Assembling the model

Each part that you create is oriented in its own coordinate system and is independent of the other parts in the model. Although a model may contain many parts, it contains only one assembly. You define the geometry of the assembly by creating instances of a part and then positioning the instances relative to each other in a global coordinate system. An instance may be classified as independent or dependent. Independent part instances are meshed individually while the mesh of a dependent part instance is associated the mesh of the original part. This issue is discussed further in Working with part instances.

Related Topics
In Other Guides
The Assembly module


For the cantilever beam tutorial you will create a single instance of your cantilever beam. Abaqus/CAE positions the instance so that the origin of the sketch that defined the rectangular profile of the beam overlays the origin of the assembly's default coordinate system.

  1. In the Model Tree, expand the Assembly container. Then double-click Instances in the list that appears.

    Abaqus/CAE switches to the Assembly module, and the Create Instance dialog box appears.

  2. In the dialog box, select Beam and click OK.

    Abaqus/CAE creates an instance of the cantilever beam and displays it using an isometric orientation. In this example the single instance of the beam defines the assembly. A second triad in the viewport indicates the origin and orientation of the global coordinate system.

  3. In the View Manipulation toolbar, click the rotate view manipulation tool, .

    When you move the mouse back into the viewport, a circle appears.

  4. Drag the mouse in the viewport to rotate the model and examine it from all sides. You can also pick a center of rotation by clicking Select in the prompt area; your selected center of rotation is retained for the current object and viewport. Click Use Default to return to the default (center of viewport) rotation method.

    Click mouse button 2 to exit rotate mode.

  5. Several other tools (pan , magnify , zoom , and auto-fit ) are also available in the View Manipulation toolbar to help you examine your model. Experiment with each of these tools until you are comfortable with them. Use the context-sensitive help system to obtain any additional information you require about these tools.

    Direct view manipulation is available using the 3D compass. The compass allows you to pan or rotate your model by clicking and dragging on it. For example:

    • Click and drag one of the straight axes of the 3D compass to pan along an axis.

    • Click and drag any of the quarter-circular faces on the 3D compass to pan along a plane.

    • Click and drag one of the three arcs along the perimeter of the 3D compass to rotate the model about the axis that is perpendicular to the plane containing the arc.

    • Click and drag the free rotation handle (the point at the top of the 3D compass) to rotate the model freely about its pivot point.

    • Click the label for any of the axes on the 3D compass to select a predefined view (the selected axis is perpendicular to the plane of the viewport).

    • Double-click anywhere on the 3D compass to specify a view.

    The 3D compass is discussed further in The 3D compass.