This tutorial is the last of three basic tutorials devised to illustrate commom features in ANSYS. Each tutorial builds upon techniques covered in previous tutorials, it is therefore essential that you complete the tutorials in order.

The Solid Modelling Tutorial will introduce various techniques which can be used in ANSYS to create solid models. Filleting, extrusion/sweeping, copying, and working plane orientation will be covered in detail.

Two Solid Models will be created within this tutorial.


We will be creating a solid model of the pulley shown in the following figure.

We will create this model by first tracing out the cross section of the pulley and then sweeping this area about the y axis.

  1. Create 3 Rectangles Main Menu > Preprocessor > (-Modeling-) Create > Rectangle > By 2 Corners
    BLC4, XCORNER, YCORNER, WIDTH, HEIGHT

    The geometry of the rectangles:
    Rectangle 1 Rectangle 2 Rectangle 3
    WP X (XCORNER) 2 3 8
    WP Y (YCORNER) 0 2 0
    WIDTH 1 5 0.5
    HEIGHT 5.5 1 5

    You should obtain the following:

  2. Add the Areas Main Menu > Preprocessor > (-Modeling-) Operate > (-Boolean-) Add > Areas
    AADD, ALL

    ANSYS will label the united area as AREA 4 and the previous three areas will be deleted.

  3. Create the rounded edges using circles Preprocessor > (-Modeling-) Create > (-Areas-) Circle > Solid circles
    CYL4,XCENTER,YCENTER,RAD

    The geometry of the circles:
    Circle 1 Circle 2
    WP X (XCENTER) 3 8.5
    WP Y (YCENTER) 5.5 0.2
    RADIUS 0.5 0.2

  4. Subtract the large circle from the base Preprocessor > Operate > Subtract > Areas
    ASBA,BASE,SUBTRACT

  5. Copy the smaller circle for the rounded edges at the top Preprocessor > (-Modeling-) Copy > Areas

  6. Add the smaller circles to the large area. Preprocessor > Operate > Add > Areas
    AADD,ALL

  7. Fillet the inside edges of the top half of the area Preprocessor > Create > (-Lines-) Line Fillet

  8. Create the fillet areas

  9. Add all the areas together Preprocessor > Operate > Add > Areas
    AADD,ALL

  10. Plot the areas (Utility Menu > Plot - Areas)

Now we need to sweep the area around a y axis at x=0 and z=0 to create the pulley.

  1. Create two keypoints defining the y axis Create keypoints at (0,0,0) and (0,5,0) and number them 1001 and 1002 respectively. (K,#,X,Y,Z)

  2. By default the graphics will now show all keypoints. Plot Areas

  3. Sweep the area about the y axis Preprocessor > (-Modeling-) Operate > Extrude > (-Areas-) About axis

  1. Change the Working Plane

    By default, the working plane in ANSYS is located on the global Cartesian X-Y plane. However, for us to define the bolt holes, we need to use a different working plane. There are several ways to define a working plane, one of which is to define it by three keypoints.

  2. Align the Working Plane with the Keypoints Utility Menu > WorkPlane > Align WP with > Keypoints +

  3. Create a Cylinder (solid cylinder) with x=5.5 y=0 r=0.5 depth=1 You should see the following in the graphics screen

    We will now copy this volume so that we repeat it every 45 degrees. Note that you must copy the cylinder before you use boolean operations to subtract it because you cannot copy an empty space.

  4. We need to change active CS to cylindrical Y Utility Menu > WorkPlane > Change Active CS to > Global Cylindrical Y
    This will allow us to copy radially about the Y axis

  5. Create 8 bolt Holes Preprocessor > Copy > Volumes

The above example was solved using a mixture of the Graphical User Interface (or GUI) and the command language interface of ANSYS. This problem has also been solved using the ANSYS command language interface that you may want to browse. Open the .HTML version, copy and paste the code into Notepad or a similar text editor and save it to your computer. Now go to 'File > Read input from...' and select the file. A .PDF version is also available for printing.

We will be creating a solid model of the Spindle Base shown in the following figure.

We will create this model by creating the base and the back and then the rib.

  1. Create the base rectangle
    WP X (XCORNER) WP Y (YCORNER) WIDTH HEIGHT
    0 0 109 102
  2. Create the curved edge (using keypoints and lines to create an area)

    You should obtain the following image:

  3. Create the 4 holes in the base

    We will make use of the 'copy' feature in ANSYS to create all 4 holes

    You should obtain the following:

  4. Extrude the base Preprocessor > (-Modeling-) Operate > Extrude > (-Areas-) Along Normal

    (Alternatively, type VOFFST,6,26 into the command line)

  1. Change the working plane

    As in the previous example, we need to change the working plane. You may have observed that geometry can only be created in the X-Y plane. Therefore, in order to create the back of the Spindle Base, we need to create a new working plane where the X-Y plane is parallel to the back. Again, we will define the working plane by aligning it to 3 Keypoints.

  2. Create the back area

  3. Extrude the area (length of extrusion = 26mm) Preprocessor > (-Modeling-) Operate > Extrude > (-Areas-) Along Normal
    VOFFST,27,26

  4. Add the base and the back together

  5. Create the Upper Cylinder

    You should now have the following geometry:

  1. Change the working plane

  2. Change active coordinate system

    We now need to update the coordiante system to follow the working plane changes (ie make the new Work Plane origin the active coordinate)

    Utility Menu > WorkPlane > Change Active CS to > Working Plane
    CSYS,4

  3. Create the area

  4. Extrude the area (length of extrusion = 20mm)

  5. Add the volumes together

You should obtain the following:


To quit ANSYS, select 'QUIT' from the ANSYS Toolbar or select 'Utility Menu'/'File'/'Exit...'. In the dialog box that appears, click on 'Save Everything' (assuming that you want to) and then click on 'OK'.