Simcenter 3D API: Aero Tools App

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Siemens Theorist




Utility Name

Aero Tools App



Set of tools that can be used in Simcenter 3D Nastran pre- and post-processing for aerostructures calculations


Detailed Description

This App includes the following functionalities:

  • Nodal load mapping from coarse to refined mesh
  • Shear-Moment-Torque diagram generation on a discretized line
  • Connections creation between parts with automatic stiffness calculation from Huth formula
  • Switch between Simcenter Nastran & Abaqus solver environments
  • Automatic reporting


General Information

Compatible versions

Source code


Simcenter 3D 2019.1


Nodal load mapping, Shear Moment Torque diagram, connections, solver switch, reporting


Known Issues



Test Case

Launch the Simcenter 3D Aero Tools App.

This App consists of the following buttons:




1. Export Groups

  • Open a .sim file including groups of loaded nodes
  • Click on Export Groups




  • Enter an output folder and select the groups of loaded nodes
  • When applying the command, Simcenter Nastran .dat files including subcases, nodes, loads & coordinates systems are created in the output folder.


2. Import Load From Bulk

  • Open a .sim file
  • Click on Import Load From Bulk




  • Click on Add & browse to select the .dat bulk files to import
  • After pressing OK, nodes and their loads are added and tables are created under Fields.



3. Automatic Node Connection

  • This command allows the creation of RBE (RBE2, RBE3, RBE2+RBE3) between 2 groups of nodes within a used-defined search distance different types of 1D rigid elements
  • Open a .fem file with nodal groups to be linked
  • Select for Element Type for example "Automatic RBE2+RBE3"



  • Set Max Leg Nodes for RBE2
  • Set Max Leg Nodes for RBE3
  • Select the group of Core Nodes (the loaded nodes)
  • Select the group of Leg Nodes (the target nodes)
  • Set the Search Distance
  • If needed, change the DOF of the RBE2/RBE3


4. Create Multiple Subcases

  • This command creates, in one user-defined solution, the subcases from the imported loads stored in the Fields
  • Open a .sim file including a Solution
  • Click on Create Multiple Subcases




  • Select a Solution
  • Select the Loads
  • Tick Group of Loads if grouping several loads from same subcases is needed
  • At the end, subcases are created under the selected Solution AeroTools-4b.png


5. Create SMT Tables

  • This commands creates the Shear-Moment-Torque tables along a dicretized line
  • Open a .sim file including Solution results
  • Click on Create SMT Tables



  • Select the type of the required table: MPC (Reaction Force MPC), Applied Loads (Applied Force, OLOAD request), Free Body (Grid Point Force)
  • Select Results
  • For MPC or Applied Loads,
    • select a group of points for the discretization (where the resulting S, M & T will be computed)
    • select a group of nodes contributing to the computation
    • select a reference CSYS
    • a tolerance parameter for searching the contributing nodes at each point
  • For Free Body, instead of selecting a group of nodes, select a group of target elements
  • When applying the command, for each subcase, one table will be created for Shear, Moment & Torque


6. Create Graphs from Tables

  • This command allows the creation of graphs from X-Y functions stored in tables
  • Click on Create Graph from Tables




  • Select the Solution
  • Select the SMT tables
  • Choose the ouput folder and the output file format
  • At the end, SMT graphs will be generated in 3D windows and in files if required


7. Create Connections

  • This command allows the creation of connections (based on Universal Connctions/Sealing) between 2 plates. Huth formula is used to compute the CBUSH stiffness.
  • Open a .fem with 2D shell elements representing plates to be joined
  • Click on Create Connections



  • Select the group of plate Polyfon Faces
  • Select the type for the locations: either Points or Curves
  • Select the group of Points or Curves
  • If Points are selected, select the main direction for the connections
  • Enter the various data for the fastener (diameter, length & material)
  • Select some parameters for the Huth formula
    • choice between Single Shear/Double Shear
    • choice between Riveted Metallic/Bolted metalic/Bolted Graphite-Epoxy
  • After pressing on OK, connections (RBE3+CBUSH) are created and CBUSH stiffness is computed according Huth formula


8. Switch Solver

  • This command allows to switch from Simcenter Nastran to Abaqus solver environment (and vice-versa).
  • Open a .fem or .afm
  • Click on Switch Solver



  • Current Solver environment is Simcenter Nastran. Click on Abaqus
  • When finished, click on Close
  • The solver environment is now Abaqus


9. Generate Report

  • This command shows an example of reporting functionality
  • A MS-Word template is stored in the delivery, for more information open it in report_templates
  • Open a .sim file
  • Click on Generate Report
  • A StressReport item is added in the Simulation Navigator



  • Each Template Item shown can be filled manually after a double click on it
  • Once all items are filled, right click on StressReport and select Publish Report
  • Enter a file name and a folder for the report document to be created
  • At the end, the published report is open in MS Word


STS 3D Customization team


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