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Module 01: Introduction


Introduction to ANSYS Mechanical

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Welcome!
Welcome to the Introduction to ANSYS Mechanical training course.
This course covers the basics of using ANSYS Mechanical to perform finite element analysis.
It is intended for all new or occasional ANSYS Mechanical users.
Objectives:
Understanding of the user interface
Proficiency in the standard finite element analysis
procedure
Experience with the most common analysis types
Static structural
Modal
Steady-state thermal
Parametric studies
Training Courses are available for a variety of advanced ANSYS Mechanical topics. Visit us at
http://www.ansys.com/Services/Training-Center for more information.

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Module 01 Topics
This module covers introductory topics that are common to all mechanical analysis disciplines:
1. About ANSYS, Inc. 11. Graphics Window
2. ANSYS Customer Portal 12. Scoping Loads and Supports
3. ANSYS Workbench Overview 13. Demonstration: ANSYS Mechanical
4. Demonstration: ANSYS Workbench User Interface
Overview 14. Engineering Data
5. Summary 15. Assigning Material Properties
6. ANSYS Mechanical Overview 16. Demonstration: Engineering Data
7. Basic Analysis Procedure 17. Workshop 01.1: Mechanical Basics
8. ANSYS Mechanical Interface 18. Appendix 01.1: ANSYS Workbench
9. Toolbars Quickstart
10. Outline Tree and Details 19. Appendix 01.2: ANSYS Mechanical
Quickstart

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01.01 About ANSYS, Inc. ANSYS is the Simulation Leader

FOCUSED TRUSTED
This is all we do.
Leading product technologies in all physics areas
Largest development team focused on simulation
96 of the top 100
FORTUNE 500 Industrials
ISO 9001 and NQA-1 certified

CAPABLE PROVEN
2,700+ Recognized as one of the worlds MOST INNOVATIVE
employees AND FASTEST-GROWING COMPANIES*

75
locations INDEPENDENT
Long-term financial stability
CAD agnostic
40
countries

LARGEST
3x The size of our
nearest competitor

*BusinessWeek, FORTUNE
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01.01 About ANSYS, Inc.
Breadth of Technologies
Fluid Mechanics: To Multiphase
From Single-Phase Flows Combustion

Structural Mechanics: To High-Speed Impact


From Linear Statics

Electromagnetics: From To High-Frequency


Low-Frequency Windings Field Analysis

Systems: To Multi-Domain
From Data Sharing System Analysis

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01.02 ANSYS Customer Portal
https://support.ansys.com
Submit and review service requests
If you cannot find the answer to your question within the ANSYS Customer Portal then you can
submit a service request for technical assistance.

Download the latest software and updates


Download either ISO images or individual installer packages to access the latest software release.

Download training and tutorial materials


Examples are available for both a broad range of ANSYS products and users experience. Search
the hundreds of examples available and improve your knowledge of ANSYS software.

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01.02 ANSYS Customer Portal
The ANSYS Customer Portals search is
powered by dedicated Google hardware.
Search Facets
Mesh = Meshed = Meshing
Export = Exported = Exporting
XXXXX = YYYYY = ZZZZZ
Example:
You want a meshing tutorial for ANSYS Meshing and your search has results for
other products that are not of interest to you; by selecting the product facet
ANSYS Meshing you can narrow down your results further.

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01.03 ANSYS Workbench Overview

ANSYS Workbench is:


An engineering analysis project management tool.
The top-level interface linking all of our modeling
and analysis products.
A resource for creating and viewing the functional
organization of an analysis project.
A file manager.
A tool for parametric and design optimization
studies.

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01.03 ANSYS Workbench Overview

If youre new to ANSYS Workbench, see


Appendix 01.1: ANSYS Workbench Quickstart
for additional background information

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01.04 Demonstration: ANSYS Workbench Overview

This demonstration provides an


overview of basic Workbench project-
level functionality.

[video file: 01-Workbench-Overview.mp4]

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01.05 Summary
ANSYS Workbench provides a convenient way of managing
your engineering simulation projects.

Parametric Studies

Data transfer

Project Organization Multiphysics Analysis

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01.06 ANSYS Mechanical Overview
The following analysis types are available* in ANSYS Mechanical:
Structural Static (Linear and Nonlinear)
Structural Dynamic
Modal
Harmonic
Response Spectrum
Random Vibration
Transient (Linear and Nonlinear)
Rigid dynamics
Thermal (Steady-State and Transient)
Magnetostatic
Electrical
Multiphysics
*Actual availability depends upon licensing. All analysis types above are supported with ANSYS Mechanical
Enterprise licensing. Not all analysis types listed above are covered in this course.

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01.06 ANSYS Mechanical Overview

If youre new to ANSYS Mechanical, see


Appendix 01.2: ANSYS Mechanical Quickstart
for additional background information

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01.07 Basic Analysis Procedure
A finite element analysis is used to determine the response of a system based on some type of
loading and a specified set of supports.
It is important to remember that a finite element solution is an approximation:
CAD geometry is an idealization of the actual physical system.
The mesh is an assemblage of discrete elements that represent the geometry.
The accuracy and usefulness of answers is determined by various factors, one of which is the mesh density.

CAD Model Finite Element Mesh

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01.07 Basic Analysis Procedure

An analysis can be described in the context of four


main steps:
Preliminary Decisions
Preprocessing
Solution
Postprocessing

Note that the steps of the basic procedure are


generally reflected in the Outline view (also known as
the Tree or the Outline Tree).
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01.08 The ANSYS Mechanical Interface
The components of the user interface are shown below:

Menus
Toolbars

Graphics Window
Mechanical
Outline Tree Application Wizard

Details View Status Bar

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01.08 The ANSYS Mechanical Interface
A range of menus and toolbars provide much of the general functionality in
Mechanical.
The title bar lists analysis type, product, and active ANSYS license.

Some menu and toolbar items are self explanatory. Well cover the basic
controls on the next few slides.
Additional controls and features will be introduced throughout the course as they are
encountered.
The various views in Workbench and Mechanical can be customized. If you
need to return to the default layout use either or both:
Mechanical: View > Windows > Layout > Reset Window Layout.
Workbench: View > Reset Window Layout.

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01.09 Toolbars
The Context toolbar changes depending on the current Outline selection:

In most cases, an alternate path to these features is available via the right
mouse button (RMB) when the associated branch is highlighted.

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01.09 Toolbars
The Graphics toolbar graphical selection section:
Select Geometry (vertex, face, etc.):
Use single or box select modes.

Select Mesh (nodes): Filters


Use single or box select mode (including box, box volume and
lasso volume).
Select mesh is only available when the mesh is displayed.

Volume Select

Box Lasso
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01.09 Toolbars

Selection planes allow for users to easily select entities that


are overlaying one another.
An initial selection point acts as the starting point for a path through the
model.
Each entity encountered is displayed by a selection plane.
The path through the model is in the normal Z (viewing) direction.

Example using surfaces: initial selection location.

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01.10 Outline Tree and Details

The Outline Tree branches represent


various modeling and analysis operations.
Each branch has an associated status
iconbecoming familiar with these will
allow you to debug Mechanical problems
more quickly. See Appendix 01.2 for
details.

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01.10 Outline Tree and Details
The Details View contains input and output fields (the contents will change depending on the branch
selected):
White field: input data that can be edited.
Yellow field: incomplete input data.
Gray field: information only, cannot be modified.
Red field: Result no longer up to date (must re-solve).

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01.10 Outline Tree and Details

Again, becoming familiar with the status icons will allow you to debug Mechanical
problems quickly. To help you in this task, you can use the Show Errors button.
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01.11 Graphics Window
The Graphics Window shows the geometry and results. Tabs allow access to Print and Report
Previews as well.

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01.11 Graphics Window
A Worksheet view is available for many objects in the tree (i.e. geometry, connections, etc.).
Provides a list view of the data in the tree.

Activate Worksheet

Toggle between graphics


and worksheet

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01.11 Graphics Window

Keyboard Shortcuts are supported in Mechanical for


common actions such as: Select All Objects (Ctrl+ A),
Body Filter Selection (Ctrl+B), Zoom to Fit (F7).

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01.12 Scoping Loads and Supports
Loads and supports can be applied as:
1. Scope, then action (pre-select):
Select geometry entity in Graphics Window, then select load or support
(context toolbar or RMB > insert).
Define magnitude and direction (if required).
OR

2. Action, then scope:


Select load or support from the context menu or RMB > Insert.
Select the scope, then Apply in the details.
Define magnitude and direction (if required).
Notes:
Preselecting (1) is more efficient since it avoids having to use the Apply/Cancel function
(pre-selection is automatically applied).
If you wish to change a boundary conditions location simply click in the geometry field to
bring up the Apply/Cancel selections and make a new selection.

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01.12 Scoping Loads and Supports
Some loads require a direction. There are
2 methods of direction control:
Component Method:
In the details view set Define By to
Components.
Select the desired coordinate system
(local or global).
Enter X, Y, and Z magnitudes.

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01.12 Scoping Loads and Supports
Vector Method:
In the details view set Define By to Vector.
Enter the load magnitude.
Click the Direction field and choose the control geometry (vertex
pairs, edges or surfaces).
Apply to confirm.
To modify directions using the vector method:
Click in the Direction field and select new control geometry.
Use the arrows in the Graphics window to reverse directions.
Apply when finished.
The Default method can be set in the Tools > Options dialog.
Toggle arrow buttons to
Note: Structural simulations allow certain boundary conditions to be reverse load direction
applied directly to the finite element model (nodes and elements). This
technique is covered in Module 06.

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01.13 Demonstration: ANSYS Mechanical User Interface

This demonstration provides an


overview of the ANSYS Mechanical
user interface.

[video file: 02-Mechanical-User-Interface.mp4]

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01.14 Engineering Data
The Engineering Data application provides control for material properties.
Engineering Data can be opened stand alone or from the analysis system cell (double click or RMB>Edit).

Note : A Physics Filter toggles between displaying all materials and properties or only materials relevant to the
analysis systems in the project

A key concept in Engineering Data is that materials must be checked out of a material library and into a project
before they can be used in your analysis

Data Source (Material Library) Workbench Project

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01.14 Engineering Data
Project View

NOTE:
Only the materials shown in this view
will be available in the current
Mechanical analysis.

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01.14 Engineering Data
Users can define their own materials or use one from the Engineering Data Source.
To use the Engineering Data Source, click on
Highlight the desired library
Click the + next to the desired material
Return to the Engineering Data Manager by toggling

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01.14 Engineering Data

To create a new material:


Make sure Engineering Data Sources is
toggled off.
= OFF
Enter a name for the new material.
From the Toolbox, double-click or drag
and drop the desired properties.
Enter appropriate values for the
properties.

Note: properties can be added to existing


materials using the same technique.

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01.14 Engineering Data
To place a new material in a library you must export it as an
xml file first.
Highlight the material name
From the File menu choose Export Engineering Data.
Browse to the desired location to store the file.

Continued . . .
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01.14 Engineering Data
Toggle to the Data Sources display.
= ON
Highlight the material library where the new
material is to be stored.
The material library must be unlocked (edit mode) before
new materials can be added.

From the File menu choose to Import Engineering


Data.
Browse to the xml file for the new material.

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01.14 Engineering Data
To create a material library toggle to the Data Sources display.
= ON
Enter a name and select a location (a browser will open automatically).

Engineering Data files (libraries and materials) are stored in .xml format.

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01.15 Assigning Material Properties
Material properties are assigned to parts in the Material Assignment field in the
parts details (Mechanical application).
Notice there are several shortcuts allowing quick access to the Engineering Data
application in Workbench.

Jump to Engineering Data to


define new material or import
from library.
Jump to Engineering Data to edit
the current material selection.
Materials already selected in
Engineering Data

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01.16 Demonstration: Engineering Data

This demonstration provides an


overview of the ANSYS Mechanical
Engineering Data application.

[video file: 03-Engineering-Data.mp4]

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01.17 Workshop 01.1: Mechanical Basics
Goal:
Using the Stress Wizard, set up and solve a structural model for stress,
deflection, and factor of safety.

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01.18 Appendix 01.1

ANSYS Workbench Quickstart

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01.18 Appendix 01.1: Workbench Overview
The options visible in the Analysis Systems are ready-made
left-hand column show all stencils that include all the
the products (systems) you individual systems (applications)
have licenses for. needed for common analyses (for
TIP: If this list appears example Geometry + Mesh + Solver
empty, you have a problem + Post-Processor)
with your licensing.

Component Systems are the


individual building-blocks for each
stage of the analysis
Design Exploration
provides tools for
optimising designs and
understanding the
parametric response.
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01.18 Appendix 01.1: Basic Workflow

Dragging an Analysis System onto


the project desktop lays out a
workflow, comprising all the steps
needed for a typical analysis.

Workflow is from top to bottom.


As each stage is complete, the icon
at the right-hand side changes

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01.18 Appendix 01.1: Alternative Workflow

However, an analysis could equally well be prepared by selecting the


individual Component Systems that are needed for this analysis, and
then linking them together with connectors.

TIP: There are two ways to create the connectors between the systems:
1) Use the mouse to draw a line (e.g. A2 to B3, B4 to C4 etc)
2) Or, simply drop the new system on the cell of the upstream one,
and the link will be generated automatically.

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01.18 Appendix 01.1: Cell States
As each stage in the model-build is completed, the state
of the cell changes.
Icon Meaning
Up to Date
Refresh required. Upstream data has changed
Status after creating Geometry in A3,
not yet opened Mechanical in A4 Update required. Local data has changed
Unfulfilled. Upstream data does not exist
Attention Required
Solving
Update Failed
Update Interrupted
Changes pending (was up-to-date, but upstream data has
Status after model has solved waiting changed)
for post-processing

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01.18 Appendix 01.1: Sharing Data between Different Solvers
Workbench can be used to transfer data between solvers. In this 1-way FSI (fluid-structure-
interaction) example, we transfer the loads from a Fluent CFD simulation over to a
Mechanical system to perform a stress analysis.

The square connector shows that the The round connector shows that the
geometry created in cell A2 (CFD CFD results are being transferred as
model) is being shared with cell B3 a Setup (input) condition to be used
(FEA model). for FEA stress analysis.

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01.18 Appendix 01.1: File Location on Disk
Should you need to identify the individual files on your disk for each stage of the project,
these can be found by enabling View > Files. The resulting table will cross-reference the
directory and filename with the project cells.

Project File Project Directory

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01.18 Appendix 01.1: Archive/Restore
The workbench project comprises many files and directories. If you need to either
archive the project, or bundle it to send to us for a Technical Support query, use the
Archive tool. This generates a single zipfile of the entire project.

When archiving, you can choose


whether to include the computed result
files or not. (Omitting these may make
it small enough to send by email.)

If you restore an archive you can choose


where to save (and solve) the project. If
you double-click on a .wbpz file it will
unpack the file to the location given by
Tools > Options > Folder for Temporary Files

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01.18 Appendix 01.1: Working With Parameters
Most Workbench applications will let
you specify key quantities as a
parameter (rather than a constant).
This will be covered later.
In this example:
When creating the geometry in
DesignModeler, hole diameter is set to
be an input parameter.
When reviewing the results, the
maximum stress is set as an output
parameter
We could just have easily set up a CFD
analysis, looking at different loading
conditions and reporting the pressure
drops.

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01.18 Appendix 01.1: Working With Parameters
2] Click here to
compute all the designs

1] Create new row in table


with each design (in this
case hole diameter) 4] The Exported
3] The desired result option allows
(set up in Mechanical) snapshots of each
Clicking on Parameter Set lets us vary these parameters. is reported here DP to be saved to a
Four different geometric designs are being tested.
different project
The whole process is automated. Workbench will recursively:
1) Create the geometry, based on the parameters in the table
2) Take this into Mechanical and remesh and solve and then the postprocessor
The user just needs to sit back and wait, and the matrix of experiments (each requiring several
different applications to be launched in turn) is computed automatically.

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01.18 Appendix 01.1: Starting Mechanical
There are two methods of launching Workbench:
1) From the Windows start menu:

2) From the CAD system:

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01.18 Appendix 01.1: Working With Units
The Units menu in Workbench:
Select from predefined unit systems.
Create custom unit systems.
Controls unit display for Engineering Data, Parameters and Charts.
Activate the Units System dialog to unit display preferences.

Units can be displayed in the active


Project system or as they were
defined in their source (e.g. CAD
system).

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01.18 Appendix 01.1: Working With Units
Create custom unit systems by duplicating existing systems then modifying.
Custom unit systems can be exported and imported.

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01.18 Appendix 01.1: License Preferences
Workbench license control is handled through the user interface shown below, activated from the
Workbench project page: Tools > License Preferences

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01.18 Appendix 01.1: License Preferences
The order of license preference is specified using the up/down arrows (first available is used).
The Use License column indicates desired licenses to use (0 = off, 1 = on).

Workbench users can specify whether a


single license is shared when multiple
applications are open, or if each application
accesses their own license.

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01.19 Appendix 01.2

ANSYS Mechanical Quickstart

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01.19 Appendix 01.2: Menus
The View menu:
Control basic graphics (shaded, wireframe, etc.).

Control graphical expansion of shells and beams.

Control display utilities (legend, triad, ruler, etc.).

Set preferences for annotation display.

Select the desired toolbars and windows to be displayed.

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01.19 Appendix 01.2: Menus
The Units menu:
Specify the unit system for Mechanical.
Note, Mechanical may use any unit system regardless of
the one specified in Workbench. Where needed,
automatic conversions will be made.
Mechanical will remember the units used in the
previous session (regardless of the units set in
Workbench).
Specify additional units for angular, rotational and thermal
references.

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01.19 Appendix 01.2: Menus

Annotation Preferences:
Controls the display of
annotations for loads/constraints,
user labels, remote conditions
and meshing displays.
Make preference selections then
Apply or OK to reflect the
changes.

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01.19 Appendix 01.2: Standard Toolbar
The Standard Toolbar functionality is shown below:

A B C D E F G H

A. Activate the Mechanical Wizard


B. Object Generator
C. Solve
D. Populate the message windows with the appropriate error message for any tree objects that are not properly
defined
E. Create slice planes, annotations, charts and tables
F. Add comments and figures to the tree
G. Activate optional Worksheet view
H. Activate selection information window

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01.19 Appendix 01.2: Graphics Control and Selection
Graphics Shortcuts:
Middle Mouse button (wheel):
Free rotation
+ CTRL = panning
+ Shift = zoom LMB RMB
Right Mouse Button:
Scroll mouse wheel to zoom in/out
Hold RMB + drag = box zoom
RMB Context Menu from graphics window:
Access isometric view controls and fit.
Standard views built in.
Click the axes of the triad to reorient view.
Click the blue iso ball for isometric view.

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01.19 Appendix 01.2: Graphics Control and Selection
The Graphics toolbar:
A. Common features (rotate, pan, zoom, box zoom) are to the left of the toolbar.
B. A fit button and magnifier window toggle are available.
C. When zooming, a stack is stored and can be retraced using previous or next buttons.
D. Isometric view.
E. Look At selected entities, reorients view normal to current selection.
F. Manage Views.
G. Resize annotations on loads and supports after zooming.
H. Tags.

A B C D E F G H

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01.19 Appendix 01.2: Graphics Control and Selection
Graphics Options toolbar:
A. Show Vertices: Accentuates vertex display for
easier identification.
B. Wireframe: Toggles view (solid/wireframe).
C. Show Mesh: Show mesh instead of geometry.
D. Show all coordinate systems.
E. Random Colors: Use random Colors for load and
name selection annotations
F. Annotation Preferences: explain in the next slide

A B C D E F

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01.19 Appendix 01.2: Graphics Control and Selection
Graphics Options toolbar:
A. Edge Controls: Edge color control and display options based on
edge connectivity (number of faces connected to an edge).
B. Show edge direction.
C. Show edges where mesh connections are used.
D. Thicken line display where lines have boundary conditions scoped.

A B C D

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01.19 Appendix 01.2: Outline Tree Status Icons
Becoming familiar with the status icons will allow you to debug
Mechanical problems quickly.

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01.19 Appendix 01.2: Tagging and Tree Filtering
The Tree Filter:
To streamline the management of tree objects, especially
for large models, a tree filter can be used to find objects or
to reduce the length of the tree that is displayed.
Filter by: Name, Tag (discussed later), Type or State.
Examples:

Filter by state = underdefined to find Filter by type = results to only


only those objects in the tree. display result items.

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01.19 Appendix 01.2: Tagging and Tree Filtering

The Tree Filter Example:


Filter Name = shaft (user entry)
Notice here there are a number of branches
containing the word shaft. By using the
tree filter each can be quickly found.

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01.19 Appendix 01.2: Tagging and Tree Filtering
Tags are designations that can be assigned to any branch in the tree and
used with the previously discussed filtering capability.
Activate the tags window from the View menu or the Tags icon.

With the tags view active, a new


tags window is displayed
below the details window

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01.19 Appendix 01.2: Tagging and Tree Filtering
Creating Tags:
From the Tags window choose to Add a Tag.
Enter a name for the new Tag in the dialog box.

With tags created, add items by highlighting in the


tree and checking the box by the tag.
Highlight Items
and Check Tag
Note : the item selection for tags can only be performed
from the tree and not from the graphic interface.

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01.19 Appendix 01.2: Tagging and Tree Filtering
Tags Summary:
Any object branch in the tree can be tagged.
Objects can be associated with more than one tag.
Manage tags from the tags window.
Highlight Tags and RMB to find items.

Find objects in a single tag


Find objects in multiple tags

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01.19 Appendix 01.2: Grouping Tree Objects
For the following object types, Mechanical enables you to
organize and group together like-objects :
Geometry
Coordinate System
Connection features: Springs, Beam Connections,
End Release, and Bearings
Named Selections (Named Selections within
the Fracture folder cannot be grouped.)
Boundary conditions
Results (child objects of the Solution folder)
For boundary conditions and results, the Group Similar
Objects groups together objects of the same type
(e.g., Pressure, Displacement, etc.) and renames
the group folder according to that type.
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01.19 Appendix 01.2: The Mechanical Application Wizard
The Mechanical Wizard is a useful aid in guiding users in
locating the features required to complete an analysis:
Provides a list of required tasks based on the wizard type (e.g.
structural, thermal, etc.).
Icons indicate the status of each task (similar to tree status
icons).
By selecting an item on the Required Steps checklist, a
callout appears, illustrating where that task is performed.

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