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How to Apply Bolt Connectors to Shell Elements

Question asked by Aaron Moncur on Nov 11, 2011
Latest reply on Nov 12, 2011 by Aaron Moncur

I am running an analysis on a large-ish assembly, the components of which are all thin (overall size of largest component is about 40" x 40" x 10" and 3/16" thick...other components are 12 gauge sheet metal).  When I apply bolt connectors to the sheet metal bodies, the visual icon looks as it should (with the blue "rings' on the selected edges of the bolt holes:

Assembly, Solid Bolt Connector.JPG


However, when I mesh the model (and treat the bracket as sheet metal), SW creates a shell element out of the sheet metal bracket the surface of which is the middle of the bracket.  In other words, the circle edge I originally selected for the bolt head no longer exists, as the shell surface containing that edge is now offset by half the material thickness away from the originally selected edge/face:

Assembly, Shell Bolt Connector.JPG

Assembly, Shell Bolt Connector, Down.JPG

You can see in the image above that the visual indicator for the bolt head selection is offset from the shell element.  When I run the analysis, I get an error associated with the bolt connections.  I have tried doing Edit Definition > Offset in the sheet metal part to line up the shell with the originally selected edge/face for the bolt connector, but when I remesh it still shows the same mid surface created for the shell.  The offset issue may not even be the cause for the analysis failing, but the error message relating to bolt connectors makes me think it is.  Any thoughts?