ANSYS SpaceClaim Creates Accurate Weld Surfaces 10X Faster

Analysts often find themselves in the business of defeaturing geometry to prepare solid models for structural simulation. Removing rounds, filling holes, eliminating small features; the list goes on. Before ANSYS SpaceClaim, those tasks were time consuming at best. Realistically they were tedious, difficult, and a necessary evil.

Those necessary features exist either because of design requirements or because they are closely tied to manufacturing procedures. Weld geometry is no exception to the latter. However, unlike drafted surfaces or some complex rounds, weld geometry is necessary for both manufacturing and analysis. In the case of structural analysis using shell elements, or midsurfaces, the question analysts are left with is how to model them accurately.

Generally there is no easy answer. Some weld surfaces are simple — straight surfaces connecting one set of edges to another surface. Wouldn’t it be great if all real world models were like this? Unfortunately they are not. As geometry becomes more complex and the need for accurate simulation increases, the need for more sophisticated tools increases as well. When the desired weld geometry between two surfaces is not a straight extension, but rather something closer to a non-uniform rational basis spline (NURBS) surface, there exists a need for a robust tool with intelligence and searching capabilities.

spaceclaim Weld Tool

The Weld Tool creates new, complex surfaces connecting edges to other surface bodies.

ANSYS SpaceClaim 17.0 has added a brand new button called Weld to the Prepare suite of tools. As its name implies, it creates weld surfaces for the problematic geometry mentioned above. The tool searches for candidates, or edges, within a certain distance from other edges or nearby surfaces. After the tool finds the edges, you can modify a search threshold to adjust the quantity of edges. You always have the option to select edges the tool does not find (a great bit of functionality, by the way).

The final result says it all.

spaceclaim surface geometry

The surfaces this tool creates are often times complex, but are reflective of realistic surface geometry.

The creation of complex surfaces that more accurately represent what weld geometry actually looks like. Essentially, ANSYS SpaceClaim does the heavy lifting behind the scenes by creating a surface representing the shortest distance between an edge and another surface.


Another example of complex surfaces created in the new Weld Tool, where straight connections are not adequate.

Manually calculating the boundaries of the weld and creating a subsequent surface is cumbersome at best. But the brand new Weld tool now saves you time by simplifying yet another common geometry problem.

To learn more about this functionality, and other time saving ANSYS SpaceClaim tools, be sure watch one of our release webinars.

10x Faster Time to Analysis with ANSYS SpaceClaim

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About John Graham

John is an experienced application/mechanical engineer with specialties in sales, marketing, design, 3D modeling, and product development. He received his B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia and has been in various roles with ANSYS for over 7 years. Prior to his current role he worked as a design engineer on a variety of products such as electric motors, linear motion guides, and fiber optic transceiver modules. John’s passions include content marketing, technical teaching/training, project/product management, programming, and video production work.