Last year SOLIDWORKS 2018 and SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2018 introduced two incredible features, the ability to work with Mesh Bodies and Topology Study. Mesh bodies are BREP, or Boundary Representation, bodies made up of facets, much like what we see when exporting an STL file. Topology Study allows us to utilize SOLIDWORKS Simulation to determine the best shape possible to meet our optimization goals and geometric constraints. With SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2019, these two features have been improved upon allowing us to export mesh bodies from Topology Studies.
Exporting the mesh body starts with a Topology Study result, the Material Mass Plot. Once you have created this result plot, it needs to be further modified using the option ‘Calculate Smoothed mesh’.
Drag the ‘Number of Cycles’ slider bar anywhere between Coarse and Smooth, as you see fit. To change the visibility of the smooth mesh body, you might consider checking the radio button ‘Specify color for Smoothed Mesh’ combined with changing the pull-down to ‘Single color’, then selecting something that is more visible on your computer screen than the default color. Also, you may need to toggle back and forth between the Material Mass Plot and the Smooth Mesh Plot to generate the exact shape you want for the exported mesh body. When you have the result plot generated to your liking, click the green check mark in the Property Manager to accept the result and finish creating the plot.
Now that you have the smooth mesh plot created, the next step is to right-click on the Material Mass plot within the Simulation Results feature tree. You will choose the option ‘Export Smoothed Mesh’, of course!
Like many Property Managers in SOLIDWORKS, there are multiple options available to users. For this specific export, I want a solid body of the Topology Study result. To accomplish this, here are the options that I will use. First, I need to select the ‘New part file’ radio button in the ‘Save mesh into’ section of the Property Manager. Then I will choose both a file name for the newly exported mesh body and the folder where I want to save this file.
Now expand the ‘Advanced Export’ section and choose either ‘Solid Body’ or ‘Surface Body’ for the exported file. A Solid Body export will create a closed boundary surface, also known as a watertight mesh. A Surface Body export will create an open surface BREP. Under the ‘Mesh body options’, check the box to ‘Create mesh bodies bounded by single faces’ as well as ‘Group facets into faces’. At this point in the process just click the green check mark to accept everything from this Property Manager and wait! The Exported Mesh Body is being created and saved to your hard drive where you previously specified.
When the file creation is complete, open the new part file and view our Export Mesh Body results! (One thing to note is the mesh BREP body is independent of the Finite Element Mesh used for the Topology Study.)
That’s the process for creating the Export Mesh Body from a Topology Study result, but now what? I can think of a few uses for this mesh body. One might be to use this part file as a “template” to re-model the original part in SOLIDWORKS to create a parametric version of the Topology Study shape. Another might be to 3D Print this part on your Desktop Metal or Stratasys printer, if you have one of those machines in your office. In time, I’m sure we SOLIDWORKS users will find many, many more uses for Exported Mesh Bodies from SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2019 Topology Studies. Now go make your products better with SOLIDWORKS Simulation!
I hope this part of the What’s New series gives you a better understanding of the new features and functions of SOLIDWORKS 2019. Please check back to the CATI Blog as the CATI Application Engineers will continue to break down many of the new items in SOLIDWORKS 2019. All these articles will be stored in the category of “SOLIDWORKS What’s New”.
Product Specialist, Simulation
Computer Aided Technology, LLC
Design Innovation Month – October 2018
What is DI MONTH?
CATI is declaring October Design Innovation MONTH. We’ve created a month-long series of events and activities around design innovation especially for our customers. Attend a SOLIDWORKS 2019 event, enter our rendering contest, and learn about some cool tips and tricks at the daily online events. Plan your month at www.cati.com/design-innovation-month