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Cool way of meshing thin parts

Thursday August 25, 2011 at 10:57am

This is a really neat way of getting a great mesh on thin parts. We all know that if we have thin parts we can use shell elements. However, sometimes you might want a solid mesh but one row of elements through a wall thickness isn't really adequate; 2 rows will give better stress results. But, here's the catch, if you simply make the element size very small to get the 2 rows you end up with zillions of elements and long solution times. How then do you square this circle?

I picked up the answer from SOLIDWORKS World this year and it is dead simple!!! All you do is use the tools in SOLIDWORKS to split the thin part right down the middle. To do this you ... Insert > Surface > Mid Surface and build yourself a surface midway across the wall thickness - dead easy. Then  use Insert > Features > Split and divide the single thin body into two even thinner bodies.

When you create the study you will have 3 bodies in the parts tree. 2 are solids and 1 surface - which is of course just for construction. Just 'Exclude' the surface and mesh the 2 solids. The mesher will respect the two bodies and you get a great solid mesh but with reasonable size elements. Bingo!

Andy Fulcher

Customer Support Manager

Solid Solutions Management Ltd

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