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Solids vs Shells

Question asked by Chris Michalski on Mar 26, 2013
Latest reply on Apr 5, 2013 by Jared Conway

Okay, it might be an easy question, but...


I've got x,y,z data from a measured surface.  I create cross-sections and sweep a surface through them (and thicken it to a solid if need be).  (length and width >20x thickness)


I'm running simulations to look at the stresses of laminating this non-flat structure to a similar flat one. 


Is there any reason not to use shells in a case like this?  I know shells should be faster, but SW kept failing to mesh the shell body assembly  but could manage with the solids. Even with purely planar shells it kept finding reasons to complain.  (I didn't screen capture any of the errors so I'd have to recreate them to be specific).


I'm just wondering if it's a case of operator error (highly likely) or are shells somehow limited that makes them problematic for cases such as this with large displacements normal to the surface? (but not large enough to induce large displacement warnings).