Adapting FE-Meshes to real, 3D surface detected geometry data to improve FE-simulation results

Conference contribution
(Conference Contribution)

Publication Details

Author(s): Katona S, Sprügel T, Koch M, Wartzack S
Publication year: 2015
Conference Proceedings Title: Summary of Proceedings
Pages range: -
ISBN: 978-1-910643-24-2
Language: English


Today’s product development process is picking up the pace. To avoid

performing complex and expensive testing including all iterations of the

product development with a real prototype, various FE-simulations

(finite element) for the functional validation of the desired characteristics

are made. The discretization of a developed component and the use of

the simulation conditions, like taking different non-linearities (i.e.

material behavior, contact situations, large deflections etc.) into

account, is a tremendous effort and is necessary to get precise and

significant results.

In general, every constructed component shows differences to its ideal

geometry of the designed CAD-model (Computer Aided Design), i.e.

due to deformations in the production process. Depending on the

manufacturing process, random deviations and the component size,

these differences can vary. In cutting processes the value is relatively

small, but using forming (i.e. deep-drawing or bending) and casting

techniques (i.e. die casting or injection molding) process-related effects

like spring back and shrinkage or warpage occur and can trigger bigger

deformations. Despite knowing the effects of deformations, due to the

production process mentioned above, the product developer always

uses the non-deformed design model of a CAD-system for the FEsimulation

of a component. It seems rather doubtful that further

refinement of simulation methods makes sense, if the real

manufactured geometry of the component is not considered for in the


For an efficient exploit of the potential of simulation methods, an

approach has been developed which offers a geometry model for

simulation based on the existing CAD-model but with integrated

production deviations as soon as a first prototype is at hand. Thus, a

functional validation of the real geometry can easily be performed.

The approach in this article is to detect the occurring deformations of a

near-series produced prototype with a high-resolution optical measuring

instrument and to use that data for simulation purposes. The whole

reverse engineering (RE) process including data preparation, complex

surface reconstruction and furthermore a complete new simulation

preprocessing is omitted due to lack of capacity. Therefore, the

detected data (either point cloud or polygonal model) is used directly for

the creation of an adapted FE mesh.

The presented method describes an opportunity to automatically adapt

existing FE-meshes, generated with the non-deformed CAD-model, to

the deviated geometry caused by production. Thereby 3d surface scans

and relevant algorithms are used. Therefore, the surface nodes are

extracted from an ANSYS input file. A measurement of the deviation to

the scanned model at each node position (point cloud or polygonal

model) takes place by using a comparison point within the software

PolyWorks. Afterwards a preload-step is defined, in which the deviation

of every surface node is applied as a displacement. The mesh

emerging from this preload-step with its new nodes coordinates is the

basis for further simulations with real geometry. Herewith, a completely

new input file with the new mesh and the identical content of the initial

input file based on the ideal CAD-model (considering material definition,

forces, boundary conditions etc.) is created. As a result, an FE-model

with real geometry is available and can be used directly for a simulation

without spending a lot of time on additional preprocessing. The

advantage can be seen in the omission of a complex creation of a new

model for simulating the real manufactured geometry. Comparative

analysis between ideal and real geometry is simple, when using this

approach in the product development process.

FAU Authors / FAU Editors

Katona, Sebastian
Lehrstuhl für Konstruktionstechnik
Sprügel, Tobias
Lehrstuhl für Konstruktionstechnik
Wartzack, Sandro Prof. Dr.-Ing.
Lehrstuhl für Konstruktionstechnik

External institutions with authors

Technische Hochschule Nürnberg "Georg Simon Ohm"

How to cite

Katona, S., Sprügel, T., Koch, M., & Wartzack, S. (2015). Adapting FE-Meshes to real, 3D surface detected geometry data to improve FE-simulation results. In Summary of Proceedings (pp. -). San Diego, Kalifornien, US.

Katona, Sebastian, et al. "Adapting FE-Meshes to real, 3D surface detected geometry data to improve FE-simulation results." Proceedings of the NAFEMS World Congress 2015, San Diego, Kalifornien 2015. -.


Last updated on 2018-01-09 at 07:09