SpaceClaim – Have you heard of this CAD (computer aided design) simulation preparation software? This fast, easy-to-use, and innovative software is gaining increasing focus not only in America, but already in Western Europe and even in Australia. SpaceClaim, a market leader in engineering simulation software, is part of the American Ansys product family, providing an efficient solution for a variety of simulation calculations for engineers in every industry.
We will take a closer look at how Ansys SpaceClaim software works and explain why it makes easier for engineers to prepare simulations on a daily basis.
One of the main strengths of SpaceClaim software is its speed and the fact that it can be used to work with CAD files imported from any source – it “cleans” these files faster than if it was done in a traditional CAD software.
Why is it important to clean CAD files, and what exactly does it mean?
Engineers often make simplistic changes in their models; they often distort and deform them for simulation purposes – removing small details or edges of the models. In a typically service-based CAD format, there are parametric histories which are based on dependency relationships — these often cause problems in CAD if we accidentally remove surfaces or parts that other elements rely on. With SpaceClaim, you can easily review and clean up geometry and remove unnecessary elements without affecting relationships between existing parameters. SpaceClaim includes many automated tools that identify faulty interfaces, and the software also has intelligent research. All of this makes easy to find and remove parts that are not needed for further simulation. Besides, additional geometries can be created very quickly and Spaceclaim has great tools that are geared towards preparing geometry to be ready for finite element analysis (FEA) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations. A typical example of this is the conversion of 3D bodies into beams and shell elements for finite element analysis (FEA) and the extraction of internal and external fluid volumes for CFD.
SpaceClaim is a great solution for simplifying CAD geometries; especially in case of beams and shell models. They are widely used not only by structural design engineers but also by engineers working with thin-walled bodies and truss-like structures. SpaceClaim has the right set of tools to automatically convert 3D bodies from a CAD file. It first recognizes the midsurfaces for any thin-walled bodies and then automatically extends those midsurfaces – connecting or breaking them as the design engineer needs. SpaceClaim has excellent solutions for transforming tubular geometry into beams of different cross-sections, such as I-sections and T-sections, and then stores these profiles. In addition, tools are available in the software that extend and connect the beams to each other. Any arbitrary solid model can be easily converted into a beam and shell model in a few steps, which will then be ready for simulation.
Extraction of beam and shell elements is often only part of the process, as we may face the problem that the individual elements do not align with each other. Ansys SpaceClaim, on the other hand, offers great manual and automatic tools for extending these surfaces and beam ends. For example, if you have a weld in a 3D model and that model is transformed into a surface geometry, a gap is created at the T-node. The software, on the other hand, has solutions that allow different surfaces to be extended to each other, imprint them, or even removed from each other. The same applies for beam elements; they often need to be extended to fit each other or to adjacent surface – the tools in Spacelaim allow it automatically.
With the automatic geometry correction and simplifaction tools of Ansys SpaceClaim, the simulation preparation process is very fast, resulting in significant time savings comparing to other methods. We can import different thin-walled solids for the plates and 3D tubular sections for the beams of a crane structure into the software at the same time, and then we can start assembling and grouping the individual elements. Using automatic tools, these thin-walled bodies can be converted into midsurfaced surface geometry, while 3D solid tube members can be converted into beams. Then they can finally be connected to each other thanks to the automatic extension tools. In this way, the preparation of CAD simulations becomes more efficient and faster. Most of the companies that have already tried and used it, realized that they saved significant time on individual projects. For companies, time is often one of the main cost factors, and if they can reduce the time required to prepare models, they can work much more efficiently, also making the financial return on projects more favorable.
Possibility to connect with other software – speed is maintained
Many large companies have different software at the same time, such as ANSYS, and have additional licenses for different FEA devices. Creating a particular geometry, such as a more complex crane structure, with Strand7 software, for example, takes about 2 days. However, creating a similarly complex structure in SpaceClaim can take up to 10 minutes. There are a lot of difficulties in peparing these complex, difficult-to-understand structures, but even more complex simulations can be created very quickly with SpaceClaim. Thus, Ansys SpaceClaim provides an opportunity not only for Ansys users, but also for those who use other tool – like Strand7 – and would need a method for converting complex CAD into shells and beams for their FEA tool. Many times, SpaceClaim is purchased by companies to prepare their geometry for the FEA tool they use, which could even be Nastran, Abaqus, and the earlier mentioned Strand7.
Benefits provided by SpaceClaim for ANSYS users
SpaceClaim has been a partner of ANSYS before, but Ansys has recognized the huge time saving that customers can achieve with SpaceClaim. Therefore, they purchased the technology and they made it available to anyone doing any kind of preparation work for various simulations. Customers can use SpaceClaim as a simple and efficient interface between simulation and CAD – whether they use Ansys software or not.
But what are the benefits of using SpaceClaim with Ansys ’own integrated simulation tools?
Well, SpaceClaim is tightly integrated, integrated into the Workbench environment, so it is directly connected to Ansys Mechnical, Ansys CFD, and other Ansys devices as well. When you make geometry changes in SpaceClaim, it will automatically extend them within the simulation environment. SpaceClaim provides a solution for performing any simulation, be it mechanical, fluids, or electromagnetics. Geometry can be simplified and shaped faster before simulation, and its ease of use simplifies the design process for every engineer.
If you have any questions about Ansys SpaceClaim software or any other topic related to simulation, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact our expert colleagues at +36 1 279 0320!
We would like to thank to the colleagues of LEAP Australia (www.leapaust.com.au), another channel partner of Ansys , for using their helpful insights in this topic for our article!(https://www.finiteelementanalysis.com.au/featured/why-use-spaceclaim-to-prepare-cad-for-simulation/)