I'm not sure if Mechanica questions are fair game, so if you know of a Mechanica forum, please pass on that link.
Here's my real question:
We have Fluent CFD results that output a pressure distribution on a component immersed in a flow. Currently we have constructed piecewise approximate equations that are input into Mechanica as function-driven pressure loads.
I would like to find a more direct way to apply the pressure data from Fluent into Mechanica, preferably using a data-driven method, but I am also open to other methods.
The big question, I think, is how a program doing CFD and a program doing structural analysis or motion analysis can communicate. In looking in the help files for point load transfer, I got references to Mechanism Design as some kind of intermediary to structural analysis. Possibly vectored point array imported into MD? Can Fluent export such a thing? Maybe searching the PTC website for Fluent/CFD references.
I talked with the Fluent guys and they said it was very reasonable to export the pressure distribution as a set of discrete force vectors, presumably just the resolution of the element face and output pressure value.
I will look into the MD possibility. It seems Mechanica has little in the way of importing load inputs.
As to the last point ~ what Pro-e/Mechanica can import ~ I've heard of an Excel analysis. Wouldn't be surprised if this was the conduit to get the data into Mechanica. Although, this may also require formulas to be set up there. I'd search on Excel Analysis because the array data you're talking about, including vector data, would fit perfectly in an Excel spreadsheet.
I've found, in data translation, especially, that having comparable coordinate systems in the receiving (Pro/e) models as in the originating models is important. More so, if the analysis requires you to select receiving model geometry to which the analysis will be applied. Pro/MECHANICA is easily confused on just this score. If you don't have one set up in your Pro/e model that mimics the one in your CFD model, you may need to create a csys to select as your geometry reference in Pro/M. I think, if you do it right, the Fluent data should come in as a bunch of points on surface, with vectored loads attached. Which may be subject to some kind of dynamic analysis in MDX. I'm really just guessing or imagining how it might work, given the fact that MDX is a repackaged Mechanica Motion.
I'll look into that. Pro/Mechanica structure doesn't have any such import tool, except for importing temperature distributions.
Pretty much anything is better, because currently we're making approximate equations for the pressure distribution and entering it into Pro/M using Pressure loads based on equation. It's not much fun and very error-prone. Fortunately the component in question is cantilevered and isn't sensitive to local pressure loads - mostly we need the pressure to translate to the proper bending moments at the supported end.