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How to mesh a complex sheet metal weldment

Question asked by Jonathan Corsico on Feb 14, 2019
Latest reply on Mar 13, 2019 by S. Y.

Hi -


I have an object that is made of many pieces of sheet metal (about 30 individual pieces), welded together.  Each individual metal piece tends to be pretty simple, so that it can be cut on a laser from flat plate stock.  But welded together, the pieces form a pretty complex 3D shape. 


In Solidworks, I've modeled each metal piece as it's own body, in a multi-body part.  There are significant gaps between the pieces for weld beads. 


How should I mesh this?  I originally tried a bonded contact, but the parts rarely touch.  Or, where they do touch, it will be only on an edge so you can lay weld bead into a fillet.


Is there some way to tell Simulation which edges will be welded together, without actually modeling a weld bead (which would be lots of work, since there are many, many welds).


Thank you!