Bridging the gap between CAD and CAE using STL files

  • Published : 2002.12.31

Abstract

In many areas of industry, it is desirable to have fast and reliable systems in order to quickly obtain suitable solid models for computer- aided analyses. Nevertheless it is well known that the data exchange process between CAD modelers and CAE packages can require significative efforts. This paper presents an approach for geometrical data exchange through triangulated boundary models. The proposed framework is founded on the use of STL file specification as neutral format file. This work is principally focused on data exchange among CAD modelers and FEA packages via STL. The proposed approach involves the definition of a topological structure suitable for the STL representation and the development of algorithms for topology and geometry data processing in order to get a solid model suitable for finite element analysis or other computer aided engineering purposes. Different algorithms for model processing are considered and their pros and cons are discussed. As a case study, a prototype modeler which supports an exporting filter for a commercial CAE package has been implemented.

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