Generate Contacts Automatically

Use the Auto Contacts tool to determine contact interfaces between selections of components or elements. Based on the user-specified options like proximity tolerance, surface creation method, main surface type, and secondary type, the tool generates contacts based on set segments or node and element combinations.

Auto contact generation works independent of whether the model is FE or geometric.
Restriction: This tool is only available in the OptiStruct profile.
  1. From the Model ribbon, Contacts tool group, click the Auto Contacts tool.

    Figure 1.
  2. On the guide bar, click to set contact calculation options for Sliding and Tied contacts.
    Some of the main parameters include:
    • The maximum feature angle used to identify contacts
    • The contact surf (set) types - main and secondary
      • Main - Surface (elems) or Segment (Set Segment)
      • Secondary - Node, Surface (elems), or Segment (Set Segment)
    • The method for creating main and secondary surfaces
    • The property to attach to the contact pairs
  3. Select the contact type that gets generated from the guide bar drop-down.
  4. If using a proximity tolerance to determine the distance between selections, enter a value.
  5. Select the components or elements to create contact interfaces between.

    Figure 2.
  6. Optional: If the Property Options setting is set to Use existing property, you can select and assign a PCONT property.
  7. Click Find.
    The evaluation is executed. If valid contacts are found, a model tour style guide bar appears that you can use to review the various node, surface, or segment creations.
  8. Review the next or previous contact by clicking or on the guide bar.

    Figure 3.
  9. Optional: Use the options on the display toolbar to toggle the visibility of associated components and main/secondary interfaces as well as adjust the transparency level.

    Figure 4.
  10. Optional: Edit the content of the Secondary and Main selectors (node, surface, or segment selections) to correct and/or improve the contact generated by the tool.
    Note: The entity selectors on the model tour guide bar are restricted by the main and secondary types defined in the options menu. If set to Node, only nodes are available for selection. If set to Surfaces, you can only select elements. If set to Segments, you can only select faces/edges.
  11. Optional: Use the checkbox beneath the guide bar to swap the main and secondary interfaces.
  12. Click one of the action buttons on the guide bar.
    • - Reject individual contacts
    • - Reject all contacts and return to the Create context
    • - Accept contacts and exit the tool