Create connections

Connections define physical interaction between parts.
In Meshparts there are two types of connections:

  • Contacts
  • Joints

While contacts can be defined both automatically and manually, joints are typically defined manually.

Contacts are typically of two types:

  • Bonded contact: Abstract replacement for things that are not available in your model. This is the default contact type in Meshparts.
    For example, the bonded contact should be used when:
    • Parts are actually connected by bolts, but bolts are omited in your model.
    • You connect the bolt shaft with another part. In this case it's the thread that is typically omited in your model, hence: bonded contact.
    • Parts are actually connected by glue, but the glue film is omited in your model.
    • Parts are actually connected by welds, but the weldds are omited in your model.
  • Friction contact: The true physical contact where relative tangential motion is limited by the Coulomb friction.

Automatic contact definition

Note: This step can be executed on any assembly or subassembly.

  1. In the model tree, select the connections item of the assembly where contact should be defined (usually the main assembly).
  2. In the details area, expand the "Generate connections" frame.
  3. Adapt if necessary the two contact finding tolerances (distance and angle).
  4. Click on "Generate for all" which will search matching surfaces in the current assembly and all subassemblies.

Manual contact definition

  1. In the 3D area, select two surfaces by holding the CTRL key down.
    All library parts such as bearings and linear guides have designated interfaces marked by nodal sets. In such cases, choose the nodal set over the surface. This increases the robustness of the assembly when parts are replaced by others.
  2. In the quick access window near to your mouse pointer, click on the connection symbol.
  3. Adapt contact properties if necessary.

Joint definition

  1. In the model tree, select one or more connection items.
  2. In the details area, expand the "Joint properties" frame and add stiffness or damping as needed.