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Civil-Comp Proceedings
ISSN 1759-3433
CCP: 68
Edited by: B.H.V. Topping
Paper V.1

Dimensional Addition of Beam Models

A.G. Casement+, C.G. Armstrong+, D. Milne# and D. Robinson*

+Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering
#Department of Computer Science, *Department of Civil Engineering
The Queen's University of Belfast, Northern Ireland

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
A.G. Casement, C.G. Armstrong, D. Milne, D. Robinson, "Dimensional Addition of Beam Models", in B.H.V. Topping, (Editor), "Developments in Engineering Computational Technology", Civil-Comp Press, Edinburgh, UK, pp 57-62, 2000. doi:10.4203/ccp.68.5.1
A commonly accepted practice within product development is to create an idealised 1D/2D analysis model to confirm a concept, before time and money is expended in full-blown 3D solid modelling. If the concept proves unfeasible, then modifications or even a complete re-think can be made with the minimum loss in resources. However, if the concept is appropriate a certain amount of time is still wasted as the designer has to re-construct the model in 3D. To minimise this loss, the notion of 'Dimensional Addition' is proposed, in which the element geometry and sectional attributes are used to sweep out the 3D body. With this aim, the FLESH program is discussed, which applies Parasolid modelling functions to a 1D mesh (stored in a Nastran bulk data file). Examples of the resulting 3D sweeps are illustrated, together with the advantages they give in visualising the analysis input. However, it has also been recognised that creating 3D bodies from a mesh is limited; giving only a piecewise linear representation. A proposal for fleshing directly from analysis geometry and associated attributes is therefore discussed, as the next practical advancement for this research.

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