I had the same question a few months ago. I haven't found any ready solution that will fit. We decided to create an in-house tool. There were two problems:
1) You don't want to convert each element but instead, convert parts. It required grouping elements into parts.
2) Grouping should take into account mesh connectivity (e.g. stiffeners on walls).
After solving these problems we have a tool. It requires performing some cleanup afterward (we are still working to improve that):
If this is what you are looking for, let me know maybe our company can assist you with conversion.
Yes I did but I keep getting the following error:
Create Surface From Mesh
32967 Element(s) Selected...
Non-plate elements removed from selection...
Non-manifold shell mesh not supported, detected near node 200148.
Thanks for your reply and for offering help. The way you have described is exactly how I'm creating the geometries from mesh,... but I thought there might be a better (easier) way,...
I'll keep you posted.
I have created an API that may be helpful for you. It is still in a beta version, but it may be suitable.
This utilizes the Surface From Mesh option in Femap, but improves upon it by letting you create a surface from ANY element face.
For best results, do not attempt to create highly curved surfaces with this tool. Rather, use the other geometry featurs such as sweeping surfaces and extruding to node for fillets and more curved surfaces.