FEA FAQ Meshparts

Frequently Asked Questions

    Finite Element Analysis (FEA) or FE Simulation (Finite Element Simulation) is a mathematical approximation method for different physical processes. It is typically used for structural simulations (strength, vibration, thermal behaviour), fluid simulations (rotor blades, aircraft wings) and magnetic simulations (electric motors).

    Depending on the simulation task, the FEA can reproduce important behaviour types with sufficient accuracy. This allows the engineers to check important product properties before building prototypes or even to completely save on prototype costs. In addition, the FEA can be used in the early development phase or even in the concept development phase. This shortens development times. Finally, the FEA can be used for numerical optimization of products, for example to increase the performance and lifetime of products or to reduce weight and costs.

    The FEA can be used in all engineering and scientific fields. Classical fields of application are: structural mechanics, heat conduction, electrostatics and magnetostatics.

    The typical FEA is a process consisting of three steps:
    a. Pre-processing: Here geometry, FE mesh, material properties, loads and boundary conditions are defined.
    b. Solving (solution): The FE solver solves the mathematical problem as a linear or non-linear system of equations. The number of equations to be solved is often several million.
    c. Evaluation (post-processing): The results are graphically displayed, examined, evaluated and improvement measures derived.

    The name Meshparts is derived from English and consists of two elements: "Mesh" and "Parts". The mesh is the central component of an FEA software and refers to the FE mesh. The "Parts" here means "pieces", the basis of every assembly-oriented CAD software. Meshparts is the first and only assembly-oriented FEA software.

    The Meshparts software is a finite element (FE) pre- and post-processing software. In contrast to other FE programs on the market, MeshParts works component-oriented (similar to modern CAD software) and makes it possible to create assemblies from individual FE models and assemblies from sub-assemblies. In addition, the Meshparts software integrates a large library of pre-defined, parametric FE models that can be used and reused in the Meshparts software.
    To release the FE assemblies, Meshparts requires one of the leading FE solvers on the market. Ansys® and Abaqus® are currently supported. Finally, the mesh part software has interfaces to well-known CAD programs such as SolidWorks®, Inventor® and Creo®. The following diagram shows the integration of mesh parts with FE solvers, CAD software and their own library of FE models.

    In the following points, the Meshparts software differs from other software solutions in the market:
    • Very fast thanks to reusability
    • Possibility to work module-oriented
    • Validated models from the FE library
    • Design changes quickly implemented
    • No FE expert skills necessary, CAD experience is sufficient

Specific Questions

    The use of the software requires no prior knowledge from engineers. We are happy to assist you with the introduction of Meshparts in your company.

    The Meshparts software has a floating point license, which can be used by as many users at the same time as the number of available licenses. However, an unlimited number of users can register for the use of the licenses with e-mail and password.

    The Meshparts software comes with a comprehensive library of parametric FE models. There are two types of libraries in Meshparts:
    • Online-library
    • Offline-library

    The online library is located on the Meshparts server and can be read or written by the Meshparts software. By default, most directories in the online library have no write access. Your user directory (href = "/ Users/name@domain.de) has both read and write permissions.
    The offline library is located on one of your computer's hard drives. When you use the software for the first time, it will try to automatically select the path of the offline library.
    At the beginning, the offline library is empty. By downloading parts from the online library you can fill up your offline library. You can also define libraries with your own FE models.

    Generally, we distinguish between generic parts and manufacturer-specific parts. The generic library currently contains all machine-specific elements such as drive and guide elements (servo motors, ball screws, linear guides, rolling layers, couplings, toothed belts, planetary gears, etc.) as freely parameterizable FE models. The manufacturer-specific library contains basically all parts that are also available in the generic library, but these are already pre-parameterized and all physically relevant properties are already stored. There is no need for parameterization by the user. You only have to select the desired part of a certain component manufacturer.

    The current version of the Meshparts software runs only on Windows operating systems. The software was tested under Windows XP, Windows 7 and Windows 10 (64 bit). There are no special memory size, processor speed or graphics card requirements, but larger finite element models require more memory. We recommend at least 8 GB of RAM and a mid-range graphics card.

    Your smartphone apps probably occupy more space than our Meshparts software. Nevertheless: We have packed everything, what you need for the parametric modeling of big finite element assemblies. Another advantage: the software requires no installation. Just download it and get started.

    Meshparts wants to cancel the limitations that arise from the different, proprietary FE formats. Currently Ansys® and Abaqus® formats are supported. Soon other well-known FE formats will be added.

    Yes. Meshparts finite element assemblies are exported (converted) into a file format that can be read by third-party finite element software to solve FE equations. Currently, the Ansys® specific CDB and the Abaqus® INP file formats are supported.

  • - Modal superposition: it offers you a mean of exporting your finite element assembly to MATLAB/Simulink to perform very fast but still accurate simulations in time domain
  • Topology Optimization: Meshparts helps you find the ideal weight / stiffness ratio for a design. For this purpose, the material is redistributed in a design room. A specialty of the software is the sheet thickness optimization for sheet metal welded constructions.
  • Batch Process Execution: Some features of the Meshparts software can also be run as a batch process.
  • Server mode: The Meshparts software can also be operated in the so-called "server mode". In server mode, any third-party application can communicate with and remotely control the Meshparts software over a TCP network connection (inter-process communication).

    Yes. One of the typical task in the FEA is to import a CAD model, meshing it and assigning a material. In Meshparts, importing and meshing of CAD models is done by using macro templates. This rather unusual workflow has the advantage of complete automation and parametrization of the process.

    Yes. It is a common task to measure the distance or angle between two surfaces or other geometric entities. In the Meshparts software you can select two geometry entities from the model tree or directly on the 3D viewing area to measure (if applicable) the distance and angle between them.

    Yes. A relation between two models can be of two types:
  • - Positionioin (like in a CAD system)
  • - Physical connections (contact or Joint)
  • You can also define multiple relations at the same time. For that select multiple geometry items and place the selection into the multiple selection fields.

    Yes. You can apply loads and boundary conditions (LBCs) to all type of geometry items available except for reference planes (XY, YZ and ZX items) and reference axes (X, Y, Z items).

    You can also add discrete joints to FE assemblies rather than to model components. This method is recommended for special FE assemblies that cannot be easily or do not need to be standardized.

    Yes. The Meshparts provides integrated post-processing for assembled model file in Ansys .cdb format. Only cdb files exported by Meshparts software can be evaluated, since the results must be backwards transformed from the flat Ansys model structure to the hierarchical assembly structure in Meshparts. At the current state of development, only displacements can be evaluated in the Meshparts software, but additional result quantities are added with almost every new release.

    Yes. Finite element assemblies consist of one or more model files (parts) or other assembly files. There are three ways to create (generate) new model files:
  • - Using the Meshparts online library
  • - Using a finite element software such as Ansys® Mechanical APDL or Ansys®
  • - Workbench
  • - Using macro files

    Yes. If you move models from one directory location to another location, assemblies which contain references to those models will issue warnings about lost model parts. Those model parts have a distinctive gray icon in the model tree