A few questions to get a better understanding how Femap/Nastran models 3d laminates. To start with:
1. In the Element Property dialog box, where ply/stack needs to specified, if my 0deg plies are along Y direction and the thickness is along Z direction, then my entry would be YZ, correct?
2. How does Nastran know where my first ply in the stacking sequence lies for a 3D element with Solid Lamiante Property? In 2D, the above depends on the element normal per my understanding.
For question #1, I think I may have found the answer in Femap Command Manual.
"The Material Coord System is used to allow proper defintion of the Ply/Stack Direction for the Solid Laminate Elements, which always follow an axis of a coord system. By default, the "Basic Rectangular" coord system is selected, but may be set to any user-defined coord system."