Geometry modeling in the ANSYS Workbench environment is highly automated and also provides users the flexibility to customize according to the type of analysis or application. The feature-based, parametric ANSYS DesignModeler software can be used to create parametric geometry from scratch or to prepare an existing CAD geometry for analysis. It includes automated options for simplification, cleanup, repair and defeaturing.

Simulation often demands unique modeling capabilities that typical computer-aided design (CAD) operations do not require. Therefore, these capabilities are either lacking in CAD systems or implemented in a fashion that is not optimum for performing simulation.

ANSYS DesignModeler provides unique modeling functions for simulation that include parametric geometry creation, concept model creation, CAD geometry modification, automated cleanup and repair, and several custom tools designed for fluid flow, structural and other types of analyses.

Parametric Geometry Creation

ANSYS DesignModeler supports a sketch-and-extrude approach to creating parametric geometry. It offers extrude, revolve, sweep, chamfer and other standard geometry creation features to create fully parametric models. In addition, it supports primitives and Boolean operations for creating a new geometry or adding complementary geometry to an existing model. These models can be used with any core simulation product from ANSYS, or with the ANSYS DesignXplorer product for performing design optimization.

Concept Model Creation

Concept models are used in a product development process prior to any detailed CAD geometry being created. These design approximations, along with simulation results, are extremely useful in making fast product decisions early in the design cycle, when product costs can be impacted significantly.

Storage tank and power line tower models using beam modeling tools in ANSYS DesignModeler software

Preparing Existing Geometry for Analysis

CAD models are usually intended to accurately represent the exact intents of the final designs and often lack additional features required for simulation. ANSYS DesignModeler provides these unique simulation features, such as splitting surfaces for applying loads, defining welds or creating regions around models that represent flow volumes for fluid flow analysis.

Automatic flow volume extraction in ANSYS DesignModeler


A CAD model also may contain much more detail than the simulation process requires, or the detail may not be in the right form. ANSYS DesignModeler enables tasks like deleting CAD features, extracting surfaces from a solid body, suppressing parts, merging multiple bodies into one, and grouping bodies to form a part.

Automatic midsurface geometry extraction in ANSYS DesignModeler

ANSYS DesignModeler also provides several tools for shell/surface modeling. Face and edge merge operations can be used to easily simplify models by eliminating unnecessary features and boundaries, leading to improved meshes and faster solutions. Sew and connect operations can be used to ensure proper connectivity in model s with gaps and overlaps.

Similarly, the ability to select and extend groups of surfaces greatly simplifies the process of closing gaps between parts after midsurface extraction. This results in easier modeling of welds, for example. In addition, several features are available for beam modeling, including support of standard cross sections, user-defined offsets, user-defined cross sections, and tools for orientation control.

Automated Cleanup and Repair

Cleanup and repair of problematic geometries is a major bottleneck in engineering simulation. The cleanup and repair tools in ANSYS DesignModeler automatically detect and fix typical problems, such as small edges, sliver faces, holes, seams, and faces with sharp angles. This allows geometry models to be prepared for analysis at a fast pace.

As always, analysis settings remain persistent after these operations and are updated automatically in response to changes in geometry.

Aircraft model before cleanup

Same aircraft model after cleanup