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Ansys: how to mesh 3D surface body with Shell elements

Ansys: how to mesh 3D surface body with Shell elements

Ansys: how to mesh 3D surface body with Shell elements

Hi there,

I am used to creating models with a script and run them. Now I am starting to use Workbench as the model design get more complicated.

I created a 3D surface body and got the simulation working. Great.

However, to save computational time, I want to have shell elements instead of 3D elements. Ansys documentation indicates Surface Bodies will be meshed with Shell elements. It does not do so for me. It is meshed with 3D elements with the provided thickness.

Any thoughts on how to force the mesher to merely use shell elements? Or is the mesher using 3D elements because, even though I have a surface body, it still does not fulfill (for me unknown) requirements for the mesher to mesh with shell elements?

Any thoughts on this?


RE: Ansys: how to mesh 3D surface body with Shell elements

hi there,

I'll just repeat what I wrote for you already on ansysforum.com.

Workbench is truly generating shell elements for you. The thickness parameter is necessary for shell elements and cannot be zero, otherwise the stiffness of such body is 0. What you are seeing as 3D elements is the function of showing thickness. You can turn it off in View->Thick Shells and Beams.

If you intent to use the shell as a boundary and you're gonna make it all rigid somehow, you still need that thickness attribute >0. It won't affect anything.

Good luck!


RE: Ansys: how to mesh 3D surface body with Shell elements

Not sure what you mean by "surface body". If you import a solid model from CAD or a STEP file, Workbench will mesh it with solid elements. If you want shell elements, you either need to bring in a model with surfaces, or first take your solid model into Design Medeler and make a mid-plane model. WB will mesh surfaces with shells and solids with bricks

Rick Fischer
Principal Engineer
Argonne National Laboratory

RE: Ansys: how to mesh 3D surface body with Shell elements

Dear Pavel,

Thanks a lot. It was as simple as that! Learning every day to deal with the GUI...


RE: Ansys: how to mesh 3D surface body with Shell elements

You're welcome Marco!

The Workbench Mechanical GUI is quite alright. It just takes some experimenting and trials. You can always export your FEM data via Tools->Write Input File and check what WB does in the background by reading the file in MAPDL. Especially for things like contacts, many settings are "program controlled" and unless you want to dive in the documentation, checking the FEM in Classic is faster alternative.


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