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This example problem demonstrates the use of a Rigid Dynamic analysis to show the kinematic
behavior of an actuator after moment force is applied to the flywheel.
Features Demonstrated
Joint loads
Coordinate system definition
Body View
Joint probes
Setting Up the Analysis System
1. Create the analysis system.
Start by creating a Rigid Dynamics analysis system and importing geometry.
a. Start ANSYS Workbench.
b. From the Toolbox, drag a Rigid Dynamics system into the Project Schematic.
c. Right-click the Geometry cell of the Rigid Dynamics system, and select Import
d. Browse to open the file Actuator.agdb. This file is included in the tutorial
input file download. See the introductory Tutorials section for download
instructions if needed. A check mark appears next to the Geometry cell in the
Project Schematic.
2. Continue preparing the analysis in the Mechanical Application.
a. In the Rigid Dynamics schematic, right-click the Model cell, and then
choose Edit.... The Mechanical Application opens and displays the model.
The actuator mechanism model consists of four parts: (from left to right) the drive,
link, actuator, and guide.
b. From the main menu, choose Units>Metric (mm, kg, N, s, mV, mA).
Note: Stiffness behavior for all geometries are rigid by default.
3. Remove surface-to-surface contact.
The focus of this tutorial is a rigid dynamic analysis. Rigid dynamic models employ joints
to describe the relationships between parts in an assembly. As such, we will not need the
surface-to-surface contacts that were transferred from the geometry model in this case.
a. Expand the Connections branch in the Outline, then expand the Contacts
branch. Highlight all of the contact regions in the Contacts branch.
b. Right-click the highlighted contact regions, then select Delete.
Note that this step is not needed if your Mechanical options configured so that
automatic contact detection is not performed upon attachment.
4. Define joints.
We will define joints in the model from left to right as shown below, using Body-Ground
and Body-Body joints as necessary to solve the model.
Prior to defining joints, it is useful to select the Body Views button in the Connections
toolbar. The Body Views button splits the graphics window into three sections: the main
window, reference body window, and mobile body window. Each window can be
manipulated independently. This makes it easier to select desired regions on the model
when scoping joints.
To define joints:
a. Select the drive pin face and link center hole face as shown below, then select
Revolute from the Body-Body drop-down in the Connections toolbar.
b. Select the drive center hole face as shown below, then select Revolute from the
Body-Ground drop-down in the Connections toolbar.
c. Select the link and actuator center hole faces as shown below, then select Revolute
from the Body-Body drop-down in the Connections toolbar.
d. Select the actuator face and guide face, then select Translational from the Body-
Body drop-down in the Connections toolbar, as shown below.
e. Select the guide top face, then select Fixed from the Body-Ground drop-down in
the Connections toolbar, as shown below.
5. Define joint coordinate systems.
You must properly define the coordinate systems for each new joint to ensure correct joint
motion. Realign each joint coordinate system so that they match the corresponding systems
pictured in step 4. To specify a joint coordinate system:
a. In the Outline, highlight a joint in the Joints branch.
b. In the joint Details view, click the Coordinate Systemfield. The coordinate field
becomes active.
c. Click the axis you want to change (i.e., X, Y, or Z). All 6 directions become visible
as shown below.
d. Click the desired new axis to realign the joint coordinate system.
e. Click Apply in the Details view once the desired alignment is achieved.
6. Define a local coordinate system.
Now we will create a local coordinate system that will be used to define a spring that will
be added to the actuator.
a. Right-click the Coordinate Systems branch in the Outline, then select
Insert>Coordinate System.
b. Right-click the new coordinate system, then select Rename. Enter Spring_fix as
the name.
c. In the Spring_fix Details view, define the Origin fields as shown below:
7. Add a spring to the actuator.
a. Select the bottom face of the Actuator, then select Spring from the Body-Ground
drop-down in the Connections toolbar, as shown below.
b. In the Reference section of the spring Details view, set the Coordinate System to
c. In the Definition section of the spring Details view, specify:
Longitudinal Stiffness = 0.005 N/mm
Longitudinal Damping = 0.01 N*s/mm
8. Define analysis settings.
To define the length of the analysis:
a. Select Analysis Settings in the Overview, then
b. In the Analysis Settings Details view, specify Step End Time = 60. s
9. Define a joint load.
A joint load must be defined to apply a kinematic driving condition to the joint object. To
define a joint load:
a. Right-click the Transient branch in the Outline, then select Insert>Joint Load.
b. In the Joint Load Details view, specify:
Joint = Revolute - Ground To Drive
Type = Moment
Magnitude = Tabular (Time)
c. Graph and Tabular Data windows will appear.
d. In the Tabular Data window, specify that Moment = 5000 at Time = 60, as shown
10. Prepare the solution
a. Select Solution in the Outline, then select Deformation>Total from the Solution
b. In the Outline, click and drag the link to actuator revolute joint to the Solution
branch. Joint Probe will appear under the Solution branch.
This is a shortcut for creating a joint probe that is already scoped to the joint in
question. Because we want to find the forces acting on this joint, the default
settings in the details of the joint probe are used.
c. Click the Solve button in the main toolbar.
11. Analyze the results
a. After the solution is complete, select Total Deformation under the Solution
branch in the Outline. A timeline animation of max/min deformation vs. time
appears in the Graph window.
b. In the Graph window, select the Distributed animation type button, and specify
100 frames and 4 seconds, as shown below. (These values have been chosen for
efficiency purposes, but they can be adjusted to user preference.)
c. Click the Play button to view the animation.
d. Select the Joint Probe branch in the Outline,
e. In the Joint Probe Details view, specify X Axis in the Result Selection field.
f. Right-click the Joint Probe branch, then select Evaluate All Results.
The results from the analysis show that the spring-based actuator is adding energy in to the
system which is reducing the cycle time.