Take Advantage of Repeatedly Used Components in CAD by Instance Meshing in ANSYS Mechanical

Repetitive meshing tasks can be a significant portion of the time a user spends setting up an FEA model for simulation. In cases where components are reused multiple times in an assembly, the meshing can be tedious.

Select 20 of the exact same face in a bolt circle to specify the number of elements on an annulus…

Select the 20 bodies that those 20 faces belong to for a mesh method…

What if the number of bodies/faces/even edges is larger?

If CAD models are pulled from a major CAD systems, odds are the concept of instancing is not foreign to the user. CAD systems use this all the time. One part that is copied around an assembly multiple times does not have a part file for every copy. One part file is used multiple times; this is the concept of instancing. ANSYS can take advantage of this very easily… so much so that using part instances is the default behavior in ANSYS.

Here is a list of the major CAD systems that ANSYS supports instancing from:

Autodesk Inventor
Creo Parametric (formerly, Pro/Engineer)
Solid Edge

Even some CAD neutral files support instancing when read into ANSYS: IGES and Parasolid. The ANSYS Help documentation goes into good detail on what CAD systems support instancing, along with the many other options available on geometry import.

Look through the CAD Integration > File Format Support section in the documentation:


Each file type that can be imported by ANSYS is discussed in detail here, with each type giving the user information on instancing support, geometric entity support, smart updating, etc.

To see this part mesh instancing behavior in action, check out this short YouTube video.


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