANSYS, Inc that we found useful:

 

For CFD users, we have a link to "The CFD Simulation Productivity Kit " here. The kit includes:

  • Simulating Erosion Using ANSYS Computational Fluid Dynamics Presentation,
  • Cutting Design Costs: How Industry leaders benefit from Fast and Reliable CFD  White Paper,
  • Introduction to Multiphase Models in ANSYS CFD Three Part Webinar,
  • Advances in Core CFD Technology: Meeting Your Evolving Product Development Needs White Paper,
  • Turbulence Modeling for Engineering Flows Application Brief.

We also have a collection of videos from ANSYS, Inc that we found useful:

 
Interested in learning more, contact us or simply request a quote
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Tempe Prep Robotics Team Needs your Help to Win at FIRST Robotics National Championship

TempePrepKnights-2

Tempe Preparatory Academy’s High School Robotics team, FRC Team #3944 All Knights, was on the winning alliance for the FIRST Robotics Competition, FRC, Arizona East Regional Competition on March 19-21st. And they are therefore on their way to St Louis, Missouri to represent Arizona at Nationals.  Last night they were on local Phoenix channel 12 to show off their robot and announce their GoFundMe campaign to raise the $25,000 in travel and entrance fees.  

PADT has pitched in already and we encourage the rest of the Arizona technology community to go to www.gofundme.com/allknights and donate what they can. Make sure you check out the video.  Great group of kids (the reporter… well I'll let you decide… typical media reaction to technology…) who have a great piece of equipment that they built in just six months.  

Support FIRST, Support Arizona STEM

Donate $25 as a Person, get your company to donate more!

 

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Press Release: Faster 3D Printing Support Removal of Wider Range of Materials with PADT’s New SCA-1200HT

IMG_7411We are very excited to announce that at the end of 2014 PADT shipped the first lot of our new Support Cleaning Apparatus, or SCA.  After almost 6 years of great service, the SCA1200-HT replaces the SCA-1200. The new system is a redesign based upon the 6,700 plus systems that PADT manufactured and supported around the world.  The biggest change to users is broader preset temperature range, allowing users to now remove support from their Nylon and Polycarbonate parts.  The motor and pump are a custom PADT design with better performance and durability. The control and ergonomic interface have also been modified for greater ease of use.

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If you are not familiar with PADT's SCAs and their use, they are accessories for the Stratasys line of Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) additive manufacturing systems, commonly referred to as 3D Printers.  These systems extrude the build material and a water soluble support material that holds up any overhanging geometry.  The soluble material can be removed with gentle agitation in a slightly basic solution of warm water. We designed the SCA's as the easiest to use and fasted way to remove the support material.

Selling and supporting our own product has been a great experience for our team. Since the company was founded in 1994, we have been designing, simulating, and supporting our customer's products. With the SCA line we are able to practice what we preach on our own product. We have especially enjoyed supporting the products in Europe and Asia, allowing us to get to know the Stratasys Channel overseas as well as customers.

You can read more about the SCA-1200HT on our redesigned website: www.SupportRemoval.com. Here are a couple of videos that show how the system works and how to use it.  The official press release can be found here

 

You can also read the press release with more details below.  Contact your Stratasys supplier for more information.

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Press Release:

Faster 3D Printing Support Removal of

Wider Range of Materials  with PADT’s New SCA-1200HT

PADT ships a new generation of their popular Support Cleaning Apparatus product used to remove soluble supports from 3D Printed parts created using Stratasys Fused Deposition Modeling systems.  

 

Tempe, AZ – January 20, 2015 – Phoenix Analysis & Design Technologies, Inc. (PADT, Inc.), the Southwest’s largest provider of simulation, product development, and rapid prototyping services and products, is pleased to announce the release by Stratasys, Ltd. (SSYS) of the new SCA-1200HT support removal system. This new system is designed, manufactured, and supported by PADT and sold exclusively by Stratasys, Ltd for use with their Mojo, uPrint, Dimension, and Fortus Additive Manufacturing systems, also known as 3D Printers.   

The SCA-1200HT is an improved design based on the successful SCA-1200 that has been in use around the world since 2008. The new system features four preset temperature levels for use with a wider range of materials including polycarbonate and nylon. It also includes a proprietary custom pump with longer life, simpler repair and maintenance, and an overall lower operating noise level.  The controls, lid, and parts basket have been ergonomically redesigned while the internal systems have been simplified and made easier to replace by the user or local support provider.

Rey Chu, co-owner of PADT and the person behind the SCA line of products said “With over 6,700 of our previous systems in the field, we gathered a wealth of knowledge on performance and reliability. We used that knowledge to design a system that cleans parts faster, is easier to maintain, and gives a much better user experience.  The hands-off support removal provided by Stratasys’ Soluble Support Technology and PADT’s SCA is a huge advantage to people who use FDM technology for their 3D Printing.  With the SCA-1200HT that advantage just got larger.”

Once parts are printed, users simply remove them from their Stratasys system, place them in the SCA-1200HT, set a cleaning time and temperature, and then walk away.  The device gently agitates the 3D Printed parts in the heated cleaning solution, effortlessly dissolving away all of the support material.  This process is more efficient and friendly than other additive manufacturing systems using messy powders or support material that must be manually removed.

More information on the system as well as a video showing how the SCA-1200HT works is available at www.supportremoval.com.  Those interested in acquiring an SCA-1200HT should contact their local Stratasys reseller.

Phoenix Analysis and Design Technologies, Inc. (PADT) is an engineering service company that focuses on helping customers who develop physical products by providing Numerical Simulation, Product Development, and Rapid Prototyping products and services. PADT’s worldwide reputation for technical excellence and an experienced staff is based on its proven record of building long term win-win partnerships with vendors and customers. Since its establishment in 1994, companies have relied on PADT because “We Make Innovation Work.“  With over 75 employees, PADT services customers from its headquarters at the Arizona State University Research Park in Tempe, Arizona, its Littleton, Colorado office, Albuquerque, New Mexico office, and Murray, Utah office, as well as through staff members located around the country. More information on PADT can be found at www.PADTINC.com

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Press Release: Structural Optimization from VR&D Added to PADT Portfolio

varand-gtam-w-logosWe are very pleased to announce that we have added another great partner to our product portfolio: Vanderplaats Research  Development.  VR&D is a leading provider of structural optimization tools for simulation, and a strong partner with ANSYS.  We came across their Genesis and GTAM products when we were looking for a good topological optimization tool for one of our ANSYS customers. We quickly found it to be a great compliment, especially for the growing need to support optimization for parts made with 3D Printing.

Please find the official press release below or as a PDF file.  You can also learn more about the products on our website here. We hope to schedule some webinars on this tool, and publish some blog articles, in the coming months. 

As always, feel free to contact us for more information.  

Press Release:

PADT is now a reseller of the GTAM and GENESIS optimization tools from Vanderplaats R&D, offering leading structural geometry and topological optimization tools to enable simulation for components made with 3D Printing

Tempe, AZ – March 24, 2015 – Phoenix Analysis & Design Technologies, Inc. (PADT, Inc.), the Southwest’s largest provider of simulation, product development, and 3D Printing services and products, is pleased to announce that an agreement has been reached with Vanderplaats Research & Development, Inc. (VR&D) for PADT to become a distributor of VR&D’s industry leading structural optimization tools in the Southwestern United States. These powerful tools will be offered alongside ANSYS Mechanical as a way for PADT’s customers to use topological optimization and shape optimization to determine the best geometry for their products.

The GENESIS program is a Finite Element solver written by leaders in the optimization space. It offers sizing, shape, topography, topometry, freeform, and topology optimization algorithms.  No other tool delivers so many methods for users to determine the ideal configuration for their mechanical components. These methods can be used in conjunction with static, modal, random vibration, heat transfer, and buckling simulations.  More information on GENESIS can be found at http://www.vrand.com/Genesis.html

vrand-Design-Studio-for-GENESIS

PADT recommends that ANSYS Mechanical users who require topological optimization access GENESIS through the GENESIS Topology for ANSYS Mechanical tool, or GTAM. This extension runs inside ANSYS Mechanical, allowing users the ability to use their ANSYS models and the ANSYS user interface while still accessing the power of GENESIS.  The extension allows the user to setup the topology optimization problem, optimize, post-processing, export optimized geometry all within ANSYS Mechanical user interface.

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“We had a customer ask us to find a topological optimization solution for optimizing the shape of a part they were manufacturing with 3D Printing. We tried GTAM and immediately found it to be the type of technically superior tool we like to represent” commented Ward Rand, a co-owner of PADT.  “It didn’t take our engineers long to learn it and after receiving great support from VR&D, we knew this was a tool we should add to our portfolio.”

Besides reselling the tool, PADT is adopting both GENESIS and GTAM as their internal tools for shape optimization in support of their growing consulting in the area of design and simulation for Additive Manufacturing, popularly known as 3D Printing. PADT combines these with ANSYS SpaceClaim and Geomagic Studio to design and optimize components that will be created using 3D Printing.

“We are thrilled to partner with PADT because of their deep knowledge in simulation, additive manufacturing, and 3D printing and for their extraordinary ability to help their clients”, stated Juan Pablo Leiva, President and COO of VR&D, “We feel that their unique talents are crucial in supporting clients in today’s demanding and changing market.”

To learn more about the GENESIS and GTAM products, visit http://www.padtinc.com/vrand or contact our technical sales team at 480.813.4884 or sales@padtinc.com.

vrand-GTAM-GUI vrand-race-car-composites vrand-pedal

About Phoenix Analysis and Design Technologies
Phoenix Analysis and Design Technologies, Inc. (PADT) is an engineering service company that focuses on helping customers who develop physical products by providing Numerical Simulation, Product Development, and Rapid Prototyping products and services. PADT’s worldwide reputation for technical excellence and an experienced staff is based on its proven record of building long term win-win partnerships with vendors and customers. Since its establishment in 1994, companies have relied on PADT because “We Make Innovation Work.“  With over 75 employees, PADT services customers from its headquarters at the Arizona State University Research Park in Tempe, Arizona, its Littleton, Colorado office, Albuquerque, New Mexico office, and Murray, Utah office, as well as through staff members located around the country. More information on PADT can be found at www.PADTINC.com.

About Vanderplaats Research & Development
Since its founding in 1984, Vanderplaats Research & Development, Inc. (VR&D) has advocated for the advancement of numerical optimization in industry. The company is a premier software company, developing and marketing a number of design optimization tools, providing professional services and training, and engaging in ongoing advanced research. VR&D products include GENESIS, GTAM, VisualDOC, Design Studio, SMS, DOT, and BIGDOT. For more information on VR&D, please visit:  www.vrand.com.

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Celebrate the Grand Opening of PADT StartUp Labs at CEI

 

PADT_StartUpLabs-1

 

PADT is excited to celebrate the opening of PADT StartUp Labs, the advanced 3D Printing facility for startups located at CEI. PADT StartUpLabs is focused on working with other tenants at CEI.  Engineers from PADT hold regular office hours to answer questions about 3D Printing and product development.  Clients can also set up a consultation with anyone on our staff to talk about simulation, product design or test, quality systems, or manufacturing. The goal is to eventually expand these services to a broader audience. 

Join Us

CEI2
 

 

What:  Grand Opening of PADT StartUp Labs

When: April 20th, 3pm – 7pm

Where: CEI – 275 N. Gateway Drive, Phoenix, AZ 85034

Food and drinks will be provided. 

Register Here

If you have questions about the event, please contact Kathryn Pesta at kathryn.pesta@padtinc.com

CEI

 

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ANSYS 16.0 License Manager – New Look and Feel, New Capabilities

ansys-license-manager-160-tnIf your role includes administering ANSYS licenses, you should be aware that the look and feel of the ANSYS license manager has changed somewhat at version 16.0.  The tasks that used to all be performed within the Server ANSLIC_ADMIN Utility have now been split pretty much between that tool and a new tool that runs within your browser called the ANSYS License Management Center.

The ANSYS License Management Center looks like this:

ansys-license-manager-160-f1

This new License Management Center window is opened on Windows via Start > All Programs > ANSYS, Inc. License Manager > ANSYS License Management Center, and on Linux via /ansys_inc/shared_files/licensing/start_lmcenter.

This utility is where you now install license files, start and start the license manager, and also gather diagnostic information if something goes wrong.  You can also view the license .log files here as well as ANSYS licensing documentation.

The ‘old’ Server ANSLIC_ADMIN Utility is now smaller and does less than it did in prior versions.  This is what it looks like at version 16.0:

ansys-license-manager-160-f2

This window is still useful in that you can click on View Status/Diagnostic Options to get information you can’t get in the new License Management Center, primarily Display the License Status to see what licenses are in use and are available.  This information is also available to clients via the Client ANSLIC_ADMIN Utility.  You can start the ANSYS License Management Center from here too.

One capability you won’t find in either utility is the ability to Reread the License Manager settings.  When you load a new license file, the License Management Center now automatically stops and starts the license manager so you shouldn’t have to do a reread after installing a new file, but just in case, it can still be done via the command line using these instructions:

On Windows, open a command prompt and move to:

C:\Program Files\ANSYS Inc\Shared Files\Licensing\winx64

Then issue the command:

ansysli_server –k reread

The same command works on Linux from the /ansys_inc/shared_files/licensing/linx64 directory.

Another important change is the location of the license files after they have been installed.  The new location is (on Windows):

C:\Program Files\Ansys Inc\Shared Files\Licensing\license_files

This means there is a new sub-folder named license_files that contains the license file(s).  File(s) is now plural since you can have both an ANSYS license file and an Ansoft license file in that folder, both running using the ANSYS License Management Center.  There is a new license file naming convention as well:

ANSYS License file name:  ansyslmd.lic

ANSOFT License file name:  ansoftd.lic

The path on Linux is:

 /ansys_inc/shared_files/licensing/license_files

When you install an ANSOFT license file, the license manager now does some edits to change the daemon to the ANSYS daemon in addition to renaming the file and placing it in the new location. 

One additional piece of information:  The license manager reads any .lic files that are located in the license_files folder, so it’s probably a good idea to ensure that only ‘good’ versions of ansyslmd.lic and ansoftd.lic reside in that folder. 

A major conclusion that can be drawn from all of this is that ANSYS license manager and Ansoft license manager license files can now be managed using a single licensing tool and single set of licensing software.  We’ve been waiting for this for some time and it’s nice to see it’s here and working successfully.

 

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Video Tips: Trace Import Extension for Analyzing PCBs in ANSYS Mechanical

As we know trying to resolve the traces, vias and copper pads on a PCB in an FEA tool is practically unfeasible. 

This video will show the Trace Import Extension, which will fill in the gap between having to perform lumped-material analyses and having to try and resolve/mesh all the tiny features….and it does so in a pretty neat way.

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Hike Run Ski Pi(e): Team Building at PADT

padt-pi-day-platesLast week was a big, and diverse, week for "team building" at PADT.  We learned some things and "bonded" in not-as-nerdy as you would think ways. A fun week had by all, with a lot of hard work thrown in between.  Over the years we have learned that we need to take a break now and then and do something "other" and mingle with people from different parts of the company. 

PADT Running Team

The group preparing for this year's Pat's Run is over half way through their training.  Everyone is getting stronger and faster and we are all pleased with the fact that we don't feel like we are going to pass out at the end of a training session. A sign that Physix has been doing a great job.  We also got our team shirts:

padt-running-team-shirts

Look for us at the race, we will not be hard to find.

Albuquerque Hike

While visiting Albuquerque, I was able to have some informal "team building" with Jeff Strain in the Albuquerque office.  We headed up to the Sandia mountain foothills and hiked Emudito Canyon.  A nice afternoon climb past some very beautiful scenery.  I was reminded that Albuquerque is also a mile high… pant pant pant.

padt-sandia-mountain-hike-2015

The trail head is just down the street from Hank and Marie's house in Breaking Bad.  

2nd Annual Colorado Office Ski Trip (ACOST)

On Friday the PADT team in Colorado, accompanied by a two of us from the Tempe office, headed up to Breckenridge for a fantastic day of skiing.  Their was a bit of fresh snow and no real lines on the lift.  Fun was had by all even with a very wide range in ski/board skills.  

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[Left to Right: Cara, Pat, Manoj, Stephen, Doug, Eric, Ben (Eric's son)]

Pi Day

Back in Tempe we celebrating 3/14/15 a day early. We like Pi day and we are nerdy, but not nerdy enough to come in to the office on a Saturday to celebrate that nerdiness.  We only have one Tauist in our ranks, so there was no open conflict.  We decided to make moon pies, cookies with ice cream between.

 padt-pi-day-moon-pie-1

padt-pi-day-moon-pie-setup

 

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Three Jobs Open at PADT

3-Guys-PADTPADT currently has three job openings, two sales and one engineering.  If you are interested, or know of someone that is, please use the links below to learn more.

If you are smart, proactive, love technology, and believe in win-win interactions with customers, then PADT might be the place for you.

Electrical Engineer, High-Frequency Simulation: RF/Antenna
Account Manager: ANSYS Simulation Software
Account Manager, Flownex Sales

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Node & Element Selection in ANSYS Mechanical: Some Good News and Some Bad News (fixed)… And Some More Good News

ansys-mechanical-selection-f1First, some good news… 

In Workbench R14.5, ANSYS introduced nodal Named Selections, and in R15.0, they have added the ability to create Named Selections of elements. So now you can make groups of nodes or elements just like you can in MAPDL.  You can use these name selections for result plots to show just specific portion of the results. ansys-mechanical-selection-f2

In R15.0, you can right-click on a Name Selection in the tree and hit, “Create Nodal Name Selection”. This creates a Name Selection of all the nodes associated with the particular piece of geometry in the original Named Selection, whether that is a body, surface, edge, or vertex. Highlighting the nodal named selection in the tree will then take you to the Worksheet where you can add rows for limiting the selection of nodes to a location value or some other criteria.

ansys-mechanical-selection-f3

This is also where you can add a row to “Convert” the “Mesh Node” entity type to “Mesh Element”. The Mesh Element entity type has a criterion choice for how the elements are selected from the nodes.  

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“Any Node” will select all the elements that have any of their nodes in the list of nodes that make up the current named selection.  “All Nodes” will select only those elements that have all of their nodes in the current set. Many of you may already know this, and it is a great new feature, but there is a catch, and that brings us to the telling of the “Bad News”.

The Bad News…

After noticing the generation time of the name selection drastically increase when using the “All Nodes” criteria, I ran a small test case. With just a cube meshed to two different refinement levels, I tracked the generation time for the element name selection using the two different criterion. Here is what I found.

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I am not even going to speculate what is different with the “All Nodes” node-checking algorithm, but an increase in element count by a factor of eight caused more than a 13300% increase in generation time. But look at the generation time for the “Any Node” criteria. It stayed right on par for the different mesh sizes.

So, back to the Good News, and the Really Good News…

The Good News is that you can avoid the long generation times, in R15.0, by not using the “All Nodes” criteria. The Really Good news is that when I ran the same test in R16.0, I got 6.0 Sec for the “Any Node” criteria, and 6.3 Seconds for the “All Nodes” criteria. So ANSYS has already fixed the problem in R16.0, which just gives you another reason to upgrade. If you are going to continue using R15.0, then just stay away from the “All Nodes” criteria for the element named Selections. It is much better to use the location based filtering to cut down your nodal selection so that you can use the “Any Node” criteria.  

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Encore Lunch and Learn: Designing and Simulating Products for 3D Printing

3dprinting-production-1PADT would like to invite you to a free seminar or webinar on how to use 3D Printing to manufacture parts for your products.

In February, PADT held a Lunch and Learn with the AZ Tech Council on "Designing and Simulating Products for 3D Printing."  The event sold out and we received a lot of interest in being able to attend over the web. So we have scheduled a second version of this presentation to be given live at CEI in Phoenix on March 23rd, 2015 that will also be broadcast over the web.  

Here is some info on the presentation:

This proven technology has moved from prototyping to tooling and now the creation of final parts.  However, you can't just print your existing design. PADT will cover the techniques and processes needed to evaluate existing designs to find parts that can be switched to 3D printing as well as how to design new parts to take advantage of 3D printing. 

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When:
Monday, March 23, 2015
11:30am – 1:00pm 
Where:
CEI
275 N. GateWay Drive
Phoenix, AZ 85034
Webinar:
WebEx
Please Register, we will send you login information 
  Lunch will be Served for those attending live

We will begin with a review on the current state of 3D Printing technologies, including the creation of accurate and usable metal parts. That will be followed with design guidelines and processes and finishing up with a look at how you can use simulation to drive the design your 3D Printed components so that they work.

Please Register

Lunch is included so we need a headcount for those joining us at CEI, and we need to send login information to those attending over the web.  So Please Register

 

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Bringing Life to a Sculpture

Art_man-STL-PointsRecent development in 3D scanning technologies have made a wide variety of application a possibility.  3D scanners can capture data on the shape and texture of real world object and transform it into useable 3D CAD model. Our structured light 3D scanners generate quality high density mesh results which are then used for rapid prototyping, computer-aided engineering (CAE) analysis, reverse engineering, or inspection to 3D CAD data. The scanner works by using a high resolution camera and lens pair to analyze the deformed projection pattern on an object.

Per customer request, we 3D scanned a custom hand crafted character sculpture and separate standing base. We efficiently scanned the sculpture and base using a turntable allowing for quicker and more accurate data. The scanned data was then sent to the computer for alignment or registration into a common reference system and merged into a complete STL model. Next, we optimized the mesh results for 3D printing and printed the model using our FDM printer.

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Using PADT’s structured light scanner and FDM printer we were able to capture and produce a detailed model which brought the character to life.

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Once the object was scanned we sent him to the 3D Printer. Here you can see him being made:

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And this is a shot of him taking his post build bath, to remove the support material from the print:

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And the final part, looking good:

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The customer can use the scanned model to create different sized versions of their sculpture.

Learn more about our 3D Scanning capabilities on our website, or simply contact us at rp@padtinc.com

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The Computer

The key to converting large scans into accurate 3D models revolves around having the right computer.  A complex model like this with so much detail can really bog down on a normal design workstation, so PADT developed a special line of CUBE Computers just for scanning, called geoCUBES.  For this project Ademola used a geoCUBE w4 which is crammed full of goodies.  Note the use of six Solid State Drives in raid to remove the I/O bottleneck along with an NVIDIA QUADRO K6000 which helps in visualization as a graphics card and as a GPU in doing all of the number crunching needed.

  • INTEL XEON e5-1620V2 – 4Cores@3.7GHz
  • HD Audio 7.1
  • 64GB DDR3-1866 ECC REG RAM
  • Hardware RAID Controller
  • 6 x 240GB Enterprise Class SSD’s
  • NVIDIA QUADRO K6000
  • Blu-Ray BDXL Combo Drive
  • 3D Connexion SpaceNavigator 3D Mouse
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Job Opening at PADT: ANSYS Account Manager

PADT_Logo_Color_100x50PADT is looking for proactive and technical sales professionals interested in joining our team to represent ANSYS software products.  There are multiple openings with opportunities in Southern California, the Phoenix Arizona metro area, Denver Colorado, Salt Lake City Utah, and Albuquerque New Mexico.  Selling ANSYS with PADT is hard but rewarding work where you get to interface with smart and capable customers and work with one of the most respected ANSYS resellers in the world.  Learn more on our career page or simply send your resume to jobs@padtinc.com.

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