This tutorial is based on Simscale’s first tutorial. You may check it out to see the differences and how simpler CAEplex’s approach is.

The instructions belows are suggestions. Feel free to change the material, conditions and loads as desired. You might also read the following general guidelines about the workflow of a mechanical finite-element analysis:

 

  1. Familiarize with the geometry.
    • Rotate (left click), pan (right click) and zoom (middle click) the view.
    • Toggle the axes with the button at the top toolbar.
    • Click on the “Zoom all” button to fit the view.
    • Select the different fixed views.
  2. Take a snapshot.
    • Find a nice view.
    • Click on the “Take a screenshot” button at the top toolbar.
  3. Select the material.
    • Drop down the “Material” dialog.
    • Choose “Steel” (should be the default).
  4. Define volumetric forces
    • Drop down the “Volumetric loads” dialog.
    • Make sure “None” is selected (should be the default).
  5. Define the upper internal hole as a fixed face.
    • Click on the “Add boundary condition” button.
    • Write a proper name for the condition near “BC #1”, for example “Fixed face.”
    • Check that “BC type” is set to “Displacement” and “Displacement” is “Fixed face” (should be the default).
  6. Select the model surfaces that will be associated to this boundary condition.
    • Move the mouse over the model and check that hovered surfaces are painted magenta.
    • Pick the whole internal surface of the big hole. It consists of three surfaces, so you will have to click three times. The selected surfaces should be 123, 132 & 133.
  7. Add load conditions on the lower internal hole.
    • Click again on the “Add boundary condition” button.
    • Write a name for the new condition, for example “Load.”
    • Set “BC type” to “Load”
    • Set “Load” to “Uniform pressure.” (should be the default).
    • Set p to 20 MPa.
    • Select “Compression” as the pressure direction (should be the default).
  8. Select the model surfaces that will be associated to this boundary condition.
    • Move the mouse over the model and check that hovered surfaces are painted green.
    • Pick the upper half of the small hole. This half is composed of two surfaces, so you will have to click two times. The selected surfaces should be 125 & 126.
  9. The problem definition is complete.
    • Click on “Next step Mesh.”
  1. Wait until CAEplex generates a default grid for your problem.
  2. Rotate, pan and zoom the view to familiarize with the mesh.
  3. Turn on and off the layers.
    • Drop down the “Layers” toolbar.
    • Toggle the “3D elements” layer.
    • Toggle the “Solid” layer.
  4. Select second-order elements.
    • Drop down the “Meshing settings” toolbar.
    • Select “2” in “Element order”
  5. Change the characteristic element size.
    • Move the slider below “New c” and see how the characteristic elemental cube changes its size.
    • You can drag the green cube around to compare its size to the model.
    • Set the characteristic length “New c“ to 1.5 mm in the text box.
  6. Re-generate the mesh with the new settings.
    • Click on the “Re-compute mesh” button.
  7. Check the number of nodes and elements.
    • Drop down the “Current grid” toolbar.
    • Check that there are approximately 60k nodes and 50k elements.
  8. Take a snapshot.
    • Find a nice view and a suitable combination of layers.
    • Click on the “Take a screenshot” button at the top toolbar.
  9. The grid definition is complete.
    • Click on “Next step Solution.”
  1. Check that the problem is well defined.
    • Browse through the panels and check that everything is green and only a check icons are shown.
    • Open the panels and check that the problem values are the ones expected.
  2. Solve the problem.
    • Click on the “Solve problem” button.
  1. Wait until CAEplex solves the problem.
  2. Rotate, pan and zoom the view to familiarize with the mesh.
  3. Warp the displacements to understand how the rod deforms under load.
    • Drop down the “Displacements” toolbar.
    • Slide the bean and watch how the geometry deforms.
  4. Increase the warping factor
    • Set “Max. warp” to 1000.
    • Click on “Refresh”
  5. Warp again the rod.
    • Slide the bean.
    • Set “Warp factor” to 1000. The geometry should deform as you type.
    • Click on “Real warp.”
  6. See the main results.
    • Drop down the “Results” toolbar.
    • Check the value of the maximum, mean and yield stresses and the maximum displacement.
    • Toggle on and of the markers for the location of the maximums (red for stress and blue for displacement).
    • Optionally, download the VTK file for further post-processing with ParaView. That is where the displacement fields and the principal stresses are.
  7. Take nice snapshots.
    • Drop down the “Layers” toolbar.
    • Toggle on and off layers.
    • Find some nice views and suitable combination of layers.
    • Click on the “Take a screenshot” button at the top toolbar.

Congratulations! You successfully completed a project in CAEplex. You might want to click on “Next step Make a report” to obtain a detailed engineering-grade PDF report with the results of this project.