Monthly Archives

September 2014

Updating meshed models to updated geometry | MSC Apex

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Consider the scenario where you have original geometry and you take time to construct its shell mesh, only to be handed an updated version of the geometry soon after.

Rather than create the entire shell mesh from scratch, MSC Apex Modeler includes direct modeling and meshing that allows you to easily update the original shell model.

Here is a demo.

In the video I mention we can output the mesh and geometry to .bdf and parasolid formats, respectively. Our file types supported is shown below.


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For the Best Analysis Accuracy, Create the Right Mesh. Use Feature Based Meshing. | MSC Apex

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The accuracy of your finite element analysis is very much dependent on the quality of your finite element mesh. It is commonly the case that initial CAD geometry contains numerous features such as holes, fillets, chamfers, etc. that take a significant amount of time to adequately mesh.

MSC Apex includes a feature based meshing capabilities that allow you to create targeted mesh definitions based on feature shape and feature size. Watch the video below as you are guided through an example.

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The MSC Apex Predators

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If you have seen or used MSC Apex, you will find elements of animals used in the application, but why?

We use apex predator names to indicate the version of the program, as opposed to using version numbers.

MSC Apex Black Marlin

The development of what is today MSC Apex actually started a few years ago. At the time, the development was a clandestine project that the MSC engineers and developers dubbed Predator. Rather than call each new iteration of Predator a different number, e.g. v1.2, 2.8, etc., they decided to use a different animal to address each iteration, e.g. Shark, Tiger, Dragon, etc. You can tell how aggressive we were with this.

Did you catch the Dragon?

Eventually the name Predator was changed to MSC Apex, but today the animal theme and fun continues: When you first open MSC Apex, you will see the animal appear in the start up splash screen; the name MSC Apex is a play of Apex Predator; and the developers are referring to their latest work as Cheetah.

Here are a few version names in order of release:

  • MSC Apex Arctic Wolf
  • MSC Apex Black Marlin
  • MSC Apex Cheetah

Note that the version names go in alphabetical order. One thing does come to mind, what happens when we get to the Z release?

Arctic Wolf


Black Marlin



One last comment, sometimes you will find developer versions of the application in the wild before the final version is released. By wild, I am referring to sneak peek videos or product demonstrations. The image below shows one of the video tutorials available within MSC Apex. If you take a close look, in the top corner you will find an animal icon, whereas final versions have an Apex A.


A pre-release version of MSC Apex shows the wolf icon used in the top left corner. The final version features an Apex A.


Note the final release features an A at the top corner instead of an animal profile.

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Getting Started Tutorials for MSC Apex

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One of our biggest goals with MSC Apex is to make it easy to learn. The application has a number learning resources available in each installation, one in which are the Getting Started Tutorials.

The Getting Started Tutorials are collection of videos andmodel files necessary to complete the video tutorials, and are the ideal materials to go through when first using MSC Apex.

You can access these tutorials as shown in the video below.

Alternatively, these directions lead you to the same result.

  1. Hit F1 on the keyboard to open up the MSC Apex Documentation.
  2. On the left hand side, click on MSC Apex Modeler.
  3. Then click on Getting Started and you have arrived at the correct page.

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Organizing and Managing Models in MSC Apex

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The model browser provides a hierarchical tree view of the model contents based on the MSC Apex database structure. The model browser offers the user quick access to control object properties and data organization. Synchronized highlighting between the model browser and the graphics gives the user immediate identification and visual representation of nearly every object in the model.

The user can control key attributes such as color, render, and visibility states on one or more objects in one central location. Searching, filtering and sorting capabilities are additional features in the model browser that give the user efficient access to specific items in the model.

Watch the video below as it walks you through the simple, but effective use of the MSC Apex Model Browser.


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Removing Hundreds of Features and Simultaneously Meshing for FEA | MSC Apex

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When performing a stress or structural analysis via the FE method, not every geometric feature may have to be included in an analysis. Reasons why one may want to ignore and remove certain features include:

  • The particular feature(s) has a negligible effect on strength.
  • Including the features requires additional elements, and this generally results in longer solution times.

Unfortunately geometry models often include every detail and an analyst must remove specific features before meshing the particular model. This can be a very time consuming process.

MSC Apex includes a set of feature removal tools designed to remove hundreds of features. The video below summarizes the defeaturing capabilities in MSC Apex.

In the next blog post, I detail how MSC Apex can be used to create specialized meshes on and around features: For the Best Analysis Accuracy, Create the Right Mesh. Use Feature Based Meshing. | MSC Apex

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Quick Creation of Thicknesses and Offsets | MSC Apex

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When creating shell models, one typically has to manually create a thickness and offset property for each different thickness.

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In MSC Apex Modeler, the application will automatically compute the thickness and offsets based on the original solid and shell model.

Below is a quick demo of the capability.

In addition to this, we make it easy to modify any thickness or offset as the animation below shows.

Manual modification of thickness and offset.

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Why is MSC Apex’s Direct Modeling capability unique? [GIFs]

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In MSC Apex, Direct Modeling and Meshing are interwoven such that geometric changes have an immediate impact on the mesh. MSC Apex is not just a Direct Modeler, it is a CAE Specific Direct Modeling and Meshing solution.

Here are some animations. Note that with each direct modeling action the mesh is immediately regenerated.


The free edges of meshed surfaces are connected. Note the immediate mesh update.


Direct Modeling and Meshing can also be appied to vertices.


A hole’s diameter is increased by pushing


A solid face is pulled

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