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Meshing: Thin Sweep Meshing of a Multibody Part

The Meshing application supports thin sweep meshing for both single body and multibody parts. For single
body parts, multiple elements through the thickness can be defined. For multibody parts, only one division
through the thickness of the thin sweep is possible. A benefit of multibody part meshing is its creation of
conformal mesh between bodies. This tutorial illustrates the use of the Meshing application's thin sweep
meshing feature to mesh a truck frame modeled as a multibody part. Topics covered in this tutorial include:
Inserting a Sweep mesh method for a part and for a single body
Setting Automatic Thin and Manual Thin options for the Src/Trg Selection control
Suppressing and unsuppressing bodies in a multibody part and its effects on the mesh
Manually selecting source faces for the sweep and using the Extend to Limits menu option to select
all tangent faces
This tutorial requires you to have a copy of the geometry file TRUCK_FRAME_MODEL.agdb. If you do not
have this file, you can download it from the ANSYS Download Center, which is accessible from the ANSYS
Customer Portal at:
http://www1.ansys.com/customer
You will need to navigate through the Download Wizard and select the ANSYS Meshing Tutorial Input
Files download, which is listed in the ANSYS Documentation, Examples and Other Tools section.
After you have the geometry file, you can proceed to Tutorial Setup.
1. Tutorial Setup
Creating the Project
1. Open ANSYS Workbench.
2. Double-click on the Static Structural analysis system in the Toolbox to add a Static Structural system
to the Project Schematic.
3. Select File > Save from the main menu and save the project as THIN_SWEEP_MBPART.wbpj.
Importing the Geometry
1. Now add geometry to the project. On the Project Schematic, right-click the Geometry cell in the Static
Structural system and select Import Geometry > Browse....
2. In the file browser that opens, locate and open the file TRUCK_FRAME_MODEL.agdb.
The geometry is complete and does not require modifications. Notice the Geometry cell has an up-to-date
state .
Now that the tutorial is set up, you can proceed to Mesh Generation.
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2. Mesh Generation
Launching the Mechanical Application
On the Project Schematic, right-click the Model cell in the Static Structural system and select Edit... to launch
the Mechanical application.
Note
In this tutorial, Meshing application capabilities that are also available within the Mechanical ap-
plication are used.
Setting the Unit System
On the main menu, click Units and select Metric (mm, kg, N, s, mV, mA).
Expanding the Tree Outline
1. In the Tree Outline, click to expand the Geometry and Part objects.
2. Notice that the model consists of one multibody part that is made up of seven Solid bodies.
Using the Automatic Thin Option
In this part of the tutorial, the Automatic Thin option for source/target selection will be used on the part.
1. In the Tree Outline, right-click Mesh and select Insert > Method.
2. Right-click in the Geometry window and select Select All from the context menu.
3. In the Details View, click the Geometry field to apply your selection.
The value in the Geometry field confirms that all seven bodies are selected.
4. For Method, select Sweep.
5. For Src/Trg Selection, select Automatic Thin.
For multibody parts, remember that only one division through the thickness is possible. Notice that
Sweep Num Divs is set to 1 by default, and cannot be changed.
6. In the Tree Outline, click the Mesh object.
7. In the Details View, click to expand the Sizing group of controls.
8. Set Element Size to 1.
9. In the Tree Outline, right-click the Mesh object and select Generate Mesh.
After a short wait, the mesh generation fails.
Notice the small status icons to the left of the part/body listing in the Tree Outline. In a multibody
part all bodies are meshed at the same time to ensure a conformal mesh. When a multibody part is
meshed, the status icon to the left of the Part object changes from to to indicate the mesh gener-
ation was successful. If one body fails, the entire mesh fails. Notice the status icon for the Part object
(as well as for all seven bodies) is still .
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Meshing: Thin Sweep Meshing of a Multibody Part
10. Examine the list of messages in the Messages window. To view the full text of a message you can
either double-click on it, or right-click on it and select Show Message from the context menu.
In some cases, an error message may not provide enough information to identify the problem. This is
why it is important to examine all of the messages, especially any warning messages, which may give
an indication of a subsequent related error.
In the case of this tutorial, the following warning message suggests an alternative course of action,
which you will follow later in the tutorial:
Source Faces: For Thin Model Sweeping, the area of source faces should be similar to
that of the target faces. It has been detected that they are quite different. Please verify
the source faces (highlighted faces) and try again. If the program generated source
faces are not what you want, manually specify the source faces.
To view the highlighted faces that are mentioned in the message, right-click on the message (it is the
fourth one in the list) and select Show Problematic Geometry from the context menu. Notice the
faces that are highlighted in green in the Geometry window, as shown below. Although it is not
evident from looking at the Tree Outline, note that one of the problematic faces is on the third Solid
body listed in the Tree Outline, and the other is on the fifth Solid body listed in the Tree Outline.
11. To get ready for the next part of the tutorial, you need to clear any generated mesh data. In the Tree
Outline, right-click Mesh and select Clear Generated Data.
12. Click Yes to clear the data.
Using the Manual Thin Option
In this part of the tutorial, the Manual Thin option for source/target selection will be used on two bodies
(i.e., the third and fifth Solid bodies listed in the Tree Outline). This option requires you to manually specify
the source faces for these bodies.
1. In the Tree Outline, right-click the third Solid body and select Suppress All Other Bodies.
2. Right-click the fifth Solid body and select Unsuppress Body.
The status icons in the Tree Outline indicate that all bodies except the third and fifth bodies are sup-
pressed . Only the unsuppressed bodies appear in the Geometry window.
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Using the Manual Thin Option
When there is a combination of suppressed and unsuppressed bodies in a model, only the unsuppressed
bodies will be meshed. In addition, all influence of suppressed bodies on neighboring bodies and their
meshes is suppressed. This behavior helps to isolate problems you may encounter during mesh gen-
eration. Related information is presented later in this tutorial.
3. You will apply Manual Thin to the body on the left first. Use Box Zoom to zoom the body and
then reposition it as shown below.
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Meshing: Thin Sweep Meshing of a Multibody Part
4. In the Tree Outline, right-click Mesh and select Insert > Method.
5. Click Body and pick the body in the Geometry window.
6. In the Details View, click the Geometry field to apply your selection.
The value in the Geometry field confirms that one body is selected.
7. For Method, select Sweep.
8. For Src/Trg Selection, select Manual Thin.
9. Click Face .
10. There are nine faces that you need to select, as shown below. You can paint select the desired faces
by clicking the left mouse button and dragging the mouse across the faces to select them.
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Using the Manual Thin Option
11. In the Details View, click Source twice to apply the selection.
The value in the Source field confirms that nine faces are selected.
12. Click Zoom To Fit to reposition the geometry so that you can see the unsuppressed body on the
right.
13. Use Box Zoom to zoom the body on the right and then reposition it as shown below.
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of ANSYS, Inc. and its subsidiaries and affiliates.
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Meshing: Thin Sweep Meshing of a Multibody Part
14. In the Tree Outline, right-click Mesh and select Insert > Method.
15. Click Body and pick the body in the Geometry window.
16. In the Details View, click the Geometry field to apply your selection.
The value in the Geometry field confirms that one body is selected.
17. For Method, select Sweep.
18. For Src/Trg Selection, select Manual Thin.
19. Click Face .
20. There are 34 faces that you need to select. Use paint select to select the first 10, as shown below.
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of ANSYS, Inc. and its subsidiaries and affiliates.
Using the Manual Thin Option
21. In the main menu, click Extend Selection and then select Extend to Limits from the menu to
select all tangent faces.
22. In the Details View, click Source twice to complete the selection.
The value in the Source field confirms that 34 faces are selected.
23. Click Zoom To Fit so that both unsuppressed bodies are visible in the Geometry window.
24. In the Tree Outline, right-click the Mesh object and select Generate Mesh.
The bodies are meshed successfully. Notice that the status icon for the Part object (as well as for the
two unsuppressed bodies) indicates that mesh generation was successful . However, you still do not
know whether the part will mesh if all bodies are unsuppressed. This is because suppressing and un-
suppressing bodies in a multibody part can change the meshes in neighboring bodies, thereby inval-
idating the mesh state for the whole part.
25. In the Tree Outline, right-click any Solid body and select Unsuppress All Bodies.
26. In the Tree Outline, right-click Mesh and select Clear Generated Data.
27. Click Yes to clear the data.
28. In the Tree Outline, right-click Mesh and select Generate Mesh.
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of ANSYS, Inc. and its subsidiaries and affiliates.
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Meshing: Thin Sweep Meshing of a Multibody Part
With all bodies unsuppressed, the mesh is generated, as shown below. Notice the status icon next to
the Part object (as well as for all the bodies) indicates that mesh generation was successful.
Note
The info and warning messages that appear are somewhat common for thin sweep meshing
and can generally be ignored unless an error message also appears.
Zoom in and examine regions of the mesh to verify that there is conformal mesh between bodies, as
shown below.
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of ANSYS, Inc. and its subsidiaries and affiliates.
Using the Manual Thin Option
This completes the tutorial. From the main menu, select File > Save Project to save the project and then
File > Close Mechanical to return to the Project Schematic.
You can exit ANSYS Workbench by selecting File > Exit from the main menu.
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of ANSYS, Inc. and its subsidiaries and affiliates.
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Meshing: Thin Sweep Meshing of a Multibody Part