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Fibersim 101: (6 of 14) Cutouts

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Welcome to Fibersim 101, a step-by-step series of articles meant to familiarize new users with the key concepts of the software. We recommend starting with Part 1 and downloading the “” file at the bottom of that page in order to follow along with these exercises. If you need to go back to Fibersim 101: (1 of 14) Model Setup click here.


Cutouts are regions that are machined out of an entire cured laminate. Because these cutout operations take place post-cure (after the laminate has been manufactured), they are fundamentally different from Holes in Ply objects. Holes in plies represent material being cut out of the composite fabric prior to layup. Cutout objects in Fibersim, however, assume that material is not removed from individual plies; instead, the plies are laid up with no holes, and after the laminate has been cured, a separate machining process is used to cut through the single laminated structure.

The Cutout, therefore, affects the entire parent laminate. Any intersection between the Cutout area and any plies on the parent laminate will be reflected in the “Net” sections of the Laminate and Ply Analysis tabs as shown below:Cutouts1.jpg

  • In our example model, please create a Cutout object by clicking on “Cutout” in Fibersim’s left-hand Applications tree, right-click in the main right-hand window, and choose Create New:


  • In the create Cutout form that appears, enter a name and select “DUCT” from the Laminate pull-down to assign the object’s parent. Next, click the link geometry button for the Origin and select the point in NX as shown:  




  • Next, click the geometry link button for Boundary and select the curves as shown below:




  • The checkbox for “Cutout Propagation” can be left checked. This indicates that if any child laminates are to be created in the future, this Cutout will apply to those laminates as well. Press OK to save the object.

Continue to Fibersim 101 (7 of 14) Design Stations Now!