I'm analyzing an aircraft and currently have the structural ribs and longerons modeled as plate elements. I need to beam, plate, element, aircraft, structure, nodeplace beam elements in place of the plate elements for the ribs/longerons, but I don't currently know of an efficient way to do that. I'm hoping I don't have to go node by node and draw out each beam. What's the best way of completing this task?
Take a look at Mesh -> Edge Members, which allows you to create beam elements on the edge of plate elements. Note the use of Method -> ID - Free Edge on the Entity Selection Dialog Box when selecting elements and nodes to make the selection / filtering more efficient. Offsets may also be useful (effective position of structure is offset from location of elements).