I am new to the use of Inventor after having used several drawing and simulation packages. The company I have started to work for is using FEMAP for drawings and simulation of parts of ships. Inventor 2010 is also available. I am trying to work out if it is faster to draw in Inventor and simulate in either Inventor or FEMAP.
I am not looking for the midplane option, as this would imply having to first draw solids - in the simulation only (2D) shells are simulated. I do think the use of sheet metal in Invenotr is intended for other types of structures as well - please correct me if I'm wrong. In this case it involves plates of the deck, hull and perpendicular stiffeners - all modelled as 2D plates/shells. These plates are typically placed parallel or perpendicular.
The Inventor examples I have found so far involve solids. Can anyone point me in the right direction for drawing in shells directly?
I tried to draw a rectangle and extrude this with zero thickness. Extruding as a solid does not enable specifying a zero thickness (only values other than 0 are allowed). Extruding the rectangle as a surface extrudes each of the lines of the rectangle in the direction perpendicular to the drawing plane. This creates a hollow tube, with shells as walls. Extruding a line would give a plane, but I cannot select a line.
IV will make surfaces as 0-thickness bodies. You should be able to select a single line or a set of lines to make your surface. Make sure that you select the surface option in the extrude command before you select your sketch geometry if you don't have a closed loop sketch.
As I remember, the FEA solver in IV2010 only works with 3d solids. It can't mesh surfaces. I believe that IV 2013 introduced a midplane option for thin walled components. The FEA included with IV is limited to linear homogeneous materials: No wood, composites, or plastic deformation.
You will need the Autodesk Simulation line of products if you want to mesh surfaces for FEA.