ANSYS Mechanical Workbench | ANSYS Designspace | FEA Software | Mechanical Engineering Software

ANSYS Mechanical Workbench | ANSYS Design Space

Design Modeler (DM) is a component of ANSYS workbench. A cad like parametric modeler with analysis modeling goals:

  • 2D, 3D, Line and Surface modeling capability
  • Performs unique geometry modification capabilities for simulation such as
    • Feature simplification
    • Spot welds
    • Split surfaces
    • Surface Model Extraction
    • Planer Body Extraction
    • Beam Modeling
    • Enclosure Operation

The topmost tabs allow users to navigate between opened Workbench modules.

When exiting Workbench, the user will be prompted to save any files that have changed since the last save.


The basics of using simulation to perform analysis which include:

  • The simulation GUI and Operation
  • Introduction to Simulation Wizard
  • Basic Analysis Procedure

There are two ways of running simulation:

  1. Configured from within ANSYS Workbench
  2. Directly from CAD system

The components of the user interface are shown below:


The menus provide much of the functionality present in simulation. The common used menu items are:

  • The title bar lists the currently active ANSYS license
  • “File > Save” to save the .dsdb Simulation database
  • “File > Clean” to delete mesh and results from database
  • “Edit > Select All” to select all current entities in the window
  • “Units”to change units on the fly
  • “Tools > Options” to customize settings and options
  • “Help > ANSYS Simulation Help” to invoke documentation

Tool Bars:

There are four sets of tool bars to provide users quick access to functionality also found in the menus. The Tool bars can be re-positioned anywhere on the top of the simulation window. The “Context” tool bar will change depending on what branch is active in the “Outline” tree. Tool tips appear if the cursor is placed over the tool bar button. A “Unit Conversion” tool bar is also available. Also “The Standard” Tool bar such as New, Open, Save, Bring Up Simulation Wizard, Solve Model, Capture Snapshot etc., is located on the Top of the window. The “Graphics” tool bar is used often on Select mode, Select Entities, Select Adjacent, Graphics manipulation, Fit all, Wire Frame, View ports etc.,

The left mouse button can be either in “selection” mode or “graphics manipulation” mode. The above tool bar buttons grouped as “Select entities” and ” Graphics manipulation” controls the left mouse button behavior.

The selection of entities of the CAD geometry can be done either by individual selection or by box selection. This is controlled by the “Select Mode” icon.

The outline tree provides an easy way of organizing the model, materials, mesh, loads and results for the analysis. The outline tree is analogous to the “tree” found in many CAD software. However, instead of sketches and features, this tree contains analysis related items. The “Model” branch contains the input data required for the analysis whereas the “Engineering Data” branch holds generic material and convection data. The four main sections of the “Model” branch include “Geometry”, “Contact”, “Mesh’, and “Environment”.

The “Environment” branch contains the loads as well as the “solution” branch, which holds results for post processing.

Tree Outline:

The Tree outline shows icons for each branch, along with a status symbol. Example of the status symbols are below:

  • Check mark indicates branch is fully defined
  • Question mark indicates item has incomplete data
  • Lightning bolt indicates solving is required
  • Exclamation mark means problem exists
  • “X” means that item is suppressed
  • Transparent check mark means body or part is hidden
  • Green lightning bolt indicates item is currently being evaluated
  • Minus sign means that mapped face meshing failed

The user should become familiar with the basic status symbols shown here.

Details view:

The details view provides a means of inputting data. The contents will change, depending on branch selected.

White Field – current input data
  • Data in white text field can easily be changed by clicking on it, then entering data, as needed.
  • Some white fields require the user to select geometric entities on the screen and then click “Apply”. Others require text data input from keyboard or selecting item from pull-down menu.
Gray (or Red) Field – informative data
  • It cannot be modified. These fields usually provide information or results data, such as the maximum stress or number of nodes generated by the mesher.
Yellow Field – incomplete input data
  • Data in yellow fields indicate that not enough information has been supplied. Users need to fill in data completely in order to solve model.

Graphics Window:

The Graphics Window shows the geometry an results. It can also provide worksheet listings, the HTML report and a Print Preview option.

Work sheet Tab:

Print preview Tab:

Job Status Tab:

Types of Simulation Models | Different Types of Analysis | FEA Simulation

FEA Simulation

In this article different types of analysis in simulation models are briefly explained. Some of the modules comprised are structural, thermal, CFX, and FE Modeler analysis types are explained here.

Originally FEA is developed for 2D type simulation and analysis (Plane stress). When 3D simulation and analysis introduced, which increases number of simultaneous algebraic equation to solve the problem. Here they introduced high order mesh elements for faster solving of the problem. Examples are triangular and quadrilateral mesh elements geometry, which define the coordinates of the nodes.

FEA Finite Element Analysis

FEA splits a particular component into several elements. Elements are reconnected at nodes, which glued the elements together. Normally for a entire component constructing a algebraic equations is very difficult. So the components are split into elements and the elements connected at nodes. For each elements solving the algebraic equation is very easy. When combined all the equations, we solve the problem for the entire components.

Analysis types available in Simulation are

Linear Stress:

Determines deflections, stresses, factor of safety etc., based on standard strength of materials concepts under static loading.


Determines natural frequencies of a system (free Vibration), including the effects of loading on a pre-stressed structure.

Heat Transfer:

Steady state thermal analysis to solve for temperature field and heat flux. Temperature dependent conductivity and convection along with Thermal stress analysis.


Determines structural response of system under sinusoidal excitation as a function of frequency.

Linear Buckling:

Determines failure load or safety factor for buckling and its buckling mode shapes.

Shape Optimization:

Indicates areas of possible volume reduction based on load paths through the part using topological optimization technology.

Nonlinear Structural:

Calculates deflections and stresses under static loading, accounting for large deflection effects, plasticity and contact non linearities.

Benefits of FEM

Many specializations under Mechanical Engineering’s umbrella, such as aeronautical, bio mechanical, and automotive industries, are commonly using integrated FEM in product design and development. Several modern FEM packages include specific components such as thermal, electromagnetic, fluid, and structural working environments.

The benefits of FEM consist of “increased accuracy, enhanced design and better insight into critical design parameters, virtual prototyping, fewer hardware prototypes, a faster and less expensive design cycle, increased productivity and increased revenue”.