Before the release of Fibersim 15.2, the only Fibersim option that allowed users to control producibility simulation cell size was the Fiber Spacing Factor as highlighted in red below.
The Fiber Spacing Factor allows the user to change the size of their simulation cells by entering a relative value where smaller values decrease the cell size by the assigned factor while larger values increase the cell size by the assigned factor.
One of the latest enhancements added to Fibersim 15.2 is the ability to specify simulation cell size by using an absolute value rather than a relative value. A checkbox labeled “Specify Cell Size” located directly above the Fiber Spacing Factor field has now been added to the Fibersim interface on the Simulation Options tab. After checking the Specify Cell Size box, the Fiber Spacing Factor field is replaced by a Cell Size field as highlighted in red in the screenshot below.
When setting a Cell Size value, the value entered represents the actual height and width of each simulation cell. Therefore, instead of increasing or decreasing the simulation cell sizes by a relative factor value, the user can set their simulation cells to whatever absolute size they prefer.
There are several reasons why a user would prefer specifying cell size rather than using the fiber spacing factor. First, it is typically recommended that users set up their designs so that at least two cells cross the smallest radius of their part. If a user knows the distance of their smallest radius, then specifying cell size can instantly be set to the known value, rather than the trial and error process of setting up a fiber spacing factor.
Another reason to specify cell size occurs when a user is splicing their plies. After splicing plies, if a user is using a fiber spacing factor, the cell size will be smaller on the individually spliced plies rather than the full body ply. This can lead to varying results as well as different material width calculations. If the user specifies a cell size value, then the cell size of the spliced plies will not vary from their initial full body ply.
Finally, the ability to specify cell size is also important for creating analysis exports. For analysis exports, the exported data consists of the nodes of the simulation mesh. When different sized plies are using the same fiber spacing factor, the export results can vary from ply to ply based on the varying quantity of nodes in each ply’s simulation. If all plies use a specified cell size, then the user will get more consistent results when creating analysis exports.