How to Visualize Under-Constrained modes in Linear Structural Validation App on 3DEXPERIENCE Platform

Article by Suman Sudhakaran updated June 10, 2024


The Structural Designer role is one of the many simulation solutions available on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.  The linear structural validation application in the Structural Designer role offers a powerful toolkit for enhancing product design and performance while reducing prototyping costs.  With virtual testing of product designs using simulation tools, we can test multiple scenarios so that the final design can not only thrive in different real-life physical conditions but also thrive efficiently.

The Role of Diagnostic Viewer and Linear Structural Validation App

With less is more type of design thinking, we might tend to give the product design a little wiggle room, potentially uncovering unexpected solutions. When it comes to building the finite element models for design simulations, under-constrained finite element models relax rigid constraints, leaving some ‘slack’.  This might reveal surprising insights about the product design, leading to may be even elegant designs.  However, insufficiently constrained finite element models can cause analysis to fail or give incorrect results.

This is where the new feature in Diagnostic viewer options of linear structural validation scenarios can help us visualize the unconstrained modes.  Similar to the option ‘ Find Under constrained Bodies’ in SOLIDWORKS Simulation, the Linear structural validation app in the Structural Designer role helps us easily identify the solid bodies that are not sufficiently constrained.  This saves a lot of time otherwise spent in troubleshooting.

If the linear structural validation app detects one or more unconstrained modes i.e. rigid body motion in a static perturbation step during simulation, the analysis stops and the app displays a message about the under-constrained bodies.

How to Access and Use the Diagnostic Viewer Feature

To access this feature, navigate to the diagnostic viewer either from the Standard Section of Action bar or by right-clicking in the graphical area.  In the diagnostic viewer window, expand the section under the error message about insufficient constraints to see the list of unconstrained modes.

Diagnostic Viewer Window

Diagnostic Viewer Window

If there are multiple load cases, we can select the relevant one and then use the drop-down next to the unconstrained mode to look at the animation that displays the unconstrained mode.

diagnostic viewer window

Diagnostic Viewer Window

The videos below show the under-constrained modes in two different finite element models.

Once the insufficiently constrained components are adequately restrained either by defining appropriate fixtures or connections, the analysis can be re-run again.

Structural analysis results

Structural analysis results

Hope you can use this invaluable feature inside Diagnostic Viewer to identify unconstrained modes and speed up your simulation processes and product development activities.

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Take a 3DEXPERIENCE training course from Javelin to learn how to administrate and work with CAD data on the platform.

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Suman Sudhakaran

Suman Sudhakaran is an Applications Solutions Consultant with TriMech