Category "Dassault Systemes"

There is a phrase among finite element analyst user community. Those who have been in the industry since a while must have heard of it at some point in their career.


It means that if the data being fed into the input deck is not correct or appropriate, the solver is very likely to give incorrect results, and that’s if it does not fail with errors. Many of us believe that getting some sort of result is better than getting fatal errors, which is not correct. Fatal errors give clear diagnostic messages to the user that allow him to correct the input deck. However, getting erroneous results sometimes makes a user feel that the simulation has been successful even though the results may be far from reality. Such situations are hard to predict and correct, as the underlying cause is not clearly visible.

One such situation arises when the user inadvertently chooses an element type that is not capable of capturing the actual physical behavior of the part or assembly with which the element is associated. The incompatibility may lie with respect to element material, element topology, element dimension, or the type of output associated with the element. The objective of this post is to highlight the capabilities and limitations of some lesser known element types available in the Abaqus element library to promote their proper usage.

Planar elements

These elements are further classified as either plane stress (CPS) or plane strain elements (CPE). The plane stress elements are used to model thin structures such as composite plate. These elements must be defined and can deform only in X-Y plane. For these types of elements:

szz = t xz = t yz = 0


The plane strain elements are used to model thick structures such as rubber gaskets. These types of elements must be defined and can deform only in X-Y plane. For these types of elements:

ezz = gxz = gyz = 0


Generalized plane strain elements


Our SIMULIA user community has been using the conventional analysis and portfolio tokens for a while now. These tokens are primarily used to access the Abaqus CAE pre-processor, Abaqus solver, and the Abaqus viewer. The analysis configuration offers Abaqus solver licenses in the form of tokens, and Abaqus CAE as well as Abaqus viewer as interactive seats. The portfolio configuration offers all three components of Abaqus, i.e. the solver itself, Abaqus CAE as well as Abaqus viewer as tokens.

                                                                                                                                                      IS SIMULIA = only ABAQUS!

The new equation has been EXTENDED

                                                                                                                                   SIMULIA = ABAQUS + ISIGHT + TOSCA + FESAFE

The overall simulation offerings from Dassault Systèmes go way beyond Abaqus finite element simulations. The functionalities now include process automation, parametric optimizations, topology optimization, fatigue estimation, and many more. And starting from Abaqus release 6.13-2, all these additional capabilities are included in a single licensing scheme called extended tokens. Here is an overview of these additional SIMULIA products.extended-products


ISight is an open desktop solution for creating flexible simulation process flows, consisting of a variety of applications, to automate the exploration of design alternatives, identify optimal performance parameters, and integrate added-value systems. The simulation process flows created from ISight can include multiple third party simulation components such as Ansys, LS-DYNA, Nastran, Mathcad as well as general purpose components such as Matlab, excel, calculator, and many more. It offers advanced parametric optimization, Design of experiments and Six Sigma techniques. Moreover, the vast amount of Simulation output data generated by such techniques can be managed effectively using the post processing runtime gateways of ISight. It’s rightly called a Simulation Robot.




Tosca is a general purpose optimization solution for designing high performance light weighted structures. As fuel economy continues to be the most important design factor in the transportation and aviation industries, designing lightweighted components and assemblies will remain a top priority, and Tosca can really help to achieve those objectives. […]

When I first started in the Design and Engineering field, CAD was used primarily by large OEMs and some large suppliers. Most companies’ design work was done on drafting boards with vellum and pencils, or Mylar and ink.


As the technology evolved, CAD became more affordable, and increasingly necessary if one wanted to do business with certain OEMs. But while the design work was being done in CAD, the official documents were still paper – actual paper, created in CAD, printed, signed off by hand and distributed through the purchasing departments.


Eventually the paper gave way to PDF files for distribution, at least from the OEM; most companies still used paper (some still do!) internally to manufacture and inspect their products. They still create, release, and distribute 2D drawings and balloon the drawings for inspection purposes.


Technology has reached the point where a 2D drawing is really no longer necessary for the manufacture of a part or assembly, yet many companies still create them, even if the OEM does not provide one. Typically, the 3D model is used for fabrication, unless it is being done by hand. The creation, release, storage, and distribution of 2D drawings is huge. I am sure if companies actually looked at what it is costing them they would be shocked.

Some OEMs and other companies have an electronic way to handle the storage and distribution portion which is huge but the creation unless automated is still quite costly. Then there is the interpretation of the 2D drawings which can lead to quality problems, which we know is very costly.
There is a better way. […]

We hold a number of online events every month. Some showcase a software solution or feature, others celebrate a customer success, and others offer helpful tips and tricks for users. Here is what we have coming up this month. Click on the title of the event, or the “Register” link, for more details and to join us.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 16 – 1:00 p.m. ET
Wine Bottle Stability Simulation
The wine brewing process is complex, and so is the process of manufacturing wine bottles. A bottle must be of specified volume while also being lightweight, stable during motion, and aesthetically attractive. Learn more about a real-life simulation process used to virtually design wine bottles that not only look and feel good but also remain stable on a fast-moving conveyor belt in a packaging plant.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 24 – 1:00 p.m. ET
What’s New in Inventor 2017 R2
Autodesk will be releasing a significant update to Inventor, its flagship 3D design and engineering software. Join us and see these new features and a live demonstration of some of the more notable additions to Inventor 2017, followed by Q&A.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 25 – 1:00 p.m. ET
What’s New in NX 11
Siemens PLM will be releasing the latest version of NX at the end of August. Get a sneak peak of the new functionality, bells, and whistles that will be coming along with version 11.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 30 – 1:00 p.m. ET
Product Design Collection: What Happened to my Suites?
Your Factory Design and Product Design Suites have been retired. What does this mean for you? Join us to learn about the new Product Design Collection and the benefits the new collection offers.


Questions? Leave a comment and we’ll get right back to you.

As an FEA analyst, you are likely losing too much of your time in CAD repair.

If you are an experienced FEA analyst, you must have come across following types of situations often while meshing your models:

“I create 3D geometries in CAD uniting together several surfaces so that the CAD modeler itself sees one unique surface; however, whenever I export it as a .sat, .stp or even binary file for Parasolid and then import it into the FEA pre-processor, I again see all those surfaces that are not supposed to be there.”

“For some parts I am extruding surfaces to solids, and for some parts I am building solids out of intersecting surfaces. All in all, it is a kind of a box structure with a hole on one side. I started importing it to GUI part by part, and as soon as I have top and bottom plate and two sides, the meshing fails. How did you exactly resolve this meshing problem?”

The FEA user community knows that most of the user interfaces available for finite element analysis are good for FE modeling only – they are not expert CAD modelers. It often happens that the CAD model created is not free from defects from a meshing perspective. The most common problems are duplicate edges, gaps, silver surfaces, unnecessary patches, etc. The problem is often more severe if a CAD model is first translated to a neutral format such as .sat, .iges, .step files before being imported into the FEA pre-processor; the defects are generated during the translation. In many other cases, the repairs made in the CAD model are not propagated into FEA modeler. The only option left is to repair the geometry in the FEA model itself, but the repair tools required often don’t exist in these user interfaces.

One-click model transfer from CAD to FEA without any neutral file format

For Abaqus users, there is great news: the Abaqus CAE pre-processor now has associative interfaces for CATIA, ProE and SOLIDWORKS.

The CATIA V5 Associative Interface allows you to transfer CATIA V5 Parts and Products into Abaqus/CAE using associative import. Materials and publications assigned to the CATIA V5 model are also transferred to the Abaqus/CAE model as material and set definitions respectively. In addition to associative import, the CATIA V5 Associative Interface allows you to directly import the geometry of CATIA V5 models in .CATPart and .CATProduct format into Abaqus/CAE without any intermediate neutral files. The following options are available with CATIA V5 associative interface: […]

Dassault Systèmes introduced a new licensing server a while ago to support licenses of all its products including SIMULIA. The server is called as Dassault Systèmes license server or DSLS. This article highlights the various installation and license management aspects of DSLS with specific focus on SIMULIA products on DSLS. It’s worthy to mention here that SIMULIA’s native FlexLM license server is still compatible with all SIMULIA products and releases and this compatibility is likely to continue in future as well.

The installation media: The best location to find latest version of DSLS media along with installation guide is the following:

As of March 2016, the latest version of DSLS is version 6.418.2 that supports all versions of SIMULIA 2016 line of products as well as other versions of Abaqus as old as Abaqus 6.12. The media provides options to install DSLS either as a license server or as a license management tool.

The server target ID: The FlexLM license server requires physical address of Ethernet Adapter local area connection, which is usually a 12 digit numerical string such as 5S-26-0A-3W-87-0C. The DSLS target ID extraction is quite different. The media contains an executable called DSLicTarget.exe that should be launched to get the DSLS target ID for a given server. The syntax of DSLS target ID is usually a three digit character followed by a long numeric number such as CAT-427B18A3C4168A67.

The visual look of DSLS: Shown below are three visual images of the DSLS once it is installed and launched.

When DSLS is installed but server is not started


When server is started but licenses are not enrolled




From a packaging perspective, Abaqus includes a user interface called Abaqus CAE and a solver that includes implicit, explicit, and computational fluid dynamics capabilities. The post-processing or result visualization can be done in either Abaqus CAE or Abaqus Viewer, which is the visualization module of Abaqus CAE. Collectively, these products are called the Abaqus unified FEA suite of products.

From a licensing perspective, the Abaqus pre-processor, solver, and viewer are available in two different configurations: Analysis pack and portfolio pack.

Analysis pack and analysis tokens

In an analysis scheme, Abaqus CAE\Abaqus Viewer are available as an independent seat. This means that the number of user interfaces that can be run concurrently depends on number of seats available in the license.

The solver works on the concept of tokens. The user utilizes a certain number of tokens depending on simulation needs. Each token has all three functionalities of solver: implicit, explicit, and CFD. Each single core non-linear job of Abaqus consumes five tokens. With a greater number of cores, the token consumption varies, as shown in the illustration below. The analysis pack is the pre-requisite configuration that includes one seat of Abaqus CAE and five analysis tokens. This means that the analysis pack is enough for a concurrent session of a single user interface and a single core Abaqus job. More user interfaces can be added in license as separate seats of Abaqus CAE. More solver functionality for multiple cores can be added as separate analysis tokens. More post-processing interfaces can be added as separate seats of Abaqus viewer.

Portfolio pack and portfolio tokens

In a portfolio scheme, Abaqus CAE, Abaqus Viewer, and the solver all work on tokens. The token utilization for a single session of Abaqus CAE and Abaqus viewer are mentioned below. The portfolio pack is the pre-requisite configuration that includes five portfolio tokens. This means that a portfolio pack can be used to run either a single core Abaqus job or one Abaqus CAE at a time. More functionalities for concurrent sessions of Abaqus CAE or multi-core jobs can be added through additional portfolio tokens as add-ons to the portfolio pack. The token consumption number as a function of multiple core jobs remains the same for portfolio configuration as for analysis configuration.

Program Portfolio Tokens Used
Abaqus/CAE 4
Abaqus/Viewer 2


  • T = INT(5*N^(0.422))

T = number of tokens consumed

N = number of cores utilized in a single Abaqus job

^ = power function

INT = greatest integer function that converts a real number to the equivalent integer number

This equation is used to estimate token consumption based on given number of cores. The first table mentioned in the article is a direct derivative of this equation.

  • 1 QAP = 1 QAE + 5 QAT

QAP = abbreviation for analysis pack

QAE = abbreviation for Abaqus pre-processor

QAT = abbreviation for Abaqus analysis token

This equation means that a single analysis pack configuration contains one interactive seat of Abaqus pre-processor and five Abaqus solver tokens. These functionalities are sufficient to execute one Abaqus pre-processor and one single core Abaqus job concurrently.

  • 1 QPP = 5 QPT

QPP = abbreviation for portfolio pack

QPT = abbreviation for Abaqus portfolio token

This equation means that a single portfolio pack configuration has five portfolio tokens inside it. These tokens are enough either to execute a single core Abaqus job or a single session of Abaqus pre-processor but not both at the same time.

Do you have any questions, or need assistance figuring out which configuration you need? Leave a comment or click on Contact Us at the top of the page to talk to someone directly.

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