Hi John: try right-clicking on the solid body in the analysis manager (Part9) and see if there is a menu item "Define shell by selected faces..". I hope it's there...it should convert the yellow cube body icon to a yellow flag-looking icon, representing a shell surface. Then you could mesh that surface.
Thanks Anthony, but shell item is not in that menu, although I did rediscover the beam option.
Sim Help referes to a Shell Definition Property Manager but does not tell me where to find it.
I have right clicked on everything I can see.
Sim Help suggests that sheetmetals have a shell icon.
I discovered that by editing the part in context, the controls to convert solid to sheet metal were enabled, but doing that upset mates I had made between solid parts 8 & 9.
It seems that I want a shell mesh without the model being classified as sheetmetal, even though it is.
Try right-clicking on an exterior surface of the sheetmetal part and Select Tangency, then right click again and you should have an option to define a shell.
Otherwise, you can create a mid-surface using the Mid Surface tool found under the Surfaces tab. This will show up in the Simulation study, afterwhich you can exclude the solid body in the study tree only. Meaning it won't disappear in the SolidWorks assembly.
Though if I were you, I'd just convert it to sheetmetal and repair the mates
Thanks guys, not just a million but the US gross national debt.
The takeaway lesson is that if you want shell mesh then you must start with a surface body in the study feature tree.
(That will follow from a Surface Body at the top level in the model feature tree, not just a surface at a low level.)
Surface mesh is automatic for surface bodies, which is why I could not find a control. (Beam mesh has a control!)
I found that surface mesh is a zillion times faster than solid mesh where I made element size half the thickness of the sheet metal, and the results seem superficially similar
I modelled my parts as solid because lipped channels are bought already rolled to shape. I just extruded the profile supplied by the manufacturer. I don't live in a sheetmetal silo.
The trouble with on screen help is that I skiP sections which don't seem relevant to my immediate task, whereas with hardcopy help I skiM those sections and discover that they are relevant. It also depends on whether the author is coming from the same direction as I am coming from.
I am guessing that Autocad is popular because my local bookstore has shelves groaning under the weight of hardcopy texts on Autocad, but nothing on SW.
Thanks again 14,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.
You can trick the software into ignoring the sheetmetal. Kevin has it right. Try editing part 9 and just create a offset surface by half the channel thickness, into the middle of the channel (using the "surfacing" toolbar). There should now be a new "surface body" icon in the SolidWorks feature manager (separate from the "solid body" icon).
Exit part editing mode and get back to assembly mode. Create a new study and the Simulation manager should "see" the surface you just created and allow you to mesh it as a shell. You will need to "exclude" the solid body from the analysis. You probably will need to "hide" the original sheet metal component so you can work on the shell/surface mesh.
The operation will likely mess-up mates, but each component should stay put and you can ignore mate failures. If there is a connection you need to have to the other component, you may have to install bonded contacts.
The process to trick the software into getting what YOU want is not altogether straightforward because the developers have put a lot of automation into the software, which can trip-up manual operations.
I hope that helps - even if a little!