Performing FEA of a chassis made of Structural Member Weldments and Extrusions in Solidworks

EDIT: This was a while ago and by the end of the project I did get the FEA to work with Beam Analysis which was a better method.

I have been coming across the problem of trying to perform Finite Element Analysis on a chassis made primarily from Structural Member Weldments that are not long enough to use a ‘Beam Mesh’.

FEA can only be performed on a solid part so they need to be combined. The process that I am following is described below.

Export the part in IGES format:

File > Save as… > Save as type > IGES (*.igs)

Then import the exported part:

File > Open > *.iges

The imported part will consist of a large number of individual imported solids.

The imported solids are combined:

Insert > Feature > Combine…

Select all members of the chassis by drawing a box around them and click apply.

If you are lucky the operation will complete but if you are like me it may say the familiar “Operation would cause zero thickness geometry”. I diagnosed which member was causing the error by adding the members one by one to the combine feature and running “Preview” and then went back and edited the original model to fix the problem.

You can then start a new study and select the Combined feature. Note that this is to use a tetrahedral mesh. If your chassis is made entirely of weldments you can utilise the ‘Beam Mesh’ option.

Advertisements

One thought on “Performing FEA of a chassis made of Structural Member Weldments and Extrusions in Solidworks

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s