NX CAE Tips & Tricks – FEA Workflow Part #1

By SiemensPLM

Welcome to this three part series that will walk you through a typical finite element analysis (FEA) workflow in the NX Advanced Simulation environment. Let me start by introducing you to the subject of this illustration – the somewhat generic, yet purpose-serving bracket below shall be our partner on this mini-voyage:


The posts will cover an end-to-end linear static structural analysis of the pictured bracket – from basic readying of the geometry, to the creation of a spiffy report that you can email directly to your boss.                  

Alright, let’s first get our feet wet with the general layout of the user interface, and the basics of setting up so-called FEM and SIM files. Remember to pay special attention to the ‘Simulation Navigator’, and the ‘Simulation File View.’ Also note the creation of an optional idealized part file which can be modified to suit the needs of the analysis while simultaneously retaining the original CAD representation. Click on the video to start watching:

     Getting Started

Next, let’s explore geometry idealization – the process of eliminating non-analysis-critical features from the CAE model. This essential step can go a long way in simplifying the mesh, and subsequently enhancing solution efficiency. In this example, hole chamfers are removed as they do not contribute significantly to structural effects. Bear in mind however, if this were a fluid analysis with flow through the holes, the chamfers would be an analysis-critical feature, having  substantial effects on exit velocity and pressure loss. So try to remember that idealization is very context specific, and you’ll need to carefully consider what to exclude from the analysis geometry. Click on the video to start watching:

   Geometry Idealization

Stay tuned for part #2, where we’ll get into meshing and material selection, before setting up our model with appropriate loads and boundary conditions.


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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at