Femap software version 12 is the latest release of the standalone finite element modeling pre- and postproces­sor for engineering simulation and analysis. Femap is CAD-independent and can import geometry from all major CAD platforms and supports most CAD formats. Femap also works in combina­tion with a wide variety of finite element analysis solvers, including the industry-leading NX Nastran software.

Femap version 12 provides a number of interactive visualization and user interface (UI) updates improving ease-of-use, as well as enhancements to geometry pre- and postprocessing func­tionality with extended solver support. New solution capabilities include sup­port for NX Nastran multi-step nonlinear analyses and topology optimization with extended design optimization functionality.

Visualization and user interface

User interface updates

The first thing you will notice when you start Femap version 12 is the refreshed appearance of the user interface. The modernized Femap look is evident with new color schemes that provide better viewing on large displays and high-reso­lution monitors. The panes and dialog boxes have also been updated and stan­dardized to reflect the control and behavior model of the of latest Windows version, enhancing the user experience and providing a cleaner look to the software.

Femap version 12 allows you to interac­tively move and reposition graphics screen entities including titles, axes and the contour legend simply by using the mouse. You can select and modify the desired orientation for viewing the model directly from the new view axes cube, by selecting the faces, edges or corners. On the contour legend you can set maxima and minima quantities directly, vary the number of levels dis­played and optionally set the levels to be smooth or discrete.

Visualization enhancements

Visualization enhancements include new feature and silhouette lines that outline finite element (FE) model fea­tures to aid model viewing. Feature lines display hard edges while silhouette lines highlight curved areas where the model disappears from view. The fea­ture and silhouette lines are mesh-based, and display is controlled by a user-modifiable break angle.

  • Improved graphics performance
  • Version 12 now offers a new “best pos­sible” graphics preference that examines the available graphics hard­ware and automatically sets a configuration that yields the best graph­ics performance.
  • Geometry enhancements
  • Geometry stitching

A new geometry stitching algorithm introduced in version 12 improves the performance and method by which composite surfaces are connected together. This algorithm, which uses multi-body processing controlled by a tolerance, makes it much easier to com­bine surfaces and composite surfaces, with overlapping edges and gaps, in a single command to create fully con­nected geometry that is ready to mesh. Handling of combined curve and sur­face geometry also extends to Boolean operations, where interfacing geometry is recombined and updated automati­cally according to the operation undertaken. Combined and boundary curves and surfaces are preserved dur­ing solid operations and new combined geometry is created as required to maintain geometry topology.

Surface alignment

Femap version 12 introduces a new sur­face alignment command that can remedy geometry misalignment that may arise, for example when combining periodic surfaces with data imported from various CAD systems. Aligning geometry prior to meshing minimizes the creation of disruptive short edges and facilitates the generation of a good finite element mesh. The surface align­ment command also includes an automatic alignment method which can be applied to all or a number of selected surfaces.

Surface between curves

Geometry enhancements include an enhanced curve-to-curve surface con­nection option that extends the previous ruled connection method by adding tangent-to-surface and vector-aligned options.

Performance improvement

The feature removal capability has been improved to maximize performance, and is now more than 30 times faster.

Preprocessing enhancements

Meshing toolbox

  • The washer and pad meshing improve­ment tools now extend to solid element (hexa and tetra) as well as planar ele­ment models. Also, the washer tool can now modify the mesh around non-circu­lar holes, including cutouts with sharp corners, to create the best possible mesh around any cutout.

Updated copy and move command

  • Methods to copy or move geometry with associated FE data (or vice versa) are much easier in version 12 and can be executed with just a single com­mand. You can copy, rotate or reflect geometry with associated mesh with options to also include loads, con­straints, connections and regions. Also, you can copy using a pattern, create multiple repetitions, make use of the auto-repeat capability, and there are further controls for block and offset numbering options.

Beam centerline finder

  • You can now automatically determine the centerline of a solid beam structure, making it easier to model it using 1D beam elements. While executing this command, the materials can either be based on the original solid attributes or be created anew. Geometry selection options include curves, solids and tubes, and the appropriate cross-sec­tions are calculated automatically.
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