You’re no CAD expert, but a few hours after installing it, you’ve learned to use CRTech SpaceClaim® to develop complex parts and assemblies. You’ve also imported, healed, and defeatured CAD drawings from other sources, and you’ve inserted them all into your system-level Thermal Desktop model.
But then a structural engineer working on the same fast-moving project tells you that the isogrid panel design has been revised. Then your boss asks you to explore what happens when a vent is added to the back of an enclosure. And then a vendor emails you a STEP file for their proprietary new electrical motor casing.
Won’t it surprise them all when you give them updated temperature predictions later that day.
Clearly, “Mesh Generation” is an understatement for this major extension of CRTech SpaceClaim, but “Self-updating Geometry-based Preparation Suite for Thermal Design Analysis” is a little cumbersome.
Thermal engineers can’t focus on temperature gradients within a single part. Yes, such gradients are often generated for structural thermo-elastic studies, but producing the right temperatures requires paying attention to how that part was mounted, what transient environments it sees, and so forth. Producing the right temperatures often requires a thermal/fluid model of a high-level assembly … often an entire vehicle or product … since energy doesn’t stop flowing at part boundaries.
Here are common thermal engineering Nightmares of Years Past:
Having to use structural meshes. They are focused on stress risers in a threaded bolt hole, yet oblivious to the way the bracket mounts to the sleeve. They’re way too detailed for system-level studies, especially when you add convection or radiation. And you don’t need to have a thermal node at each structural mesh vertex even if you do need to accurately predict the temperature at those vertices, thanks to standard Thermal Desktop mesh mapping methods.
Being given a CAD part or assembly file when you don’t own that CAD system, or can’t remember how to use it if you do own it.
Being given a STEP or IGES file. It is like someone poured a bucket of ball bearings on your desk and said it was the same mass as a bowling ball.
Being given a CAD file period. Let’s face it, they were meant for design documentation, and not for analysis, much less thermal analysis. They have to be re-purposed.
But the Number One Nightmare was this:
Having to do it all over again when a dimension changes, or a part moves, or when you receive an updated CAD file.
CRTech SpaceClaim has eliminated most of these Nightmares. But when you add Mesh Generation for SpaceClaim, the rest of them go away as well.
How is that possible?
First, you can generate a very coarse mesh if need be, even skipping details that you didn’t bother to eliminate using SpaceClaim.
But it is mostly possible to avoid repetitious tasks because you aren’t just generating a mesh, you are describing what to do with that mesh … and with any thermal nodes and elements that result when the object is meshed.
You can explain to the program that the bottom of a battery sleeve should be available for thermal contact, for example. Whatever elements are subsequently generated will be automatically included in the contact conductance you have set up.
In a nutshell, you aren’t just sending the geometry or the mesh to Thermal Desktop, you are telling the program what to do with it: what it means thermally in your master model.
And that means that if a dimension changes, or if you decide you need a different mesh type or density in some region, everything else is retained and ready to run: material and insulation definitions are preserved, and designated zones are ready to reconnect with the rest. It even remembers Thermal Desktop editing operations that will be automatically re-applied to whatever nodes and elements result after the SpaceClaim and Thermal Desktop models are re-synchronized.