Model Definition:


  • Define a model using AutoCAD 3D solids (or download one here):


  • For this example, 2 separate solid elements will be used, a baseplate and a column:


  • From ASM, change the “Files of Type” to “DWG” and open the AutoCAD drawing containing the solids based 3D model:


  • Now specify the units to be used for this project, I usually indicate to use custom units as follow:


  • Next you select the Analysis Type, keep in mind that you may change it later, or create multiple Analysis scenarios in the same project using different Analysis Types:


  • Notice that the solid objects import as misplaced objects. Now I am not sure how to fix this with the import, but quickly experimented with the available tools to fix the misplaced objects. Use the “SimStudio Tools” to open the model in a 3D model editor for ASM:


  • Notice that the Y and Z coordinates are swopped, this is apparently an issue that has not yet been resolved, as you will see in the following steps as we try to move objects in the intended directions:


  • Before we can move the objects into the correct position, first measure the delta by using the “Measure” tool from the “Inspect” menu, then select any to reference points that can be used to calculate the offset in X, Y and Z directions. I used the corner of the plate (as shown) and the corner of the column (as shown). After selecting the 2 reference points, check the “XYZ Delta” checkbox to display the measured values, copy them to somewhere for further calcs:


  • Select the baseplate geometry by using a standard Autodesk-Style selection method (Box Selection), then right-click and choose “Move”:


  • A palette will appear where you can enter the exact X, Y and Z coordinates, but be careful, as I mentioned earlier, the coordinate system is a bit bonkers. So measure the offset of the plate from the measured references of the column in the previous step, and add them to the distance to offset in this model.  Also, swop your model’s Y and Z values to get this to work:


  • You should now have a perfectly symmetrically placed column on the baseplate:


  • Click on the “SimMech” button from the “Add-Ins” button to send the model back to ASM. You will be required to save the model in the Sim Studio format first:


  • Now you have a correctly placed model back in ASM:



Meshing the model:


  • We will now mesh the 2 objects, and by doing so, assign element definitions to them. From the “Selection” ribbon, select “Parts” in order to select whole parts instead of faces, edges or nodes:


  • We will set up individual meshing parameters for each part, instead of Global mesh parameters. Select the column, right-Click and choose “Part…” from the “Cad Mesh Options” fly-out menu:


  • Indicate a Solid mesh type, using a semi-fine mesh size, then choose “Options” to refine the definition of the solid meshes to be created:


  • Select “Solid” mesh, using Bricks and Tetrahedra:


  • From the Max Aspect Ratio, specify a smaller aspect ratio value using the slider:


  • Do the same for the baseplate part, but use a slightly coarser mesh, since the part is smaller than the column, and we want the meshes to be roughly the same size in both elements:


  • Now click on “Generate 3D Mesh” from the “Mesh” ribbon:


  • Notice that most of the model part errors on the “FEA Editor” palette has been resolved:



Assign Materials:


  • Expand the parts, and assign a material using the material database to the elements:






Define Supports:


  • Choose the select “Surfaces” instead of “Parts” from the “Selection” ribbon:


  • Now select the Bolt Hole Surfaces (4):


  • Click on “General Constraint” from the “Setup” ribbon, and indicate a “Pinned” support by fixing X, Y and Z for translation, but not rotation:



Define Loads:


  • Select the surface at the top of the column, then choose “Force” to define a vertical force pressing down on the column as follow:


  • Also add a force in the Y direction using the same selected surface:


  • You should see something similar to this:



Define Contact Pairs:


  • Choose to select “Parts”:



  • Select both parts using CTRL + Select, then right-click and choose “Welded” from the “Contact” fly-out menu to indicate that the elements are connected via a welded connection:



Perform the Analysis:


  • Click “Run Simulation” to run the Analysis, using the built-in SimMech solver instead of the Nastran solver (for now):



View Analysis Results:


  • View various results by selecting the desired options from the ribbon:







  • To view the sum of results, for example the sum of the reactions on a specific bolt support, first display the FEA result using the options from the Results Contours ribbon:


  • Change the Visual Style if required, I use “Shaded with Mesh”:


  • Using “Nodes” for my selection, combined with the “Circle” selection tool, select the nodes that defined the bolt support opening from the model (Switching the deformed shape off, and activating a Top view from the View Cube will help):


  • From the “Results Inquire” ribbon, select “Current Results”. Now select “Sum” from the “Summary” options dropdown menu. The resulting reaction summary is -13.95 kN (based on a negative reaction result), so we will use 13.95 kN:





Chris V