Little OT: information in CAD models

I have a non SolidWorks question...
I need some information about the types of information developers must
find in their CAD- models needed for performing certains tasks, such
as visualization, DMU, FEM, simple development,
design in context, etc.
For example, take an FEM calculation.
What types of information does a developer need to perform an FEM
checks n
modeling history n
production feature n
materials y
tolerances ?
measures n
solids ?
surfaces y
^This is just a my guess what might be needed.
Checks, modeling history, production features and measures in a CAD
model aren't needed for an FEM calc. At minimum, one will need
surfaces (as discrete elements) plus material info, as they will
affect the results. I'm not sure about tolerances and solids though.
Are they needed as an absolute minimum?
I need this info for a concept I'm developing. However, it is hard for
me as a student having no CAD experience to judge.
I'd very much appreciate, if you could throw your opinions into this
thread, I really need your help. The more the better.
Thanks for your help
Reply to
Karsten Wutzke
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Are you asking about FEM or FEA. An engineer creates his/her own model when performing FEM (finite element modelling) or will modify an existing imported model. To perform FEA (finite element analysis) they only usually need to import the surfaces, but this depends on the FEA software they are using. When the analyst meshes the model it becomes a less defined geometrically, similar to an STL file. Different FEA software have different import capabilities, it may be better with a surface format or a solid format. The analyst will also need to know the materials involved so that they can complete the properties inputs for the FEA. They dont need to know model history this will only get lost in the import process. Of course some FEA software will run inside Solidworks in which case all the history is still available.
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