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Mixed meshes -- beams and shells

Question asked by Jim Andrews on Jul 14, 2010
Latest reply on Aug 11, 2010 by Bill McEachern

As I stated on another recent thread, I've been performing FEA with COSMOS/M for almost 20 years, and ABAQUS for a half decade prior to that.  I'm comfortable with COSMOS.  SolidWorks & Simulation?  Not so much.


So now that I've gotten just a little bit proficient at designing a weldment and analyzing it with beam elements, I need to take the next step.  I need to include shells.  Imagine a 3D weldment with thin gussets and skins -- what's the most appropriate way to model this in SolidWorks, and then how do I generate a mixed mesh of beam and shell elements to analyze it?  I want to use shells, not actual 3D (tet) elements for the thin plates.  It "feels" like the shells should be meshed from surfaces, in a planar analog to the lines one creates in a sketch that get meshed as beams.  Am I on the right track?


Any hints would be greatly appreciated, and a link to one or more tutorials would be fine.  I haven't found any that address this specific task.